Population Pressures : Features

There are 86 documents in this section.

  • SPECIAL REPORT: United States on course to overtake Europe's population

    22 September 2009

    The United States is the most populous developed nation in the world and, given current rates of immigration, it could overtake the European Union by the end of the century. With its exceptionally high levels of per capita consumption the expanded population is likely to impact heavily on global resources and carbon emissions. But until these issues are addressed by US poicymakers, immigration is unlikely to abate says demographer Joseph Chamie in this article for YaleGlobal online .

  • SPECIAL REPORT Death of the Nile: Egypt's climate change crisis

    27 August 2009

    After many centuries of struggle against foreign invaders, the farmers of Egypt's delta region - which supplies 60 per cent of the country's food - face an even greater catastrophe. Climate change, sea rise and the reduced flow of fresh Nile water threatens to erode, swamp and salinate these fertile lands, destroying the one resource needed to feed Egypt's fast growing population. Jack Shenker travelled through the region to prepare this Special Report for The Guardian. Pictures are by Jason Larkin.

  • Editor's Blog: Wasted years

    30 June 2009

    More than a decade after the world agreed a progressive agenda on population and development at the 1994 Cairo conference on the subject, today's leaders are waking up to the reality of 15 wasted years.

  • Surging population threatens fragile Philippine ecosystems

    8 May 2009

    In 2007, the Philippines was home to almost 88 million Filipinos. By 2015, that figure will swell to around 100 million, according to World Development Indicators 2009, the latest publication released by the World Bank.

  • COMMENTARY: 'Consumption dwarfs population as the main environmental threat'

    29 April 2009

    In a recent article in the Yale e360 website Fred Pearce argues that it's overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem. By almost any measure,he says, a small portion of the world's people - those in the affluent, developed world - use up most of the Earth's resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions. In the interest of open discussion we reproduce his article here with a link to the many comments it has aroused.

  • Family planning surge could make population difference

    30 March 2009

    Food, energy and water shortages will get worse in the near future, unless a major boost is given to family planning programmes and rich countries cut back on their energy and food consumption, delegates to a conference in London on 26 March were told.

  • ETHIOPIA : SPECIAL REPORT A crisis of climate, food - and population

    25 February 2009

    This month, the United Nations warned that Ethiopia's crop prospects are decreasing due to inadequate rainfall - as the changing climate brings ever more frequent droughts. At the same time, Ethiopia's population of some 80 million is on course to double within the next 27 years. This specially commissioned report looks at the prospects for Ethiopia's farming families as the climate heats up and the population grows.

  • COMMENTARY: Why population still matters

    17 February 2009

    In a recent essay on the future of life on earth, James Gustave Speth, Dean at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, said: "All we have to do to destroy the planet's climate and biota and leave a ruined world to our children and grandchildren is to keep doing exactly what we are doing today, with no growth in human population or the world economy. Just continue to generate greenhouse gases at current rates, just continue to impoverish ecosystems and release toxic chemicals at current rates, and the world in the latter part of this century won't be fit to live in."

    "But" he added "human activities are not holding at current levels - they are accelerating, dramatically." And one of those activities is the continuing increase in human numbers, not only in the poorest, least developed. countries of Africa and Asia, but in some of the richest, such as the United States. Here, Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, outlines just what that means, and why enlightened population policies that help men and women to have only the children that they want and can care for, is an essential part of a sustainable future.

  • Bringing population back into focus at World Bank

    20 January 2009

    The inauguration of President Obama has raised hopes that the United States, and possibly the World Bank, might once again take a leading role in addressing the problems caused by the rapid growth of the world's human population, especially in the least developed countries. where birth rates remain high and where the impact of climate change is expected to be most severe. The steps needed to do this were set out clearly at the UN world conference on the subject at Cairo in 1994: when targets for improvements in family planning and reproductive health services were agreed alongside efforts to invest in the education of girls and the status of women more generally. Unfortunately the World Bank has shown few signs of changing its conservative position on the subject, says Steven Sinding, a leading expert who raised the issue in The Lancet medical journal, a year ago. But, as he made clear then, the Bank has not always been reluctant to lead on this thorny issue, and there are voices within that institution that would favour the Bank taking a more active role. "Perhaps if the United States shows the way, the Bank might now be prompted to follow suit" , he told People & the Planet this week. Here, as a contribution to the reviving population debate, we reproduce Dr Sinding's article which first appeared in The Lancet in November 2007.

  • A Green Agenda for Obama's First 100 Days

    12 January 2009

    Yale Environment 360, a new environmental website launched by the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, asked a wide-ranging group of environmental activists, scientists, and thinkers to answer the following question: If you were advising Barack Obama, what would you tell him are the most important environmental and energy initiatives that he should launch during his first 100 days? The results are reproduced here by special arrangement with Yale Environment 360.