Also known as: WOA!! * World Population Awareness * population-awareness.net
A health care worker in Bangladesh gives a young pregnant woman a birthing kit for a safer delivery. It contains a sterile razor to cut the cord, a sterile plastic sheet to place under the birth area, and other simple, sanitary items - all which help save lives. The health care worker asks the young woman to come back with her baby for a post natal check after the birth. At that time, she asks the mom if she wants to have another child right away or if she wants to space her children. Usually the mom wants to wait, and gladly accepts contraception. The worker is prepared to give her pills, an injection, implants, or an IUD. The mother is instructed to come back if the baby shows signs of diarrhea or pneumonia, common infant killers.
People's Rights, Planet's Rights - Holistic Approaches to a Sustainable Population (pdf) Suzanne York, Institute for Population Studies
Art Elphick's Pop- ulation Slide Show
Important Videos, Media
... more ...
Seeks to protect the global environment, preserve natural resources for future generations, and foster healthy communities by advancing sustainable development solutions by:
- promoting increased access to voluntary family planning and reproductive
health information and services
- advocating for women's and girls' basic rights, including health care, education, and economic opportunity
- raising public awareness of wasteful resource consumption in the context of social and economic equity
- empowering youth leaders
Wise Giving Guide
If we don't halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity - and will leave a ravaged world. Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall
Population & Sustainability News Digest
March 25, 2015
The results of a 30-year survey of the South American rainforest involving an international team of almost 100 researchers, has concluded that trees are dying faster than before and this is affecting the rainforest's ability to store carbon.
Initially, an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - a key ingredient for photosynthesis - led to a growth spurt for the Amazon's trees, the researchers say. But the extra carbon appears to have had unexpected consequences.
Although the study finds that tree mortality increases began well before an intense drought in 2005, it also shows that drought has killed millions of additional trees. The Nature paper shows how the Amazon's carbon sink has declined as tree death accelerated. From a peak of two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s, the net uptake by the forest has weakened by a half, and is now, for the first time, being overtaken by fossil fuel emissions in Latin America.
"Regardless of the causes behind the increase in tree mortality, this study shows that predictions of a continuing increase of carbon storage in tropical forests may be too optimistic," one of the study authors and researchers said.
The study involved eight countries in South America and was coordinated by RAINFOR, a unique research network dedicated to monitoring the Amazonian forests.
"All across the world even intact forests are changing", says Oliver Phillips of the University of Leeds. He adds, "Forests are doing us a huge favour, but we can't rely on them to solve the carbon problem. Instead, deeper cuts in emissions will be required to stabilise our climate."
This seems to be the latest review of the literature available on data for the EROI of oil and natural gas, coal, tar sands, shale oil, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, wave/tidal and corn ethanol. Few studies have been undertaken since the 1980s, and such as have been done are often marked more by advocacy than objectivity.
In the 1970's ecologist Charles Hall coined the term "Energy Return on Investment" (EROI), with originally a focus on migrating fish. In the 1980s, Hall, working with Cutler Cleveland, Robert Kaufmann and others, extended the concept to seeking oil and other fuels. The concept had been around for some time, although it was expressed as "net energy." The difference is that EROI is the unit-less ratio of energy returned from an energy-gathering activity to the energy it takes to provide that energy, and net energy is the difference left over after the costs have been subtracted from the gains.
EROI allows the ranking of fuels and an estimate of the changing in their ease of extraction over time. One important idea is that as this ratio approaches 1:1 the fuel is no longer useful to society (except for the presumably rare case where a low quality fuel is used to produce a higher quality fuel). The original papers on EROI were mostly received with interest, but that interest waned in the late 1980s and 1990s as fuel prices declined. More recently as energy prices have again been increasing the interest in EROI has again increased. Additionally many papers on energy and emerging economic fields discuss this ratio and what it means to current and future economies.
EROI for Oil and Gas
Oil and conventional natural gas are usually studied together because they often occur in the same fields, have overlapping production operations and data archiving. The EROI for producing oil and gas was roughly 30:1 in the 1950s which declined irregularly to 20:1 in the 1970s and 11-18:1 in the mid 2000's. An additional finding of oil in these studies was that the EROI tended to decline when drilling rates were higher, and increase when drilling was relaxed. These two trends, a secular decline and a secondary response to drilling intensity together explained most of the variability in oil production. There have now been updates to these analyses for the U.S. until the present issue.
Since few countries make data on inputs public, Gagnon et al. had to estimate energy costs by calculating the energy equivalent per dollar spent in the petroleum industry using various methods to estimate the energy intensity from fairly good data for the U.S. and the U.K. They concluded that global oil and gas EROI was approximately 26:1 in 1992, increased to 35:1 in 1999, and declined to 18:1 by 2006. Thus the EROI for global oil and gas appeared to have a similar declining trend as the U.S. but was from 50 to 100% higher at any given time, as the U.S. is more thoroughly exploited than the rest of the world. These authors also estimated through that the EROI for global oil and conventional natural gas could reach 1:1 as soon as about 2022. However, the authors also state that the uncertainty for the exact date is large and a linear decline assumes an exponential rise in cost per unit output. The authors note that although the EROI for gas is likely much higher than that for oil in most cases, due to the difference in energy costs for raising the fuel in a well, EROI is often represented as an average of both fuels for a given field.
The authors of an unpublished 2007 SUNY ESF study estimated that in 2005 the EROI for a gas field in the U.S. is 10:1 although new analysis (in this special issue) by Sell et al. gives a considerably higher estimate. Heinberg predicts that these sources will have lower EROIs than conventional gas and as they take over market share in the global energy matrix, the EROI for natural gas could decline dramatically, but we are desperately in need of real analyses on this subject using solid data.
EROI for Coal
Studies prior to the 2007 SUNY ESF study found that the EROI of coal was approximately 30:1 until the 1960's when it increased to approximately 35:1, and then fell during the 1970's to less than 20:1. The rise in EROI during the 1960's is attributed to increased extraction efficiency as production shifted to Western surface coal, whereas the drop in EROI during the 1970's is attributed mostly to a decline in the quality of coal being mined in the U.S.
A subsequent study by Cleveland found that the EROI of U.S. coal fell from about 100:1 during the 1960's to approximately 50:1 and then began to increase to higher than approximately 70:1 by 1987. There is no information on the EROI of coal beyond 1987 that we know of. However some assumptions can be made. For the U.S. there are forces driving down the EROI into the future. Bituminous coal hit its production peak in about 1992 and has been gradually declining in quality (BTUs per ton) since the 1950's. Also, increased environmental regulations on the industry would have negative impacts on EROI. Forces driving the EROI of coal up include the growing trend of moving from underground mining to surface mining, and other gains in extraction efficiencies. It is not clear whether over time the decline in resource quality would be greater or less than the increased impact of technology. A problem here, too, is a great decline in the quality of data maintenance by the federal government.
EROI for Tar Sands
Tar sands, or oil sands, consist of bitumen embedded in sand or clay. It can be liquefied underground through the injection of steam, or mined at the surface, and then processed into liquid fuel called syncrude. The largest producers of syncrude are Canada and Venezuela. The reserves are enormous, but the extraction rate is limited by environmental and other constraints.
The 2007 SUNY ESF study calculate an EROI of tar sands of about 6:1 that is based mostly upon the direct energy costs of producing syncrude. Including indirect inputs reduced the EROI to about 5:1, and including the energy equivalent of environmental impacts and labor had only a marginal effect. Previous studies reported by Herweyer and Gupta calculated EROIs lower than their results, in the vicinity of 3:1. Also, syncrude production is not only very energy intensive, but also a large consumer of water, which could also have a negative impact on EROI.
In 2009 a preliminary study posted on The Oil Drum calculated the EROI of producing syncrude from the new Toe to Heel Air Injection (THAI) method as about 9:1, with a range of 3.3-56:1 given different assumptions on the relevance of inputs. Smaller quantities of natural gas and water are necessary in the THAI process.
EROI for Shale Oil
Shale oil is similar to tar sands in some ways -- both are very low quality resources of petroleum. Whereas tar sands are bitumen surrounding a substrate such as clay or sand with a layer of water in between, shale oil consists of kerogen fused directly to the substrate itself. As it is more difficult to separate the kerogen from a substrate than to separate bitumen from water, it is expected that the EROI for shale oil should be lower than that of tars sands.
The SUNY ESF study reviewed a number of studies from 1975 up to 2007 which had made some kind of EROI or net energy assessment. Most of these studies gave EROIs for shale oil from 1.5-4:1. A few earlier studies suggested an EROI of 7:1 to 13:1. In general, these numbers are in the same range and with the same degree of uncertainty as tar sands. Also, both are unique in that the resource can be used to fuel its own extraction.
EROI for Nuclear
Nuclear power is the use of controlled fission reactions for the purpose of producing electricity. There are currently 439 commercial nuclear power plants worldwide generally using variations of the same technology. The SUNY ESF study summarized the EROI of nuclear power from previous studies, concluding that the most reliable information is still from Hall et al.'s summary of an EROI of about 5-8:1. Clearly with reactors operating for longer periods of time, with the possibility of serious uranium shortages with larger use, and with the new considerations of the Japanese reactor accidents due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami new calculations are needed.
EROI for Wind
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable energies in the world today, although it still represents far less than one percent of global or U.S. energy use. Since it is renewable energy, EROI is not calculated the same as for finite resources. The energy cost for such renewable systems is mostly the very large capital cost per unit output and the backup systems needed, for two thirds of the time the wind is not blowing. As a result, the input for the EROI equation is mostly upfront, and the return over the lifetime of the system -- which largely is not known well. For renewable resources a slightly different type of EROI is often used, the "energy pay back time" (EPBT). EPBT is the time it takes for the system to generate the same amount of energy that went into creating, maintaining, and disposing of it, and so the boundaries used to define the EPBT are those incorporated into the EROI.
The SUNY ESF study used a “meta-analysis" study by Cleveland and Kubiszewski, in which the authors examined 112 turbines from 41 analyses of both conceptual and operational nature. The system boundaries included the manufacture of components, transportation of components to the construction site, the construction of the facility itself, operation and maintenance over the lifetime of the facility, overhead, possible grid connection costs, and decommissioning where possible, however not all studies include the same scope of analysis. The authors concluded that the average EROI for all systems studied is 24.6:1 and that for all operational studies is 18.1:1.
EROI tends to increase with the size of the turbine. This is because smaller turbines are of older design and can be less efficient; larger models have larger rotor diameters so they can operate at lower wind speeds and capture more wind energy at higher efficiencies year round; and larger models are taller and can take advantage of the higher wind speeds farther above ground.
Aspects of wind energy which can lower the EROI include the location of manufacture and installation but have greater construction and maintenance costs as they can add to the initial capital investment of a wind turbine or limit the use of recycled materials. Also, energy storage and grid connection dynamics could potentially reduce EROI where applicable. Finally off shore systems would experience more reliable winds but have greater maintenance costs associated with them.
EROI for Photovoltaics
The use of Solar photovoltaics (PV) are increasing almost as rapidly as wind systems, although they too represent far less than 1% of the energy used by the U.S. or the world. Similarly, they are a renewable source of energy and thus the EROIs are also calculated using the same idea. We can calculate the EROI by dividing the lifetime of a module by its energy payback time (EPBT). Like wind turbines, PV EPBT can vary depending on the location of production and installation. It can also be affected by the materials used to make the modules, and the efficiency with which it operates - especially under extreme temperatures.
The SUNY ESF study looked at a number of life cycle analyses from 2000 to 2008 on a range of PV systems to determine system lifetimes and EPBT, and subsequently calculated EROI. Most operational systems to have an EROI of approximately 3-10:1. The thin-film modules considered had an EROI of approximately 6:1 whereas some theoretical modules, including a 100MW very large scale PV installation reached or exceeded 20:1. A subsequent study by Kubiszewski et al. reviewed 51 systems from 13 analyses and calculated similarly an average EROI of 6.56:1. Much promotional literature gives higher estimates but we are unable to validate their claims.
Factors contributing to the increase of EROI include increasing efficiency in production, increasing efficiency of the module, and using materials that are less energy intensive than those available today. Factors contributing to lower EROI include lower ore grades of rare metals used in production (from either depletion in the ground or competition from other industries) and lower than projected lifetimes and efficiencies, problems with energy storage, and intermittence.
EROI for Hydropower
The SUNY ESF study found EROI figures ranging from 11.2-267:1 due to the extreme variability of geography and technology. The author noted that environmental and social costs, which can be substantial, are not incorporated in the numbers. Since all these costs and gains are site sensitive, it is clear that determining an overall EROI for hydropower would be meaningless and that each project would need to be examined separately. Yet, given the range of EROIs in the study, it seems that hydropower, where available, is often a good energy return on investment.
EROI for Geothermal
Geothermal energy uses the heat within the Earth to do work by transferring the heat to a gas such as steam, or a liquid. This can be used to produce electricity or heat for buildings etc. The best suited sites are near plate boundaries and are not available to everyone. Enhanced geothermal systems also known as Hot Dry Rock (HDR) are thought to be able to exploit heat at greater underground depths where there is no groundwater although there are none in commercial use. Another theoretical system called geopressured geothermal could provide thermal energy from hot brine, mechanical energy from highly pressured fluid, and chemical energy from confined methane, but the specifics for such systems are unknown.
The SUNY ESF study reported the EROI for electricity generation from HDR hydrothermal resources to be from 2 to 13:1. Corrected for quality as an electricity source, this is recalculated as approximately 6-39:1. No EROI values of geothermal direct use were found. Energy can be extracted from normal soils and ground water with an EROI of about 5:1, although the input is electricity and the output heat so the quality corrected output may not be very high.
EROI for Wave/Tidal
There is very little information available on wave or tidal energy due to its fledgling state in commercial application. The SUNY ESF study estimated that one wave energy project could have an EROI of approximately 15:1. This number was estimated based on a life cycle assessment of the Pelamis off-shore device currently deployed outside of Portugal. A problem is that it is difficult to maintain many devices when large storms occur.
EROI for Corn Ethanol
The debate over the EROI for corn ethanol is probably the most documented of all the energy sources presented here. The EROI of the numerous studies available on the subject range from approximately 0.8:1 to 1.3-2:1 . The difference in values is mostly attributed to boundaries used and energy quality issues.
Since the 1980's the energy information required to make such calculations have become even scarcer. This is a terrible state of affairs given the massive changes in our energy situation unfolding daily. We need to make enormously important decisions but do not have the studies, the data or the trained personnel to do so. Thus we are left principally with poorly informed politicians, industry advocacy and a blind but misguided faith in market solutions to make critical decisions about how to invest our quite limited remaining high quality energy resources. Our major scientific funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and even the Department of Energy have been criminally negligent by avoiding any serious programs to undertake proper EROI, environmental effects, or other studies, while our federal energy data collections degrade year by year under misguided cost cutting and free market policies.
Given what we do know, it seems that the EROI of the fuels we depend on most are in decline; whereas the EROI for those fuels we hope to replace them with are lower than we have enjoyed in the past. This leads one to believe that the current rates of energy consumption per capita we are experiencing are in no way sustainable in the long run. At best, the renewable energies we look toward may only cushion this decline.
About 11% to 12% more women would use the birth control pill available if it could be obtained at a pharmacy without a prescription or out-of-pocket cost, and this would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies among low-income women by 7% to 25%, according to Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco and Ibis Reproductive Health.
The increase in pill use would reduce the number of women who do not use contraception or who only rely on condoms by about 20% to 36%, resulting in a reduction in unintended pregnancies.
The co-author of the study Dan Grossman said, "Women who are currently using methods that are less effective than the pill -- mainly condoms or nothing -- would use it," ... "Particularly low-income women"
Although the Affordable Care Act has expanded access to contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing, "there is still a need for over-the-counter birth control to fill the gap when women run out of pills while traveling, for example, or for those who find it inconvenient to get to a clinic." Grossman also said that to reach the largest number of women most in need, it's critical that a future over-the-counter pill be covered by insurance.
A growing body of evidence shows strong connections between climate change and extreme events, and impacts once thought of as a distant future threat are already occurring and widespread.
Over 98 inches of snow has fallen in Boston this season, while a the same time, California, in the grip of an epic drought, had its fourth-driest January ever recorded with just 15% of average precipitation.
However, warming is still occurring. Even though cities in regions like the Midwest and Northeast endured record cold during 2014, the national average temperature was warmer than normal, and at the global scale 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded.
Research suggests that a contributing factor of this drastic east-west temperature contrast could be a weaker polar jet stream which can increase the frequency of phases where Arctic air seeps south into regions like the eastern United States while warmer air protrudes north in the western half of the country.
A warming planet can make some regions much snowier. The warmer the air is, the more water vapor it can hold. This additional moisture can bring more intense rain or even snowfall. Also, when sea surface temperatures are warmer than average as they currently are in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean the atmosphere becomes fueled with more moisture and energy.
In the U.S., all regions except Hawaii have experienced an increase in very heavy precipitation events since the late 1950s. However, snowfall has decreased in most parts of the country mostly because more winter precipitation has come from rain instead of snow.
Gradual warming is reducing the number of very cold days in many regions, but in the event when temperatures are cold enough, the increased moisture can cause heavier snowfall events.
Climate change can also lead to both drought and extreme precipitation in the same location. Since 2010, regions like the Midwest have been impacted by numerous extreme drought and flooding events that have each exceeded $1 billion in losses. California is in the midst of a drought that is the worst in at least 1,200 years. Yet in December the city of San Francisco received more rain in a matter of days than it did all of 2013, causing flooding and mudslides, washing out roads and damaging homes.
When it comes to statutes prohibiting minors from getting married, the U.S. is more like Latin America than Europe.March 09, 2015 By: Olga Khazan
The Clinton Foundation recently released an article on child marriage. Russia, China, and Ethiopia prohibit marriage before the age of 18, but many countries in the Americas allow it with "parental consent and/or under customary law."
Child marriage "limits the full potential of girls" and "undermines health, education, economic opportunity, and security." Early wedlock is most common among the world's poorest children
One 2004 study found that teen marriage in the U.S. increased by nearly 50% in the 1990s thanks to "the spread of abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education at American schools, a shift toward cultural conservatism among some teens, and a growing fear among youngsters of contracting AIDS through promiscuity," according to the Chicago Tribune.
Still, child marriage is much less of an issue in the U.S. than it is in other countries with similar laws. By 2002, only about 0.1% of American girls were married by 18. Meanwhile, in Niger,39% of girls are married by 18, and 22% in Bolivia.
Some American child marriages are the result of attempts to prevent the imprisonment of the older partner for statutory rape.
Even though American teens who get married might have more say in the matter than their counterparts in other countries, many advocates believe permissive child-marriage laws can still be harmful.
Over his 50-year career, Lester Brown has become known for his accurate global environmental predictions. As he enters retirement, he warns the world may face the worst hunger crisis of our lifetimesFebruary 24, 2015, Mail and Guardian By: Suzanne Goldenberg
At 80, Lester Brown is best known for his writings on population and for founding first the Worldwatch Institute (the first U.S. environmental think tank ) and later the Earth Policy Institute. Brown plans to retire as President of the Earth Policy Institute in June and wind down a prolific career. His 53 books in 630 editions helped shape the thinking of two generations of academics and activists. Both President Lyndon Johnson and the government of China based policy decisions on Brown's advice.
As Brown nears retirement, he fears the world may soon face a huge hunger disaster. Much of the world is exhausting its ground water due to overuse and overpumping. He noted two large regions in particular where people are running out of land to grow food, and millions of acres are becoming wasteland due to over-farming and over-grazing. In the Sahel region of Africa, an area wracked by war, a huge dust bowl that extends from Senegal to Somalia is losing a lot of top soil. "Eventually they will be in serious trouble," he said. And in northern and western China, where much of the land is too depleted to raise flocks or grow food, villagers are leaving. "At some point they will have abandoned so much farming and grazing land that China no longer will be able to expand food production." This will be worse than what America saw in the 1930s. "Our dust bowl was a confined area. Within a matter of years we had it under control, but these two areas don't have that capacity. We are pushing against the limits of land that can be ploughed and the land available for grazing."
Although Brown believes that most people now accept that family planning and improving childhood nutrition are essential to development, he says that was not the case when he started. "In so much of the developing world people live in cities, not so many in the countryside, and so they buy their food," he said. “What is happening in countries like Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Peru is that low-income families have reached the point where they can no longer afford to eat every day."
“I have been working on these issues for half a century plus, and it is only in the last year or two that this actually become an issue in a number of countries. It used to be the low end of things where you only had one meal a day." But for the first time, he said, “there are now places in the world where tens of millions of people are saying things like: ‘we can only eat five days this week'. That is how they are managing."
A new book skips over the statistics and gets right to the emotional core of overpopulationMarch 03, 2015, AlterNet By: Lindsay Abrams
The more than 7 billion humans alive right now are, with 5 billion more expected by the end of the century. Already the planet lost half of its wildlife population in just four decades, and climate change, spurred on by our appetite for fossil fuels, is threatening Earth's future.
The logical arguments for getting population under control are compelling, says Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology. Yet somehow they just are not working.
Butler came up with a coffee-table book featuring images of a world overrun by human activity. "Take a look: 7.3 billion people on the planet, trying to get by, living as they do........here's what it looks like," he says.
Not every image included in the book is shocking. But taken together they demand attention and provide a convincing argument for bringing overpopulation and consumption back to the center of the environmental movement.
"The vast majority of people get up every day and are embedded in a system, an economic, social, political system, that seems normal to them but the effects of which are harming the biosphere and making it less and less likely that humanity will have a flourishing future," Butler said.
The response to this problem includes affordable solutions, such as providing girls and women with education and access to family planning, solutions that have benefits beyond just helping to limit population growth. The main problem is that society does "not have the political will" to implement them, commensurate with their level of severity.
Go here to see a slide show of some of the pictures: http://www.salon.com/2015/03/02/visions_of_a_fallen_world_what_our_crowded_imperiled_planet_really_looks_like/
The Israeli government has recently acknowledged injecting Ethiopian women immigrating to Israel with a long-acting contraceptive, Depo-Provera, telling them they couldn't come into the country if they didn't take the shot, which the women thought was a vaccination.
Suspicions were raised when the birth rate in Israel's Ethiopian community dropped dramatically.
The Israeli Health Ministry's director-general has now ordered doctors to stop administering the drugs to Ethiopian women if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.
The possible side effects of Depo-Provera include a decrease in bone density that puts women at increased risk for osteoporosis and fracture. In addition, returning to fertility can be a lengthy process and withdrawal symptoms can be acute.
"Depo-Provera has a shameful history," Efrat Yardai wrote in an op-ed, explaining that the drug was used between 1967 and 1978 as part of an experiment that took place in the U.S. state of Georgia on 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black. Many of them were unaware that the injections were part of an experiment.
Ethiopian Jews have faced widespread discrimination and isolation since being moved to Israel in the 1980s. Some were forced to live in transit camps or absorption centers to "adjust to society." They face widespread discrimination in the job market and the educational system.
India is one of the most water-challenged countries in the world. Wells and aquifers are being drained by farmers, city residents and industries. What water is available is often severely polluted.
Worse yet, the national supply is predicted to fall 50% below demand by 2030. And 54% of India's total area facing high to extremely high stress, which would leave almost 600 million people at higher risk of surface-water supply disruptions.
The India Water Tool 2. 0. is a comprehensive, publicly available online tool evaluating India's water risks. Created by a group of companies, research organizations, and industry associations—including WRI and coordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)—the tool can help companies, government agencies, and other water users identify their most pressing challenges and carefully target water-risk management efforts.
Click through to the link in the headline to see the maps and more information.
At this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), a potential presidential contender said, "I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically," ... " I was the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the statehouse in the state of New Jersey," ... "And I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget."
In 2010, Christie cut off $7.5 million that had supported 58 family planning clinics, eliminating state funding altogether. The New Jersey Spotlight reported at the time, "For a state that began financially backing family-planning clinics in 1967, increased grants nearly every year since then, and endeavored to build a network accessible to all women in every county, it's a 180-degree turn."
As a result, there has been more than a 25% decrease in the state network's capacity to meet the need for family planning services among New Jersey's impoverished residents. Nine health centers have been forced to close.
Although the state legislature repeatedly tried to restore the funding cuts, but Christie resisted every year. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) accused him of pandering to the social conservatives who might support a 2016 presidential run.
"Women and families in communities across New Jersey have lost access to cancer screenings, prenatal care, STD testing and treatment and birth control," she said.
Concurrently, the federal Title X funds used for family planning clinics have suffered from a lower budget and increased load.
Supporting family planning isn't antithetical to Republicans' priorities. Some GOP leaders recognize the financial benefits of Title X. Earlier this year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)'s audit of federal anti-poverty programs acknowledged that the program is “moderately effective" at providing low-income women with health services.
Researchers say a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, which, in turn, drove dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in the spring 2011 Syrian uprising. The conflict has since evolved into a complex multinational war that has killed at least 200,000 people and displaced millions.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Coauthor Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said the drought " added to all the other stressors, it helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict."
A growing body of research suggests that extreme weather, including high temperatures and droughts, increases the chances of violence, from individual attacks to full-scale wars.
The recent drought affected the so-called Fertile Crescent, spanning parts of Turkey and much of Syria and Iraq. The study authors showed that since 1900, the area has undergone warming of 1 to 1.2 degrees Centigrade (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit), and about a 10% reduction in wet-season precipitation. They showed that the trend matches neatly with models of human-influenced global warming, and thus cannot be attributed to natural variability.
Global warming appears to have indirectly weakened wind patterns that bring rain-laden air from the Mediterranean, and higher temperatures have increased evaporation of moisture from soils during the usually hot summers, giving any dry year a one-two punch. While there were substantial droughts in the 1950s, 1980s and 1990s, 2006-10 was easily the worst and longest since reliable recordkeeping began.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that the already violent Mideast will dry more in coming decades as human-induced warming proceeds.
Population growth -- from 4 million in the 1950s to 22 million in recent years -- has also made Syria vulnerable. Other factors include growing water-intensive export crops like cotton and illegal drilling of irrigation wells which dramatically depleted groundwater, said coauthor Shahrzad Mohtadi, a graduate student at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs who did the economic and social components of the research.
The drought caused agricultural production to drop by a third. Livestock herds were practically obliterated; cereal prices doubled; and nutrition-related diseases among children saw dramatic increases. 1.5 million people fled from the countryside to the peripheries of cities that were already strained by influxes of refugees from the ongoing war in next-door Iraq. In these chaotic instant suburbs, the Assad regime did little to help people with employment or services, said Mohtadi. It was largely in these areas that the uprising began.
High global food prices may also have been a factor.
Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. They often advertise as if they provide abortion services, drawing people in by promising free reproductive health services, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.
CPCs hide that they're almost entirely funded by national anti-choice umbrella organizations and that the mission of these organizations is to manipulate women into not choosing abortion by giving them false medical information.
CPC workers are well-trained to lie to women about physical and mental health issues they claim are associated with abortion.
While posing as legitimate reproductive-health clinics — locating in medical buildings or near a real abortion clinic, wearing white lab coats, calling themselves counselors — CPCs purposefully do not provide the medical services that pregnant women need, whether to continue a pregnancy or to terminate a pregnancy.
A study "Public Costs from Unintended Pregnancies and the Role of Public Insurance Programs in Paying for Pregnancy-Related Care: National and State Estimates for 2010," showed that U.S. government expenditures on births, abortions and miscarriages resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide totaled $21 billion in 2010. In 19 states, public expenditures related to unintended pregnancies exceeded $400 million in 2010. Texas spent the most ($2.9 billion), followed by California ($1.8 billion), New York ($1.5 billion) and Florida ($1.3 billion); those four states are also the nation's most populous.
51% of the four million births in the United States in 2010 were publicly funded, including 68% of unplanned births and 38% of planned births.
Prior research has shown that investing in publicly funded family planning services enables women to avoid unwanted pregnancies and space wanted ones, which is good not only for women and families, but also for society as a whole. In the absence of the current U.S. publicly funded family planning effort, the public costs of unintended pregnancies in 2010 would have been 75% higher.
Adam Sonfield, one of the authors, said. "Reducing public expenditures related to unintended pregnancies requires substantial new public investments in family planning services." ... "That would mean strengthening existing programs, such as the Title X family planning program, as well as working to ensure that the Affordable Care Act achieves its full potential to bolster Medicaid and other safety-net programs. We know we can prevent unintended pregnancies and the related costs. There are public programs in place that do it already, but as these data show, there is significantly more progress to be made."
Thanks to massive deforestation along Brazil's Atlantic coast and the Amazon, São Paulo's reservoirs are at just 6% of their capacity and water rationing is in place. But this is just the beginning of a long term drying process that could be recreated around the world as forests are laid waste and hydrology disrupted.March 02 , 2015, Ecologist By: Robert Hunziker
Brazil has about 12% of the world's fresh water, but São Paulo is running dry. The city's reservoir, which is a water resource for 6.2 million of the city's 20 million, is down to 6% of capacity! The city's other reservoirs are also dangerously low. The water is turned off every day at 1:00pm.
Deforestation is the problem. The Atlantic Forest, which surrounds São Paulo, stretches along the eastern coastline of the country. A few hundred years ago it was twice the size of Texas. Today it is maybe 15% of its former self and what remains is highly fragmented. The forest harbors 5% of the world's vertebrates and 8% of Earth's plants.
Brazil holds one-third of the world's remaining rainforests. In the past, deforestation was the result of poor subsistence farmers, but today large landowners and corporate interests have cleared the rainforest at a rate that will further reduce the Amazon rainforest by 40% by 2030.
The rainforests act as the world's thermostat by regulating temperatures and weather patterns, and they are absolutely necessary in maintaining Earth's supply of drinking and fresh water.
Rainforests are home to 50% of its plants and animals, and they act as the world's thermostat by regulating temperatures and weather patterns, and they are absolutely necessary in maintaining Earth's supply of drinking and fresh water.
"The original untouched resource of six million square miles of rainforests" (in the world) has already been chopped down by 60%. Only 2.4 million square miles remains today.
In this month's National Geographic magazine, Scott Wallace said "During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down-more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization began." ... "In the time it takes to read this article, an area of Brazil's rainforest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed."
If you think the current drought in California is bad, take a look at what some scientists predict for the second half of this centuryFebruary 28, 2015, PRI - Public Radio International By: Adam Wernick
This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.
A new study in the online journal "Science Advances" predicts global warming will cause a 35 year mega-drought in the Southwest and Plains states worse than any drought of the past 1,000 years.
Such droughts took place in the American Southwest about 1,000 years ago, physical evidence shows.
The research team under Jason Smerdon, an associate research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, compared models of future climates with historical data, and their simulations predicted an 80% chance that a 35-year mega-drought would occur in the latter half of this century as compared to only a 10% chance of such a drought when they ran the data for the period between 1950 and 2000.
And worse: the predicted dryness periods in the Southwest and the Great Plains look worse than previous mega-drought periods.
These results surprised most scientists, but one thing they're certain of is that global warming is the main cause of the increased dryness. Prolonged dryness, Smerdon says is due to less rain and snow on one hand, and increased evaporation from the soil due to higher air temperatures on the other.
The droughts in the West have already had "huge impacts on our economy, our food supply, our recreation. All of these things are related to water supplies. Now just imagine those continuing for multiple decades and what that means for the water resources that are already in short supply," Smerdon says.
Researchers at Brookings Institute have found that poor women in America are five times more likely to have an unplanned childbirth than those who are affluent, a recent study finds.
Researchers Richard Reeves and Joanna Venator examined the National Survey of Family Growth and found that poor women aren't any more or less sexually active than affluent women, but they are using contraception less.
About 16% of women below the poverty line ($11,770 for an individual) say they had unprotected sex in the past year. Among women earning more than 400 percent over the poverty line (about $47,000 annually), that number falls in half, to 7.9%.
Nine percent of women below the poverty line report becoming pregnant in the past year, three times as many as women who earn more than 400% of the poverty line.
Reeves and Venator also found that higher-income women have a much higher abortion rate than lower-income women.
Because of the difference in contraceptive use and abortion rate, higher-income women have fewer unintended births.
Could the difference in levels of contraceptive and abortion use reflect a lack of access, or does it show different preferences for having children?
Sociologist Kathryn Edin claims "Maybe poor women are less concerned about having a baby, even by accident." ... "Work by the sociologist Kathryn Edin and others does suggest that a child -- even when unplanned -- is a great source of fulfillment for women in low-income communities."
However, Reeves and Venator found that 1/3 of women across the economic spectrum who say they are actively not trying to conceive said they would be upset if they became pregnant.
A bill which limits child births to one baby per mother every three years was passed by the upper house (amyotha hluttaw) of Burma's parliament on Wednesday.
The Population Control Healthcare Bill constitutes one part of a controversial four-proposal package that has been tabled in parliament, commonly referred to as the "Race Protection Bill". Hla Swe, an MP in the amyotha hluttaw, states that a population which is too high can be no good in terms of health and that it is dangerous when there is no balance between resources and birth rate. Therefore, he proposes that childbirth be limited to one child per mother "every three years."
A petition by the conservative Buddhist monkhood group Ma-Ba-Tha last year received 100,000 signatures in favour of the Race Protection package.
President Thein Sein subsequently ordered the drafting of four bills: the Religious Conversion Bill, Monogamy Bill, Population Control Healthcare Bill, and Buddhist Women's Marriage Bill. Many observers see the Race Protection bills as attempts to subjugate and control the Muslim community in Burma. Recent bloody confrontations between Muslims and Buddhists have led to a rise in nationalism among Burmese Buddhists across the country. Human Rights Watch say more than 100,000 people have been displaced by communal violence in Arakan State in recent years.
Aung Kyi Nyunt, a National League for Democracy MP, and Zone Hle Thang of the Chin Progressive Party argued against the bill in the upper house on Wednesday, but it was passed with more than 100 supporting votes, 10 objections and four abstentions. The bill is now set to be debated in the lower house. Last month, 180 women's groups, networks and civil society organisations voiced opposition to the proposed race protection package in a signed statement which they delivered to parliament.
Khin San Htwe of the Burmese Women's Union (BWU) said that the BWU "are concerned with the bills as they serve to directly or indirectly control and limit the rights of women." She added that a close examination of the bills leads the BWU to conclude that the bills were drafted to ".....legally control the female population rather than to protect them."
The women's group's statement say the proposals would be unconstitutional and that the new laws would oppose international legislation, including the Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR).
The good news is the world’s oceans have not experienced the extinctions that have occurred on land. But as ecologist Douglas McCauley explains in a Yale Environment 360 interview, marine life now face numerous threats even more serious than overfishing.February 18 , 2015, Yale Environment 360 By: Fen Montaigne
A group of marine experts published a study in the journal Science which drew conclusions that were both heartening and disturbing: While ocean ecosystems are still largely intact, the marine world is facing unprecedented disturbance, including acidification from the absorption of greenhouse gases and widespread habitat destruction from deep-sea mining, oil and gas drilling, development, and aquaculture.
Lead author Douglas McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, noted that, while there was a sixth mass extinction that's been happening, the sixth mass extinction is not underway in the oceans. However the bad news is that there were a lot of data suggesting that we're in a really important transition zone and we seem to be on the verge of transitioning from an era in which harvesting and fishing of marine resources has been the main driver of impoverishing biological diversity to one in which massive habitat change and, `global chemical warfare' (acidification) may be waged on the oceans.
"If you hunt individuals intensely that's going to have negative impacts, but if you go through and actually ravage the homes of these animals, it's going to be a lot harder to recover and the impacts are going to be more profound," he said.
"Look at the way we are impacting coral reef cover, the way that fish farming is eating up mangrove forest, the amount of factory building that we are doing in the oceans for energy production. Seabed mining can only be described as a gold rush that's underway under the ocean now."
"Let's keep our eyes on this emerging rising tide of industrialization in the oceans."
"There are just so many more of us on the planet that have so much higher energy and resource needs, and that we have to start reaching into the oceans for things that we require in our everyday lives."
We just need to be smarter about how to industrialize the ocean and put industry in the right places. "If we need to develop a section of the oceans that turns out to have really bad impacts for wildlife, we need to do remediation somewhere else."
"There are millions and millions of dollars that are being invested to build technological capacity to mine minerals, and they are talking about doing this in the deepest parts of the oceans. And the numbers involved are a bit scary -- a million square kilometers that have been staked out in this marine gold rush"
"There are two major changes that are happening in the oceans as a result of climate change — changing temperature and acidification.""We need to keep climate change and climate change effects on the oceans -- and what this means for wildlife -- at the top of our agenda."
Some of the "corals are beginning to show the capacity for resiliency to cope with some of these temperature increases.". "So what we need to do is basically slow down the rate of the advance of climate change."
"We need more parks and protected areas in the ocean. It's something that we need to very actively tell our policy makers to do."
"The processes of engaging and slowing marine defaunation is made triply hard because large parts of the oceans have no owners. But there is a growing awareness that we need to build international alliances to think about marine wildlife issues."
The angry protests by crowds in the streets of Karachi last week had nothing to do with freedom of expression, drone wars, or Americans. They were about access to water.
Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister of Defense, Power, and Water had warned that the country's chronic water shortages could soon become uncontrollable. The meagre allotment of water available to each Pakistani is a third of what it was in 1950. As the country's population rises, that amount is falling fast.
Dozens of other countries face similar situations. Rapid climate change, population growth, and a growing demand for meat (and, thus, for the water required to grow feed for livestock) have propelled them into a state of emergency.
Growing hunger and the struggle to find clean water for billions of people are clearly connected.
California is now in its fourth year of drought, staggering through its worst dry spell in twelve hundred years. In Nigeria, water shortages are responsible for more deaths in Nigeria than Boko Haram, according to the NGO Wateraid. In India there are places in India where hospitals have trouble finding the water required to sterilize surgical tools. In São Paulo Brazil, the shortage of water is so acute that the country is bracing for riots.
The amount of freshwater on earth has not changed significantly for millions of years. But in the past century population has tripled and water use has grown sixfold. Also we have polluted much of what remains readily available -- and climate change has made it significantly more difficult to plan for floods and droughts.
As populations grow more prosperous, vegetarian life styles often yield to a Western diet. The new middle classes, particularly in India and China, eat more protein than they once did, and that, again, requires more water use. Hundreds of gallons of water are required to produce a single hamburger.
The world will require at least 50% more water in 2050 than we use today -- to feed nine billion residents. Where will the water come from?. Half of the planet already lives in urban areas, and that number will increase along with the pressure to supply clean water.
Floods and droughts will become more common. At the same time, demands for economic growth in India and other developing nations will necessarily increase pollution of rivers and lakes. That will force people to dig deeper than ever before into the earth for water.
There are renewables that may replace oil, gas, and coal, but there isn't anything to replace water. Conservation would help immensely, as would a more rational use of agricultural land -- irrigation today consumes 70% of all freshwater.
This article details the effects of anthropogenic influences on the oscillation of sea water in the Pacific Ocean. and how current sea-surface temperature models show that the current spate of cold winters are a climactic "speed bump" on our way to a warmer world. It is accompanied by a series of charts and images showing increases in the warming of surface waters of the Pacific Ocean, as well as bar charts and satellite pictures depicting pools of ultrawarm surface waters in the Pacific Ocean.
Last year the Pacific Ocean quietly changed from one in which cooler surface waters absorbed atmospheric heat, to one in which warmer surface waters caused the atmosphere to absorb that excessive heat.
This shift was heralded by a powerful oceanic Kelvin Wave. One that brought warm water up from the depths and spread them across the Pacific Ocean surface. Ever since that time, warm Kelvin Waves have continued to refresh this surface water heat pool.
And so the Pacific Ocean surface warming continued throughout 2014.
It's a major swing in Pacific Ocean surface temperatures to a phase where more heat is dumped into the atmosphere. One that is causing some scientists to warn that a new period of rapid atmospheric warming may just be getting started.
PDO and The Multi-Decadal Heat Pump Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a periodic change in sea surface temperature states in the Pacific, thought by many researchers to have a strong influence on global weather and temperature variability.
When PDO is in the negative state, La Nina events prevail, which also coincide with a downswing in global temperatures as the vast Pacific waters take in more heat. In the positive state, PDO tends to encourage El Nino events which result in the great ocean belching heat into the air -- pushing atmospheric temperatures higher.
Normally, this natural variability would pan out -- marking upswings and downswings in a global average. However, human fossil fuel burning and related greenhouse gas emissions have bent this curve upward by trapping more and more heat in the lower atmosphere. So warming has tended to ramp atmospheric warming drastically during positive PDO phases, while atmospheric warming has tended to merely slow down even as oceanic warming sped up during negative PDO phases.
Two positive and two negative phases of PDO have been recorded since human greenhouse gas made a difference. In the first positive PDO phase during 1925 through 1945, global average temperatures jumped upward by about 0.5 degrees F (+0.25 F per decade).
Given the present rate of warming in the range of +0.15 F per decade during periods in which the Pacific Ocean is taking on atmospheric heat, one could expect the next positive PDO phase to see decadal warming in the range of +0.55 F or higher (or by about 1 C in 20-30 years).
Such a rapid pace of warming could challenge the fabled 2 C ‘point of no return' before 2050. Already the world has warmed by about 0.85 C above 1880s levels. And it is for this reason that some scientists are now starting to sound alarm bells.
Any rate of warming above 0.3 F (0.2 C) per decade is enough to achieve post ice age warming of 4 C in only 2 centuries where it took 10,000 years to achieve such warming before. Warming at 0.4 F to 1 F per decade would be both drastic and devastating to current climates, geophysical stability, weather stability, glacial stability, water security, food security, and ocean health.
Taking an Ecological Stand on Solving Overpopulation:
Click here to receive WOA!!s weekly email of Population and Sustainability news.
Alerts, Take Action
Stop the War on International Law
The Women's Equality Treaty (officially known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW) has been languishing in the Senate for over 30 years due to a well-funded and coordinated opposition that feels threatened by international law.
Act Now for Women and Girls
Governor Brown: Support the End of Forced Sterilization of California Prisoners
Ask the California legislature to immediately pass SB 1135, a proposed law that would prohibit sterilization of prisoners for birth control or without their consent.
SB899 - Take Action: Why is California Telling Women How Many Kids to Have?
Repeal the MFG rule. Stop punishing families.
See Headlines below for examples of articles to summarize
Headlines on WOA!!
World Ocean Heartbeat Fading? ‘Nasty' Signs North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation is Weakening Scientists call it Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). But we may as well think of it as the heartbeat of the world ocean system. And when that heartbeat begins to slow down, we'd best sit up and start paying attention: (New video produced by climate hawk Peter Sinclair and featuring top scientists Stefan Rahmstorf, Michael Mann, and Jason Box, issues warnings about an observed disruption to ocean circulation due to water fresh...
Meena's Story: Triumph to Tragedy and the Call to Action for You and Me in Support of Healthy Timing and Spacing of Births In celebration of the launch of HarperCollins and Zondervan's new book -- The Mother and Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health -- created in partnership with Hope Through Healing Hands, I wanted to share a personal story of why I am so passionately behind this book. When public health touches the head and the heart, change happens! We are all stirred to greater action when we understand the data behind a particular condition, but the data...
Access to Contraception ABSTRACT: Nearly all U.S. women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used some form of contraception at some point during their reproductive lives. However, multiple barriers prevent women from obtaining contraceptives or using them effectively and consistently. All women should have unhindered and affordable access to all U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives. This Committee Opinion reviews barriers to contraceptive acce...
UN Calls for Action as Global Water Crisis Looms In its annual World Water Development Report released on Friday, the world body said if current trends of water usage continue, the demand for water will exceed its replenishment by 40 percent by 2030. The report said the rise in the world's population by some 80 million people per year was one of the main factors behind this looming global water deficit, with the current population of some 7.3 billion likely to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. The inc...
California Drought: Past Dry Periods Have Lasted More Than 200 Years, Scientists Say California's current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state's recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West's long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began. And they worry that the "megadroughts" typical of California's earlier history could come again. Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researche...
California's Drought: Water Demand, Population Growth, and Sensible Solutions Drought has prompted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to declare a state emergency. Water agencies are preparing to impose mandatory water rationing. We're all hoping that melting snow in the Sierra will save the state's farmers and city dwellers from hardship. But once rain starts to fall - and it eventually will - California's farmers expect to irrigate their fields and residents expect to water their lawns. Drought, in other words, d...
It's Still Pretty Hard for Women to Get Free Birth Control I'll always remember the first day I got birth control for free just over two years ago. This was one of the first times I felt a tangible effect of Obamacare. I immediately called my mom to share the news. I texted all of my girlfriends. I even posted a picture of my $0 bill on Instagram. So you can imagine how upset I was when a CVS pharmacist told me recently that I owed $20 for a 28-day supply of pills. "I'm a journalist who covers health c...
Pastrami Piled as High as New York, with Prices to Match Short on dismal news? Have a look at this notice, taped to the counter at the Yankee Tavern on 161st Street in the Bronx. "Due to the increased price of pastrami," it began, unpromisingly, “we at the Yankee Tavern apologize for the increase in prices for the pastrami items." Pastrami is in crisis. “I contemplated taking it off the menus," Joe Bastone, owner of the tavern, said. “I came very close to doing it. I decided to try pas...
Celebrating #worldwaterday Share Tweet Email Pin Google+ Linkedin Stumble Reddit "The world is thirsty because it is hungry," reports the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Forty-seven percent of the global population could be living under severe water stress by 2050, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Agriculture is a major user of both ground and surface water for irrigation—accounting for about 70 percent of water...
Global Dependence on Food Imports Leaves Countries Vulnerable More than a third of countries import at least 25 per cent of their grains, an increase of 57 per cent since 1961, said Gary Gardner, a researcher at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington. Thirteen countries were 100 per cent dependent on imports for their grain supply by 2013, an 18 per cent increase from 1961, said Gardner, author of the report "Food Trade and Self-Sufficiency" published this week. World grain imports rose from just over 50 mi...
The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide n May 2011, a postdoctoral student at Los Alamos National Laboratory named Park Williams set out to predict the future of the dominant iconic conifers of the American Southwest — the Douglas fir, the piñon pine and the ponderosa pine. As the planet warms, the Southwest is projected to dry out and heat up unusually fast — few places will be more punishing to trees. Williams couldn't rely on climate models, whose representations of terrestrial...
Will Unequal Access to New IUD's and Implants Worsen America's Economic Divide? The Lucky Ones My daughters both headed to college in the last two years, along with a flock of friends who have been raiding our refrigerator since middle school. As the children of middle class and professional mothers, many of the girls left home with the best birth control that money can buy—state of the art IUD's or implants that drop the rate of surprise pregnancy below 1 in 500 annually and last for years. We moms might not be able to pr...
Why it Might Not Be a Bad Thing If the Senate's Human Trafficking Bill Dies (updated) UPDATE, March 17, 12:45 p.m.: Senate Democrats blocked a motion to advance the trafficking bill on Tuesday. A motion to end debate and vote on the bill failed 55-43, with four Democrats joining Republicans to try to break the filibuster. Debate on the bill will continue. Senate Democrats and Republicans have been bickering since last week over whose fault it is that they're now fighting over abortion in what had been a popular, bipartisan huma...
Warming West Coast Waters Are Losing Productivity, Says Noaa SHARE THIS STORY "We are seeing unprecedented changes in the environment," Toby Garfield, Director of the Environmental Research Division at the NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, said when presenting these results to the Pacific Fishery Management Council this week. Primarily, the report centers around the state of the California Current - the large network of Pacific Ocean currents that move southward along the West Coast to break away ...
Why a Self-described ‘redneck Republican' is Wearing An IUD as Jewelry As the Colorado legislature is locked in a bitter debate about whether to keep funding a family planning program for low-income women — a political fight that hinges on whether intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a form of abortion — some lawmakers are making a strong fashion statement in favor of the birth control method. In order to drum up support for IUDs, and ultimately help demystify this particular form of long-acting contraception, politi...
China is the World's Largest Contributor to Annual Growth in Natural Resource Demand China is the world's largest contributor to annual growth in the demand for ecological resources and services and has been for the last five years for which data is available, according to Global Footprint Network, a leading expert in natural resource accounting. The Ecological Footprint of the world - a measure of people's demand on nature - has begun climbing again after experiencing a 2.1 percent decline in 2009 during the recession, ac...
Rate of Environmental Degradation Puts Life on Earth at Risk, Say Scientists Humans are "eating away at our own life support systems" at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found. Two major new studies by an international team of researchers have pinpointed the key factors that ensure a livable planet for humans, with stark results. Of nine worldwide proce...
The Texas Republican Defending Planned Parenthood Texas Republicans are trying, yet again, to undermine women's access to reproductive health care in their state, but this time they are getting some pushback from within their own party. On Tuesday, Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis spoke out against the state legislature's attempts to restructure the breast and cervical cancer screening program in the state to exclude Planned Parenthood, as part of the Republicans' endless war on that organizati...
Patriarchy is Killing Our Planet - Women Alone Can Save Her Last Sunday was International Women's Day, but despite the celebration and recognition of women throughout the day across the world's media, little attention was paid to how the systemic marginalization of women is integral to what I call the 'crisis of civilization.' Efforts by the UN and other agencies to highlight the centrality of women to the fight against climate change are laudable, but they simply don't go far enough in addressing the ex...
No Regrets: Reclaiming Abortion as a Force for Social Good You'd think from the frenzy of anti-abortion regulations that have swept the country in the last few years that Americans have decided abortion should be outlawed. They have not, although it's become wildly unfashionable, if not downright revolutionary, to speak of abortion as an unmitigated social good. And now, here come two authors, physician and abortion scholar David Grimes and essayist Katha Pollitt, to do just that. Each has written...
Hey Iran, Stop Trying to Turn Women Into 'baby-making Machines' At a time when leaders and organizations around the world are calling for action on gender equality and women's rights, it seems as though Iran is concerned with doing the complete opposite. The country is considering two new laws aimed at boosting population growth by curbing access to contraceptives and banning voluntary sterilization—a move that's being called "misguided" by Amnesty International, which says the laws could set women...
Why Republicans Can't Shut Up About Contraception Sometimes I think the GOP must be working toward the long-term goal of ensuring that not a single American woman votes for the party. How else to explain the behavior of one Kevin Lundberg, the Republican chair of the Senate Health Committee in the Colorado legislature? Over the past six years, a program has provided more than 30,000 women in the state with free intrauterine devices (IUDs), which has helped contribute to a 40 percent drop in the...
“dramatic Thinning” — Arctic Sea Ice Enters Record Low Territory as Northern Polar Region Heats Up This loss is measured in the form of square kilometers melted, in the form of ice thinned, in the form of new, blue water visible. Yet it is a loss beyond mere numbers and measures. A loss that has a profound impact to the Earth and its climate systems. Weather patterns, the rate of warming in the Arctic, the rate of tundra melt, seabed warming, and carbon store release. The rate of glacial loss in Greenland. All are impacted by sea ice loss and ...
Planned Parenthood: No, We Are Not #worsethanisis Meet Isaac Latterell. He's a South Dakota state legislator you've probably never heard of, who wants to ban abortion, so he's pushing an extreme bill through the state legislature—and getting some attention for it by claiming that Planned Parenthood is "worse than ISIS." You read that right, and it's not a story in The Onion. The easy thing to do when an elected official says that you're worse than the world's most menacing te...
Tell HHS: Let Pregnant Women Get Covered But wait! UltraViolet members can make a difference. The Secretary of Health and Human Services can add pregnant women to the list of people who can still get covered after life-changing events--like new mothers, newlyweds, and new citizens. And we're backed by 37 U.S. Senators who pressured Secretary Burwell this week, writing a letter to demand that pregnant women be treated just as fairly. All we need is your signature! Your message to HHS Sec...
Bolstering Modern Contraception Could Prevent 15 Million Unintended Pregnancies Every Year Increased use of modern methods of contraception in low- and middle-income countries could prevent 15 million unintended pregnancies each year, according to a study released this month. These findings may seem obvious, but they have important implications for governments, health-care providers, and women. The study's authors note that "women who become unintentionally pregnant in these countries may face a stark future including death, disea...
If Obamacare Plaintiffs Win, Millions Lose: Our View On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear the most serious challenge to Obamacare since a single vote at the high court kept the law alive in 2012. As legal challenges go, the latest complaint is bizarre: If the plaintiffs lose, they face little or no harm. If they win, about 8 million people around the USA face substantial injury. The case is being brought on behalf of four people who claim they're being hurt because the law gives them generous...
Christie Lied to Us About Planned Parenthood, but Not at Cpac "I'm pro-life, I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically, spoke at the pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse -- the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse -- and vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget," Christie said, winning applause from the audience. Then he told talk show host Laura Ingraham, "I have always thought, Laura, that what the people hav...
Calvin Profs at Forefront of National Conversation on Defining Economic Success See full story: Measuring What We Treasure. In their new book, they argue that society is in a new era where measuring success based simply on GDP is no longer wise. Instead, they argue countries must now take a biophysical approach to economics or adopt a "green GDP." This new approach would account for the depreciation of natural capital in appraising wealth. Natural capital includes natural resources, such as minerals, fossil fuels, forests an...
Mps' 2-child Bill May Be Withdrawn This Session While, the proposed bill was introduced in 1992, the passage of the 79th Constitutional Amend-ment could never see the light of the day as no consensus was formed with many slamming it as "anti-democratic". The proposed bill was designed with an aim to promote population control, with a proposal to include among the fundamental duties, the obligation to promote and adopt the small family norm. Ever since, the proposed bill has seen many turns, it...
Minnesota's Birth Control Coverage Protections Would Include Religious Exemption Lawmakers in Minnesota have introduced legislation that would protect women's access to all forms of birth control—a response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that set a precedent for denying employer-insured contraception on religious grounds. The proposal, however, includes an exemption that would allow religious institutions to forgo offering health insurance plans that include contraception coverage for their employees, ensuring there wo...
Could the Moral Angle Get Christian Conservatives to Care About Climate Change? A majority of Americans think that fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a "moral responsibility," according to a new poll from Reuters. The news agency conducted the poll following a number of recent statements from Pope Francis casting climate change as a moral issue, since it will hit the world's poor hardest. Reuters found: Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to...
King V. Burwell: a Case That Could Roll Back Health Care Access for Millions of Americans Here's what you need to know, and how you can speak out in support of affordable health care. Just the Facts David King and his fellow plaintiffs attest that they will be "harmed" if the government continues to give middle- and low-income families certain subsidies to help them buy coverage from the federal health insurance Marketplace. King v. Burwell Here's the background: To let people sign up for health coverage, the law allows states to eith...
World's Challenges Demand Science Changes – and Fast A group of scientists makes a compelling case in this week's Science Magazine that the growing global challenges has rendered sharply segregated expertise obsolete. Disciplinary approaches to crises like air pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, and energy and water shortages, are not only ineffective, but also making many of these crises worse because of counterproductive interactions and unintended consequences, said Ji...
Idaho Telemedicine Abortion Ban Advances; Lawmaker Draws Attention with Unusual Question February 24, 2015 — An Idaho House committee on Monday voted 13-4 to advance a measure (HB 154) that would bar the use of telemedicine in administering medication abortion, the AP/Idaho Statesman reports (Kruesi, AP/Idaho Statesman, 2/23). The bill now heads to the full state House (Brown, Twin Falls Times-News, 2/23). Bill Details The antiabortion-rights group Idaho Chooses Life proposed the legislation. Under the bill, providers would have...
Are Reproductive Rights Just for the Rich? For many women across America, the promise of safe, legal abortion remains only tenuously within their grasp, or out of reach entirely. In a new investigation, ThinkProgress focuses on the challenges facing Wisconsin women in accessing and paying for abortion care. Reporters Tara Culp-Ressler and Erica Hellerstein go through the myriad restrictions of and barriers to abortion Wisconsin women face, and price out the real-world cost of multiple tri...
Why We Need to Address Population Growth's Effects on Global Warming rlier this month, Pope Francis made news when he said that not only was climate change real, but it was mostly man-made. Then, last week, he said that couples do not need to breed "like rabbits" but rather should plan their families responsibly — albeit without the use of modern contraception. Amid climate change, what's more important: Protecting money or people? Amid climate change, what's more important: Protecting money or people? Thou...
Going Local: Four Reasons We're Investing in Strengthening Innovation Ecosystems Worldwide In many of the 70-plus countries where PATH works, entrepreneurs and innovators are conceiving and refining much-needed health technologies. But what's often missing is the technical expertise to move these solutions to market through a complex process that includes product development, evidence building, manufacturing, and market introduction. This is especially an issue for innovations designed to improve the lives of the poorest and most iso...
Subject Line: Urge El Salvador to Release Las 17! Fifteen women sit in Salvadoran jail cells, branded as criminals because they suffered complications with their pregnancies. Each was unjustly sentenced under El Salvador's extreme total abortion ban, which outlaws abortion in all cases including rape and incest, and even when a woman's health or life is on the line. But now there's movement on the international stage to pressure the government to release them - and we have to keep that...
Wirthman: Colorado Must Retain Funding for Birth Control Colorado is at a watershed moment in the battle to end unintended pregnancy, drastically reduce abortion rates, and improve the health of mothers and babies. Long-acting contraceptives like IUDs and implants helped reduce our state's teen birth rate by 40 percent and our teen abortion rate by 42 percent over 5 years, thanks to the privately funded Colorado Family Planning Initiative. In late January, state Reps. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and KC Be...
Birth Control Can Help the Planet As Pope Francis was returning to Rome from the Philippines last month, he told journalists about a woman who had had seven children by caesarean section and was now pregnant again. This was, he said, "tempting God". He asked her if she wanted to leave seven orphans. Catholics have approved ways of regulating births, he continued, and should practise "responsible parenthood" rather than breeding "like rabbits". Francis' "rabbit" comment was wide...
January 22 - Roe vs. Wade anniversary39 years ago the courts recognized the right of women to make personal, private medical decisions, to control their bodies, their reproductive health, and their lives.
February - Global Population Speak OutAn international community of ecologists, scholars and concerned citizens will SPEAK OUT for a sustainable population and a sustainable world. Be part of the change.
February 4 - African Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Day
February 11-18 - National Condom Week
February 14 - One Billion Rising
March 8 - International Women's Day
March 22 - World Water Day
March 28 - Earth Hour 2015 At 8:30 PM on Saturday March 28th 2015, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.
March 28 - Back Up Your Birth Control Day
April 7 - World Health Day
April 22 - Earth Day
May 4 - National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (U.S.)
May 5 - International Day of Midwives
May 9 - National Women's Health Week (U.S.)
May 14 - Mother's Day
May 15 - International Day of Families
May 22 - International Day for Biodiversity
Karen Gaia's Sustainability & Family Planning Travel Study
South Asia 2000
South Asia 2001