Quantcast

Royal Society Study Shows Profound Challenges of Population and Consumption

Center for Biological Diversity

A scientific study released April 26 by the London-based Royal Society finds that the world’s human population growth and consumption of natural resources by rich countries present “profound” challenges to economies and our environment. The report, People and the Planet, includes several recommendations for ensuring the health of all life on the planet, including supporting voluntary family planning.

“The recommendations included in this study should be heeded by environmental activists around the world,” said Amy Harwood, coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity’s human population campaign. “Unsustainable growth of the world’s human population is having profound environmental effects, including pushing more and more plants and animals toward extinction. Population growth and consumption simply have to be part of the discussion when we’re talking about environmental issues.”

In recent years, awareness and concern about the effects of a growing population has been increasing. As environmental advocates succeed at promoting new initiatives to reduce consumption, the resulting changes are jeopardized by more and more people doing the consuming. In People and the Planet, researchers recognize this complex connection. “Population is not only about the growing numbers of people: changes in age structure, migration, urbanization and population decline present both opportunities and challenges to human health, wellbeing and the environment.”

The world’s human population has doubled since 1970, reaching 7 billion in 2011. It could exceed 9 billion by 2050.

The Center is the only environmental group with a full-time campaign highlighting the connection between unsustainable human population growth and the ongoing extinction crisis for plants and animals around the world. Since 2010, it has handed out more than a half-million free Endangered Species Condoms as a part of the 7 Billion and Counting campaign to raise awareness about population and wildlife extinctions.

To read the full report, click here.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new study shows that half of all Arctic warming and corresponding sea-loss during the late 20th century was caused by ozone-depleting substances. Here, icebergs discharged from Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier. Kevin Krajick / Earth Institute / EurekAlert!

The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.

Read More
Diane Wilson holds up a bag full of nurdles she collected from one of Formosa's outfall areas on Jan. 15. Julie Dermansky / DeSmogBlog

By Julie Dermansky

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.

Read More
Sponsored

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

Read More
Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front 2nd L) and officials inspect a container containing plastic waste shipment on Jan. 20, 2020 before sending back to the countries of origin. AFP via Getty Images

The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Read More
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More