Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 57, Aug. 22, 2015
Population to Top 11 Billion by 2100

The United Nations has released the latest revision of its World Population Prospects, and once again the numbers have been revised upward. In just nine years, we'll hit 8 billion people on the planet, well on the way to the projected 11.2 billion by 2100 -- which will be almost twice as many as when we started this century. (The UN also released its latest numbers on the planet's current population, which is reflected in our updated population counter.)

Unfortunately the meager news coverage of the report focused on our "slowing" growth rate. While it's statistically true that the rate of global population growth is .06 percent slower than it was 10 years ago, the actual numbers tell a different story: We're adding 83 million people to the planet every year -- 3 million more than a decade ago. Without a greater drop in fertility rates through universal access to contraception, reproductive justice and education for women and girls worldwide, the momentum of our growth will keep increasing the pressure on our climate and environment. Both the rate and actual numbers of wild plants and animals going extinct will continue to skyrocket.

As you'll read below, we're already using up more resources than the planet can replenish, and it's happening earlier every year. It's going to take a truly comprehensive effort -- a profound change in the way we think and act when it comes to family planning, food, fuel and waste -- to turn these numbers around. We need to start the revolution today.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,361,174,462. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

The Lorax's Birthday Marked by Deficit in Planet's Resources

The LoraxForty-four years ago The Lorax, Dr. Seuss' iconic cautionary tale of overconsumption and deforestation, was published. It's sadly fitting that just one day after the book's anniversary earlier this month, we hit Earth Overshoot Day, the day we've used up more resources than the planet can replenish in a year. The Earth's budget is now in the red -- four and a half months too soon and a week earlier than it happened last year.

Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by the Global Footprint Network by dividing the amount of ecological resources the planet generates each year by the amount of land and water needed to produce the resources humans consume and absorb the waste we create. That number is divided by 365 to calculate the day when we've emptied our account, which this year came on Aug. 13. The Center partnered with the Global Footprint Network to raise awareness about overshoot and the impact of unsustainable overconsumption on the planet.

We're currently blowing through the equivalent of 1.5 Earths every year. And if everyone lived like Americans, the number would be closer to 4.5 Earths. Since we only have one planet, it's long past time to listen to the Lorax and speak for the trees.

Slip n slide Red telephone
Get Wild With Campus Action Kits

With fall semester nearly here, the Center has the perfect addition for the college activist's back-to-school list: Our new Campus Wild Action Kits will help students talk about food, sex and sustainability. We're giving away 100 kits full of resources to spread the word about how what we eat and the reproductive health choices we make affect wildlife and the planet. If you're a student or know someone on campus, be among the first to join our "Team Wild" campus volunteer network by signing up to receive one of the brand-new action kits. Make this school year a little wilder.

Defeat the Meat Hotline

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat an average of 818 hot dogs per second. That's a huge amount of meat that's responsible for enormous amounts of habitat loss, greenhouse gas emissions and other threats to wildlife. With one of the meatiest days of the year -- Labor Day -- still to come, the Center is creating a hotline to help barbecue-goers "defeat the meat" temptation when faced with a smoking hot grill. Watch our Facebook page before Labor Day for the number to call when you're in the midst of a near-meat experience over the holiday weekend.

Tell Target to Expect More. Bag Less. -- Sign the Petition
Green sea turtle Target Plastic bag

Those ubiquitous single-use plastic shopping bags are a major source of ocean pollution, killing thousands of marine animals, including sea turtles, every day.

Target says it cares about sustainability, but the company still gives away single-use plastic bags by the millions every week. Time to #BagItTarget.

As a leading retailer, Target must be held responsible for its impact on the environment. Demand that Target eliminate single-use plastic bags from all its stores.

Fossil Fuels on Public Lands: Keep It in the Ground

SmokestacksAmerica's public lands have long been a symbol of wide-open spaces and wilderness in the West, but a new study by EcoShift, on behalf of the Center and Friends of the Earth, shows that beneath the land and offshore areas controlled by the U.S. government is a carbon bomb of fossil fuels -- one that the oil and gas industry can't wait to tap into. Ending new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and offshore areas would keep up to 450 billion tons of potential climate pollution in the ground.

There are already more than 67 million acres of public lands leased to the fossil fuel industry. The climate can't afford for any more to be leased -- the remaining fossil fuels on public lands and oceans would account for more than a quarter of the world's remaining carbon budget and far more than the United States' fair share. That's why the Center just launched "Keep It in the Ground," a campaign to start a fossil fuel revolution to urge President Obama to stop new fossil fuel development on public lands.

America needs a new energy future -- one where the climate, wilderness and public health are valued over industry profits. Help us take the first step by signing the petition asking President Obama to keep it in the ground.

Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; book photo by Rick Mick, Center for Biological Diversity; slip n' slide courtesy Flickr/sethoscope; red phone courtesy Flickr/Daniel; sea turtle courtesy Flickr/Jen R; Target store courtesy Flickr/Mike Mozart; plastic bag courtesy Flickr/Andrew; generating station courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Myrabella.

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