Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 62, Jan. 15, 2016
Resolutions for Wildlife

Every year the U.S. Census Bureau rings in the New Year by publishing the latest population numbers: On Jan. 1 there were more than 322 million people in the United States -- 2.5 million more than the previous year.

Some notable areas of growth were North Carolina, which became the ninth state to reach 10 million people, and Florida, which became the third state to top 20 million. Both of these states also have notable battles over endangered species underway: In North Carolina the recovery program for endangered red wolves was recently stalled, and in Florida the rare Miami tiger beetle is threatened by a planned strip mall.

With the urgency of human population growth squeezing out wildlife, plus the climate crisis and an election year upon us, we could all benefit by starting the year with renewed resolve to protect red wolves, Miami tiger beetles and all the other wildlife threatened by human activity -- and to lead by example in how we choose to live our lives. I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, but for this one I'm all in, and I hope you'll join me.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,397,145,524. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

Dietary Guidelines Cater to Meat Industry

Sad burgerThe new Dietary Guidelines for Americans released this month lack the clear guidance on food choices that are better for our health and the environment that advocates, experts, the public and even the government's own scientific advisory panel had hoped would be included.

The Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released last year clearly stated that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods "is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet." The report received unprecedented support, sparking a public debate about the role of dietary guidelines in a sustainable, secure food system.

On one side of that debate were more than 100 environmental and public-health groups (including the Center), more than 700 public-health professionals, more than 150,000 petition signers and more public comments than had ever been received in previous dietary guidelines reviews. On the other side was the meat industry and its powerful allies in Congress and the administration.

While the meat industry is celebrating guidelines that ignore sustainability and a call to eat less meat, their victory is temporary. Demand for sustainable diets has been skyrocketing, the scientific report urging reduced meat consumption is available to the public, and we will continue to build the movement demanding a fair and just food system that values people and the planet over meat industry profits.

Solar panels
Swipe Right for Wildlife

With Valentine's Day around the corner and more than 26 million matches a day on the dating app Tinder, now's the perfect time to talk to your family, friends and dates about the impact rampant human population growth has on wild plants and animals. Tinder users "swipe right" to connect with potential matches. Sign up to be a volunteer Endangered Species Condoms distributor and help the Center give away 10,000 free condoms to make sure wild animals can still find their match.

Find love. Leave room for wildlife to find love, too.

We're Hiring -- Energy Campaigner

The Population and Sustainability program is looking for a passionate, creative and experienced campaigner to help lead the fight for a wildlife-friendly renewable energy future. This new position will focus on how we can rapidly increase renewable energy sources, such as distributed solar power, with minimal impact on the environment. The senior renewable energy campaigner will be part of a dynamic team doing groundbreaking work to address the issues at the root of our most pressing environmental crises -- population, overconsumption and food and energy production. Apply today.

Get Neurotoxins Out of Food -- Sign the Petition
Lettuce field Chicks in nest Caution sign

Organophosphate pesticides were once used in chemical warfare and are now sprayed on the fruits, vegetables and grains that wind up in your supermarket.

Organophosphates aren't just toxic to insects, but also to humans and other animals, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of birds in North America.

Tell the EPA to protect our health and environment by phasing toxic organophosphate pesticides out of our food system.

United States Gets Failing Grades in Reproductive Rights

Report cardThe Population Institute just published its latest report card on the status of reproductive health and rights across the United States, and it's not one any parent would be proud of. As a whole the country's grade dropped from a "C" to a "D+," while 19 states received failing grades. There aren't even points for effort here, as the report cites an "extremely hostile" atmosphere around reproductive health and rights, a teen pregnancy rate higher than any other developed country, and a wave of funding cuts and restrictive policies.

There were only four states at the top of the class, with Oregon leading the way thanks to comprehensive sex education, no unnecessary barriers to abortion, and laws that make it easier for people to access contraception. But the Population Institute warns that even the higher scoring states shouldn't rest on their laurels -- opponents to reproductive rights aren't resting.

Even more importantly, access to reproductive healthcare shouldn't depend on where you live. With half of all U.S. pregnancies unplanned, bringing up grades across the country is critical for women, families and the environment. Check out the report card to see how your state scored.
Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; veggie burger courtesy Flickr/Matt P.; candy image in public domain; solar panels courtesy Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation; lettuce courtesy Flickr/Sarah A.R.M.; bird chicks courtesy Flickr/Kent McFarland; sign courtesy Flickr/jetsandzeppelins; report card courtesy Flickr/amboo who?

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