Population Resources

Introduction

This page offers resources relating to population issues. Resources are listed in alphabetical order by topic. Additional resources can be found on this site under topic tag of population.

Contents

Adaptations

The following methods are short-term solutions for overpopulation, but in the long run the answer is to have a sustainable population on earth.

  • low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • super-high mpg/CAFE standards for cars
  • smaller housing to take up less room
  • expanded public transportation
  • recycling sewage into drinking water
  • strict emissions standards

Books

  • The Population Fix: Breaking America’s Addiction to Population Growth by Edward C. Hartman, 4 July 2006, 240 pages. Excerpt: “The range of issues is enormous: rising housing prices and the displacement of the less prosperous; urban sprawl, stalled traffic and the “transportation crisis”; infrastructure costs and rising taxes; the deterioration of public and social services; the impact of massive housing developments; rising school populations and inadequate schools; worsening local air quality; the polarization of local politics and the deadlock of government; rising unemployment in some areas and the dislocations caused by new industry in others; the spread of paving and the attendant problems of runoff and flooding; the failure of water supplies; the destruction of woodlands, farmland and natural landscapes; the sense of a lost quality of life and the feeling that growth has somehow gone bad.” In this excerpt on page 53, Hartman is quoting some research findings of Lindsey Grant. View this in context on Google Books.

Documents and Reports

Here are some helpful documents and reports.

  • Federation for American Immigration Reform, 2006 Report. Excerpt: “… societal effects of crowding that, inter alia, have led to the coining of terms such as “road rage,” “smog” and “urban sprawl.” In 1972, a two-year study by a joint presidential-congressional commission with representatives of major corporations, unions, environmental organizations, and urban, ethnic, and women’s groups recommended freezing immigration at its then-current level of about 400,000 a year as part of a national population policy.”
  • Telling and Selling the Overpopulation Issue” – Excerpt: “The deep irony, lost on most, is that our beloved
    agency is diluted in an overpopulated world. America’s population today is not sustainable. At double the size it should be, we often talk about loss of natural resources but we also lose our freedom to move about at a normal speed on the freeways. We lose our rights to own property on a lake when it is all taken and very expensive. We lose our rights to purchase event tickets when they are all gone because the demand has become too high for the supply. We must be subjected to lotteries to get permits to enter wildernesses and yet we somehow do not see that overpopulation is to blame for our loss of agency.”

Country Overshoot Days 2018

“A country’s overshoot day is the date on which Earth Overshoot Day would fall if all of humanity consumed like the people in this country. … Countries’ overshoot dates are calculated with Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint Accounts, which are updated annually.” [Source: OvershootDay.org]

Family Size

  • 2 children still the ideal — and why families are sticking to it,” Chicago Tribune, Heidi Stevens, 12 May 2015. Excerpt: “New Gallup poll statistics reveal that Americans are holding strong to their belief that two children represents the ideal family size. The research group has asked Americans since 1936, “What do you think is the ideal number of children for a family to have?” The answer hovered around four kids (3.6, to be exact) until the 1970s, when the ideal shifted to 2.5 children, where it has remained ever since.”
  • 6 Well-Kept Secrets that Affect Family Size,” Psychology Today, Susan Newman Ph.D., 30 Jul 2011. Excerpt: “To the surprise of almost everyone, the single-child family is growing faster than other family groupings and quietly becoming The New Traditional Family. The biggest factors are the economy and women marrying and starting their families later.”
  • What is the Ideal Number of Children for a Family?,” Pew Research Center, 26 May 2010. Excerpt: “During the age of the Baby Boom, a plurality of Americans believed that the ideal family included four or more children. This ideal is now stuck in the past. A plurality of Americans (46%) now believe that two children is the ideal number for a family, as has been the case since the 1970s. Another 26% say three is the ideal number of children.” This information is from “The New Demography of American Motherhood” report. [Web | PDF]

General Articles

  • Breaking a Long Silence on Population Control,” New York Times, Mireya Navarro, 31 Oct 2011. Excerpt: “Major American environmental groups have dodged the subject of population control for decades, wary of getting caught up in the bruising politics of reproductive health.”
  • There are not enough resources to support the world’s population,” ABC News Australia, John Guillebaud,10 Jun 2014. Excerpt: “The UN warns bluntly that world population, now well over seven billion ‘has reached a stage where the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available’. The annual population increase of over 80 million equates to a city for 1.5 million people having to be built, somewhere, every week—with, inevitably, ever more greenhouse gas emissions and the continuing destruction of forests and wetlands, with their multiple habitats for the web of life on which all species depend.”
  • The United States Is Already Overpopulated,” Federation for American Immigration Reform, Sep 2009. Excerpt: “The United States is already overpopulated in the sense that we are consuming our national ecological resources at an unsustainable rate. Our growing dependence on foreign energy supplies is a prime example. We now depend on foreign imports for 28.8 percent of our energy consumption: two-thirds of our petroleum products and about one-sixth of our natural gas consumption.1Because of the abundance of our nation’s resources, we have long been careless about our level of consumption, but it is the precipitous rise in the U.S. population over the last four decades that has resulted in our outstripping of our national resources. We are living beyond our means and are doing so increasingly as our population expands. This is a serious problem with major implications for future generations.”
  • The World Economy Is A Pyramid Scheme,” Forbes, 5 Apr 2019. Excerpt: “The world economy is based on ever-increasing population, said Nobel laureate Steven Chu, a scheme that economists don’t talk about and that governments won’t face, a scheme that makes sustainability impossible and that is likely to eventually fail.”

Health Hazards of Pregnancy and Birthing

Pregnancy and giving birth have numerous potential hazards including death according to a December 2018 report from National Geographic “American women are still dying at alarming rates while giving birth.”

The following materials provide an insight into these dangers. Some women gain an excessive amount of weight and are never able to lose it. There can be sagging skin and stretch marks that never go away.

Support groups are available to help cope with and accept these changes, but for many women there’s no way to fully recover physically from child birth. There are only approaches to finding a better state of mind about your new condition.

Body Changes – The View (8 May 2019)

Pelvic Floor Issues After Pregnancy – Modern Motherhood (1 May 2019)

Everyone knows pregnancy and childbirth change your body, but few moms understand what really happens to their pelvic floor until it happens to them. Some new moms are talking openly about their challenges, hoping to lift the veil of secrecy and shame around pelvic floor issues.

Housing

An article from Negative Population Growth about the impact of excessive population density on housing states:

“Many major cities in the U.S. are struggling and failing to keep up with the demand for affordable housing for their residents. … Four out of five Americans live in urban areas. With our cities becoming more and more populated by the day, the affordable housing crisis plaguing urban areas will continue to make headlines. This concept of continual growth is simply not viable for the wellbeing of this nation. In every direction there is a city, bursting at its seams with population growth and the consequential demands of that growth. NPG believes the rational sound solution to this recurring detrimental crisis is to act now to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth. It is absolutely critical for America to end population growth in order to maintain a high quality of life for future generations.”

The article source for the above is: “Overwhelmed Cities Scramble to Find Solutions for Affordable Housing: Mayors and Citizens Alike Seek to Have Their Voices Heard.” (ZPG Email, 19 Nov 2019)

The following video shows how high density cities can result in cramped living quarters for people.

Organizations

Here are some organizations that study population issues.

  • NPG.org – “Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources and standard of living. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment.”
  • Population Connection – “Population Connection’s mission remains critical. Global population is projected to hit 8 billion in seven years (2024). One billion people live on less than a dollar per day—and 70% of them are women and girls. 214 million women want to prevent pregnancy but aren’t using modern contraception. With intractable political opposition, we have our work cut out for us to ensure that women everywhere gain access to affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Otherwise, global environmental crises, food and water shortages, and entrenched poverty will continue unabated. We must dedicate every ounce of our resources to advocating in Washington, D.C. for drastic increases in family planning aid, urging Americans to support sound population policies, and educating tomorrow’s leaders about the troubling realities of rapid population growth.”
  • Population Matters – “Population Matters is a membership charity that addresses population size and environmental sustainability. We believe population growth contributes to environmental degradation, resource depletion, poverty and inequality. We promote smaller families and sustainable consumption across the world, to achieve a healthy planet and a decent standard of living for all.”
  • WorldPopulationBalance.org – “We envision a world where no one suffers in dire poverty and misery for lack of enough food, water, and other basic needs. We see a world where all species thrive and where lower consumption and population are in balance with Earth’s finite resources. We alert and educate that overpopulation is the root cause of resource depletion, species extinction, poverty, and climate change. Our mission is to chart a path for human civilization that – rather than causing greater misery – enables good lives on a healthy planet. We advocate and support a smaller, truly sustainable human population – through dramatic and voluntary reduction in birth rates.”

Parenting Challenges

The realities of parenting are often glossed over or not discussed at all. The financial commitment is typically beyond what most people are prepared for. The time needed for parenting requires selfless sacrifice and dedication, traits not possessed by everyone. Parents are torn between working multiple jobs to support their family and having the time to parent. In addition to these challenges, many children grow into adults who need ongoing support — ranging from basic financial support to those needing more intensive care. Here are some videos showing examples of challenges parents may face.

Adult Children Living at Home

Children with Special Needs

Cost of Childbirth

Financial Challenges and Budgeting

Rising Child Care Costs

Social Pressure

The culture in Japan is resulting in a declining population and driving the population down. Robots are being considered as a replacement for humans.

There are various social pressures that influence whether or not couples decide to have children. The video below discusses pressure on women to have children.

Superstorms

Regardless of one’s views about the causes of climate change, or the existence of it, we know there there have been an increasing number of superstorms with high winds and flooding causing massive devastation. When there are cities and high density population centers along coastal areas, this creates a greater risk for harm to more humans and higher costs to put preventative measures in place. This video shows what New York City is doing to battle superstorms.

Waste

The following videos show some of the challenges we face when dealing with the excessive waste of having so many humans on the planet.

Water Scarcity

  • The Ogallala Aquifer: Saving a Vital U.S. Water Source,” Scientific American, by Jane Braxton Little, 1 Mar 2009. Excerpt: “The Ogallala Aquifer, the vast underground reservoir that gives life to these fields, is disappearing. In some places, the groundwater is already gone. This is the breadbasket of America—the region that supplies at least one fifth of the total annual U.S. agricultural harvest. If the aquifer goes dry, more than $20 billion worth of food and fiber will vanish from the world’s markets. And scientists say it will take natural processes 6,000 years to refill the reservoir. The challenge of the Ogallala is how to manage human demands on the layer of water that sprawls underneath parts of eight states from South Dakota to Texas. As landowners strive to conserve what’s left, they face a tug-of-war between economic growth and declining natural resources. What is happening here—the problems and solutions—is a bellwether for the rest of the planet.” [More…]
  • These American Cities Are Running Out of Water,” Observer, John A. Tures, 12 Feb 2018. Excerpt: “Capetown, South Africa, is running out of water. Sometime in April, it will face “Day Zero,” which means that the city’s taps will be turned off and its four million residents will have no access to water. Civil unrest, riots or worse aren’t just a possibility—they are inevitable unless there is a very quick fix. The country is rushing the construction of water treatment plants and of desalination plants to harvest drinkable water from the ocean, but these solutions should have been implemented years—even decades—ago. Capetown isn’t alone in racing toward an uncertain fate. All across the world, major cities are seeing their water resources shrink at an alarming rate. Tokyo, London, Cairo, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Mexico City are facing the prospect of an arid future. Each is from a different climate and on a different continent, but they all may share the same fate.”

World Poverty and Immigration

The video below was posted to YouTube on 10 Sep 2010. Description: “Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck’s colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet.”

A startling look at how U.S. immigration will add 300 million people to the country this century if immigration policies are not changed. This dramatic presentation of the latest Census data raises serious immigration questions about the ability of the country to achieve environmental sustainability and to meet the quality-of-life infrastructure needs of the national community considering current immigration policy.