WPB Media Initiatives Overview

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We are excited that our public radio messages have built awareness among hundreds of thousands of additional Americans. The following messages have links to more information about each issue.

“Programming is supported by World Population Balance, a Minnesota non-profit, working to humanely stabilize world population. Global resources like oil, safe water and topsoil decline while populations increase daily by over two hundred thousand. More at WorldPopulationBalance.org.”

“Programming is supported by World Population Balance. Despite famines, wars, diseases, droughts, tsunamis, and even hurricanes, in the past year world population has increased by over 70 million people, net gain. More at WorldPopulationBalance.org.”

“Programming is supported by World Population Balance, a Minnesota non-profit, working to help answer the question: “With resources declining and population increasing, and hundreds of millions in dire poverty, what’s our future?” More at WorldPopulationBalance.org.”

"Programming is supported by World Population Balance, a Minnesota non-profit focusing on the future. Working to humanely balance increasing population with declining resources for generations to come. More at WorldPopulationBalance.org."

There are many sources that substantiate this information. For brevity we are citing Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006) by globally acclaimed researcher, Lester Brown. For those who want to delve deeper, numerous additional sources are referenced in this book.


Oil -- As we all know, oil affects every facet of our lives. “Oil has shaped our twenty first century civilization, affecting every facet of the economy from the mechanization of agriculture to jet air travel. When production turns downward, it will be a seismic economic event, creating a world unlike any we have known in our lifetimes.” (page 21)

Safe water -- The global shortage of safe water is the result of demand tripling over the last half century. The drilling of millions of irrigation wells has pushed water withdrawals beyond the recharge of many aquifers . . . Water tables are now falling in countries that contain more than half the world’s people. Among the more visible manifestations of water scarcity are rivers running dry and lakes disappearing. (page 42)

Topsoil -- “Perhaps a third or more of all cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming, thereby reducing the land’s inherent productivity. Twentieth-century population growth pushed agriculture onto highly vulnerable land in many countries. Today the foundation of civilization is crumbling.” (page 84)

Over 70 million people -- Plan B, 1st Edition, Back cover

Poverty -- “In an increasingly integrated world, eradicating poverty and stabilizing population are national security issues. Slowing population growth helps eradicate poverty and its distressing symptoms, and conversely, eradicating poverty helps slow population growth. With time running out, the urgency of moving simultaneously on both fronts is clear.” (page 124)
“Many countries that have experienced rapid population growth for several decades are showing signs of demographic fatigue. Countries struggling with the simultaneous challenge of educating growing numbers of children, creating jobs for swelling ranks of young job seekers, and dealing with the environmental effects of population growth are stretched to the limit. When a major new threat arises---such as the HIV epidemic ---governments often cannot cope.” (page 139)

“There is an alternative to this bleak prospect, and that is to help countries that want to slow their population growth to do so quickly. This brings with it what economists call the demographic bonus. When countries move quickly to smaller families, growth in the number of young dependents - those who need nurturing and educating - declines relative to the number of working adults. In this situation, productivity rises, savings and investment climb, and economic growth accelerates.” (page 139)

Increasing population -- U.N. projections show world population growth under three different assumptions about fertility rates. The medium projection, the most commonly used, has world population reaching 9.1 billion by 2050. The high projection estimates 10.6 billion by 2050. The low projection, which assumes that the world will quickly move below replacement level fertility to 1.6 children per couple, has population peaking at 7.8 billion in 2041 and then declining. If the goal is to eradicate poverty, hunger, and illiteracy, we have little choice but to strive for the lower projection. (page 128)
 
“The way the world accommodates the vast needs of China, India, and other developing countries for grain, oil, and other resources will help determine how the world addresses the stresses associated with outgrowing the earth.” (page 15)
 
“Earlier civilizations that moved onto an economic path that was environmentally unsustainable did so largely in isolation. But in today’s increasingly integrated interdependent world economy, if we are facing civilizational decline, we are facing it together. The fates of all peoples are intertwined. This interdependence can be managed to our mutual benefit only if we recognize that the term ‘in the national interest’ is in many ways obsolete.” (page 15)
 
For more information, see the article "Current Population is Three Times the Sustainable Level".