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World Population Awareness

News Digest

February 12, 2017

The Methane Monster Roars

January 13, 2015, Truthout   By: Dahr Jamail

Note: this is a 2015 article, I just noticed, but well worth reading.

"It is my view that our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius within a decade or two," Paul Beckwith, a climatology and meteorology professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada said. "Obviously, such a large change in the climate system will have unprecedented effects on the health and well-being of every plant and animal on our planet."

Vast amounts of methane lie frozen in the Arctic. With the rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice, it will likely be gone for short periods during the summers starting as early as next year. Losing that ice means releasing larger amounts of previously trapped methane into the atmosphere.

Additionally, lying along the Arctic's subsea continental margins and beneath Arctic permafrost are methane hydrates, often described as methane gas surrounded by ice. In March 2010, a report in Science indicated that these cumulatively contain the equivalent of 1,000 to 10,000 gigatons of carbon.

Humans have released approximately 1,475 gigatons in total carbon dioxide since the year 1850.

Beckwith warns that losing the Arctic sea ice will create a state that "will represent a very different planet, with a much higher global average temperature, in which snow and ice in the northern hemisphere becomes very rare or even vanishes year round."

With the reflective ice cover on Arctic waters gone, solar radiation would be absorbed, not reflected, by the Arctic Ocean, heating those waters, and hence the planet, further. This effect could change global weather patterns, vary the flow of winds and even someday possibly alter the position of the Polar jet stream, which plays a critical role in determining the weather of our planet.

"The rapidly warming Arctic relative to the rest of the planet (five to eight times global average temperature rise) is decreasing the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the equator," said Beckwith. With a decreasing gradient, the jet stream is disrupted, leading to further warming in the Arctic, forming a runaway feedback loop, which in turn is causing the release of more methane in the Arctic.

It's also happening on land. Giant holes in the ground are appearing on Siberia's Yamal Peninsula as a result of methane hydrate (water and methane combined) being released explosively from the warming, thawing permafrost.

In addition, "As the methane concentrations increase in the Arctic from the large warming rates there in both the atmosphere and ocean, the jet streams will be greatly disrupted even more than now," Beckwith said. "Physics dictates that this will continue to increase the frequency, severity and duration of extreme weather events like torrential rains leading to widespread flooding in some regions and droughts in other regions. Needless to say, this causes enormous economic losses and poses a severe and grave threat to our global food supply. Thus, the Arctic can be considered the Achilles heel in our climate system."

British scientist John Nissen, chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, suggests that if the summer sea ice loss passes "the point of no return" and "catastrophic Arctic methane feedbacks" kick in, we'll be in an "instant planetary emergency."

Methane in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas that, on a relatively short-term time scale, is far more destructive than carbon dioxide. It is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide, per molecule, on a 100-year timescale, and 105 times more potent on a 20-year timescale when it comes to heating the planet. The Arctic permafrost is packed with methane.

A study published in Nature Geoscience notes that twice as much methane as previously thought is being released from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. At least 17 teragrams (17 million tons) of methane are being released into the atmosphere each year, while a 2010 study had found only seven teragrams heading into the atmosphere.

Dr. Leonid Yurganov is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland Physics Department and the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, warns The difference in temperatures between the poles and the equator drives our air currents from west to east," he told Truthout. "If this difference diminishes, the west to east transport becomes slower, and north-south currents become stronger. This results in frequent changes in weather in mid-latitudes."

Yurganov thinks the summer Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink in a more linear fashion, but the frequency of extreme weather events and rising sea levels will continue to accelerate. "People should accommodate to climate change and be prepared to a decline in life-level caused by it," he warned.

Population reduction via people not having as many babies is one answer to our predicament: "Depopulation, that resolves all the problems," he said. "The earth with lower global population, say, twice as low, would emit less carbon dioxide."

More worrying news comes from Natalia Shakhova, a research associate professor of the University Alaska Fairbanks, International Arctic Research Center, warns us of what is happening on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf , which encompasses more than 2 million square kilometers, or 8% of the world's continental shelf. Shakhova believes it holds an area-weighted contribution to the global hydrate inventory of "at least 10 to 15 percent."

She explained that the transition from the methane being frozen in the permafrost, either on land or in the shallow northern shores of the East Siberian Arctic, "is not gradual. When it comes to phase transition, it appears to be a relatively short, jump-like transformation from one state of the process to another state.

These immediate methane releases in the ESAS could be triggered at any moment by seismic or tectonic events, the subsiding of sediments caused by hydrate decay or sediment sliding due to permafrost degradation and thaw. The ESAS is particularly prone to these immediate shifts because it is three times shallower than the mean depth of the continental shelf of the world ocean.

"In the ESAS, it only takes minutes for methane to reach the water surface and escape to the atmosphere," Shakhova said.

The carbon pool of the ESAS is in orders of magnitude greater than 180 gigatons.

A 2013 study published in thejournal Nature warned that a 50-gigaton "burp" of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is "highly possible at anytime." That would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. For perspective, humans have released approximately 1,475 gigatons in total carbon dioxide since the year 1850.

Some climate scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the introduction of methane in such quantities into the atmosphere may make increases in the global temperature of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius inevitable.

Ira Leifer, an atmospheric and marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of several Arctic methane studies said, "The amount of methane trapped in submerged permafrost is vast, and if even a small fraction reaches the atmosphere on the time scale of a few decades, it would lead to a dramatic increase in warming on a global scale," he warned. "Furthermore, it could lead to a positive feedback where warming oceans release more methane which warms the Arctic more and leads to more methane release. Worse, the warming only slowly percolates to lower latitudes - and therefore it contributes to the enhanced Arctic warming."

A weakening of the difference in temperature between the pole-equator areas causes an expansion of the tropical cell, which drives desertification in some places and increased flooding in others. All the while, polar weather is expanding, as we've been seeing in the United States during recent winters.

While humans can adapt to these new fluctuations in the weather, agriculture and ecosystems cannot.

Beckwith notes that the increasing methane releases in the Arctic and the massive impact they will have on the planetary weather system mean "there will be continuing disruption and fracturing of our weather and climate systems."

He warned: "The final state could have a global temperature average being 5 or 6 degrees Celsius warmer and the transition to this state could occur in one to two decades, as has occurred many times in the past as recorded in paleorecords." This will most likely happen before 2020, considering that exponential decline in Arctic summer sea ice volume has already been determined by the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System data and models.

The Permian mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago was related to methane - in fact, the gas is thought to be the key to what caused the extinction of approximately 95% of all species on the planet. A massive lava flow in an area of Siberia that led to an increase in global temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius. That, in turn, caused the melting of frozen methane deposits under the seas. Released into the atmosphere, it caused temperatures to skyrocket further. All of this occurred over a period of approximately 80,000 years.

We are already in the midst of what scientists consider the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, with between 150 and 200 species going extinct daily. This event may already be comparable to, or even exceed, both the speed and intensity of the Permian mass extinction. But ours is human caused. and probably isn't going to take 80,000 years.

Some scientists fear that the situation is already so serious and so many self-reinforcing feedback loops are already in play that we are in the process of causing our own extinction. Worse yet, some are convinced that it could happen far more quickly than generally believed possible - in the course of just the next few decades - or, as Beckwith believes, possibly even sooner than that. doclink

Karen Gaia says: a large contributor to mass extinction is destruction of wildlife habitat due to urbanization, logging, farming, and also pollutants. This extinction cannot be used as proof that warming is happening.

Affordable Water May Soon Dry Up, Especially If You Live Here

January 25, 2017, Public Broadcasting System (PBS)   By: Nsikan Akpan

The average monthly water bill in America is $120. Research conducted by Elizabeth Mack Mack and her colleague Sarah Wrase at Michigan State University found that water bills in rose in the 30 major U.S. cities they surveyed by 41% between 2010 and 2015. The study was published recently in PLOS ONE.

In Detroit, 50,000 households have lost water access since 2014. In Philadelphia 40% of the city's 227,000 water bills are past due.

According to the EPA, if water prices rise above 4.5% of a household's income, then "that means you're going to have to take expenditures from other portions of your budget and allocate them to water," Mack said.

To meet this affordability benchmark, a household must earn at least $32,000 per year. Based on their numbers, 11.9% of American households couldn't afford water in 2014. This percentage could rise to 33% if water prices continue to rise at the same rate of 41%.

Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama had the largest numbers of census tracts facing a high-risk of future water poverty. Many of the at-risk areas also have higher rates of disability, food stamp usage, unemployment and black and Hispanic residents.

Justin Mattingly, a research manager at the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, said "Aging infrastructure is a problem for everybody, and water scarcity is becoming a bigger problem in many regions as well. There have been years of disinvestment for water infrastructure, and it's starting to come back to us now."

Much of the nation's water infrastructure dates back to World War II, if not earlier. Senate democrats recently unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would allocate $110 billion to water and sewer rehabilitation. But water policy agencies predict a total overhaul of America's water would itself cost $1 trillion. Tack on another $36 billion to adjust for drought, seawater intrusion into aquifers, flooding and other climate change-based shifts to water systems.

Atlanta, which spends more on water than any other state, moved to prevent stormwater from discharging into wastewate, thus preventing raw sewage from mixing into the streams used for drinking water. This regulatory decision plus the privatization of water services bumped Atlanta's water bills to $325 per month on average.

In addition, as populations decline in places like Detroit, water utilities are forced to spread their expenses across fewer people, which boosts rates. Meanwhile, cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas have low prices due to human growth.

Mattingly said one tactic to take some of the burden off low-income households involves higher charges for those who use more water, rather than a flat fee for everyone. doclink

Dutch Respond to Trump's 'Gag Rule' with International Safe Abortion Fund

January 25, 2017, Guardian   By: Gordon Darroch

As many as 20 countries support the Netherlands' plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600 million funding gap caused by Donald Trump's reinstatement of the "global gag rule", according to the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen.

Trump recently reimposed the "global gag rule" which bans US federal funding for NGOs in foreign countries that provide abortion services or abortion advocacy. It is also known as the Mexico City policy.

The aim would be to continue support for existing programmes being run by organisations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.

"These are successful and effective programmes: direct support, distributing condoms, making sure women are accompanied at the birth, and making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice," Ploumen said.

She admitted that "Six hundred million dollars is a very ambitious target but we're committed to it.'

She hopes to be in a position to start arranging funding within 2-3 weeks. "The funding is being stopped immediately, so the sooner the organisations have the security of knowing that their programmes can continue, the better,” she said.

The move could cause tensions between Europe and the United States. "I'm pro-choice and pro-women's rights. It's important to stand your ground,” she said. "We respect the decisions of a democratically elected president, but we're democratically elected too and we can make different decisions.

"This is also about millions of women and girls who often have no voice or live in countries where democracy is less deeply rooted, and when they speak up they need our support.”

Dutch voters are due to elect a new parliament in seven weeks' time, which will almost certainly trigger a change of government, but Ploumen says "The Netherlands has a long tradition of standing up for sexual and reproductive rights. I don't see that being a problem.” doclink

The Future of Protein: Here's How Lab-Grown Meat is Transforming Our Future

January 19, 2017, Futurism   By: Patrick Caughill

The technology behind lab-cultured meat products is rapidly advancing. When we start seeing these kinds of products being sold right alongside their traditionally farmed cousins, we should look more at the contentious topic of the impact livestock farming has on the environment.

According to FAO, 26% of the ice-free land on Earth is used for livestock feed production. Further, "each year 13 billion hectares of forest area are lost due to land conversion for agricultural uses as pastures or cropland, for both food and livestock feed crop production." Livestock farming contributes to 14.5% of all human caused greenhouse gas emissions, meaning 7.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide are released from the practice. The National Institute of Environmental Health Science estimates that by 2050 livestock populations are expected to double.

Animals on factory farms are often confined in poor, overcrowded, conditions and are unable to engage in natural behavior. This can lead to illness, physical alterations, or even death. Also, to make our meat cheaper by fighting disease and making the animals grow faster, they will be given antibiotic growth promoters. This has led to the rapid spread of drug-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.

At first a burger grown by a team of Dutch scientists cost $330,000, but a few months ago, a company called Memphis Meats served up the world's first lab-grown meatball for the cost of $18,000 per pound. Scientists believe that the technology will continue to advance rapidly, allowing for products to show up in grocery stores and restaurants within a few years.

Meat growing companies will take self-renewing stem cells from animals and cultivate those in a brewery-like atmosphere. Memphis Meats states that their facilities will be open to the public much like a beer brewery.

Lab-grown meats are produced in a much safer, sterile environment than traditional meats. In addition, lab-grown meats may also have healthier fat content.

According to Memphis Meats CEO and co-founder, Uma Valeit, the process by which the company creates its product is responsible for 90% fewer emissions. Since growing cells doesn't require acres upon acres of land, the land used to shelter and graze livestock can be reclaimed by nature, at least ideally. doclink

U.S. Faces Huge Crop Losses If Temperatures Keep Rising

With the days of heat above 30 degrees Celsius expected to double, maize harvests could fall by half, with wheat and soybeans hit too
January 19, 2017, Thomson Reuters Foundation   By: Alex Whiting

According to a new report from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the United States faces big drops in harvests of major food crops by 2100, which would likely push up global food prices.

If we continue with "business as usual", by 2100 the world will see twice as many days with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) as it does now, an international team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

When temperatures rise above 30 degrees C., crop yields start to drop. U.S. wheat yields would fall by 20%, maize (corn) by 50% and soybeans by 40%.

"If the U.S. has a problem with its yields then world market prices may rise, because the U.S. is such a huge exporter," co-author of the study Bernhard Schauberger said.

Crops in other parts of the world are likely to be similarly affected.

Irrigation may help protect yields, softening the water stress that causes plants to grow more roots and cut back on producing grain above ground.

Plants also close openings in the leaves to prevent water loss, which reduces their intake of carbon dioxide - an essential building material for the crops. More irrigation could also help prevent that happening, the scientists said. However, irrigation would be limited if there was a lack of water resources.

Ultimately, the best way to protect crop yields is to curb greenhouse gas emissions as agreed under the Paris Agreement on climate change and hold global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, the scientists said.

The Paris agreement seeks to phase out most greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century. doclink

Texas Has Highest Maternal Mortality Rate in Developed World, Study Finds

As the Republican-led state legislature has slashed funding to reproductive healthcare clinics, the maternal mortality rate doubled over just a two-year period
August 20, 2016, Guardian   By: Molly Redden

Last September the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal said the rate of Texas women to die from pregnancy-related complications (estimated in 2014 at 33 deaths per 100,000) doubled from 2010 to 2014 - a rate unmatched in any other state or prosperous nation. While the rest of the world had reduced its maternal mortality rate during those four years, the U.S. rate increased. Not counting California, where maternal mortality declined, or Texas where it surged, the estimated number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births rose from 18.8 in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014 (about a 27% increase).

While the researchers, from the University of Maryland, Boston University's school of public health and Stanford University's medical school, called for further study, reproductive health advocates blame the increase on a two-thirds funding cut for reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011 the Republican-led state legislature cut $73.6m from the state's family planning budget of $111.5m, causing 80 clinics to close across the state, including all Planned Parenthood clinics - whether or not they provided abortion. Planned Parenthood had been providing cancer screenings and contraception to more than 130,000 Texas women. The remaining clinics managed to provide low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams to only half as many Texas women after the cuts. Although Texas restored the original levels of funding for the family planning in 2013, the providers were unable to restore services to their original levels.

Texas is one of several southern states at risk of a Zika outbreak. The report comes as public health advocates were already questioning the state's ability to handle an outbreak. The World Health Organization has advised women in areas of local transmission to delay pregnancy. But about half the state lacks ready access to OB-GYN care, making it difficult for women to obtain contraception or for pregnant women to confirm the health of their babies. doclink

The First Steps Toward Over-the-counter Birth Control in the US Are Finally Underway

A French pharmaceutical company will apply for FDA approval to make a progestin contraceptive pill available over the counter in the US. It's about time.
December 30, 2016, VOX Media   By: Emily Crockett

In most states, hormonal contraception requires a prescription. Getting that prescription takes time and money for doctor visits that some women just don't have. Oral contraceptive pills are well-studied, and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians agree that they are safe for over-the-counter use. The idea even has bipartisan support in Congress, except on issues like whether insurance companies should have to pay the bills. The next step was to find a pharmaceutical company willing to go through the long and costly process of seeking FDA approval. That too has now been done. HRA Pharma in Paris is partnering with advocates and experts from Ibis Reproductive Health to start the process, which may take several years to complete.

There are two major types of oral contraceptives, progestin-only and pills that contain both progestin and estrogen. Ibis and HRA plan to seek FDA approval for a progestin-only pill similar to others already approved for emergency contraception. Progestin-only pills present the fewest barriers for the broadest population, Ibis president Kelly Blanchard said. Both types of pills are equally effective, but combined pills with estrogen can cause potential problems for women who smoke or have high blood pressure. Blanchard said that after the first OTC pill is approved, it shouldn't be difficult to get other forms of birth control approved, too. That would allow women more than one over-the-counter option, since not every pill or every birth control method is right for every woman.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance to cover contraception at no added cost. Not making women pay extra on top of their insurance premiums makes birth control much more accessible. But repeal of the ACA may eliminate that benefit. Republicans proposed legislation in 2015 to speed up the FDA's over-the-counter approval process for contraception - but Democrats and women's health advocates called that bill a ploy to undermine the ACA while only appearing to support birth control and women's health. That bill would also have imposed an 18-and-over age restriction, which Blanchard says is completely unnecessary. As for whether Trump's appointees could cause political problems for approving over-the-counter contraception, Blanchard said she hopes that the FDA "will follow their process and judge it on its merits. And we think the merits are strong." doclink

Illegal Logging Shows Little Sign of Slowing

A recent report finds regulation loopholes, an uptick in organized crime, and lax land rights are allowing illegal logging to thrive.
December 30, 2016, Mongabay.com   By: Morgan Erickson-davis

About 30% of the world's timber is harvested illegally, due largely to regulation loopholes and organized criminal networks, and often as part of land clearing for palm oil, beef, and soy production. These findings come from a recent report titled "Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade - Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses" - the most comprehensive scientific analysis published on the topic. It was produced with help from more than 40 scientists around the world coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) in association with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.

Crimes related to illegal deforestation "account for up to $152 billion every year, more than all official development aid combined," said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment. Trade agreements, such as the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan, require that timber products imported to the EU be legally harvested. This has prompted illegal-wood sellers to shift to markets which have less stringent regulations, such as India and China, which are now the biggest importers of both legal and illegal tropical wood. Organized crime and insecure land rights are big contributors to illegal logging activities around the world. The sale of Illegally extracted timber helps fund weapons for wars and conflicts in western Africa - namely the DRC, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

While illegal logging occurs in most tropical nations, it is especially prevalent in Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Indonesia tops the list, generating around 65 million cubic meters of wood-based products in 2013, around 60% of which are estimated to have been harvested illegally. More than 90% of wood produced in Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is harvested illegally. Bolivia, Peru, and Laos come in at around 80% each. Russia is the main source of boreal and temperate wood. About 20% of Russia's timber products come from illegal logging. China uses that wood to make flooring, furniture, and other products that it sells domestically and to markets in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.

Land tenure issues are "profound drivers" of illegal logging. Previous analyses found that land held and managed by local and indigenous communities is less affected by deforestation than government-managed areas. About 86% of the world's forests are publicly owned, but only around 60% are managed by communities that reside in them, and less than 20% have officially recognized land rights. Reducing illegal logging could benefit the communities that live within the forests, as well as to those affected by organized crime.

"In addition to bilateral efforts, stronger international cooperation is needed globally to successfully fight illegal logging and related timber trade and prevent it from shifting to less regulated markets," Alexander Buck, IUFRO Executive Director, said in a statement. "Illegal logging is not merely a forest-related problem to be resolved by the ministries dealing with the forest and environment sectors alone. Illegal conversion of forests to agricultural land is an example that clearly shows the need for a broader cooperation, in this case between forestry and agriculture." doclink

Growing Mega-Cities Will Displace Vast Tracts of Farmland by 2030, Study Says

Cropland losses will have consequences especially for Asia and Africa, which will experience growing food insecurity as cities expand
December 27, 2016, Guardian   By: Emma Bryce

It's estimated that urban areas will triple in size by 2030, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

Roughly 60% of the world's cropland lies on the outskirts of cities. This is particularly worrying because this peripheral land is, on average, twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe "because mankind tends to settle where crops can be produced," says Felix Creutzig from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, and principal author on the paper.

In Africa and Asia especially-which together bear 80% of the projected loss due to rising urbanisation in these regions-urban expansion will consign farmers to an even tougher agricultural reality.

The projections reveal hotspots of loss in countries like Egypt, Nigeria, the countries that flank Lake Victoria in East Africa, and in Eastern China. (China alone is expected to experience one-quarter of the global cropland loss.)

A major worry surrounding the disappearance of this productive land is the impact it will have on staple crops such as maize, rice, soya beans, and wheat, which are cornerstones of global food security. Many of these crops occur in areas that will be consumed by urban spread in years to come. "Due to urbanisation in Nigeria, 17% of rice production and 12% of maize production will be hampered," Creutzig says. "Egypt will lose more than 40% of its rice, and more than 60% of its maize." In Africa, there will a 26% continental loss of wheat. Rice is forecast to suffer the most, with a 9% global decline, occurring predominantly in Asia where the bulk of this crop grows.

Creutzig notes that some of this loss can be compensated for by agricultural expansion and intensification. But again, this isn't possible everywhere on the planet: many regions are already limited by their inability to adapt to urban encroachment.

In South Asia there is no room for expansion farmland, because fertile land is already running out. In India, agricultural expansion would force crops into habitats like wetlands that act as important buffers against flooding and sea-level rise. And in North Africa, worsening conditions driven by climate change will make the land that is available less suitable for farming.

Countries worst affected by urban expansion experiencing rising dependence on imports, leaving them vulnerable to global fluctuations in food supply, pricing crops out of reach of poorer populations.

Creutzig says: "As peri-urban land is converted, smallholders will lose their land," he says. "The emerging mega-cities will rely increasingly on industrial-scale agricultural and supermarket chains, crowding out local food chains."

"In cases where farmers have no formal land rights, such as in Africa, governments may expel farmers from their land,” commented Anton Van Rompaey, a geographer from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, who was not part of the study but has has done research on urban spread and its agricultural impacts in China. "In the past this has led to social instability and deadly conflicts between farmers and government.”

Creutzig predicts that growing food within the city's margins-urban farming-could be part of the solution, but would be "utterly insufficient to feed the urban population. However, regulations on expansion, to keep urbanisation as compact as possible, will be the bigger prerogative of cities, he says. doclink

Our Origins Are Our Destiny

December 20, 2016, You Tube

Bob Walker of Population Institute discusses the origins of population growth and its implications for the future, covering social change, scarcity, and environmentalism along the way. doclink