On Our Innumeracy

When I blog, it will be almost exclusively about the United States, one of the three most overpopulated nations.

That is due to our high numbers – third only behind China and India – our huge environmental footprint and that sleek, new side-by-side refrigerator I bought last spring.

Diamonds (and Human Impacts) Are Forever: The Long-Lived Consequences of Growth

A “long time” depends on perspective – to an impatient child it’s measured in minutes, to a historian in decades or centuries, and to the geologist in millennia. The size of humanity and our corresponding scale of influence have grown to the point where we are now a “geologically significant” force. As you might guess, our long-term influence on the planet is not for the better. We are causing a mass extinction.

The Legacy of Tom McCall: Oregon’s Revered Advocate for Population Stabilization

Can you imagine a contemporary American politician declaring, “Come visit, don’t stay,” about their state, in the interest of their state? Tom McCall, governor of Oregon from 1967-75, was the man who had the boldness to speak such politically dangerous words.

Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

Soil erosion is a significant global problem, warned scientists at a recent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. With world population now projected to increase from around 7.2 billion today to more than 11 billion by the end of the century, this problem will become even more challenging.

An Ironic Way to Celebrate World Environment Day

June 5 is World Environment Day

World Environment Day is sort of a global version of Earth Day. It was first established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly, two years after the first Earth Day in America was celebrated in 1970. The first World Environment Day was held on June 5, 1973, and it has been celebrated every June 5 for the last 42 years.

Fresh Water from the Sea?

Desalination Is No Panacea

Groundwater Pumping Increasing Seismic Activity

Is the combined weight of 38 million Californians actually deforming the Earth’s crust and increasing the number of earthquakes as well as causing the Coast Range and Sierras to soar even higher?

This may sound more like the premise of a satirical piece in The Onion or an absurd article in the tabloid National Enquirer rather than the thrust of a recent research paper in the respected British scientific journal Nature.

California’s Imperiled Population

As a wildlife biologist, it’s only natural that I write volumes on how a massive and rapidly growing human population in California and elsewhere is imperiling wildlife populations and the habitats they need to survive.

WSJ Writer Says We Can Keep Growing and Growing

Matt Ridley is a member of the British House of Lords and author of a book entitled The Rational Optimist. He is so optimistic that he wrote a recent article in The Wall Street Journal claiming that “there are no limits [to growth].” Population can keep on growing, in his view, because “we can always invent new ways of doing more with less.” That may be optimistic, but it is hardly rational.

Population and the National Climate Assessment

If you are a population activist, you are likely to be disappointed if you do a word search for “population” in the 148-page Highlights of the massive 841-page U.S. National Climate Assessment (Climate Change Impacts in the United States) that was released to the public the first week of May 2014.