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No. 1, November 19, 2010 - First Edition

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the first edition of Pop X, a monthly newsletter from the Center for Biological Diversity that explores human overpopulation and overconsumption, the global species extinction crisis and how you can help.

Over the past year, you've expressed interest in the Center's overpopulation campaign, either by responding to an action alert on the issue or signing up to distribute Endangered Species Condoms. Thank you for being part of the overpopulation solution. This monthly electronic newsletter will provide you with some fascinating and helpful information about the impacts of overpopulation on endangered species and wildlands and ways you can help make a difference on this critical issue.

Right now, most biologists agree we're in the midst of Earth's sixth mass extinction event -- species are disappearing about 1,000 times faster than is typical in the planet's history. Those extinction rates are only expected to accelerate as Earth's human population grows and grows -- and not enough people are doing something to stop it.

The Center for Biological Diversity is committed to stopping the extinction crisis, and we won't be able to do that without addressing the clear and longstanding connection between unsustainable human population growth and the loss of so many other species. Thanks for all your support in this effort. I hope you enjoy the first edition of Pop X and share it with your friends.

Until next month, thanks and welcome again to Pop X.

Randy Serraglio
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator

In This Issue:

Center Shakes Up Overpopulation Conference
Last Chance for Endangered Species Condoms in 2010
Top 5 Global Fears: Too Many People

Center Shakes Up Overpopulation Conference

In October, I represented the Center at the 4th annual Population Strategy Meeting in Washington, D.C., organized by Population Institute. More than 70 population activists and organizations were there; unfortunately I was the only one representing a major environmental organization. I gladly carried the flag for those of us who work on the symptoms of overpopulation -- just about every environmental problem we face is driven by unsustainable human population growth and consumption -- but the harsh reality is we need more allies from the environmental movement actively engaged on this issue in order to stop its devastating impacts. It is essential that discussions about the carrying capacity of the planet include the health of all its earthlings and the central importance of unpolluted, biologically diverse ecosystems is fully considered.

Part of my work at the Center has been focused on outreach to other local, regional and national environmental groups to provide information on the extinction crisis and overpopulation. My goal for next year is to have the 2011 Population Strategy Meeting include a fuller cadre of environmental groups and activists.

What to do: If you belong to other conservation groups (of any size), ask what the group is doing to address overpopulation and the ways it affects the issues they work on. Urge them to tackle this fundamental driver of environmental problems and species extinction, and join me at next year's Population Strategy Meeting. In the meantime, learn more about the Center's work on our Overpopulation Web page.

Last Chance for Endangered Species Condoms in 2010

While I was at the meeting in D.C., I distributed some of our colorful and clever Endangered Species Condoms and -- as they've been everywhere else I've distributed them -- they were a big hit. As part of handing them out I emphasized that while the condoms themselves are important and we certainly expect people to use them, it is the overpopulation message that matters most.

Along with two condoms, each package contains original artwork and information on the featured species (the polar bear, snail darter, spotted owl, American burying beetle, jaguar or coqui guajon rock frog), facts about overpopulation and the extinction crisis, and suggestions on how the human population can be stabilized.

This year our volunteers have helped distribute hundreds of thousands of condoms and information about overpopulation all across the nation. Now we have one last chance in 2010 for volunteers to help deliver that message. We will be blasting another 50,000 Endangered Species Condoms out the door in time for New Year's Eve, which just happens to be the number-one day of condom use in the United States. Apparently more condoms and greater awareness about effective family planning are needed, however, since 50 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. every year are unintended -- resulting in millions of unintended births and the resulting  massive resource consumption and environmental impacts. If you haven't signed up yet, be a hit at your New Year's bash with information on overpopulation and our neat Endangered Species Condoms as reminders to your friends to be part of the solution.

Sign up by December 1 to distribute Endangered Species Condoms and learn more about this campaign.

Top 5 Global Fears: Too Many People

In a recent global survey commissioned by King's College, London, overpopulation came up as the fifth-scariest issue facing the globe. The first-ever "Global Index of Fear," as some have called it, polled more than 7,000 people in eight nations: Australia, the United States, Britain, Brazil, China, South Africa, India and Saudi Arabia. Climate change and war/terrorism tied for first place among global fears, followed by poverty, the economy and overpopulation (which, I'll point out, is a fundamental driver of the top four fears).

But we don't need to be afraid. Overpopulation is an issue with reliable, straightforward solutions -- universal access to birth control and family planning services, empowerment of women to make their own reproductive choices, and education about the consequences of overpopulating ourselves into oblivion, to mention a few. We're not lacking for solutions, just a collective effort sufficient to make them a reality. Thank you for contributing to the effort.

Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to population@biologicaldiversity.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.

California red-legged frog photo courtesy Flickr Commons/GregTheBusker.