Pop X: Population, Sustainability and a Wilder Future for All.
Dallas traffic


The U.S. Census Bureau has released its latest estimates on city- and county-level population growth across the country. Once again all the top spots for largest total increase were in the South and West, where endangered species and wild places are already feeling the squeeze from years of unchecked population growth, urban sprawl and development, climate change and drought.

The fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country is Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, where much of the growth was caused by natural increase, or a higher number of births than deaths. Texas has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the country and the highest rate of people lacking health insurance. These problems are related: When reproductive healthcare is inaccessible or unaffordable, it's harder for people to get the contraception that's right for them and ensure that any pregnancies are planned.

Read on to learn more about contraceptive deserts and how we're working to reduce the pressure of our growing population and overconsumption.

For the wild,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Today's world population is: 7,699,245,399. We can still save room for wildlife — spread the word and share this email.

Gila River

Crowded Planet / New Mexico's Gila River was named "America's most endangered river" of 2019 due to the threat of climate change and a proposed diversion project to meet the water demands of the rapidly growing population in the arid Southwest.

Contraceptive deserts in the United States

Population / Millions Live in Contraceptive Deserts

Thirty percent of women of reproductive age in the United States rely on publicly funded contraception. Of those 20 million women, 97 percent don't have reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive options in their county.

These contraceptive deserts make it harder for people to avoid unintended pregnancy and determine their own reproductive healthcare. And policies from the Trump administration — like restrictions on Title X funding and efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act — will only make it worse.

Reproductive freedom is a basic human right that benefits the health of families and the planet. Get the lowdown on contraceptive deserts and how to fight them in Cosmopolitan.

Impossible burger

Earth-friendly Diet / McDonald's Lags Behind 

With the announcement of a meatless Impossible Whopper in the works, Burger King joined the fast-food race to increase plant-based options for customers. Fast-food chains from Carl's Jr. and White Castle to Qdoba and Del Taco have all started featuring new plant-based entrees on their menus. This industry shift will help reduce the carbon footprint of menus and ensure that better choices are available for people who want something healthier for themselves, animals or the planet.

Despite the buzz around these new options, McDonald's continues to drag its feet on offering a plant-based sandwich in the United States.

Read Senior Food Campaigner Jennifer Molidor's op-ed in Crain's Chicago Business about why it matters what's between those sesame-seed buns.

Havasu Falls

Take Action / End Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon

New uranium mining on public lands near Grand Canyon National Park would destroy sacred indigenous sites, wildlife habitat, and lifegiving streams and springs.

Help celebrate the national park's 100th anniversary by urging your member of Congress to permanently ban uranium mining on nearby public lands.

Solar panels

Wild Energy / Clean Power to the People

The transition to clean energy needs to be about more than curbing climate change. It should also protect wildlife and wild places and put ownership and control of local energy into the hands of communities. To help activists and organizations accomplish that, we created The Wildlife-friendly Community Power Toolkit.

The toolkit makes the case for why equitable and wildlife-friendly community power plays a key role in the energy transition and provides information on policies, programs and related resources. It also presents case studies from around the country on how communities are democratizing solar in different utility models, bringing it to affordable housing and pairing clean energy with pollinator habitat.


Endangered Species / The Plight of the Walruses

Netflix warned animal lovers they may want to skip parts of "Our Planet," the latest David Attenborough-narrated docuseries. In one scene Pacific walruses forced ashore by the absence of summer sea ice climb 250-foot-high cliffs to find space to rest. When it's time to return to the water, their poor eyesight prevents them from seeing how high they are, and they plunge off the cliffs to their deaths.

The scene is heartbreaking. But as the Center's Climate Science Director Shaye Wolf writes, we should watch it. The walruses don't have the luxury of fast-forwarding past their suffering. "When we look away, we're not just ignoring their doom, we're ignoring our own."

Read Shaye's op-ed in The Hill on bearing witness to the walruses and climate change.


Five Wild Picks / Earth Day Real Talk

April 22 is a trendy day to talk about saving the planet, but Earth Day sales and composting don't address the urgency of climate change, habitat loss, pollution and wildlife extinction. Here are five Earth Day reads that take on the big issues facing the planet and what we can do to turn the tide.

1) National Geographic breaks down the science behind identifying imperiled species, highlighting the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act.

2) Teen Vogue takes on environmental racism and how activists from marginalized communities are leading the way on climate change and plastic pollution.

3) CNN published a letter from teen activist Jamie Margolin to world leaders on how they failed by choosing fossil fuels over the well-being of their children, and now those children are taking action.

4) Rolling Stone points out that the problem with Earth Day is that it's become overtly apolitical, when political action is exactly what we need.

5) Population Campaigner Sarah Baillie writes about how talking about having kids is the most important conversation a couple can have to plan for their carbon footprint.

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Photo credits: Dallas traffic by Dave Hensley/Flickr; Gila River by Rick Mick/Center for Biological Diversity; contraceptive deserts graphic courtesy Power to Decide; Impossible Burger by Missvain/Wikimedia; Havasu Falls by Henrik Johansson/Flickr; solar panels by RTPeat/Flickr; walruses by Christopher Michel/Flickr; squirrel by Sathish J/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
United States