Pop X: Population, Sustainability and a Wilder Future for All.
Mountain lion

People have given wild creatures plenty of reasons to be afraid of us throughout history — from habitat destruction and pollution to indiscriminate killing and climate change. But a new study out of the University of California, Santa Cruz found that our presence alone is its own threat to biodiversity. Researchers observed that just the sound of our voices is enough to change the behavior of large carnivores like mountain lions. It causes them to hunt less, which has a ripple effect on the whole ecosystem.

There's little we can do to reassure wild animals when our paths cross on this crowded planet. But there's still a lot we can do to protect them, including saving wild places and reducing our footprints. In July we now observe both World Population Day and Earth Overshoot Day — opportunities to raise awareness about the effects of our population and overconsumption on wildlife. Read on to learn more about how you can help address these issues in ways that also advance human rights, equity and biodiversity.

For the wild,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Today's world population is: 7,720,252,579. We can still save room for wildlife — spread the word and share this email.

Energy Justice North Carolina Roadshow

Crowded Planet / The Center for Biological Diversity, with our allies in North Carolina, spearheaded the launch of the Energy Justice North Carolina coalition roadshow July 23. Together we're fighting to end Duke Energy's monopoly over the state's energy system in order to usher in the clean energy revolution.

Earth Overshoot Day demonstration

Population / Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when our annual demand for ecological resources  surpasses what the Earth can regenerate in that year. This year it falls on July 29 — the earliest date ever.

Increasing pressure from population growth and overconsumption pushes Earth Overshoot Day earlier each year. But if we can move the date back by just 5 days a year, we could be back in balance with the planet by 2050. The Global Footprint Network launched a map of solutions to help you reduce your footprint in your own community. You can also check out their footprint calculator to find out your personal overshoot date and read our blog post about how to reduce your clothing consumption by buying used.

Rooftop solar

Wild Energy / New Study Highlights 20 Solar Benefits

From reducing air pollution to improving wildlife habitat, solar panels come with benefits beyond providing clean energy. The Center for Biological Diversity partnered with scientists at UC Davis' John Muir Institute for the Environment, and 11 other organizations, to identify 20 overlooked advantages of solar energy. The first-of-its-kind study, published in Nature Sustainability earlier this month, provides a framework that can be used to plan new solar installations as well as fight back against fossil fuel companies and electric utilities that are trying to stifle solar.

The study's release also marks the launch of a partnership between the Center and UC Davis to advance a "Wild Energy" future, which emphasizes the potential of solar energy systems to benefit not only humans, but the entire planet.

Read more about this exciting new framework in Solar Magazine.

School Lunch Week

Earth-friendly Diet / National Guidelines in the Works

Earlier this month the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee held its second meeting at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to share its progress on developing the latest national nutrition recommendations, which influence a broad range of programs including school lunches. But the proceedings are already full of red flags — a fourth of the committee has strong industry ties, and the Trump administration has restricted the scientific questions the committee is allowed to look into and the evidence they're allowed to review.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will have serious consequences that'll extend beyond the next five years. Although the industry influence is concerning, many members of the advisory committee are respected experts dedicated to creating diet recommendations rooted in science. And those members have a chance to make sure sustainability isn't left out of the conversation.

Read more in my latest op-ed in The Hill.

Endangered Species Condoms

Take Action / Vote for the Next Condom Slogan

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Endangered Species Condoms project, we asked our supporters to come up with their punniest slogans to help us continue raising awareness about the effects of human population growth on wildlife.

Head to Facebook and Twitter to see our list of top picks and vote for your favorite to appear on a new condom package this fall.

Plastic straws

Overconsumption / Plastic Straw Politics

The Trump reelection campaign started selling Trump-branded plastic straws with the pitch "liberal paper straws don't work." Of course, the effectiveness of paper straws isn't the point. In fact this isn't really about straws at all. As the Center's Oceans Director Miyoko Sakashita wrote in The Hill, "it's about whether Americans are willing to evolve into better stewards of the natural world — or instead treat that very idea with contempt."

Straws have become symbolic of the larger problem of plastic waste, particularly single-use plastic. Last year, cities across the United States took the first step toward addressing plastic pollution by passing plastic-straw bans. Now we're taking the next step and tackling the problem upstream with a legal petition demanding the EPA update its water pollution rules to hold petrochemical plants that make plastic responsible for their toxic waste.


Five Wild Picks / World Population Day Recap

Thirty years ago the United Nations designated July 11 as World Population Day to raise awareness about the urgency and importance of population issues. Here are five ways you can learn more and keep the conversation going:

1. Watch and share this new video about the Endangered Species Condoms project.

2. Read and share our blog post on Earth Day Network about World Population Day and saving species with safe sex.

3. Read this op-ed from the Population Institute about how investing in women can help humanity face global challenges.

4. Read this article in the East Bay Express about what happens when politicians avoid the population issue.

5. Learn about the new global campaign "Thriving Together" and its aim to broaden access to family planning for the benefit of both people and the planet.

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Photo credits: Mountain lion by CorinnaSt/Pixabay; Energy Justice North Carolina roadshow by Jean Su/Center for Biological Diversity; Earth Overshoot Day demonstration by Jörg-Farys/Die Projektoren; rooftop solar by RoyBuri/Pixabay; National School Lunch Week courtesy USDA; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; plastic straws by MonaL66/Pixabay; Earth courtesy NASA.

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