Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 64, March 18, 2016
Population and Energy Growth

Climate change and human population growth are intricately intertwined, from how much energy we use to how we're able to adapt to a changing environment. According to researchers at the University of Queensland and Griffith University, as our population hurtles toward 9 billion, demand for energy will increase nearly 300 percent by 2050 -- driving us much, much deeper into the climate crisis. (Did I mention that last month was the hottest ever recorded?)

As the researchers point out, energy is essential to human survival, and it's crucial that we alleviate poverty and increase energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve all of these goals, we need to accelerate the transition to sustainable, carbon-free energy systems. The researchers acknowledge the role of population growth, but didn't put much stock in the effectiveness of strategies to address it, although previous studies have found that increasing access to family planning could provide as much as 29 percent of necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

We can -- and must -- address energy and population issues together for a truly just, sustainable future. Solar energy will play a major role in the transition to clean energy, especially when it's done right. Read on below to learn more about the solar revolution.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,412,744,062. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

The Power of Distributed Solar

Sun bloomsThis month the Center's Greer Ryan published a piece on Medium about how distributed solar energy plays an important role in helping us kick our fossil fuel habit while also protecting wildlife. It's clear that we need to transition to 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But, as Greer points out, it's not as simple as building giant solar and wind farms to make the shift.

Large-scale renewable energy projects built in the wrong places can have devastating impacts on endangered species and sensitive habitat. But by placing solar panels closer to where energy is needed, such as on rooftops, we can generate cleaner energy without taking up additional land. And there are huge amounts of untapped potential for this kind of wildlife-friendly energy.

This isn't your grandfather's solar revolution. A lot has happened in the past few decades to power up solar potential. Capturing the sun's energy is no longer limited to either massive solar farms or solar panels on the roof of your house (though both of those are part of the picture). Technology is rapidly developing that could put thin-film, transparent solar panels over windows and turn roadways into energy sources. We also have the capability today to install smaller community-based solar arrays and solar panels over parking lots and on commercial buildings.

Learn more about how solar can be done right, and take action below to ask to join the solar revolution.

Ask Dr. Donley Endangered Species Condoms
Does Meat Contain Pesticides?

In his latest "Ask Dr. Donley" column, Center scientist Nathan Donley digests the question of whether meat comes with a side of pesticides. The answer provides another good reason to eat less meat: Not only can livestock be directly dosed with pesticides, but animal feed can be allowed to contain pesticide residue more than 100 times that allowed on crops consumed directly by humans -- and those pesticides can hang around in the tissue that ultimately becomes a hamburger. Read and share Dr. Donley's meaty #EcoAdvice on the topic on Medium.

Earth Day Condom Giveaway -- Sign Up

The solution to runaway human population growth is straightforward: Give everyone the education and resources they need to choose if and when they want to have children -- and how many. This year's election can drastically change the outlook for women, families and wildlife -- for better or worse -- and we need to get people talking. Sign up to distribute some of the 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms we're giving away for Earth Day, and start the conversation about the connection between reproductive rights and the future of the planet.

Tell Amazon to Shine With Rooftop Solar -- Take Action
Amazon fulfillment center Solar panels Amazon Shine's fast shipping relies on fulfillment centers that are some of the largest buildings in the world, taking up more than 70 million square feet of space in the United States alone.

Tell Amazon to reduce its impact on wildlife and support a clean-energy future by installing rooftop solar panels on its gigantic warehouses.

Increase your impact by joining our ThunderClap campaign to send a message on social media to CEO Jeff Bezos urging him to put solar panels on Amazon's huge warehouses.

The Road to Reducing Food Waste

Passion fruitIf wasted food were a country, it would be the third-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions after the United States and China. In the United States alone, 40 percent of edible food goes to waste, which means that all the fossil fuels, water, pesticides, habitat loss and wildlife extermination that went into producing that food was for nothing.

Food waste is not just a waste of money, natural resources and environmental degradation; with nearly a billion people going hungry every day, it's also a shameful human-rights problem. The United States and United Nations have committed to slash food waste by 50 percent over the next 10 to 15 years -- but how do we get there?

Earlier this month, the ReFED coalition released A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20 Percent, which included an in-depth analysis of the problem and 27 different ideas for tackling it. They include tax incentives, donating excess food instead of throwing it away, and changing the way we treat less attractive -- but still perfectly tasty and nutritious -- fruits and vegetables.

Stay tuned in the coming months as we expand our Take Extinction Off Your Plate work to address how conserving food can help conserve wildlife.
Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; sun and foliage, Center for Biological Diversity; "Ask Dr. Donley" graphic, Center for Biological Diversity; Earth Day condoms, Center for Biological Diversity; Amazon fulfillment center courtesy Wikimedia/Scottish Government; solar panels courtesy Flickr/David Blaikie; passion fruit courtesy Flickr/Matt Kowalczyk.

This is an unmonitored email address; please do not reply.

To sign up for Endangered Species Condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's Population and Sustainability program, visit our website.

To make a donation, click here.

To stop receiving Pop X, click here.
Facebook Twitter

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
Bookmark and Share