No Water No Life

A landscape of waste.

April 22 is Earth Day:
The Ultimate Mother’s Day.

On the first Earth Day in 1970, Mother Earth had 3.7 billion children. Now we are 7 billion. Our thirst, appetites, wants and waste have doubled. Technology and conservation mitigate our collective footprint, but it’s not enough. To protect our global resources, we must address population growth.

FACING FACTS
• We’ve lost 50% of the planet’s original forest cover (which absorbs CO2 and retains water), mostly in the last 30 years.
• Agriculture consumes 75% of fresh water used.
• The grain in the ethanol that fills 1 SUV tank would feed 1 person for a year!
• If other nations consumed resources at U.S. rates, we’d need 6 planets to meet such a demand.

Consumption of our natural resources.

THE REALITY  More people will create a lack of water, rising food prices and high unemployment, all of which beget poverty, resource competition and social unrest.
No Water - No Food - No Peace. We’re all hearing that the big issue is water.
But the big solution is to curb population growth.

WHERE TO BEGIN   Reduce your water footprint and material consumption.

THEN... Let’s empower women so they can be part of deciding whether to have children, how many and when. All women deserve education, a voice and options. (There are many responsible forms of family planning other than forced sterility or abortion.) In almost all countries, the desired family size is lower than the actual family size; and almost 40% of U.S. pregnancies are unintended. * Per a 2012 U.S. CDC Report - www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr055.pdf

WHAT TO THINK ABOUT The majority of the world’s population today is under 28 years old, either at or near reproductive age. By 2050 these young people will increase global population to either 8 billion or a devastating 10.5 billion. What guidance do we give them? Family planning, if available, could reduce global population growth and consumption by almost a third.

Urban sprawl.

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All photos ©Alison M. Jones for NWNL.