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So everyone raise your hand if you are shocked, shocked and appalled, that the sum up for the Earth Summit Rio+20 conference was, as the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister put it “Insipid.” The meeting, marking 20 years since the iconic Earth Summit in the same city and 40 since the very first global environment gathering…

More Doubt About 10 Billion

From Yale Environment 360, more questions about future UN population projections: For now, we can indeed be highly confident that world population will top 7 billion by the end of this year. We’re close to that number already and currently adding about 216,000 people per day. But the United Nations “medium variant” population projection, the…

In thousands of ways, UN policy helps shape how we respond to emerging crises, from basic poverty to world political events, from food to climate change and population. What is emerging, however, is that UN analyses are increasingly diverging from reality – as they attempt to describe our future, they have failed to adequately (or…

Hi Folks – Back from the wedding and shivaree, and catching up…slowly. Tired and have much farm stuff to catch up on as well, so bear with me one more day. In the meantime, Fred Pearce has a great essay in Nature on what’s wrong with the UN population revisions that anticipate 10+billion by the…

Will We Pass 10 Billion?

The fact that the mid-range projections for world population rose by nearly a billion people this week should have garnered a lot more attention than it did. The UN offers biennial updates of its world population estimates, and for the last few years, the mid-range (ie, the most likely scenario) has suggested that the world…

And It Is Back…

The Food Crisis, of course. In fact it really never left – since 2007 we’ve had more hungry people on the planet than ever before in human history, and while we’ve seen brief declines in the numbers of the hungry worldwide, those declines were of such short duration that they were essentially meaningless – earlier…

_The Pump Handle_ often addresses the same issues that I do, from a public health perspective and is one of my favorite reads. As the UN Convenes to evaluate progress on the Millenium Development Goals – designed to reduce poverty worldwide, Liz Borkowski has done an admirable job of describing exactly what these are and…

Ok, that’s not quite the headline at the New York Times, but close enough. Yes, the latest Oxfam figures that came out today say that we’re back under 1 billion starving people. But yes, those figures were compiled before the Pakistani Floods, and before the 5% rise in food prices driven by the Russian wheat…

A newly produced UN Report rightly points out, among other things, that the western model of meat and dairy production simply won’t work on a planet of 9 billion people. The report, which quantifies the basic unsustainability of affluent societies and the challenges facing us in satisfying needs we’ve spent a century creating and can’t…