Walker Bennett wrote:
> Knowing full well that I am opening a can of worms from the left,
> right and others, the Sustainable Agriculture forum is the perfect place to
> bring up our current threat to sustainable anything.
> For those of you who are unaware, today the spaceship Earth marks
> its 6-Billionth passenger. Here is one link for a story by MSNBC:
> http://www.msnbc.com/news/320915.asp which presents both sides
> and an article sent me by the Environmental Defense Fund -
> Six Billion People and Counting!
> To: All Environmental Defense Fund Activists
> From: Azur Moulaert, Member Action Network Manager
> Date: Friday October 8, 1999
> Re: Six Billion People and Counting!
> On October 12, the world's population will hit six billion people.
> This milestone raises a number of critical questions about the future for
> that 6 billionth person and for all of us. Will that child have adequate
> health care and enough food and water? Will she/he have any economic
> opportunities beyond exploitative labor practices and exploitation of our
> natural heritage? Without change, the answer to most of those questions
> will clearly be no. Population and the environment are inextricably
> linked. We already know -- all too well -- that unchecked population
> growth rapidly depletes resources and dramatically threatens the
> environment. Today, nearly one billion people on the planet are not
> getting enough to eat. More than half a billion people are living in
> countries suffering chronic shortages of fresh water. Looking forward, we
> must also consider that almost half of the current six billion people are
> under the age of 25; and only half the married women in the world have
> access to modern contraceptives or reproductive health information and
> services. The pressures on the earth and on the growing number of its
> inhabitants are clear. Without change, these pressures will only increase.
> Our nation's support for voluntary family planning initiatives in the
> world's poorest countries is one of the great humanitarian success stories
> and has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the Congress.
> U.S. funding has allowed more than 50 million poor women to have access to
> desperately needed services, and to make choices about the number and
> spacing of their children. In recent years, though, Congress has severely
> restricted global efforts to expand these programs. In fact, U.S. funding
> for such efforts has been cut by one-third since 1995. As a result,
> programs and clinics have been shut down or severely cut back. At EDF, we
> recognize that population and consumption are interlocking issues. To
> resolve the world's major environmental challenges will require stabilizing
> the world's population, at the lowest possible level, along with using
> resources sustainably, alleviating poverty, promoting non-polluting
> technologies, and implementing efficient and equitable economic development
> policies. Both developed and developing countries should have the means to
> address these problems, including population issues. In short, as we work
> to meet current needs for a healthy environment, it just makes sense to
> provide communities with voluntary, culturally sensitive means for a
> healthy and equitable future. If you agree, please take a moment during
> this historic time to let your representatives in Congress know that Y6B
> (year of six billion) is the right time to restore America's traditional
> role of supporting family planning. It's and essential part of the answer
> for the future.
> Draw you own opinions, but keep in mind that nothing is unlimited.
> Walker Bennett
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