Note to Readers:

Please Note: The editor of White Refugee blog is a member of the Ecology of Peace culture.

Summary of Ecology of Peace Radical Honoursty Factual Reality Problem Solving: Poverty, slavery, unemployment, food shortages, food inflation, cost of living increases, urban sprawl, traffic jams, toxic waste, pollution, peak oil, peak water, peak food, peak population, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, peak resources, racial, religious, class, gender resource war conflict, militarized police, psycho-social and cultural conformity pressures on free speech, etc; inter-cultural conflict; legal, political and corporate corruption, etc; are some of the socio-cultural and psycho-political consequences of overpopulation & consumption collision with declining resources.

Ecology of Peace RH factual reality: 1. Earth is not flat; 2. Resources are finite; 3. When humans breed or consume above ecological carrying capacity limits, it results in resource conflict; 4. If individuals, families, tribes, races, religions, and/or nations want to reduce class, racial and/or religious local, national and international resource war conflict; they should cooperate & sign their responsible freedom oaths; to implement Ecology of Peace Scientific and Cultural Law as international law; to require all citizens of all races, religions and nations to breed and consume below ecological carrying capacity limits.

EoP v WiP NWO negotiations are updated at EoP MILED Clerk.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pregnant (Again) and Poor || CIA & Pentagon's Perspective on Overpopulation & Resource Wars || When Environmental Writers Are Part of the Problem

Pregnant (Again) and Poor

Nicholas D. Kristof | New York Times

Published: April 4, 2009

Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times: Nahomie Nercure, 30, with some of her nine children in front of a her shack in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince.Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times: Nahomie Nercure, 30, with some of her nine children in front of a her shack in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: For all the American and international efforts to fight global poverty, one thing is clear: Those efforts won’t get far as long as women like Nahomie Nercure continue to have 10 children.

Global family-planning efforts have stalled over the last couple of decades, and Nahomie is emblematic both of the lost momentum and of the poverty that results. She is an intelligent 30-year-old woman who wanted only two children, yet now she is eight months pregnant with her 10th.

As we walked through Cité Soleil, the Haitian slum where she lives, her elementary-school-age children ran stark naked around her. The $6-a-month rental shack that they live in — four sleep on the bed, six on the floor beside it — has no food of any kind in it. The family has difficulty paying the fees to keep the children in school.

There’s simply no way to elevate Nahomie’s family, and millions like it around the world, unless we help such women have fewer children. And yet family-planning programs have been shorn of resources and glamour for a generation now.

Nahomie is one of 200 million women worldwide who, according to United Nations estimates, have what demographers call an “unmet need” for safe and effective contraception. That is, they don’t want to get pregnant but don’t use a modern form of family planning.

This “unmet need” results in 70 million to 80 million unwanted pregnancies annually, the United Nations says, along with 19 million abortions and 150,000 maternal deaths.

The push for contraception was at the center of development efforts in the 1960s and 1970s, but then waned. In part, it was tarnished by its own zealotry, including coercion in China and India. Another reason was abortion politics, which led to a cutoff in American financing for the United Nations Population Fund — even though the upshot was more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions.

In addition, family planning turned out to be harder than many enthusiasts had expected, for it requires far more than condoms or the pill. Haiti has family-planning clinics, spending on contraception is fairly high, and women say they want fewer children — yet only one-quarter of Haitian women use contraceptives.

Nahomie’s story helps explain the enigma. She tried injectables, but she says they caused excess bleeding that frightened her. The clinic had little counseling to explain and reassure her, so she stopped after nine months.

A sexually transmitted infection at the time meant that she couldn’t use an IUD just then, and a doctor told her that the pill would be inappropriate because she has vascular problems. Reluctant to return to a clinic that seemed scornful of poor women, she drifted along with nothing.

A couple of babies later, her first husband left her, and her next husband wanted to have children with her, so she acquiesced. A few children later, she began to push back, but in Haiti’s social structure she felt she had to accede to her husband’s whims. “I asked to use condoms,” Nahomie said, “but he refused.” Last fall, shortly after she became pregnant with her 10th child, her husband ran off.

A book published a few years ago, “Reproducing Inequities,” notes that we are, painstakingly, learning what does work. The effective strategies go beyond the contraceptive devices themselves to include better counseling, more dignity for women in clinics, a greater choice of methods that are completely free — and a broad effort to raise the status of women.

The best way to elevate women, by far, is to educate girls and to give them opportunities to earn income through micro-loans, factory jobs or vocational training. It is sometimes said that the best contraceptive isn’t the pill or the IUD, but education for girls.

(A side note: Whenever I write about efforts to save children from malaria or diarrhea, I get cynical letters from neo-Malthusians who argue that saving children’s lives is pointless until birthrates drop. That’s incorrect. There’s abundant evidence that when parents are confident that their children will live, they will have fewer and invest more in each of them.)

In any case, the mounting academic evidence underscores what is intuitively obvious in Haiti: unless family planning is more successful in poor countries, they won’t be able to overcome poverty. “There’s no other way,” says Tania Patriota, the representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Haiti. “It’s indispensable.”

President Obama has already lifted the ban on aid for the Population Fund, and we now have an opportunity to lead a global effort to regain lost momentum for family planning. And while Nahomie’s story shows that this won’t be easy, it also underscores that there’s simply no alternative.

Source: New York Times


CIA & Pentagon's Perspective on Overpopulation & Resource Wars

Pregnant and Poor: Letter to Editor | Ted Koppel, Nightline, 2000

To the Editor:

Re: "Pregnant (Again) And Poor," (Week in Review, April 5) and “Keeping Pakistan from becoming the most dangerous failed state," (NY Times Magazine, April 5).

Using Haiti, Nicholas Kristof argues, "Unless family planning is more successful in poor countries, they won't be able to overcome poverty," but he fails to mention Haiti’s population growth – 3,000,000 in 1950, 9,000,000 in 2000, and 15,000,000 in 2050. Similarly, the Magazine’s description of Pakistan’s plunge toward "failed state" status fails to mention its growth – 41,000,000 in 1950, 148,000,000 in 2000, and 335,000,000 in 2050.

CIA Director Hayden warns that rapid population growth in poor states is a major threat to global security and likely to fuel instability and extremism. This urgency can’t become believable without numbers. Times Editors should require its writers to use them!

John R. Bermingham
601 Franklin Street
Denver, CO 80218

CIA & Pentagon's Perspective on Overpopulation & Resource Wars,

Nightline with Ted Koppel, (2000)

Sources: John Bermingham: Letter to Editor :: CIA's Perspective on Overpopulation and Resource Wars, Ted Koppel, ABC News (2000)


When Environmental Writers Are Part of the Problem

John Feeny | Dissident Voice

July 23rd, 2007

 [Д♠]START:: Armigideon.Nuclear.Titanic ::STOP[♠Д]: Reflections on Sustainability, Population Growth, and the Environment: Carrying Capacity & Denial of Population ProblemSomething’s missing in today’s environmental discussion. When talking about causes and proposed solutions for our ecological plight, few environmental writers are telling us more than half the story. Al Bartlett, physics professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and long time sustainability activist, calls it “the silent lie.”

It’s the near universal tendency to focus on the importance of cutting fossil fuel use while staying mum on the topic of population growth.

John Holdren, last year’s president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told us the whole story over a decade ago in an article titled, “Population and the Energy Problem.” In it, he observed that the total energy consumption for a country or the world, is the product of population size multiplied by the average per capita energy use. Today, the developers of the “ecological footprint” measure, William Rees and Mathis Wackernagle, echo Holdren when they explain, “[The ecological footprint] for the world as a whole is the product of population times per capita consumption, and reflects both the level of consumption and the efficiency with which resources are turned into consumption products.”

That the size and growth of the global population is a root cause of ecological degradation is, in fact, well known to scientists. Yet statements to that effect get little traction in the mainstream media. We hear all about the need to save energy by switching to florescent light bulbs. We read about the ethanol debate and carbon trading schemes. We urge our representatives to establish tougher fuel economy standards. But in all the talk of ways of reducing per person consumption, how often does anyone mention the need to address the other factor in the the equation? In today’s environmental writing, population growth is the elephant in the room.

What are environmental writers thinking?

Why the silence? Population growth received a good deal of attention in the 1960s and 1970s. But then came China’s draconian one child policy, right wing groups pushing free market capitalism by cheerleading growth and dismissing the need to limit our numbers, and political wrangling among environmental and social justice groups, all seeking the spotlight for their own issues. The result was the demotion of population from its status as social and environmental issue number one.

Indeed, some writers today actively avoid the subject of population despite recognizing its importance. Not long ago, for instance, David Roberts, environmental writer at Grist, made it clear he recognizes that to reduce humanity’s ecological footprint to a sustainable level we’ll need to deal with the population problem. Yet he acknowledged he never writes on the subject. His reason?

“Talking about population as such alienates a large swathe of the general public. It carries vague connotations of totalitarianism and misanthropy and eugenics. It has been used quite effectively to slander and marginalize the environmental movement. It is political poison.”

From what I’ve seen, Roberts’s view is typical of many environmental writers and organizations. And my purpose is not to single him out. He’s merely one of the few environmental writers who’s been willing to speak openly on this subject. For that he deserves credit. But is his view wise?

What’s better, truth or avoidance?

I have no doubt Roberts and most environmentalists who share his view are well meaning. But I don’t believe the subject of population is, in fact, the “political poison” he thinks it is. Though they do so too infrequently and too quietly, organizations such as the UN, a variety of groups such as Population Action International, the Population Media Center, and the Izaak Walton League , environmentalists such as Lester Brown, and writers in periodicals such as Science, Scientific American, the Guardian/Observer, and the Christian Science Monitor do grapple with it. And there’s no evidence their work has set back the environmental cause. They identify population growth as a problem because it’s the truth, and they know bringing people the truth is productive while avoiding it is ultimately damaging.

That some people jump to erroneous conclusions about “totalitarianism and misanthropy and eugenics” when they hear about reducing population growth (and ultimately population size) is no reason to avoid the topic; it’s reason to clarify and inform. Addressing population growth means taking humane measures to assist with the social and economic issues which drive it. That means improving education for girls and economic opportunities for women in developing countries. It means increasing access to family planning and reproductive health care services, and encouraging positive attitudes toward smaller families. And it means reducing infant mortality rates. Any notion that it need involve involuntary measures of any kind is a distraction we mustn’t allow to dominate policy.

Is silly, agenda-driven slander a reason to avoid the truth?

Roberts is right that some have tried to use the population topic to try to slander and marginalize the environmental movement. He’s wrong in saying they’ve been effective. These groups presenting irrational arguments from such vantage points as the Christian right and the libertarian right have had, at best, a marginal impact. Their attacks are best dealt with head on, exposing their agenda-driven illogic. It’s unfortunate some of their arguments have been embraced by a small subset of the political left who see population as a distraction from their personal causes. In the US, however, after seven years of the Bush Administration’s decimation of environmental laws, and a decade or more of elective mutism with regard to population, to blame any part of the environmental movement’s struggles on the handling of the population issue is more than a stretch.

Consider as well that few who don’t scour the Web for such niche groups’ writings have ever heard of any negative connotations associated with addressing population growth. I frequently raise the population issue with people in “real life,” and cannot recall an instance in which anyone has mentioned the connotations which concern some environmentalists. On the contrary, I’ve encountered almost universal recognition that population is, in itself, a problem needing more attention. Environmentalists who avoid the the subject of population out of fear of its “connotations” are fretting over esoteric arguments found only among other writers.

Time to correct a damaging strategy

What has been the result of this inattention? A few months ago, a major report from the UK, which solicited the input of scores of scientists, asserted that the last decade of neglect of the population issue had seriously hindered environmental and social causes. It has hastened ecological degradation, the effects of which are becoming increasingly apparent. Indeed, how could this inattention not have set back the environmental movement? It has meant a loss of attention to a key driving force behind our ecological decline.

We need to correct this. Environmental writers who have avoided the subject of population should rethink their stance. Let’s embrace truth, not avoidance.

John Feeney is a psychologist turned environmental activist.

Source: Dissident Voice

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