World Population Day, 2021

Nearly 7.9 billion and counting

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Dear PIC Follower,

Each year the United Nations marks World Population Day on July 11th, and over the span of the year – from one World Population Day to the next – we know that approximately 80 million humans (net increase, births minus deaths) were added to the planet. As someone concerned about human population growth, you might know we’re fast approaching 8 billion people and that the UN projects we’ll reach 10 billion by 2057.

Demographers project that over half of the world’s population growth will occur in sub-Saharan Africa this century, largely due to its high fertility rates and decreasing mortality rates. But in Canada we can also expect to see a steady increase in our population due to our very high immigration levels. Most of this growth will continue to take place in urban centres and areas within 160 kms of the US border at the expense of prime farmland, wildlife habitats and ecosystems.

Our single-minded focus on economic growth is driving us into overshoot: Humanity’s annual demands on the natural world have exceeded what the Earth can renew in a year. What this means is that we now need 1.6 planet Earths to support our demands on Earth’s ecosystems each year.

This World Population Day our dream is that all governments recognize that slowing population growth – by encouraging couples everywhere to have smaller families and making voluntary contraception easily accessible – will benefit humanity and all other species on the planet. And that they’ll act on that realization. But we’re not there yet so we encourage you, our supporters, to make the most of the opportunity presented by this day by discussing your ideas about population growth with your community. Think about ALL the consequences and repercussions that result from continued human population growth and talk about it. If you need inspiration you can join in a free online event on World Population Day presented by Scientists Warning Europe (lead talk given by PIC patron and co-creator of the ecological footprint concept Dr. William Rees). You could also listen to Dr. Madeline Weld challenge the assumption that growth in Canada is good on the latest World Population Balance podcast.

It’s only by bringing up the subject – taboo as it continues to be – that we can help spread awareness of the realities of overpopulation and its detrimental effects on the one Earth we call home. We wish you a happy World Population Day and hope it presents an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness and promote action on this most important issue.

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