Population Institute Canada (PIC) is the voice of Canadians concerned with global overpopulation and its negative human and environmental consequences.

Contact: Madeline Weld, PhD
President, Population Institute Canada
Tel: (613)-833-3668
Email: mail@populationinstitutecanada.ca


Wildfires: Overpopulation and Consumption as Root Causes

(May 9, 2016, OTTAWA, ON.) As the world watches the wildfires that are devastating Fort McMurray, Alberta, an increasing number of people may recognize man-made climate change as a contributing factor, but far fewer will recognize the effect of population growth in driving climate change.

The data are conclusive that the number of wildfires in the Canadian north is increasing: a 2013 study showed the boreal forests of Alaska and northern Canada are burning at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years, a likely result, in part, of the fact that rates of warming in Canada’s north are twice the global average.

Furthermore, wildfire researchers predict that disasters on the scale of Fort McMurray’s will become increasingly harder to prevent. A 2016 study found that as temperature increases, precipitation must increase correspondingly to prevent higher levels of combustibility.

Natural Resources Canada predicts fire-prone conditions will increase across Canada in coming years, and could potentially result in a doubling of the amount of area burned by the end of this century.

A leading expert in Canada on forest fires at the University of Alberta notes, “The area burned in Canada has increased over the past 40 to 50 years…due to human-caused climate change.”

Population Institute Canada believes it a major oversight to ignore the role played by unsustainable population growth in addition to increasing consumption in driving climate change, as both are root causes. By promoting smaller families we reduce consumption and our footprint on the planet, thereby mitigating the negative effects of global warming on the natural world – including the conditions that can lead to an increase in the number of wildfires in Canada’s boreal forests.


PIC is the voice of Canadians concerned with overpopulation and its negative human and environmental impact. Founded in 1992, it campaigns to increase support for reproductive health and education and for universal, voluntary access to family planning, which the UN notes “…could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology available to the human race.”

Fact: Continued global population growth, together with overconsumption, is incompatible with a healthy, sustainable future for humanity and our planet.
Patrons: Sir David Attenborough; Robert Bateman; Margaret Catley-Carlson; Drs. Paul & Anne Ehrlich; Robert Fowler; Dr. William Rees; Dr. David Schindler; Ronald Wright. See patron bios.


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Population Institute Canada

PO Box 59045

Ottawa, ON

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