Why Birth Control Is Critical for Women and Wildlife

Birth control is under attack… again (Photo Credit: Bruce Blaus, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, with his characteristic pomp and ego stroking, Trump kept another one of his campaign promises to curtail rights: On the heels of yet another failed attempt to repeal and replace, he has started to disembowel Obamacare. This time, he issued a rule to tear giant loopholes in the contraception mandate.

It’s like Republicans’ new mantra is, “If it ain’t broke, break pieces off of it until the people we are supposed to represent can’t possibly argue that Obamacare is actually beneficial for them.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers…


Trumpcare is far from the beginning of the fight

The day after Donald Trump was elected president, a handful of my female friends asked me if they should get an IUD. They were worried that they might not have the option anymore once Trump took office.

An IUD, short for intrauterine device, is a nifty, t-shaped form of contraception that a doctor implants in a woman’s cervix. They’re 99.9 percent effective in preventing pregnancy for three to ten years, depending on the type of IUD.

I’m not a doctor, so it might seem weird that people would seek my advice on the subject. But I happen to have some…


Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier every year, but why?

This year Earth Overshoot Day is August 2. That’s the date when humans have used up all the resources the Earth can restore in one year. For the remaining five months, we’ll be running up a tab — and we’re not going to be able to repay that ecological debt when the bill comes due.

We started using up resources faster than our planet could keep up in the 80s, and the date has moved up each year. This year we’ll mark Earth Overshoot Day six days sooner than we did in 2016. …


Why I sent the Senate hundreds of condoms

I’m probably not the only person who is thinking, “oh, screw the Senate,” right now. But I might be the only one who acted on those feelings by sending all the senators condoms this week.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today is World Population Day, a day designated by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness about global population issues. With more than 7.5 billion people on the planet and a billion more predicted to be added in the next decade or so, we have some global population issues we still need to address nearly 30 years later…


The 24-hour news cycle may not give a damn about the threat of population growth, but you should

The United Nations recently released big news about the future of the planet. But without 24-hour coverage, a front page write up or a “presidential” tweet, it didn’t make it onto most people’s radars. In fact, I almost missed it — and I follow this kind of news pretty closely.

Last month the UN finalized the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects report. Among other things, the report predicts human population growth trends — including where population will be centered and how many people will be added to the planet in the future. …


A Thanksgiving series from the Center for Biological Diversity (Part 1 of 3)

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks, and this series highlights a few of the things that make the Center’s Population and Sustainability team thankful. However, while we are giving thanks, we should not forget that this holiday is rooted in colonialism and oppression which is still being fought today. We stand with indigenous people in their fight.

I probably won’t bring this up around the family table while the potatoes get passed and my dad and my uncle vie for the last slice of canned cranberry sauce, but what I’m most thankful for is the…


Why talking human population growth is so scary

If every single person on Earth came trick-or-treating at your door, you’d need 277,500,000 pounds of chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat to give each of them a single fun-sized Snickers bar. Now multiply that by the fact that a single fun-sized candy bar not only doesn’t satisfy but won’t sustain life, and you start to get a picture of the scary amount of pressure human population puts on the planet.

Human population has grown from 1 billion to over 7 billion in less than 200 years, gobbling up habitat and spitting out wildlife as it grows. (Photo credit: Anthony Quintano.)

Most of the people I talk to about environmental issues are on board with the fact that climate change, deforestation, pollution, ocean acidification and the extinction crisis are all caused…


In a world with 7.4 billion people, should we be having more children?

Sea otter mother and pup in Morro Bay, California. Photo credit: Mike Baird, http://bit.ly/2cOexcZ.

People love babies. We love big families, young families and modern families. We love babies in real life and in fiction and, coming soon, in cartoon. In fact, we love babies so much that not wanting children is seen as, well, strange.

That love for tiny humans is not just in our DNA; it’s cultural. It’s the two kids and the white picket fence American dream. It’s the uncomfortable questions after the wedding and at family dinners. It’s even in our taxes.

But recently Travis Rieder, a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, suggested that…


Part one of a five-part series for Earth Overshoot Day

Time is running out. We’re just two weeks out from Earth Overshoot Day — the day when we humans have used all the resources the planet can replenish in a year. Everything after August 8 is borrowed from wildlife and future generations. That probably sounds scary, and that’s because it is. It feels like one of those problems that’s way bigger than you. I mean, what can one person do?

More importantly, what can two people do.

Let’s back up for a second. What the heck does overshoot mean? Think of the resources the Earth and all its systems create…


What a little-known holiday has to do with contraceptives and wildlife

Gray Wolf photo credit: Copyright © 2014, Alan D. Wilson

Today is World Population Day, and while it might not be topping the list of most-beloved — or even vaguely-well-known — holidays, it’s one that affects all of us from women to wolves. Stay with me here: As human population grows (at a rate of 227,000 people every day), wildlife like wolves increasingly find themselves more crowded out and pushed closer and closer to the brink of extinction.

Let’s break it down:

World Population Day On July 11, 1989, two years after human population reached 5 billion people and then kept growing, the United Nations started World Population Day to…

Leigh Moyer

Population Organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. Dog lover. Space enthusiast. Sometimes vegan.

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