[image credit: www.earthtimes.org] The Fork in the Road: Which Way this World Population Day?

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org As the world, or at least some of it, recognizes World Population Day on July 11th, it might be a good time to look around at some encouraging projects and initiatives empowering people and protecting the environment in communities across the globe. But first, some fast facts for a brief overview:
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[photo credit: data.unfpa.org] Family Planning is a Smart Investment

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org. In a time of government budget cuts and austerity programs, family planning is a low-cost investment that yields big dividends.  And more importantly, it saves lives. Globally, there are 222 million women in developing counties who lack access to contraception.  Off these, 162 million women live in the world’s poorest countries.
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[photo credit: timesofindia.com] Acts of Violence Against Women: From India to the Congo to the USA

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org It’s been a horrific year for women’s rights across the globe.   Just in the past couple of months there has been the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls in Nigeria, an “honor” killing of a pregnant woman in Pakistan, the rape and hanging of two teenage girls in India, and a
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mathaai-slider Time to Shed Our Fear: Words of Wisdom From an Inspiring Woman

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org World Environment Day – a day “for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment” – is another officially recognized day by the United Nations for doing something (anything) positive for the environment. Given the fragility of the climate, environment and communities around the world, it is a good time to
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[photo credit: www.plan-international.org/girls/childmarriagereport/] Wedding Busters: Betting on Child Marriage-Free Zones

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org Child marriage is a difficult issue that is complicated by culture and religion, and especially by poverty. It takes time and effort to change culture, but it is possible.  Ending poverty is something that many people, organizations, and governments have tried to end for decades, but the challenge is enormous.Yet the
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[photo credit: www.treehugger.com] Is a World of 29 Billion People Sustainable?

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org “Can Earth Handle 29 Billion People? Easy.” Where to begin with this statement?  Actually, it’s the title of an editorial in the Financial Post of Canada by one Lawrence Solomon, described as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.”  This editorial was preceded by another on the same theme and is based on
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Water Issues

[photo credit: mymajicdc.com] California’s Drinking Problem: The Urgency to Use Less Water

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org It’s certainly not unusual for temperatures to be hot this time of year, as summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere.  But things are getting really, really hot across the globe. Last month the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that the period March-May was the hottest in more than 120
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Energy and Carbon Emissions

Tar sands, Canada.  [photo credit: extremeenergy.org] Carbon Emissions Just Keep Going Up, Up, Up

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org In 2013, the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere passed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in modern human history. And now, in 2014, carbon levels have remained above 400 ppm for three months in a row.  This makes the past three months the first period of
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Family Planning and Women's Health

[image credit: www.pirateparty.org.uk] Corporate Rights Trump Women’s Rights

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org In this increasingly polarized country with a deeply partisan Congress, a divided Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of corporate rights (aka corporate “personhood”) over a woman’s right to use the contraception of her choice. In the long-anticipated outcome of Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that family-owned
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[photo credit: www.worldwildlife.org] Gone in a Blink of an Eye?

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org There is no denying that humans are impacting the planet, and not necessarily for the good. Some people may argue this point, but one look at mountaintops blown off in Appalachia or forests cleared for palm oil production would have to elicit some acceptance of human alteration of the environment. Many
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Food and Hunger

[photo credit: www.community.businessfightspoverty.org] A World of Demands on Our Farmlands

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org. Carbon footprint size is often talked about, but what about agriculture’s footprint? Farming of crops and livestock uses more than 38 percent of the planet’s ice-free land.  Humans have cleared land that amounts to nearly the size of South America to grow crops and to raise livestock, cleared an area almost
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Consumption and Waste

[photo credit: www.treehugger.com] Using up the Earth: What to do about Consumption?

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org The world is consuming resources at an unsustainable rate.  Reducing consumption is a sensitive and difficult subject to broach, but one that must take place if we want to keep a livable planet for future generations. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” or a call to return to a
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Economics and GDP

[image credit: www.tapchitaichinh.vn] How Capitalism Stole Our Happiness

By Anjie Cai, guest youth blogger for www.howmany.org Capitalism as we know it today came into force around the early 1700s when Adam Smith laid the groundwork for the free market system in his famous book The Wealth of Nations. It quickly gave power to corporations, allowing them to control much of our lives. In
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