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No. 17, March 16, 2012

In This Issue:

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows
Earth Day Celebration: Got Condoms?
Consider the Lilies

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

The sabers are rattling these days over women's access to family planning. In the past few weeks, nebulous disagreements about contraception have become fodder for presidential politics, congressional bickering and polemics around the country -- without much rational talk at all about what women actually want or, for that matter, what they actually do. For those who care about endangered species and the future of our planet, it's worthwhile to be part of the debate over family planning. 

In fact, a study commissioned last fall by Friends of UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund) tells us environmentalists could be a strong force in fighting to empower women and improve contraceptive access. Eighty percent of environmentalists surveyed preferred to have population issues and access to contraception included in environmental advocacy. Environmentalists see the connections between these issues and the importance of working on several fronts to protect scarce resources for future generations of people and wildlife.

Earlier this month, in Oregon, the Center for Biological Diversity's 7.5 billion and Counting campaign organized a panel of women who have worked at the cross section of these movements for decades. Check out this short video from the panel to hear more.

Earth Day Celebration: Got Condoms?

When the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, the world population was half what it is today. Yet back then, during the early stages of the modern environmental movement, there was quite a clear and powerful understanding that population growth is a major concern for our planet's future.

This year the Center for Biological Diversity will be celebrating Earth Day by distributing 100,000 Endangered Species Condoms nationwide. But we need your help. Sign up here by Friday, March 30 to be considered to become one of our condom distributors. Be sure to include any information about whether you're going to hand them out at an event, a party, at work or somewhere else in your community.

Endangered Species Condoms are one of the best ways to get people thinking and talking about how human overpopulation is harming wildlife and plants around the globe. Don't miss this chance to get yours in time for Earth Day.

Consider the Lilies

It isn't just four-legged creatures that are bearing the brunt of our growing human population. Some of the most direct impacts are felt by plants, which have no ability to get up and walk away as our growing demand for resources and land chews up the wild places where they live. Some have been pushed to the very brink of extinction. (For instance, plants like the San Bernardino bluegrass and the Huachuca water umbel in California and the Southwest are under siege from urbanization and rapid development.) Often, as these species grow thinner on the ground, new opportunities for exotic species to proliferate make it ever-more difficult for the native plants to survive and recover.

A study published in January found that three-quarters of the planet's ice-free native ecosystems have been dramatically altered by agriculture, development and other human disturbances. As native plant species have been driven toward extinction, exotic plants have gained from their disappearance. While many restoration efforts have worked to contain or eliminate these new plant species, the study notes that we still have very little understanding of how our actions ultimately dictate patterns of plant communities and how native species adapt to these changes -- something to think about as we add more and more people to this planet and consume even more of its resources.

Less is more,

Amy Harwood

Amy Harwood
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator

Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to population@biologicaldiversity.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.

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San Bernadino bluegrass photo courtesy USFWS.