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No. 39, Feb. 21, 2014

In This Issue:

Population and Sustainability Explained in 90 Seconds -- Watch Video
Endangered Species Condoms Get Wild on Valentine's Day
Drought Brings Lessons in Consumption, Population Pressure
Alan Weisman to Talk Population at Environmental Law Conference
Survey Results: What's on Our Plate?

Population and Sustainability Explained in 90 Seconds -- Watch Video

Every day we add 227,000 people to the planet. And with them comes an increased appetite for land, water and other natural resources -- an appetite that ultimately drives the species extinction crisis, exacerbates global warming, and worsens many of our other environmental woes.

Human Population Growth and Wildlife ExtinctionWhere do you start tackling an issue this huge, the toll taken by 7.5 billion people on the planet? The first step is raising awareness and getting people talking about it. The Center for Biological Diversity recently released a new video to get that conversation going -- a thumbnail introduction to the issues of runaway population growth, overconsumption and their impact on wildlife. Now it's your turn to help spread the word.

Watch the video and share it on Facebook.

Endangered Species Condoms Get Wild on Valentine's Day

Leatherback sea turtle Endangered Species CondomsThis Valentine's Day was all about sharing the love with wildlife. The Center started by sending 4,000 Endangered Species Condoms to some of the most romantic spots in North America. From Bar Harbor, Maine to Santa Fe, N.M., our volunteers gave away condoms in cities that topped USA TODAY's list of romantic getaways, attracting attention from media outlets across the country to spread their message of love, human population growth and endangered species.

We also offered a set of four unique e-valentines with an entertaining -- but meaningful -- population-and-wildlife twist. Thousands of people emailed the "endangered love" e-cards to their loved ones, and the images were shared widely on social media, including by our favorite wildlife-loving vampire, Kristin Bauer, who plays Pam on HBO's True Blood. If you didn't get a chance to share an e-card last week, it's not too late.

Read my blog in The Huffington Post on 5 Reasons Condoms Are Better Than Chocolate for Valentine's Day.

Drought Brings Lessons in Consumption, Population Pressure

Parched landscapeSevere drought, limited supply and growing thirsts are turning water management in California and Las Vegas into the Wild West of water grabs. In California, where Gov. Jerry Brown recently declared an emergency and talk is turning to tightening water supplies around the state, the agribusiness moguls who control the vast Kern Water Bank near Bakersfield have plenty of water for pomegranates, almonds and pistachios. In Vegas, water managers are pursuing a $15 billion proposal to siphon water from the deserts of eastern Nevada to help fuel development in the Las Vegas Valley.

These situations have a lot in common. Besides the obvious of taking water from the public for private interests, dwindling water resources are bad news for wildlife and habitat. The combination of a warming climate and the pressure of too many people demanding too much water promises to make these struggles an ongoing challenge. Luckily, there's one more thing the California and Las Vegas water grabs have in common: The Center for Biological Diversity is stepping in to make sure wildlife and the public don't go thirsty by taking the debate over who should control water supplies to court.

Learn about the Center's lawsuit to stop the Las Vegas water grab and watch CBS News coverage of the Kern Water Bank lawsuit.

Alan Weisman to Talk Population at Environmental Law Conference

Countdown by Alan WeismanHuman population growth and overconsumption are at the root of our most pressing environmental issues, yet the need to address the population-growth problem is often left out of environmental and conservation advocacy. That's why I'm bringing the conversation to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Ore., next week.

On Friday, Feb. 28, I'll be presenting a panel with our population and sustainability organizer Taralynn Reynolds and bestselling author Alan Weisman. You may recall that I sat down with Alan in the fall to talk about his latest book. Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? tells the story of Weisman's travels around the globe to find answers to the questions of how many people our planet can healthily support and what the dangers are of not protecting other species.

He'll have a book signing at the conference, and the Center will have a table for handing out Endangered Species Condoms and the latest information about our work to save wildlife.

Get details on the event. Then watch the video of my conversation with Alan Weisman.

Survey Results: What's on Our Plate?

VegetablesThanks to the thousands of you who took our survey to give us insight into how you think about food -- especially meat consumption, meat production and the environment. The results are in: Our supporters overwhelmingly agree that Americans eat too much meat and that environmental groups like the Center should do something about it.

We listened. In the coming weeks, we'll be using your feedback and research on the impact of meat consumption on the environment, wildlife and the climate to launch a new campaign encouraging people to "Take Extinction Off Your Plate" by reducing meat intake. Many of you have recently reduced, or thought about reducing, your meat consumption. As part of our new campaign, we'll not only provide information on why reducing meat consumption matters, but also a pledge you can take to join the movement for an Earth-friendly diet and resources to help you do it.

Stay tuned.

Until next time,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director

P.S. For more population and sustainability news, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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Photo credits: original wolf image courtesy Flickr/Sander van der Wel; population video screenshot; leatherback sea turtle Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Flickr/AIDS/SIDA NB; parched landscape courtesy Flickr/William Warby; Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? cover courtesy Little, Brown and Company; vegetables courtesy Flickr/computix.