Institute for Population Studies  |   Berkeley, CA  |   (510) 848-9062  |   info@howmany.org
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Population growth intensifies environmental and social problems, from hunger, species extinction, carbon emissions and water shortages, to traffic and overcrowding. We can help solve all this by increasing access to low-cost contraception, supporting women's rights, and increasing environmental awareness. With these tools, people everywhere can determine the best population size for their family, their region and for the world.
Upcoming Events:
Sept. 14: Solano Stroll - Check out our booth at the annual Berkeley/Albany street fair (location: Curtis St. at Solano).
Sept. 21: People's Climate March and global day of action on climate change.
Oct. 18: Bioneers Conference - Come to our workshop! "Is Earth Full? Holistic Population Solutions in a Growing World."

Effects of Overpopulation
Resource shortages, wars and social conflict, limits on personal freedom, overcrowding, and the health and survival of other species ...read more...
The Big Picture
Our growing population is the root cause of many of today's unprecedented environmental and social stresses. The solutions are easy and positive. All we need is the political willl to act ...read more...
Why Population is Taboo
In the 60's and 70's, there was worldwide dialogue about the impact of population growth on the environment. Since then, population has doubled, but almost no one is talking about it. A perfect storm of fears and concerns has made this the Population Taboo ...learn more...
deepwater coral in Gulf
A deepwater coral reef in the Gulf of Mexico. At 1,300 ft. deep, three of these reefs were threatened by the oil spill. Our population size & consumption patterns tempt us to take risks ...read more...
"Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victim." - Martin Luther King Jr.
The P.H.E. Approach
"Linking Population, Health, and the Environment" by Suzanne York - These groups work to stabilize growth, empower women and communities, and protect the environment. read more...
People's Rights,
Planet's Rights
A holistic approach to a sustainable population, by Suzanne York. Understanding population in terms of rights – for women, youth & nature – plus a fresh view on the economy, will help us achieve a better future. read more...
6 degrees of Population
Visit our blog, 6 degrees of Population, for news and commentary about women's rights, population and the environment.
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New Spanish Translations
New Spanish translations

We believe every community has a right to the resources and information that will empower them to make the best choice for themselves, their children, and the planet

La Visión Panorámica de la Situación

Quiénes Somos

A Million for a Billion !
We need 1 million people to tell Congress that access to contraceptives & reproductive health care is an Essential Right ...Sign Petition...
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Classic News & Articles    [old Archive]

The Earth is Full June, 2011 - Thomas Friedman - The title says it all. Maybe now that Friedman has broken the ice, a few others can also say that the Emperor (of endless, thoughless growth) has no clothes! [original] [comments]

Ruling on Contraception Insurance
January 29, 2012 - Obama admin. finalizes ruling that insurance companies cover contraception without a broad religious exemption. Half of pregnancies in U.S. are unintended. [New York Times] [archive]

Resisting Dickensian Gloom by Tony Recsei. Forced high density policies don't reduce our carbon footprint or energy use. This is a very well researched article summarizing many studies. It was posted on a "smart growth" blog and many people have commented. Facinating reading. [article] [archive]

Smart Growth: The Worst Kind of Sprawl? Studies find that urban construction is no better for the environment than the suburban. People have pretty much the same global footprint either way. Transportation is a small part of it, and is offset by extra resources to build high rises. [article] [archive]

Tikopia: Living within Limits Feb, 2011 - The history of the Pacific island Tikopia shows that when humans are confronted with obvious limits to our resources, we are smart enough to constrain our population and enjoy comfortable, prosperous lives. [article] [archive]

Overpopulation at its worst? In the Congo's capital, parents only feed their children every other day. Demand U.S. contribute to U.N. contraceptive program! - Jan 10, 2012 [article] [comment]

Japan's economy stronger than USA's This is usually obfuscated by using total GDP to measure growth, but per-capita GDP is stronger in Japan. - Jan 3, 2012 [article] [comment]

Conjectures on Human Growth Limits, Jan 2004 - Ross McCluney's classic survey of ways to address the question of the best population size for our Planet. Hint: it depends on how we want to live... [archive]

300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds, Jan 2011 - Great(!) video on the history and effects of humanity's use of fossil fuels. As supplies dwindle relative to our population, what will we do? [short video]

The Critics Deconstructed Intersting article about the attacks against population activists, and the need for population awareness [article]

U.N.Predicts 10.1 billion people by 2100 May - This article corrects some common mis-perceptions about population. It is growing rapidly, but can be slowed by easy access to contraception, better education for women, and changing social norms. [article] [archive]

Mother: Caring our Way out of the Population Dilemma, Jan 2011 - The film follows Beth, an American mother who comes from a Catholic family of 12 and has adopted an African-born daughter as she travels to Ethiopia where she meets Zinet, the oldest daughter of a desperately poor family of 12. Zinet has found the courage to break free from thousand-year-old-cultural barriers, and their encounter will change Beth forever. [trailer] [archive]

The Moral Right to Set Limits, Dec - It seems right for us each to protect the positive qualities of our own region, the only place where we have even a modicum of the political ability to do so. But there is always a nagging question about that... [article]

Opposition to Power Line at Fjord Runs Deep, Nov 11 - A beautiful place. Why run a high-tension power line with 125 foot towers through the middle of it? Another toll of increasing population. [article] [archive]

Top 50 Birth Control Blogs. Sept 2010. Grouped by Educational, Methods, Population Issues, Reproductive Rights, Religious, Ethnic & Local issues. [article] [archive]

Nobody Ever Dies of Overpopulation, Garret Hardin
or do they? Much of the Pakistani land which flooded in 2010 is floodplain which was marshland that was only settled in the last 30 years... [article] [archive]

How many People can live on Planet Earth Sept, 2010
Sir David Attenborough asks this question in this fascinating video (YouTube).

The Last Taboo What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives, environmentalists and scientists in a conspiracy of silence? Read The Last Taboo by Julia Whitty in the June 2010 issue of Mother Jones: "Who's to Blame for the Population Crisis?"

Climate Change:
Calling Planet Birth

Family size is the great unmentionable in the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles. Having 1 less child in the US would reduce carbon emissions 19 times more than all the E.P.A.'s recommended actions combined. - [article]

Drop in Birthrates in 2008 is Linked to Recession -Apr 2010
Population growth is not inevitable. When incentives favor postponing having children, many people do. [article]

Smart Growth? the smart alternative is No Growth
Although city planners are trained to call some patterns of growth 'smart', in many areas the only truely smart alternative is No Growth [article]

Parting the Waters - mid-East wars over Water Rights - March 31, 2010.
30 of the 37 Wars over Water in the past 60 years involve Israel and its neighbors. Fewer people living in these desert regions would leave more water per person. This should inform the population policies of all countries involved. [article]

A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice & The Environmental Challenge
Dec 23,2009 This new book compiled by Laurie Mazur discusses environmental issues as they affect equality, justice and sustainability. Regarding the UN's low and high estimates for World population in 2050 "if we take seriously the twin imperatives of sustainablilty and equity, it becomes clear that it would be easier to provide a good life - at less environmental cost - for 8 rather than almost 11 billion people." [Press Release]

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