The Ghost Children of China Forty-five years ago, China inaugurated an era of population control, amid fears that too many people would bring catastrophe. In 1980, it officially announced a national one-child policy, forcibly limiting the size of families. But there have been, inevitably, second (and, rarely, third and fourth) children: children who go unrecognized by the government, have no official identity – who are left to live outside the institutions of regulated society. Little Jie is one of them. [more inside]
Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
In Praise of Leisure - "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via) [more inside]
"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment." Sir David Attenborough
Population to Reach 7 Billion This Week. As experts wait for the human population to reach 7 billion this week, some estimates claim even larger growth by the end of the century. One forthcoming United Nations report estimates that the number of humans on the planet may reach 15 billion -- more than double current levels, according to The Observer.
Commodity Prices and Paradigm Shifts - "The real paradigm shift, or more like a paradigm drift, because it is slowly enveloping us, is that we are moving toward preferences and lifestyle where we will simply consume less. A lot less... [more inside]
Hans Rosling, who helped usher in TED talks way back when using stunning visuals, envisions how the world will look in 50 years as global population grows to 9 billion. To check further population growth, which might have disastrous consequences, he exhorts us to raise the living standards of the poorest. [more inside]
Tomorrow morning at 7:46am, the US Population Clock will hit 300 million. As the world population continues to grow at a similar rate to ours, perhaps its time to start asking some questions. After all, if you can read this post, chances are you don't live in Africa, where "more than 2,500 children are dying each day," simply for lack of access to fresh drinking water. Its so easy not to worry about when you're not the 1 in 5 who can't get a clean drink. But there's lots of ways you can help.
Boom! A master planned community. Boom! A big-box mall! Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia. This article, by New York Times columnist David Brooks, takes a look at exploding suburbs and exurban migration. This migration is nothing new, author Joel Garreau wrote extensively about it in his 1991 book Edge Cities. The phenomonon really took off after World War II, during the period of post war prosperity, and is best represented by this famous postwar American suburb. A veritable army of "suburban sprawl critics" has emerged over the years including Jane Jacobs and James Howard Knunstler plus many others including some who are predicting the immenent demise of suburbs because of oil depletion. For Brooks the critics of suburbs "just regurgitate the same critiques decade after decade, regardless of the suburban reality flowering around them" but you can't dismiss what the architect Paolo Soleri says about American society that "we have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive."