Poverty and population growth

The Prince of Wales, in addressing the World Commission on Environment and Development on 22 April 1992, spoke as follows:7

I do not want to add to the controversy over cause and effect with respect to the Third World's problems. Suffice it to say that I don't, in all logic, see how any society can improve its lot when population growth regularly exceeds economic growth. The factors which will reduce population growth are, by now, easily identified: a standard of health care that makes family planning viable, increased female literacy, reduced infant mortality and access to clean water. Achieving them, of course, is more difficult - but perhaps two simple truths need to be writ large over the portals of every international gathering about the environment: we will not slow the birth rate until we address poverty. And we will not protect the environment until we address the issue of poverty and population growth in the same breath.

Further, over 80% of resources are consumed by 20% of the world's population and to propagate modern Western patterns of consumption into the developing world is just not realistic. An important component of sustainable development, therefore, is sustainable consumption8 of all resources.

The fourth issue is that of global security. Our traditional understanding of security is based on the concept of the sovereign state with secure borders against the outside world. But communications, industry and commerce increasingly ignore state borders, and problems like that of global warming and the other global issues we have mentioned transcend national boundaries. Security therefore also needs to take on more of a global dimension.

The impacts of climate change will pose a threat to security. One of the most recent wars has been fought over oil. It has been suggested that wars of the future could be fought over water.9 The threat of confl ict must be greater if nations lose scarce water supplies or the means of livelihood as a result of climate change. A dangerous level of tension could easily arise, with large numbers of environmental refugees as projected in Chapter 7. As has been pointed out by Admiral Sir Julian Oswald,10 who has been deeply concerned with British defence policy, a broader strategy regarding security needs to be developed which considers inter alia environmental threats as possible sources of conflict. In addressing the appropriate action to combat such threats, it may be better overall and more cost-effective in security terms to allocate resources to the removal or the alleviation of the environmental threat rather than to military or other measures to deal head-on with the security problem itself.

Consumption of resources for material goods contributes to global warming. Pollution is a side issue of our consumption.
Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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