LRU News

“Seven Billion and Growing,” LR to host population and environmental expert

Wed Oct 16 2013

We hear words like million and billion thrown around all the time—so often that we think we know what those words look like whether we really do or not. It should come as no great shock to hear that there are 7 billion people on the planet. Let’s take just a minute to picture that number.

It would take 200 years to count to 7 billion out loud. If you took 7 billion steps in one direction it would take you around the world about 133 times.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is hosting an expert on the global population and its impact. John Seager, the President and CEO of Population Connection is delivering a presentation called “Seven Billion and Growing: World Population, the Environment, and Social Equity,” on Oct. 29 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the PE Monroe Auditorium on the LR campus.

The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Seager will identify some of the impact that population growth has on human life and the environment. Trying to support and feed 7 billion people intensifies water and food shortages and wreaks havoc on ecosystems through overfishing, deforestation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. Seager will explain that natural systems are necessary to our survival and are being swiftly and severely disrupted. For example, in the Philippines less than 10 percent of the original islands’ vegetation has survived that country’s rapid population growth.

Social problems are intensified by rapid population growth as well. It is very difficult for families to climb out of poverty when couples begin childbearing early and have more children than they can afford to educate. In Angola, women with no education have 7.8 children on average, compared with 2.5 children for women with at least some secondary education. And high fertility rates increase a woman’s risk of pregnancy-related health complications, or even death. Every year, some 350,000 women die-almost 1,000 per day-due to causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Seager’s talk will give an overview of root causes, impacts and ways to meet the population challenge. He will illustrate the intersections between population stabilization, the environment, social equity and women’s empowerment.

Source: National Geographic

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