overpopulation

VIDEO: Pascal Costa's TEDxMeritAcademy Talk

In August, Merit Academy hosted TEDxMeritAcademy at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Pascal Costa was a featured speaker, and her TEDx Talk is embedded below.

How to stop overpopulation before we reach 10 billion people on Earth

Overpopulation is a huge problem. We have too many people, and because of our immense growth experienced in the last century, we are experiencing new problems. Because of overpopulation, we have recklessly produced dirty energy and destroyed fertile land to meet the needs of our ever-expanding population. Forests have been decimated in order to make room for farmland and to produce lumber. We have exploited natural resources such as soil, water minerals, oil, and coal because we have grown dependent on them. As a result of our growing numbers and exploitation of natural resources, we have caused the extinction of 130 mammal species, and have endangered 250 species. Today, about 1000 species are now threatened. Through overpopulation, we have increased pollution, consumption, and the deterioration of land. There’s a simple way to reduce the world’s population and I’ll share my idea with you.

About Pascal: Pascal Costa founded Preventing OverPopulation, a non-profit organization that educates child-bearing people about how their decisions to have children directly affect the world. She has presented her project at the Earth Day Santa Cruz festival and she was interviewed on Earth Watch Radio. Pascal recently graduated from high school and plans to continue to advocate for population control in college.

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker Pascal Costa

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Pascal Costa, one of our speakers!

“How to stop overpopulation before we reach 10 billion people on Earth”

Overpopulation is a huge problem. We have too many people, and because of our immense growth experienced in the last century, we are experiencing new problems. Because of overpopulation, we have recklessly produced dirty energy and destroyed fertile land to meet the needs of our ever-expanding population. Forests have been decimated in order to make room for farmland and to produce lumber. We have exploited natural resources such as soil, water minerals, oil, and coal because we have grown dependent on them. As a result of our growing numbers and exploitation of natural resources, we have caused the extinction of 130 mammal species, and have endangered 250 species. Today, about 1000 species are now threatened. Through overpopulation, we have increased pollution, consumption, and the deterioration of land. There’s a simple way to reduce the world’s population and I’ll share my idea with you.

About Pascal Costa:
Pascal Costa founded Preventing OverPopulation, a non-profit organization that educates child-bearing people about how their decisions to have children directly affect the world.  She has presented her project at the Earth Day Santa Cruz festival and she was interviewed on Earth Watch Radio. Pascal recently graduated from high school and plans to continue to advocate for population control in college.

Saving Water By Eating More Fruits and Veggies

Imagine India’s population growing to 1.6 BILLION by 2050?  Remember we’re currently at 7.5 billion worldwide, and if we reach 10 billion, we’re not going to have enough food and water for our civilization. Indians need to take drastic measures to reduce their population [HINT: Consider Pascal Costa’s Preventing OverPopulation project!] But if India isn’t ready to endorse a 2-child policy, the Thomson Reuters Foundation suggests that “they could save water and reduce planet-warming emissions if people added more vegetables and fruits like melon, oranges, and papaya to their diet while reducing wheat and poultry.”

Indians must cut their water usage by 33% to ensure that they’ll have enough water for their growing population.  By 2050, irrigation of crops will take more than 70% of the water in India unless they significantly reduce their population or change their diets to more veggies and fruit and less meat.

This is a wake-up call for all of us.  Just because we had a wet winter in Northern California doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet… 

Three's a Crowd!

After announcing her plan to address overpopulation on KSCO radio a few weeks ago, Pascal joined the Merit Academy environmental science projects booth at Earth Day Santa Cruz to do her first event. 

With her new message: THREE’S A CROWD!, Pascal is encouraging couples to have no more than 2 children.

The Climate marchers, UCSC students, and local Santa Cruz residents were 100% supportive. They signed her pledge list and promised to tell their families and friends to do the same.  Besides, who can afford to raise 3 children and take care of their parents, too?

With over SEVEN BILLION people on this planet, she plans to make sure we don’t hit TEN BILLION!

China's Ghost Cities

“Go West Young Man” (but it’s not the “west” you’re thinking of…)
 
When I first saw images of high-rise buildings with thousands of miles of roads in the middle of what looked like an arid desert in nowheresville China, it felt like eerie – even creepy – as I wondered why China would build huge cities that have no residents.  No people lived there.  That was in 2012 when urban planners of China’s Communist party decided to expand urbanization far in the western part of their nation. They called the Lanzhou New Area.
 
To build this metropolis, they leveled hundreds of mountains (the greatest mountain-moving project on earth) in an area infamous for contaminated air, water, and soil – hmm, what could possibly go wrong?  
 
The plan was to bring one million people to live, work, and prosper in a free-trade zone.  They built replicas of the Great Sphinx, the Parthenon, and even the Great Wall to lure tourists and would-be residents. They even put in an artificial lake.  This kind of reminds me of Las Vegas (building high-energy consumption resorts in the middle of the desert).  The Chinese government claims that the Lanzhou New Area will be able  to house 3.4 billion people.  Unfortunately, people aren’t flocking there, and these cities are now called “Ghost Cities.” A few people – mostly those who were forced to leave the villages that were wiped out when they developed the area – have moved into some of the buildings, but they complain that they don’t have jobs.  
 
My guess is that the Lanzhou New Area will become a bustling economic center in the future because of the rising population and choking pollution in the major cities in China (including the Lanzhou "Old Area" 40 miles south).  I wonder when people will make the move, and will they need to rebuild the infrastructure after buildings have been vacant for long periods of time? Check out this article for pictures of this "ghost city".

Check out ProjectMERIT Interviews on PlanetWatch (KSCO)

What fun it was for Logan and Pascal to share their projects on KSCO’s Planet Watch Show!

Joe Jordan and Rachel Goodman, the co-hosts of this progressive show that features exciting cutting-edge science and technology that can protect, and possibly save civilization and the planet, interviewed the students for over 30 minutes yesterday.

Both students have founded their own organizations that give individual people incentive to do their part to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere (Logan) and reduce our population on earth (Pascal).

Listen to an archive of the show here, or click here and then click the March 26, 2017 episode's "download" link to either download or play the file (different browsers will behave in different ways).

Please go to Logan’s website: www.WhenNotIf.org to pledge to reduce driving.

Please go to Pascal’s website: www.PopOverPop.com to pledge to have no more than 2 children!

They make it easy for you to do your part!

Live on KSCO Radio: My Students!

Tune into KSCO’s Planet Watch Show (1080 AM) on Sunday, March 26th!  Two of my students will be presenting their projects that can very well get everyday people to change their impact on this planet.  Logan will talk about his When, Not If organization and how YOU can help us prevent millions of lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.  Pascal will talk about how having just 2 children per couple can mitigate a host of problems by lowering our population with her project Preventing Overpopulation P.O.P.  My good friend Joe Jordan and Rachel Goodman are the hosts for Planet Watch.  It’s entertaining and fascinating!

If you miss the radio talk show or if you live out of the area, just go HERE.  Archives will be available on the same page after the show airs.

Can We Really Discriminate Against Ugly Food?

Ever notice the perfectly stacked apples and other fruit in the produce section of the grocery store has perfect fruit?  You’ll never find a misshapened apple or any miscolored veggies in the store.  Some stores even spray wax on apples, peppers, and other fruit to make them shiny. Until I planted a fruit orchard 7 years ago, I assumed that fruit generally grew in these perfect shapes.  I remember when I grew my first “weird” carrot in my garden that looked like twins because it had 2 carrots that grew out of one top.  I thought that to be an anomaly – something I should photograph and send off to friends for some oohs and awes.

After the advent of the assembly line when industries became streamlined, we became removed from basic things like growing our own food. We came to expect to buy perfect strawberries and unblemished tomatoes.  With 2 working parents in the home, nobody had time to start gardens when you could pick up veggies at the corner store.  Then marketing made perfect fruit and veggies expected by consumers.  

Growing up in a city and living on the beach in Malibu where we had 2’ by 4’ of dirt next to our carport – seriously – we obviously didn’t have a veggie garden.  My mother planted tomatoes in big pots on her deck but that was it. In college, I remember how I didn’t know how strawberries grew: did they grow on bushes, vines, or trees? I know that’s embarrassing to admit now, and that’s why when I had children, we picked strawberries at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville every year until they went off to college.  I was determined that they would know where their produce came from.

While this may sound like an extreme case of ignorance, the concept of expecting perfect fruit is not. Europe has started a movement to stop food waste by getting farmers to sell “ugly” food at a discount rather than to landfill them. After all, most produce that we eat is chopped and mixed with other ingredients so their colors or shapes really don’t have anything to do with the quality of the food. Getting food manufacturing companies and grocery stores to purchase this ugly produce will offer savings to consumers and more profits for manufacturers.

America is beginning to recognize this potential market for huge profits while preventing food waste.  I’ll be blogging about other ways to prevent food waste in future blogs. 

Teen Has a Plan to Prevent Overpopulation

Today's Guest Blogger is Pascal Costa, a high school student who is trying to change the world for the better. 

When I was 16, I decided to solve the biggest problem our world faces. Today our world contains so many people that we live alongside our own waste, as people wither away malnourished in underdeveloped countries, intelligent animals are abused to feed every mouth, and our climate deteriorates. Overpopulation is the most urgent problem we face; it aggravates every other issue people are trying to solve today, and ironically, it is one which receives little attention.

 
To alleviate the stress on our environment and solve overpopulation, I founded my nonprofit organization, Preventing Overpopulation (P.O.P.). P.O.P. will educate the public about overpopulation and encourage them to pledge to have two children or less, link up with existing networks providing sexual education, and through this supply an education on overpopulation. We need a voluntary two-child policy and better sex education; P.O.P. will implement just that.
 
Through researching climate change, pollution, factory farming, third world social conflicts, and GMOs, I realized all these problems share one cause: overpopulation. There are 7.5 billion people in the world who could stop our rapid growth if they understood what overpopulation caused, the financial burden of big families, and the environmental benefits of small families. My initial goal was to educate the public by creating a website that provided the information I had found, so that they would want to participate in a two-child policy. I animated a whiteboard video, with characters and cartoons about both climate change and the financial implications of big families, to better explain P.O.P. But, despite my best efforts, there was no initial support. No matter how I tried to explain what I was doing, people did not understand that P.O.P. aims to educate the family planning process, not dictate it. 
 
Social media became my soapbox as I continued to spread news about P.O.P., its progress, and how it could completely change our future. I reached out to organizations with similar missions and took P.O.P. to a global scale, calling Population Council, Expert in Family Planning, and Planned Parenthood. Much to my surprise, I was shut out. Both the head of public affairs and the events coordinator for the Planned Parenthood Bay Area refused to associate with P.O.P.; they did not want women’s free choice to be constricted by my organization.
 
Initially, I lost confidence, feeling I was overstepping. But, I realized that there was lack of understanding of urgency and of my own mission. If we continue to grow at our current rate, we have 35 years until we reach 10 billion people, a quantity our planet cannot sustain. But, we can cut our numbers by 1.5 billion in one decade, if everyone had two children and the death rate remained constant. Women and men all over the world need to understand not only this but also how three or four kids will financially affect them, how they will affect our planet, and therefore our future. 
 
We need people to know that each one of them has the potential to solve or slow the problems we all face. Despite Planned Parenthood’s initial reaction, I called president Cecile Richards to pitch my idea of blending P.O.P.’s information on overpopulation and family planning with Planned Parenthood’s current sex education curriculum. No will not be an answer, and I will persistently search for my open window.
 
Today P.O.P. has 33 pledges, and I have been invited to speak at a TEDx event as well as on KSCO radio in the spring. With your help, we can change our future, by saving our world for generations to come. P.O.P has made some progress, but it is still a young organization, in need of more support. You can do just that by joining the P.O.P. movement. Go to www.popoverpop.com and pledge, even if you already have kids, you can still help. We may be individuals of singular value, but we are capable of exponential effects. I will start a voluntary implementation of a two-child policy and will continue to discuss a more complete sex education curriculum with Planned Parenthood.
 
Overpopulation is a problem that still needs to be solved. Progress has been made but there’s still a ways to go; I look forward to the journey ahead.

My Student has a Plan to Prevent Overpopulation: P.O.P.

When you think about it, just about every major problem we’re facing today is caused because we have too many people on this planet.

That’s what Pascal found while she searched for viable projects to do.  After much research and contemplation, Pascal is proposing that every couple has just 2 (or less) kids.  We found it difficult to explain, so she created a cute whiteboard video with great illustrations to show the world why we need to reduce our population of 7 billion people before we hit 10 billion. 

Check out her website and whiteboard video at www.PopOverPop.com.  Then go to the PROMISE page and pledge to only have 2 (or less) children or share this with friends and family to get the message out. 

It’s really not okay to have more than 2 children because of the devastating impact it will have on our quality of life and the environment. Watch Pascal’s whiteboard video to see why you really can’t afford to have more than 2 kids anyway. 

She’s done a great job with this movement!

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