Press Release
October 2, 2000


World Population Awareness Week
Green Umbrella Walk

October 25, 11:30am –Capitol Park
Sacramento, California

On July 14th, Governor Gray Davis signed a proclamation declaring the week of October 22-28, 2000 as World Population Awareness Week (WPAW) in California. WPAW is an intense educational campaign designed to create public awareness about the trends in world population growth, the detrimental effects they have on our planet and its inhabitants, and the urgent need for action in order to change this situation.

In Bangladesh, the Green Umbrella is the symbol of a successful health care and voluntary family planning campaign. Bangladesh is a very impoverished country with a high illiteracy rate and many malnourished people. Bangladesh's growing numbers of people have placed increasing demands on agriculture and natural resources in that land. Family planning efforts have helped.

In observance of WPAW, we will be carrying up to 150 Green Umbrellas - English language version – in a noontime walk around town, strolling past the State Capitol, City Hall, and the County Board of Supervisors, and handing out brochures. We hope to create awareness for the need for worldwide family planning. Population-concerned volunteers in the area are encouraged to join us. If it rains, we will be prepared!

The Green Umbrella idea has spread and over 400 green umbrellas are now in California, Georgia, Texas, Washington DC, New York and Boston.

"It's not because people started breeding like rabbits. It's that they stopped dying like flies." Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute

About World Population

Only in recent history has humankind discovered the means with which to increase the average human life span and reduce infant mortality rate: sanitation practices and modern medicines.

With these improvements, we have multiplied our numbers faster than ever before, going from 1 billion to 2 billion in only 123 years, such a brief moment in human history. As is the nature of unchecked growth, the momentum accelerated and the world went from 5 billion people to 6 billion in only 12 short years. The balance of nature has been drastically upset and the environment is already paying the price. The good news is that mankind has made another discovery, this one to check birth rates: modern contraceptives. This, coupled with the desire to have fewer children, (since now so many children are living beyond infancy) has led to a decline in birth rates, starting in the 1960s. Abstinence, delaying of marriage, education, contraceptives, empowerment of women, and the funding of family planning and reproductive health the world over will alleviate the population momentum that will result from 2 billion young people entering their child-bearing years.

The world's population quadrupled in the 20th century to the current 6 BILLION people.

The world is growing in population by the equivalent of one USA every four years. The USA is growing by one Connecticut every year and by one California every decade.

California is growing at 1-1/2% a year, or, at the current rate, will double in 40-50 years.

Reasons Why Population Matters

  1. Worsening water scarcity stems in large part from increases in human demand. Water tables are dropping world wide.
  2. Pollution in cities is the number one killer of young children because of respiratory diseases. Cities are growing at an alarming rate.
  3. Worldwide, 800 million people are malnourished, and the number could grow significantly. Farming lands are suffering from soil erosion and desertification.
  4. The poor are getting poorer due to competition for resources while governments are strained to keep up with them and economies fail.
  5. The world's oceans are overfished and the coral reefs are dying.
  6. Humanity is rapidly changing the earth's atmosphere and thus its climate.
  7. Wild habitats that shelter endangered plants and animals are giving way to human activities and needs.
  8. Disease knows no borders, and crowding helps spread disease, and lack of education in reproductive health is a factor in the recent upsurge of infectious disease.
  9. Migration pressures are aggravated by rapid population growth.
  10. Civil conflict often emerges in societies where rapid population growth combines with environmental scarcity to undermine governments.

For more information,
visit www.green-umbrella.net
or email: gaia@calweb.com
or write:
World Population Awareness
P.O. Box 1541
Rancho Cordova CA 95741