Tuesday, October 17, 2006


My first job after college was as the Resource Coordinator for the Population Institute. We're both still working hard to assure reproductive health and justice thirty years later.

The very first thing I professionally published was a fact sheet for P.I. called, "Population Synthesis 1976."

I pulled it out this morning when I heard that the U.S. Census Clock passed 300 million this morning at 7:46 am.

This is what I wrote in 1976:

"There are currently more than 215 million people living in the U.S., ten million more than in 1970. At current rates, there may be 262 million of us at the turn of the century -- and that does not include illegal immigrants. It could be argued that the U.S. presents the greatest population problem in the world...although Americans are only 5% of the world's population, we consume over one third of the earth's non-renewable resources and energy...some population experts believe that the average infant born in the U.S. today will impose as much as fifty times as great a burden on the world's environment and resources during its lifetime as the average infant born in India."

We don't hear much about the population problem today, do we? But surely it is still true that we live heavier on the earth than perhaps any other people in the world.

So as we celebrate this 300,000,000 milestone -- and send wishes to the babies born today -- may we remember that God calls us to good stewardship of the earth, and that we must continue to be mindful of the environment and over-consumption.

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