Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 09:19:28 -0700
Reply-To: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Sender: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Jim Miller <jim_miller@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: Re: People and loss of habitat
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As per John Cramer's message (below):
While the population may not be ballooning as it once was, continued demand
for space and the consumption of natural resources will not slow down any
time soon. New home sales and land development are skyrocketing,
particularly in areas of the greatest concern, which is in coastal areas.
While people seemed to be interested in more fuel-efficient cars for quite
a while, that trend is reversing. More sport utility vehicles, small trucks
and mini-vans are being sold than compact cars. Gas mileage figures for
these vehicles is much higher than the goal we once had a decade ago of 50
mpg. People are looking for comfort and space. In other areas of the world,
incomes are actually on the rise, meaning families will not stay together
as a unit as was once the case because of limited expenses; this creates a
demand for more space for more housing. Rain forest destruction, while
slowing somewhat in some areas, has not stopped, and rain forests are not
making a comeback in places where the land has already been decimated.
Runoff from deforested areas is a major factor in declining water quality.
I could go on and on. but I won't. I think it's good that we have some
light at the end of the tunnel, but most of us will not see any benefit
from these population projections in our lifetimes, I'm sad to say. I am
not, by nature, a pessimist, however it is clear that environmental
concerns - which at one point was at the top of most people's lists of
issues they wanted addressed - are not nearly as important to most people
at this time. The economy, crime, and health care are now our major
This is getting off topic now, so I'll shut up (I'm sure you have had
enough doom and gloom from me for the day).
Thanks for letting me express my views and concerns (and don't kill the
>Andrew wonders how long habitat will remain for our beloved mollusks and it
>is good that we worry. But all is not lost. I am beginning to pick up
>signals from demographers that counter this pessimism. Recently I
>encoutered the statement that the human population will never again double.
>All human populations are aging and birth rates have fallen alarmingly. The
>US rate is now 1.98, well below the 2.1 need to maintain population size and
>the same is basically true for Europe. Asian and African rates are falling
>and death rates from HIV are serious problems. Long term population may be