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As part of its weeklong observance of Earth Day 2010, the Population Institute today unveiled its 40th Earth Day Population Quiz. The quiz, which is being disseminated to Capitol Hill and will be featured at an exhibit on the National Mall this week, highlights the challenges posed by population growth.
Robert Walker, Executive Vice President at the Population Institute, said, "This is not an Earth Day version of Trivial Pursuit. The questions highlight the enormous challenges posed by population growth, and what we must do if we are to avert massive species extinction and the worst effects of climate change. Polar bears are not the only species that may be threatened with extinction. Biologists warn that human activity by the end of the century could threaten the survival of up to half of all plant and animal species."
The quiz also asks questions related to population growth and food security. "Over the course of the next 40 years, world population is expected to expand by 2.5 billion people," Walker said. "Left unanswered is the question of how will we feed all these people. Experts indicate that farmers in the developing world will have to double their crop production by 2050. If so, they will have to overcome a multitude of obstacles, including rising energy prices, water scarcity, and the effects of climate change."
The population challenge, Walker noted, "highlights the urgent need to expand voluntary international family planning assistance. Research confirms that preventing unwanted pregnancies helps to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Family planning is a classic win-win. It not only promotes healthier families, it also promotes a healthier planet."
That's an Earth Day message that everyone should hear.