Demographers such as David Carr-Lopez have written extensively about the threats to the Guatemalan rain forest from peasants who move onto reserved land and cut down trees to sustain their own families. Now comes a much larger threat, according to the New York Times, which reports that Mexico-based drug barons have taken over large chunks of reserved rain forest and are chopping down trees in order to create large cattle ranches. The government is struggling to force them out. Richard D. Hansen is an Idaho State University archaeologist who is leading the excavation of the earliest and largest Mayan city-state, El Mirador, in the northern tip of the reserve. He reminds us that the risks of not protecting the region are obvious in every stone unearthed. The Maya, he said, "largely sealed their fate through deforestation and erosion.The Maya destroyed their environment. They cut down their jungle and it ruined them forever. And we’re doing the same thing today.”
This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.
If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org