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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keeping an Watch on the World

Since 1974 the Worldwatch Institute has been watching the world for us, perhaps most famously with its annual State of the World publication. Under the initial direction of Lester Brown and more recently Robert Engelman, the Institute has played an important role in keeping the public aware of our intimate but still tenuous relationship with the natural world around us. Recently they have developed a new blog that, similar to their other efforts, is very innovative, useful and readable, and is called Nourishing the Planet.
The Nourishing the Planet project assesses the state of agricultural innovations—from cropping methods to irrigation technology to agricultural policy—with an emphasis on sustainability, diversity, and ecosystem health, as well as productivity. The project aims to both inform global efforts to eradicate hunger and raise the profile of these efforts. The project also considers the institutional infrastructure needed by each of the approaches analyzed, suggesting what sort of companion investments are likely to determine success—from local seed banks to processing facilities, from pro-poor value chains to marketing bureaus.
This gets down to the nitty-gritty issue that we humans have been dealing with forever, and which made Malthus famous--Can we sustainably feed ourselves not just at a subsistence level, but at a level that promotes health and longevity? 

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