Pope Francis needs to be praised for calling for an "ecological conversion" for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. "Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever," he writes.
"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonised," the Pope said. But, during his trip to the Philippines the Pope defended traditional Vatican teaching, which opposes artificial contraception. 
He said this after commenting that, "Progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights were increasingly being imposed by groups, institutions or nations there, often as a condition for development aid."
The Center for Biological Diversity has a very successful campaign linking human population growth to other species loss. They sell "Endangered species condoms." Their creative approach has now been independently recognised by, of all things, the American Advertising Federation. Good on them!
Our wildly popular Endangered Species Condoms are getting some additional love. This week we found out the colorfully packaged condoms, part of our campaign highlighting the connection between overpopulation and species extinction, won the American Advertising Federation's gold ADDY Award in Tucson in the "public service" category. In case you haven't seen them, the nifty condom packages feature illustrations of six different endangered species, along with catchy slogans like "Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle" and "Wear a jimmy hat, save the big cat." The Center handed out 350,0000 condoms last year and hopes to send more out soon to draw attention to this crucial issue. Through the empowerment of women, education of all people and universal access to birth control, we can curb our population to an ecologically safe level.
One of our CanDoBetter commenters, 'RichB', has highlighted the site Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. This is a visionary site! The movement seems to have gone to some considered endeavour to explore the issues. I like the question toward the bottom of the site:
'What will the world be like when our population starts getting smaller?'
As more globally-aware people begin to question the 20th Century 'growth-only' tenet, alternative ideals such a 'Low Population Planet', deserve to be considered and debated. But where to start?
One practical moral campaign that would immediately start curbing the out-of-control human birth explosion would be to lobby against the funding requests of charities supporting countries that have high birth rates. Now before readers jump to questionning the morality of this, this is not to stop funding emergency life support needs, but to make non-life-support funding conditional on recipient self-change.
These are some dominant charities in this field.
Originally published 22 January, 2010
I wish I could be sure that including what some may see as ‘coercive’ population policies to achieve global sustainability and avoid massive human catastrophes were unnecessary.
For many decades there has been a willful blindness in recognising that human population growth is one of the pre-eminent problems we face. A problem the US-based Population Media Center and other population activist groups are well aware off. A problem that is driving the astonishing growth of fossil fuel use and its depletion, climate warming, bio-diversity loss and species extinction, the growing shortage of fresh water to meet human needs - and as a consequence of these changes – the prospect that agriculture will be unable to produce enough food to feed us.
Together, these changes are the most important immediate challenge to humankind. The threat – still largely unrecognized - transcends all the other problems that transfix our policy makers, says Lindsey Grant, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment.
Most people are unaware that as recently as 1930 world population was barely two billion, not the 6.8 billion now. Almost never do the media portray reduction in human numbers as a beneficial step away from the impossibility of endless population growth.
A blogsite called "Catholic Dialogue" sounds so extreme in its condemnation of feminism, contraception and women's choice that you wonder if it's actually a joke. The blogsite warns people not to donate to Caritas Haiti because they support condoms, the celebration of Women's International Day and present a 'negative image of the Catholic Church'!
Please DO therefore consider donating to Caritas Haiti. Their site is here. And thanks, Catholic Dialogue, for telling us about them. They have survived the earthquake, I just learned, although their bank did not. They expect to post details of where to send help tomorrow.
Date: Sunday, February 08, 2009
Author: Anna Coren and Tim Schwarz
Dateline: Manila, the Philippines
Thanks to Bill Ryerson of the US Population Media Center for having advised me of this - JS
A debate is stirring in the predominantly Roman Catholic country of the Philippines: should the government provide contraceptives to the public?
More than 100 members of the House of Representatives have co-authored a bill that would allow government funds to be used to promote artificial contraceptives -- which is now prohibited in the Southeast Asian nation.
"The bill is not about religion. It is not about morality," said Edcel Lagman, a congressman. "It's about rights, health and sustainable human development."
Some one-third of the country's 90 million people live in poverty. The Asian Development Bank said that problem will persist until the country curbs its birth rate -- one of the highest in the world.
The nationwide Pulse Asia Poll found nearly two-thirds of people support the bill. But the Catholic Church is fiercely opposed, and is pressuring lawmakers to vote against it.
"As a nurse, I was in contact with the ill and the infirm. I knew something about the health and disease of bodies, but for a long time, I was baffled at the tremendous personal problems of life, of marriage, of living, and of just being. Here indeed was a challenge to “build beyond thyself.” Where was I to begin? I found the answer at every door. [...]
For these beliefs I was denounced, arrested, I was in and out of police courts and higher courts, and indictments hung over my life for several years. But nothing could alter my beliefs. Because I saw these as truths, I stubbornly stuck to my convictions."
See also: "Progress ideology, colonial racism, right to life and family planning"
Image source was http://www.nwhm.org/ProgressiveEra/birthcontrol.html