The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on July 5, 1999 · Page 9
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July 5, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 9

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Galveston, Texas
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Monday, July 5, 1999
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GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS MONDAY, JULY 5, 1999 A9 The 20th century: population explosion Population growth accelerated during most of this century and this year world population will reach six billion. Though the growth rate has started to slow, world population still rises by 78 million each year. That's like adding 1 .5 million people, or a city the size of Philadelphia, every week. Here is a look at world population growth, social trends and resource usage. World population One hundred years ago, 1.6 billion people lived 6n Earth. This year, world population wiil reach 6 billion. How fast it grows There has been more population growth since 1950 than the preceding 4 million years. Where people live How long they live More than half the world's In 1998, global lite expectancy population lives in Asia, with China reached a high of 66 years, a 48 and India accounting for nearly two of every five people on Earth. Estimates of world population years taken to reach billion markers Population by Region 140 years Reached in 1927 120 -so- 7 billion 6 North America percent increase from 1950. Women outlive men by nearly 5 years. World average life expectancy 70 years 60 ...__.^^_ "- __ _ ""<? E 50 40 How much they consume Use of oil, which accounts for 30 percent of world energy use, has increased more than seven times in the past 50 years. World oil usage 3.5 billion tons of oil equivalent How much they produce World grain production has almost tripled in the past five decades, but the amount of grain harvested per person has declined. World grain production 2.0 billion tons — 1,000 Kg How much farm land they have Grain area harvested per person has fallen in the world to half the 1950 level, but production has tripled during the same period. Grain harvested area per person 01900 '20 '40 60 80 2000 2 billion 3b . 4b 5b 6b 1950 '60 70 '80 '90 2000 1950 "60 70 '80 '90 '98 1950 '60 70 '80 '90 '98 Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Census Bureau; United Nations; WorldWatch Institute AP Century's growth leaves Earth crowded — and noisy The Associated Press Lester Brown, global watchdog, can cite enough looming catastrophes to spoil anyone's day: Water tables are falling, temperatures are rising, rain forests are shrinking. Gordon Hempton, professional "sound tracker," faces a simpler problem: It's getting awfully hard these days to find 15 minutes of peace and quiet. Each man, in his own way, is talking about the same thing. A lot more people live on the planet than ever before, and by and large we're a hungry, needy, noisy bunch. Of all the changes the 20th century has seen, none is more far-reaching than the explosion of human population — the one trend to which everybody contributes. One hundred years ago, 1.6 billion people lived on Earth. This year, world population will reach 6 billion. How to keep all those people alive without ravaging the planet is a question Brown addresses daily as president of the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research group based in Washington, D.C. Yet even he remains awed by humanity's talent for multiplication. "There has been more population growth since 1950 than during the preceding 4 million years," Brown says. While Brown's path to comprehension is paved with Big- Picture charts and graphs, Gordon Hempton has a more personal way of measuring how crowded the world has become. He listens. From his home in Port Angeles, Wash., Hempton treks to remote corners of the world with an expensive tape recorder in hand, seeking to capture nature's quiet symphony. Trouble is, few places remain where human noise doesn't intrude. In rural glades of the southeastern United States, Hempton has tried in vain to escape the low drone of "monster flutes" — the smokestacks of coal-fired electric plants dotting the landscape. In Wyoming, his quest for quiet has been interrupted by the rhythmic booming of oil-well pumps. Even in the Southwest's lonely deserts, he finds no peace. "If you listen in the middle of the night, the desert landscape is actually rumbling," he says. "A tremendous amount of sound is being pumped out from distant cities, highways, power transmission lines, industry and mining." Fifteen years ago, Hempton documented 21 spots in Washington state where he could reliably capture 15 minutes of nat- ural sounds uninterrupted by the likes of roaring jets, humming trucks and barking dogs. Now he finds only three. He mourns the loss. When we can't escape noise, our senses start shutting down and life is not as sweet, Hempton believes. And so, in his own quiet way, he reaches the crux of the population question: It's not whether 6 billion or 16 billion people can be crammed onto the planet. It's the quality of life those people enjoy, whatever their number. Hempton craves solitude. Others want gasoline for their cars and electricity for their computers. Millions would settle for a daily loaf of bread or bowl of rice. Can the globe support us all in the manner to which we are accustomed? Some perspective from the charts and graphs: • Population growth accelerated during most of this century. It took all of human history to reach a world population of 1 billion in 1804. It took 123 years to reach 2 billion in 1927, 33 years to reach 3 billion in 1960, 14 years to reach 4 billion in 1974, and 13 years to reach 5 billion in 1987. Adding the sixth billion, a milestone that United Nations demographers calculate will occur hi early October, will have taken just 12 years. Fourth Continued from Page Al Fire engines blared their sirens as children stood on sidewalks waving madly at decorated floats and antique cars that passed by. Of course, with each wave came a shower of candy from the floats' passengers. Cody and Keith Barton worked out a plan to collect as much of the candy as possible. Cody, 8, and Keith, 9, took turns to darting into the street, snatching poorly-aimed Jolly Ranchers and Tootsie Rolls, and then sprinting back to unload their handfuls onto their grandmother, Myrna White, before going back for more. "They like the way the floats look too," she said. "But they really like the candy." A Parade participants head down the Texas City Independence Day parade route on Sunday afternoon. Aside from the daytime entertainment, the city later had a fireworks display. (Photo By Nicole Fruge) Erosion Continued from Page Al year — are the area around Rollover Pass on the Bolivar Peninsula and the areas on Galveston Island near San Luis Pass and immediately west of the seawall. When Land Commissioner David Dewhurst visited with the Galveston park board last Windstorm month, he said reconstructing beaches would be the centerpiece of the plan. "He mentioned a number of times that day much of the plan is putting sand on the beach," Rocco said. Andrew Neblett, the land office's deputy commissioner for resource management, and Tbm Tagliabue of the office's inter- governmental relations department will speak at the hearing, and local officials have been invited, Rocco said. The floor will then be open to questions and comments from the public. The act goes into effect in September. By that time, land office officials want to have a plan in place. Continued from Page Al Galveston Island is subject to a stricter form of the code that also requires window coverings that can withstand pieces of lumber being hurled at them at 35 mph. Homes must meet the code to be insured under the state's windpool program, provided by insurance companies that Ho business in Texas. Dick said few companies provide similar coverage outside the pool and those that do often refer to the state code. Some local contractors contended the new rules would dramatically increase the price of new homes, and some of the new building materials were hard to find, Mark Hannah of the department's public information office said the new rules could make the difference between a home surviving a major storm. The state found the need for new rules in rubble of homes leveled by Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992. "They went in and found out the homes obliterated had followed no code, they were just thrown up," he said. • The growth rate has started to slow, but world population still rises by 78 million each year, the U.N. Population Division says. That's like adding 1.5 million people, or a city the size of Philadelphia, every week. • All those people consume a lot of resources. In 1900, only a few thousand barrels of oil were used each day worldwide. Today, humanity uses 72 million barrels a day, Worldwatch says. Use of metals has risen from 20 million tons a year to 1.2 billion tons, the group says. • On average, people have never been healthier or wealthier, but the gap between rich and poor remains wide. Half of all American adults are overweight, yet elsewhere more than 13,000 young children die every day of malnutrition and related illnesses, the World Health Organization says. Brown sees ozone depletion, global warming, overnshing and falling water tables as bills coming due from growth the Earth cannot sustain. He believes Americans and others living high on the hog should scale back their consumption to leave enough food and resources for others. World grain production hovers just under 2 billion tons a year, Brown notes. "With 2 billion tons of grain, you can feed 10 billion Indians," Brown says. "Or you can feed 5 billion Italians. Or you can feed 2.5 billion Americans. If we're all eating like Americans, we need another planet, basically." Some don't consider the cen- tury's near-quadrupling of population a problem. "We should celebrate it," says Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies for the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. "It's a product of improving human health, improving lifestyles and better nutrition. People are living longer." While others worry that too large a population will exhaust natural resources, Taylor says human ingenuity is the true resource — and that will only increase with more people around. Repairs Guaranteed Up To 4 Years! Docl Professor HEAT • 77MNE 'On Approval (409) 935-5300 TACLA OOQ537C (281)337-1153 Galveston County Business of the Year Award Galveston County Business of the Year 1999 The Galveston County Business Journal will present it's first annual awards on Thursday, July 29, 1999. The purpose of this presentation is to recognize Galveston County businesses who benefit our community through sound business practices, community involvement, economic impact, employee programs and overall business management. Eight Leadership Awards will be presented to the following communities: * Galveston * League City * Texas City * Friendswood * La Marque * Hitchcock/Santa Fe * Dickinson * Kemah/San Leon/Bacliff One overall county wide winner from the eight will be designated Galveston County Business of the Year. Each of the winners will be profiled in the August-Anniversary Edition of The Galveston County Business Journal. Each winner will be honored at a reception held at South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center on the evening of Thursday, July 29, 1999. Criteria to Participate * Anyone may submit nominations. Self nominations are encouraged. There are no entry fees. * Tell us in 300 words or less why your business nominee should receive The Galveston County Business of the Year Award. Include your name and phone number, along with the company name you are nominating. * Independent, privately held corporation, proprietorship or partnership. (Subsidiaries, divisions, holding companies, regulated banks, non-profit organizations, media related business and utilities are not eligible). * Business must be headquartered in Galveston County. * Five-year sales history with an increase from fiscal 1997 to 1998. Nominations are due Tuesday, July 6,1999. Fax completed nominations to: 409.744.7679 or mail to: 6AI.VtSTON f.Ol'NTV BUSINESS JOURNAL Galveston County Business of the Year Award P.O.Box 628 Galveston, TX 77553

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