Alicia,
   Thank you for this.  Taking the longer view is important.
    Also, when I taught Environmental Sociology, we had a shorthand for 
       POPULATION IMPACT:  

        **Size of country’s population x Average Resource Use= Impact on 
Environment.**

Of course you could refine this further by economic class or region of the 
country.
But the important point is that  *the extraordinary resource use (and waste) by 
the people of the wealthy nations is WAY out of proportion to our numbers*.

Regi

What good is a house if you don’t have a tolerable planet to put it in?  Henry 
David Thoreau

> On Sep 26, 2019, at 1:54 PM, Alicia <t...@ottcmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Decrease in children per family: In the 1970's, there were an average of 2.12 
> children per family, while from 2009-2018, the number had decreased to an 
> average of 1.88 and is holding steady there - a decrease of over 11% . (For 
> more info, check here.)  The percentage of single child families doubled from 
> 11% of all families in 1975 to 22% in 2016.  At this point, the birth rate 
> alone is considerably less than replacement rate and even with the increase 
> in longevity, the only reason the US population size is increasing is 
> immigration.  (That is a factual, not a political, statement - for the 
> record, I am not against immigration!)
> 
> When did the decline in bird population begin? The effect of human population 
> size and, particularly, habitat destruction and the changing chemistry of our 
> soil, air, and water, surely have taken a huge toll on birds.  But in at 
> least aspect of the new bird population study is misleading.  Its baseline is 
> 1970, about 50 years ago, but speaking as someone who was in high school then 
> and who learned from birders who were alive at the beginning of the 20th 
> century, it is clear that at least spring migration already was had suffered 
> a significant decline by 1970.  One very reliable birder I got to know was 
> born in 1905, and he assured me that by 1980, spring migration was a shadow 
> of what it had been in the 1920s & 30s in Tompkins County.  He wondered if 
> migratory routes had changed but said for whatever reason, there were only a 
> fraction of the warblers, vireos, orioles, and tanagers moving through the 
> area in the spring that there were 50 yrs before.  (This was a man who spent 
> pretty much every waking hour of his 93 years being outdoors birding, 
> fishing, or when he was younger hunting.)  Other people who had been around 
> birding in the 1930s before told me much the same.  
> 
> If you check accounts in Birds By Bent you'll find supporting evidence for 
> this in reports made at the time.  For example, a few years ago I had 25 Palm 
> Warblers in one group.  eBird was skeptical, but later when I checked Birds 
> by Bent, there were       several accounts of palm warbler flocks, including 
> one from Wm Brewster (co-founder of the American Ornithologists' Union), 
> writing from Massachusetts in 1906, who noted casually that in spring "one 
> may often meet up with fifteen or twenty in a single flock or forty or fifty 
> in the course of a morning walk."  I don't think any of us thinks of a walk 
> that yields 50 Palm Warbler as a migration event that 'often' happens now.
> 
> So as we think about this, we need to be careful not to assume that 1970 was 
> the beginning of the end, just because few of us around today remember even 
> more plentiful birds before that.  There is plenty of evidence that this 
> started much, much earlier, and as we look for causes and solutions, that 
> needs to be kept in mind.
> 
> Alicia
> 
> 
> 
>> On 9/26/2019 11:55 AM, Deb Grantham wrote:
>> You’re right about population – nobody wants to talk about that anymore.
>>  
>> I do the same with composting but also compost ALL of my food waste. I know 
>> the crows and raccoons and possums and so on help with that, but that’s ok 
>> with me.
>>  
>> Deb
>>  
>>  
>> From: Donna Lee Scott <d...@cornell.edu> 
>> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:54 AM
>> To: Deb Grantham <d...@cornell.edu>; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
>> <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
>> Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] How to help birds
>>  
>> Compost all you can; I save out most used paper towels and tissues and mix 
>> with my big compost pile leaves, grass, veg garbage etc.
>> Having a few small woodsy plots here, I also make “wildlife hut” piles with 
>> most my downed branches and tree/bush trimmings, rather than send it to the 
>> dump.
>> Town of Lansing on their ONE brush pickup service per year at least makes 
>> mulch out of all they pick up.
>>  
>> But the Other Big Elephant in the room is HUMAN OVERPOPULATION, which 
>> obviously is helping to cause a lot of climate change , habitat loss, rain 
>> forest destruction, etc.
>> A very complex issue for which probably only massive education world-wide 
>> will help. Look at results of China’s previous efforts at “one child per 
>> couple”…
>> Back in the 1970s there was the Zero Population Growth book and publicity. 
>> Haven’t heard much about this lately.
>>  
>> Donna Scott
>> Lansing
>>  
>> From: bounce-123960446-15001...@list.cornell.edu 
>> [mailto:bounce-123960446-15001...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Deb Grantham
>> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:42 AM
>> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
>> Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] How to help birds
>>  
>> For reducing impacts of ag, don’t waste food. A very high percentage of food 
>> in the US is wasted – spoils or people won’t eat the produce with spots, etc.
>>  
>> Deb
>>  
>>  
>> From: bounce-123958613-83565...@list.cornell.edu 
>> <bounce-123958613-83565...@list.cornell.edu> On Behalf Of Dave Nutter
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 10:36 PM
>> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
>> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] How to help birds
>>  
>> The Lab of O recently released a report saying the world’s wild bird 
>> population has dropped an alarming 29% in the last five decades. I also 
>> received a list from the Lab of O about how we as individuals can help 
>> reduce the harm to birds. Suggestions include preventing window strikes, 
>> stopping cat predation, stopping pesticide use, planting native species 
>> instead of lawns, reducing plastic use and recycling plastic, and not 
>> consuming sun-grown coffee. I would add bananas and sugar to that list of 
>> tropical plantations which destroy habitat, and suggest generally eating 
>> locally. The list also talks about advocating policies in each of those 
>> areas.
>>  
>> 
>> Anyway, the suggestions are good, and I support them. Yet I think there’s an 
>> elephant in the room. An issue which was not mentioned is destroying coastal 
>> habitats, mountain habitats, and arctic habitats including sea ice. It is 
>> causing desertification. It is producing larger wildfires, including where 
>> plants and animals are not fire-adapted. It is destroying coral reefs which 
>> are nurseries for fish. It has already moved the ranges of fish and other 
>> aquatic bird food by hundreds of miles or affected their populations. It 
>> creates increasingly powerful storms which can devastate islands, as we have 
>> seen in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
>>  
>> 
>> The problem is climate change, and it is predicted to move the growing 
>> conditions for plants much faster than the plants can move and regrow, thus 
>> destroying habitats for birds at range-wide scales. And that’s before 
>> considering all the habitat destruction caused by humans trying to adapt, 
>> move, fight over resources, and create new farm land to replace the areas 
>> which are no longer usable.
>>  
>> 
>> So, I think fighting climate change should be on that list for helping birds 
>> (as well as helping many other creatures, including humans). And that means, 
>> among many other things, reducing our carbon footprints to limit the future 
>> damage. 
>> 
>> What is the carbon footprint of birding, and what would reducing it mean?
>> Not flying?
>>  
>> Using an electric car charged with renewable energy or at least a high mpg 
>> car?  (And even keeping renewable energy use at a moderate level, because 
>> photovoltaic & wind “farms” also displace habitat and harm birds.) 
>> Limiting miles driven? 
>> Car-pooling to go birding? 
>>  
>> Using discretion when deciding what trips to take? How many gallons of 
>> gasoline should be burned by people to see a little lost bird? Putting a 
>> limit on the area in which to chase rarities. Staying in a county or a basin 
>> rather than trying to personally cover a state, country, continent, or 
>> planet? Forego chasing rarities which have been seen before? 
>>  
>> More positively, how about concentrating birding on a small area and getting 
>> to know its birds well: places you can walk or bike to, places that are 
>> already along your daily commute. 
>>  
>> And for myself, I have greatly enjoyed the photographs of birds and 
>> descriptions of the birds’ activities which other people have contributed to 
>> their eBird reports. Rather than envy, I can share their joy without feeling 
>> I need to jump in a car to see (or miss) that bird myself.
>>  
>> Anyway, these are some issues I have been struggling with, and I wonder if 
>> other birders are also thinking about these things. Thanks.
>>  
>> - - Dave Nutter
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