Friday, March 20, 2009

The population bomb keeps getting more powerful but naysayers continue to ignore itl

March 21, 1974
The new Population Bomb?
Professor Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and Professor at Imperial College in London has given a speech to the Sustainable Development UK conference calling for immediate action in addressing food, energy, and water concerns. He believes that these three human needs will culminate in a "perfect storm" capable of disrupting much of life as we know it. If we do not move to handle the increasing demands, growing population and increasing poverty will come to a head by 2030, causing a crisis which could result in conflict, political upheaval, and mass migration.

This call for action reminds me of Paul Ehrlich, who in 1968 wrote The Population Bomb " which he foresaw the end of life on earth by famine, plague, or thermonuclear destruction unless drastic measures were taken -- first and foremost, a halt to the spiraling population growth" according to the News Journal (March 31, 1970). Ehrlich's population bomb did not come to pass, and the world has more-or-less kept up food production in coordination with population growth. But Beddington's predictions are not as dire, and are backed by more solid facts. Will his foresight become fact?

2003: Invasion of Iraq
The Iraq War, still ongoing, began today with the invasion of Iraq by the United States backed by British, Australian, Polish, and Danish troops. “U.S. forces launched their long-awaited war against Saddam Hussein, targeting him personally with a barrage of cruise missiles and bombs as a prelude to invasion,” reported the Logansport Pharos-Tribune on March 20, 2003. “Iraq responded hours later, firing missiles today toward American troops positioned just across its border with Kuwait.”

Links to the Past
War Commences
Logansport Pharos-Tribune, March 20, 2003

U.S. forces unleash first salvos against Saddam
Daily Globe, March 20, 2003

1st missiles strike
Daily Herald, March 20, 2003

Logansport Pharos-Tribune
March 20, 2003

1988: Plane carries 8-year-old on kite
Eight-year-old DeAndra Anrig was flying her kite in a California park today when it was snagged by an airplane, lifting the young girl 10 feet off the ground and carrying her for more than 100 feet before she let go to avoid hitting a tree. "Little DeAndra Anrig was flying her kite when it suddenly started to fly her, her parents say," explained the Daily Herald on March 24, 1988. "She let go, but said she was still sore after two days' rest. The plane, meanwhile, is grounded because of damage apparently caused by getting tangled in the kite string."

Links to the Past
And Away She Went!
The Chronicle Telegram, March 23, 1988

What Goes Up…
The Post Standard, March 23, 1988

She Holds on to Kite String for a Wild Ride
Daily Herald, March 24, 1988

1976: Patty Hearst found guilty
Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst, was convicted today of taking part in a terrorist bank robbery conducted by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). "With their verdict, the jurors accepted the theory posed by many government witnesses that Miss. Hearst was a willing and eager bank robber, 'a rebel in search of a cause' – who identified fully with the terrorists who kidnapped her on Feb. 4, 1974," reported The Lincoln Star on March 21, 1976. NOTE: President Jimmy Carter later commuted her sentence and Hearst was released from prison in 1979. President Bill Clinton granted her an official pardon 22 years later.

Links to the Past
Patty Hearst Found Guilt of Holdup
Bucks County Courier Times, March 21, 1976

Continued: Patricia Hearst is Found Guilty

Jury Rejects Patty Hearst's Story
The Lincoln Star, March 21, 1976

Continued: Jury Finds Tania Portrait More Believable

Bucks County Courier Times
March 21, 1976

1966: World Cup is stolen
Soccer's top trophy, the World Cup, was stolen today while on display at Westminster Hall in London. "The trophy, a solid gold statuette of a winged figure insured for £30,000 ($90,000), went on exhibition Friday in connection with the World Cup finals in England in July. Raiders forced their way into the exhibition room in Central Hall, Westminster, shortly before noon," explained the Winnipeg Free Press on March 21, 1966. NOTE: Seven days after it was stolen, a dog discovered the trophy in a garden, wrapped in newspapers.

Links to the Past
Famous World Cup Stolen
Winnipeg Free Press, March 21, 1966

World Cup Caper
Winnipeg Free Press, March 22, 1966

Dog Finds World Cup in Garden
The Daily Intelligencer, March 28, 1966

1899: First woman is electrocuted
Today, Martha M. Place became the first woman to die in the electric chair. Place was sentenced to death after being found guilty of smothering her stepdaughter, Ida, to death. "Mrs. Martha Place was successfully electrocuted in the prison (Sing Sing) here at 11:01 a.m. today. It was pronounced the best execution that ever occurred here, and Dr. Harvey the prison physician, said death was instantaneous," informed The Marion Daily Star on March 20, 1899.

Links to the Past
"God Help Me," She Cried
The Mansfield News, March 20, 1899

The Marion Daily Star, March 20, 1899

Went Calmly to Her Death
The Portsmouth Herald, March 21, 1899

The Mansfield News
March 20, 1899

1852: Uncle Tom's Cabin is published
Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published today. The book quickly became a bestseller in the United States and England. "'Uncle Tom' is one of those led off to the far south, and then disposed of. Time passes, and he becomes a Christian, endures all manner of abuse and inhumanity, till finally the story closes with his death under the lash of a brutal overseer, or by his direction," reported the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel on June 2, 1852. NOTE: The novel, which focused on the life of a slave named Uncle Tom, made many of its readers re-think society's view of African–Americans and slavery.

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