Valorie M. Allen has spent the last 30 years working with environment and population groups. She was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Award in 1994, an event which helped her realize that all the hard work of millions of people trying to protect the environment and reduce human misery was for naught, for their efforts were being undermined by rampant population growth. In fact, the condition of the planet was in a worse state than when she had started her volunteer work decades before. The time had come to expose the myths and taboos holding us back from addressing humanity’s greatest failure.
In 2010 Ms. Allen was nominated for the Transformational Canadian Award for her dedicated work on the population issue. This award recognizes individuals who have the courage to stand up for a cause, have an inspiring and contagious vision, and have the drive to accomplish great things.
In 2011 the world population reached 7 billion, and continues to grow by 70 million every year. Are these numbers sustainable? This is the question Ms. Allen addressed as keynote speaker at the 6th Annual International Conference on Critical Public Issues held at Oxford England in July, 2013.
Ms. Allen’s award winning book, “Growing Pains – A Planet In Distress,” takes a look at where the human obsession with growth has come from, how it is destroying our planet, and what the solutions are. Overpopulation is an issue that will be remembered as the defining feature of our century.
“An informative, passionate treatise on the impact of population growth.”
– Kirkus Reviews
In her debut, Allen warns against overpopulation and exhausting the Earth’s ever-dwindling resources.
The author argues that although human beings crave nature, their arrogance and “anthropocentrism” has led to a depleted and unsustainable environment. She compares this human-centered view of ecology to the ancient theory that the Earth is the center of the universe. Like a modern-day Copernicus, the author seeks to challenge the “universal consciousness” of Earth’s “wise hominids.” She argues that mankind’s uncontrolled consumption produces waste, extinction and poverty, threatening not just the planet, but mankind’s very existence. Allen uses compelling facts and statistics while listing the numerous causes of humanity’s accelerated growth. For example, she contends that although “most religions” address family planning openly, some governments “coerce” mothers into parenthood. At the other extreme, she cites the striking decline in Iran’s birthrate, accomplished, she writes, through religious edicts. She discusses at length the Vatican’s stand against contraception and abortion and also reminds readers that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke presciently about family planning’s importance. Although she points out various efforts and partnerships that offer possible overpopulation solutions, some ideas may be more achievable than others. For example, the Ontario-based Sustainable Scale Project advocates the implementation of a “1.5 children per family policy” by 2100. The author covers the end of life, as well, including her thoughts on right-to-die issues. Allen’s well-argued book bravely tackles a subject that, as she notes, is “taboo” even among some environmentalists. That said, readers may find that she relies too often on quotations from others instead of offering her own ideas.
An informative, passionate treatise on the impact of population growth.
Pub Date: March 18, 2010
Page count: 356pp
Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Unexpected skill or talent
Public Speaking - featuring my POPULATION IN SYNC presentation - contact my website at www.populationinsync.net
Passion in life
Increasing public awareness about the population crisis and the many solutions available
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Green Book Festival in San Fransisco - Finalist, 2013
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Next Generation Indie Book Awards - New York - Silver Medal, 2011
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Nominated for Transformational Canadian Award, 2010
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Paris Book Festival in France - Honorable Mention, 2010
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Editor's Choice Award by iUniverse, 2010
GROWING PAINS - A PLANET IN DISTRESS: Paris Book Festival - Silver Medal, 2010
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