2011 was a momentous year for environment-population-security connections. Youth demographics came into the media spotlight with popular uprisings across the Middle East, we reached seven billion people on Earth, and there was new awareness about the importance of natural resource management in a more connected-than-ever world. Here are the most popular stories of 2011 on New Security Beat
, measured by unique pageviews:
1. Tunisia’s Shot at Democracy: What Demographics and Recent History Tell Us
Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” kicked-off the Arab Spring, but what are the country’s chances at achieving democracy? Demographer Richard Cincotta compares historical data on the relationship between age structure and democratic governments to find out.
2. In Search of a New Security Narrative: The National Conversation Series Launches at the Wilson Center
Captain Wayne Porter (USN) and Colonel Mark Mykleby (USMC) argued the United States needs a new national strategic narrative and presented their vision at the Wilson Center, saying that America needs to move away from a model of containment, deterrence, and control towards a “strategy of sustainability.”
3. Quantifying the Integration of Population, Health, and Environment in Development: When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
An article in Environmental Conservation broke new ground by presenting rigorous research that shows working across development sectors produces synergies not obtainable by any one of the disciplines alone.
4. How Did We Arrive at 7 Billion – and Where Do We Go From Here?
Demographer Elizabeth Leahy Madsen explained how world population reached seven billion this year, its significance, and where our demographic path might take us from here.
5. In the Rush for Land, Is it All About the Water?
With staple food prices shooting up and food security projected to worsen in the decades ahead, it is little wonder that countries are looking abroad to secure future resources. But the question arises: Are these “land grabs” really about the food – or, more accurately, are they “water grabs”?
6. Jon Foley: How to Feed Nine Billion and Keep the Planet Too
ECSP reports on Jon Foley’s presentation about the challenges to global food security as well as a strategy for overcoming them at South by Southwest’s inaugural eco conference.
7. Peter Gleick: Population Dynamics Key to Sustainable Water Solutions
Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute explains in an interview with ECSP what role population dynamics play in his assessment of “peak water.”
8. Guest Contributor Jim Duncan: Redrawing the Map of the World’s International River Basins
Following on his presentation at the Wilson Center, water expert Jim Duncan outlined updates made to the Transboundary Freshwater Spatial Database, including the addition of 13 new basins covering 501,000 km2 and an estimated 13.8 million inhabitants.
9. Ten Billion: UN Updates Population Projections
The UN released an update to its biannual estimates for world population, extending projections for the first time to the end of the century. The results show that growth is likely to continue longer and total numbers will be higher than previously thought.
10. PRB’s Population Data Sheet 2011: The Demographic Divide
ECSP examined the Population Reference Bureau’s latest data sheet which shows an unprecedentedly stark divide between demographic trends in rich and poor countries.
Thanks for reading New Security Beat and also for your many constructive comments. We redesigned the blog in 2011 and plan to continue that modernization effort this year, all with the aim of better reaching you, so we’re grateful for your attention, feedback, and contributions.
Image Credit: Adapted from “Viva the Tunisian Revolution,” courtesy of flickr user freestylee (Michael Thompson).