The Earth is Full?

From the Washington Post:
Myth #4: We're paving over America.

How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That's the Census Bureau's figure. And even much of that is not exactly crowded: The bureau says that an area is "developed" when it has 30 or more people per square mile.

But most people do live in developed areas, so it's easy to get the impression that humans have trampled nature. One need only take a cross-country flight and look down, however, to realize that our nation is mostly open space. And there are signs that Mother Nature is gaining ground. After furious tree chopping during America's early years, forests have made a comeback. The U.S. Forest Service notes that the "total area of forests has been fairly stable since about 1920." Agricultural innovations have a lot to do with this. Farmers can raise more on less land.

Yes, American houses are getting bigger. From 1970 to 2000, the average size ballooned from 1,500 square feet to 2,260. But this hardly means we're gobbling up ever more land. U.S. homeowners are using land more efficiently. Between 1970 and 2000, the average lot size shrank from 14,000 square feet to 10,000.

In truth, housing in this country takes up less space than most people realize. If the nation were divided into four-person households and each household had an acre, everyone would fit in an area half the size of Texas. The United States is not coming anywhere close to becoming an "Asphalt Nation," to use the title of a book by Jane Holtz Kay.


FDA Considering New Standards For Birth Control

The Associated Press reports:
In briefing documents, the FDA says newer contra-ceptives have been less effective -- at times, with twice the failure rate -- than previous products, most likely because manufacturers have started using lower doses of hormones that stop ovulation."

Preventing ovulation is only one phase of hormonal birth control. Does this mean that the other two phases are being relied upon more? Evidence presented in previous discussions here on L&C would suggest so. The third phase is abortion due to thinned uterine lining preventing implantation. If ovulation is not prevented as successfully, more abortions must occur because the [reportedly lower] doses of hormones in today's formulations are still shown to thin the uterine lining enough to prevent implantation in most cases.

In addition, "Companies often exclude women who smoke, are overweight or have a history of heart problems from their trials." This leaves us to wonder how accurate even the studies are at overall performance of hormonal "contraception."


Children of Men

Click here or on the picture at the left to view the trailer for this thought provoking movie my wife and I saw last night. And here is an interview with the actors and a short consideration of the actual possibility of the total infertility theme. If you're not going to see the movie, here's a 10 minute spoiler preview. Remember, this is R-rated.