May 11th, 2011 | Posted in Population Basics
by Carl Haub, senior visiting scholar
In a previous post, I showed a Time Magazine cover from January 1960 that featured the global population explosion with a line “That Population Explosion,” implying that people were already well aware of the issue at a very early date, even 1959 or before. And, the influence and circulation of newsmagazines was far greater than today with round-the-clock news saturation and, oh yes, the Internet.
Well, here are two more covers, one I’ve managed to not lose since the 1970s when I first found it and another I came across quite recently. The first, U.S. News and World Report of Sept. 16, 1963 actually has two interesting cover entries (photographs were not used on USNWR covers and the magazine had a bit more of a highbrow image). The cover asked “Too Many People in the World?” and “Air and Water Pollution – How Serious?” Those were two rather large questions! So, we can see that, in the early 1960s, public consciousness of two major global issues was on the rise. That second one is one to which this writer can attest. When playing basketball on the playgrounds of Manhattan in those days, one’s hands (and the ball) became black with coal dust in the air quite quickly and no one seemed to really mind.
The second cover, another Time Magazine, headlined “The Population Curse,” was timed to coincide with the Mexico City International Conference on Population being held the same month of August 1984. So, here are two more and we’ll post others as we come across them. It’s interesting to look at issues through past eyes.