A Contributor to Hemisphere To Hemisphere
America added 115 million people from 1965 to 2012. Demographic experts showed 315 million people living in America in January 2012. They expect an added 85 million by 2035 to reach 400 million. The consequences grow irreversible and unsolvable.
As population rises, carrying capacity drops. What is “carrying capacity?” For a quick rendition, it means, “The amount resources on a given piece of land to allow long term sustainable human, plant and animal life.”
If animals or humans exceed ‘carrying capacity’ of any given land mass, they crash in numbers by various means, i.e., famine, war and disease. Garrett Hardin, noted biologist called it, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” (Source: http://www.GarrettHardinSociety.org
For the 7.1 billion humans in the 21st century and headed for 10.2 billion in 40 years, oil resources will define that capacity quotient. Noted Geologist Walter Youngquist said, “This is going to be an interesting decade, for the perfect storm is brewing—energy, immigration and oil imports. China grows in direct confrontation for remaining oil. I think the USA is on a big, slippery downhill slope. Will the thin veneer of civilization survive?” To see how fast we grow, visit http://www.populationmedia.com
“Cassandra Syndrome”: The Cassandra Syndrome is a term applied to predictions of doom about the future that are not believed, but upon later reflection turn out to be correct. This denotes a psychological tendency among people to disbelieve inescapably bad news, often through denial. The person making the prediction is caught in the dilemma of knowing what is going to happen but not being able to resolve the problem. The origin of the name is derived from Cassandra, who, using her prescience, foresaw the demise of Troy. No one believed her.
Youngquist continued, “Beyond oil, population is the number one problem of the 21st century, for when oil is gone as we know and use it today—and it WILL be gone—population will still be here.”
The world uses 84 million barrels daily. That’s 42 gallons to a drum. By mid century, China, now placing 27,000 new cars on its highways every seven days, expects to burn 98 million barrels of oil daily—all by itself! Oil will run out because of limited reserves in the ground. (Source: The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunsteler)
Dr. Albert Bartlett of the University of Colorado said, “Present population growth rate is putting our children at risk. They will experience holes in the ozone causing serious biological effects on plants and humans. World ocean fisheries are collapsing from endless plundering. Two thirds of the world’s people will suffer from water shortages by 2025. It is not possible to sustain population growth or growth in rates of consumption of resources.”
Where is the worst overpopulation problem on the planet according to Dr. Bartlett? “It’s right here in the United States!”
Dr. Bartlett said, “Can you think of any problem, on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way, aided, assisted, or advanced, by having continued population growth—at the local level, the state level, the national level, or globally?”
How many people in the United States are enough? How far down the gopher hole do we want to dig ourselves? At what point is enough—too much? If we shut down the borders today with zero immigration, while enjoying our sustainable 2.03 fertility level of American women on average, we would still grow via “population momentum” by an added 40 million.
In other words, we’re painting ourselves into a perilous corner. Once the numbers manifest, our society will suffer irreversible consequences with unsolvable problems. One visit to Los Angeles will show you they suffer toxic air, dwindling safe drinking water, gridlock to the point of insanity, water shortages, endless highways and housing development. Consider San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Denver and all other large cities grow beyond the bounds of reason!
Sustainable growth, slow growth, managed growth, smart growth and all other kinds of growth are oxymoronic. There is no such thing as sustainable growth. Why? All growth exceeds carrying capacity at some point. In other words, the bubble bursts, the dam breaks, the glass spills, the balloon pops and the red-lined engine blows up.
“Population growth is given as a cause of the problems identified, but eliminating the cause is not mentioned as a solution,” Bartlett said. “We are prescribing aspirin for cancer.”
At the current rate of growth driven by immigration, America will double its population just past mid century—from 300,000,000 to 600,000,000. As long as the underlying cause of a problem is not dealt with, we, and our leaders, as a nation, perpetuate a falsehood which Mark Twain called ‘silent-assertion’: “Almost all lies are acts,” he said. “I am speaking of the lie of ‘silent-assertion’. It would not be possible for a humane and intelligent person to invent a rational excuse for slavery; yet you will remember that in the early days of emancipation in the North, agitators got small help from anyone. They could not break the universal stillness that reigned from the pulpit and press all the way down to the bottom of society--the clammy stillness created and maintained by the lie of silent-assertion that there wasn’t anything going on in which intelligent people were interested.
“The conspiracy of the silent-assertion lie is hard at work always and everywhere, and always in the interest of a stupidity (unlimited growth) or sham (unlimited immigration), never in the interest of the respectable (average citizens). It is the most timid and shabby of all lies. The silent-assertion is that nothing is going on which fair and intelligent men and women are aware of and are engaged by their duty to try to stop.”
Silent-assertion worked until it brought China, India and Bangladesh to their knees with sheer misery of numbers. How do I know? I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia and other overpopulated regions. China, even with enforced one child per family, grows by 8 million annually. India, with 1.2 billion, adds 12 million yearly. Bangladesh suffers 157 million people in a landmass the size of Iowa. Do you see anyone racing to immigrate to those havens of human overload?
What I ask is, do we as a nation, want millions upon millions of added people from countries already exceeding their carrying capacity? Legal immigration proves as dangerous as illegal. To think otherwise will allow that silent-assertion to create another China or India in America. Just imagine Iowa with 157 million people and all the rest of the United States with THAT kind of population density!
Albert Einstein said, “The problems in the world today are so enormous they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them.”
We are no longer living in the 20th century America with only 75 million people riding horses or trains. We’re in the 21st century with cars and jets and 315 million people added to the 7.1 billion on the planet--creating horrific environmental consequences. Again, we had to change our ‘silent-assertion’ about slavery and we MUST change our ‘silent-assertion’ about population growth and economic growth. If we continue steaming full speed ahead like the captain of the Titanic, our children will be on board when we hit the peak oil, global warming, ozone holes, collapsing species, air pollution and other commensurate problems related to the overpopulation “iceberg.” Most died on the Titanic because there weren’t enough life boats.
Maybe some of us choose to maintain our ‘silent-assertion’ in the face of growing consequences, but how can any parent or grandparent be that callous to their children?
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents from the Arctic to the South Pole as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715