Too Many People - Too Few Solutions?
by Frosty Wooldridge
Arrange for Frosty to give his population presentation to your organization.
Albert Einstein wrote, "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Nonetheless, this country staggers forward with 'solutions' that accelerate America's population problems.
In the past 10 years, the world added 880 million people. America added 33 million and California added six million - on its way from 35 million to 55 million in the next 25 years. Good luck, Arnold! Like California, many states found themselves inundated with sprawl, gridlock, rising home prices, new forms of crime and diseases. Dozens of foreign languages, causing confusion and conflicts, migrated into America's schools. Today, America stands at 292 million and grows by 3.3 million per year. In 47 years at mid-century, America will add 200 million which will average four million people per state.
An average of 8,200 people are added to our country every day via annual net gains in US births at 1.0 million and immigration at 2.3 million--legal, illegal and their births. Soon past the mid-century, those 200 million more Americans will be struggling for dwindling resources, water, food and a diminishing quality of life. In a western state like Colorado or Arizona, a drought in 2050 will become a DISASTER along with many other consequences. When one state suffers such a monumental crisis, all other states will be affected in time.
For graphic examples, one need only look at India and China. In a recent speech, Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said, "In my country, 4 million people are born in the streets, live in the streets and die in the streets-never having used a toilet or shower." If massive population is so good, why is India so poor? Even more sobering is China's plight at 1.3 billion and growing at 12 million per year.
Overpopulation will become the 'plague of the 21st century'.
Where is America headed? Do we want such a legacy for our own children? According to 60 Minutes, we have one million homeless children struggling in our inner cities today. Why can't we take care of their needs even today? What will be the fate of another 200 million people who create homeless children? How many is too many and when will Americans address itself to that fact? Who possesses the courage to step up to the reality of overpopulation/consumption/pollution in America-in the long term? At this time, no one. Politicians scurry like cockroaches at the mention of population stabilization. Corporations demand larger markets as if nonrenewable resources will appear out of thin air. They sacrifice the future of our children. Wake up! We're like a runaway freight train with no brakes headed toward a rock wall.
Americans face consequences in every corner of our nation. Our East and West coasts, teeming with too many people, strive to deal with escalating water, air and land dilemmas. Deep-water wells, already polluted with industrial chemicals from farmers and manufacturing plants dumping poisons-are drying up. Acid rains pound our lakes with chemicals. Our cities create thick clouds where millions of children breathe carcinogens with every breath. Farmers kill microbes in the soil with fertilizers and pesticides - leaving us with contaminated foods for eating. Each year, 1.3 million new cancers are detected in our US citizens--an epidemic of our own making.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it 50 years ago; "We must prevent human tragedy rather than run around trying to save ourselves after an event has already occurred. Unfortunately, history clearly shows that we arrive at catastrophe by failing to meet the situation, by failing to act when we should have acted. The opportunity passes us by and the next disaster is always more difficult and compounded than the last one."
By failing to act now, what kinds of consequences will we as a nation face when we hit 1/2 billion people? States like Colorado will add 100% more people to their already drought prone state. That's 100% more cars, etc. In the US with 200 million more people, that's 77% more traffic, 77% added planes in the air, 77% increased pollution, 77% faster uses of already such limited resources as gasoline. For example: we're paving over 3000 acres of land each day for homes, roads, and malls. With each new added American, 12.6 acres of wilderness is plowed up to support that person. In the next 10 years, according to the National Academy of Sciences, 2,500 plants and animals will become extinct in the USA because of habitat destruction via population growth. Why aren't we addressing the moral and biological consequences of such horrific extinction rates? When you add global warming, ocean fisheries collapsing, acid rain, ozone destruction, drought, contaminated water supplies, poisoning and sterilization of the soils by insecticides and fertilizers--we're building unimaginable consequences.
How serious is our problem? Upon receiving the Sanger Award for Human Rights in 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Unlike the plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases, which we do not understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution, but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and the education of billions of people who are its victims."
Fifty year go, Bangladesh, India and China ignored their accelerating populations. Their problems are so gargantuan, they can't solve them and simply suffer. Today, America's leaders are following the same steps. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, we're allowing the immigration of more than 2.3 million people annually from countries that refuse to offer family planning. Since the American female has a fertility rate of 2.03 children, it's not Americans causing the rising population tide. We need immigration reform and reduction to less than 175,000 people annually before population momentum forces us to an added 200 million Americans and an unsustainable society. If we don't tame this 'immigration monster' within the next five years, it will grow past our ability to manage it. Once the numbers are here, we will be saddled with Balkanization conflicts, over 100 foreign languages, accelerating diseases, cultural conflict and severe limits to our freedoms as the numbers grow out of control. However, that 'future' can be changed by you and your actions today.
If we do nothing, we commit our children and all living things to a difficult future by not addressing overpopulation now. It's a disservice to ourselves, our nation and future generations.
Published in the Denver Post, May 8, 2003