OCALA, Fla.,December 9, 2013 — There comes a time when we must push aside notions of political correctness and focus on the facts as they are.
The key words here are “as they are,” not “as we want them to be.”
“Many groups promote the idea that technological advancements will solve the world’s problems, and most have something to gain from it,” Craig Lewis, the executive director of Negative Population Growth, explains to The Washington Times Communities. “Oil giants press for new drilling rights, assuring concerned citizens that their new ‘fracking’ technology will increase America’s oil independence.
“They fail to mention that the process is devastating to the environment, it uses enormous quantities of water, and it cannot yield enough product to sustain our needs.
“And what of water shortages? We cannot synthesize a substitute for clean water! Even the CIA has weighed-in on the issue, predicting in its ‘Global Trends 2015’ report that parts of the U.S. will experience water shortages by 2015.
“The report stated that technological strategies (water conservation, expanded use of desalinization, developing genetically-modified crops that use less water or more saline water, and importing water) ‘will not be sufficient to substantially change the outlook for water shortages in 2015.’
“Technology may buy us limited time, but we simply escape the truth: if we continue to grow, our human numbers will ultimately overwhelm our environment.”
The crux of modern America’s problems is not left or right, but “too much” and “too soon.” Our national population has soared in recent decades. The 1950 federal census recorded 131,669,275 people living in this country. Fast forward sixty years, and the most recent census states that 308,745,538 persons live here.
Since 1950, has the average American’s quality of life increased or decreased?
Of course, there have been advances in technology and civil rights. At the same time, though, today’s young adults enjoy less economic opportunities than their parents did. A Bachelor’s degree is now required to make the same money that high school graduates earned not long ago — and even then there are no guarantees.
Cities have been overcrowded and those fleeing them often contribute to suburban sprawl. How many McMansions have built on once-pristine farmland; land which can never again be used for the production of food?
None of this comes close to addressing the pollution associated with surging populations, or the psychological stress of being crowded day in, day out.
“Natural resources are, by definition, finite,” Lewis explains. “And they are dwindling: the Colorado River and other aquifers are drying up, our fossil fuel supplies are past their peak, valuable farmland is lost to development… By reducing our population size – and thus our overall demand on resources – we can sustain our supplies and our quality of life over the long term.”
There is an endless litany of problems associated with overpopulation. It can be difficult, though not impossible, to single out the phenomenon’s most obvious impact on American life.
“Today, the most prevalent consequence for U.S. overpopulation is our unemployment epidemic,” Lewis claims. “In his NPG Forum paper ‘The Sources of Unemployment,’ author Lindsey Grant explains: ‘If over the past three decades the United States had deliberately set out to create unemployment, it could hardly have done a more thorough job.’
“Rather than addressing our population size, America simply relies further on debt, continues operating under faulty foreign trade policies, and issues hundreds of thousands of new work visas each year – nearly 700,000 in 2012 alone. Meanwhile, tens of millions of American citizens are unemployed, underemployed, or are so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work altogether.”
Despite our era’s supposedly progressive nature, discussion of overpopulation is frequently discouraged. This has fostered an atmosphere in which solutions cannot be found for serious problems; no matter how obvious they are.
“Population growth is determined by only a few factors: birth rates, death rates, and migration/immigration rates,” Lewis tells. “In the United States, these areas are lightning rods for controversy. To endorse a smaller and sustainable America, a politician must advocate family planning and contraception, incentives for smaller family sizes, and a drastic reduction in both legal and illegal immigration.
“Due to the emotional nature of these ideas, they are highly polarizing – and many elected officials seem to fear addressing them directly.”
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