OCALA, Fla., October 28, 2013 — These days, many are talking about the influence which political correctness has on our lives.
While this concept is usually associated with race relations, ethnic politics, gender issues, class conflict, or something along those lines, the bull raging through the china shop continues to go ignored.
Said bull has a name, and it is “overpopulation”.
The subject is so controversial that it has long since been pushed out of America’s political mainstream. This serves both ends of the political spectrum quite well; rightists are able to curry favor with fundamentalist Christians who love Duggar-style families while leftists support unlimited third-world immigration.
In either case, the American public loses — badly.
Nonetheless, some venture so far as to claim that overpopulation does not exist, and never can on account of human innovation. They say that as populations increase, the quality of life will because people find ever more sophisticated ways to deal with the problems surrounding them.
There are methods of refuting this assertion, of course. Right now, what might be called the most obvious result of overpopulation insofar as the United States is concerned?
“It’s hard to choose,” Michael E. Arth, an urban designer and public policy analyst, tells The Washington Times Communities. In 2010, he launched a quixotic bid for Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination. While this was not a success, it set the ball rolling for discussion about the role special interests play in politics.
On a more comprehensive level, Arth’s writings about overpopulation have attracted great controversy, but successfully raised interest about the subject.
He continues: “The top five are: 1. Fighting costly and counterproductive wars in the Middle East over oil, 2. Terrorism connected with U.S. meddling couple with high-birth rate Muslim countries experiencing “youth bulges” (too many unemployed young males who prone to stupidity and violence) 3. Immigration problems and 4. Sprawl and related traffic congestion. 5. Climate change and related natural disasters.”
Jo Wideman is the executive director of Californians for Population Stabilization, perhaps the foremost group addressing overpopulation’s impact on American life. She explains to TWTC that “(t)hree decades ago the egregious air and water pollution that blighted the country – causing rivers to catch fire and cities to disappear behind a veil of eye-stinging smog – would have been the most obvious result of overpopulation.
“Today, the most obvious sign is never-ending urban sprawl – that is, cities that have expanded exponentially since World War II, and in the process devoured tens of thousands of square miles of farmland, open space, and wildlife habitat. In the five years from 2002 to 2007 alone, over seven million acres (11,000 square miles) of previously undeveloped land succumbed to the bulldozer’s blade – an area bigger than Massachusetts.
“In the 25 years from 1982 to 2007, the total area of developed land in America grew from 71 million acres (111,000 square miles) to 111 million acres (173,000 square miles). This latter area is equivalent to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, in other words, all of New England and then some. All of this land was developed from what was originally either agricultural land or natural habitat.
“There are many other consequences of overpopulation and individuals will experience them differently. For some Americans, the main concern may be with the time stuck in traffic jams. For others, it may be the loss of open space in their communities and associated recreational activities. Others may suffer illness because of air pollution.
“From an ecological perspective, perhaps the most significant impact is the loss of, and increased threats to, biodiversity. The Fish and Wildlife Service lists over 600 animals and over 800 plants as endangered or threatened in the United States. And, this loss of habitat due to human activity is by far the greatest threat to biodiversity.”
We live in an era where government is becoming more and more involved with our daily lives. Many opine that this is a good things, while others say just the opposite. Whatever the case, if the government could do one thing to deal with overpopulation in America, what should this be?
“A Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution, because without this, our government will remain resistant to bringing the greatest good to the greatest number in the most efficient manner possible,” Arth says.
“The amendment should change our winner-take-all voting system to ranked choice voting and proportional representation with multi-member districts replacing gerrymandered, single-member districts. Private campaign financing should be replaced with very limited public campaign financing that includes websites with a lot of information about the candidates and very limited media advertising. We should also replace the Electoral College with direct, ranked-choice voting.”
Wideman is more concerned about the influence that immigration wields over our national future.
“America is already at replacement level fertility, but immigration rates are running 4-5 times replacement level,” she says. “That is immigration is 4-5 times greater than emigration. CAPS supports reducing the annual legal immigration intake to 300,000 and more effectively stopping illegal immigration through such workplace interior enforcement measures as E-Verify.
“Admitting 300,000 immigrants a year would still allow America to fulfill its role as a leader in the world and express our humanitarian values, while nudging us toward population stabilization.”
Far-left? Far-right? Get real: Read more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto
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