Book Review: Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom of the Elders by Marilyn Hempel
"If I could assemble the leaders of the world in a room," said the late Dr. Albert A. Bartlett.
(Human cities explode to as high as 36 million people crammed, jammed and crushed into concrete, glass and steel—with no end in sight.) Photography by www.wikipedia.org
I personally befriended Al Bartlett for over 30 years ago as I lived and taught math-science in Boulder, Colorado. He proved himself years ahead of everyone in the world on the population issue while he supported Ehrlich and Malthus. Their work pinpointed human population as the ultimate predicament of humanity.
Dr. Bartlett jumped light years ahead by scientifically showing audiences with his wicked wit that humans "populated" themselves into a "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" future. His presentation transfixed audiences. Why? They couldn't escape the sheer mathematical logic: exponential growth cannot be sustained by this single planet.
Dr. Bartlett created a brilliant slide show that educated over 1,600 audiences in 35 years: "Arithmetic, Population and Energy" You may watch it at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VpyoAXpA8
"Sustainability has become a key word in our society these days," said Bartlett. "By its very definition, sustainability has to mean for a period of time that is long compared to a human lifetime. The trouble is that if you look around you, you don't see a very good general understanding or practice of the concept of sustainability. Many influential people are confused and think that you can have growth and sustainability or "sustainable growth". What the heck is going on? The first thing is that in no way, repeat, no way, is any world leader ever seen reciting the Laws of Sustainability, let alone putting them into practice."
(Cities grow larger, grow out of control, grow without reason, grow toward ultimate collapse of themselves and the natural world.) Photography by www.ubantimes.com
Dr. Bartlett referred to anyone who preached endless growth as "innumerates" or as he said, "Innumeracy is the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy." The famous economist Julian Simon proved himself an extreme "innumerate." He flat couldn't grasp the reality of a finite planet.
One of Dr. Bartlett's academic friends at the University of Colorado, economist Kenneth Boulding said, "Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either a madman or an economist."
Dr. Bartlett took his brilliant slide show to Washington DC to present it to an audience of Congressional leaders. Ironically, they passed the 1965 Immigration Reform Act that proceeded to flood the country with 1.1 million immigrants annually in spite of the fact that Americans chose 2.1 children per family. Result: within 40 years the United States exploded from 194 million people to over 300 million. In 2014: 319,000,000 (million). Projections show America adding another 138 million within 36 years while it heads toward 625 million in this century.
Clearly, America's leadership stands in the "innumerate" category. But so do most of the American people; they reflect the lack of mathematical understanding of their leaders.
Dr. Bartlett said, "The two simple basic Laws of Sustainability, and how to put them into practice, are not taught. The first Law is that population growth is unsustainable. The second Law is that no one can sustain growth in the consumption of resources forever. The Earth has a finite size and finite resources. These are laws of nature and they are based on arithmetic. They are not debatable. They cannot be amended or repealed by legislative bodies. Any arguments against these truths of nature are, as Shakespeare said, "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
(10 million children die of starvation annually worldwide. Millions more live malnourished lives. Yet, the human race births 137 million more babies annually with a net gain of 80 million annually. As humans increase from 7.2 billion to the projected 10.1 billion by 2050—we can expect commensurate deaths rates into the multiple millions worldwide from starvation.) Photography by www.povertyhci.weebly.com
So, here America stands at the beginning of the 21st century importing 7 out of 10 barrels of oil, no conservation plan whatsoever, and exploding its fossil fuel burning into the biosphere. We scavenge and frack the land and water for more oil. All the while, we continue volatile population growth while we acidify and heat up the oceans.
When you see the Dr. Bartlett's slide show in person and then, you see it in action around the planet like I have: result? I am sick to my stomach daily as to where our species drives itself—over a demographic and ecological cliff.
Dr. Bartlett presented the finest challenge to America and the world:
"This is my challenge to you: 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 larger populations at the local level, the state level, the national level, or globally?"
And yet, America charges to its worst demographic conclusion with all the hints, all the science and all the common sense Dr. Bartlett brought to the world with his brilliant mind, his incredible heart and his wicked, wicked humor.
If Dr. Bartlett could have assembled the leaders of the world in a room, his message: "Lead humanity away from its current path toward a catastrophic future and move yourselves and your countries toward a sustainable future via birth control, family planning, stabilized populations, gracefully decline human population to dramatically lower levels such as much less than 1 billion, (Dr. Jack Alpert figures less than 100,000,000 (million) if we hope to continue viably: www.skil.org), deletion of fossil fuel burning and preservation of the natural world as your top priority if our species hopes to survive the 21st century."
Book: Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom from the Elders by Marilyn Hempel
Publisher: Blue Planet United, Redlands, CA
ISBN # 9780692212271
Cost: $14.95 paperback
If you would like to make a difference, please join these organizations for the most effective collective action you can take: www.populationpress.org www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org ; www.TheSocialContract.com ; www.Fairus.org
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, "Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls", Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
"Immigration by the numbers—off the chart" by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, "Mind boggling!" www.NumbersUSA.org
This is the best website to start: www.numbersusa.org ; watch Roy Beck's "Immigration by the Numbers" at 14 minutes. Bi-partisan and very effective. Become a faxer of pre-written letters to your reps to make positive change.
Visit www.TheSocialContract.com for the best information on what we face as a civilization as to overpopulation, energy, immigration and much more.
Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; in Australia www.population.org.au andPublicPopForum@yahoogroups.com; in Great Britain www.populationmatters.org ; and dozens of other sites accessed at www.frostywooldridge.com. In Florida, www.flimen.org .
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
Dave Gardner, President, Citizen-Powered Media ; Producing the Documentary, GROWTH BUSTERS; presents Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, Join the cause at www.growthbusters.org ; Trailer to his latest movie on overpopulation: http://youtu.be/KLWxWOcUrVc
Check out this link with Wooldridge on bicycle and Lester Brown and panel discussion:
Tomorrow's Americaproject on www.youtube.com/contemporarylearning.
Producer: GEORGE A. COLBURNwww.tomorrowsamerica.com
Link to www.tomorrowsamerica.com for more discussions on America's predicament.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
We must come to terms with birth control and stabilizing human population. This three minute video brings the terror of India's predicament up close and personal by Paul Winn of Australia:
This film will rock you: MOTHER: CARING FOR 7 BILLION
Dr. Jack Alpert , www.skil.org
Too Many People Video series
How Much Degrowth is Enough? "NEW" Sept. 2012
The Human Predicament and What to Do About It Feb. 2012
Overpopulation Means Civilization Collapse Aug. 2011
Important books to read and educate yourself:
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, edited by Philip Cafaro and Eileen Crist, 2012
The World Without Us, Alan Weisman 2007 A scholarly research on how the Earth will fare after Homo sapiens are gone.
Man Swarm, and the Killing of Wildlife, Dave Foreman 2011 Mankind as locusts.
Take Conservation Back, Dave Foreman, 2013
The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler, what America faces when oil runs out.
Overshoot by William Catton
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
Peak Everything: Facing a century of Declines by Richard Heinberg
Plan B, 4.0, Saving Civilization by Lester Brown
The Population Fix by Edward C. Hartman
America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans by Frosty Wooldridge
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis facing America: what to do about it." www.frostywooldridge.com . His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, click: www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com
Frosty Wooldridge, six continent world bicycle traveler, Mexico to Canada summer 2013, 2,500 miles, 150,000 vertical feet of climbing, 19 passes, and a whole lot of fun! Yahoo!