Article Image


Written by Subject: Central Intelligence Agency


By Frosty Wooldridge

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.

For the 6.4 billion humans in the 21st century, 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 down hill slope. Will the thin veneer of civilization survive?”

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, use will top 110 million barrels per day. The fact is, it’s going to run out because there is only so much in the ground.

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 rabbit 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. People say, “Population is not the problem.” How far into the denial hole have you stuck your head? 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.”

Dr. Bartlett suggested Kenneth Boulding’s three theorems: 1. Dismal Theorem—if the only ultimate check on the growth of populations is misery, then the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth. (China is an example) 2. Utterly Dismal Theorem—technical improvements can only relieve misery for a while, thus improvements will enable more people to live in misery than before. (Green revolution is an example) 3. Moderately Cheerful Form of Dismal Theorem—if something else, other than misery and starvation, can be found which will keep a prosperous population in check, the population does not have to grow until it is miserable or starves; it can be sustainably prosperous. (Population stabilization)

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 10 million annually. India, with 1.1 billion, adds even more yearly. Bangladesh suffers 129 million people in a landmass the size of Ohio. 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 is just as dangerous as illegal. To think otherwise will allow that ‘silent-assertion’ to create another China or India in America. Just imagine Ohio with 129 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 296 million people added to the 6.4 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 grand parent be that callous to their children? That rabbit hole is mighty deep!


By Frosty Wooldridge

In the last column you read and connected the dots from Dr. Albert Bartlett as he asked questions that pertain to the ‘silent assertion’. You know this country cannot keep pretending that we can grow forever. We must stabilize our population sooner rather than later. We cannot apply 20th century solutions that will not solve 21st century challenges.

We cannot expect Third World countries to solve their own exploding populations.

Noted scholar and biologist E.O. Wilson said, “The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people but to poor ideology and land-use management is sophistic.”

Those of us living in large cities in America can’t help but wonder: where does it all lead? Denver, where I live, suffers a ‘Brown Cloud’ so thick with toxins that every breath is filled with poison air. Our traffic is a daily nightmare of accidents, road rage (one guy killed two others last week) and wasted hours sitting in bumper to bumper frustration. I-70 heading into the mountains makes a weekend getaway a nightmare. Returning is an ordeal beyond belief. Throw in our water shortages and you’ve got quality of life racing to the bottom of the sewer. Our natural gas costs jumped 33 percent this fall after they jumped 30 percent last year. Our electricity costs jumped 13 percent. You all know where the price of gas is headed—yes--over five dollars a gallon. It’s already five and six dollars a gallon in Europe.

Because of mass immigration, we expect an added four million people into Colorado by mid century. Texas adds 12 million by 2025 while California adds 20 million by 2035. Water shortages will become water wars!

The 1993 EPA report stands as a perfect example of silent assertion’s denial of population growth as the prime culprit of our cities’ dilemmas: “Where many areas are experiencing rapid urban growth and associated environmental problems…a stronger emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices will be a key element in any long-term solutions to problems in the area.”

How frickin' stupid is that statement? There is no way to keep growing and stop destroying farmland! In Colorado, we pave 100,000 acres annually in the name of ‘growth’. Tell me how you can grow corn, wheat and vegetables on pavement! You cannot solve traffic gridlock by adding thousands of cars to the highways. You cannot solve water shortages by adding more people, lawns and toilets to flush.

The respected journalist Bill Moyers introduced another aspect of overpopulation when he asked science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, “What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if population growth continues at the present rate?”

Asimov replied, “It will be completely destroyed. I like to use what I call the bathroom metaphor: if two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want and stay as long as you want for whatever you need. Everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person, you have to bang on the door. “Aren’t you through yet?” And so on!”

Asimov made what may become a profound observation as we head into further overpopulation dilemmas: “In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive overpopulation. Convenience and decency cannot survive overpopulation. As you jam more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more there are, the less one person matters.”

Fellow Americans—does anyone here think Chinese and Indian citizens enjoy their predicament? If they enjoy it, why are they fleeing their countries?

Thus, you might ponder a few of Dr. Bartlett’s Laws of Sustainability:

First Law: Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained. Persons who advocate population growth are advocating unsustainability. Such persons mislead themselves and others.

Second Law: In a society with a growing population, the more difficult it will be to transform the society to the condition of sustainability. This is caused by the phenomenon of ‘population momentum’.

Third Law: The response time of populations to changes in human fertility rate is 70 years. In other words, if we want to stabilize the population by mid 21st century, we must make changes now. For the record, the US created a stable society at 2.03 fertility level, but immigration at four million annually negates it.

Fourth Law: The size of population that can be sustained (carrying capacity) and the sustainable average standard of living of the population are inversely related to one another. The higher the standard of living one wishes to sustain, the more urgent it is to stabilize population growth.

Fifth Law: Sustainability requires that the size of the population be less than or equal to the carrying capacity of the ecosystem for the desired standard of living. The rate of destruction of ecosystems increases as the rate of growth of the population increases.

Sixth Law: The benefits of population growth and consumption accrue to a few. The costs are borne by the ‘many’ average citizens. That’s why politicians and developers promote growth along with real estate people. They move to other havens where they escape the ‘results’ of their labors.

Ninth Law: When large efforts are made to improve efficiency, the results are wiped out by added population.

Fourteenth Law: If humans fail to stop population growth and growth in the rates of consumption of resources, nature will stop these growths. By contemporary standards, nature’s method of stopping growth is cruel and inhumane.

One look at the March 14, 2005 Time Magazine piece that reported eight million

people die annually of starvation world wide—offers a window into our future. Additionally, you can see it on many of the religious channels where they solicit money for food for millions of starving children in Africa. Notice they offer food which creates more children, so they never solve the core issue of too many humans. They need to offer birth control devices, for, without birth control, all their efforts and your money become useless as those populations explode by 85 million annually.

Nonetheless, I’ll receive hundreds of emails countering this column by well meaning people who operate via emotions, hopes and faith that it will turn out okay. Their propensities fall into the “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.

What happened to Bangladesh, China and India, happened! Their problems relating to overpopulation create a miserable life for their citizens. As to what is happening in Amsterdam, Holland; Paris, France and Sydney, Australia from immigrating incompatible Third World cultures and languages, which resulted in violence, happened! They dug a ‘rabbit hole’ they can’t escape because the ‘beast’ is inside them. It WILL and it IS happening in America unless we change course before the ‘beast’ is too big for us to stop. If we allow another 10 million illegal Mexican immigrants, we’ll become another Mexico with all the trash, disease, poverty, corruption, gangs and degradation of our society that is now manifested in Mexico. We either do it today or Paris, France will be the streets of “Any town, USA” in the very near future.

David Durham of Carrying Capacity Network added, “Cultural carrying capacity is also very important, because too much cultural diversity leads to loss of social cohesion shown by recent French and Australian riots. Carrying Capacity Network is the most comprehensive source for all scholarship and activism relating to protecting carrying capacity. Our two thousand six hundred page carrying capacity briefing book contains a virtual road map to achieve the sustainability of the United States. It was favorably written up in the New York Review of Books.”

I’ve covered the major laws. If you want a full and terribly sobering copy of this report, call 1 800 352 4843 or Ask for the Fall 2005 Quarterly. While you’re at it, help educate your friends and neighbors with a booklet from For a video of Dr. Bartlett’s absolutely enthralling “Arithmetic, Population and Energy,” please call 303 492 2670 or email Another web site that offers you tremendous information about this crisis:

We can be docile passengers on the Titanic by silently suffering our fate, or, we can stand up and speak out to the captain and crew of our ship (president and Congress). We are not lemmings or other helpless animals willing to be led over a cliff. I’m confident that millions of Americans refuse the ‘silent assertion’ mode of denial. They know their actions will be the only thing that saves America from drowning by mass immigration. They know their actions create change for their children like their parents’ action in the last century gave them the wonders of a country that provides “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: