“Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases (which) we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is solvable 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 the billions who are its victims.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This book may sober countless readers. It may depress many and cause despair for the faint of heart. However, most Americans can’t or refuse to grasp our dilemma. By checking our growth rates, if we don’t change course, not only will we add 100 million in three decades, we’ll add another 100 million on top of that, and do it again until we become one billion people by the start of the next century.
Few want to discuss it. Everyone ‘hush-hushes’ about the pregnant preacher’s daughter. No one enjoys addressing sexual or domestic abuse now epidemic in America. Few discuss 18 teenage suicides every day in this country. Better not talk about the 17,000 deaths by drunken drivers annually! Let’s pretend it’s not happening.
“Andy,” Barney said, “did you hear about Mary Lou gettin’ knocked…”
“Now Barn,” Andy said. “Ain’t none of our business to go ‘round spreadin’ rumors.”
“Somebody should have given her some advice,” Barney said.
Fifty years ago, somebody should have given China and India’s leaders some advice, too! They avoided discussion about their exploding populations. Guess what? They suffer today what they didn’t address. Imagine what it means to billions of Chinese and Indians now living within the clutches of hyper-population growth.
Adding 100 million people to the United States in three decades might not be so bad if there weren’t 300 million already here. But they are here! And, if nothing changes, what do you think newspapers will feature in 2035? Better news than today?
Perhaps you’ll read flowery reports on human progress. How about glowing editorials on our expanding American Dream? On the contrary, you’ll read, “Water wars pit farmers against city folks for diminishing supplies”; “Gas prices hit $12 a gallon”; “Rolling blackouts can’t save pipes from freezing in New York City”; “Food costs soaring due to transportation and production overheads”; “In Los Angeles today, a 100 vehicle pileup caused the deaths of 40, dozens of injuries and created a 50 mile long gridlock on I-10”; “Riots in area high school caused by students’ inability to communicate with one another due to language differences”; “Tuberculosis continues its climb as the worst disease outbreak in decades in the United States”; “Millions of Americans moving to Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota to escape overcrowding in Los Angeles, New York and Houston.”
A sobering report in the New York Times, September 30, 2006, said, “India with 1.1 billion people is running through its ground water so fast that scarcity could threaten whole regions. India has 19 million wells, some of them tapping deposits formed at the time of the dinosaurs.”
Some 3.3 billion people live in countries that over-pump their aquifers, which includes our own nation.
Mike Davis wrote in his book, Planet of Slums, that urbanization of world poverty boils down to this, “Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the 21st century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement and decay.”
Michael Specter, “The Last Drop,” The New Yorker, October 23, 2006, said, “Nearly half the people in the world don’t have the kind of clean water and sanitation services that were available two thousand years ago to the citizens of ancient Rome. More than a billion people lack access to drinking water, and at least that many have never seen a toilet. In the past decade, more people have died from diarrhea than people have been killed in all the armed conflicts since World War II.”
China, at 1.3 billion people, experiences mind-numbing environmental and social problems. The Wall Street Journal headlined “A Poison Spreads Amid China’s Boom” September 30, 2006, “Toxic sludge sinks villages and people die without recourse. The lack of pollution controls has contaminated China’s soil, water and air with lead, mercury and other pollutants and left millions of children with dangerously high levels of toxic metals in their blood.”
Every consequence experienced by India, China and Bangladesh stems from hyper-population growth. Every aspect of their human suffering stems from too many people. Every condition heaped upon their citizens stems from disregard of a rational and sustainable population policy. All the while, the elites live above it while the people sink deeper into its clutches.
As William B. Dickinson, author of the, Bio-Centric Imperative, said, “Our cavalier attitude toward big population increases never ceases to amaze. When the U.S. hit 300 million in October, the New York Times concluded in an editorial, October 11, 2006, that, ‘In America, growth and vitality are the same thing…our population issues have mysterious ways of working themselves out.’”
That’s like saying if we can put 10 basketball players onto one court to play a game, we surely could put 100 on the court and we’re sure everything will mysteriously work out. Or, let’s cram 10 people into a VW bug for a 100 mile trip and expect everything to mysteriously work out. Or, well, you get the idea!
If the New York Times expresses that kind of balderdash with their statement on “mysterious ways of working themselves out,” we might as well return to the Dark Ages where reason and critical thinking suffered under religious dogma.
E.O. Wilson wrote: “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth.” He describes humanity as “The giant meteorite of our time…a species blinded by ignorance and self-absorption.”
Which brings me to the question: are Americans as thoughtless and docile as the Chinese and Indians, or citizens of Bangladesh fifty years ago? How far down the population gopher hole do we allow our nation to scurry? At what point on the demographic misery scale will we begin to say, “Enough is enough!” How far into the negative headlines, “water shortages, climate change and gridlock” do we want our children to suffer from our folly?
I still don’t think many in America ‘get it’ as to our perilous path. Oprah, 60 Minutes, Charlie Rose, Night Line, Larry King Live, Date Line, Good Morning America, Today and The Early Show have yet to feature any national spokespersons on this issue. Hannity, Colmes, Situation Room, Cavuto, Mathews, Carlson, Face the Nation, Meet the Press and dozens of other programs reject the topic outright. No matter how many graphs, facts, figures and information sheets sent to top newspaper publishers across the country—response! They choose ‘silent assertion’ over critical thinking.
In three decades, it will be too late to wake up. Too late to change course! Too late to take action!
Our water crisis will be multiplied by hyper-population. Our gridlocked traffic and crowding multiplied by endless cars. What is it that few understand about this vast, accelerating ‘American dilemma’ that already plays out in much of the world?
As hyper-population growth adds to America, you and/or your offspring will slog through the consequential muck created by that added human deluge.
“Andy,” Barney said, “do you think it’s gettin’ too crowded in Mayberry with them two new families movin’ in?”
“I ‘spect we might have to move out to the country to git away from all them city folks,” Andy said.
“Looks like everything’s headin’ into the chicken coop,” Barney lamented.
“Can’t argue with ya’ Barn,” Andy said.