Part 21: delayed consequences, scientists’ warnings, feedback loops
“The modern plague of overpopulation is solvable by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not the sufficient knowledge of the solution, but the universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem for billions of people who are its victims.” Dr. Martin Luther King
In his book, Too Many People, Lindsey Grant addresses such things as our destruction of earth’s operating systems and much more. You may find his book at www.sevenlockspress.com and www.amazon.com . Grant is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Population Affairs.
Because of climate destabilization, in the Rocky Mountain West, beetles ravage forests and wipe out billions of trees. In California, forest fires consume wide tracks of wilderness like giant fiery vacuum cleaners. The ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico portends horrific environmental damage for decades. Dead zones at the mouths of most major rivers emptying into our oceans from cities around the planet—grow in their deadly impact upon ocean life. Extinction rates at 100 species daily worldwide cannot be considered a long term positive occurrence for human life.
“I have mentioned scientists’ warnings that we may not know the consequences of our actions for several generations,” said Grant. “In the Ponderosa pinewoods, fire has always played a role, but that role has changed catastrophically since the European settlement. Traditional Ponderosa stands were open, the big trees scattered, the ground covered with grasses through which an occasional Ponderosa seedling managed to emerge. Grass fires swept through regularly, scarring the base of the pines, but not seriously damaging them. Then, about 1880, in the Southwest, something changed. Sheepherders, cattlemen, and loggers moved into the stands. The fires stopped. The grass was eaten down, so grass fires lacked the fuel. With grass denuded, Ponderosa and then fir seedlings began to grow, tightly packed. Eventually, they grew into dense, spindly forests “like a dog’s hair”. Then they began to burn.”
As Grant said, no major fires occurred in the Southwest before 1950. Today, they rage all over the West with massive firefighting crews of thousands of men.
“Would we have behaved differently if we had understood the consequences?” asked Grant. “I’m not sure we would have; we have been rapacious with nature.”
WE MUST NOT PUSH THE SYSTEM SO HARD: THE NEED FOR THE END OF GROWTH
Grant asks the obvious questions. He offers the logical answers. Along the way, he must deal with religion, culture and anachronistic belief systems. While Charles Darwin ‘broke’ religion’s lock on ‘how the world works’ with an intelligent and well-constructed understanding of life on this planet—even today—religions fight back with their ‘hold’ on the emotional aspect of humans. Humans do not like change that challenges their religions, cultures and mores of their societies.
“All successful species,” said Darwin, “have the ability to bear more young than their environment can support. This enables species to recover from food-short periods and it enables the best adapted to expand and fill new environmental niches when the opportunity presents. It also leads to overpopulation and to the survival of the fittest.”
“That excess fecundity is central to the population dynamics of living creatures,” said Grant. “It was true of human populations until we learned to practice fertility regulation by family planning. Like other animals, our population growth was limited by high mortality, particularly of the young. Medical and public health advances, sanitation and the growth of agricultural yields save us for a time from that fate, but the process goes on. As humans continue to grow, they will meet those limits. The Darwin controls, imposed in part by our destruction of the ecosystem, will stop the growth.”
That limit already reached today manifests in many countries in Africa, Asia and Indo-China—as it causes 18 million human deaths from starvation or starvation related diseases. (Source: World Health Organization) This may shock you, but an average of 1,000 children under 12 die in India every day from dysentery, diarrhea and other water born diseases. Why? Several million Indians squat on the land for their morning constitutionals daily to create horrific water pollution all over India. Their rivers run in human and animal sewage. Yet, that country adds 12 million people annually to its already bloated 1.16 billion people on its way to 1.55 billion within 40 years.
It’s beyond rational comprehension in the West, which averages less than replacement level family dynamics of two children per family—that such starvation rates exist—yet those civilizations fail to employ family planning.
“Seen in that light, family planning is perhaps the most fundamental advance in the human condition,” said Grant. “It permits the human species to control its growth by regulating fertility, rather than waiting for the control to come from misery and rising mortality rates. Family planning is not just something that we are entitled to practice, independently. It is something that the Earth itself badly needs to escape the damage of continued human population growth. Within our species, it is desperately needed by the poor and fertile of the world so they can escape the evolutionary curse of excess fecundity and of their children will not be trapped in high mortality.”
As we watch the world’s spiraling into population overload, we, too, in the United States continue our march toward adding 100 million in 25 years. Why?
If any of us, no matter what our race, creed or color might be, refuse to engage our U.S. Congress as we have not for 30 years as to the population/immigration equation-our children will find themselves living in a terribly degraded America where the American Dream will be described by the history books as a 'fleeting fantasy' from the era of 1950 to 2010.
These are several of the top organizations where you can take collective action to change the course of American history as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Take collective action at:
This is the best website to start: www.numbersusa.com ; 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.
Also: www.fairus.org ; www.capsweb.org ; www.thesocialcontract.com ; www.populationmedia.org ; www.worldpopulationbalance.org ; www.populationconnection.org ; www.quinacrine.com ; www.familyplanning.org/ , www.skil.org ; www.growthbusters.com; www.populationpress.org ; www.thinkpopulation.org ; www.carryingcapacity.org ; www.balance.org ; www.controlgrowth.org ; in Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; in Australia www.population.org.au andPublicPopForum@yahoogroups.com; in Great Britain www.optimumpopulation.org ; and dozens of other sites accessed at www.frostywooldridge.com.
Must see DVD: "Blind Spot" www.snagfilms.com/films/title/blind_spot/ , This movie illustrates America's future without oil, water and other resources to keep this civilization functioning. It's a brilliant educational movie! www.blindspotdoc.com
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
Must see and funny: www.growthbusters.org
Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom: growthbusters.org/2010/03/save-the-polar-bear-in-your-bedroom ; 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 ;760 Wycliffe Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 USA; +1 719-576-5565
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:
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715