10: Ecological footprint and its biological, ecological and physical
ramifications on the USA
lose four acres a minute, 6,000 acres a day and 2.19 million acres annually
caused by population growth in the USA.”
Mike Matz, Denver Post “Losing Spaces”
In this series, let’s create a discussion where none exists
thus far in the media or general public.
Today, our topic stems from human impact on the planet, called ‘ecological
footprint’. You may investigate several
websites to determine your own personal footprint.
As the United States adds 3.1 million humans annually—on its
way to 100 million added persons by 2035, what kind of a world can we expect
for ourselves, the animals and plants that share this planet with us and our
What constitutes an ecological footprint? What about the United States? How can it moderate its ecological footprint
in order to remain a sustainable civilization?
What constitutes America’s ecological footprint?
“According to the Footprints of Nations
the ecological foot print of one
average American is 10.3 hectares or 25.45 acres. That is five city blocks plus
about two lots (using 5 acre blocks divided into 24 lots). That is how much
land it takes to supply all the energy, food, paper, building materials, and
consumer goods to keep one average person living the life to which he or she
has grown accustomed. By contrast the ecological footprint of average world
citizen is 2.8 hectares or 6.92 acres. That is one city block plus about three
lots. In India the average person uses about 1.98 acres. That means that about
nine city lots supplies all that the average Indian survives on.” www.allspecies.org
You may not like this figure because it accelerates beyond
reason: America’s average ecological footprint equals a low of 19.4 acres of
land and as high as 25.45 acres by some estimates.
enjoyed the ecological footprint of an American, it would take 5.1 Earths to
maintain such a consumptive, pollution producing, wasteful and prolific
Top experts estimate that an average Ethiopian human being
takes up .4 acres of land in order to feed and house him or herself. Such an agrarian lifestyle remains simple,
bound to the natural resources of the land and does little harm. However, when we take Ethiopia’s current 82.2
million population—and add the projected 40 million net gain by 2050 to equal
100.2 million people—the ‘ecological footprint’ grows beyond their ‘carrying
capacity’ of a finite landmass. The
accumulative effect of population growth overwhelms their carrying
capacity. Result: water shortages,
crowding, starvation, famine, war and disease on a high level!
CAN THE UNITED STATES PROTECT ITSELF FROM SUCH A FATE NOW FACING 18
MILLION PEOPLE THAT STARVE TO DEATH ANNUALLY AROUND THE PLANET?
One of the other aspects of America’s accelerating
ecological footprint: it impacts the natural world. It creates mass extinction of animals and
plants that share this planet with us.
Right now, via human encroachment on habitat, in other
words, outright destruction of wilderness, we cause the extinction of 250
animals every year, around 2,500 every decade. (Source: U.S. Department of
Interior) Thus, by 2050, at our current rate of growth, we will cause the
extinction of 10,000 living species.
Remember that extinction finishes that creature’s species forever.
How does that happen? When we destroy land at such an
astounding rate of speed, the other animals cannot adapt nor can they
retreat. Let’s take 100 million people X’s
the lowest bid on American ecological footprint within 25 years: 100,000,000 added people times 19.4 acres of
land destroyed for each person. That equals 1.94 billion acres of land must be
destroyed to support that added 100 million people.
Where does it end since U.S. population projections show our
country doubling from 312 million in 2011 to 600 million within 70 years or
The question grows: does anyone see a problem here? If not, what kind of funny weed do you
smoke? How intoxicated can you be? How zoned out on the TV?
“How would you describe the difference between modern war
and modern industry—between say, bombing and strip mining, or between chemical
warfare and chemical manufacturing? The
difference seems to be only that in war the victimization of humans is directly
intentional and in industry it is “acceptable” as a “trade-off.” Were the
catastrophes of Love Canal, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Exxon Valdez episodes of
war or of peace? They were in fact,
peacetime acts of aggression, intentional to the extent that the risks were
known and ignored.”
If we look at Mother Nature, she and her creatures cannot
combat human fecundity. She cannot ‘reason’
with us, but she will deal with us at some point. She kills 18 million humans annually in 2010
and every year via starvation and starvation related diseases. Can you imagine
what She will do as we add another 2.5 to 3.0 billion by mid century?
The United States, her citizens and leaders need to examine
what direction this civilization intends to take? Toward endless growth and ultimate
environmental destruction—or toward a sustainable and survivable future in the
21st century. We cannot
accomplish that intention unless we take action to reduce our ‘ecological
“Imagine a country which employs the principles of personal
responsibility, freedom and accountability for future generations.
Everything you do-counts! If you do nothing, that counts likewise. When
you read sobering information, do you want to give up or fall apart? Or, do you
want to engage like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George and Martha
Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin
Luther King, Oprah, Barbara Jordan, John Muir and other Americans. You
represent the Jefferson’s, Oprah’s and Dr. King’s of the 21st century.
Consider it your honor and privilege to become a part of the solutions.
Engage the present to change the future! Become an agent of the change you wish
to see.” FW
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 word “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
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.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
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by
Dr. Jack Alpert-
Check out this link with Wooldridge on bicycle and Lester
Brown and panel discussion:
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