Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom:
Part 10: Ecological footprint and its biological, ecological and physical ramifications on the USA
“We 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 children’s future?
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.
Find out your own footprint: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/personal_footprint/
If everyone enjoyed the ecological footprint of an American, it would take 5.1 Earths to maintain such a consumptive, pollution producing, wasteful and prolific lifestyle.
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 less?
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 footprint’ today.
“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 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. In Florida, www.flimen.org .
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 ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSTrW_dARc
Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom:
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