Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom:
“It's obvious that the key problem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life -- for 8 billion or more people -- without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt.” Edward O. Wilson
As this series continues, hopefully, it ‘connects the dots’ for Americans as they see their freedoms erode, their environment degrade and their ‘quality of life’ fade into memories. While people ‘existing’ in large cities understand and accept a lowered quality of life, rural people cannot help but ‘feel’ the pulse of life accelerate beyond their normal rhythms.
Again, how do we mitigate our exploding population projected to add 100 million people by 2035—a scant 25 years from now? (Source: PEW Report, “U.S. Population Projections” by Fogel/Martin at www.fairus.org , and U.S. Census Bureau) Current U.S. population by the end of December 2010 reached 312.7 million people. We will total 400 million by 2035 if we continue on this same course.
In the quote above, the imminent biologist Dr. E.O. Wilson wonders how we can accommodate ‘quality of life’ on this planet with eight billion people. Actually, he must update that number to 9.2 billion within 40 years. (Source: www.PopulationReferenceBureau.com)
Unfortunately, we already suffer environmental, water and resource problems on a magnitude beyond solving today when you consider ‘population momentum’, or the propensity of the human race, like a brakeless train, to keep adding speed as it travels downhill.
“How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life?” Charles Lindbergh
Lindbergh asked a powerful question. How can animal creatures like us, the hairless ‘primates’ of the world, so used to hunting and gathering for thousands of years, abruptly turn ourselves into city dwellers stacked on top of each other and crowding each other in our relentlessly growing cities? How do we find quality of life in gridlock traffic, long lines at the NFL game toilets, walking on concrete our whole lives, breathing air we can see and enduring endless honking horns, blaring music, sirens, gun shots and irritating if not totally crazy neighbors?
Can it be good for kids to grow up never having seen a chick hatch, horse give birth, deer leap over a creek, a fox dash after its prey or watch Canada geese skimming down into a lake for a landing? You might wonder if it’s a quality of life to be able to ‘see’ the air you breathe.
Eben Fodor of www.CongrolGrowth.org said, “Most cities in the U.S. have operated on the assumption that growth is inherently beneficial and that more and faster growth will benefit local residents economically. Local growth is often cited as the cure for urban ailments, especially the need for local jobs. But where is the empirical evidence that growth is providing these benefits? I have just completed a new study examining the relationship between growth and prosperity in US metro areas. The study found that those metro areas with the most growth fared the worst in terms of basic measures of economic well-being.”
If you examine large cities, you find degraded quality of life, but worse, you see schools in chaos, neighborhoods run over in violence and drugs, kids living in unnatural surrounds and a lack of understanding of the natural world. Americans spend $100 billion annually in drug money and more in booze money to get out of their heads into an altered state of mind, i.e., stoned or drunk. Why?
Further, notice that cities house the most people seeing the most marriage counselors, shrinks and, at the same time, consuming the most pills such as Excedrin, Aleve, Prozac, Vicadin and aspirin. Can that reflect their ‘quality of life’?
“As we approach the new millennium, we see how much remains to be done to give our young and future generations a better world to live in: a more peaceful society with a healthier, cleaner environment and a pattern of sustainable development which seeks to eradicate poverty. Education is the single most powerful means to improve the quality of life... the single most powerful weapon against poverty and intolerance. Education builds a culture of peace ... it empowers human beings, both young and adult, to be effective in their chosen sphere of activity ... education in its essence, opens doors to both personal and social development.” Federico Mayor
By adding 100 million people to the United States, does anyone think we can create a better quality of life for any of our citizens? How about the animals? How about personal freedom?
I hope you’re asking these questions because I’m not seeing any positive answers when you consider that two out of every three Americans suffer overweight or downright obesity. Can that condition be a ‘quality of life’ or a gross lack of quality of life brought about by city living or just living in this ‘fast food’ society?
How many people get lost in their lives without connections because of the pace and speed of life in the US today? How many work jobs that enhance their quality of life? How many hate their jobs or live a daily mental or spiritual death in their jobs? Can we afford to watch our children grow obese, watch more illiteracy manifest as kids drop out of our schools?
NBC anchor Brian Williams, June 2009, reported that 1.2 million teens hit America’s streets every June unable to read or write. Detroit, Michigan epitomizes this country’s educational dilemma: 76 percent dropout/flunkout rate. Dozens of cities across the country suffer 50 to 60 percent dropout rates. CNN reported on August 30, 2010, “7,000 American high school students drop out every day; one every 26 seconds.”
Can we add that up as the American Dream and the American Quality of Life? As we add another 100 million, can we ever catch up to and solve our problems in our civilization.
I venture to shout an unequivocal “No!” We need to change course toward a stable, sustainable and viable society. And soon!
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