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America’s predicament: the 7th billion human on planet Earth

On October 31, 2011, demographic scientists expect the 7th billion human to land on planet Earth.   Humanity adds another one billion of its species every 12 years on its way to reaching a projected high of 10.2 billion in this century.
What does that mean for the United States of America? How can we mitigate our carbon footprint that destabilizes our environment?  How can we halt our ecological footprint that causes mass species extinctions and ocean footprint that causes destructive extremes to our biosphere?  How can we sustain ourselves while America adds another 138 million people by 2050?   What consequences will our children inherit?  
The biggest question:  as we face water shortages, Peak Oil energy exhaustion, resource depletion, accelerating air pollution and quality of life decaying in our cities—why aren’t Americans concerned and why aren’t American leaders taking any steps toward a stable and sustainable future for all citizens and fellow creatures?  Why do we think we enjoy immunity from the problems out there in Haiti, Egypt, India, Mexico and Bangladesh? 
Today, the United States imports 7 out of 10 barrels of oil.  In other words, we exceed our carrying capacity for energy.   It’s not sustainable.  Every added American equates to 25.4 acres of wilderness being destroyed to support that person known as “ecological footprint.”  Take 100 million X’s 25.4 acres, which means 2.54 billion acres of land must be destroyed to support that massive addition of humans to America. 
As we move into Peak Oil, it will become more costly to drill for it and even more expensive at the pump.  Thus, $20 per gallon will be our reality within two decades according to researcher Chris Steiner in his book $20 Per Gallon. How will that affect our 312 million Americans as we head toward 400 million?
How will another 100 million people added to America affect our cities?  As Dr. Albert Bartlett said, "Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.”
In the past month, Americans sent $100 million in food aid to Somalia.  Yet, all of Africa expects to grow from its current 1.1 billion to 3.1 billion before the end of the century.  One UN expert said that environmental and food refugees will exceed 50 million within several decades.  Any food aid guarantees enormously unsustainable populations that will collapse in more horrific numbers down the road.
Having seen what’s coming in my worldwide bicycle travels, I am baffled that all Americans collectively aren’t screaming at the top of their lungs about stabilizing human population across our entire civilization. 
We know what causes our runaway population growth and the line grows by 80 million desperate people cascading annually into western countries around the world.  Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide, but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates
As our oceans degrade, oil depletes, soils decline and our quality of life degrades, isn’t it time for discussion, debate and action?  
Lester Brown, author of Plan B 4.0 Saving Civilization said, “Humans have set in motion environmental trends that are threatening civilization itself.  We are crossing environmental thresholds and violating deadlines set by nature.”
I urge everyone reading this commentary, from the smartest Ph.D.s to mothers, fathers and students—engage National Public Radio, all TV Channels as well as your newspapers and radio stations to address our predicament.  We cannot avoid, evade or suppress this conversation any longer.  If we fail, we fail our children, and as they will find out, Mother Nature always bats last.
Frosty Wooldridge is a retired math/science teacher and an active environmentalist, lecturer and cyclist who trekked across six continents.  His broad perspectives and passion for the natural world led him to develop a lecture series on the harmful impacts of unchecked population growth, "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans.  His website is www.frostywoolridge.com
Plan B Saving Civilization by Lester Brown
www.albartlett.org by Dr. Albert Bartlett  “Energy, resource and population”
Peak Everything by Richard Heinberg
Pew Report on population  www.PEW.org
“U.S. Population Projections” by Fogel/Martin, March 2006)
“UN population projections” by UN May 2011
Ecological footprint at 25.4 acres per person for America by www.allspecies.org


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Steve B.
Entered on:

Thinking beyond the powers that be that have hugely suppressed humans so as to create artificial scarcity of key resources -- the most vital being conscious human beings that for the vast majority have been in stupefied-mode, believing in The Most Dangerous Superstitious (that’s also the title of Larkin Rose’s latest book).

Conscious man – if only most humans were fully conscious they wouldn’t have a superstitious mode – creates and produces more than he consumes. And, as conscious man increases his understanding of the laws of nature he uses that knowledge – if which knowledge begets new knowledge – to increasingly control nature for his benefit and the benefit of others. Conscious man excels at solving problems. The North Slope of Alaska has enough oil to provide the populace of North America for the next hundred years. But it’s not being tapped/drilled because deals were made with most Middle Eastern countries to by oil from them on two conditions. 1) They denominate the oil in U.S. dollars, and, 2) they use some of the profits to buy the U.S.  national debt. Search YouTube for The energy Non Crisis (Lindsey Williams) and Confessions of an Economic Hitman (John Perkins).

Self-governing humans are non-conformist. Yet getting people to conform is vital to the powers that be (PTB). Second to conscious, self-governing, value creation driven humans, the second most vital resource to control is money. He who owns the gold makes the rules. The hand that lends is above the hand that borrows.

Know this; all true wealth is created by man putting his mental and physical energies to labor resources. Man is the value that has always been the root source/backing of money. International banksters have stolen the issuance of money from its true and rightful owners. Watch, Money as Debt III – Evolution Beyond Money, for a brilliant solution to the problem. Also read: http://www.newapproachtofreedom.info/

Comment by Terrence Aym
Entered on:

Skeptics like Jack Goldstone, author of nine books on society and trends, doubts that the leaders of countries would permit the situation to mushroom out of control leading to a societal and cultural collapse.

Goldstone, a professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, believes the population will begin to level off. He told the Guardian that "The means and the desire to reduce the number of children people have is spreading around the world."

Population growth also tends to level off as more people attain higher levels of education.

Goldstone argues that many factors make the UN report unlikely and a more reasonable population number by 2100 would be in the range of 10 to 12 billion. 

The Club of Rome predicted, in their "Limits to Growth" that diminishing resource would cause collapse by 1980. That changed to 1990, and then 2000.

The revised "Limits to Growth" used charts, graphs and impressive columns of numbers to drive home their hypothesis that the world was doomed by 2000 if governments didn't enforce draconian measures on their citizens. When the Millennium came and went without a collapse, the think tank amended their forecast to: "Population and industrial capital reach levels high enough to create food and resource shortages before the year 2100."

If a prediction falls short, add another 100 years.

After 40 years all the warnings smack of alarmism.

CERN's CLOUD experiment demonstrates that climate change is not anthropogenic driven.

NASA and other space agencies are warning about a long term global cooling affecting most of the 21st Century.

And revolutionary technologies for discovering, acquiring and processing oil has driven up known reserves to their highest level in history. The so-called "peak oil" theory has been proved wrong.

Some population experts even argue that the Earth could easily support 100 billion people. Lending credence to their argument is the state of Texas.

Texas and 7 billion people

Overpopulation.com observes that the popular scenario of the entire population of the world living comfortably within the borders of Texas was entirely doable. The article went on to reveal that even the environmental organization The Sierra Club's own calculator of urban sprawl versus density of population showed that everyone could live in Texas. [Map]

But the calculations also show—using The Sierra Club's own calculator—that although people were ridiculed "for suggesting that the entire world population could fit in Texas…at the density level the Sierra Club was advocating all people in the world today would be able to fit in an area just two percent as large as Texas. The state could hold upwards of 300 billion people at that level of density."

Is there anything to truly fear about a world with 10 billion, 20 billion, 50 billion people? Probably not.

Perhaps the only thing to fear is the lack of imagination on the part of some experts.