“Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth.”
World scientists’ warning to humanity, signed by 1600 senior scientists from 70 countries including 102 Nobel Prize laureates, November 18, 1992
By 2050, at the current rate of growth, our country adds another 120 million to reach a total of 420 million. Many experts expect higher numbers. Is it a milestone or millstone?
In the face of scientific evidence of melting polar ice caps, accelerating species extinction, water shortages, soil erosion, air pollution, acid rain and vanishing farmland—where do we find a national leader to address America’s most ominous dilemma early in the 21ST century? Few leaders emerge in the political, educational or religious realm.
While the Pope witnesses starvation, misery and suffering worldwide, he promotes maximum human birth rates. Islam commits to the same agenda as do most other faiths. Religious leaders refuse to budge from their 2000 year old dogmas. Their clout still trumps the masses’ ability or willingness to think critically. Those leaders avoid the realities of the 21st century.
U.S. industry giants won’t speak about it. Our U.S. president eschews it. All 50 governors flee this subject. No U.S. senator touches it. Most Americans ignore its reality. A few notables like Dr. John Tanton, Roy Beck, Sharon Stein, Paul Ehrlich, Garrett Hardin, Dr. Albert Bartlett of Colorado University and former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm educate Americans about their future population calamity.
But, like the Amtrak Express on the midnight run, it’s comin’ and it’s comin’ fast.
Silent-assertion! One hundred-fifty years ago, one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain said, “Almost all lies are acts, and speech has no part in them. I am speaking of the lie of silent assertion; we can tell it without saying a word. For example: It would not be possible for a humane and intelligent person to invent a rational excuse for slavery; yet you will remember that in the early days of emancipation agitation in the North, the agitators got but small help or countenance from anyone. Argue, plead and pray as they might, they could not break the universal stillness that reigned, from the pulpit and press all the way down to the bottom of society--the clammy stillness created and maintained by the lie of silent assertion; the silent assertion that there wasn’t anything going on in which humane and intelligent people were interested.
“The universal conspiracy of the silent assertion lie is hard at work always and everywhere, and always in the interest of a stupidity or sham, never in the interest of a thing fine or respectable. It is the most timid and shabbiest of all lies…the silent assertion that nothing is going on which fair and intelligent men and women are aware of and are engaged by their duty to try to stop.”
In Twain’s time, slavery continued as the silent-assertion of the day until it imploded into states’ rights and the Civil War.
Today, in Congress and the White House you witness a complete abrogation of common sense, civic responsibility, action for the common good and visionary engagement toward the future. With each new scandal, aberrant side-dishes surface weekly that detract from the harsh realities we face.
America faces unending migrant millions from its southern border. In the last century, Mexico expanded from 50 million poverty stricken peasants to 108 million today. In this century, because of, or due to, religious and cultural propensities, Mexico expects 300 million people--three times as many as today. If you think they engage solutions to their problems, think again.
Not only Mexico, but millions in South America, Africa, India, China, Bangladesh and the Middle East explode out of their demographic as well as ecological britches and carrying capacity limits.
We can ignore reality for a limited amount of time, but reality will not ignore us.
As this book attests, no First World country can escape the inevitable migration of millions in overloaded, overcrowded and environmentally unsustainable countries from around the world. Unless, First World countries take action immediately, profoundly and with tenacious determination!
You may recall a movie staring Will Smith titled, “Independence Day” whereby an alien force invaded planet Earth. All nations came together to fend off the invader.
Can we unite humanity in this 21st century to act in unison for our own survival? Do we realize the ‘enemy’ proves to be our own fecundity? Can we unite to change our cultural and biological propensities away from, “Go forth, multiply and take dominion over the earth…”?
We better! As Henry Kendall said, “We can bring about population stabilization graciously via birth control or nature will do it brutally.”
What we face!
If I could take you for a two week trip to Mexico City, Mexico; Shanghai, China; Bombay, India; Dacca, Bangladesh; Dakar, Egypt—you would become sick to your stomach. You would be inspired to take action. You wouldn’t want your children to live what those people endure by the millions in their misery as they cling to life—every day of their lives.
The PBS journalist Bill Moyers asked the great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, “What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?”
Asimov replied, “It will be completely destroyed. I use what I call the bathroom metaphor: if two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want to stay as long as you like for whatever you need.
“But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person; you have to bang on the door, “Aren’t you done yet?”
He concluded, “In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive. Convenience and decency can’t survive. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less one person matters.”
How can we beat nature to the punch or should I say, to a gracious solution?
First of all, we must educate ourselves. Second, we must take action.
Each chapter of this book exposes ramifications we face as to social, cultural, environmental and planetary results of continued growth in America and around the world. Once you become highly astute on what we face, you will be directed to personal, local, national and international web sites in order to take action.