… Mother Nature Always Bats Last

Overpopulation in America: Mother Nature Always Bats Last

You bet I address the overpopulation issue in America! You won’t see one governor, senator or House leader speak about it. They avoid it at all costs. However, more voices join the chorus in 2009. We’re in more trouble than a henhouse with two foxes jumping through the windows!

The United States maintains the third fastest growth rate in the world behind China and India. They suffer with 1.3 and 1.1 billion people already, but add eight and 12 million respectively each year! The U.S. adds 3.4 million annually. Projections show the U.S. adding 100 million in 26 years. Stuff that into your entitlement bong and smoke it!

Yale Global, in a recent piece, said, “Demographic trends, often ignored by policymakers, are clearly linked with the US immigration policy. If Congress and the Obama administration plan to implement an effective immigration policy, they need to understand how, over time, it will affect the country’s population figure. As demographer Joseph Chamie notes, policy makers should start by asking how large should the US’ population be. Answering this question will determine what should be the rate of immigration since immigration has a significant multiplier effect on population growth. The US is currently the most populous developed nation in the world and at current rates, it could overtake the European Union by the end of the century. Indeed, immigration policy affects not only domestic issues like social security and health care, which can have international implications as a result of government debt levels, but also affects the use of resources and carbon emission linked with global climate change. Imagine how high the US emissions could grow if its population were to double while retaining the current per capita carbon footprint? Until such questions are answered, immigration is unlikely to abate.”

In a recent piece by Joseph Chamie, director of research at the Center for Migration Studies, “US Immigration Policy Likely to Boost Population” July 30, 2009, he said, “Growth-driven immigration policy risks bringing unfavorable socio-economic and environmental consequences. As the new US Administration and Congress begin to tackle immigration reform they will again be faced with the weighty question of how large should America’s population be in the future. Should America’s population continue to grow indefinitely, perhaps doubling to 600 million by the end of the century? Clearly, any answer to this vital demographic question has serious and far-reaching economic, political, social and environmental consequences for America as well as for the international community of nations.

“Some of America’s leading policymakers uncritically accept that an expanding population with increased immigration is good for America, ensuring its prosperity, power and harmonious relations with other nations with little if any adverse effects. Most others simply choose to ignore or equivocate on this fundamental demographic question, as has so often been done in past.”

Not one of them speaks about or addresses what it means to add 100 million people to the USA within 30 years! It’s unconscionable to be that smart and stupid at the same time. Do they represent college educated graduates or high school drop outs? One wonders!

“Leaders in the Senate and Administration will likely focus their attention on narrow aspects of immigration reform, as they did in the recent report of the Independent Task Force on US Immigration Policy, which – except for the paper it was printed on – ignored environmental implications of the policy,” said Chamie. “Decisions and policies on US immigration, including future levels, priorities, high-skilled migration and illegal immigration, effectively load the demographic dice for America’s future.

“Contrary to popular thought, the dominant force fueling America’s demographic growth is not natural increase, but immigration. This is because immigrants not only add their own numbers to the nation’s overall population, but also contribute a disproportionate number of births whose effects are compounded over time. A couple of examples help to illustrate this important point.”

Since the U.S. female averaged 2.03 children since 1970, it’s not our population causing hyper-population growth.

“The first example considers the contribution of immigration to America’s population growth since its founding in 1776,” Chamie said. “If international migration had ceased after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America’s population would have likely been no more than 127 million today and perhaps closer to 100 million, far short of its current size of 307 million (Figure 1). Over this 233-year period, migration’s contribution (migrants and their descendents) is dominant, accounting for at least 60 percent of America’s population growth.

“The second example illustrates immigration’s impact on America’s population from a future perspective. By mid-century the US population is projected to reach 439 million, assuming current annual net migration of about 1.3 million increasing gradually to 2 million (Figure 2). However, if further immigration were to cease, the US population in 2050 would likely be about 100 million less, i.e., roughly 345 million. Again, the major force behind the future growth of America’s population, at least 70 percent in this instance, is the addition of immigrants and their descendants.”

Chamie said, “Immigration is also altering America’s ethnic composition and culture, i.e., less European and more Latin American, Asian and African. Throughout the 19th century and most of the 20th, the US foreign born population was predominately from European countries, e.g., Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. Today the top five countries are no longer of European origin but are Mexico, China, Philippines, India and Vietnam, with Mexico accounting for a third of the foreign born. As a result, America will increasingly look, sound and act differently over the coming decades – which is neither good nor bad but different. By mid-century, for example, one out five Americans is expected to be an immigrant – higher than ever before – with Hispanics accounting for 30 percent of the nation’s population.”

Not mentioned: no matter how many the U.S. immigrates, the world adds 77 million annually. Mexico expects to add 50 million. What immigrants fled in their own countries, i.e., food, water and energy shortages, they recreate in the USA.

Chamie said, “These projections raise the fundamental question of how much larger should America’s population be. Over the past several decades, the White House and Congress established various commissions to comprehensively address the future size of America’s population. In general, these high-level advisory bodies concluded that in the long run, no substantial benefits would result from the further growth of the nation’s population. And in particular, they recognized that America cannot grow indefinitely and recommended that the country welcome and plan for a gradual stabilization of its population.”

“Also, they concluded that there is hardly any problem confronting America whose solution would be easier with a larger population. Moving toward population stabilization would contribute significantly to America’s ability to solve its domestic problems as well as many of those abroad, especially energy and resource consumption, climate change and environmental sustainability. Moreover, without US leadership as demonstrated by domestic efforts to stabilize its population and thereby mitigate further damage to the environment, other nations would be reluctant to adopt policies and practices to stabilize their populations and work toward developmental and ecological sustainability.”

Thankfully, Chamie calls for U.S. population stabilization. That needs to happen sooner rather than later.

“Given the current economic and political climate, it seems doubtful that the US Congress will be able to address immigration reform any time soon,” Chamie said. “However, when they do begin debating US immigration policies, it would be wise to consider demographic realities, future population projections and likely environmental costs and not simply embrace the traditional pro-growth ethic that “more is better.” Congress and the Administration have an opportunity to address immigration reform in the broader context of America’s population. If they choose to do otherwise, expect another 100 million Americans to be joining us very soon.”

If we fail to stabilize U.S. population gracefully via immigration moratorium, the next added 100 million promises to cause water shortages we cannot solve, energy crises that grow irreversible and quality of life issues that degrade the American way of life. In the end, either we take action or Mother Nature will take action, brutally. She always bats last!

## Frosty Wooldridge, math/science teacher, 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

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