… I play, dance with my wife twice a week and look forward to the summer. Last year, I bicycled coast-to-coast across America for the 7th time. Last month, as I closed in on age 65, I skied to the top of a 13,209 foot peak at 31 below zero in Colorado. At the top: a glorious view of 100 miles in all directions to see the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains! Robert Redford’s got nothing on me in his movie—Jeremiah Johnson!
While the average American, according to NPR, sits in front of a TV for 15 years of his/her life—I’m out there living, playing and adventuring! You can bet that I laugh a lot, pray a lot, appreciate my wife and family—and expect more adventures.
However, I am also cognizant of what our civilization faces in the next 20 years. To be downright realistic, I am not looking forward to it. How do I know what I am writing about? I’ve seen it up close and ugly in my 40 years of bicycle travel around the planet.
The next 20 years won’t be the cakewalk like the last 20 years! Why? While I cannot cover such a litany of challenges in three columns, you may be able to digest a few for starters.
First of all, gasoline will continue to rise in price from the current $3.19 cents here in Colorado and $3.46 in most of California, and topping out at $4.69 in West Covina, CA—to $5.00 a gallon this summer and higher beyond that. It’s already $6.69 in Europe. If you read Chris Steiner’s book, $20 Per Gallon, and I reviewed the book last year, ultimately gasoline will cost $10.00 a gallon and within 20 years or so, it will hit $20.00 per gallon. Why? Because we continue devouring that finite resource at an astounding 84 million barrels of oil every day of the year. That’s 400 million gallons per day in the USA alone! Poof! Up in carbon footprint as it pollutes our biosphere!
"The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human lifetime….so I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population…that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it." James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
Oil’s decline will change everything! We will not be driving personal cars because we will be forced to use mass transit. It will change the way we shop, eat and travel. Bicycles, my favorite mode of transportation, will become more dominant in our cities. Unfortunately, we do not and have not found a replacement for oil even close to its energy-density and ease of transport.
Peak Oil will change how we grow food and its cost. It will change transport of food and materials. It’s already happening! With our humongous 312 million population, it will be interesting to see if we can afford to eat or if we can grow enough food TO eat.
As oil prices rise, we will see more starvation around the world—currently at 18 million humans annually. We can expect 30 to 40 million human beings starving to death annually by mid century if not more.
We humans have gotten ourselves into a heck of a conundrum on many levels.
Within the next 20 years, Americans, if they continue accepting relentless immigration, will see an added 50 to 60 million immigrants on top of another 20 million of their (our) own citizens. That means another 60 to 75 million human beings will be competing for jobs, water, food and energy to keep warm and feed themselves.
Anybody scratching their noggins right about now? Getting a little nervous for your kids? Concerned about their fate? What about the rest of the planet? Ever hear of the phrase, “I want to give my kids a better life than I had.” Reality: ain’t gonna’ happen!
Since humans add 1.0 billion people net gain every 13 years, that means 1.5 billion more people added to the planet within 20 years. Ever here of the song, “They’re coming to America….” by Neil Diamond?
As that ‘surge’ of humanity stampedes across the globe racing into “remaining” civilized and sustainable countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and all of Europe—it means your quality of life and standard of living drop like a brick in water. It means massive unemployment, now at 15 million Americans, will grow to 20 million unemployed Americans. It means 43 million Americans subsisting on food stamps in March of 2011, will grow to over 50 million in a short time. It means poverty and hopelessness will grow beyond imagination or solving.
Fellow Americans, I am only hitting the tip of the iceberg in this three part series. If we continue on this current immigration path of adding 3.1 million desperate souls every year to our country from a line that grows by 80 million more annually—we and our children: screwed! Plain and simple! Immigrants, too! The results will be unpleasant, even devastating for all of us.
How do I know? I’ve already witnessed it firsthand in my world travels. Once those numbers manifest, everybody suffers equally. We’ll cover more of what we face in part 2. We can change the future, but, after writing about it for the past 30 years, I question whether we possess the wisdom, energy or guts to change our future for the better. How could we save ourselves?
1. Suspend all immigration today. We cannot afford anymore immigrants for any reason.
2. Engage every scientist in the world to create workable alternative energy. We need it and we need it fast.
3. Massive movement toward conservation of water, gasoline and resources. Two cylinder cars, electric cars, solar powered cars, etc. We must reduce carbon footprint quickly.
4. Massive recycling incentive-driven 10 cent return/deposit on all plastic, metal, aluminum and glass containers of every kind sold in stores. We must stop rapping the earth’s dwindling resources.
5. How about changing our $800 billion annual military expenses to half that and move toward peace and sanity by leaving Iraq and Afghanistan? How about a Department of Peace and Harmony?!
6. Your ideas?
Don’t think I know what I’m talking about? Just look at these two videos for 5 and 10 minutes:
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, 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!”
Next Part 2: quality of life, species extinction, standard of living
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