Deputy Director’s Corner
Earlier this summer, Northeastern University’s student news webpage noted a local morning radio segment which had highlighted population growth. The university’s local Boston radio station WBUR’s Morning Edition featured the segment, which was titled “Report says major infrastructure fixes needed to support Greater Boston’s population growth.” The write-up of the clip notes that “between 2010 and 2030 the population of Greater Boston is expected to grow by 10.5 percent.”
WBUR goes on to highlight: “An economic report released… by researchers at Northeastern University concludes this area will require some major infrastructure improvements to support that population.”
I was pleased to see this important issue getting some much-needed attention. However, as NPG has long pointed out – a number of studies have commented on the need for more FUNDING for infrastructure. This isn’t a simple matter of “we need more roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. More water pipes and sewage treatment plants. More electrical grids and more power stations.” If our population continues to grow, those things are true – we will certainly NEED those facilities (and much, much more).
Perhaps the more important question -which no one seems to be asking – is “How large do we want our population to be?” We will never be able to maintain our crumbling infrastructure without reducing our population to a smaller, truly sustainable level.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Massachusetts’ state infrastructure already has some serious problems:
487 of its 5,136 bridges are structurally deficient;
There are 293 high hazard dams;
The state’s drinking water infrastructure alone needs $7.7 billion – and that’s just over the next 20 years;
There are $12.1 million in unmet needs for the parks system; and
Wastewater infrastructure needs $8 billion by 2030.
ASCE last assigned the United States an overall infrastructure grade of D+ in 2013, estimating that $3.6 trillion in investments are needed by 2020.
NPG has often highlighted the direct link between population growth and our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, including within the President’s Column article “Climate Change and the U.S. Infrastructure. “The column notes: “The current state of our infrastructure… will continue to deteriorate unless we halt, and eventually reverse, the growth of our population.” NPG commends Northeastern University students for their attentiveness and activism regarding this critical issue! Let’s hope they see the connection to population size and growth.
America’s next generation of leaders must become engaged in the effort to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. population growth. And we at NPG have long recognized the value of enlisting our nation’s young people! Thanks to your generous contributions, we continue to reach students like these through our Annual NPG Scholarship Contests – which are being awarded now to our 2016 winners!
With your help, we are aiding talented young people with the rising costs of higher education – and involving them in the fight for America’s future!
We at NPG know you care a great deal about America’s future. Your activism and financial support make our programs possible – and we are extremely grateful for your dedication to our efforts to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth.
Thank you again for all you do!
World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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