A Monthly Commentary on Population and Immigration Issues
Presented by Negative Population Growth, Inc.
COMMENTARY by NPG President Donald Mann
Ben Franklin once said: “When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water.”
In 1993 the United Nations declared March 22nd as World Water Day, with the goal of raising awareness about worldwide water challenges. This explains the abundance of news articles related to this issue in recent weeks.
Reasonably, every individual throughout the world should place water – the planet’s most precious resource – at the top of their priorities. Access to water is essential to the health and survival of all life forms, as well as for a functioning economy. The more people we add to the planet, the greater the competition for limited water resources.
Unfortunately, in the U.S. we rarely see stories concerning the decrease of water’s availability unless an area is suffering from drought. Last month, the alarm bells were sounded regarding a potential drought facing California. Recently, arid expanses of land in Texas were in the national spotlight. In 2007, the 5 million residents of the Atlanta metropolitan area came within three months of running out of water.
Few areas in the U.S. are exempt from the threat of drought or overuse of water – which is a problem that can and must be addressed now, before we reach a crisis stage.
As our population grows, proposed solutions to meeting America’s water needs abound. Many people put their faith in huge desalinization plants. Others suggest charging a higher price for water will help cut usage. New reservoirs can always help temporarily. Recycling water in major cities is beginning to gain traction. And there are those who advocate for extensive water pipelines crisscrossing the nation. (For decades, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has proposed diverting Mississippi River water toward the west.)
All of these “solutions” – feasible or not – would take years to develop and cost billions of scarce taxpayer dollars. You don’t build a huge reservoir or aqueduct overnight. It often takes decades to navigate the barrage of political battles, environmental concerns, engineering challenges, and construction permitting to bring any major water project to reality.
So the question must be asked and answered soon: in terms of water, where will the U.S. be in 20 years with tens of millions of additional residents? Do we have the technological know-how and the political foresight to address this issue today – or will our present challenges become tomorrow’s crises? We may not be able to control droughts, but there are ways to improve today’s response to our limited water supply. The most logical answer is to stop – and then reverse – population growth to enable our nation to reach a sustainable level. It is time for our elected leaders to look beyond their local and state boundaries and set forth a national plan – one that must include a responsible population policy – before a nationwide crisis inevitably occurs.
If we fail to act, the value of water could know no bounds.
NPG REMEMBERS JOYCE TARNOW, POPULATION ACTIVIST
NPG was saddened to hear of the passing of Joyce Tarnow, co-founder and President of Floridians for a Sustainable Population. Joyce became interested in overpopulation after reading the revolutionary book The Population Bomb, published in 1968. A 1970 Earth Day display demonstrating the rate of U.S. births caught her attention, and she was enthralled. For the remainder of her years, Joyce was deeply committed to educating Americans about the connection between environmentalism and population growth – particularly in her beloved home state of Florida.
Several NPG staff have had the pleasure of visiting and working with Joyce for many years at the Social Contract Press annual Writers Workshop. We agree wholeheartedly with the many obituaries Joyce’s life and work have inspired. One such write-up, eloquently penned by her friend and fellow-activist Leon Kolankiewicz, stated: “It is rare indeed to find someone of Joyce’s unflagging commitment, energy, enthusiasm, zest for life, upbeat spirit, and unflinching courage. She was not one in a million, but one in a hundred million.” Joyce was a true gift, her work inspired us all, and she will be greatly missed.
217 + 1 HOUSE SIGNATURES = RECIPE FOR DISASTER
When the U.S. Senate passed S. 744 last summer, the open-border lobby had high hopes for fast-tracking it through the House of Representatives in the same manner. They hit a brick wall. And hopes for a major comprehensive immigration bill – with or without amnesty/citizenship – garnering bipartisan support and getting through the 113th Congress have pretty much withered away.
However, the bill is not dead – yet.
Those pushing for massive immigration reform have decided to take a long-shot effort at getting a bill through the House by filing what is known as a “discharge petition.” Essentially, this is a back-door tactic whereby a petition has been filed to force a full House vote on H.R. 15 – an amnesty bill very similar to S. 744. If more than half (217+1) of House Members sign the petition, the House must act with Members voting “yes” or “no” for H.R. 15. Logically, the bill would then pass if all Members who signed the petition show up for the vote.
The good news is, as reported by Politico, “successful petitions are notoriously rare.” The story also notes: “A member of the majority party signing onto a discharge effort is considered a significant breach of party loyalty.” Thus, with Speaker John Boehner not willing to voluntarily bring up an immigration bill, the odds are that the effort will fail.
Considering today’s volatile politics and immigration often being used as a powerful tool to sway our elected leaders, we cannot count on this effort simply dying on the vine. NPG urges all members to make clear to their Representatives in Congress that you expect them reject H.R. 15 and to oppose the discharge petition.
To find your Representative’s contact information, click here.
Are we making enough progress in the war against air pollution?
That’s an important question to ask, in light of a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) which states: “Air pollution kills 7 million people a year globally, 80% of them from heart disease and stroke.”
Citing that report, author Maggie Fox notes that such a high mortality rate “makes air pollution the world’s largest single environmental health risk… accounting for one out of eight deaths.”
While most of us associate air pollution with smog-covered cities, the WHO highlights the fact that “indoor air pollution kills more people than outdoor pollution.” Chief culprits for indoor pollution are “cooking stoves and fireplaces still used by nearly 3 billion people,” mostly women in poorer countries.
As population growth continues, this lethal exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution will only exact a heavier and more tragic toll.
JUDGE SAYS “YES” TO PROOF OF VOTER CITIZENSHIP
A new national telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports, released on March 25th, finds that fully 78% of respondents support proof-of-citizenship requirements before being allowed to register to vote. That’s up from 71% a year ago.
Those polling results came just days after a ruling by a federal judge that the U.S. government could not prevent Kansas and Arizona from strengthening their proof-of-citizenship requirements for potential voters.
Writing for Townhall.com, Daniel Doherty highlighted: “U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements. Both require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.”
NPG has consistently insisted that our nation’s voter registration requirements be strengthened. We applaud Kansas and Arizona lawmakers for leading the way on this issue. We urge other states to take similar action – and help restore America’s integrity as a nation of laws. With such leniency regarding the privileges of U.S. citizenship, we send a message to those who would illegally enter our country that all doors will be open to them – including the right to vote in our elections. This policy of non-enforcement encourages their arrival and the resulting increases in U.S. population growth.
A BATTERY-POWERED BUS TAKES TO THE STREETS OF SAO PAULO
In recent years, we have seen hundreds of municipal transportation agencies successfully replace smoke-spewing diesel buses with those which run on ethanol, biofuels, and hydrogen in an effort to help clean up the air we breathe. The prospect for a battery-run bus that could sustain the demands of continuous public service still seemed a number of years away.
Yet Fox News Latino recently reported that the promise of tomorrow is coming true today. In the suburb of Diadema (just outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil), the world’s first battery-powered public transit bus has transported over 135,000 passengers in 10 days.
“Emitting zero pollution,” the bus has been hailed as “super-healthy for the planet and can do its job almost like diesel-fueled models, thanks to its recharge technology and use of energy.” According to a report by EcoWatch: “Electra Industrial assembled the bus almost entirely in Brazil, with the exception of the battery itself, which was developed in Japan by Mitsubishi.” The batteries are charged four times a day with “four-minute quick recharges… Slow charges, which last two or three hours, are conducted in the garage during the evening….”
Ivan Regina, manager of the Transport Planning, Technological Development and Environment unit with the Sao Paulo state government, emphasized the tremendous savings in fuel costs in the long term. Regina stated: “The battery-powered bus is more silent than others and provides just as much comfort. There is no difference to the users, only to the environment.” By 2020, the state plans to replace approximately 70,000 additional buses with battery-powered models.
NPG notes that while Brazil must begin to slow, halt, and eventually reverse its population growth, it is commendable that the nation is recognizing its obligation to protect the environment in the years ahead.
On a related note, according to the EcoWatch article, America’s “first electric school bus picked up California students about a month ago.” It all adds up to more progress against pollution.
A QUESTIONABLE HISTORY FOR AN IMPORTANT ROLE
Leon Rodriguez, President Obama’s nominee to be the new Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), brings great credentials to his new job. The question is – whose side is he on when it comes to enforcing U.S. immigration law?
Rodriguez is a former board member of CASA de Maryland, one of the most formidable activist groups pushing for radical changes in U.S. immigration policies – including amnesty/citizenship.
In 2007, CASA de Maryland published and distributed a booklet titled Warning: Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids. At Rodriguez’s Senate confirmation hearing, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) stated that “press accounts [of the booklet] also noted how the illustrations could be perceived as disparaging law enforcement.” In addition, Senator Grassley questioned Rodriguez’s position as a CASA de Maryland board member while that organization filed a lawsuit against Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). (The suit was intended to prevent MVA from complying with the federal REAL ID Act, which tightened required identification for individuals seeking a driver’s license.) Rodriguez distanced himself from the CASA lawsuit, noting that he did “not have a specific opinion on the REAL ID Act.”
Like Senator Grassley and many of his colleagues, NPG has serious concerns about Rodriguez’s nomination. The new Director of USCIS must oversee real enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws – at a time when we need it most. Yet we are seeing more and more individuals with ties to the open-border lobby being placed in positions of significant authority. A personal history of working within an organization such as CASA de Maryland, with its record of opposition to commonsense immigration laws, should work against – not for – someone nominated for this important position.
NPG encourages our members and supporters to contact their U.S. Senators and voice your opinion: the Director of USCIS must be committed to the enforcement of all existing immigration laws, in an effort to reduce – not increase – our U.S. population size.
CONGRESS DELAYING ACTION ON WILDERNESS PROTECTION
When the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved the first new federal wilderness protection bill in five years, the action was praised by environmentalists nationwide.
Now, the hope exists – and the pressure is on – to fast-track other pieces of legislation which would expand federal protection of special areas.
The Center for American Progress recently released a report highlighting 10 high-profile, bipartisan land conservation bills in Congress. Ecowatch notes: “The report, Languishing Lands: Conservation Bills Stalled in Congress, finds that legislation to protect these wild places has been introduced a combined 52 times over the past 30 years.”
However, we have seen action on just one.
Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, is quoted as saying: “There is a widening gap between American families who want more parks and open spaces to get outdoors and a Congress that has slashed conservation budgets, shuttered parks and blocked nearly every community-led effort to protect lands for future generations.”
The list of 10 areas which should be protected soon includes:
- Brown’s Canyon National Monument – Colorado
- Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks – New Mexico
- Central Idaho Boulder-White Cloud Area – Idaho
- California Desert – California
- Virgin Valley-Gold Butte – Nevada
- Alpine Lakes Wilderness – Washington State
- Pine Forest Range – Nevada
- Tennessee Wilderness-Cherokee National Forest – Tennessee
- Hermosa Creek Watershed – Colorado
- Berryessa Snow Mountain – California
NPG frequently calls attention to the need to protect our nation’s environmental treasures, which are being destroyed by population growth. We join with those who favor swift, additional Congressional action on conserving the above areas – and others which meet the criteria for federal protection.
As part of our continued work to engage America’s students in the battle for our nation’s future, the 2014 NPG Photo Scholarship Contest invites entrants to submit their original photo of an environmental treasure they believe is worth protecting – as well as a description of how population growth is putting that feature at risk. For more information on NPG’s Scholarship Contests, read the story featured below in this issue of the NPG Journal.
CELEBRATING EARTH DAY 2014
On April 22nd PBS television is presenting its American Masters premiere of A Fierce Green Fire, which it is billing as “the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement.” The one-hour documentary “spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism from the 1960s-2009 and connects the major causes of environmentalism, from conservation to climate change.”
The film was written, produced and directed by Oscar-nominee Mark Kitchell who states: “The environmental movement is the biggest movement the world has ever seen, yet so broad and diffuse that we lack a larger sense of what it was about. A Fierce Green Fire is meant to take stock, explore the historical meaning, where we’ve come from and where we’re heading.”
Founded in 1972, NPG traces its roots to the early environmental movement. Our 42-year history of working to keep America focused on the destructive nature of population growth makes us an integral player in the battle for a sustainable future. We look forward to celebrating the launch of this important documentary and urge our members and friends to tune in.
NPG REJECTS CRIES FOR MORE IMMIGRATION TO FEED U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH
NPG President Donald Mann was front-and-center in confronting a recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. In “The Economics of Commonsense Immigration Reform from the Economic Report of the President, 2013,” the Council warned that the slowing growth and aging of the U.S. population necessitates more immigrant workers to raise economic output and expand the consumer base.
In a mid-March press release, Mann deplored the lack of concern among political and business leaders for the dangers to America’s environment and resource base from this continued economic and population growth.
Mann stated: “It is unacceptable for the country to continue these population-increasing immigration policies, when U.S. population is projected to grow by 83 million people by mid-century. We are already an overpopulated nation.” If the proposed immigration increases are enacted, Mann added that such a scenario “can only end in the destruction of our standard of living and that of our descendants, along with fatal degradation of our resources and environment.”
Mann renewed NPG’s call for a national policy of zero-net migration, limiting overall intake to about 200,000 a year to balance emigration. Prompt enactment of such a limit, when combined with the current preference of Americans for sub-replacement fertility, would allow the U.S. population to stabilize before 2050 at about 325 million and then begin a gradual decline to a level that would be sustainable for the long term.
To read the full press release, as well as Don Mann’s President’s Column on this topic, visit our website at www.NPG.org.
SIGN ON TO RECEIVE A 2014 NPG TEACHER’S PACKET
Each year, NPG’s Teacher Packets become more and more popular – especially in early April as we head toward Earth Day.
We touch base with thousands of teachers across the country at the beginning of each semester, inviting them to order their free NPG Teacher’s Packet – complete with Student Fact Sheets and a U.S. Population Poster. We also offer these valuable resources to our NPG members and supporters.
If you are a teacher, know a teacher, or home-school your children, this is a great time to acquire your Teacher’s Packet. Simply go to www.NPG.org and submit your completed online order form. We will mail your Packet to you within a matter of days.
Remember – NPG Teacher’s Packets are available free of charge! The cost for printing and mailing is underwritten by generous contributions from friends and members, and is an integral part of NPG’s educational mission.
Distribution of our Teacher’s Packets serves as a cornerstone in our efforts to teach today’s students – America’s next generation of leaders – about the social, economic, and environmental dangers of skyrocketing population growth. We welcome contributions from all who wish to help us expand this valuable program. Visit us today at www.NPG.org to help – or to request your Teacher’s Packet. Thank you.
NPG’S NEW PUSH TO ADVANCE REVISED BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP LEGISLATION
NPG members will soon be receiving a letter in the mail asking them to sign and return two petitions to help move important legislation through Congress. This latest NPG effort is designed to build support for H.R. 140, and it also addresses growing support in the U.S. House of Representatives for a “one issue at a time” approach to immigration reform. NPG prefers this “piecemeal” plan to solve our nation’s immigration crisis, rather than the massive “one-bill-fits-all” legislation we saw in S. 744, which passed the Senate last summer.
The petitions will be addressed to both Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and House Speaker John Boehner, and will be delivered to their offices by NPG.
The petitions to Congressman King are aimed at thanking him for leading the efforts to advance H.R. 140 (the Birthright Citizenship Act). They will also provide him with solid evidence of this bill’s widespread support, which he can present to fellow Members of Congress when seeking their co-sponsorship. (A recent Rasmussen poll shows that 61% of voters oppose birthright citizenship and feel it should be changed.)
The Act is aimed at revising the current (and very broad) interpretation of “birthright citizenship” under our Constitution’s 14th amendment, which holds that all children born on U.S. soil automatically become full-fledged American citizens – even if neither parent is an existing citizen. This has led to a growing number of abusive “birth tourism” industries. The resulting link to chain migration is creating havoc with our nation’s population growth and must be stopped.
There are estimates of as many as 300,000 “anchor babies” born in the U.S. annually. Many return to their country of origin, only to arrive here later as full-fledged U.S. citizens. As a result, they are then able to sponsor many family members to join them in our country.
King’s bill, H.R. 140, would limit birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. It would require at least one parent to be a U.S. citizen, national, legal permanent resident living in the United States, or serving on active-duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The petitions to Speaker Boehner are designed to pressure him to follow through on his efforts to bring forth responsible immigration reform – without amnesty/ citizenship – in order to set our nation on a more sustainable course by greatly decreasing current immigration numbers.
NPG members should check their mail in the coming weeks and join us in this important effort.
NPG 2014 SCHOLARSHIPS: ESSAY AND PHOTO CONTESTS
Getting America’s students engaged in the debate on population growth continues to be one of NPG’s top priorities. However, going beyond simple classroom discussion and getting young people involved in finding solutions makes for a much more powerful learning experience. That is why NPG sponsors its annual scholarship competitions.
This year, we are pleased to announce two options for students to compete for scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $500. Multiple prizes will be awarded for both the Essay and Photo Contests, for a total of $15,000 in individual scholarships.
Students are requested to submit an essay (500-750 words) to:
Explain why the average American citizen – particularly our youngest generation – should become active in the cause to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. population growth.
Students are asked to submit their original photo of a threatened environmental treasure that they believe is worth protecting, along with an explanation (40-50 words) of how population growth has put this treasure at risk.
Both scholarship contests are open to high school seniors and currently enrolled college undergraduates. Contest deadlines, official rules and eligibility requirements can be found online at www.NPG.org.
NPG is pleased to offer these challenging events as part of our mission to enlist a new generation of activists, who will be focused on reversing the dangers of population growth.
We regularly receive positive feedback from students entering our scholarship contests. Recently, a student sent the following message to NPG:
“Wow, what an amazing cause. I’ve thought of how population negatively affects an environment throughout my whole life, but always thought that no one would necessarily agree with me. But the fact that there’s an organization with over 25,000 people working for negative population growth with a scholarship to boot astounds me in a positive way. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
NPG sends our thanks to all of our members and friends who have so generously contributed. It is your gifts that help make this critical program possible!
“…You really can’t be an environmentalist… if you are not someone who is extremely concerned about overpopulation.”
Host, “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO)
March 12, 2014 with author Alan Weisman
WHY THE NPG JOURNAL?
The NPG Journal (offered free to all recipients) exists to give more widespread distribution to timely news stories and articles related to population, immigration, environmental, and political issues that currently affect our daily life – or have the potential to seriously impact our future.
We realize not all news stories covering population issues will reflect NPG policies and goals. One of our main purposes in creating the NPG Journal is to expose these items to a wider audience, and to draw attention to the fact that many articles speak to immigration and population issues yet fail to address the central cause of many problems: U.S. population growth.
Ultimately, NPG would like to see writers at all levels make the obvious (to us, at least) connection between environmental and resource problems and the growing number of people in both the United States and the world. Unfortunately, most do not. To that end, we comment as necessary to help our readers see those links, in hopes they will continue to speak out on what we deem to be the most pressing issue of our time – population size and growth.
NPG President Donald Mann offers his personal insight and commentary on individual stories, especially those that challenge, confirm and/or complement our NPG Forum papers and research. The goal of the NPG Journal is to greatly expand NPG’s educational mission. NPG’s activities continue to emphasize the need for Americans to speak up on population issues and keep our nation – especially our elected leaders on the national, state, and local levels – focused on taking action to help resolve today’s immigration crisis and work to slow, halt, and eventually reverse America’s population growth.
We welcome your feedback to articles posted on the NPG Journal, and urge you to forward to us the e-mail addresses of friends you think would like to receive a complimentary copy of the NPG Journal on a monthly basis. Contact us at NPG@NPG.org.
Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization with over 30,000 members. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders regarding the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources, and standard of living. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. For more information, or to get involved, visit us online at www.NPG.org.
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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