The NPG Journal: Vol. 7, No. 1 – 12/13/13
A Monthly Commentary on Population and Immigration Issues
Presented by Negative Population Growth, Inc.
COMMENTARY: by NPG President Donald Mann
As this year comes to a close, I offer my personal insights on the problems we’ve faced – and will continue to face into 2014 and beyond.
Immigration: I want to applaud all NPG members for winning a great battle this year. Our victory came by halting the success of the open-border advocates to force their disastrous immigration reform bill – S. 627, complete with amnesty/citizenship – through Congress. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of thousands of NPG activists signing petitions for delivery to Capitol Hill, we were able to pressure members of the U.S. House of Representatives to keep this damaging legislation from coming up for a vote. Unfortunately, while we will be able to enjoy an end-of-the-year respite from this ongoing battle, we can’t fully relax. It is clear that that the self-serving interests who want to throw open America’s borders will be back as strong as ever in 2014. We must resolve today to keep fighting and ensure that when the House finally does get to debating immigration reform, common sense prevails and nation-destroying legislation meets its final doom.
Abuse of Presidential Executive Orders: In his five years in office, President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to ignore laws and bend rules in order to advance his agenda. This has especially been true in relation to immigration. His executive directives outlining the selective enforcement of long-standing immigration laws are blatant “end-runs” around Congress. There is growing concern that such actions will increase the longer the issue of immigration reform languishes on Capitol Hill.
Jobs: President Obama is once again crisscrossing the country, giving speech after speech about the need to create more jobs. At the same time, he is actively campaigning for passage of immigration reform legislation that paves the way to full citizenship for millions of illegal aliens in our country – the very ones who currently (and will continue to) replace American citizens in the workforce. The new immigration bill he is promoting contains dangerous provisions which will expand the number of legal work visas. If passed, we will see high-tech and other companies bring in even more foreigners – workers who can be paid a lower wage than comparably-skilled U.S. workers and recent college graduates. At present, the government counts 10.9 million Americans as unemployed – with millions more underemployed (working part-time or at a lower income), or so discouraged that they have dropped out of the labor market. Each month, as the “new hire” numbers are released by the Department of Labor, it is made clear by many economists that “we are barely keeping up with the nation’s increase in population.” Passing legislation that will open the doors to millions of new immigrants will only lead to permanent high unemployment numbers that could last for decades.
Border Tunnels: Does anyone really believe we can make progress on border security when, after all the billions spent on this issue in recent years, authorities are still shocked to find highly sophisticated tunnels running under the U.S.-Mexico border? The latest tunnel discovered at the end of October ran from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, California – and was equipped with electricity, ventilation, and a rail system. While supposedly built to smuggle drugs, authorities were silent on whether or not it was big enough to also be used for human trafficking.
Revising China’s One-Child Policy: What will be the end result of China’s recent announcement to relax its one-child policy? It will take years to answer that question, but Deputy Director Wang Peian of the National Health and Family Planning Commission has said that “China’s population will not grow substantially in the short term.” (He does not define “short term.”) However, with 7.1 billion people inhabiting the world today, any new impetus for increasing global population is not good news.
It’s difficult to track exact figures, but estimates are that China’s one-child policy prevented between 200 and 400 million births over its 40-year tenure. It’s anyone’s guess whether China would be where it is today if it had to take on the burden of that many more people. That nation’s dictatorial actions to restrict population growth remain very controversial and have been condemned by many. However, there are responsible and non-coercive ways to achieve a sustainable population – and it is crucial that all people become educated regarding the benefits of smaller families.
Water Resources: Anyone keeping up with the news these days is frequently presented with a story related to America’s growing water crises. The bottom line is that by adding approximately 30 million more people each decade, we are reaching the limit on the availability of water to sustain present-day agricultural, business, and personal needs. It will surely be only a matter of decades until the availability of water will be a dominant crisis with limited solutions.
In all, here at NPG we look to 2014 with new hope. While we are definitely making progress in educating Americans about the critical need to lower our nation’s population to a sustainable level, the challenges mount – as do the costs to keep NPG such a powerful and effective force in this battle.
As the population and immigration issues take on new facets, NPG members and our allies must continue our dedicated efforts to advance sensible policies and solutions. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do no less.
If you have yet to renew your NPG Membership for 2014, please go to www.NPG.org and complete this important task right now. Thank you.
SPEAKER BOEHNER’S NEW IMMIGRATION STAFFER
What’s House Speaker John Boehner up to in bringing on Rebecca Tallent, a former chief of staff and immigration advisor to Senator John McCain?
NPG – and other organizations dedicated to stopping the all-out push for immigration reform (and especially amnesty/citizenship) in 2014 – finds this latest move very worrisome.
Ms. Tallent’s professional history includes her work with Senator McCain, who is recognized as a leading advocate for overhauling our nation’s immigration system, and she comes to Boehner’s office directly from a position as Director of Immigration Policy for the Bipartisan Institute. The fear is that Tallent will lend new energy to efforts in pushing a House vote on immigration quite soon – so that the controversial issue is “off the table” before the 2014 elections. Speaker Boehner has sent mixed signals in recent months as to his timetable for action on immigration.
According to The Hill newspaper, for some opponents of immigration reform, “the hire [Tallent] is seen as cause for alarm.”
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) stated: “It’s a very big concern for me…because I don’t want to see any new bills come forward and I don’t want to see any new laws on the books until we secure the border and start enforcing the laws that we have today. Why do anything else?”
To many in Washington, the timetable for the big push on immigration reform is still unpredictable, but the White House and powerful special interests seem to be vying for an early House vote in 2014.
THE GROWING PROBLEM OF TOO MUCH WASTE
A recent Nature Magazine post, titled “Environment: Waste production must peak this century,” focuses on a major population-related issue that has been spinning out of control for decades.
Authors Daniel Hoornweg, Perinaz Bhada-Tata, and Chris Kennedy take an in-depth look at how the world is coping with solid waste and conclude: “Without drastic action, population growth and urbanization will outpace waste reduction.”
The authors present some solid research and interesting facts, including: “The average person in the United States throws away their body weight in rubbish every month.”
While highlighting progress in recycling and composting discarded materials, the paper notes that the “global view is troubling.”
With a focus on the growth of urbanization worldwide, the story reveals: “In the past century, as the world’s population has grown and become more urban and affluent, waste production has risen tenfold.” That statement is followed by the frightening prediction: “By 2025 it will double again.”
This article is rich in statistics and trends in waste growth. It maintains that the “member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are the largest waste generators, producing around 1.75 million tons per day. This volume is expected to increase until 2050, owing to urban population growth, and then to slowly decline, as advances in material science and technology make products smaller, lighter and more resource efficient.”
Another interesting fact presented by this article is that “Japan issues about one-third less rubbish per person than the United States, despite having roughly the same gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. This is because of higher-density living, higher prices for a larger share of imports and cultural norms.”
What’s the long-term scenario? The authors conclude: “The planet is already straining from the impacts of today’s waste, and we are on a path to more than triple quantities. Through a move toward stable or declining populations, denser and better-managed cities consuming fewer resources, and greater equity and use of technology, we can bring peak waste forward and down. The environmental, economic and social benefits would be enormous.”
NPG is proud to do its part to meet these long-term goals. We encourage our members to send a copy of this article to their local newspaper or city council, along with a letter explaining how population growth is directly related to this Peak Waste problem. Sample letters can be found here on the NPG website.
RELATED STORY: NYC’s Landfill Being Converted into Solar Array
Ecowatch.com carried a story in late November noting that New York Mayor Bloomberg has announced an arrangement with the firm Sun Edison to lease 47 acres of Freshkills Park, once known as the world’s largest landfill, and convert it into a home to 10 megawatts of solar power – enough to power 2,000 homes. See story at Ecowatch…
RESPECTING THE ROLE OF WATER
NPG recently heard from Mike Meece of EvergreenAES, a firm which serves as Environmental Consultants and Remediation Contractors, related to the latest infographic his company has created: “The Unfiltered Truth About Water.”
This presentation is centered on how people take water for granted and overlook its value as a precious resource. The site provides colorful graphics, maps, and facts as to how water fits into our daily lives. Click here to see the presentation.
NPG has long held that water is a precious natural resource, one that is becoming more scarce as our population growth contributes to climate change and drought. To learn more, we invite you to review the NPG Forum paper The Southwest: Ground-zero for Global Warming.
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO FOR FUTURE AIR TRAVEL
A recent story by Mark Johanson for the International Business Times is not good news for anyone who hates airport crowds.
Johanson reports on a U.S. Travel Association “Thanksgiving in the Skies” press release, which foretells how airport passenger volume in the U.S. – which traditionally peaks on Thanksgiving weekend – “could be a year-round reality at nearly all of the top 50 U.S. airports within a decade.”
The report notes: “…the Federal Aviation Administration estimates that U.S. airports will serve roughly 800 million passengers in 2016 and 1 billion by 2027.”
The biggest problem in serving an ever-expanding number of air travelers is held to be infrastructure. U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow is quoted as saying: ‘“Travel has been one of the leading sectors of the economic recovery, but that success won’t be sustainable unless our infrastructure keeps pace. Every projection holds that the demand for travel will continue to dramatically increase, which portends terrific things for the growth of jobs and tax revenues. But that rising demand will be stifled without a significant effort to modernize infrastructure, and unfortunately the moment of greatest need has arrived.”’ See the full story at IBTimes.com
Comment: NPG has recently remarked on the grave state of the U.S. infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” gave our nation’s Aviation sector a “D” grade. According to ASCE, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates “the cost of congestion and delays to the economy will rise from $34 billion in 2020 to $63 billion by 2040.” With the U.S. Census Bureau estimating that our nation’s population will reach 400 million – an increase of 83 million people – in less than 40 years, America’s engineers (and Congress) should definitely be focused on this critical need.
With ever-increasing competition to attract new students, America’s colleges are going out of their way to prove how they are working to be more “green.”
EcoWatch reported in early November on the Earth Day Network’s pick of the top four universities and colleges in the U.S. and related how they earned that ranking.
The University of California, Santa Barbara won top honors for its commitment to water conservation. It has reduced water use by 20 percent in recent years and is aiming for an additional 20 percent reduction by 2028.
American University in Washington, D.C. took 2nd place for its waste management strategy, pledging to reach zero waste by 2020. It’s an ambitious goal, but AU is already two-thirds there.
The University of Minnesota, Morris is extremely focused on renewable energy whereby it combines wind turbines, biomass, and solar sources. On windy days, its two wind turbines can provide enough electricity to power the entire campus.
Evergreen State College in Washington State wins accolades for its responsible and sustainable land management. The 1,000-acre campus is rich with second-growth forest, and includes a working organic farm.
The above list represents just a few of the countless educational institutions – including many high schools and even elementary schools – that are working to “go green.” NPG applauds these educational institutions for working to include students in their ecological endeavors. We must engage and enlist America’s next generation of leaders, so that they can better understand the critical role they will each play in creating a more livable world for tomorrow.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN U.S. AT RECORD HIGH LEVELS
The Institute for International Education (IIE) is out with their 2013 Open Doors Report, which records data on the number of international students enrolled in a U.S. higher education program.
The total for 2012/13 came to 819,644 – an increase of seven percent from the previous year.
IIE notes: “There are now 40 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than a decade ago, and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past three years.”
One of the most interesting facts contained in their report is that “Chinese student enrollments increased by 21 percent in total to almost 235,000 students.” The top three nations of origin are China, India, and South Korea – which represent 49 percent of the total number of international students in the U.S.
Other countries which have sizable numbers of students studying here include: Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. Russia, once in the top-tier of 25 countries in this category, has now dropped behind.
The top U.S. state where international students are enrolled is California, followed by New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
IIE reports: “The continued growth in international students coming to the U.S. for higher education has a significant positive economic impact on the United States. International students contribute more than $24 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
Note: NPG applauds the fact that the U.S. still stands as a magnet for international students. However, we continue to demand that the Department of Homeland Security strengthen its deteriorating visa tracking system. Many of these students enter the U.S. legally to study, but remain here for years after their visas expire – starting families and taking jobs. This lack of follow-through by DHS has directly contributed to our nation’s current immigration and population crises. Had these individuals been required to depart the U.S. when their visas expired, the number of undocumented immigrants in our nation would be significantly lower. By passing legislation that grants them citizenship, we are encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps and sending a clear message: no matter how you get here, just get here – then you can stay in America forever.
KEEPING WATCH ON THE NATION’S NORTHERN BORDER
In a recent column at Townhall.com, Leah Barkoukis reported on the mid-November testimony of National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd before a U.S. House of Representatives committee. Judd’s message: “In no way do I want to detract from the importance of securing the Southwest border, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ongoing threat of the nearly unguarded Northern border to the safety of the American public.”
Barkoukis spelled out that concern: “Spanning more than 5,500 miles, the U.S.-Canadian border is the longest common border in the world. There are more than 120 land points of entry, 750 daily commercial flights and a number of commercial and recreational ships that cross the maritime border – all of which present unique challenges for securing the Northern border.” She describes one entry point at Angle Inlet in Minnesota, where the honor system is our nation’s safeguard. “There are no permanent customs or immigration officials here. Instead, the government asks people who cross over from Canada to report themselves over a videophone.” How’s that for high-tech national security?
In his testimony, Judd reminded Members of Congress that the Border Patrol got it wrong in the mid-1990’s when they believed that “Arizona’s harsh environment would limit illegal traffic” across that hot, arid area of the U.S. His worry is that the Border Patrol is using the same wrongheaded thinking in leaving much of the Northern border unguarded.
“We now have a similar thought process in that we don’t believe illegal smuggling – whether it be drugs or aliens – will ever move to our Northern border, because it is cost prohibitive.” He added: “Like Arizona, the Northern border is ripe for the exploitation of not only alien and drug trafficking, but also for facilitating the illegal entrances of terrorists and those that would do this country harm.”
NPG encourages our members and supporters to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to vote “NO” on huge, all-encompassing immigration legislation. We must go “one step at a time,” passing legislation that takes each part of the immigration issue into account and create a reasonable, responsible, workable system. Ensuring the safety of our nation’s borders – and permitting our Border Patrol and ICE agents the authority to enforce immigration law – should be a top national priority.
WYOMING’S FUTURE WATER WORRIES
It’s a never-ending story: concern about future water supplies.
And in the Western parts of the U.S., where there are many predictions of future “water wars” due to ever-rising populations, the water issue is high on everyone’s agenda.
A story in the Casper Star-Tribune by Benjamin Storrow relates how Wyoming is facing the future of water with Governor Matt Mead launching a series of “listening sessions” throughout the state.
Nephi Cole, an advisor to Governor Mead, emphasized that these sessions “will take an ‘overarching look’ at water use in the state.”
Storrow writes: “The listening sessions open at a time when environmentalists are raising concerns over the water used in hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ – the process in which water, chemicals and sand are injected underground to release oil and gas.”
However, Storrow adds: “Energy is hardly the only area of concern related to state water consumption. Agriculture, as the largest consuming sector in the state, will figure prominently in a Wyoming water plan as well.”
Though not mentioned in the Star-Tribune’s story, recent years have brought a series of major disputes between Wyoming and neighboring Montana over the Yellowstone River watershed and with Nebraska over the North Platte river.
As Storrow notes: ‘“Water is our most important resource,’ Cole said. ‘As time progresses, we will not see that change. There will be greater and greater emphasis on the importance of water.”’
“…The Department of Homeland Security needs a chief willing to shake up a fat and complacent bureaucracy, to stop turf battles, shut the curtains on the security theater, and follow the law as written, all to secure the borders.”
The Washington Times
“As I point out in my book, Democracy and Common Wealth, the number of people on the planet living in moderate and extreme poverty – 3 billion – is roughly equal to the number of people born since 1985. If we had stopped population growth then, especially in developing countries, we could have essentially solved the problem of world hunger, along with a lot of other problems.
Two to three hundred million people have died of starvation since Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968.
Overpopulation has also contributed to global warming, acidification of the oceans, widespread pollution, resource wars, stress on the environment, deforestation, political instability, religious extremism and terrorism. The UN estimates that nearly a billion people are in a constant state of hunger.”
The Washington Times Communities
“Before October 1st of this year – without considering either our ever-increasing population or any new health care mandates – the nation was experiencing a shortage of approximately 20,000 doctors. Now, with October 1st in the rearview mirror and the widespread retirement of experienced doctors coupled with the fact that only 20% of new doctors are becoming primary care physicians, the situation has become nearly impossible.”
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: Too Many People.
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.
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.
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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