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NPG Forum Highlights Source of Global Environmental Woes
New report finds overpopulation is key to many present-day ecological and social challenges, yet remains a taboo subject for most conservation groups.
Alexandria, VA (July 20, 2016) – Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum paper today. The piece analyzes the common refusal of environmental, conservation, and social welfare groups to include the issue of “overpopulation” within their missions. The new NPG report finds: “Overpopulation diminishes our resources, landscapes, water supply, and the ability of our climate to regulate itself. Our poor and disenfranchised are overwhelmed by this issue, as it swims in ridiculous taboos. …In today’s political and cultural discourse, it is deemed more politically correct to focus on all troublesome issues except the one that could truly permit success.”
In Overpopulation: The Ultimate Exploiter, Dr. Karen I. Shragg studies the cultural phenomena which have wrapped the issue of “population growth” in layers of controversy – particularly within the United States. A longtime naturalist, speaker, and author, Dr. Shragg also serves as director of Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minnesota. In the new NPG Forum paper, Dr. Shragg harnesses her extensive background in overpopulation activism to demonstrate that the U.S. has a host of problems which stem from population growth. She explains: “In the mindset of many Americans, overpopulation is an ‘over there’ problem. While it is true that Africa and India have growth projections which are frightening, it doesn’t mean that we are problem-free. …Here, we face an urgent (and a particularly uphill) battle – but our commitment to reversing population growth is especially vital.”
The new NPG Forum paper highlights the dangerous consequences of “buying into the story” that infinite population growth is possible on a planet with finite natural resources. Shragg notes: “I shouldn’t be surprised… We are deceived so often that the mirage has become our comfortable reality. We not only accept their stories, we line up for them with enthusiasm….” However, she continues: “What does surprise me is how leaders of the conservation and sustainability movements continue to shy away from dealing with overpopulation in a responsible way.” While economic and population growth are often erroneously hailed as major victories by leaders around the world, the NPG Forum paper highlights the inevitable impact of such growth. “…Growing infinitely on a finite planet is our current recipe for disaster. We are living that disaster each day, as… 1 million people are added to our… planet every 4.68 days. …Ignoring overpopulation is making everything worse, and the solutions of yesterday are obsolete.”
NPG President Don Mann had strong praise for the new work, stating: “Shragg expertly highlights the perilous reality of our nation’s present expansionist policies, which have resulted in a collective refusal to recognize overpopulation as a serious threat to our future. Today’s near worship of growth has reached dangerous levels, yet this approach no longer serves the best interests of Americans.” Mann added: “NPG has long held that U.S. population growth is greatly driven by present economic and immigration policies – and our everyday crises are also growing as a result. We must work now to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our population growth – or future generations will ultimately pay the price for our failure to act.”
Shragg concludes: “Our cultural climate is preventing the U.S. from planning for a better future. It is not about technology or the need to invent more birth control. It is all about understanding how deeply moral it is to do everything we humanely can to reduce… overpopulation… The dominant narrative is the opposite of sane – it assumes that there is endless space, endless water reserves, and endless cropland to support ever-increasing demands from more and more people. …In all areas of freedom, poverty, peace, and justice, we must attach ‘success’ to ‘dealing with overpopulation.’ …An informed and organized grassroots effort can change the cultural barometer on the topic – moving it from a taboo to a must-do.” Mann added: “And to successfully ‘deal with overpopulation’ – or preserve a livable America, we must greatly reduce our population size until it reaches a much smaller, truly sustainable level.”