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New NPG Paper Shows Serious Impact of U.S. Population Growth on Climate Change
Expert analysis reveals that U.S. population growth is “the most important factor in CO2 emissions emanating from this country.”
On January 20th, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump issued regular promises to decrease immigration to the United States – plans which met fierce opposition from the pro-growth lobby and special interest groups. In response to this widespread public controversy, Negative Population Growth (NPG) is releasing a new Forum paper today in an effort to educate America’s next President – as well as the newly-elected 115th Congress – regarding the damaging impact of population growth on our world’s environment.
The NPG paper, titled The Impact of U.S. Population Growth on Global Climate Change, analyzes trends in U.S. population when compared alongside annual CO2 emissions levels – which have steadily increased, despite broad public implementation of conservation, recycling, “smart growth” movements, and “green” technology. Author Edwin S. Rubenstein explains: “Energy-saving technology has reduced per capita carbon dioxide emissions since the first Earth Day. Total emissions are higher, however, because of population growth. This could have been avoided had the [National Environmental Policy Act] ordered Congress to study the impact of its own actions – especially the immigration laws that dramatically increased U.S. population growth.”
Rubenstein highlights the glaring contradiction between the “Reduce! Reuse! Recycle” philosophy touted by most conservationists, and the actual CO2 emissions experienced by even environmentally-conscious nations around the world. He notes: “Many environmentalists still argue that Americans need focus only on reducing pollution and consumption in order to curb environmental degradation. They are right to push for less consumption and increased energy efficiency, but wrong to assume such efforts can replace a reduction of our population. A growing population can overwhelm improvements in energy efficiency and emissions abatement.” Rubenstein points out that for Americans, immigration accounts for a large portion of that population growth.
He explains: “Although [overall U.S. CO2] emissions remain below pre-Great-Recession levels, future population growth will inevitably reverse the CO2 downdraft. The latest Census Bureau projection – published in December 2014 – shows U.S. population reaching 416.8 million in 2060. That is 98 million, or 31%, above the population reported for 2014. Immigration will account for about 65% of all population growth over this period. By the 2050s, as much as 82% of annual population growth will be from this component.” The paper also highlights a recent Environmental Impact Statement on U.S. immigration policy, which found that present admission rates of 1.25 million per year “would lead to a U.S. population of 524 million in 2100, an increase of 70%” – and if nothing changes in current emissions trends, “CO2 emissions from the U.S. would be 70% higher in 2100.”
NPG President Don Mann had strong praise for the new work, stating: “Rubenstein expertly highlights the serious environmental implications of population growth – particularly our nation’s presently lax immigration policies – and demonstrates how those pressures are adding up to significant CO2 emissions. The reckless policy of ‘more immigration for more growth,’ which has been pushed upon us for decades, clearly does not serve the best interests of Americans – or our fragile ecosystem.” Mann added: “Immigration will soon be the primary driver of U.S. population growth, and our everyday crises are growing as a result. If we do not act now, our nation’s environment – not to mention our overall quality of life – will certainly pay a hefty and dangerous price.”
Unfortunately for pro-growth advocates, the report concludes: “Over the long run, U.S. population growth is the most important factor in CO2 emissions emanating from this country – and immigration is likely to be the main determinant of how fast our population grows. We must, therefore, enforce responsible immigration policies which dramatically reduce our annual admissions – and enact national population policies which work to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our population growth. Only then can we hope to lessen – let alone reverse – our nation’s contribution towards global climate change.”
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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