The day when human demand surpassed what our planet can renew this year…
Earth Overshoot Day 2015
Just before Overshoot Day, an August 2nd editorial titled “The Guardian view on population control: empowering women may not save the environment” caused me some serious scratching (and shaking) of my head. Sadly, it’s more of the same: denial of the overpopulation problem, and blame on those who question humanity’s continued growth.
But this Op-Ed makes a disturbing condemnation of the entire population discussion: “where population growth slows, generally economic growth speeds up, and carbon emissions rise faster. …Curbing population growth could generate higher global emissions than would otherwise be the case.
“…Worse, focusing on population growth could actually accelerate the global environmental problem it claims to address.”
|…and that doesn’t even include the needs of other species.|
Did they actually just make the statement that FEWER people would create MORE global emissions? Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges that “…greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. …Their effects… are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed [global] warming since the mid-20th century.”
At our present population numbers, in under 8 months human activity has wholly depleted the natural resources that Earth could renew for us this year. This means that every day until the end of the year will be lived in deficit. As a planet, we will be taking more than can be restored. Through our rate of consumption – and our sheer number of consumers – we are continuing to live beyond our environmental means.
Around the same time as our world reached the point of overshoot, the UN released its 2015 report on World Population Prospects – which predicts that world population will top 11.2 billion people by 2100. So get ready to share the planet with another 4 billion people – an increase of over 50% to today’s population.
Here at home, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) just released its analysis of new Census Bureau data, which showed that immigration is again on the rise. As a result, America’s immigrant population hit a record 42.1 million in 2015 – or 13.3% of our total population, “the largest share in 105 years.” As global population numbers grow skyward, we can expect a greater number of international migrants to head for America. (And with the current policies of acquiescence in Washington, we can expect most of them will be allowed to settle here permanently.)
With so much evidence, how can anyone ignore the genuine danger of population growth – in the U.S. and around the world?
Regardless of the resistance we face – whether from the media or the White House – NPG is not willing to sit on the sidelines! We’re still working hard to share the real consequences of overpopulation with the American public, media, and policy makers.
Our latest Forum paper, The Other Soil Erosion: Long-Term Erosion of our Productive Farmland Base from U.S. Population Growth was released to the public yesterday. Our Press Release announcing the paper was picked up by hundreds of national media outlets across America – including The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, and local affiliates for all major television networks – reaching a subscribed audience of over 167 million people. We are also currently proceeding with several new projects which focus on the impacts of U.S. population growth:
- A series of three short films, which will be forwarded to our membership, key contacts in the national media, other interested organizations, educators participating in our NPG Teacher’s Packets program, and the general public through the NPG website and social media pages.
- A new series of editorial cartoons drawn by renowned artist Steve Artley – whose work has been featured in publications such as
Newsweek, the Washington Post andThe New York Times.
- Several new NPG Forum papers, which cover topics such as America’s dwindling water supplies, family preference in chain migration policies, the impact of immigration on U.S. population growth, and the economic case for a moratorium on legal immigration.
Luckily, it seems a number of The Guardian‘s readers agree with NPG’s positions – and they wrote in to say so! We encourage our supporters to visit the Make Your Voice Heard page on our website for sample Letters to the Editor to send your own local newspaper. We rely on your continued activism and support of NPG. Together, we’re working for a livable future.
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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