Population Update: Peak Resources?

On September 23rd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced: “The number of new and reactivated coal mines that began production in 2013 fell to the lowest level in at least the past 10 years.”

According to the EIA report, U.S. coal production was at its highest in 2008 – and there was a 14% decline in the total number of producing mines from 2012-2013.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”http://www.npg.org/?p=8844″]EIA Announces Decline in Active U.S. Coal Mines [/inlinetweet]

2015_10-01 Peak Resources (EIA Coal)

The EIA report notes:  “The declining number of new mines reflects reduced investment in the coal industry, strong competition from natural gas, stagnant electricity demand, a weak coal export market, and regulatory and permitting challenges.”  The EPA report also highlighted 2013 as “having the lowest number of active coal mines on record.”  (Read More)

While environmental conditions may improve with less mining, [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”” suffix=”http://www.npg.org/?p=8844″]the fact that we are running out of natural resources should concern all Americans.[/inlinetweet] (For more information, see the NPG Footnote “Peak Coal,” by Lindsey Grant.)

“Massive Climate Coalition Calls on President Obama to Halt Fossil Fuel Leasing on Public Lands, Oceans”     

0519-0906-2410-5525_president_barack_obama_talking_on_the_phone_sThe EIA report on U.S. coal mines came just days after “a coalition of more than 400 organizations and leaders” delivered a historic letter to the White House “calling on President Obama to stop new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and oceans in the United States.” 

The letter notes:  “Federal leasing of publicly owned fossil fuels contributes significantly to U.S. and global greenhouse gas emissions.  Over the past decade, the burning of fossil fuels from federal leasing has resulted in nearly a quarter of all U.S. energy-related emissions and nearly 4 percent of global emissions.”

NPG has long held that – while White House actions to reduce U.S. emissions are a step in the right direction, they are far from a true solution.  As our nation’s population reaches 322 million – efficiency, conservation, and “green” methods will not be sufficient to overcome our contribution to climate change. We are still missing the “Real Solution.” 

(For more information on climate change and fossil fuel production in the U.S., see our series of NPG President’s Column articles.) 

As our nation continues to grow by an average of one person every 12 seconds, we will continue to see our natural resources dwindle and disappear.  As we swell in numbers and consume ever more of our limited supply, we will continue to damage our earth in the search for fossil fuels – and we will continue to add greater emissions, further contributing to climate change.  We must act now to slow, halt, and reverse this growth – if we are ever to preserve a livable America for future generations.

Thank you for all you do to help us in the fight for America’s future!


There is no remedy that can possibly avert disastrous Climate Change and Global Warming unless we first address the problem of world population size and growth, and its impact on the size of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.That means that we need to address the population size and growth of each nation, which together make up the world total.

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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