Update: EPA Spill and Animas River Pollution

In recent days, millions of residents of the desert Southwest – ranging from Colorado to Utah – have had a new environmental hazard to contend with.
In one of the most embarrassing environmental debacles in recent years, on August 5th the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally released 3 million gallons of hazardous mine waste as they investigated the abandoned Gold King Mine in Colorado.
According to the EPA: “The intent of the investigation was to assess the ongoing water releases from the mine… During the excavation, the loose material gave way, opening the adit (mine tunnel) and spilling the water… into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.”
The spill “included high concentrations of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals,” and sent a massive plume of toxins traveling down the Animas and San Juan rivers.
As reported in US News, “Farmers, towns and tribes slammed water-intake gates shut… as the orange-colored waste stream estimated to be 100 miles long churned downstream toward Lake Powell in Utah….”
In an August 15th Editorial in the Deseret News, an important link was drawn: “…it is actually fortunate that there have not been many more disasters of a comparable scale. Such sedimentary and heavy metal pollution from mining is far more commonplace than many realize.”
But where is the broad public discussion of how population growth contributed to this disaster?
Last summer, NPG released our Forum paper Our Plundered Planet and a Future of Less. Author Walter Youngquist drew on his lengthy professional experience as a petroleum geologist, concluding that mining and consumption of our natural resources – specifically to meet the needs of our growing population– will mean a grim future for our nation.
He notes: “In Butte, Montana, what was once heralded as ‘the richest hill on Earth’ is now the Berkeley pit, filled with toxic water…. Throughout the American West, thousands of abandoned mines and many ‘ghost towns’ illustrate the transitory nature of exploiting nonrenewable minerals.”
“The United States did an excellent job of extracting
its abundant variety of metal and energy resources,
but that abundance is now history.”
Unfortunately, we are now only left with the toxic remnants of our relentless pursuit of these limited natural resources. And Americans are feeling the consequences: millions in lost river business revenue, widespread bans on water use, and the rising fears of what the long-term consequences of this disaster will be.
Since 1972, NPG has worked with our full membership, the U.S. Congress, key contacts within the national media, and other interested organizationsto promote our core message: that we must ACT NOW to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. population growth!
Thank you again for your continued support of NPG!


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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