The human population of the world has reached 8 billion people. Due to our affluence, population growth in the United States has a far greater impact than growth in other nations, and we are already running an ecological deficit.
The biosphere was not on the ballot on November 8th.
Calls to increase immigration in the U.S. in order to accelerate population growth continue. "Population is not the problem," some say, "the way we consume is the problem." No, it is both:
On the shoulders of giants
In his tribute to the late Dave Foreman, an advisor on our national sprawl study who died in September, NumbersUSA's Scientific Director Leon Kolankiewicz writes:
In his lifetime, perhaps more than any other single prominent environmentalist / conservationist, with the possible exception of the late U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson himself, the very founder of Earth Day, Dave Foreman had the guts to tell it like it is on immigration."
Here are some examples:
What do these numbers mean? How many more tons of greenhouse gases? How many more wild acres taken over by housing, highways, shopping malls, coal mines, clear-cuts, and oil and gas drilling pads? How much more energy use? How much more water use, and the dams and groundwater pumping that'll be required? How many other beings will we sentence to death to make way for more people? Will humanity's footprint be allowed to stomp out the hope that is the heart of the Endangered Species Act and the Wilderness Act?
A thorough EIS on immigration to the United States might be the most important EIS ever done. It is one way to bring all the glossed-over, ignored consequences of a rapidly growing population into full public debate.
More Immigration = More Americans = Less Wilderness"
If we ransack our big woods...what trustworthiness do we have for showing other countries how to take better care of their forests? If we overfish within our exclusive economic zone, how can we tell others to not overfish their stocks? And if we let our population boom to once-unthinkable crowds, how do we talk to other countries about cooling their growth?"
Dave Foreman is gone, but his words, work, and calls to action endure.
JEREMY BECK is a V.P., Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, May 11th 2023 @ 3:23pm EDT