Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner E.O. Wilson responds to economists who disbelieve ecologists' warnings about population threats:
The Century of the Environment
A leading United States population lobbyist has questioned why Australia seems intent on copying the worst mistakes of his own country.
Roy Beck, the executive director of powerful lobby group NumbersUSA, which has 1.4 million members, has visited the Sunshine Coast as part of an Australian visit which has included talks with politicians and advocates of lower immigration in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
Following a pair of recent studies that exposed man-made and climate-caused deterioration at those two iconic American attractions, environmentalists are raising new concerns about the future health of all 58 U.S. national parks in a time marked by barren budgets, rising energy cravings and warming skies.
Droughts make matters worse, but the real problem isn't shrinking water levels. It's population growth. Since California's last major drought ended in 1992, the state's population has surged by a staggering 7 million people. Some 100,000 people move to the Atlanta area every year. Over the next four decades, the country will add 120 million people, the equivalent of one person every 11 seconds.
More people will put a huge strain on our water resources, but another problem comes in something that sounds relatively benign: renewable energy, at least in some forms, such as biofuels. Refining one gallon of ethanol requires four gallons of water. This turns out to be a drop in the bucket compared with how much water it takes to grow enough corn to refine one gallon of ethanol: as much as 2,500 gallons.
When California's budget impasse is settled, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will have to deal with the state's other big crisis: fresh water.
Gov. Schwarzenegger and other top lawmakers have already drafted plans to attack a severe water shortage in the state, which has suffered a three-year drought.
As soon as the stalemate over how to bridge California's $26.3 billion budget gap is resolved, the governor and legislative leaders plan to introduce a package of water-related measures calling for more water conservation and an estimated $10 billion bond measure to finance more fresh water storage.
"Rushing to mend rifts with the United States' southern neighbor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday praised Mexico's progress against drug cartels, offered an olive branch in a fierce trade spat and promised action on the long-dormant issue of immigration reform....
Under President George W. Bush, the White House had championed bills to legalize millions of illegal immigrants currently in the United States. All those attempts failed in Congress.
"It is and will be a high priority for (Obama) and his presidency," Clinton said. "We believe strongly that there have to be changes made, and we hope we will be able to pursue those in the coming months.""
A Census Bureau report indicates that the U.S. population will rise to 439 million by 2050, or 135 million more than today. More than 80 percent of U.S. population growth will continue to be a direct result of immigration and births to immigrants. In California -- where the population increases by a half million per year -- that immigration component accounts for virtually 100 percent of the growth.
"Water is a precious resource, and as with other resources, we must learn to use it more efficiently. But we must also limit the demands that we place on our resources, and that means limiting immigration as well," Hull said.
"Open-border advocates operating under the guise of environmentalism are
prepared to push for legislation that could result in an accelerated
flow of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking from
Mexico into Arizona, according to law enforcement experts familiar with
The two bills, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), would
restrict federal and state law enforcement officials from patrolling an
already porous border area that extends from Sonora, Mexico into Santa
Cruz County, Ariz., critics charge...."
"Portland's fevered efforts to stave off global warming
by reducing carbon dioxide began more than two decades ago.
And how much progress have we made? None. Zero. Zilch. Every
day we dump more planet-threatening gas into the atmosphere.
Why? Because at the same time Portland's metro-area
population has grown by 42 percent. We cancel out every
reduction in CO2 emissions with a gain in CO2 emitters...."
A Gallup poll released on August 5, 2009 shows that 50% of all Americans believe that immigration should be reduced. This number is 11 points higher than the figure from an identical poll conducted last year. Only 14% of Americans say immigration should be increased (down from 18%) and 32% say immigration levels should remain the same (down from 39%).