Obamacare isn't the big problem facing America; overpopulation is

Article publisher: 
Wathington Times
Article date: 
6 December 2013
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

...The real issues facing our country lurk in the shadows, blissfully ignored while impacting every one of us.

Chief among these issues is overpopulation. Just how big a problem is it? Centuries ago, Thomas Malthus warned about what could happen if populations were left to grow unchecked.

Urban designer and public policy analyst Michael E. Arth, a leading voice on population matters, tells...

“It took until 1927 for the world’s population to reach 2 billion. Innovation and modern technology that accelerated during WWII allowed for a 20th century population explosion that took us from 2.5 billion to 6 billion. It only took 13 years for us to go from 6 billion to 7 billion...

Jo Wideman is the executive director of Californians for Population Stabilization, perhaps the foremost group addressing overpopulation’s footprint on American life...

“Carrying capacity refers to the population size of any species that can be supported in perpetuity by the available habitat/environment without degrading that habitat or environment. When the population of a species exceeds the carrying capacity of its habitat, it causes habitat damage, and impairs the ability of the habitat to support the organism in question...

“With regard to human population, many scientists believe that it already exceeds the carrying capacity of the earth and a readjustment is forthcoming. It may still be possible to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe however, but only if a number of strong steps are taken.

“These steps would likely generate a considerable political backlash on the part of those who feel they are being treated unfairly or who fundamentally reject the idea that humanity faces this crisis of historic proportions.

“Too much time is currently spent debating whether there will or will not be a catastrophe instead of the broader question of whether population growth is going to alleviate problems or exacerbate problems. Suppose that a new disease begins to destroy large portions of a major crop—wheat, soybeans, corn, rice...

“We already use about 40 percent of the earth’s land area for food production and another 9 percent for other human uses. Much of the remaining land is not arable. A better question is whether continuing growth in the human population makes it easier or more difficult to solve our existing environmental problems.”

Not so long ago, overpopulation was a big issue in American politics. Since the 1970s, however, both the left and right have cast it aside in order to win votes from select constituencies. During the years ahead, can overpopulation be expected to again find prominence on our political stage?

...Arth says...

“Convincing vested economic and business interests – for whom ever-growing numbers of producers (to keep wages low) and consumers (to keep demand high and ever-increasing) – that population stabilization is ultimately in their own enlightened self-interest may be the toughest challenge we face. But one thing is clear – no nation’s population can grow forever.”



It should be noted that in developing or "third world" countries, fertility is the main driver of population growth. In industrialized or "first world" countries, fertility typically has dropped to replacement level fertility (2.1 children per woman). Population growth in industrialized countries is driven primarily by mass immigration.

In the case of the United States, approximately two-thirds of population growth is due to mass immigration. The remainder is due in a large part to population momentum

Exponential growth is growth that results from constant growth over time. Although population growth in the US and other countries is not strictly uniform or exponential, the growth pattern often resembles exponential growth. As Professor Al Bartlett observed, exponential growth can not continue unless the world is flat and infinite.

Kenneth Boulding abtly noted that:

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."