Time’s Fareed Zakaria: An intellectually credentialed innumerate (illiterate)
By Frosty Wooldridge
Several months ago, Time editor Fareed Zakaria, a transplant who fled India, told Terri Gross of National Public Radio that America will add a healthy 138 million people via immigration in the next 39 years. He neglected to mention that his own country at 1.2 billion and headed for 1.6 billion—suffers untold human misery, poverty, environmental destruction, carbon footprint, ecological footprint, filthy rivers, toxic drinking water and a litany of problems that are irreversible and unsolvable. I know because I have traveled through India. There is no “Indian Dream” for nine-tenths of its population. The squalor, filth and misery of India takes a sane person’s breath away. And, there is no hope of conditions improving, ever.
I wrote Terri Gross with facts, figures and graphs to show that we cannot sustain another 138 million at the level of water, energy and resource usage of an average American. I invited her to interview my work and that of 35 other top PH.D. experts in the field of environment and overpopulation. She declined.
The fact remains: NPR and the Main Stream Media avoid, evade and suppress any discussion on America’s human overpopulation. Men like Zakaria, are known as “innumerates” or credentialed individuals that lack the ability to perform simple math. Dr. Albert Bartlett, www.albartlett.com, of the University of Colorado, defines “innumeracy” as the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy.
Recently, Zakaria spouted more innumeracy when he said, “US demographics are strikingly healthy. We’ll be the only rich country to increase its population over the next 30 years.” We are following the miserable population path already tread by India and China as the third fastest growing nation on the planet. But not by our own hand as American women have averaged 2.03 children since 1970. As the world adds 1 billion every 12 years on its way to adding 3 billion in 40 years, we will see growing and unending starvation, wars for resources and a line of desperate world citizens knocking on our door to enter. They are already busting down the door on the Mexican border. But Zakaria welcomes unlimited growth!
To which one of the most brilliant men in history said, “Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.” Dr. Albert Bartlett
I wrote Zakaria a similar letter with facts, graphs and figures. He did not respond, because “innumerates” cannot respond to facts or in most cases, reality. In fact, such persons gain tremendous audiences because few want to face the facts or the future with any realistic understanding of what will happen. It’s the proverbial Cassandra Syndrome.
Once again, others like to shoot the messenger. I am a messenger and a very exceptional one.
One reader from Michigan wrote, “And yet if you try to inform most people of any of those alarming statistics, you are almost guaranteed a “shoot the messenger” reception. Question the growing number of food stamp and/or welfare recipients and you’re called selfish, a bigot and “not willing to share.” Mention the high rate of illiteracy and it quickly becomes a racist thing. And if one dares suggest even a slowing of the influx of immigrants, well . . . you may just get reminded that somewhere in your family history your ancestors came from somewhere else, and that maybe you should just go live in that country! I know that more than one person has said that to me (as if the conditions were the same in 1900 as they are today — not to mention that in those pre-welfare days someone coming to America either engaged in productive work or they didn’t survive!) Keep up the good work. There are readers like myself, that are not afraid to pass this on, despite the listener almost always letting us know they’d rather not hear about it.”
One reader told me that he is optimistic as to adding 100 million. Sorry, optimism won’t cut it when we don’t have the water, energy, food and resources to sustain another 100 million on our ecologically devastated planet.
Therefore, once again, I offer some of the finest minds for you to ponder on what it means to keep wrecking the planet, this civilization and no critical thought as to the impact of human overpopulation.
SERIOUS REALITIES FACING OUR CIVILIZATION IN 21ST CENTURY
“The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people, but to poor ideology and land-use management is sophistic.” Harvard scholar and biologist E.O. Wilson
“Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide [that adds 80 million net gain annually to the planet], but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates
Lester Brown, author of Plan B 4.0 Saving Civilization said, “The world has set in motion environmental trends that are threatening civilization itself. We are crossing environmental thresholds and violating deadlines set by nature. Nature is the timekeeper, but we cannot see the clock.”
“Somehow, we have come to think the whole purpose of the economy is to grow, yet growth is not a goal or purpose. The pursuit of endless growth is suicidal.” David Suzuki
“Growth for the sake of yet more growth is a bankrupt and eventually lethal idea. CASSE is the David fighting the Goliath of endless expansion, and we know how that one turned out.” ~ David Orr
The green revolution was instigated as a result of the efforts of Norman Borlaug, who, while accepting the Nobel peace prize in 1970, said: “The green revolution has won a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation; it has given man a breathing space. If fully implemented, the revolution can provide sufficient food for sustenance during the next three decades. But the frightening power of human reproduction must also be curbed; otherwise the success of the green revolution will be ephemeral only.”
“The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human lifetime….so I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population…that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it.” James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
“We must alert and organize the world’s people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises – exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Over-consumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer
“Upwards of two hundred species.. mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety.. are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the earth’s carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence.. thanks to technologies that most people, I’m afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet than the endless production of radioactive wastes.” Daniel Quinn – Nature – Life – People – World – Technology – Peace – Environmental
“We’ve poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit.. and we go on gobbling them up. It’s hard to imagine how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody’s really doing anything about it. It’s a problem our children will have to solve, or their children.”
Daniel Quinn – Nature – World – Insanity – Greed – Problems – Environmental – Responsibility
“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.” Walter Youngquist, energy
“The U.S. will set a record in the rate of rise—and fall of an empire. Between wide open borders and fall of the dollar and growing population against a declining resource base, the US will be defeated from within. Mobs will rule the streets in the nation that is now the third largest in the world and unable to support its population except by taking resources from other countries.” Arnold Toynbee, historian
“A simple look at the upward path of global greenhouse emissions indicates we will continue to squeeze the trigger on the gun we have put to our own head.” Eugene Linden, The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather and the Destruction of Civilization
“The ship is already starting to spin out of control. We may soon lose all chance of grabbing the wheel. Humanity faces a genuinely new situation. It is not an environmental crisis in the accepted sense. It is a crisis for the entire life-support system for our civilization and our species.” Fred Pearce, The Last Generation: How Nature Will take Her Revenge for Climate Change
“At this point, it’s almost certainly too late to manage a transition to sustainability on a global or national scale, even if the political will to attempt it existed, which it clearly does not. Our civilization is in the early stages of the same curve of decline and fall as so many others have followed before it. What likely lies in wait for us is a long, uneven decline into a new Dark Age from which, centuries from now, the civilizations of the future will gradually emerge.”
“We are strong and adaptable animals and can certainly make a new life on the hotter Earth, but there will only be a fraction of inhabitable land left. Soon we face the appalling question of who m can we let aboard the lifeboats? And who must we reject? There will be great clamor from climate refugees seeking a safe haven in those few parts where the climate is tolerable and food available. We will need a new set of rules for limiting the population in climate oases.” James Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A final Warning
“Imagine we live on a planet. Not our cozy, taken for granted planet, but a planet, a real one, with melting poles and dying forests and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat. And inhospitable place. It needs a new name, Eaarth.” Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a life on a Tough new Planet
“If present growth trends in population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth will be reached sometime in the next 100 years.” The Club of Rome 1972
“The power of population is so superior to the power of earth to produce subsistence to humanity that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” Thomas Malthus 1798
“Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases of population, locally, nationally, or globally.” Dr. Albert Bartlett www.albartlett.org
“All causes are lost causes without limiting human population,” Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715