In my bicycle travels across six continents and almost 100 countries, I witnessed one harsh reality of human overpopulation: the higher the numbers, the lower the quality of life. The greater the population, the lesser the standard of living.
|Favela in Brazil
Ironically, once the numbers exceed the carrying capacity of the finite amount of land in a country as well as resources, the citizens must suffer the consequences. Why? Everyone must be watered, fed, housed, warmed and transported. Additionally, they must be educated and medically sustained. If they cannot obtain those basics, the “human misery index” for them goes up.
In the 21st century, western world humans crave “quality of life,” which may be defined as the cultural, physical and intellectual conditions of your life in your society. For the most part, you enjoy or suffer those conditions depending on your parents in your youth and your choice of where you live in your adulthood.
Today, in the United States, you may choose your quality of life by living in a small country town for your need to enjoy the outdoors and wilderness surroundings. Trees, ponds, turtles and dragonflies may delight your soul.
You might choose a larger town, such as Des Moines, Iowa, where farmers dominate, and hard work pays the bills. Your quality of life remains your choice as you may travel a short distance to a lake or river for fishing and picnicking. Or, you may choose a large city such as Los Angeles with 11 million people, frequent traffic gridlock and air pollution where escaping to reach less density takes half the morning by car on bump and grind freeways.
But what if you didn’t enjoy a choice? What if your country became SO overpopulated that you found yourself without enough clean drinking water? Or gasoline to burn? Or, the freeways became so congested that you hated driving them?
Because no one asked that question in China, today, it offers drivers 20 lanes. Yes, you read that correctly, 20 lanes going one way – China boasts the world’s longest gridlocked traffic jams, with more than 60 miles of stuck cars. The Yangtze River, which I floated upon, offers the longest toxic wastewater conveyor belt of poisons ever dumped into the oceans. China’s people stack up in cities in 200 sq.-ft. dungeons called high-rise apartments. The cost of living keeps them constantly in the poor house.
Guess what? America continues along the same demographic course as China. However, it’s not the American people. Our U.S. Congress floods America with 1 million legal immigrants annually. According to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, the country is headed to a population of 417 million by 2060. Ironically, American women chose to birth 2.03 children since 1970, which means the U.S. would have leveled off at a population of 255 million by 1990, if not for mass immigration.
What does that say for your children’s “quality of life” in the next 30 years? How about yours, if you’re around in 30 years?
Let’s start a national discussion on what we desire as a country and how we intend to change the course of history toward a viable and sustainable civilization. It starts with you.
Start by talking about slowing California’s population growth. Tell Gov. Brown to veto bills that encourage more population growth!