Earth Day 2006—Population Growth is Most Important Issue!

Published on December 28th, 2007

SANTA BARBARA— In 1969 a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara inspired visiting Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to come up with the idea for Earth Day. Twenty million Americans celebrated at the event the following April while simultaneously developing plans to protect the environment.

We lost a giant of the conservation movement when Gaylord died a few years ago,  but his legacy lives on among those of us he taught to fight to protect the environment,” said Diana Hull, president of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS).

“Like so many early environmentalists, he knew, and stated candidly, that population growth was the most important problem facing our nation . He didn’t let political correctness prevent him from speaking the truth about this issue—unlike so many current leaders of large environmental organizations.” Hull continued.

Nelson said, “In this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration’. It’s just a fact that we can’t take all the people who want to come here. And you don’t have to be a racist to realize that."

At that first Earth Day in 1970, California’s population was less than 20 million. Now it has almost doubled.  In those years thirty years California has added the number of people that exceeds the combined current populations of Norway, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Albania.

“The consequences of that growth are all around us—loss of open space, traffic congestion, and never-ending sprawl,” said Hull. “Habitat loss due to population growth is the greatest threat to wildlife.”

Every year the state’s population grows by over half a million. According to the Department of Finance, California’s annual growth rate from 2000 to 2005 was1.65%—a rate higher than that of Bolivia, Columbia, Bangladesh, and the Central African Republic.
“Unlike 1970, most of the population growth in the United States today, and especially in California, comes from immigration and births to immigrants.” Hull said.

Nelson was among many environmental luminaries to address overpopulation and over immigration. The late David Brower, a CAPS Advisory Board member noted, “Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and immigration is part of that problem. It has to be addressed."

“We will never prevent environmental degradation until we stabilize our population,” Hull said. “We simply must face up to this  issue eventually, and it can’t be too soon. ”

CAPS population activists to participate in Earth Day events:

Thousand Oaks Arbor/Earth Day
Saturday, April 22, 2006
11 am – 4 pm (rain or shine)
Conejo Creek Park North
1379 E. Janss Road

Santa Barbara Earth Day
Sunday, April 23
10 am to 5:30 pm
Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens


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