Earth Day 2016 – The Overriding Issue of Overpopulation in California!
Published on April 15th, 2016
SANTA BARBARA – As we celebrate another Earth Day, a California nonprofit organization reminds us that population growth is still the fundamental environmental problem.
“Overpopulation is the root cause of so much environmental destruction. Human activity devours open space, destroys wildlife habitat, and drives species extinct,” said Jo Wideman, executive director of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). Since the first Earth Day in 1970, world population has doubled to 7.4 billion, and the U.S. population has grown from 203 million to 324 million.
California is home to some of the most varied wildlife habitat on earth, boasting more endemic species than any other state, but rapid population growth imperils this extraordinary biodiversity. More than one-fourth of California’s plants are extinct, rare, endangered or threatened, and more than 150 animals are listed as threatened or endangered.
Since 1970, California’s population has doubled to almost 40 million, and the state’s population density already exceeds that of Europe. Unlike the situation in 1970, nearly all current U.S. and California population growth stems from foreign immigration. According to the Pew Research Center, “Future immigrants and their descendants… are projected to account for 88 percent of the U.S. population increase,” between now and 2065.
The late David Brower, the Sierra Club’s first executive director and a CAPS Advisory Board member, noted, “Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and immigration… has to be addressed.”
CAPS will run radio ads for a week in California asking, “Where are all the people coming from?” To listen to the TV commercial and learn more about CAPS, visit www.CAPSweb.org. A copy of the ad can also be heard here.