In his book, “THE FATES OF NATIONS”, Paul Colinvaux wrote, “Liberty, in the Jeffersonian sense, cannot survive a continual packing-in of people. If our numbers continue to rise on a resource base that expands but little, the future inevitably holds ever greater restrictions on individual freedom.”
Once again, common sense rears its gut-check propensity as to the dilemma we face as a civilization by adding another 100 million people by 2040.
In reality, we’ve all faced crowded situations where our freedom suffered limitations. Have you ever seen women standing in line for the toilet at a movie or ball game? How about standing 20 back in line at the movie box office with only 60 seconds before the show? How about a dance floor so crowded you couldn’t move? Ever drive in bumper to bumper traffic with a crash scene up ahead? How about visiting Yosemite National Park in the summer? What about trying to get on a subway car at 5:15 PM in New York City? Or, how about walking down the sidewalk at rush hour in NYC? With greater numbers—everyone’s freedom suffers limitations.
As your freedoms diminish, your connection to natural processes degrades. At the same time, your stress levels rise not to mention blood pressure and irritation.
As shown in many other historical illustrations, America’s fate can be wrecked by wrong decisions concerning population numbers. In Colinvaux’s book, he shows that beliefs such as “go forth and multiply without limits” create consequences counter to long term survival of humanity. He writes:
- Civilizations arise from the technical competence of the founders; rising numbers are merely the consequences of that competence as the civilization is able to feed more and more people.
- Crowding impacts the well-off, who invest heavily in child-rearing, more than the poor, who have little to spend on children.
- Trade, often seen as necessary to cope with growth, is not a solution at all; in reality it is a primary cause of growth, robbing nations and people of self-reliance.
- Repression is the elites’ means of preventing the middle class from sharing in the benefits largely created by the middle class.
- Revolutions arise from disaffected middle classes determined to seize their rightful due.
Most Americans have read about deer populations ‘crashing’ from too many animals without enough grassland to feed them. As deer begin to starve, they lose their health, freedom and choices. However, they are animals, which means they die from nature’s consequences brought about by overloading the carrying capacity of the land.
What is the difference for humans? Before farming and the Industrial Revolution, we couldn’t produce enough food to explode our populations. In 1850, the world population didn’t add up to one billion people in 5,000 years of humanity. After the tractor arrived, within 100 years, we’ve reached 6.6 billion. We’re much too clever for our own long term good.
Colinvaux hammers readers’ minds with, “If social policy promotes unconstrained growth of the poor classes—whether by natural increase or immigration—the effect will be to squeeze out those whose ability created the standard of living that benefited all.”
He shows that ecology’s first law might be written: “All poverty is caused by continued population growth. Yet a noisy propaganda denies that rising populations cause poverty. We are told by most eminent politicians and international experts that the rising numbers, far from being a cause of poverty, are in fact a result of poverty.”
Colinvaux continues, “Three kinds of assumptions have been made in recent years suggesting that our population growth will stop by itself from some inner dynamic of its own. These assertions have had very wide publicity, for they seem to say that the population problem will go away on its own. The assertions stand in grave error.”
What are those assertions?
- Populations stop growing as people become wealthy
- Recent explosive growth in world population has been due to medical advances and will go away as people adapt
- That human population is now at the inflection point, at which numbers will level off as in other kinds of animal, remaining stationary thereafter
He said, “All three assertions violate scientific principles and assume that magic is at work in the control of numbers of all livings things.”
It matters little whether you remain silent as to political correctness or quiet because you don’t want to get involved or feel that it will work itself out on its own. The fact is, humanity stepped out of the circle of nature at some point in its progress to become thinking beings. We’ve sidestepped diseases, carrying capacity, even wars as we’ve grown to 6.7 billion.
As America adds another 100 million, then another 100 million, and yet again, another 100 million—serious natural consequences await us. Those consequences already manifest for much of humanity as you’ve seen throughout this series. Yet, we persist in our arrogance that we can defy nature.