By Frosty Wooldridge
American citizens enjoy one of most remarkable continents on this planet! They revel under blue skies, majestic mountains, the Great Plains, white water streams and unlimited recreation opportunities. Millions ski the peaks, raft the rivers and race their bicycles through an endless “Wilderness Disneyland!”
However, as we progress into the 21st century, everything we take for granted today vanishes for future generations. Why? Short answer: hyper-population growth!
Each year, quietly and without fanfare, America adds, net gain, 3.1 to 3.4 million people. In the past 40 years, we added 100 million people mostly through immigration since the American female averages 2.03 children or replacement only. According to Fogel/Martin March 2006 “U.S. Population Projections”, we expect to add 100 million more people by 2035. What does that mean to average citizens?
For starters, it explodes our current 306 million population to well over 400 million. It multiplies by 100 million people our gridlocked traffic, air pollution, water and energy usage.
Within cities like Los Angeles, Houston and Denver, rush hour traffic causes hundreds of accidents daily, five days a week as a normal part of their overloaded highways. Ozone alerts and air pollution keep everyone breathing highly polluted air known as the ‘Brown Cloud’ over those cities. Can you imagine how much more toxic that cloud might be with two to three million more people living in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and New York?
What about ‘quality of life’? That latest word in the American lexicon addresses our loss of wild places, and peace and quiet needed for our spiritual well being.
My old friend John Muir said, “Tell me what you will of the benefactions of city civilization, of the sweet security of streets--all as part of the natural upgrowth of man towards the high destiny we hear so much of. I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found. If the death exhalations of that brood the broad towns in which we so fondly compact ourselves were made visible, we should flee as from a plague. All are more or less sick; there is not a perfectly sane man in San Francisco.”