As the United accelerates toward adding another 100 million people within 25 years, its citizens neglect growing consequences easily witnessed in other overpopulated countries. Americans assume they can continue unlimited expansion because, "We've always considered growth as the mainstay of our prosperity."
Thus, Americans think of "endless increase" as a normal aspect of their daily lives. Their paradigm cannot and will not be tolerated by Mother Nature much longer. Dr. Albert Bartlett (www.albartlett.org) said, "Continued growth past maturity for any entity becomes obesity or cancer." As we all know, both problems create a debilitating existence or shortened lifespan.
The author of The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich, said, "Few problems are less recognized, but more important, than the accelerating disappearance of the earth's biological resources. In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it is perched."
Sixth Extinction Session Facing Humanity on Earth
Over the course of this planet's six billion years of existence, "life" popped up a short time ago, and during its survival and through great geological and special traumas, millions of creatures suffered extinction from climate change, ice ages and meteor hits that created "nuclear winters" that blocked out the sun -- thus stopping all photosynthesis that allowed the food chain to feed dependent life beings. To date, five "Extinction Sessions" killed off up to 97 percent of living species on the planet. The three percent that survived allowed all life that you see on this planet today. Now, in the 21st century, we plunge into the 6th Extinction Session.
In his work, Professor Norman Meyers, UK, wrote "Winnowing for Today's World," on the concept of mass extinction. As shown by the National Academy of Sciences, humans, via encroachment on wilderness habitat, cause the extinction of 80 to 100 creatures daily around the globe. Meyers said...
"These, then, are some ultimate issues for us to bear in mind as we begin to impose a fundamental shift on evolutions course. The biggest factor by far is that, as we proceed on our impoverishing way, we scarcely pause to consider what we are doing. We are "deciding" without even the most superficial reflection - deciding all too unwittingly, but effectively and increasingly."
In 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that the planet loses 30,000 species per year -- around three species per hour. Some biologists feel that the biodiversity crisis dubbed the "Sixth Extinction" accelerates more severely than Wilson expected.
Species Extinction in the United States Accelerating
At 310-million and headed for 400-million within 25 years, America adds 3.1- to 3.4 million humans annually. Each added American requires the destruction of 12.6 acres of wilderness habitat known as "ecological footprint." That many acres must be developed into homes, roads, cities, schools, malls and land for food production. When you multiply 100 million added humans times 12.6 acres -- that equals a loss of 1.26 billion acres of wilderness habitat in the next 25 years. Since demographers expect the USA to double to 600 million, work the math!
Where will the animals flee to eat, procreate and flourish? Where will we find that much arable land? How about water?
According to reports, 6,330 animal species in North America teeter on the edge of extinction. The National Academy of Sciences predicts 2,500 plants and animals go extinct every decade from habitat loss. At some point, these extinction rates create a "cascading effect" for all other dependent species. We answer to an intertwined ecosystem.
In the West, the prairie dog provides sustenance for 67 other creatures in the food chain. Over half of prairie dog colonies suffered human development destruction in the past 30 years. As their numbers plummeted, every creature depending on those rodents declined commensurately.
In a report in the Boston Globe, October 19, 2006, by John Donnelly, "Scientists Alarmed at Loss of Pollinators," he reported rapidly dropping numbers of birds, bees and bats could impact humanity's food supply. Most plants depend on their pollen being picked up by birds, bats and bees to be distributed so that fruits, nuts and vegetables can reproduce and grow.
In 2007, on Colorado's eastern plains, farmers imported beekeepers with their mobile bee hives to pollinate crops. The lack of bees in the United States created the first imports of bees since 1922. Reports suggest that bees are being killed by pesticides called neonicotinoids that impair the bees' immune systems. One of the most widely used is imidacloprid. It's sprayed all over crops from California to Maine. Consequently, bees get sick and die!
"In addition," Donnelly reported, "wild pollinators -- from bumblebees to butterflies to nocturnal moths -- have lost much of their habitat, due to vast use of pesticides and herbicides that kill plants and hedges in which the insects and birds live."