OCALA, Fla., May 14, 2014 — Political correctness (PC) is destroying America.
We usually apply that term to workplace, campus, and social censorship of speech about race and gender: The Miami Dolphins suspended Dan Jones for his tweet about the Michael Sams kiss on ESPN; Rutgers students and faculty had Condoleeza Rice disinvited as commencement speaker because of her involvement in Iraq as secretary of state in the Bush Administration; a college sorority has gotten in trouble for its all-you-can-eat taco fund raisers, and in California, American flags are now banned from some school campuses on Cinco de Mayo for fear that it will offend hispanic students as a form of hate speech.
But PC has forced Americans into silence about an issue even more dangerous than hurt feelings about the nastiness of uncensored human discourse. It has blinded us to the dangers of overpopulation.
Discussing overpopulation is dangerous to people across the political spectrum. On the left, it raises fears of anti-immigrant hostility and nativist objections to our growing hispanic population. On the right, it raises alarms about abortion and government sanctioned birth control. In either case, the subject is taboo and the American public loses — badly.
Some argue that overpopulation is not and will not be a problem. Technological innovations will continue to expand food production and find substitutes for vanishing resources. The rising cost of children will naturally induce people to have fewer of them. Fertility is not threat to standard of living.
Others argue that there are limits to technological fixes and the power of markets. Population growth may outstrip our capacity to feed and house the extra mouths, resulting in devastating social upheavals.
Are we feeling the effects of overpopulation in the United States, and if so, what is its biggest impact right now?
“It’s hard to choose,” says Michael E. Arth, urban designer, public policy analyst, and former candidate for Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
“The top five are: 1. Fighting costly and counterproductive wars in the Middle East over oil; 2. terrorism connected with U.S. meddling couple with high-birth rate Muslim countries experiencing “youth bulges” (too many unemployed young males who prone to stupidity and violence); 3. immigration problems ; 4. sprawl and related traffic congestion; and 5. climate change and related natural disasters.”
Jo Wideman, executive director of Californians for Population Stabilization, explains that “three decades ago, the egregious air and water pollution that blighted the country — causing rivers to catch fire and cities to disappear behind a veil of eye-stinging smog — would have been the most obvious result of overpopulation.
“Today, the most obvious sign is never-ending urban sprawl: that is, cities that have expanded exponentially since World War II, and in the process devoured tens of thousands of square miles of farmland, open space, and wildlife habitat. In the five years from 2002 to 2007 alone, over seven million acres (11,000 square miles) of previously undeveloped land succumbed to the bulldozer’s blade — an area bigger than Massachusetts.
“In the 25 years from 1982 to 2007, the total area of developed land in America grew from 71 million acres (111,000 square miles) to 111 million acres (173,000 square miles). This latter area is equivalent to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, in other words, all of New England and then some. All of this land was developed from what was originally either agricultural land or natural habitat.
“There are many other consequences of overpopulation and individuals will experience them differently. For some Americans, the main concern may be with the time stuck in traffic jams. For others, it may be the loss of open space in their communities and associated recreational activities. Others may suffer illness because of air pollution.
“From an ecological perspective, perhaps the most significant impact is the loss of, and increased threats to, biodiversity. The Fish and Wildlife Service lists over 600 animals and over 800 plants as endangered or threatened in the United States. And, this loss of habitat due to human activity is by far the greatest threat to biodiversity.”
If the government could do one thing to deal with overpopulation in America, what should it be?
“A Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution, because without this, our government will remain resistant to bringing the greatest good to the greatest number in the most efficient manner possible,” says Arth.
“The amendment should change our winner-take-all voting system to ranked choice voting and proportional representation with multi-member districts replacing gerrymandered, single-member districts. Private campaign financing should be replaced with very limited public campaign financing that includes websites with a lot of information about the candidates and very limited media advertising. We should also replace the Electoral College with direct, ranked-choice voting.”
Wideman is more concerned about the influence that immigration wields over our national future.
“America is already at replacement level fertility, but immigration rates are running 4-5 times replacement level,” she said. “That is immigration is 4-5 times greater than emigration. CAPS supports reducing the annual legal immigration intake to 300,000 and more effectively stopping illegal immigration through such workplace interior enforcement measures as E-Verify.
“Admitting 300,000 immigrants a year would still allow America to fulfill its role as a leader in the world and express our humanitarian values, while nudging us toward population stabilization.”