- In a cogent piece by gifted writer Julie Whitty, Marilyn
Hempel, editor at www.PopulationPress.orgeducates readers at her website
as to the accelerating dilemma of adding 77 million new babies to the planet
annually. Hempel helps Americans understand their children's predicament
and how to come to equitable terms with our civilization and the future.
- Each year, 57 million humans die worldwide. At the same
time, at 6.8 billion copulating humans, another 134 million babies take
their first breath-for a net gain of 77 million new mouths to feed, house,
clothe and create a meaningful life on this planet. The human race adds
1.0 billion every 13 years on its way to 10 billion at mid century.
- Ironically while the United States enjoys a stable population
since hitting ZPG in 1970, it added 100 million within 40 years via immigration.
Today, through 'population momentum', the U.S. adds 1.0 million additional
Americans annually even at 2.03 fertility per American woman. When you
add another 2.1 to 2.4 million immigrants, the USA becomes the third fastest
growing country in the world at 3.1 to 3.4 million annually, net gain.
- In a compelling piece at Mother Jones News, Julia Whitty,
wrote "Tiniest of Baby Booms: A Monster"
- "You can't miss it in today's news: US births break
record, 40 percent out-of-wedlock," said Whitty. "Frankly, my
dear, who cares about the wedding bands? Though that's pretty much what
all the moralizing is about.
- "No, what's stupefying is the fact that nowhere
in this much-traveled article does anyone ever talk about the real impact
of more babies being born in the US in 2007 than any other year in the
- "So let's talk about it. And let's start with a
really interesting study just published in the journal Global Environmental
Change. A couple of statisticians at Oregon State University disengaged
their mechanical pencils from their pocket protectors, clicked some fresh
lead onto recycled paper (we hope) and came up with this bold analysis
into that sacristy of human reproduction-to have or not to have:
- A mother and father are each responsible for one half
of the emissions of their offspring and 1/4 the emissions of their grandchildren
and so on forever or thereabouts.
- Therefore, under current US conditions, each child adds
9,441 metric tons of CO2 to the carbon legacy of the average female.
- That's 5.7 times her lifetime emissions.
- Translation: one child costs nearly 6 times your own
- In the pessimistic scenario, each American child adds
12,730 metric tons to your carbon legacy.
- In comparison, under current Bangladeshi conditions,
each child adds 56 metric tons of CO2 to the carbon legacy of the average
- "The bottom line is that absolutely nothing else
you can do-driving a more fuel efficient car, driving less, installing
energy-efficient windows, replacing light bulbs, replacing refrigerators,
recycling-comes even close to simply not having that child. All those good
things still add up to less than 500 metric tons of CO2 savings. Not having
the kid saves between 10,000 and 13,000 metric tons of CO2.
- "So why are we still giving tax breaks for having
kids? Why are we pretending that because they're cute they're harmless?
- Dear reader, the United States expects another 100 million
people within 25 years. California adds 1,700 people daily along with
400 vehicles. Anybody see a problem with that? I do! It means another
20 million people in a blink of time.
- Let me add to Whitty's work by saying that my own personal
travels throughout the world on six continents horrified me into numbness
while in my 30s. Once you see the results of overpopulation up close and
ugly, you (I) do not want to see it manifest in the USA, and I would most
certainly like to see leaders worldwide address it and we all solve it
with birth control and family planning. Either we stabilize our human
numbers gracefully or Mother Nature will step in rather brutally!
- Contact Marilyn Hempel at www.PopulationPress.org or firstname.lastname@example.org .
By snail mail: Blue Planet United, POB 7918 Redlands, CA 92375
- This article first appeared as a blog on the Mother Jones
website, March 18, 2009. To see the entire blog with responses, and to
leave your own comments, go to http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2009/03/tiniest-baby-booms-monster.
Reprinted with permission from Mother Jones. subscribe to Mother Jones
magazine for just $15 at motherjones.com/subscribe, or sign up for the
email newsletter at motherjones.com/newsletter.
- Julia Whitty is the author, most recently, of The Fragile
Edge, a book on coral reefs, which won the PEN USA literary award for nonfiction,
the John Burroughs Medal, and the Kiriamaya Prize. Her book, A Tortoise
for the Queen of Tonga, a collection of short stories, won an O. Henry
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
- from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA,
coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic
Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population
Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church
groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world
population balance atwww.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America
on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1
888 280 7715