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Perpetual Growth Cannot Be Perpetuated
By Frosty Wooldridge
"The idea of perpetual growth is embraced with religious fervor by mainstream economists and other worshipers of 'Progress' - the material sort of progress, that is... Our students are society's next generation-in-power. We owe it to them, to society at large, and to posterity to help students build their expectations on a realistic basis. Exponential growth needs to be seen as a severely time-limited process, for which costs must be paid. Growth is ultimately limited by the environment, a truth that ecologists encapsulate in the concept of 'carrying capacity'." --Dr. Garrett Hardin
Americans dilly-dally with a continued sense of entitlement as to growth, energy and resources. As the price of gas rises toward $4.00 per gallon, they are about to get their britches twisted into a knot.
It's not like we haven't been warned by the likes of Dr. Albert Bartlett of the University of Colorado who talks about the "Exponential growth equation" and how it cannot continue. (www.albartlett.org ) It's not that we haven't heard from Dr. Paul Ehrlich when he said, "All causes are lost causes without limiting human population."
Let's hear from the late Dr. Garrett Hardin when he told the story about "The Feast of Malthus: living within limits." (www.TheGarrettHardinSociety.org)
"For a few decades after the publication of Malthus's celebrated essay in 1798, population was much discussed in England," said Hardin, " then at about the middle of the 19th century it
became overshadowed by more narrowly economic problems. In the 20th century Malthus has, so to speak, been buried every year by his commentators -only to be dug up again the following year. Exactly why Malthus is so often repudiated is not clear because the funeral orations typically amount to little more than one brutal word: Discredited! Reviewing many criticisms I have come to the conclusion that a single paragraph in Malthus accounts for much of the rejectors' passion.
"The offending passage occurs only in the second edition of his essay. Had Malthus retained this paragraph and justified it adequately in subsequent editions I think we would have been spared nearly two hundred years of unproductive brawling.
"As I see it, Malthus walked right past the heart of the population problem. In presenting my conclusions I shall follow the advice of the physicist George Uhlenbeck (1900-1988), who said: "First tell us what the problem is; then state your conclusions at once. Only thereafter should you go into details" The problem is simply this: can the necessity of population control be reconciled with the apparent demands ofindividualism, as that complex concept has developed since John Locke? I conclude that there is a fatal contradiction between these two necessities; and that the survival of civilization will require us to modify significantly the powers we now grant to individual "rights." This social revolution will be painful, but it cannot, I think, be
successfully evaded. Here is the offending paragraph of Malthus:
A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labour, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature's mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders, if he does not work upon the compassion of some of her guests. If these guests get up and make room for him, other intruders immediately appear demanding the same favor. The report of a provision for all that come, fills the hall with numerous claimants. The order and harmony of the feast is disturbed, the plenty that before reigned is changed into scarcity; and the happiness of the guests is destroyed by the spectacle of misery and dependence in every part of the hall, and by the clamorous importunity of those, who are justly enraged at not finding the provision which they had been taught to expect. The guests learn too late their error, in counter-acting those strict orders to all intruders, issued by the great mistress of the feast, who, wishing that all guests should have plenty, and knowing she could not provide for unlimited numbers,
humanely refused to admit fresh comers when her table was already full.
"Reading this passage thoughtfully one is not surprised to learn that its author became, in James
Bonar's phrase, "the best-abused man of the age." said Hardin. "The "Feast" led critics to deduce that Malthus "defended small-pox, slavery, and child-murder" (because they kept the population from growing too large) while he "denounced soup kitchens, early marriage, and parish allowances"
"The shocking Feast was spread before the public in 1803, in the second edition of the Essay.
Malthus could hardly have chosen a worse time: a sort of "compassion revolution" was then well under way. During the 19th century the English-speaking world made great progress in the humane treatment of animals, in getting rid of slavery, in curtailing child labor, and in (reluctantly) giving a modicum of freedom to women. Bonar has said that "for thirty years it rained refutations of Malthus."
"Before Malthus died in 1834, four more editions of the Essay had been published, the last in 1826; but in none of them did the Feast appear for a second time. Malthus was hurt by the
reactions to his moving metaphor. In 1807, in a letter to a friend in Parliament, the
author complained: "To those who know me personally, I feel that I have no occasion to
defend my character from the imputation of hardness of heart" The most passionate of the refutations came from the literary community."
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, "Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls", Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
"Immigration by the numbers-off the chart" by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a word "Mind boggling!"  www.NumbersUSA.org
This is the best website to start:  www.numbersusa.org ; watch Roy Beck's "Immigration by the Numbers" at 14 minutes. Bi-partisan and very effective. Become a faxer of pre-written letters to your reps to make positive change.
Visit www.TheSocialContract.com for the best information on what we face as a civilization as to overpopulation, energy, immigration and much more. Additionally, www.fairus.org .
Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; in Australia www.population.org.auandPublicPopForum@yahoogroups.com; in Great Britain www.populationmatters.org ; and dozens of other sites accessed at www.frostywooldridge.com. In Florida, www.flimen.org .
Must see DVD: "Blind Spot" www.snagfilms.com/films/title/blind_spot/ , This movie illustrates America's future without oil, water and other resources to keep this civilization functioning. It's a brilliant educational movie!www.blindspotdoc.com
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
Must see and funny: www.growthbusters.org ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSTrW_dARc
Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom:
growthbusters.org/2010/03/save-the-polar-bear-in-your-bedroom ; Dave Gardner, President, Citizen-Powered Media ; Producing the Documentary, GROWTH BUSTERS; presents Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, Join the cause at www<http://www.growthbusters.com/>.growthbusters.org ;760 Wycliffe Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 USA; +1 719-576-5565
Check out this link with Wooldridge on bicycle and Lester Brown and panel discussion:
Tomorrow's Americaproject on www.youtube.com/contemporarylearning.
Producer: GEORGE A. COLBURNwww.tomorrowsamerica.com
DC: 202-258-4887
Email: gac@starbrightmc.com
Link to www.tomorrowsamerica.com for more discussions on America's predicament.
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 at www.frostywooldridge.comHe is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715
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