Friday, October 24, 2008
The global demand for energy grew twice as fast as the population over the past 50 years. When per capita energy consumption is high, even a low rate of population growth can have significant effects on total energy demand. World oil production per capita reached a high in 1970 and has since declined by 23% and will continue to decline as the population grows, signaling future price shocks as long as oil remains the world’s dominant fuel.
Waste is another critical problem. A ballooning population creates mountains of new waste—garbage, sewer and industrial waste. This will pose a difficult and expensive problem for municipal and national authorities.
The challenge for us and for world leaders is to help countries like Mexico and regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East to achieve sustainability by keeping both birth and death rates low. In a world where both grain output and fish catch per person are falling, a strong case can be made on humanitarian grounds to stabilize world and U.S. population. Physics Professor Emeritus Dr. Albert Bartlett of the University of Colorado sums it all up as follows: “Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from the microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?”
 Excerpted from “Increased Population is Causing a Global Ecological Disaster,” by Lester R. Brown, Gary Gardner, and Brian Halwell, originally published in The Futurist, February 1999 presented here with the permission of The World Future Society.
A full 75% of the loss of global forests occurred in the 20th century and there are signs that this rapid deforestation is continuing. Not only has the rising population created a greater total demand for forest products but the per capita global use of paper and paperboard has nearly tripled since 1961. The loss of forest areas reduces habitat for wildlife and carbon storage which is key to regulating climate. Moreover, the loss of forest areas compromises erosion control, the provision of water across rainy and dry seasons and the regulation of rainfall.
Climate change is much on the minds of many scientists. Over the last half century, carbon emissions from fossil-fuel burning expanded at nearly twice the rate of population growth, boosting atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, by 30% over pre-industrial periods. Emissions from developing countries will nearly quadruple over the next half century, while those from industrial nations will increase by 30%. Former Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Al Gore’s excellent fact-filled presentation on the subject of global warming runs entirely counter to any idea that population is not a problem. The UN estimates conservatively that America produces 20 metric tons of pollutants per capita annually. If America's population increases by 300 million by the end of this century, an additional six billion tons of pollutants will be produced per year at the present rate. Even if by some technological miracle we were to be able to cut our per capita output in half to that of Mexico, we would have made no progress on reducing the present unacceptable total output.
As incomes rise in traditional low-income societies, meat production from poultry and livestock will rise from 211 million tons in 1997 to 513 million tons in 2050 This seems like a positive development until one considers that 37% of the grain harvest in 1998 was used to feed livestock and poultry. The increase in total meat consumption will put additional pressures on the supply of grain which, as noted above, is rapidly falling behind population growth.
Fresh water scarcity may be the most underrated resource issue in the world today. Here in the Southwest, it is particularly critical. Population is growing and the supply of fresh water per person is declining. Little by little we are soaking up all the water we can find and all we are entitled to here on the eastern slope. We have developed arable land and swallowed up open space. In at least one state in the Southwest, Colorado, irrigated agriculture will face substantial cutbacks as population growth sucks up more of the available fresh water for residential and industrial use. Already streams run dry, water tables are falling and aquifers are being drained more rapidly than they can be replenished. ‘Climate change will have a devastating effect on the availability of water in the
Of 15 major oceanic fisheries, 11 are in decline. An annual take of 93 tons cannot be sustained. Fish farming will place demands on nutrients that are also needed for livestock and poultry production. Some species of fish will disappear entirely while others will decline in quality at the same time prices are escalating sharply. One tuna recently sold for $20,000 in
 Andrew Bridges, AP Science Writer
“[Overpopulation], combined with rising individual consumption, is pushing our…planet beyond its natural limits. Since 1984, the growth in grain harvest has fallen behind that of population, so per-person output has dropped by 7% (0.5% per year) according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is due to population growth, the lack of new land, fresh water for irrigation, and to slower growth in fertilizer use because of diminishing returns to this input.
Since mid-century, grain area—which serves as a proxy for cropland in general—has increased by 19%, but global population has grown by 132%. Population growth can degrade farmland, reducing its productivity or even eliminating it from production through development or destruction for infrastructure. As grain area falls, more and more nations risk losing the capacity to feed them. The
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As our cities grow every day they claim thousands of acres of irreplaceable and productive farm and ranch land for new roads, airports, office buildings, schools and shopping centers. Similarly, at least here in the Southwest, they also buy up the water rights leaving the land barren and unproductive for lack of water. The loss of such fertile acreage dedicated to dairy, livestock, and food production must be stopped. We can rein-in out population growth but we cannot create new land or do a rain dance to get more water.
America's population is currently projected to grow to 438 million people (from today's 305 million) by 2050. More than 60% of that growth will be tied directly to new immigration. We must force our elected leaders to get control of our nation's borders and enact reforms that will tailor and limit immigration more precisely to our demonstrated needs. It should be obvious to all that America can no longer welcome the entire world to our shores and expect it to have no effect on our quality of life and standard of living.
Today's unprededented population growth has pushed millions of people to build their homes on major flood plains and along hurricane-threatened coasts and in areas vulnerable to ravaging forest fires. If responsible population policies are enacted, many of these areas would and could be place off limits.
If we are going to succeed in turning around our soaring population numbers, we need a National Population Policy beginning with a national objective of a stabile population to be achieved within 20 years. This effort requires support from citizens to get Congress to create a U.S. Commission on Population Growth. Its charter should be to establish guideliness whereby our entire nation will be focused on the goal to slow, halt and eventually reverse today's escalating growth. Ideally, the recommmendations of this commission would become law unless a 60% majority in both houses of the congress votes otherwise.
As our nation confronts the problem of too many people, it is time to re-examine our national philosophy of "growth at any cost". Our elected leaders must take action today to control future development. We cannot continue to add more and more people to our population without creating disastrous social, economic and environmental problems.
Americans are learning that there is no "quick fix" available to solve our growing thirst for energy and we are paying the price financially. Our nation must act now to rein-in today's ballooning population and reduce our demand for oil, coal, and natural gas. We must also focus attention on identifying renewable sources of energy.
Encroaching population threatens more than 1,000 species in the United States. From 1982-1997, an area twice as large as Yellowstone, Everglades, Shenandoah and Yosemite national parks combined was pave over for housing, roads and other purposes. We cannot continue to destroy more of our nation's natural resources without disastrous consequences for future generations.
As population grows it puts more pressure on our nation's infrastructure. Today's fast growing communities are becoming a nightmare of clogged traffic, overcrowded schools, increased crime and gang activity, and overburdened hospitals. Without leaders on the federal, state and local levels working to create responsible population policies, the problems will get much worse and we will be left with the realization that our spineless leaders who talked about making America better have actually, through their action or inaction, contributed to the decline of our great country.
As America's cities and suburbs continue to expand to accommodate out-of-control population growth, we are paving over our irreplaceable farmlands and forests. This is the American version of the slash and burn activity that is destroying large areas of the South American rain forest. The surge in population is wreaking havoc on our infrastructure - roads, schools, hospitals, bridges, and tunnels - and creating many costly problems that will continue to spiral out of control if we fail to reduce population.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Euphemisms like “change” or “fairness” play better. So it’s only fair the rich guy pay for the poor. It’ll be “good for everybody.” Really?
First, I am not calling Sen. Obama a Marxist. A CPA with long experience, I disclaim any intention here of an ad hominem attack. His policies, however, are patent Marxism, and a fair target. Unfortunately, some readers will misunderstand. To those who don’t, please listen up.
Marxism defined: “From each according to their means, to each according to their need. “ Karl Marx. The Federal Tax Code structures progressive tax rates; as bracket income increases, the rate of tax increases. The lowest individual rate is 15 percent; the highest is 35 percent. In 2006, the latest federal data available, tax filers with above $50,000 in taxable income paid 90.3 percent of all personal income taxes; 56.9 percent of taxpayers (those earning less than $50,000) paid 9.7 percent of all personal income taxes; and 3.8 percent (those earning over $200,000), paid 50.6% of all personal income taxes. One-third of tax filers paid no tax. Without question, our already socialist tax structure causes high earners to pay a disproportionate share of taxes. Senator Obama asserts this is not fair because it is not enough.
His published tax plan promises to lower income taxes on 95 percent of taxpayers through refundable targeted credits. So though one-third pay not tax, they’ll get a refund. He will raise capital gains taxes by one-third, taxes on ordinary income above $250,000 by one-twelfth and corporate taxes by half. CCH analysis estimates the cost of his tax policies at $160 billion per year, net.
Perilously, this plan assumes falsely that GDP will not drop below its current level. U.S. history has demonstrated that raising tax rates on business and capital inhibits GDP and job growth. Small tax increases aside, Sen. Obama’s extreme hikes will contract GDP, because the confiscatory tax rates on business will force millions of layoffs and thousands of small businesses into bankruptcy, massively increasing unemployment and welfare. Where is the real concern for the poor in such a plan? Despite new tax revenues, the deficit will be severely exacerbated. Do not be deceived. Either Sen. Obama misunderstands taxation, or he’s counting on your misunderstanding.
Sen. Obama’s change to definitive socialism will exact an unacceptable human cost by crushing middle and lower income Americans who will be reduced to dependency on the state. Of course, the classless state is the Marxist means to pipe dream utopia. America has demonstrated just the opposite—working people rising through expanding economic opportunities. The American Dream’s realized floats all boats. Marxism drains the pond and calls it fairness.
Therefore, the fundamental question in considering Sen. Obama for president is, “Are you ready for America to take the Marxist path?” Maybe. But when you vote I hope you will make an informed choice."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
WASHINGTON (October 1, 2008) – A new Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder finds that immigration law enforcement has been highly effective in fighting gang activity around the country. Local law enforcement agencies that shun involvement with immigration law enforcement are missing an opportunity to protect their communities, according to the authors. Since 2005, ICE has arrested more than 8,000 immigrant gangsters from more than 700 different gangs under an initiative known as Operation Community Shield.
The Backgrounder,'Taking Back the Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs,' by Jessica M. Vaughan and Jon D. Feere, was funded by the Department of Justice and describes the unique public safety problems posed by immigrant gangs. The authors present previously unpublished statistics on gang arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), describe how immigration law enforcement authorities are used to combat gang activity, and offer policy recommendations to improve federal-local cooperation, and without damaging relations with immigrant communities.
The authors can provide statistics for 99 different cities upon request. The full report is available online at http://www.cis.org/
Among the findings:
# Transnational immigrant gangs have been spreading rapidly and sprouting in suburban and rural areas where communities are not always equipped to deal with them.
# A very large share of immigrant gang members are illegal aliens and removable aliens. Federal sources estimate that 60 to 90 percent of the members of MS-13, the most notorious immigrant gang, are illegal aliens. In one jurisdiction studied, Northern Virginia, 30 to 40 percent of the gang task force case load were removable aliens.
# MS-13 activity was found in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
# The immigrant gangsters arrested were a significant menace to the public. About 80 percent had committed serious crimes in addition to their immigration violations and 40 percent were violent criminals.
# The ICE offices logging the largest number of immigrant gang arrests were San Diego, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Dallas. Some cities with significant gang problems, such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Houston, had few arrests. These cities had sanctuary, or “don’t ask, don’t tell,” immigration policies in place over the time period studied.
# While many of the immigrant gangs targeted were neighborhood operations, others were ethnic-based, such as Armenian Power, Kurdish Pride, or Oriental Killer Boys. But nearly half of the aliens arrested over the period studied were affiliated with MS-13 and Surenos-13, two of the largest and most notorious transnational gangs with largely immigrant membership.
# Nearly 60 percent of immigrant gangsters arrested by ICE were Mexican citizens, 17 percent were Salvadoran, and 5 percent were Honduran. In all, 53 different countries were represented.
# Immigrant gang members rarely make a living as gangsters. They typically work by day in construction, auto repair, farming, landscaping and other low-skill occupations, often using false documents. Some gangs are involved in the production and sale of false documents.
# The research found no “chilling effect” on the reporting of crime as a result of local law enforcement partnerships with ICE. Instead of spreading this misconception, immigrant advocacy groups should help reinforce the message that crime victims and witnesses are not targets of immigration law enforcement.
# All gang task forces should include either an ICE agent or local officers with formal immigration law training, such as 287(g). Programs aimed solely at removing incarcerated aliens, while helpful, are not as effective in addressing gang activity as investigative programs.
# While immigration law enforcement is a federal responsibility, ICE cannot do the job effectively without assistance from state and local law enforcement, particularly when it comes to immigrant gangs.
# Failure to adequately control the U.S.-Mexico border and to deter illegal settlement in general undermines the progress ICE and local law enforcement agencies have made in disrupting criminal immigrant street gangs.