(Letter to any environmental group regarding population growth) Feb 2021
Economists complete studies regarding the state of our economy as if there is no cost of the environmental degradation from sprawl and increased consumption. Also ignored are losses to Native American water, fishing, or hunting rights from endless US population growth. But there is a cost, an unmeasurable cost. Below is an environmental argument you may not be familiar with.
According to the Almanac the US has 808 vehicles for every 1000 Americans.
That means for every 10,000,000 people added to the country (assuming the high probability the trend continues) the US would add 8,080,000 more fume spewing, bug splattering, bird and wild life killing, atmosphere heating, & tire grinding vehicles.
As for tires, they can be composed of 80 different chemicals. Particles containing these chemicals flow into streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. And wouldn’t each additional vehicle equate to at least four more tires to be ground up to flow into waterways? Thus, for every 10,000,000 additional people that would mean at least 32,000,000 more tires. And we want to keep growing and adding vehicles?
Since 1970 the US added 130 million people. Wild life specialists estimate we lost trillions of insects from sprawl, pesticides, bug splattering vehicles, and other causes and 3 billion birds for the same reasons plus the decline in insect populations. And in that time using an urban density figure of 3500 people per square mile, we urbanized an area at least the size of Indiana, or over 35,000 square miles.
Thus, if we continue to add 25,000,000 Americans each 10 years, we’d then also add another 20,000,000 vehicles and no less than 80,000,000 million more tires. And we would continue to urbanize a square mile for every 3500 people or less.
Would we be expecting insect, bird, and wild life populations to increase? Would US growth augment Native American fishing rights, hunting rights and water rights as people build all over the landscape? Would we expect traffic problems to decrease? Would we expect to have more water? Would we expect to have less garbage? Would we be buying less insecticides and other poisons? Would we be expecting our contribution to global warming to decrease? Would we be expecting birds to start pecking for food on vehicle grills, bumpers, and windshields to make up for the loss of flying food? Should so called environmentalists and environmental groups really remain mute on growth when faced with such realities?
But almost all are. Why?