Overpopulation Causes Swelling Flow of Environmental Refugees
Environmental refugeesA funny thing happened on my way to growing up in the 1960s. Lots of kids intellectually "jumped" into new appreciations: women's right, civil rights, animal rights, stop the war and environmental rights.
At that time, less than three billion humans inhabited the planet, but like plastics, humans exploded to 7.1 billion today. The hippies became Wall Street bankers and everybody forgot about Zero Population Growth.
During Hurricane Katrina, most of New Orleans suffered flooding. Nearly 1.1 million environmental refugees streamed north out of the city. At least 300,000 never returned.
By reading Crist's and Cafaro's book, you will gain the gravity of the problem. In Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation by Professor Philip Cafaro of Colorado State University and Professor Eileen Crist of Virginia Tech, we find the top authors and scientists in the world attempting to alert humanity to its impending future viability on this planet.
Lester Brown addressed the refugee crisis created by Hurricane Katrina, "More than one million people evacuated New Orleans...close to 300,000 did not return because of no jobs and no homes. They became climate refugees. One of the defining characteristics of our time is the swelling flow of environmental refugees: people displaced by rising seas, more destructive storms, expanding deserts, water shortages and high levels of toxic pollutants in the local environment."
Mother Nature doesn't care what humans think, do or how they pray for help. As humans overwhelm the planet with carbon footprint from 24/7 fossil fuel burning, the planet reacts by creating storms formed by warm air or cold air raging over warming oceans. Result: gargantuan typhoons, hurricanes and worse. Photography by www.katrinadestruction.com
Brown spoke about the prospect for climate changing to heat up the polar caps to such a degree that we face a six foot rise in the oceans in this century. This phenomenon occurred in the past three million years. The State of Utah experienced ocean submersion 29 times over a three million year period. That's why you see endless rock striations in its landscape and the Grand Canyon offers the most poignant example of all. Back then, only animals suffered. Today, with 7.1 billion humans and more than half of them living near Earth's oceans-a rise in water levels spells mass migration inland.
"River deltas contain some of the largest, most vulnerable populations," said Brown. "These include the deltas of the Mekong, Niger, Nile, Mississippi, Ganges, and Yangtze Rivers. A six-foot seal level rise would displace fifteen million Bangladeshis living in the densely populated Ganges-Brahmaputr delta. Egypt would lose two million hectares of land and displace 10 million people."
Advancing deserts grow all over the planet because of human caused carbon footprint climate change. Once manifested, deserts lack top soil and any ability to replant them with trees or grass. Photography by www.NationalGeographic.com
Brown stated, "If the Greenland ice sheet, which is well over a mile thick in places, were to melt completely, sea level would rise 23 feet. The most vulnerable country is China with 144 million potential climate refugees. India comes next with 63 million and Bangladesh with 62 million refugees."
Advancing deserts create yet another segment of environmental refugees. The Sahara Desert in Africa expands in all directions. As it expands northward, it squeezes Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria against the Mediterranean coast. It grows southward into Nigeria, one of Africa's fastest growing human populations.
A 2006 United Nations conference on desertification projected that by 2020, up to sixty million people could migrate from Africa to North Africa and into Europe. In China alone, 2,400 villages in northern and western China have been abandoned because of desert expansion. With the advancing Gobi Desert within 150 miles of Beijing, China's leaders understand the gravity of the situation. Entire cities face relocation via lack of water supplies.
More will be forced from cities and homes via water tables falling from too many people siphoning from ground water and nature's inability to recharge the aquifers fast enough.
A fifth category for environmental refugees arrives from the past 50 years of toxic waste and radiation levels from human activities in nuclear waste and chemicals being injected into the atmosphere 24/7. To say the chickens come home to roost puts it lightly.
Desperate humanity facing desperate migration travels
"Some stories cause heart rendering beyond belief," said Brown. "In October, 2003, a boat bound for Italy carrying refugees from Africa came into Italian hands off the coast. After being adrift for two weeks and having run out of fuel, food and water, many passengers died. The remaining passengers were too weak to toss the bodies over the side. The dead and the living shared the boat. The refugees were believed to be Somalis, but they would not reveal their country of origin lest they be sent home."
The Catholic Church and Islamic Church remain the biggest obstacles to birth control in the world. The results grow more deadly by the day.) Photography by www.skyscrapercity.com
What do all those countries and their suffering victims share in common? Their populations overwhelm their carrying capacity. Via culture, illiteracy and religion, they refuse to practice or cannot obtain birth control. They manifest in 2013 what all of humanity faces in the coming decades: too many people that cannot be housed, fed and watered. We humans face a gargantuan human pile-up all over the planet.
Brown emphasized birth control and family planning, but historically, the Catholic Church, Islamic Church and many Christian churches battle successfully against birth control and family planning. They live in denial. They exist without a plan. They stand in the gray area of "non-reason" as they cling to such anachronistic notions of, "Go forth and multiply and take dominion over the animals and earth."
Reality and Mother Nature will not tolerate such ancient nonsense.
Part 10: Population, and agriculture by George Wuerthner
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation
Authors: Philip Cafaro, Eileen Crist
Publisher: The University of Georgia Press, www.ugapress.org
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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. His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. Read more stories by Frosty Wooldridge.
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