- Americans pride themselves with their clean water laws,
air pollution laws and environmental protection agencies. Everyone
'talks' about their 'green' actions and practices. However, they might
be surprised to note that a scant 30 percent of citizens recycle with any
regularity. No matter how 'clean' they might think their air, over 150
million Americans breathe toxic air in cities across the nation.
- One look at rivers, lakes and roadways shows billions
of cans, bottles and plastic containers tossed carelessly across the land.
Everyone reading this series may have seen a six pack of beer bottles
left in a parking lot at a motel.
- The fact remains, Americans continue as one of the most
wasteful and pollution creating countries on the planet. Along with that
wasteful culture, this country races pell-mell toward adding another 100
million net gain to the United States by 2035-a scant 25 years from now.
- In his book, Too Many People, Lindsey Grant addresses
our energy predicament. You may find his book at www.sevenlockspress.com
and www.amazon.com. Grant is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Environment and Population Affairs.
- "As to solid wastes, 27 percent of municipal waste
is now recycled in the United States," said Grant, "but 116 million
TONS still go into landfills each year."
- Since less than a half dozen states enjoy a five cent
to ten cent deposit/return law, Americans happily toss their containers
to the four winds. The result: as shown on the Oprah Show, a giant plastic
waste dump larger than Texas and up to 60 feet deep, known as The Great
Pacific Garbage Patch, floats in a vortex of ocean currents. Scientists
tell us that plastic containers number 46,000 on every square mile of our
oceans. Those plastics in all forms kill millions of marine creatures
in our oceans.
- THE ATMOSPHERE
- No matter how much we 'clean' our exhausts, Americans
love their SUVs and trucks. Added to that, since 1965, America added 100
million people within 40 years-reaching 300 million in October of 2006.
Currently, the population clock ticks at 309 million in the USA. The
planet adds another one billion people every 13 years on its way to adding
three billion humans by mid century. That many people continue creating
- SULFUR DIOXIDE, NITROGEN OXIDE, OZONE, LEAD POLLUTION
- "The twin culprits here are energy generation and
the automobile," said Grant. "Technical fixes are harder to come
by than with sulfur dioxide, and our national love affair with the automobile
has dampened our legislators' enthusiasm for doing anything serious."
- The American Lung Association said, "More than 132
million Americans live in areas with dangerous levels of smog."
- Lead in the air creates poison in the blood of humans.
If you breathe it, you absorb it. We lessened it by taking it out of gasoline
and paints, but: "Lead is leaching into groundwater from mining tailings,
dumps, and other sites all over the country. Lead is getting into the
biosphere at a rage unknown before the industrial revolution," said
- POPULATION REDUCTION
- "There is immense pressure building on the environment
as poor nations seek to live the "good life," and the rich demonstrate
that they are not inclined to abandon it," said Grant. "In so
far as the world cannot or will not pay for expensive technologies to manage
pollution, we would be well advised to reduce the population-driven demand
that multiplies it."
- WATER AND HEALTH
- Grant talked about poor countries. Having personally
ridden my bicycle through much of the third world, I witnessed the incomprehensible
poverty affecting two billion people on this planet. I'd say at least
one to two billion people on the planet do not use a toilet. They use
an outhouse or the ground. Their human waste pollutes ground water,
rivers, lakes, streams and oceans.
- What Americans do not understand accelerates all around
them. As humans add an almost mind-bending 77 million annually, they cannot
be fed. Thus, they migrate, and their migration accelerates as desperation
grows around the planet.
- "Urban populations in the less-developed countries
have grown six fold since 1950, from 304 million to two billion; they are
expected to pass four billion by 2030. Those dry numbers do not convey
the horror of expanding slums, festering in the breakdown of urban services
and the lack of basic necessities like clean water. Some 90 percent of
the sewage in those cities goes untreated into ditches and water sources,
and much of it is re-used immediately by people with no other options."
- Thus, as reported by Bill Ryerson at <http://www.populationmedia.org/>www.populationmedia.org
, countries like India suffer 1,000 children dying DAILY from water borne
diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea and parasites. By the way, in excess
of one million Indians squat for their morning constitutional anywhere
upon the land. The Ganges, although a holy river, runs in raw sewage 24/7.
- No wonder millions clamber to move to the United States
and other Western societies. Some demographic experts predict 50
to 100 million environmental refugees trying to enter first world countries
within the next two decades.
- 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.com He
is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million
Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715