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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Overpopulation & Hyperimmigration

by Peter Goodchild


Mass immigration is a story that has two aspects: (1) ecological and (2) political. The "ecological" and the "political" are closely related elements of systemic collapse, "the decline of the West."

By "ecological aspect" I mean that human overpopulation is always destructive to the planet Earth, and that migration across borders merely shifts the problem of overpopulation from one country to another. By "political aspect" I mean that, in spite of all the fraudulent appeals to humanitarianism and other pseudo-values, the unfortunate reality is that hordes of impoverished and uneducated barbarians will eventually be profitable for the capitalists who are creating a new Utopia. That is why every politician of every party runs after "the ethnic vote" like a dog after a car. It is quite obvious, though, that many "refugees" are actually robbers and rapists, and that the coming Utopia could bear a close resemblance to the world of the Middle Ages, with an extremely wealthy elite class dominating a lower class that is kept permanently at an almost subhuman level of development. The final Utopia will be quite a Dystopia.

The following remarks focus largely on the "ecological" aspect, but that aspect overlaps seamlessly with the "political." Canada is a perfect example of such an overlap. The fact that most of Canada is uninhabitable rock leads to the "ecological" fact that the enormous growth of Canada's population will have disastrous effects on the habitability of the land. In reality, the habitable part of Canada, roughly speaking, is a strip of land, 150 km wide, running along the southern border, with a population density roughly equal to that of most other industrialized countries. Canada is not "vacant land" looking for buyers. At the same time, we must consider the "political" fact that mass immigration pushes out some of those troublesome white people who refuse to be converted to the new "ism" — "multiculturalism."

The world's population has risen from about 1.7 billion in 1900 to 2.5 in 1950, and is now well over 7 billion. Most of this increase, of course, has been in "developing" countries, suggesting that the term "developing" is rather misleading: a combination of environmental degradation and rapid population growth often makes "development" impossible (Catton, 1982; Kaplan, 2001). It has been said that as fossil-fuel production declines the global population must drop to far below its present size. In terms of agriculture alone we would not be able to accommodate even the present number of people as fossil fuels become scarce, with manual labour therefore replacing automation, and without the hydrocarbon-based fertilizers and pesticides that make modern yields triple those of earlier times (Pimentel & Hall, 1984). Even then we have not factored in war, epidemics, and other aspects of social breakdown.

Overpopulation is the fundamental cause of systemic collapse (Catton, 1982). All of the flash-in-the-pan ideas that are presented as solutions to modern dilemmas — solar power, biofuels, hybrid cars, desalination, permaculture, enormous dams — have value only as desperate attempts to solve an underlying problem that has never been addressed in a more direct manner.

American foreign aid has always included only trivial amounts for family planning (Spiedel, Sinding, Gillespie, Maguire, & Neuse, 2009, January). It would seem that the most powerful country in the world has done very little to solve the biggest problem in the world. However, there is the frightful possibility that one reason why the US government now gives so little aid to some countries is that the problem of overpopulation is regarded as hopeless, and that any assistance would be just money down the drain (Kaplan, 2001).

The problem of overpopulation is worsened by the fact that there are so many people busy either transmitting or receiving disinformation about the subject (Kolankiewicz & Beck, 2001, April). For left-wingers, discussion of high population is seen as persecution of the world's poor. For rightwingers, high population is seen as providing more buyers, more workers, and more investors. For politicians, more people means more votes. For many religious groups, high population reflects God's command to go forth and multiply. Corporate funding of several major environmentalist groups has also done quite a job of disconnecting them from discussion of population: they may be "green" but they are no longer "clean."

Overpopulation can always be passed off as somebody else's problem. It is the fundamental case of what Garrett Hardin calls "the tragedy of the commons" (1968, 1995): although an oversize family may have a vague suspicion that the world will suffer slightly from that fecundity, no family wants to lose out by being the first to back down. Without a central governing body that is both strong and honest, however, the evasion is perpetual, and it is that very lack of strength and honesty that makes traditional democracy an anachronism to some extent.

The Chinese have made quite an effort at dealing with excess population growth, but even they have not been very successful. Since 1953, the year of the first proper Chinese census and approximately the start of concerns with excessive fertility, the population has gone from 583 million to over 1.4 billion. For that matter, since the official starting of the one-child campaign in 1979, the population has grown by over 300 million (Riley, 2004, June); in other words, China's increase is equal to the entire population of the US.

Overpopulation, however, is a problem that occurs not only in poor countries. The evidence is also clear in the US:
Mounting traffic congestion; endless disruptive road construction; spreading smog; worsening water pollution and tightening water supplies; disappearing wildlife habitats, farmland, and open spaces; overcrowded schools; overused parks and outdoor recreation facilities; the end of small-town life in communities that until recently had been beyond the city; the impending merging together of separate, unwieldy metropolitan areas into vast megalopolitan miasmas; and the overall deterioration in quality of life and the increasing social tensions of urban dwellers reflected in such phenomena as gated communities and road rage (Kolankiewicz & Beck, 2001, April).
It is only in the hinterlands, away from the cities, that the opposite occurs: depopulation and "rural flight." The causes of depopulation are many, but they begin with the industrialization of agriculture and the growth of enormous corporate farms, "agri-business." As the farming population is impoverished and reduced, the peripheral economy also shrinks, and crime and other social problems are the result. Nevertheless, the urban population of a country increasingly outweighs the rural. Worldwide, slightly more than half the human population now lives in urban areas, but these places will be death traps as resources disappear.

Actually, "overpopulation" tends to be a euphemism for "over-immigration," and again we return to the "political." Every country in the world is already well populated, in most cases quite overpopulated. The conception of some sort of land that is lying empty, waiting for the blessing of new arrivals, is a fiction invented by dishonest politicians. Family planning organizations sometimes inadvertently help to propagate this myth by euphemism, excessive caution in phraseology, and an unwillingness to risk antagonism. Although "family planning" is an admirable goal, what such organizations rarely state is that it is not where a child is born that really matters, demographically and economically, but where that person is eventually living — not the moment of birth, but the decades between birth and death, during which time that person will be consuming the world's resources, along with more than 7 billion other people doing the same. Emigration and immigration, transferring the problem of overcrowding from one country to another, do no good at all; if anything, they simply perpetuate the illusion that birth control is unnecessary.

Discussion of overpopulation, however, is a great taboo. Politicians will rarely touch the issue. The many documents on population published by the United Nations merely sidestep the issue by discussing how to cater to large populations, in spite of the fact that such catering is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

To speak against overpopulation is an exercise in futility. How likely is it that the required massive change in human thinking will ever take place? Even in "developed" countries, to broach the topic of overpopulation is often to invite charges of racism and elitism. And there seems something both naïve and presumptuous in the common belief that people in poor countries are just waiting to be enlightened to "modern" ideals. On the contrary, the inhabitants of poor countries are often quite determined to hang on to their present systems of politics and religion, no matter how archaic and oppressive those systems may seem to outsiders, and would prefer that any proselytizing go in the opposite direction.


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