Ignoring Climate Change, Immigration, and Their Root Cause, Population Growth

By Donald A. Collins | 4 November 2012
Progressives for Immigration Reform

(Credit: Dreamstime)

Well, well, well, thanks, NY City Mayor Bloomberg, for your acknowledgment that global warming could be a factor in what has just happened to your city. Yes, Americans and all humans around the world, there are profound climate changes underway.

And dragging in millions of new aliens every year doesn’t help the USA in any way. Of course the last jobs report before the election doesn’t mention the immigration issue and will be cited vigorously by both candidates as proving their positions. As Fox News says, the US Labor Department’s last jobless report before Election Day shows a slight increase in the number of unemployed last month, up to 7.9 percent, with 171,000 jobs added.

As Isaac Asimov opined “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. Global warming and our failure to heed its overt warming warnings certainly fits that adage tightly!

So let’s be clear: True scientific evolution and the actions or positions it suggests, mostly do not follow politics and as we stand on the edge of a Presidential election with the nation and the world awaiting the leadership to make some profound changes in our planetary direction, our leaders had better begin to heed science and not continue smoke blowing politics.

Even as we struggle with worldwide financial uncertainty and instability, that is so much a less vital issue than convening a meeting of planetary powers to discuss what all nations might do together to combat, retard, and ultimately enable a stable, safe, peaceful planet. What! You mean neither of our two candidates has mentioned the issue of climate change as directly related to population growth? Awwwww, hard to believe.

Remember how the FBI and others in the George W. Bush Administration failed to pick up warnings about 911 preparations?

Well, we have had many global warming warnings. As Bill McKibbon noted in his November 1, 2012 article in the Guardian entitled, “Sandy Forces Climate Change on US Election”

Such is Big Energy’s hold on DC, neither Obama nor Romney talk about climate change. But Americans are joining the dots.

Here’s a sentence I wish I hadn’t written – it rolled out of my Macbook in May, part of an article for Rolling Stone that quickly went viral:

“Say something so big finally happens (a giant hurricane swamps Manhattan, a megadrought wipes out Midwest agriculture) that even the political power of the industry is inadequate to restrain legislators, who manage to regulate carbon.”

I wish I hadn’t written it because the first half gives me entirely undeserved credit for prescience: I had no idea both would, in fact, happen in the next six months. And I wish I hadn’t written it because now that my bluff’s been called, I’m doubting that even Sandy, the largest storm ever, will be enough to make our political class serious about climate change.

With growing trepidation, I and many much more qualified voices than mine have for decades been predicting the dire effects of unbridled growth of every category of human impact on “Our Plundered Planet”, the title of a landmark 1948 book by Fairfield Osborn. Population growth, with its grasping, groping, gashing, grinding tentacles, has brought us to a place where urgent planetary action must follow.

In the late 1960’s shortly before his death, I once also had the marvelous pleasure of meeting Osborn at which was for me to become a never to be forgotten luncheon near the NY Zoological Society’s research station on Long Island in the late 1960’s, shortly before his death in 1969. Earlier that day, touring the marine biological station named for him, I was treated to the sight of William Beebe’s famous Bathysphere, noted for his many exploits on environmental investigation, a tour lead by Dr. Ross F. Negrelli, who was among those who early on researched and disclosed the effects of the poisonous, pollution induced Red Tide.

Our luncheon that lovely sunny Fall day in the late 60’s, was hosted by Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr., a courtly charming patrician who went by the name of Fair, by those who knew him. Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. was then and had been the President of the NY Zoological Society since his appointment in 1940. What a wonderful presence he was, presiding over our small group of only 5, including Dr. Negrelli, making me, a young junior member of the party, feel as important as if I were his peer. Such a superb quality, so rare in social situations.

Wikipedia tells “After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University, he went on to study biology at Cambridge University, but then pursued a career in international business. Towards the end of the First World War, he served briefly as a Captain in the United States Army, after which he returned to private enterprise.”

Wikipedia continues:

“In 1935, he retired and devoted himself to environmental causes. He continued in his capacity as secretary and board member of the New York Zoological Society, a position he held from 1923 until 1940, when he was named president and board member, a position he held for the rest of his life.

Osborn wrote Our Plundered Planet, and when published in 1948 it became very influential in the early Environmental movement and helped spur a Malthusian revival in 1950s and 60s. He is also remembered for being an early opponent of synthetic pesticide use, for producing several films dealing with endangered species, flood control and water resources, as well as for his second book, The Limits of the Earth (1953), and a collection of short essays he edited under the title of Our Crowded Planet (1962). From 1948 to 1961, he served as the first president of the Conservation Foundation, an organization he founded with a number of like-minded colleagues to raise awareness about ecological problems.”

We all stand on the shoulders of these for bearers, men of vision and courage, who looked at the facts and presented them regardless of their popularity. Osborn and Rachel Carson, and too many to name, now mostly dead. Fortunately, real leaders such as McKibben and others are alive and well and active and screaming about what science has proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And bringing in millions of new aliens without cause boggles the mind of any US citizen.

Folks, this is not new business, but maybe, just maybe, world leaders, and especially whoever is elected President of the USA, will be able to use that powerful bully pulpit to rally the focus needed to save us all from the religious, greedy, feckless, militant maws of forces driving humanity over the cliff of excess. “Maybe” gets to be a mighty fateful word.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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