Solutions Create More Problems - article about Al Bartlett

by Frosty Wooldridge

Originally published in the Denver Post neighborhood blog.

On Monday night, June 10th [2008], CU's Dr. Albert Bartlett presented to an overflow crowd at Boulder's Chautauqua Park--a compelling reality check on energy and overpopulation. Current energy prices indicate 'symptoms' of our greater dilemmas as to water, clean air, food and natural gas shortages. We import a 'perfect storm' of consequences into our country monthly. He said, "Our solutions have created more problems! Every time we add an extra lane to I-25, we create ever greater traffic flow. That, in turn, creates more air pollution and traffic gridlock. That creates greater demand and higher fuel prices. We cannot continue on our current consumption path."

A rapt audience listened as Dr. Bartlett talked with the moderator Richard as they walked through the CU professor's fascinating journey as a dishwasher on an ore freighter in 1940 to his earning a Ph.D. in physics at Harvard. He hitch-hiked and jumped trains to travel across America. He reported to Los Alamos for work on the Manhattan Project. Later, he arrived at CU to teach. He continues teaching humanity today. His lecture provides this country with a stunning look into our future if we fail to address overpopulation.

While he joked and laughed with Richard, to the delight of the audience, his message remained deadly serious. The United States cannot continue consuming and overpopulating along its current path. He addressed our inability to discover an alternative energy. Even if we did, it would take 50 years to implement.

While he talked, I took notes that the USA imports 100,000 legal immigrants and an average of 82,000 illegal migrants every 30 days, month in and month out, year in and year out, our country grows by 2.1 million immigrants annually. (Source: CIS and CAPS).

Average birthrate of American females equates to 2.03 children, which allows us a stable civilization. However, the March 2008 Pew Report projected the USA will add 100 million people by 2035, which is less than 30 years from now. Immigration forces two-thirds of that population growth. Additionally, the world grows by 77 million annually­thus we solve nothing, but we create an unsustainable future for our children. How does that serve us? Dr. Bartlett said, "Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases of population, locally, nationally, or globally."

At the end of his presentation, Dr. Bartlett sobered the audience with our colliding with a resource limited future. "Whether it's 10 years from now or 50 years, we're running out of oil," he said. "Without it, we cannot support millions of people in cities."

One lady asked, "Is there any hope for the future?"

Another asked, "Is there any intelligent life on earth to change our future to a sustainable one?"

Dr. Bartlett replied, "Is there any intelligent life in Washington, DC is the bigger question?"

Dr. Bartlett received a lengthy standing ovation at the end of the presentation.

What I found ironic stemmed from the fact that Boulder, Colorado stands as a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. While most highly educated people in that city work for sustainability, they shoot themselves in the foot by living in denial of the major cause of our overpopulation overload: unending, relentless and massive legal and illegal immigration! What logic employs such illogic?

If you're trying to reach a destination, but realize you're traveling down the wrong road. Stop! Turn around and go back to start down the correct path to your desired destination. As a civilization, the United States must choose soon to move toward a sustainable, stable and viable population.

Please read Dr. Bartlett's brilliant work: "Reflections on Growth, Sustainability and Environment: Revisited"

Will continued population growth help us in any way? If not, why do we stand idly by as we watch it degrade our environment, quality of life and future for our children? I urge you to endorse a "Colorado Sustainable Population Policy"; "Colorado Water Usage Policy"; "Colorado Carrying Capacity Policy".

Final solution? We cannot keep adding lanes to I-25 or I-70. As Clint Eastwood said, "A man's got to know his limits!" So does a civilization! We must call for a moratorium on all immigration in order to bequeath a sustainable future for our children.

Dr. Albert Bartlett stands as the pre-imminent man of the 20th and 21st century with his program on a sustainable future. You're invited to become a part of his vision, energy and enthusiasm for humanity!

Copyright 2008 Frosty Wooldridge
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