February 17, 2013
Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at the Weekly Standard and the author of "What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster" In Washington, politicians are trying to reform America's immigration system, again. Both President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) are proposing "paths to citizenship" for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. Other proposals abound, including finishing the border fence, creating a better E-Verify system for employers, and passing the last Congress' Dream Act. All of these ideas, however, fundamentally misunderstand immigration in America: Future immigration is probably going to be governed not by U.S. domestic policy choices but by global demographics.
November 1, 2011
LAGOS, NIGERIA - In Nigeria, newborn twins have to share a bassinet in a crowded public hospital that doesn't have enough electricity. "Where there is life, there is hope," their mother said. But as the world's population surpasses seven billion, fears are stirring anew about how the planet will cope with the needs of so many humans. The United Nations marked the milestone yesterday, even though it is impossible to pinpoint the arrival of the globe's seven billionth occupant because millions of people are born and die each day. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the day was "not about one newborn or even one generation" but "about our entire human family.
October 18, 2011 |
The nonstop parade of killers, crooks, and con artists on the nightly news is enough to leave anyone with a dim view of human nature and pining for the good old days. But what if the good old days weren't so good after all? Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard University and best-selling author of "The Blank Slate," has mustered a mountain of data that tracks violence through the centuries. "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" (Viking)
October 17, 2011 |
The world recently passed one significant date, and it's headed for another. No, I don't mean Yom Kippur or Thanksgiving. Sept. 27 was Earth Overshoot Day, designated by the Global Footprint Network as the time when the planet's humans surpassed "nature's budget" for the year. Since then, we've been exceeding the resources the Earth can generate, says the network, a nonprofit research group based in California. At the rate we're going, we need as much as 1.5 Earths to sustain us, the group says.
October 14, 2011 |
The nonstop parade of killers, crooks and con artists on the nightly news is enough to leave anyone with a dim view of human nature and pining for the good old days. But what if the good old days weren't so good after all? Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard and best-selling author of "The Blank Slate," has mustered a mountain of data that tracks violence through the centuries. "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined" (Viking) is the result, an 800-page argument that examines violence from major wars to infanticide, genocide to child abuse, and murder to bullying.
April 22, 2010 |
On this 40th anniversary of Earth Day, prepare to be bombarded with apocalyptic tales of disaster. But don't let the gloom-and-doom-fest get you down. Odds are the doomsters will be wrong. To help "celebrate" the first Earth Day in 1970, biologist Barry Commoner wrote, "We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation. " In a speech at Swarthmore College that year, ecologist Kenneth Watt said, "If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000.
February 27, 2005 |
They are the planet's greatest travelers. For thousands of years and more, they have followed well-worn paths across continents and around the globe. Some routes are literally beaten into the ground. Others are invisible trails in the air or water. The travelers are long-distance wildlife migrants: geese, cranes, butterflies, whales, caribou and songbirds by the millions. Their annual journeys are events of power and profound mystery. Who hasn't been moved by the sound of migrating geese honking high overhead on a chilly spring night?
April 28, 2003
SARS has arrived. People wearing masks to protect themselves is laughable. A virus is a hundred times smaller than a bacteria, so the mask blocks the virus from inhalation about 0.001 percent of the time. Why is it here? Where did it come from? Answer: Overpopulation and the mysterious bowels of nature. Nature senses and reacts to its environment. If there are too many living creatures, it will send forth a system (a disease) to relieve and correct the problem. Since Adam and Even started the human race eons ago, the number of humans has exploded on this finite globe.
July 28, 2002 |
For most of us who live in industrialized or highly urbanized parts of the world, water comes "naturally," flowing from faucets into bathtubs or lawn sprinklers. It is available when and where we want it. Water is seldom a major worry in our daily lives and its connection to droughts and floods, or even precipitation, seems remote. Yet, it is the natural world that produces our water, sometimes in excess, sometimes short of our needs and wants. It is rarely recognized that the amount of water we use at home is but a fraction of what is required by society.
January 3, 2001 |
There are clubs whose memberships ought not to grow. That of countries with 1 billion or more population is certainly among them. Even China and India are two too many. Yet the just-released year 2000 U.S. Census total shows us racing pell-mell to this dubious goal. At 281 million, we have gained nearly 33 million since 1990 - and 81 million since 1970, year of the first Earth Day. Pennsylvania, one of the slowest-growth states, nonetheless gained 400,000 people. This betokens a continued upward trend.