A Note from the Editor - Summer 1999

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 9, Number 4 (Summer 1999)
Issue theme: "Population growth and resource depletion"

Mae West is credited with having observed that "too much of a good thing is wonderful." We can all imagine some of the wonderful things she had in mind. But when it comes to finite resources, too many consumers can, if their appetites are left unchecked, lead to diminishing returns, exhaustion of resources, poverty, and even extinction.

The United States fought World War II with a population of about 130 million. Since then, our population has more than doubled and is estimated to number 270 million. Native-born Americans reached a condition of essentially zero population growth two decades ago. The current increase in U.S. population is largely a consequence of ongoing mass immigration.

As voracious consumers of resources such as water and land, it should be clear that the ratio of resources to people is declining. At some date, if our population continues to grow, we will hit a critical point, after which our quality of life will decline. Many parts of the continental U.S. already experience water "shortages" - the situation is never attributed to too many people.

Forecasting the time when more serious and widespread "shortages" may occur is not an exact science. This has led some commentators to talk about the concept of "sustainable growth." This is a sort of economic perpetual motion machine. How much growth is sustainable? How can we possibly sustain growth forever?

Optimism has always outsold pessimism. But we have to acknowledge that there is no reason to believe that salvation will arrive in the nick of time in the guise of a future technological fix, thus preventing many parts of America from resembling Mexico City or Calcutta. Calling a halt to further immigration can head us in the direction of population stability - the first step toward managing resource depletion.

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U.S. intervention in the Balkans has not ended "ethnic cleansing" in Serbia's Kosovo province. As we go to press, it is the last of the Serbs who are being "cleansed." As USA Today for July 1, 1999, reports, "Many of the figures used by the Clinton Administration and NATO to describe the wartime plight of Albanians in Kosovo now appear greatly exaggerated as allied forces take control of the province." It is noteworthy that George Soros, the international currency speculator, apparently has been a major sponsor of the pro-Albanian PR campaign. As many readers are aware, the Soros Foundation is also a major supporter of open borders and mass immigration.

Columnist Don Feder has been touring the Balkans since the bombing campaign ended. Concerning Albania, Feder wrote in his July 13 column,

Albania has no government. It is run by crime syndicates. The country is a base for drug-running and arms smuggling. NATO is duplicating that in Kosovo.

An Associated Press interview with Albanian Muslim refugees in their temporary housing at Fort Dix, New Jersey, revealed that few, if any, had any intention of going home. What with various government subsidies, free housing, free medical care, extensive educational services, and the prospect of American citizenship - along with the opportunity to bring over the rest of their extended families through chain migration - why should they ever leave?

John Gray of the London School of Economics despairs over what he sees as America's "hubristic disregard of history." In his book False Dawn The Delusions of Global Capitalism professor Gray observes,

Resurgent religions, ancient ethnic enmities and territorial rivalries, the use of new technologies for purposes of war rather than wealth-creation do not accord well with Enlightenment expectations of secularization and the propagation of peace through trade.... The re-emergence of ethnicity, territory, and religion as deciding forces in war and politics makes a mockery of any diplomacy which rests on Enlightenment ideas of homo economicus and a universal civilization.

In his 1996 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Samuel Huntington outlined how the fault lines between civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace. The Balkan quagmire is just one of the arenas where this struggle is taking place. For the West to intervene on the side of militant Islam is a grave about-face - and one many of us are bound to regret.

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D., Editor