The Ticking ‘Population Bomb’ in Africa, India, and China - The ramifications of overpopulation for the West

By Frosty Wooldridge
Volume 28, Number 4 (Summer 2018)
Issue theme: "Are there no limits? The crisis of overpopulation, mass immigration, and overconsumption"

Western countries took warnings about the “Population Bomb” seriously and, since 1970, have been averaging 2.0 children, or less, per female. Unfortunately, the rest of the human race did not do likewise. World population accelerated from 3.5 billion in 1965 to 7.4 billion in 2018. It took centuries for the human population to reach 3.5 billion, but only 53 years for it to double. Without major change, the world’s population is expected to add another 3.1 billion by mid-century, give or take a decade, to reach at least 10 billion.

Unfortunately, as First World countries created stable and sustainable societies, since 1970, their leaders have allowed unending immigration from overloaded, developing countries. After the United States opened the gates with the 1965 Immigration Act, another 126 million people were added to America’s population base in 53 years (Source: If the 1965 Immigration Act and other legislation continues to allow admission of more refugees and asylees, the U.S. population is likely to reach 389.5 million by 2050. Much the same immigrant ingress occurs in Canada, Europe, and Australia. Where do those immigrants originate? Answer: the developing countries that add 80 million, net gain, annually. (Source:

Africa: The Deadliest Birthrate Affecting All of Humanity

The high birthrate in Africa threatens all Western countries in the twenty-first century. At 1.2 billion in 2018, Africa’s population is accelerating toward 2.5 billion by 2050 and 4.4 billion by the end of this century. There is no possibility that they can find water, food, housing, and education to sustain these expected 4 billion people. (Source:

As an example, the average Burundian woman births 6.3 children, double the international fertility rate. Burundians expect to jump from 10.8 million to 25.7 million in a few decades. Egypt, currently 97.5 million, expects to reach 153 million by 2030. Ethiopia, at 104.9 million, expects to reach 190.8 million by 2050. (Source:

Ironically, Egypt, a grain exporter for thousands of years, now imports most of the food it requires to feed its current population. Africa expects to quadruple its population within 82 years. Hence, every living creature featuring feathers, hooves, claws, fins, or fur that lives in Africa will eventually become food for humans. The future is grim. It means relentless extinction of rhinos, lions, gazelles, wildebeest, giraffes, and elephants—just about any creature that breathes.

The world witnesses the carnage, poverty, disease, and futility of Africa in 2018, but nothing has been done to change course. Those burgeoning populations are now flooding into First World countries, with no end in sight.

Ask yourself: what will we do once the planet adds over two billion people by 2050—a scant 32 years from now? How can they be watered, fed, housed, warmed and sustained in a finite world with finite resources? If you think the flood of another 1,000,000 (million) refugees knocking on Europe’s door today spells disaster for the civilized West, what do you think any Western country faces in the next 82 years when Africa hits four billion desperate people?

Many Africans are migrating to Europe, Canada, and the U.S. One look at Minneapolis, Minnesota, shows 120,000 Somali legal refugees now overwhelming welfare services across that city, a mere fraction of that African country’s population (currently at 15.2 million and likely to reach 35.8 million by 2050 and 78.9 million by 2100).

“The country is rapidly expanding with almost 3 percent annual population growth and a high fertility rate of 6.26 children per woman, which is the 4th highest in the world.” (Source:

A question to ask yourself and your kids: what is the point of endless immigration from Somalia in 2018 when that country, along with the rest of Africa, cannot control its own birth rates? What’s the point of adding more of their people to Western countries, which then become like their countries of origin?

How do you think your kids will survive the onslaught? What kind of a civilization are we expecting to bequeath to our children? Answer: if Western countries continue on the same path, they will all become overpopulated, where everyone suffers in a hopelessly degraded environment and no one may enjoy anything resembling a decent standard of living.

India: The Second Deadliest Birthrate Affecting All of Humanity

India’s population is expected to grow from 1.3 billion to 1.65 billion within 32 years. In 1960, India reached 500,000,000 (million) people. Today with its 1.3 billion people, India suffers every kind of social and environmental consequence known to humanity. Every year, it adds 16 million more people, net gain.

India’s major river, the Ganges, which I once rafted, flows into the ocean with the most polluted, toxic, and contaminated waters known to humankind. Trillions of gallons of untreated sewage, industrial waste, hundreds of chemicals, and millions of pieces of plastics flow into the ocean 24/7. This has created an enormous dead zone at the mouth of the Ganges. From there, this deadly mix flows into the Indian Ocean. Those contaminated waters spread all over the planet—poisoning marine life, avian life, reefs, the ocean floor. Deadly acidification literally travels around the planet.

[Note, the United States, China, and India dump the most plastics into the world’s oceans. The latest estimates indicate that 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic float above and flow under the surface around the world—killing millions of marine creatures annually. Marine biologist Julia Whitty, published in onEarth magazine, reports that 46,000 pieces of plastic trash float on every square mile of Earth’s oceans. We’ve known this for 20 years, but no action to stop it has been taken.]

Within India, hundreds of millions of people lack a toilet, with the Indian Express reporting, “Best experts tell us that 60.4 percent of Indians lack a toilet.” Since they go outside, you can imagine the stench in the cities, the filth in the streets, and the total contamination of soils and rivers by that many people injecting their waste upon the lands and waters 24/7. For those who have never been there, it is beyond most people’s comprehension.

Thus, it comes as no surprise, that every day of the year, 1,000 Indian children under the age of 12 die of dysentery, diarrhea, and other waterborne diseases after drinking contaminated water. (Source:

Yet, as India’s population adds 16 million net gain annually, they are growing so fast that they cannot solve any of their problems. They are immersed in disease and squalor, topping the “human misery index.” The National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau estimates that only 15 percent of Indians receive adequate nourishment daily (Source:

India simply cannot sustain jobs, classrooms, and housing for that many more people annually. Yet, population stabilization is not demanded by India’s leaders. It has been over three decades since Indira Gandhi attempted to promote family planning in India (when I visited in 1984). She largely failed because religious-cultural norms overpowered reasoned thinking.

If you look at the beauty of the Taj Mahal, one of the most famous landmarks of India, a short trip to the river next to it shows millions of pieces of plastic clogging its waters. And the water is polluted with chemicals, leaving it unfit for human or animal consumption.

In the cities, air pollution poisons the lungs of everyone breathing that toxic air 24/7. You see everyone tapping into electrical wires illegally at every juncture. Trash is everywhere and the smells turn your stomach. The traffic is a free-for-all that astounds Western visitors.

By adding those 16 million more people annually to their huge population base, India’s wilderness is suffering encroachment from roads, housing, mining, lumbering, and other development. Animal extinction rates are soaring. The Bengal Tiger and the Snow Leopard will not survive in the wilds within several decades. Elephants face an uncertain future. Birds of all kinds face extinction from loss of habitat, as do fish and plants. Yet no one appears to be raising a finger to address India’s population predicament.

But what does it mean for all of us in the U.S. and other western countries like Canada, Europe, and Australia? Today, Indians are using family chain-migration to migrate here, and millions more Indians clamor for visas to move to the U.S., Europe and Canada. The rich ones buy their way in. Some Indians discovered how to use loans to buy motels across America, which loans in turn are used to accelerate chain-migration.

Consider that by 2050, a scant 32 years from now, analysts expect India to out-populate China, reaching 1.55 billion people. As it stands, they lack the “arable land” to grow enough food. They clearly lack clean water as they dry up their groundwater supplies.

If you think the refugee crisis facing Europe last year and continuing this year bodes ill, just consider the future.

When India starts facing hunger crises because of the lack of arable land, lack of rainfall, and growing catastrophic climate destabilization, more of them will try to migrate. We may all be in trouble.

No amount of emigration can act as a safety valve. No amount of international aid will help them. Why? Because India’s population keeps growing.

I am reminded of an observation made by Eleanor Roosevelt fifty years ago: “We must prevent human tragedy rather than run around trying to save ourselves after an event has already occurred. Unfortunately, history clearly shows that we arrive at catastrophe by failing to meet the situation, by failing to act when we should have acted. The opportunity passes us by and the next disaster is always more difficult and compounded than the last one.”

China: The Third Deadliest Birthrate Affecting All of Humanity

China’s population is expected to expand from 1.35 billion to 1.5 billion by 2050. It faces horrific environmental consequences today. Ironically, even with a one child per woman birth policy, China continues adding 8 million annually because of “population momentum.”

As a naïve, youthful world bicycle traveler back in 1984, I toured throughout China when it first opened up to international visitors. What really impacted me was seeing wall-to-wall people. Every piece of land bloomed with crops. Every nook and cranny filled with people. They jammed every city. They overflowed every sector of that ancient land. Their plight stunned me. Today, they drive down 50 lane freeways and breathe toxic air. Their rivers, such as the Yangtze, are horrifically polluted. I will have to admit that that one visit changed my perceptions concerning the consequences of too many people.

While its population grows relentlessly, China builds additional cities, causing wilderness to vanish, and resulting in severe animal extinction rates. Notoriously, this has been accompanied by a complete breakdown of the ecology.

China currently constructs one new coal-fired electrical plant every week of the year. It adds 27,000,000 (million) new cars, net gain, annually, according to the NBC Nightly News. It has 50 lanes of one way of traffic. Toxic air pollution is so severe that lung cancer rates are exploding in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

While the world currently (2018) consumes 94 million barrels of oil 24/7, energy analysts predict that China alone will burn 98 million barrels of oil annually by 2030—a scant 12 years from now (Source: The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler).

China’s water usage, energy usage, food consumption, and resource depletion reach unimaginable levels as they mechanize everything in order to try to reach levels of wealth in developed countries. But before the middle of this century, China, along with all fossil-fuel driven civilizations, must contend with the end of oil:

The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population...that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it. (Source: James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency)

And if the energy crisis doesn’t impact China, water shortages most certainly will:

“It’s a huge problem that the electricity sector does not even realize how much water they actually consume. And together with the fact that we do not have unlimited water resources, it could lead to a serious crisis if nobody acts on it soon,” says Professor Benjamin Sovacool, of Aarhus University in Denmark.

When you include the agricultural sector with vanishing groundwater, it is clear that China and India will be facing catastrophic conditions.

Today, China’s rivers are polluted with raw sewage and hundreds if not thousands of chemicals. It is hard for outsiders to appreciate these levels of toxic waste. The Yangtze River dumps trillions of gallons of lethal matter into the oceans 24/7. This has created an astounding 20,000 square mile “dead zone” at its mouth. Most vertebrate marine creatures cannot live within those toxic waters. Dozens of other poisoned rivers flow into the ocean from China. Those toxic waters then circulate around the world, poisoning marine habitats everywhere.

The Chinese show exceptional intelligence by escaping to First World countries. Today, Chinese immi-grants are in the process of taking over Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They buy land and buildings and dictate to Canadians in their schools and local governments. This is the consequence of chain-migration. They even feature “birth tourism” websites to secure “American citizenship” by their women birthing a child on American soil. Entire cities on the West Coast house only Chinese, speak only Chinese, and hold allegiance only to China. Chinese money is buying farmland in Asia and in South America. China’s people compete to move to Canada, Australia, Europe, and America.

Aside from Africa, India, and China, many other countries are in the same predicament. For example, Mexico in 2018 cannot feed, house, and employ its people. It has primitive sewage systems that spill into the ocean. Mexico is expected to grow from 114 million to as high as 135 million by 2050. All of South America is expected to grow from 426 million (2018) to 535 million by 2050.

And then there is Bangladesh, which features an area less than the size of Iowa, but is home to 164 million people. The United Nations projects Bangladesh will reach 201 million people by 2050. (Source for population figures:

Birthrate Overload: America, Canada, Europe, Australia

The planet is adding one billion people every 12 years, for a total of three billion, (3,000,000,000) by mid-century (from 7.5 billion in 2018 to 9.7 billion in 2050).

Dr. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, The Population Bomb, described the consequences of overpopulation. However, much of the mainstream media derided his prognostications. Today, his figures are playing out on a scale even more terrifying than when he wrote the book: 10 million children die of starvation annually. Another 8 million adults die of poverty and lack of food, annually. (Source: United Nations) Another 1.5-2.0 billion cannot secure clean drinking water. Billions live in conditions social scientists describe as the “Human Misery Index.” There currently seems to be no way to change it!

Unfortunately, few of Ehrlich’s detractors seem to have ever visited India or China. Their worldviews stemmed from their limited experiences in America, Canada, or Europe. They echoed the famed economist Julian Simon’s boast that this planet housed enough resources for 10,000 years of unlimited numbers of humans. Dr. Albert Bartlett, University of Colorado, named him an “innumerate” or mathematically illiterate.

Later, economist Kenneth Boulding, University of Colorado, stated, “Anyone who thinks we can continue population expansion is either an economist or a madman.”

You can read reports every day on some of the consequences of overpopulation: worldwide hunger, water shortages, species extinctions, wars for resources, and catastrophic climate destabilization. But not one world leader speaks up on the causes of the problems.

No one will escape the impact of the next added 3,000,000,000 (billion) people to this globe. We will not escape the consequences of adding 138,000,000 (million) more people to America within 32 years.

Developing countries’ citizens will not restrain their birth rates significantly enough to stop overloading their countries. They will contribute to the 3.0 billion additional hungry, desperate refugees looking for a safe haven.

In 2018, the United Nations estimates that sixty million (60,000,000) refugees lack water, food, energy, and homes. So they are trying to migrate to First World countries. The UN predicts that their numbers will grow to 150,000,000, perhaps even higher, to 200,000,000 refugees by 2050—a scant 32 years from now.

What Western Countries Face from the Refugee Armada

Canada’s population is 36,000,000 people (2018). Because of mass immigration, they expect to reach 41.1 million by 2050. To give you an idea of Canada’s dilemma, let’s look at the numbers. We know Canada as a “big” little country. That means it is “big” in landmass but lacks ample arable land to grow crops. While its citizens chose 2.0 birth rates since 1970, its leaders forced massive immigration onto Canada. It faces food shortages, environmental breakdown, accelerating carbon footprint damage, and species extinctions for an overall lowered quality of life.

Europe’s population is estimated at 742.5 million people in 2018. It encompasses 3.9 million square miles, not much bigger than the United States at 3.1 million square miles. The United Kingdom houses 65.6 million people in a landmass less than the size of the State of Oregon. Oregon features 4.0 million people. Germany at 82 million holds less land than the State of New Mexico. That state holds 1.8 million. The tiny country of France holds 66 million people. While Europe faces tremendous overcrowding today, it faces mass immigration overrunning every border of all of its countries from Middle Eastern and African population overload.

Australia’s population is currently 24 million (2018) and expects to reach 38 to 48 million by mid-century via mass immigration. Over 90 percent of Australia is desert. It lacks water and arable land. But powerful developer interests are encouraging mass immigration onto that desert continent. Already, Melbourne and Sydney are struggling with some of the consequences of unrestrained immigration.

In contrast, the U.S. holds 328 million in a landmass of 3.1 million square miles. Our population is expected to rise to 398 million by 2050 and reach 447 million at the end of this century.

Immigration solves nothing. It may delay the day of reckoning for a while. The end result for the West: ultimate collapse from overloading the carrying capacity of every receiving country.

Nearly a quarter century ago, Dr. John Tanton wrote an essay, “The End of the Migration Epoch?” ( The Social Contract, Spring 1994) wherein he argued that it was “time for a new paradigm.” He stated that:

Population problems are beyond solution by migration. No inhabitable, unclaimed lands remain. Most people will never be able to leave the country of their birth….

The large-scale migration of the last 200 years is an aberration enabled by conditions that cannot be replicated. In a limited world, it must necessarily come to an end….

Those who stay and struggle to change things for the better…are the real heroes.

Limiting immigration and hence population growth is our duty if we are to pass our national estate on to our successors in livable condition. Migrants are usually selfish in their motivation.

These are the sobering realities for everyone on Planet Earth as we move into the twenty-first century.

Quotations from some of the greatest minds on human overpopulation

In the final analysis, this article could continue into some very heavy—if not sobering—material, but for now, it gives Americans and all Western country readers an idea of what each civilization faces and what we must do to change course. These final quotes give you an idea of our predicament from some of the finest minds in the world.

Nobel Laureate in physics Dr. Henry W. Kendall said, “If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity — and will leave a ravaged world.”

“The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people, but to poor ideology and land-use management, is sophistic.” Harvard scholar and biologist E.O. Wilson

“Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide [that adds 80 million net gain annually to the planet], but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates

“Somehow, we have come to think the whole purpose of the economy is to grow, yet growth is not a goal or purpose. The pursuit of endless growth is suicidal.” David Suzuki, geneticist and environmental activist

“Growth for the sake of yet more growth is a bankrupt and eventually lethal idea. CASSE is the David fighting the Goliath of endless expansion, and we know how that one turned out.” David Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin

The green revolution was instigated as a result of the efforts of agronomist Norman Borlaug, who, while accepting the Nobel peace prize in 1970, said: “The green revolution has won a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation; it has given man a breathing space. If fully implemented, the revolution can provide sufficient food for sustenance during the next three decades. But the frightening power of human reproduction must also be curbed; otherwise the success of the green revolution will be ephemeral only.”

“The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population...that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it.” James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency

“We must alert and organize the world’s people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises — exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Overconsumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau, oceanographer

“Upwards of one hundred species...mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety…are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the earth’s carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence… thanks to technologies that most people, I’m afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet than the endless production of radioactive wastes.” Daniel Quinn, author of philosophical novel Ishmael

“We’ve poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit... and we go on gobbling them up. It’s hard to imagine how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody’s really doing anything about it. It’s a problem our children will have to solve, or their children.” Daniel Quinn

“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.” Walter Youngquist, energy geologist

“The U.S. will set a record in the rate of rise—and fall of an empire. Between wide open borders and fall of the dollar and growing population against a declining resource base, the U.S. will be defeated from within. Mobs will rule the streets in the nation that is now the third largest in the world and unable to support its population except by taking resources from other countries.” Arnold Toynbee, historian

“A simple look at the upward path of global greenhouse emissions indicates we will continue to squeeze the trigger on the gun we have put to our own head.” Eugene Linden, The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilization

“The ship is already starting to spin out of control. We may soon lose all chance of grabbing the wheel. Humanity faces a genuinely new situation. It is not an environmental crisis in the accepted sense. It is a crisis for the entire life-support system for our civilization and our species.” Fred Pearce, The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change

“At this point, it’s almost certainly too late to manage a transition to sustainability on a global or national scale, even if the political will to attempt it existed, which it clearly does not. Our civilization is in the early stages of the same curve of decline and fall as so many others have followed before it. What likely lies in wait for us is a long, uneven decline into a new Dark Age from which, centuries from now, the civilizations of the future will gradually emerge.... Imagine we live on a planet. Not our cozy, taken for granted planet, but a planet, a real one, with melting poles and dying forests and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat. An inhospitable place. It needs a new name, Eaarth.” Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“If present growth trends in population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth will be reached sometime in the next 100 years.” The Club of Rome 1972

“The power of population is so superior to the power of earth to produce subsistence to humanity that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” Thomas Malthus, 1798

“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?” Dr. Albert Bartlett,

“The stresses caused by population growth cannot be solved by international migration. They must be confronted by and within each individual nation. Fundamental to the concept of national rights and responsibilities is the duty of each nation to match its population with its political, social, and environmental resources, in both the short and the long term. No nation should exceed what the biologists call its ‘carrying capacity.’” Dr. John Tanton,

Part 6: Solutions at the National and International Arenas

With any kind of understanding of the horrific numbers presented in this treatise, as well as an understanding of the final result of exponential growth of the human race—it’s pretty easy to throw up your hands in total exasperation and allow the “Mother Nature Solution” for population stabilization. At that point, Mother Nature shows no favorites, no mercy, no kindness, no anything nice other than brutal and miserable destruction of all life on Earth. That will surely arrive at some future date if humanity fails to take rational, logical, and decisive action.

We need a national conference in each Western country and/or all countries to address the trends outlined herein. Each nation needs to address its own carrying capacity, water issues, arable land, energy, food production, and birth control.Then, we need those countries to elect a representative to attend an international human race conference.Ultimately, the only thing that will save humanity is a one child per woman mandate throughout the world.And, that may not even solve it at this point. ■

About the author

Frosty Wooldridge, math-science teacher, has bicycled over 150,000 miles across six continents to see human overpopulation up close and ugly. He has scuba dived in all the oceans of the world to see environmental damage on a global scale: plastics. He authored: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. He speaks in universities and civic clubs around the United States and Canada.