Californians for Population Stabilization will participate in Earth Day events:
· Santa Barbara - Saturday, April 21 in Alameda Park
· San Diego - Sunday, April 22 in Balboa Park
· Thousand Oaks - Saturday, April 28 in Conejo Creek Park North
SANTA BARBARA—In 1969 a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara inspired visiting Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to create the first Earth Day. Twenty million Americans celebrated at the event the following April while simultaneously developing plans to protect the environment.
At that first Earth Day, Senator Nelson and conservationists across the country noted that “every environmental problem is a population problem,” but since then world population has nearly doubled to 7 billion. While major environmental groups have become politically correct and abandoned the issue, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a Santa Barbara-based environmental group focuses on this problem.
“Overpopulation and overconsumption are the root causes of environmental destruction. They devour open space, destroy wildlife habitat, and drive species extinct. Unfortunately, environmental groups are addressing only half of the equation,” said Marilyn DeYoung, Chairman of the Board of CAPS, who served on the President's Commission on Population Growth and the American Future in 1970.
Since the first Earth Day, the U.S. population has grown from 203 million to 312 million, and is projected to soar to over half a billion by the century’s end. However, unlike the situation in 1970, two-thirds of today’s U.S. population growth is from immigration, according to the Census Bureau.
While many current environmental leaders shy away from the issue, conservation icons such as David Brower, a CAPS Advisory Board member, and Nelson were clear that reduced immigration was an essential component of creating a sustainable environment. In fact, Nelson stated, “In this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’ It’s just a fact that we can’t take all the people who want to come here.
California, too, is beset with the environmental devastation effected by overpopulation. Since 1970, California’s population has doubled to 38 million and its population density already exceeds that of Europe. This rapid growth has imperiled California's extraordinary biodiversity and has resulted in the listing of 157 animals as threatened or endangered. Over one-fourth of California’s plants are extinct, rare, endangered, or threatened.
“The message this Earth Day should be about getting back to the basic environmental issues,” said DeYoung. “We need less consumption, lower fertility rates, and reduced immigration.
CAPS is a nonpartisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1986 and working to preserve California's future through the stabilization of our state's human population. Since nearly all of California's runaway population growth comes from immigration, CAPS focuses largely on this issue: sponsoring public and media awareness campaigns, working with lawmakers to promote more responsible policies, maintaining a growing network of member-activists, and conducting vital research. www.CAPSweb.org