CAPS Ad Running through Earth Day IDs Source of Calif. Population Growth

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By Maria Fotopoulos

Maria is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow who focuses on the impacts of growth on biodiversity. Find her on Twitter | in | FB.

The writer’s views are her own.


April 18, 2014

Almost all of California’s population growth in the last decade has been from mass immigration and births to immigrants. This statistic is being called out in a new ad from CAPS that’s running through Earth Day, April 22, in several California markets, and it’s one that’s likely to draw controversy.

In a functioning Democracy, it’s essential that the citizens have the ability to determine the growth path of their country. Also fundamental to the idea of a country is the ability to secure borders. Yet, the very loud voices of the folks who support virtually open borders and unchecked immigration – the complete antithesis of American principles – will no doubt trot out their usual emotionally charged responses that don’t hold water.

That’s fine. Facts speak for themselves.

Between 2000 and 2010, California's population grew by nearly 3.4 million people. By 2050, expect another 13 million. These are not small numbers, folks.

When you drill down into the data, native-born Californians are having fewer children than in the past. This is good. Lowering population growth was one of the hoped-for outcomes when the first Earth Day was organized. In fact, reducing population growth was a key message in the environmental movement of the late 1960s and 70s – something we are never remiss to point out at CAPS when Earth Day rolls around each year.

So where’s the growth coming from? Based on U.S. Census Bureau and California Department of Public Health data, looking at the same 10-year time period, we see that nearly 2.6 million immigrated to California, and there were nearly 2.5 million births to immigrants.

There are clear links to overpopulation and most every environmental problem one can think of – from loss of plant life and wildlife to water and land degradation and air pollution. Thus it’s not just coincidence this CAPS TV spot is running now. Any Earth Day without a discussion of too much population growth really is missing the point.

As CAPS Executive Director Jo Wideman said, “Part of the solution to reversing California’s environmental decline, while not politically correct or convenient, is certainly simple. If we slow mass immigration, we can slow population growth and save some California for tomorrow.”

View the TV spot here.


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