CAPS Invites Students to Opine about 'Crowdifornia' in Writing Competition

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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.


 

September 20, 2016

Do today’s youth think our world of 7.45 billion people is overpopulated, with recent years seeing net numbers grow from between 81 and 88 million people annually (and no immediate end to this level of growth in sight)? What about on a more localized level? California is now home to more than 39 million people, a quadrupling of population since 1950.
 
Some insight into that question comes from data gathering which suggests that there is awareness of overpopulation among some parts of the youth demographic. Among comments:
 
  •  “I joined [the] zero population growth movement a long time ago for environmental reasons.”

   •  “I think we need more do-ers and innovators compared to repopulaters.”
 
The experience at CAPS, however, has been that, as with other age demographics, it’s often the case that people believe overpopulation has been “fixed,” or it’s a problem “over there” – as in, not in my backyard. Or, that through better conservation, more recycling, eating lower on the food chain, consuming less, etc., overpopulation somehow is mitigated. 
With ever-increasing vehicular traffic, recent widening of the 405 Freeway in the L.A. area seemed to make little difference in congestion reduction.
 
 

But overpopulation is a reality, visible in a variety of ways, from an ever-increasing competitive job market with the world awash in labor at all skill levels to ugly urban sprawl, overcrowding, increased traffic, depleting natural resources and threatened wildlife by virtue of habitat loss to the growing footprint of Man for agriculture, housing and infrastructure.
 
CAPS believes it’s long past time to have a national conversation again about stabilizing our population. And, it’s essential that today’s youth be part of the discussion, because they will be part of the solution for creating a sustainable future for generations to come.
 
To encourage the discussion, CAPS is sponsoring the 2016 Crowdifornia College Essay Contest. U.S. students are invited to submit a compelling commentary (opinion article) between 500 and 750 words that helps build awareness about the need for an open dialogue on population growth, how immigration contributes to growth and the trade-offs involved.
 
If you know students at least 18 years of age by the contest deadline (November 30, 2016) and enrolled in a university or college (state or private), a community college, or a trade or career-based school, please encourage them to enter the 2016 Crowdifornia College Essay Contest.
 
For complete rules governing the essay competition, go to http://www.crowdifornia.com.
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