CAPS Launches Ad to Reinforce Link between Overpopulation, Diminished Water Supplies

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

June 2, 2015

A recent Los Angeles Times feature that focused on Californians for Population Stabilization spawned other purposely distorted stories that either ignored the CAPS mission or misstated it altogether.

Too many people, too much environmental degradation.

The stories said that CAPS “blames” immigrants for the drought, a complete misrepresentation of the organization’s position. Some columns were predictably but nevertheless disappointingly slanted in tone and content. “Immigrant bashing” was a commonly used rebuttal to CAPS’ fact-based stance that population increases, immigration-driven in California, mean increased water consumption.

The first paragraph of the Times story references a CAPS television ad that aired in which a young boy asks: “If Californians are having fewer children, why isn’t there enough water?” Watch the ad and read the press release here.

The answer to the child’s question is that as California’s population continues to increase, it becomes more and more difficult to deal with the effects of a sustained drought. Immigration is the driving engine generating California’s population growth. According to the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Finance, virtually all of California’s population growth between 2000 and 2010 comes from immigrants and their children. More than 25 percent of California’s population is foreign-born, a statistic that doesn’t account for their American-born children, but who nonetheless add to the aggregate increase. Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland and San Jose are the nation’s top three most densely populated urban areas.

On the other hand, California Department of Finance statistics show that net domestic migration between California and the other 49 states has been negative for at least the last 25 years. From 1990-2000, net domestic migration was minus 1.2 million; from 2000-2010, minus 1.4 million and from April 2010 until July 1, 2014, minus 340,000.

Through its advertisements, editorials, and issues papers and blogs, CAPS seeks to promote greater awareness about the link between the state’s overpopulation and vanishing, irreplaceable resources. The effect of ever-increasing population on California’s environment is too important to be dismissed by name-calling or race-baiting.

Beginning today and lasting for several weeks, the CAPS ad will air in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
 

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