Chesterton Tribune

300 million Americans

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Voice of the People

This month the United States reaches an inauspicious milestone, a population above 300 million. To put this statistic in perspective, we passed 200 million in 1967 and we are projected to pass 400 million around mid-century. Each year we add approximately three million persons to the country of whom about half are immigrants and about half are an excess of about 1.5 million more births than deaths per year.

Most problems we humans are currently facing would be more manageable if we were fewer in number. Moreover, we Americans consume natural resources and generate waste at a rate greatly exceeding that of many other countries. For example, an average American needs 24 acres for his/her support, while an average Ethiopian requires one acre (www.ecofoot.net). Those of us who hold the care of the earth as a spiritual concern find this milestone a call to reflection and prayer, as well as a call to find ways to respond.

In awareness of this reality, couples who are considering having a baby would do well to think about alternatives such as adoption as an earth-friendly choice. Lowering the number of births in this way and via contraception would slow the rate of U.S. and world population growth, thereby relieving pressure on fragile ecosystems. For those thinking to enlarge their families, choosing adoption rather than bringing another person onto the planet would be a truly creative way to observe this demographic crossing. To obtain further information about adopting a child and/or population concerns visit www.quakerearthcare.org

 and click on publications and then pamphlets.

Noel Pavlovic

 

Posted 10/17/2006

 

 

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