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Captain Watson Speaks to the Nation on Population and Immigration

May 18, 2006

Captain Watson Speaks to the Nation on Population and Immigration

Commentary by Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Captain Watson Speaks to the Nation on Population and Immigration

With most of the major environmental organizations intimidated, reluctant, and decidedly voiceless on the issue, Captain Paul Watson spoke out on the Fox National News Network on May 15th in a broadcast heard from Maine to Hawaii on the issue of growing U.S. populations and the impact on both the U.S. and the global environment.

Captain Watson took advantage of the current controversy over illegal immigration to point out the environmental concerns about escalating U.S. populations. He advocated reducing immigration numbers to a level that will achieve U.S. population stabilization.

"The United States has the highest population growth rate of any nation with a 1.3% annual increase," said Watson. "This rate of increase, if it remains at this level will give the United States a population approaching or exceeding one billion by the end of the 21st Century."      

Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, argues that it does not matter how many people enter the United States because the world population is not affected because people move around.

"What Carl is ignoring here is the reality that the United States is the highest per capita resource consuming nation in the world. Every new American increases global resource utilization," said Watson, "The United States produces 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Population stabilization in the U.S. is not only good for the United States, it is good for the planet."

Paul Watson also pointed out that population growth contributes to urban sprawl and is the single greatest threat to species diversity.

When asked why other conservation organizations would not comment on the issue, Watson said that it is a choice between being ecologically correct or being seen as politically correct, and unfortunately, most environmental organizations are more concerned with being seen as politically correct.  

One critic sent an e-mail to Captain Watson demanding to know what this issue has to do with protecting whales and marine life. "Stick to what you do best and don't get involved in this issue," the message said.

Captain Watson responded by pointing out that escalating human populations are the greatest threat to the survival of oceanic species. More people means more pollution, more agricultural run-off, more fishing, more pressure to resume whaling, to lower seal populations, and it means more ships and more resource extraction.   

"The three most important ecological laws are diversity, interdependence, and finite resources. Diversity of species on this planet and the interdependence of these species is essential to the survival of all species, including our own. There are limits to growth and for human populations to increase means we must steal the resources and thus carrying capacity of the environment from other species. They must be removed to increase our numbers. This will result in less diversity and less interdependence and ultimately it will have grave consequences for humanity," Captain Watson said. 

"I don't say what it is popular to say," added Watson. "I don't hold right or left political values. I speak from an ecological perspective. Being concerned about population growth  in the United States is an ecologically-correct position. There is nothing political about it."


Fox News Website Link:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195574,00.html?sPage=specialsections.foxnews/immigration

To play the video, see the box just to the right of the main text, and click on the "video" tab at the top. You will see a list of video clip choices - click on "The Environmental Impact of Illegals."


Report from KHON2 - Hawaii

Link:
http://khon.com/khon/display.cfm?storyID=13579&sectionID=1152

KHON Transcript segment

In a case of odd bedfellows, Sessions' claims have also drawn concerns among environmental activists and population control supporters who say significant damage has already been done to southern border deserts and wetlands as a result of thousands of people trampling through the region each day. On top of that, more people means more greenhouse gasses and more consumption of natural resources

"Population is the single greatest threat to diversity on this planet and also the single greatest problem when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and resource utilization," said Paul Watson, president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.


 

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