The world is drowning in oil.
But this resource boom won’t last forever. As PFIR’s Environmental Impact Statement explains, population growth in the United States will eat up that oil glut – and then some. Such population-fueled increases in demand for oil and other resources won’t just send the price of that commodity skyward – they could undermine national security and global ecosystems, too.
The United States must work to ward off such catastrophes by limiting the growth of its population. The most straightforward way to do so? By reducing immigration.
If the U.S. were to hold immigration levels steady at 1.25 million immigrants each year, the ensuing growth in the population would increase the country’s energy consumption up to 70 percent by 2100. Even if the U.S. were to implement policies that reduce energy usage, total consumption would still rise by 19 percent.
America won’t be able to meet this demand on its own. Our nation would again become dependent on other countries’ resources. But many of these foreign nations are politically turbulent – and could use oil or other resources as geopolitical weapons.
That’s happened before. Russia cut off natural gas supplies to the Ukraine in 2006 and to Belarus in 2009. When Moldovans considered signing a free-trade agreement with the European Union, Russia threatened to cut off their supply as well.
Russia produces more than 12 percent of the world’s oil supply. So it has significant leverage to use its resource riches as a weapon.
Over-consuming resources also negatively impacts global ecosystems. When burned, fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the air. And CO2 emissions don’t stop at the borders of the nation that produced them. They contribute to climate change all over the globe.
The poorest countries and poorest people are hurt most. They lack the resources to adjust to the increased temperatures, droughts and crop failures that man-made climate change engenders.
Cutting immigration levels to 250,000 people per year certainly wouldn’t erase these problems. But it would substantially lessen the demand for resources. There’d be 145 million fewer people in the country than if America kept immigration at levels we’ve seen in recent years.
The U.S. owes it to its citizens and all wild living creatures and other biodiversity – and to the rest of the world – to curb its population growth by reducing immigration.