Osama bin Laden

Although there is satisfaction at the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. military, it has been ten years since the 9-11 event and even longer for other terrorist acts generally credited to his masterminding. No question that this man got what was coming to him, and no one in the West or even some in the East will bemoan his passing. 

But with the passage of a decade and our engagement in two major wars, including a significant number of minor conflicts (most recently Arab Spring etc.) and the consequent loss of life, the spending of a good deal of our national treasury, a recession that is now dragging into its fourth year, and still no peace or hope for peace in the Middle East; it is certainly an appropriate time to ask our selves whether the killing of Bin Laden actually brings us any closer to unifying the world’s nations, or was he just another manifestation of other more serious issues that we simply refuse to confront?

Before OBL became more than just an annoying Arab who occasionally held sway on the world stage, he was oftentimes sounding clarion calls for nationalistic and fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. While helped in no small part by his substantial family wealth and connections, he gradually came to understand the power of massive numbers of young Middle Eastern men, hopelessly unemployed, controlled by dictatorial regimes, powerless to control their own destiny, unable to provide for their families, faced with a bleak future of poverty and despair, shamed by their inability to acquire the barest of essentials for themselves, being forced to watch on television, computers and other media the never ending message of materialism and consumerism that was totally beyond any hope for their participation. Adding more fuel to an already overcharged environment, they are humiliated at every turn by an expansionist, militaristic Western supported Israel that to this day continues to deny rights and statehood for the indigenous Palestinian people. And finally, they are trapped in the ongoing duel between those countries with huge oil reserves and those dependent on the oil.

With all that in perspective does it seem so unrealistic that someone such as OBL came to power? The only real question to be asked is whether it was going to be him or someone else? In the end any leader of such a frustrated group of people is only the figurehead for a movement that would have, did, and will continue to seek some kind of justice and satisfaction for their obviously perilous circumstances.

The fact is that without solving the core issues that precipitated Bin Laden’s rise to power, killing him is a symbol of revenge rather than diminishing in any real way the terrorist threat he represents. The massive numbers of unemployed men (and women) have not gone away because of the death of this man, they only continue to increase. Our assassination efforts are meaningless unless we are determined to institute policies that bring reason and influence to nations that are completely unwilling to control and reduce their burgeoning unsustainable populations.

We should do this, not only because it is simply the right thing to do for people living as precariously as a good part of the world does, but because if we don’t do it we will continue to reap the ramifications of homeless, unemployed, migrating refugees which eventually someone will have to pay for – most likely this country – in some way or fashion. Those refugees, certainly hundreds of millions and potentially a billion or more, will certainly be manipulated and controlled by men similar to Bin Laden with their messages of hate, religious zealotry and violent tactics, which in the near future could make 9-11 look like child’s play.

And even more importantly for this country is that we have our own potential for chronic unemployment.  Our ongoing recession seems to have all the potential for developing a permanent unemployed class, acting in unison with disappearing job opportunities and consequent decreasing consumer demand. That is not an encouraging synergy. A crisis of too many people chasing too few jobs. Technology will certainly continue  to automate and replace not only blue collar manufacturing workers out on the production line, but more and more white collar workers and executives are finding their job descriptions and positions being displaced by either computer technology or outsourced to cheap foreign labor working somewhere in some third world country.

So before we get too smug and complacent about our own place in the world, it would be best to be re-examine what the future holds for the American economy, with a workforce that looks to being downsized at a tremendous rate.

Not only are we downsizing, but because of our own ignorance, laziness and corporate greed we are also facing the onslaught of basically refugees from Mexico, Latin American and South American countries. Those governments are encouraging the migration because they no longer have the economic resources or systems to create jobs for their own citizens. And corporate America is subsidizing all this by marketing the mantra – “there are jobs Americans refuse to do” – when in fact there are only wages that Americans cannot survive on. By the way illegal imported labor can’t survive on those wages in this country either. 

Then we throw in the impact of our one trillion dollar Underground Economy – that alone would add dramatically to any realistic unemployment figures. For the uncounted unemployed in this country, this is the economy that fulfills all the needs and desires that our private sector and government sector is either unable or unwilling to provide. It is a cash and barter economy that mostly avoids paying any taxes, but still makes tremendous demands on infrastructures, law enforcement and social services, all of which have to be paid for.

So, we combine the forces of ongoing worldwide unemployment, migrating refugees seeking jobs and a semblance of stability, continually developing technology and automation that are constantly reducing the need for traditional labor, not only around the world but in the most sophisticated Western countries, including this country. Compounding the problems is a destructive multi-national corporate mentality that looks at cheap imported or outsourced labor as the key to increasing production and decreasing production costs, more demand for unneccessary goods, and of course in the end much greater profits. And if that wasn’t enough, huge underground economies here and around the world supply both legal and illegal goods and services tax free.

  • Does that summary look like an economic, social, and political disaster in the making
  • Now add between two or three billion people by 2050
  • Do you think there may be a few more Osama bin Ladens lurking out there
  • Do you think reducing populations here and abroad should be our number one priority

Remember: A Billion people = 1000 Million people

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Overpopulation Quotations 5_11

  • These Quotes are presented here in the spirit of discussion and dialogue. 
  • They do not necessarily represent the views of Overpopulation Insights
  • A selection of links are available for further information and study

    Older Residents’ Numbers Rise, Put More Demand On Shrinking Budgets

     Growing older: Census data released this month showed significant increases in the population of older residents from 2000 to 2010:


    2010 pop.: 37.2 million (Change from 2000: 9.8 percent)

    65 and over: 4.2 million (Change from 2000: 16.8 percent)

    85 and over: 601,000 (Change from 2000: 41.1 percent)

    The Press-Enterprise – Jim Miller/Ben Goad


     Unrestricted population growth can put women and children at risk.

    In response to the suffering experienced by men, women, and children in nations with rising populations, biblical scholar Sarah Ruden recently wrote in support of family planning programs. She focuses on Paul’s defense of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 and she writes, “Paul condemns by clear implication most of the conditions in the Third World that are blamed for catastrophic overpopulation: the forced marriage of young girls, the general oppression of women, marriage as “just what you do” and marriage as a mode of production. He insists that both men and women consider their own needs and choose freely what the best life will be for them as individuals.”

    A Christian Response to Overpopulation-Amy Julia Becker



     Overpopulation Tsanumi-By Luojie: Yuba Net.com

    Overpopulation, Religion and Science
    In America, religious groups are being manipulated by corporate interests to work against their own members’ best interests, in health and economic well-being. They are being used to cast doubt upon well-established scientific findings in important issues such as overpopulation, pollution, and global warming. This would not be happening except for the diametrically opposed world-views of religion and science. In America today, corporate interests and the conservative politicians they have purchased use religion to stifle science.

    In other words, trust in God. He won’t let us destroy life on earth. Could there be any better example of the folly of faith?

    In conclusion, it is time for scientists and other rationalists to join together to put a stop to those who claim they have some sacred right to decide what kind of society the rest of us must live in. We must act for the sake of the betterment of humankind, and the future of our planet. Based on the favorable signs that young people are increasingly abandoning religion, I have great hope that perhaps in another generation America will have joined Europe and the rest of the developed world in casting off the rusty chains of ancient superstition that stand as an impediment to science and progress. I just hope it’s not too late.

    Victor Stenger: The Folly of Faith – Huffingtonpost.com


    Arizona: SB 1070

    As sheriff of Cochise County I am responsible, along with my 86 deputies, for patrolling 83.5 miles of that border, as well as the 6,200 square miles of my county to the north of it — an area more than four times the size of Long Island.

    Whether illegal aliens committed a crime to enter this country, or a civil offense to remain unlawfully, they are still breaking the law, and S.B. 1070 is Arizona’s solution to help the federal government hold them accountable without becoming embroiled in confusion that enables individuals to fall through the cracks. At the same time, it assures the standards of probable cause and reasonable suspicion are applied throughout the process.

    Of course, the law’s critics prefer to think that any state-level effort to control illegal immigration is racially motivated, and that the law is just an invitation for us to racially profile Americans and legal residents of Hispanic descent.

    What’s more, such critics have a strange impression of what law enforcement officers along the border actually do. In Cochise County, my deputies and I often have to travel many miles to respond to a resident’s call for assistance. The last thing we have time to do is harass law-abiding people.

    Larry A. Dever – Abandoned On The Border – New York Times

     Unskilled Labor and Social Stability

    People who are concerned about overpopulation generally think of the problem in terms of impact on the environment and depletion of resources. Another concern, perhaps just as significant, is that overpopulation is leading to a worldwide surplus in low and unskilled labor.

    Ironically, President Obama noted in his May 19th speech about the Middle East that millions upon millions of people without any marketable skills in the Arab world pose a threat to regional and global stability. Yet in a speech delivered nine days earlier in El Paso, Texas, on immigration policy, President Obama laid out a plan that would legalize millions of low and unskilled illegal aliens and create for millions more such workers to immigrate legally to the United States.

    Every human being possesses inherent value and is entitled to respect and dignity. But the reality of the world in which we live is that low and unskilled labor, as a commodity, is rapidly losing whatever value it might still have. And, as the president correctly points out, millions of people with little or nothing to contribute economically pose a threat to social stability. Unfortunately, the president has a hard time reconciling this reality to his immigration policy.

    The Dan Stein Report-Ira Mehlman-FAIR

    Need For Space and Overpopulation 

    Consider that although the origins of a war may be rooted in antiquity, and are complex in nature, it is essentially about the need for space, which breeds all manner of justifications for violence, with the root cause concealed behind politics. Our globe has been subject to overcrowding for several centuries, and consequently the fabric of our society has been pulled to the breaking point.

    Unless a reasonable means of implementing birth control is found, the situation will take care of itself, unfortunately through mass murder, genocide, suicides, and famines. It’s time to re-start the dialogue about overpopulation.

    JD Adams – Salem-News.com


    I’m going to add my quote to all these other people. THE MORE EXTREME OUR NUMBERS, THE MORE EXTREME OUR CHILDREN’S CONSEQUENCES.

    Frosty Wooldridge, Novakeo.com


    Out of Balance

    Working from the premise that all of the above issues are part-and-parcel of the same macro problem—overshoot—Cooksey explains his wake up call that global warming was just one symptom of something larger. He then goes about encouraging people to look for solutions. Real solutions. (He’s clearly not a fan of anything that just sets out to maintain the status quo.)

    Film: How To Boil a Frog, Treehugger.com


    Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

    Several writers have cautioned that as many of the resources the world depends on are depleted (possibly as soon as the middle or end of this century), food production will decline rapidly, giving rise to starvation on a massive scale. The result will be a reduction in the world’s population, possibly to the two billion which can survive wholly on renewable resources. We have the choice of achieving the necessary population reduction pre-emptively, or by allowing it to take place through starvation and social breakdown. It is up to us.

    Hal Sundin – Glenwood Springs Post Independent


    Again, The Wealthy Few Controlling The Many

    It’s mind-blowing when you actually think about it:  The fate of our planet, our destiny, is being determined by a small group of wealthy corporatists and politicians, who control, and profit from, dirty energy and military-war decisions.  The consequences of their decisions have already brought about an unfathomable hell of economic and ecological ruin. (Read Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine) If they are allowed to have their way over the opposition of millions of people, globally speaking, the future could very easily resemble the 1973 sci-fi film “Soylent Green“.


     Film: By Day and By Night

    In the future, overpopulation causes humans to split into two groups. One group lives by day, while the other never sees the sun. One mother’s daughter goes missing and finds herself awake in the strange daylight. Director Alejandro Molina considers what is ethical when it comes to humanity’s survival – DIFF synopsis for By Day and By Night  



     It Doesn’t Pencil

    Population growth is a major step-back in terms of making any significant progress in reducing global environmental impacts. While most nations agree that something needs to be done, most models do not seem to include the human growth factor in the picture. Let’s say that average world environmental footprint (energy use, waste generation, food consumption…) reduces by 30% (very ambitious) by 2050 through advances in technology innovations. By that time the world population would have grown by at least 2 billion. The environmental pressures and energy demand as a direct result of this 2 billion person increase will most likely far exceed the impacts saved through this improvement.  At the end of the day despite significant improvement in reducing our current impacts (based on current population), and unless some nations set targets for controlling population growth, the overall human footprint will continue increasing very significantly as a sole consequence of global population growth.

     Sylvain Richer de Forges, Eco-Business.com


     Greg Mortenson:Poor Bookeeper – Right on Girl’s Education


    I also believe that Greg was profoundly right about some big things.

    He was right about the need for American outreach in the Muslim world. He was right that building schools tends to promote stability more than dropping bombs. He was right about the transformative power of education, especially girls’ education. He was right about the need to listen to local people — yes, over cup after cup after cup of tea — rather than just issue instructions.

    Three Cups of Tea, Spilled – Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times


    Sci-Fi vs Science

    If it were not for movies like Blade Runner, maybe the consequences of our industrialized society would not seem as severe. Maybe I will never see a water world, or find myself back…from the future, but it is not impossible. In the words of Michio Kaku, a renowned physicist, “a lot of the predictions made by science fiction writers have been replaced by the march of science,” and as documentaries begin to look more like the latest from Roland Emmerich, the more the division between science and Sci-Fi blurs.

    Sci-Fried: The Nexus of Science Fiction, Science and the Environment – Kelly Hamilton – Green Answers.com


     Remember: A Billion people = 1000 Million people

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