Forget about global warming. Forget about saving the ice caps, or the whales, or the rainforest. It all doesn’t matter, says one Richfield-based activist who has made it his life’s work to let the world know: “Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause.”
David Paxson has a metronome app on his iPhone at the ready in case he needs to reinforce his point. The tool ticks at 147 beats-per-minute, roughly the net rate at which the world’s population is growing, notes Paxson, a Richfield resident of 32 years.
Paxson has spent the last 20 focusing on one underlying message, he explained during an interview in a noisy coffee shop:
“We’re headed toward this cliff of collapse pretty fast.”
Unless, that is, “we stop population growth and reduce population.”
Paxson is part of a quiet chorus around the world that warns of the dangers of overpopulation. They point to depleting aquifers and energy reserves and farmland and to a coming humanitarian crisis if something isn’t done to curb the growth.
They address the truth that there is only so much room to live and so many rocks to mine and so much water to tap on one planet, and that there are more and more souls demanding those resources.
Paxson may be the loudest voice in Minnesota sending that message – neither he nor supporters interviewed were aware of anyone as active with the cause.
It was 20 years ago following “a moment of clarity” that Paxson founded World Population Balance, an organization operating with a skeleton crew out of Central Education Center in Richfield.
Paxson, who has worked in real estate, financial planning and at the Center for Population Studies at the University of Minnesota, recalled his moment of inspiration, when a minister asked him, “What are you really concerned about in this world?”
What concerned Paxson was not a new realization.
He thought back to the 1970s, when he says his father first came upon warnings about overpopulation. The best-selling book, “The Population Bomb,” had come out a few years prior and his father told him that had he known better, he wouldn’t have had all three of his children. Paxson understood.
“And I’m the youngest,” he said.
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Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit