mountain scene "If growth is like an overflowing bathtub, then focusing on smart-growth is like frantically mopping up the floor.
Wouldn't it be easier to turn off the faucet?"

Replacing the procreation habit with a sustainability ethic

comic strip


Overpopulation is a clear example of the "tragedy of the commons." Historically, the U.S. has been a relief valve for other societies burdened by overpopulation and corrupt governments. But this tradition is not sustainable, and open borders would lead to a massive acceleration in growth and development. In fact, our post-modern push for free trade in goods and labor can and does undermine sustainability in regional, national and global communities (Rees paper).

The essential point is that our population cannot rise indefinitely. And the fundamental question is: if we do not stabilize the population now, then when? An excellent review of the overpopulation problem in the United States is available in the book The Population Fix by Edward Hartman.

The Opposition

Groups opposing population stabilization are diverse and very well funded; they include:

The opposition uses at least two propaganda tools to manipulate public opinion. First, they appeal to traditional, albeit unsustainable, cultural norms (e.g., "we are a society of immigrants"). Second, they foment unsubstantiated fears that anyone wishing to stabilize population must, by default, also hold irrational positions such as wanting more abortions, or wanting government control over reproductive rights, or wanting to ignore the plight of third-world peoples. By doing so, the opposition tries to denigrate good people who hold politically progressive values and who sincerely want to protect mankind and our world from ignorance and greed.

Sustainability Advocates

The following groups operate at the national level; none of them are nativist or racist. We strongly urge you to become a member of, or contribute to, at least one of these organizations.

If you are also interested in groups focused on overpopulation in your state or region, check out these organizations: The following websites and publications also focus, at least in part, on U.S. overpopulation:

Smart Growth won't help

Opponents of population stabilization may claim that population growth can be accommodated by the application of “Smart Growth” policies. These policies put new housing developments into high-density structure, nearby mass transit, etc. But even the best “Smart Growth” policies cannot cure the fact that between 15-30 acres of land are required to support a typical American (www.myfootprint.org). Each of us needs this much land to grow our food, generate our energy, clean our wastes, build our workplaces, roads, stores recreation facilities, etc. So no matter how “smart” a development works in adding 5,000 new residents to a community, mankind will need to appropriate at least an additional 75,000 acres or 120 sq.miles of land to accommodate that development. In a democracy where citizens are responsible for the actions of their governments, many of us do not support such decisions.

Others do it. Why can't we?

Many countries in Western Europe - even those such as Italy and Ireland with large Roman Catholic majorities - have stabilized their populations. And they do it while fully respecting individual human rights.

Creating worthy places for our great, great grandchildren

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