His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 14th leader of Tibetan Buddhists.
One of the great challenges today is the population explosion. Unless we area able to tackle this issue effectively we will be confronted with the problem of the natural resources being inadequate for all the human beings on this earth.
So now the question is…the population
of the human being…So the only choice…limited
number…happy life...meaningful life. Too many population…miserable
life and always
bullying one another, exploiting one another…there’s no use.
Rev. William G. Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader.
There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
What is lacking is not sufficient
knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the
gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are
Writers and Scholars
Edward Abbey, environmental author and essayist most famous for The Monkey Wrench Gang.
Endless growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Aristotle, 322 B.C.
Experience shows that a very populous city can rarely, if ever, be well governed. To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things (plants, animals, implements), for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small.
...democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity
cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive
it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value
of life not only
declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.
Sir David Attenborough, author of The
Life of Mammals.
Mankind is looking for food not just on this planet but on others. Perhaps the time has now come to put that process into reverse. Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment.
Albert A. Bartlet, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder.
You cannot preserve the environment by accepting the population growth and the increased affluence that are destroying the environment.
The Great Challenge: Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population locally, nationally, or globally?
William Blake, British poet and artist.
You never know what is enough
until you know what is more than enough.
Anyone who believes you can have infinite exponential
growth on a finite planet is either a madman or an economist.
David Brower, Executive Director, Sierra Club 1966.
We feel you don’t have a conservation policy
unless you have a population policy.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, scientist, photographer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
We must alert and organise the world's people
to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the
two root causes of our environmental crises - exploding population
growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources.
Over consumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental
problem we face today.
Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb.
Basically, then, there are only two kinds of
solutions to the population problem. One is a "birth
rate solution," in which we find ways to lower the
birth rate. The other is a "death rate solution," in
which ways t raise the death rate - war, famine, pestilence
- find us.
David Foreman, environmentalist and founder of Earth First. He is now the head of the Rewilding Institute and publishes Around the Campfire.
Should conservationists find the wisdom and courage
to come back to calling for population stabilization, we must
stress how the population explosion causes the ecological wounds
that result in mass extinction and destruction of the biosphere.
There is our expert province. Because species extinction and
destruction of wilderness has consistently been overshadowed
by the other consequences of the population explosion, pointing
this out as a new concern in a thoughtful, convincing way could
help return the world community to a more rational approach
about population growth.
Garrett Hardin, author of Exploring New Ethics for Survival.
For too long have we supposed that technology
would solve the "population problem." It won't. I
first became fully aware of this hard truth when I wrote
my essay "The Tragedy of the commons," ... Never
have I found anything so difficult to work into shape. I wrote
at least seven significantly different versions before resting
content with this one, ... . It was obvious that the internal
resistance to what I found myself saying was terrific. As a
scientist I wanted to find a scientific solution; but reason inexorably
led me to conclude that the population problem could not possibly
be solved without repudiating certain ethical beliefs and altering
some of the political and economic arrangements of contemporary
Prof Stephen Hawking - The Universe in a Nutshell (2001).
In the last 200 years the population of our planet
has grown exponentially, at a rate of 1.9% per year. If
it continued at this rate, with the population doubling
every 40 years, by 2600 we would all be standing literally
shoulder to shoulder.
Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything and several other environmental books.
Our society-like all societies-has the potential
to collapse…To think that a society can continue to
grow in complexity and population indefinitely is, to me, cult
George Perkins Marsh, a native Vermonter, he was one of the first to see that man’s effect on the environment was of major concern. He is the author of Man and Nature.
Man has too long forgotten that the earth was given to him for usufruct alone, not for consumption, still less for profligate waste.
(Note: usufruct means the right of using and enjoying all
the advantages and profits of the property of another without
altering or damaging the substance.)
Bill McKibben, author of Maybe One, many other environmental books, and a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College.
No decision any of us makes will have more effect
on the world (and on our lives) than whether to bear another
child. No decision then should be made with more care.
Helen Nearing, with her husband Scott, was one of the first (in the 1930’s and starting in Vermont!) back-to-the-landers and promoters of simple living. They coauthored several books and she wrote Loving and Leaving the Good Life.
Besides, perhaps it was a contribution we could
make to society---to keep down the population surge by not
adding to it.
Sir Peter Scott, founder of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
You know, I have often thought that at the end
of the day, we would have saved more wildlife if we had
spent all WWF's money on buying condoms.
B.F. Skinner, American psychologist, author, inventor, advocate for social reform, and poet.
If the world is to save any part of its resources
for the future, it must reduce not only consumption but the
number of consumers.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee, British historian and the author of the 12-volume Study of History.
We have been God-like in our planned breeding
of our domesticated plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like
in our unplanned breeding of ourselves.
World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, signed by 1600 senior scientists from 70 countries, including 102 Nobel Prize laureates.
Pressures resulting from unrestrained population
growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm
any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt
the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to
Edward O. Wilson, scientist, Pulitzer Prize winning author and father of biodiversity.
The key problem facing humanity in the coming
century is how to bring a better quality of life -- for 8 billion
or more people -- without wrecking the environment entirely
in the attempt.
Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President.
The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless
the growth of its resources and the growth of its population
come into balance. Each man and woman-and each nation - must
make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this
What becomes of the surplus of human life? It
is either, 1st. destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese
and Lacedemonians; or 2d. it is stifled or starved, as among
other nations whose population is commensurate to its food;
or 3d. it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th.
it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food
Richard Nixon, U.S. President.
One of the most serious challenges to human destiny
in the last third of this century will be the growth of the
population. Whether man’s response to that challenge
will be a cause for pride or for despair in the year 2000 will
depend very much on what we do today. If we now begin our work
in an appropriate manner, and if we continue to devote a considerable
amount of attention and energy to this problem, then mankind
will be able to surmount this challenge as it has surmounted
so many during the long march of civilization.
John D. Rockefeller, III, Chairman, Commission on Population and the American Future, 1972.
We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing
economic argument for continued population growth. The
health of our economy does not depend upon it, nor does the
vitality of business, nor the welfare of the average person.
Ronald Reagan, U.S. President.
Our country and state have a special obligation to work toward the stabilization of our own population so as to credibly lead other parts of the world towards population stabilization.
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