Since NPG was founded over 40 years ago I have been convinced that NPG at bottom is an economic theory: namely, that our goal should be to optimize per capita income and wealth for all, in a way that would be sustainable for the very long term, and that the only way to achieve that goal is by a negative rate of population growth until our economy has been reduced to a sustainable size.
One of the first members of our Advisory Board back in 1970 the late Emile Benoit, Professor of Economics at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, did his Doctoral Dissertation at Harvard University in the 1950′s on that very theme.
Only after our economy has been reduced to a sustainable size, by reducing the size of our population, can we possibly hope to create a non-growing, steady-state economy that would be sustainable for the very long term, and afford an adequate standard of living for all, in a sound and healthy environment.
The chief obstacle to achieving that goal is the almost universal, strongly held belief in economic growth, the world’s great secular religion. In fact, however, macro (total) economic growth is the mortal enemy of per capita wealth and income. Macro economic growth depends for its existence on an ever growing population to feed the growth of Gross National Product (GNP). If long continued, it will destroy our environment, our resources, and our per capita income along with it.
Even now macro economic growth is in the process of destroying the very life support systems of our small planet that make our existence here possible. That is neither hyperbole nor exaggeration. It is a plain statement of fact.
The bottom line with regard to macro economic growth is the very basic and irrefutable fact that no material growth can possibly continue for long in a finite environment and universe. As the late and noted economist, Kenneth Boulding, wrote some years ago: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
The late Senator Gaylord Nelson, the originator of Earth Day, identified forging a sustainable society as the fundamental issue of our time. For over 40 years Negative Population Growth, Inc. has dedicated itself to helping achieve that goal.
We believe that the optimum rate of population growth is negative.
We believe that the optimum rate of population growth for the United States (and for the world) is negative, until such time as the scale of economic activity – and its environmental effects – is reduced to a level that would be sustainable indefinitely. We are convinced that if present rates of population […]
Download a printable PDF version here New Census Bureau Projections: U.S. Population Will Add 97 Million by 2060 Even with the death rate rising more than 20 percent by 2045, America will still add over 97 million people by 2060. The latest population projections by the Census Bureau show more bad news for Americans concerned […]
Despite global media attention on the problem, there is still no acknowledgment of the clear solution: widespread access to contraception, and smaller family sizes.
On October 27th, two biologists at Australia’s University of Adelaide shocked the global media with their article “Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems,”[…]
Residents of Toledo, OH breathed a sigh of relief in early August, as the Mayor lifted a tap water ban affecting up to 400,000 people. After state and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials found high levels of the toxin “microcystin” in the water supply of certain neighborhoods, officials decided to ban tap water use […]
With a confused response to the current rising surge of illegal immigration from Central America, Washington’s chronic unwillingness to control the southern border has gone from bad to worse. The prevailing indolent policy of “catch and release” of border violators has become even more acquiescent toward Central Americans, becoming a policy of “meet, greet, and […]
Just a few days after his State of the Union address, President Obama followed through on his promise to work against climate change. According to USA Today, he “ordered the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and the Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] to develop and issue new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by […]