IntroductionJune 1, 2000
As many people know, what we do in the United States affects all other countries, especially with our incredible consumption levels. Also, many in the population field believe that adopting a U.S. policy would give those involved in international family planning, more credibility in encouraging other countries to do so.
The major focus of the U.S. Sustainable Population Policy Project (USS3P) is a national dialogue on population, sustainability, and all aspects thereof. It is unique in that it is not a one-time conference, but a five-step process, starting with education --a national conversation-- that there must be a change in the direction we are going (with irrefutable facts). If we get as far as a U.S. population policy, well and good. But if that proves impossible, we will at least have succeeded in creating more awareness of the critical problems of today and set about changes that must occur. As the title of the 1999 PCSD (Presidents Council on Sustainable Development) conference, "the New American Dream" would suggest, the old one has created problems for the planet that is now becoming more evident each day, such as global warming and melting of the polar icecaps in Greenland and elsewhere.
As demonstrated by the list of USS3P cosponsors, supporters and advisors, we do have the attention and the interest of many key people and organizations and are gaining more each month. To date, we are the only organization that plans to address all aspects of the population issue with a solid plan of action that has every chance of success.
The following is a summary of the USS3P initiative which contains selections from the cover letter and a revised (October '98) 15 page planning document. If you have read the document earlier, you will find the latest revision contains more on women's issues, consumption, and a greater focus on a national dialogue. Fifteen new organizations endorsed the project during 1998, as well as nine more advisory committee members and several individual supporters.
Considering the impact on the environment by U.S. over-population and over-consumption, we believe the initiation of a national conversation on all aspects of the issue to be a matter of the utmost priority. All we need now to go forward is the funding!
Carole Wilmoth, Executive Committee, USS3P Richardson, TX Email: CLWilmoth atsign aol dott com
Post Script: This project became inactive in 2000 due to lack of funding, as well as lack of support by the major environmental organizations. Discussion of the immigration issue was a large factor. Perhaps some organization or individual will pick up the torch in the near future to see this project through to fruition.
Summary and Request for Cosponsorship
USS3P - U.S. Sustainable Population Policy Project
June 1, 1999
"The time has come to speak more openly of a population policy. The goal of an optimal population will require addressing, for the first time, the full range of processes that lock together the economy and the environment, the national interest and the global commons, the welfare of the present generation with that of future generations. The matter should be aired not only in think tanks but in public debate." - E.O. Wilson, "The Diversity of Life". p. 329.
PROJECT FOCUS: A multi-phase project leading to public awareness of U.S. population issues and the development of a population policy for the United States to achieve long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The fundamental threat to the health of the planet posed by overpopulation has been detailed by international scientists and policy makers for many years, most notably during the last twenty-five. A number of countries have instituted policies intended to help stabilize their respective populations. Unfortunately, the United States is not one of these countries.
Despite efforts begun in 1970, with the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, and participation in three international population conferences, the United States has failed to adopt an official policy identifying population stabilization as a national goal. The United States has grown to the third most populated country in the world after China and India, and continues to increase by nearly 3 million people each year. Because of this growth, combined with its high level of consumption, the U.S. population continues to exert ever higher tolls on the world's environment.
In an effort to address this trend, this project proposes a three year interdisciplinary project that will combine national polling and focus groups, a working conference of experts, a national population policy conference and follow-up activities to develop and implement a coherent, fair U.S. population policy. The project will produce specific population policy goals by incorporating recent data and building upon the recommendations of previous national and international commissions and conferences. The project will seek to incorporate the views of as broad a range of individuals and organizations as possible, including (but not limited to) environmentalists, civic groups, religious leaders, educators, minorities, social justice groups, corporations, and the media.
PROJECT RATIONALE: Despite the fact that population growth in the U.S. has serious domestic and international ramifications, there is very little discussion of the issue in this country. Recent research indicates that there is a serious lack of knowledge among citizens of the United States about population issues, and an even sketchier comprehension of the link between population growth and environmental degradation. Nevertheless, according to a February 1996 Roper Poll, the majority of Americans want to see U.S. population levels no greater, or smaller, than today's. The need for a national conversation on population is of paramount importance.
PROJECT OVERVIEW: Goals of the project include development and implementation of a domestic population policy in the U.S. to achieve long-term environmental and economic sustainability. The project will focus on U.S. population issues, including formulation of a plan to establish and implement a U.S. population policy in this nation characterized by fairness and equity. The project will consist of five phases:
This project is unique. Rather than sponsoring a one-time event, the goal is to establish an ongoing dialogue and series of working relationships among an interdisciplinary group of participants.
COSPONSORSHIP: Your organization is invited to join the growing list of USS3P cosponsors. Cosponsorship will help solidify support and increase our outreach to the grassroots level in a timely and effective manner. Project cosponsors support the basic concepts outlined in the planning document and endorse the development of a domestic population policy that addresses the issues of family planning and reproductive health, immigration, environment, and consumption. Cosponsoring organizations are invited to be involved throughout the process, beginning with the community meetings, focus groups and initial recommendation phase, and continuing through the preparatory conferences, the national sustainable population policy conference, and the implementation of the conference recommendations. There is no attempt to predetermine what a policy should be. The project considers all issues as items to be discussed.
Cosponsorship does not imply any financial obligation, nor agreement with the positions of other cosponsors, but indicates a willingness to participate in an open, democratic dialogue on national population and sustainablilty issues. Many cosponsors have different views on how to solve this all-encompassing problem of population growth / environmental degradation. USS3P provides a forum to discuss these views, as well as an opportunity to put aside differences in order to accomplish a stabilized population. There is no requirement for cosponsors, except to offer their support, although any publicity or financial support is gratefully accepted.
BACKGROUND: The project was formed in early 1996 by Dr. Doug La Follette, Wisconsin Secretary of State, an environmental supporter since the '70's, assisting Senator Gaylord Nelson in organizing the first Earth Day, and was joined by Dr. David Pimentel, well-known ecologist at Cornell University. The USS3P Executive Committee* soon included Fred Meyerson, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, and Planned Parenthood of CT; Marilyn Hempel, Director, Population Coalition of the Leagues of Women Voters; Carole Wilmoth, National Audubon Society, Population & Habitat Campaign; Sonny Fox, Sr. VP, Population Communications International; Jane De Lung, Dir., Population Resource Center, Princeton; Beth Curry Thomas, Founder, Planned Parenthood of Hilton Head, SC; and Bill Ryerson, President, Population Media Center, who most recently joined the team in March 1998.
The major authors of the Planning Document were: David Pimentel, Doug LaFollette, Mark Nowak (former Director of Population-Environment Balance), Sonny Fox, and Fred Meyerson. Mark is inactive at this time.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this important national project--one that would send a positive message to the world that we recognize that overpopulation is not just a problem of developing countries.
Carole Wilmoth, Executive Committee U.S. Sustainable Population Policy Project 919 Vinecrest Lane, Richardson, TX 75080 Ph. 972 238-8805; fax: 972 479-0322 email: firstname.lastname@example.org -or- CLWilmoth@aol.com
*All titles used for ID purposes only--does not imply endorsement by any organization or entity.
ADVISORY BOARD*USS3P - U.S. Sustainable Population Policy Project
Albert A. Bartlett, PhD., Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder
Herman E. Daly, PhD., Senior Research Scholar, University of Maryland
Lindsey Grant, PhD., Author, Former Deputy Assist. U.S. Secretary of State for Population and Environment.
Paul Hawken, Author, and Founder of The Natural Step, U.S.
Yeh Ling-Ling, Executive Director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America
Ross McCluney, PhD., Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center
Monique Miller, Former Executive Director, Wild Earth
Stephen D. Mumford, PhD., Director, Center for Research on Population and Security
Norman Myers, PhD., Consultant in Environment & Development, Greene College, Oxford University, UK.
Senator Gaylord Nelson, Co-Founder of Earth Day
Peter H. Raven, PhD., Director, Missouri Botanical Garden
Congressman Tom Sawyer, (Ohio)
J. Kenneth Smail, PhD., Professor of Anthropology, Kenyon College, OH
Jefferson W. Tester, PhD., Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Energy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mathis Wackernagel, PhD., Coordinator of the Centre for Sustainability Studies, Anahuac University of Xalapa, Mexico, and Director of Redefining Progress Indicators Program, San Francisco
Charles Westoff, PhD., Former Executive Director, Commission on Population Growth and America's Future; Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
Edward O. Wilson, PhD., Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
*All titles used for identification purposes only -- does not imply endorsement by any organization or entity.
COSPONSORSSTATE, NATIONAL & LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS / Contact Persons
A-1 Builders, Inc. (Bellingham, WA) - Rick Dubrow
Alternatives to Growth Oregon - Andy Kerr
Appalachian Audubon Society (Harrisburg, PA) - Robert L. Schell
Arizona Audubon Council - Janice Miano
Audubon Council of Texas - Carole Wilmoth
Bexar Audubon Society (San Antonio, TX) - Susan Hughes
Boulder County Audubon Society (CO) - Robert Cohen
Californians for Population Stabilization - Danielle Elliott
Carrying Capacity Network - David Durham
Center for Research on Population and Security - Dr. Stephen Mumford
Colorado Population Coalition - John R. Bermingham
Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America - Yeh Ling-Ling
Entity Mission - Dr. John Swanson
Floridians for a Sustainable Population - Joyce Tarnow
International Services Assistance Fund - Donald Collins
Madison Audubon Society - Rhonda Dix
Minneapolis Audubon Society - Dell Erickson
National Audubon Society, Population & Habitat Campaign - Pat Waak
National Optimum Population Movement (NOPC) - Boyd Wilcox
Negative Population Growth - Christopher Conner
New England Coalition for Sustainable Population - Anne Faulkner
New Hampshire Citizens for Sustainable Population - Lawrence Rupp
Pennsylvania Audubon Council - Marci Mowery
Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, Population & Environment Committee - Fred Meyerson
Population Coalition (Leagues of Women Voters) - Marilyn Hempel
Population Communications - Bob Gillespie
Population Communications International (consulted on project) - Sonny Fox
Population-Environment Balance - Virginia Abernethy
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities (Bellingham, WA) - Carl Weimer
Richardson Environmental Action League (TX) - Ed Curran
Rural Community Initiative (Lindstrom, MN) - Virginia Stark
Sopris Foundation (Aspen, CO) - John McBride
Sustainable Communities Initiative, City of Austin (TX) - Andrew Grigsby
Texas Fund for Energy and Environmental Education (Austin) - Peter Altman
Vermont Population Alliance - Barbara Duncan
Wild Earth - Tom Butler
World of Wanted/Nurtured Children - Joe Bernard
World Population Balance - David Paxson
Zero Population Growth, Greater Boston Chapter - Howie Breinan
Zero Population Growth, Seattle Chapter - Paul Shelton
SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONSDallas County Audubon Society (TX) - David Zacharias
INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS*Brock Evans, Ex. Director, Endangered Species Coalition, Former V.P National Audubon Society, Former Dir., National Sierra Club
Catriona Glazebrook, Past Director, Texas Audubon Society
Margie J. Haley, The Planetary Trust, Dallas, TX
David B. Johnson Esq., Annapolis, MD
Howard Johnson, KZPG Editor, Redwood City, CA
Alan Kuper, Chair, Population-Environment Committee, Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter
Jane Lubchenko, Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University, Past president, National Association for Science.
*(as of 6-04-00)
*All titles used for identification purposes only -- does not imply endorsement by any organization or entity
Copyright 1995-2003 Fred Elbel. This material may be freely used and distributed only for non-commercial purposes, with credit. Trademarks and copyrighted items remain the property of the owner.