SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
The challenge of making the transition to a sustainable
society is enormous, in part because of a major global effort to keep
people from recognizing the centrality of population growth to the enormous
problems of the U.S. and the world.
The immediate task is to restore numeracy to the
population programs in the local, national and global agendas.
On the local and national levels, we need to work
to improve social justice and equity
On the community level in the U.S., we should work
to make growth pay for itself.
On the national scale, we can hope for leaders who
will recognize that population growth is the major problem in the U.S.
and who will initiate a national dialog on the problem. With a lot of
work at the grassroots, our system of representative government will
On the global scale, we need to support family planning
throughout the world, and we should generally restrict our foreign aid
to those countries that make continued demonstrated progress in reducing
population growth rates.
BOULDING ON MALTHUS
In writing about Malthusí essay on population, Kenneth
that the essay, punctures the easy optimism of
the utopians of any generation. But by revealing the nature
of at least one dragon that must be slain before misery can
be abolished, its ultimate message is one of hope, and the truth,
however unpleasant, tends "not to create despair, but activity"
of the right kind. (Boulding 1971, p. 142)
A THOUGHT FOR THE FUTURE
When competing "experts" recommend diametrically opposing
paths of action regarding resources, carrying capacity, sustainability,
and the future, we serve the cause of sustainability by choosing the
conservative path, which is defined as the path that would leave society
in the less precarious position if the chosen path turns out to be the