Environmental Endorsements of U.S. Population Stabilization

Notable environmentalists from a wide array of political affiliations have, over the years, endorsed U.S. population stabilization:

President Clinton

As a matter of public debate, immigration is a sensitive and explosive issue, and both legal and illegal immigration must be addressed with great sensitivity and care in order to advance the debate. We acknowledge these impediments to easy and informal dialogue, and we urge that participants take appropriate care so that a reasoned discussion of immigration and the American future can begin.

We believe that reducing current immigration levels is a necessary part of working toward sustainability in the United States.

From the Introduction of Population and Consumption Task Force Report President's Council on Sustainable Development (1996), established by President Clinton in 1993 to find ways "to bring people together to meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the future."

President Carter

The United States should: Develop a U.S. national population policy that includes attention to issues such as population stabilization ... just, consistent and workable immigration laws.

From "Global Future: Time to Act" in The Global 2000 Report to the President, commissioned by President Jimmy Carter in his 1977 Environmental Message to Congress and released in January, 1981.

David Brower, 1966, then Executive Director of the Sierra Club,

We feel you don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.

Blueprint for Survival, 1972, supported by 34 distinguished biologists, ecologists, doctors, and economists, including Sir Julian Huxley, Peter Scott, and Sir Frank Fraser-Darling

First, governments must acknowledge the problem and declare their commitment to ending population growth; this commitment should also include an end to immigration.

Former Senator Gaylor Nelson, father of Earth Day,

We are preparing to celebrate the 32nd Earth Day just after the Census Bureau has announced that far from winding down in the 1990s, U.S. population growth boomed at its highest level in the nation's history! Not even the peak of the Baby Boom in the 1950s added as many people! This new population boom represents a profound failure in our nation's pursuit of environmental quality. Since 1970, another 80 million people have been added to the country. Every environmental goal has been delayed because of this failure.

Wisconsin Secretary of Sate, Douglas LaFollette,

To continue ignoring the large population component of our increasing environmental problems will certainly doom our grandchildren to a very bleak future.

President Theodore Roosevelt,

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. ...The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.(Address to Knights of Columbus, Oct. 12, 1915)

Jacques Cousteau,

Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage.

John Flicker, President, National Audubon Society,

Human population growth is the most pressing environmental problem facing the U.S. and the world.

Garret Hardin, professor emeritus of human ecology at University of California, Santa Barbara (Living Within Limits, 1993)

...population policy must be policy for a nation, not for the whole world, because there is no world sovereignty to back up a global policy. We can, and should, seek to persuade other nations to take steps to control their population growth; but our primary focus should be on the population growth within our own borders. This means that overpopulation can be avoided only if borders are secure; otherwise poor and overpopulated nations will export their excess to richer and less populated nations.