New NPG Paper Explores Demographic Assault on Fragile Planet

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Analysis finds the “overwhelming scale” of Earth’s problems comes from resource demands of continued population growth.

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People use Earth resources, and more people use more resources. The need us to reduce population to the size that can be sustained indefinitely.

As 2016 marks the 250th birthday of population reduction pioneer Thomas Malthus, debate surrounding overpopulation has become reignited. In response to the renewed public interest in this critical matter, Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum paper on April 27 highlighting the links between population growth, natural resource consumption, and the urgent need for each nation to adopt an official population policy. Unfortunately for pro-growth enthusiasts, the paper explains: “The integrity of the environment and population growth are now in an inverse relationship. The world is a full house….”

In "The Scale of Things and Demographic Fatigue," veteran NPG commentator Walter Youngquist draws on lengthy professional experience as a petroleum geologist to predict a grim future for both the world’s people and the state of its environment. Characteristically precocious, Youngquist’s essay rejects the prevalent conviction that perpetual growth and ever-rising prosperity are permanent entitlements. As usual, he strikes a chord among those concerned with the future of our world and its resources.

He explains: “The United Nations now projects world population will reach 11.2 billion by the year 2100. Humans are now appropriating Earth’s finite resources to support the growing numbers at exponential rates.” Incorporating his own vast experience, Youngquist expands upon the troublesome conclusions reached by other leading experts and NPG contributors: Ed Rubenstein on immigration driving U.S. population growth, Leon Kolankiewicz on population growth and climate change aggravating water shortages, David Montgomery on the world’s coming food security crisis, and Chris Clugston on rapidly-diminishing non-renewable resources (NNRs).

Youngquist notes: “It all gets back to the simple fact that people use Earth resources and more people use more resources.” His analysis goes beyond commonly-cited fossil fuel shortages, including other factors that are essential to America’s ever-growing resource demands – minerals such as copper and phosphate, as well as basic life necessities such as food and water. He warns: “We occasionally hear the suggestion that our resource problems can be averted by substitution, but there is absolutely no substitute for water. Every living cell demands it. The world cannot get along without water.”

Echoing NPG, Youngquist advocates the prompt adoption of a national population policy – one designed to achieve the reduction of our population to an ecologically-sustainable size. He finds that if present trends in consumption and growth persist, reduction of human population may come about by a harsher method. He concludes: “To call for ‘stabilizing’ population is not acceptable. The need is to reduce population to the size that can be sustained indefinitely… from renewable resources on a finite Earth.”

NPG President Donald Mann had strong praise for Youngquist’s work, noting: “While most Americans have embraced the idea of ‘green’ and ‘low-consumption’ lifestyles, the vast majority still have not recognized the root cause of the problems we face. At over 323 million people, the U.S. is unsustainably overpopulated – and we are continuing to grow by an average of more than 2 million people per year. Even with today’s greatest technological advances, there are simply more people than there are resources.” He added: “By distributing Youngquist’s perceptive work, NPG hopes this alarming reality will reach more of our nation’s citizens and elected officials: we must adopt an official U.S. population policy designed slow, halt, and eventually reverse our population growth – until we reach a much smaller, truly sustainable level.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the catastrophic effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its "Proposed National Population Policy," with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at

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Negative Population Growth
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