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An NPG Forum Paper
by Lindsey Grant

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
– Economist Kenneth Boulding, 1977

If there were one message I could imprint on the American mind, it would be this: Perpetual physical growth is impossible on a finite planet…. the question inescapably becomes, not should human growth stop? but when? How should it stop? by conscious efforts to limit fertility, or by rising mortality?… The distinguishing characteristic of this century is that growth has reached the point at which this choice has become an immediate issue. (Juggernaut: Growth on a Finite Planet, 1996)

Lindsey Grant

Lindsey Grant is a retired Foreign Service Officer; he was a China specialist and served as Director of the Office of Asian Communist Affairs, National Security Council staff member, and Department of State policy Planning staff member. As Deputy Secretary of State for Environmental and Population Affairs, he was Department of State coordinator for the Global 2000 Report to the President, Chairman of the interagency committee on Int'l Environmental Committee and US member of the UN ECE Committee of Experts on the Environment. His books include: Too Many People, Juggernaut, The Horseman and the Bureaucrat, Elephants in Volkswagen, How Many Americans?

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