NPG Releases New Forum Paper: Our Plundered Planet and a Future of Less

NPG Releases New Forum Paper: Our Plundered Planet and a Future of Less

Rejecting the prevailing faith in growth, expert Walter Youngquist comments on resource and population trends – and the precarious balance between them.

View this release on PRWeb.

Alexandria, VA (July 23, 2014) – As Americans prepare for another summer of road trips – and feel the inevitable pain at the gas pump, in the second half of July Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum paper highlighting the links between U.S. population growth and the rising scarcity of natural resources, particularly fossil fuels.

In the new publication, veteran NPG commentator Walter Youngquist draws on lengthy professional experience as a petroleum geologist to predict a grim future for the American way of life.  Characteristically counter-cultural, Youngquist’s essay rejects the prevalent conviction that perpetual economic growth and ever-rising prosperity are permanent entitlements of Americans.  Even his title – Our Plundered Planet and a Future of Lessrings a striking chord with those concerned with the future of our world and its resources.

Incorporating his own vast experience, Youngquist expands upon the troublesome conclusions reached by other leading experts and NPG contributors:  Chris Clugston on rising scarcity of non-renewable resources (NNRs), Lester Brown on world food production that now lags population growth, and former NPG advisor and author Lindsey Grant on the now-peaking production of fossil fuels.

At the essay’s conclusion, Youngquist notes:  “We are headed toward a future of less for every single non-renewable resource that we have known in history.”  His analysis goes beyond just minerals and fuels, including resources that are non-renewable in the lifetime of humans – like top soil (lost to erosion and acidification from overuse of nitrogen fertilizers) and fresh water (through depletion of snowmelt and squandering of massive ancient aquifers).

Echoing NPG, Youngquist urges prompt reduction of population to an ecologically-sustainable size and a transition to a no-growth, steady-state economy.  He finds that if present trends in consumption persist, reduction of human population may come about by nature’s harsher method of pruning:  starvation and disease amid social turmoil.

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 318 million people, the United States is unsustainably overpopulated – and we are continuing to grow by an average of nearly 2.5 million people per year.  Even with reductions and re-usage programs, there are simply more consumers 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 slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. 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 damaging 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.


This NPG Press Release was picked up by several hundred media outlets, including:  the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the International Business Times, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Sacramento Bee.


There is no remedy that can possibly avert disastrous Climate Change and Global Warming unless we first address the problem of world population size and growth, and its impact on the size of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.That means that we need to address the population size and growth of each nation, which together make up the world total.

World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!

From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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