Human population growth in the past century was three times the total growth from the origin of the species until 1900.
Coupled with sharply rising levels of resource consumption and economic activity in the more prosperous nations, that growth has imposed unprecedented strains on the ecological systems that support us and other living things. It has led in many parts of the world to rising unemployment, intensifying water shortages, increasing competition for resources, and the specter of hunger. It is affecting the world’s climate, and the consequences — rising sea levels, more powerful hurricanes, heat waves, and more intense floods and droughts — are becoming apparent. Population growth has depended on fossil fuels, which are running down. Future generations must depend increasingly on renewable energy, which is unlikely to be recoverable in amounts sufficient to support more than a fraction of current world populations.
U.S. population has also quadrupled since 1900. The U.S. and the world are in a condition of overshoot.
NPG (negative population growth) is the ideal of a turnaround in U.S. and world population growth until we approach less destructive and more tolerable levels, perhaps at numbers that were passed two or more generations ago.
Our objectives are to:
- document the harm humans are inflicting on ourselves and our support systems and arrive at some rough idea of “optimum population” — the human numbers that can live at a decent standard of living within the constraints of environmental sustainability,
- suggest the policies on migration and human fertility that would make it possible to come down to such numbers,
- persuade our government at all levels, and other governments afflicted by population growth, to pursue such policies, and
- dissuade them from the pursuit of policies and behavior that, intentionally or not, lead to population growth.
To those ends, we promote concepts such as “the two-child family”, lowered rates of migration to the United States, and the development of conceptual systems such as the steady state economy. And we comment on the demographic implications of present and proposed policies and legislation.
NPG, Inc. is unique among national organizations in calling for a turnaround in population growth and describing the means to achieve it.