[This is most of the 27 page report. Beck and Kolankiewicz have written this excellent paper explaining why the environmental movement abandoned the goal of keeping population within the carrying capacity of U.S. resources. Systems ecologists such as Paul Erlich, David Pimentel and others estimate the U.S. can support about 100 million people without fossil fuels. That was the population during the Great Depression, when 1 in 4 Americans were farmers, yet still many people were hungry (hence “The Grapes of Wrath”. Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com ]
The years surrounding 1970 marked the coming of age of the modern environmental movement. As that movement enters its fourth decade, perhaps the most striking change is the virtual abandonment by national environmental groups of U.S. population stabilization as an actively pursued goal.
Population Issues and the 1970-Era Environmental Movement
How did the American environmental movement change so radically?
Around 1970, U.S. population and environmental issues were widely and publicly linked. In environmental “teach-ins” across America, college students of the time heard repetitious proclamations on the necessity of stopping U.S. population growth in order to reach environmental goals; and the most public of reasons for engaging population issues was to save the environment. The nation’s best-known population group, Zero Population Growth (ZPG)-founded by biologists concerned about the catastrophic impacts of ever more human beings on the biosphere-was outspokenly also an environmental group. And many of the nation’s largest environmental groups had or were considering “population control” as major planks of their environmental prescriptions for America.
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