For Immediate Release — January 9, 2013
Vermonters for Sustainable Population
Vermont could well be the first state in the U.S. to issue a report on what is a sustainable population size for the state if it is able to raise $2,000 to hire a consultant to research the study and write the report.
Vermonters for Sustainable Population has two previously published ground breaking reports which received considerable public attention, the Disappearing Vermont Report and the Vermont Environmental Trends Report: The Population Connection. “This new one would be by far the most significant one because the public is becoming increasingly aware that growth forever is not working for the environment, the economy, or quality of life,” according to executive director George Plumb. It could also form the basis for counties in Vermont to do their own studies on what is a sustainable population size such as has been done by the Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population, Virginia.
The total cost of the report is estimated to be $3,000 and Vermont already has $1,000 of that thanks to a grant from the newly formed Endow-Bio which made Vermonters for Sustainable Population one of the recipients in its first year of operation.
The study would use three approaches to determine what is a sustainable population. The first would be a look backwards to determine what Vermont’s population size was before the advent of cheap fossil fuels. The second would be a look at the present by using ecological footprint analysis to determine what is a sustainable population size according to Vermonter’s current ecological footprints. The third and most important approach would be a look to the future and determine what would be a sustainable population if Vermont were to generate 90% of its own renewable energy and grow 80% of its own food instead of the approximately 5% it now grows. The report will conclude with strong recommendations on how Vermont can move to a sustainable population.
To help make clear what is meant by “sustainable” the report will use VSP’s own unique definition of sustainable which is, “A sustainable human population is one where the people living in a given politically defined area (such as Vermont) do not live beyond the limits of the renewable resources of that area for either input (energy and matter) or output (food, material goods, and absorption of pollution). They then purchase or trade from environmentally aware sources those necessities that cannot be locally satisfied either in sufficient amounts or at all. They will thereby be living in a manner that present and future generations of people and all other life native to that area, will be able to enjoy a healthy habitat over the long term.” Thus, for an area such as Vermont to achieve and maintain sustainability it may well require some combination of reduced and stabilized human numbers and more frugal and less consumptive life styles.
Anyone who would like help make this proposed study a reality for Vermont is invited to send a check to Vermonters for Sustainable Population, POB 1163, Montpelier, VT 05601 by February 7th. VSP does not currently have any wealthy supporters so your contribution is critical.
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