Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
The Neglected Dimension of America’s
Persistent Energy/Environmental Problems*
This study examines what
portion of America’s growing energy consumption can be linked to a growing
population, that is, an increase in the number of energy consumers in the United
States, and what portion can be linked to rising per capita energy consumption
reflecting our passion for a plethora of consumer products that use, in total, a
prodigious amount of energy.
The analysis finds that, with the exception of electricity generation, U.S. population growth explains the preponderance of growth in our national energy consumption. Since the U.S. population, driven primarily by high immigration levels, is projected to continue growing rapidly through this century, with no end in sight, unsustainable, harmful growth in energy consumption can be expected to continue as well, until some combination of energy resource depletion or negative environmental feedbacks and economic turmoil curtail it.
Thus, policy makers should recognize that a long-term, sustainable energy policy
must incorporate a population policy based on population stabilization, that is,
halting further population growth and maintaining our population size within a
level that can be sustained in perpetuity by our resources and environment,
while still providing for prosperity and a high quality of life.
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Minnesotans For Sustainability