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Sustainable Society:  A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Population And The American Future

The Report Of The Commission On Population Growth And The American Future

John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Chairman
March 27, 1972

 

 

Preface

For the first time in the history of our country, the President and the Congress have established a Commission to examine the growth of our population and the impact it will have upon the American future. In proposing this Commission in July 1969, President Nixon said: “One of the most serious challenges to human destiny in the last third of this century will be the growth of the population. Whether man’s response to that challenge will be a cause for pride or for despair in the year 2000 will depend very much on what we do today.” The Commission was asked to examine the probable extent of population growth and internal migration in the United States between now and the end of this century, to assess the impact that population change will have upon government services, our economy, and our resources and environment, and to make recommendations on how the nation can best cope with that impact.

In our Interim Report a year ago, the Commission defined the scope of our mandate: “. . . to formulate policy for the future” —policy designed to deal with “the pervasive impact of population growth on every facet of American life.” We said that population growth of the magnitude we have experienced since World War II has multiplied and intensified many of our domestic problems and made their solution more difficult. We called upon the American people to begin considering the meaning and consequences of population growth and internal migration and the desirability of formulating a national policy on the question.

Since then, the Commission and staff have conducted an extensive inquiry. We have enlisted many of the nation’s leading scientists in more than 100 research projects. We have heard from more than 100 witnesses in public hearings across the country and have met with experts in many days of executive meetings. And we are aware that population has become an active subject of consideration in a number of states in our country concerned about their future. We have come to recognize that the racial and ethnic diversity of this Commission gives us confidence that our recommendations —the consensus of our members— do indeed point the way in which this nation should move in solving its problems. Because of the importance of this matter, the Commission recommends that future federal commissions include a substantial representation of minorities, youth, poor citizens, and women among their members, including congressional representatives, and the commission staffs and consultants include significant numbers of minorities, youth, and women.

We offer this report in the hope that our viewpoints and recommendations will stimulate serious consideration and response by the citizens of this nation and of nations throughout the world to an issue of great consequence to present and future generations.

[Return to Rockefeller Table of Contents.]

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