Download VSP's Optimum Sustainable Population Report
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The VSP Mission Statement
Vermonters for a Sustainable Population works to inform the public about the harmful impacts that population and consumption currently have, and will have, on the environment, economy, and quality of life of future generations, and to motivate Vermonters to take actions that will result in sustainable state, national and global populations.
What is a sustainable population?
The VSP definition of sustainable is, “A sustainable human population is one where the people living in a given politically- or geographically-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 in sufficient amounts. They will thereby live in a manner that allows present & future generations of people and all other life native in the area to enjoy healthy habitats over the long term.”
Vermonters for a Sustainable Population was formed in 2005 by a group of Vermont residents who are very concerned about the population-driven environmental degradation taking place on our planet and in the United States, which has the fastest population growth in the developed world. This growth is leading to sprawl, congestion and excessive use of energy and other natural resources. It also makes it much more difficult to solve the global problems of global warming, loss of biodiversity, poverty, and creating peace instead of war. We believe that Vermonters need to acknowledge and discuss the population issue, and take steps that will lead to a sustainable population globally, in this country, and in Vermont.
Vermonters for a Sustainable Population:
A Unique Environmental Organization
VSP is the only one of the hundred or so environmental organizations in Vermont that deals with the primary cause of our environmental problems and not the symptoms.
VSP is the only state environmental organization with the word “sustainable” in its title.
VSP produced the only report that estimates what Vermont's population should be in order to be sustainable. “What is an Optimum, Sustainable Population for Vermont?” makes this estimate based on 16 different indicators.
VSP produced the most comprehensive report ever published on Vermont’s environment, the “Disappearing Vermont?” report. In fact no other environmental organization has published a report on Vermont’s environment showing long term historical data for a wide variety of indicators.
VSP is the only Vermont environmental organization that has adopted a comprehensive set of very detailed position statements that would actually lead to a sustainable future and a healthy environment if supported and implemented. We are very specific, clear and transparent about what needs to be done to re-establish a healthy and sustainable environment.
VSP is the first Vermont environmental organization to endorse a steady state economy which is absolutely essential to achieving sustainability and a healthy environment. (May, 2009).
VSP is the first Vermont environmental organization to state that we need to change the GDP indicator to some other indicator such as the Gross National Happiness Index (May, 2009) and the first to adopt a detailed policy statement supporting this type of index (June, 2011).
VSP is the first organization to apply “whole systems thinking” to its work. See in the Reports section the report, “A Look at Vermont Population Growth and the Food Supply, Through a Systems Lens.”
VSP is unique in the environmental movement in having a volunteer executive director and a person who is unusually dedicated to the environment. For more information about him see his bio under the executive director.
VSP is the first Vermont environmental organization to offer the people of Vermont the opportunity to take a Living More Sustainably Pledge (August, 2011).
VSP is probably the most democratic, transparent, un-conflicted, independently thinking, and economically-just of all state environmental organizations. Check out our bylaws in the VSP Organization section. We say "probably" because most environmental organizations do not put their bylaws on their web site and this statement is difficult to evaluate.
Finally, VSP is the only environmental organization which says up front that its main goal is to put itself out of business! It would love nothing better than to know that the world, the U.S. and Vermont are moving in the direction of a sustainable population because the public has come to realize that we cannot go on living in an unsustainable manner if we are to fulfill our responsibility to future generations.
If you think or know that any of these statements are inaccurate please contact Robert Fireovid at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to be accurate in what we say!
Would you like to get involved?
Here are some actions you can take:
- Become a VSP member
- Volunteer your time
- Speak out about population growth