Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader.
    There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
    What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.

Jane Goodall, primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace.
    It's our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we've inflicted on the planet.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 14th leader of Tibetan Buddhists.
    One of the great challenges today is the population explosion. Unless we are able to tackle this issue effectively we will be confronted with the problem of the natural resources being inadequate for all the human beings on this earth.
    So now the question ... the population of the human being... So the only number... happy life...meaningful life. Too many population... miserable life and always bullying one another, exploiting one another... there's no use.

Pope Paul VI.
    There is no denying that the accelerated rate of population growth brings many added difficulties to the problems of development where the size of the population grows more rapidly than the quantity of available resources to such a degree that things seem to have reached an impasse.

Albert Einstein, renouned physicist.
    Overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the well-being of many people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet of ours.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, scientist, photographer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
    We must alert and organize the world's people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises - exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Over consumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today.

John D. Rockefeller, III, Chairman, Commission on Population and the American Future, 1972.
    We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing economic argument for continued population growth. The health of our economy does not depend upon it, nor does the vitality of business, nor the welfare of the average person.

Ronald Reagan, U.S. President.
    Our country and state have a special obligation to work toward the stabilization of our own population so as to credibly lead other parts of the world towards population stabilization.

Lyndon Johnson, U.S. President.
    The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman and each nation must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem.

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The VSPop 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 VSPop 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.”

VSPop History

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

VSPop 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.

VSPop is the only state environmental organization with the word “sustainable” in its title.

VSPop 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.

VSPop 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.

VSPop 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.

VSPop 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).

VSPop 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).

VSPop 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.”

VSPop 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.

VSPop is the first Vermont environmental organization to offer the people of Vermont the opportunity to take a Living More Sustainably Pledge (August, 2011).

VSPop is probably the most democratic, transparent, un-conflicted, independently thinking, and economically-just of all state environmental organizations. Check out our bylaws in the VSPop 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, VSPop 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 We want to be accurate in what we say!

Would you like to get involved?
Here are some actions you can take:

- Become a VSPop member

- Volunteer your time

- Speak out about population growth

in support of VSPop efforts

Norwich University Online Masters in Diplomacy

Population Clock