Considering Limits to Human Population Size

Friends have long been concerned about how we live on our Earth and how we can best support a good life for everyone and all species. Sustainability requires that we use Earth’s resources at a level that provides a reasonable life for all now and maintains the capacity to provide such a life for all coming generations. An existing population must not use up resources needed to sustain human and other life in the future. Ultimately this means we as a people must consider what are the limits to human population size. The question is: what is a sustainable human population on Earth?

Empowering Women: The Link to Population

“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Women’s empowerment happens when women and girls are free to control their own lives, to exercise their rights, to be equal members of society. While there has been some progress for women around the world, gaps in critical areas remain in many countries, according to the Population Reference Bureau in its 2015 World Population Data Sheet, which had a “special focus on women’s empowerment.”1

Immigration in a Crowded World: A Friends' Perspective

Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would a fellow Israelite, and love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. -Leviticus 19:33-34

The U.S. population is growing by two to three million persons per year and is projected to grow from 319 million in 2014 to 400 million by 2050. With our standard of living, natural resources are under tremendous and mounting pressure.

Friends Witness on Population

“[Humankind] is ... faced with a hideous problem in terms of sheer arithmetic.... [A]ny positive rate of growth whatever eventually carries a human population to an unacceptable magnitude.”
(Kenneth E. Boulding, 1964, The Meaning of the 20th Century: The Great Transition.)

In 1650, when George Fox was alive, the world’s population was about one-half billion people; by the early 20th century it had reached two billion.

Seeking Clearness on Childbearing in a Crowded World

We as Friends seek Divine guidance in all realms of our lives. Couples seek clearness on their calling to spend the rest of their lives together. So too, having a child is a life-changing commitment that merits deep spiritual reflection, not only in regard to the personal sacrifices and rewards included, but also in regard to the larger issues of the society and environment. In the manner of Friends, bringing this reflection to a clearness committee can help in decision-making.

Men for Men: A small solution for a big problem

Are you concerned about

  • World peace?
  • Global warming?
  • Loss of air, soil, and water quality?
  • Depletion of resources?

Each of these problems is worsened by increasing human population. Yet one half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned!

MANY OF US want to limit our family size, for many reasons. Some are concerned that, due to population pressures, the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren will not be as healthy and as beautiful as the one we inherited.

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