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All About BALANCE
   
       
   

Population-Environment Balance, or BALANCE, is a grassroots membership organization committed to stabilizing U.S. population in order to safeguard the carrying capacity of the United States.


Carrying capacity refers to the number of individuals who can be supported without degrading the physical, social, and cultural environment; i.e., without reducing the ability of the environment to sustain the desired quality of life over the long term.

BALANCE's goals and activities are based on the relationships between population size, quality of life, and environmental impact. We believe that safeguarding the future of the U.S. depends upon achieving a balance between population and environment. After all, practically all of our environmental problems, and other quality of life issues, are to a significant degree caused, or exacerbated, by increasing population pressures.

BALANCE is dedicated to:

  • Educating the American public and policymakers on the adverse impact of population growth on America's natural and social environment, and

  • Achieving a national and Congressional commitment to population stabilization.

The Challenge

As Americans, we are constantly challenged by problems that are merely results of the larger issue: population increase.

  • America's population, over 292 million in 2003, continues to grow by about 3.3 million every year, and this increase is disproportionately concentrated in only a few areas.

  • The adverse effects of a growing population include environmental degradation, air and land traffic congestion, pollution of all kinds, water shortages, soaring urban housing costs, increased crowding, loss of prime agricultural land, and social stress.

  • Our land area is quickly consumed as more people require more space to live, work, and play. Wilderness and scenic countryside shrink, parks become more crowded, and urban sprawl, stripmines, clearcuts, utility lines, landfills, and dams proliferate. Any reasonable definition of carrying capacity must include city parks and scenic countryside as well as lakes, rivers, and wilderness.

  • As population grows, taxes increase in order to maintain social services and education, and to continually add costly infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, prisons, roads, and systems for the disposal of sewage and other waste.

  • Greater business activity usually does not offset the costs of growth, and those who benefit from increased population are usually not the same people who pay most of the taxes for the required expanded community services and facilities. In fact, population growth adversely affects economic health.

  • Populations with relatively high standards of living in industrialized countries use large amounts of energy and generate disproportionately large per capita quantities of "greenhouse gases" (which cause global warming) and toxic pollutants, so even small population increases in such countries can have disproportionate adverse impacts.

  • The quality of our daily lives deteriorates as population grows; overpopulation both worsens, and frustrates attempts to solve, social maladies such as crime, psychological stress, and homelessness.

By the year 2020, if current population trends continue, the U.S. will add enough new people to create another New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, Indianapolis, San Jose, Memphis, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, Milwaukee, Boston, Columbus, New Orleans, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, and El Paso - PLUS the next 75 largest cities in the U.S.- if we don't act now to stabilize U.S. population.

Grassroots membership support is critical. BALANCE relies on grassroots membership support to fund and implement its initiatives and other activities.

Support our efforts! When you join BALANCE, you will receive newsletters, data sheets, and special mailings, and you will have opportunities to help work toward a solution. Become part of the growing movement to fight the growing crisis of too many people for the environment to support.
must include city parks and scenic countryside as well as lakes, rivers, and wilderness.

Together we can make a difference!

   
         
   
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