Quotes

Here is a collection of some of our favorite quotes about various aspects of population balance. We hope they can shed some light on our perspective as an organization.

Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we posses. 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 victim.

- Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and Nobel laureate

The point of population stabilization is to reduce or minimize misery.

- Roger Bengston, founding board member, World Population Balance

Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth.

- World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, signed by 1600 senior scientists from 70 countries, including 102 Nobel Prize laureates

If we don't halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity- and will leave a ravaged world.

-Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall

What becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st. destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2d. it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3d. it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th. it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.

- James Madison, 1791, U.S. President

When the family is small, whatever little they have they are able to share. There is peace.

- Philip Njuguna, pastor, Nairobi, Kenya

Once it was necessary that the people should multiply and be fruitful if the race was to survive. But now to preserve the race it is necessary that people hold back the power of propagation.

- Helen Keller, world-renowned deaf and blind author and lecturer

Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?

- Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Colorado; World Population Balance Board of Advisors

The key probem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life -- for 8 billion or more people -- without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt.

- Edward O. Wilson, scientist, Pulitzer prize winning author and father of biodiversity

It is not prudent to rely on science and technology alone to solve problems created by rapid population growth, wasteful resource consumption and harmful human practices.

- U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society of London, joint statement

If the world is to save any part of its resources for the future, it must reduce not only consumption but the number of consumers.

- B.F. Skinner, psychologist and author (Introduction to Walden Two, 1976 edition)

'Smart growth' destroys the environment. 'Dumb growth' destroys the environment. The only difference is that 'smart growth' does it with good taste. It's like booking passage on the Titanic. Whether you go first-class or steerage, the result is the same.

- Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Colorado; World Population Balance Board of Advisors

We must stabilize population. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that it requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.

- Lester Milbrath, professor emeritus and author, Learning to Think Environmentally (While there is Still Time)

Which is the greater danger - nuclear warfare or the population explosion? The latter absolutely! To bring about nuclear war, someone has to DO something; someone has to press a button. To bring about destruction by overcrowding, mass starvation, anarchy, the destruction of our most cherished values-there is no need to do anything. We need only do nothing except what comes naturally - and breed. And how easy it is to do nothing.

- Dr. Isaac Asimov, biochemist and science writer (in this 1966 interview he predicted that world population would reach 6 billion around 2000. Most leaders dismissed his prediction as outrageous. Population passed 6 billion in 1999.)

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

- Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Colorado; World Population Balance Board of Advisors

No matter what your cause, it is a lost cause without population stabilization.