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Earth Day and Population - A Missed Opportunity


The author provides an open and detailed view of how important national issues such as our environment and population can be diverted by special interests and/or political indifference.

Veteran NPG commentator Leon Kolankiewicz, who authored the new report, highlights the ironic abandonment of overpopulation by both Earth Day organizers and the Environmental Establishment as a whole.

Kolankiewicz notes: "Over time, the dominant Earth Day message has morphed. ...Part and parcel of this evolution is that more challenging and controversial topics, such as overpopulation, have been marginalized or jettisoned altogether." The new Forum paper highlights the glaring contradictions between the original Earth Day vision of founder Gaylord Nelson - which included overpopulation as a central theme- and the present-day mantra. Kolankiewicz laments: "There is too much 'greenwashing' - the spin and PR that deceptively promote the Big Lie that every enterprise and every product is now environmentally-friendly and sustainable."


In the 1960s and 1970s, during the era of the first Earth Day, the emerging environmental movement and America as a whole had the opportunity to adopt a brighter, more promising, more sustainable population destiny. It seemed we were on the verge of making this conscious and conscientious choice. But even as this greener vision beckoned, other powerful pro-growth forces and factors in society asserted themselves and the vision flickered and then faded from view like a mirage. Gradually but relentlessly rising immigration rates instigated by the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act – in conjunction with America’s congenital, uncritical fixation on perpetual growth as a national mission – the growth fetish or Growthism, overpowered the inchoate “small is beautiful” ethos before it had a chance to fully form and take hold. The opportunity was abandoned, the vision lost.

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