Statement of Principles


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Who We Are

SUSPS is a network of thousands of individuals who are Sierra Club members and activists, many with decades of Sierra Club experience. SUSPS is not an official body of the Sierra Club; we are a network of Sierra Club members. We support Sierra Club policies and principles with the exception of current Sierra Club U.S. population policy, which we believe is inadequate in addressing U.S. overpopulation.
We are concerned about the natural world being left to future generations at home and abroad. As with all priority Sierra Club programs the first responsibility is to solve a U.S. problem, in this case that of U.S. population growth and consumption in accordance with "think globally, act locally." Although we are aware the U.S. is part of a world community, we also recognize the Club's relatively limited influence abroad.
We believe a comprehensive U.S. population policy must be a part of the Club's Global Population Program [for stabilizing world population]. We support a return to 1970-1996 Sierra Club U.S. population policy which advocates zero population growth, where births equal deaths and immigration equals emigration, or any reasonable combination that will achieve US population stabilization as quickly as possible.
We reaffirm the 1970 Sierra Club policy "That we must find, encourage, and implement at the earliest possible time the necessary policies, attitudes, social standards, and actions that will, by voluntary and humane means consistent with human rights and individual conscience, bring about the stabilization of the population first of the United States and then of the world." (Sierra Club Board of Directors, 1970).
Our concern is with total numbers, not with any group or country of origin. We argue for an end to U.S. growth in numbers and consumption simply based on environmental limits. We advocate any reasonable combination of natural increase and immigration that can achieve a sustainable U.S. population. We repudiate any support from people who have racial motives for reducing population or immigration. Racists and their offensive ideas and actions have no place in modern civilized society.

Some Specifics

We believe the Sierra Club must:

  • Educate the public and promote adoption of a national population policy that calls for stabilizing U.S. population as soon as possible by voluntary and humane means consistent with human rights and individual conscience.
  • Explicitly recognize rapid U.S. population growth among the causes of Sprawl.
  • Support reduction of consumption, especially in the U.S. and other high-consuming societies. Ending U.S. population growth in no way forecloses efforts to reduce U.S. consumption. Both are necessary as stated by the President's Council on Sustainable Development (1996).
  • Support incentives that encourage family planning in the U.S. and worldwide.
  • Support elimination of pro-natalist financial incentives.
  • Integrate the overpopulation-environment connection message into Sierra Club campaigns and materials.
  • Educate staff and members on the severity of the U.S. overpopulation problem and the responsibility of all environmentalists to address the issue.

We firmly believe that this Sierra Club action is in the best interest of the Club.


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