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
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
Achieving a national and Congressional commitment to population
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
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
must include city parks and scenic countryside as well as lakes,
rivers, and wilderness.
Together we can make a difference!