Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Population
Section title: Population
Section subtitle: A sustainable and fair population policy
Our position: The United States must contribute to achieving a globally sustainable human population.
Humans have a unique responsibility for stewardship of the Earth. No species -- especially on the upper end of the food chain -- can enjoy exponential population growth without depleting the Earth’s carrying capacity and undermining its ecological systems at the expense of other species. Yet the human species is doing just that. Even from an anthropocentric perspective, this pattern is unsustainable. Since the early 1980's, human population has increased while food production has leveled off and in some places decreased. And when population increases faster than the economy can develop to support it, the disparity between rich and poor also becomes more pronounced.
Greens advocate for a sustainable and fair population policy that reduces over-consumption in wealthy nations and redresses historic patterns of exploitation of developing countries. A relatively small percentage of humans threaten the Earth's carrying capacity by consuming a majority of the world's resources. When wealthy nations exploit the economies and resources of developing countries, poverty spreads and leads to higher birth rates. We can ameliorate some of the impacts of exploitation of developing countries through policies in promote economic self-reliance, well-being and quality of life.
Greens support reducing birthrates by improving the economic and social status of women around the world. When women have control over their lives, birthrates decrease. The lack of resources devoted to family planning is a major barrier to the improvement of women's economic and social status, health and wellness. We also encourage men to share responsibility for family planning with women.
1. Support global patterns of development and energy use that reduce consumption and waste, particularly in the wealthiest nations.
2. Promote international aid and development policies in developing nations that promote economic self-reliance, well-being and quality of life.
3. Ensure that all women have access to the reproductive health and family planning services they need to do so. Remove political and economic barriers that prevent women from achieving according to their abilities in society.
4. Support scientific research into safer and more effective birth control techniques and devices.
5. Provide free access to birth control devices, information counseling and health clinics, along with family planning education for both genders in all U.S. schools.
6. Promote new traditions and images of men becoming fully involved in all aspects of the family planning process.
7. Develop educational programs about overpopulation and sustainable population. Encourage smaller families and acknowledge the value and contributions of individuals who choose not to have children.
2004 PLATFORM ON POPULATION
Limiting the discussion to population numbers and birthrates diverts attention from over-consumption in the industrial world and historic patterns of exploitation of developing countries. Consumption-oriented lifestyles that have evolved in the industrial world have resulted in a minority of people consuming a majority of resources. This is as significant a threat to the Earth’s carrying capacity as the high birth rates in low-consumption countries.
Current global demographics demonstrate that economic well-being promotes low birthrates. Any discussion of population must also be a discussion of women throughout the world. There is documented evidence that the economic and social status of women is a primary factor in birthrates – when women have control over their lives, birthrates decrease. Also, a major barrier to the improvement of women’s reproductive health is a lack of shared responsibility between men and women in family planning. A combination of male attitudes and cultural traditions have resulted in most men being under-educated and uninvolved in the planning of their families.
Globally, human population is increasing while food production has leveled off. When population increases faster than the economy grows, the disparity between rich and poor also increases. Higher human consumption rates and populations increase the pressure on the environment in every ecological problem area.
1. Those living in the industrialized world must end the habits of waste and over-consumption that place as much stress on the environment as does population growth in developing nations.
2. We must remove the political and economic barriers that prevent women around the world from having all the resources necessary to become skilled family planners.
3. Funds must be allocated for expanded scientific research into safer and more effective birth control techniques and devices. We demand better-than-adequate health care for women and children–especially prenatal care. [See section D. Foreign Policy in chapter I and section A.1. Women's Rights in this chapter]
4. There must be access to free birth control devices, information counseling, and clinics to all who desire them. We call for implementation of family planning education for both genders in all levels of the state school system. [See section D. Foreign Policy in chapter I and section A.1. Women's Rights in this chapter]
5. We must promote new traditions and images of men becoming fully involved in all aspects of the family planning process.