Re: An American Slowdown

Written by Marian Starkey | Published: March 22, 2024

The New York Times recently published an article about slowing population growth in the United States. We responded with a letter to the editor which we are featuring here as the Times did not publish it.

We encourage all our members and supporters to make their voices heard! See our media guide for advice on how to do that.

Re: An American Slowdown by German Lopez (March 20, 2024)

Dear Editor,

New generations … “produce goods and services and then spend their income, in a cycle that drives supply, demand and growth.”

… and greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of natural resources, air, water, and soil pollution, etc.

Mr. Lopez writes that this century’s pending population peak “may not ultimately be a bad thing” because it could cause wages to rise, because new technologies could boost productivity, and because people enjoy having control over their own childbearing decisions. His levelheaded response to the demographic situation the world may encounter later this century is welcome. A plateauing population need not produce panic.

What’s missing from this column is the environmental benefits of zero population growth. Creating a sustainable future for generations to come depends on a gradual and humane end to the population explosion of the past century, through increased access to voluntary family planning and the promotion of girls’ education and women’s employment. The cycle Mr. Lopez alludes to is a planetary death sentence and a commodification of human lives. It’s time to pursue another path that prioritizes people over profits.

Thank you for your consideration,

Marian Starkey
VP for Communications
Population Connection