& ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Hope this finds you well. Please excuse the form letter.
I am contacting you today on behalf of John Feeney and
-- we are all
working together this year to run another successful
Global Population Speak Out (in February 2010).
Last year you provided important credibility and leadership
to John’s idea: Global Population Speak
, by signing the letter he sent to
prominent people all over the world.
This letter asked its recipients to pledge to “Speak Out”
in some way on the problems related to the size and growth
of the human population in February 2009. The response was
We would very much value your support in this year’s GPSO
The version of the GPSO 2010 letter you see below is
essentially the final draft, though some very minor
revisions might still be made.
Please look the letter over and then, if you're willing to
have your name among the signers again, just reply to this
email with "I'll sign". If you have any questions at all,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you so much,
GPSO 2010 Coordinator
Home Office: 603-283-6686
Invitation to Join a Historic Gathering of
Dear Friend and Colleague,
We, the undersigned, invite you to be a part of the Global
Population Speak Out — 2010. It’s a simple idea in response
to one of humanity’s greatest challenges.
You are one of a group of important voices we believe can
make a difference.
Our mission? To deliver the international sustainability
movement a critical gift – the ability to talk about human
population openly, honestly and effectively.
We ask you to please review our formal invitation, below,
and then reply to this email with the simple phrase,
The GPSO Endorsers & Population Institute
affiliations of endorsers will be listed below in
What This is About
Our global ecological plight is worsening rapidly.
Arguably, a planetary ecological collapse is already
underway. Witness the Sixth Mass Extinction, melting ice
caps and glaciers, dying coral reefs and an array of other
severe, interrelated problems.
Despite valiant efforts from countless international
sustainability advocates, many agree we are already well
into overshoot of Earth’s capacity to sustain us. This
imperils not only other species and ecosystems, but
humanity’s own sustainable future.
Coverage is Lacking
Media coverage of these problems is terribly insufficient.
Particularly under-reported is the fundamental link between
the size and growth of the human population and
environmental degradation. It is no comfort that the rate
of global population growth has slowed in recent years;
both our sheer numbers and the scale of our activity are
already far beyond Earth’s sustainable limits.
We must act. Now. Change does not spring from silence.
Without getting overpopulation to the center of the public
discussion on sustainability, we literally have no chance
to end the global environmental crisis.
Unfortunately, most modern media are pro-expansion, and
public calls to address overpopulation often meet criticism
and resistance from groups with vested interests in
continued population growth. Writers and commentators fear
such groups trying to discredit them. Is it any wonder so
few want to discuss population issues under those
Power in Numbers
Last year, though, we asked an important question of
ourselves – “What if a large number of authoritative
voices, many of whom may not have emphasized the topic
previously, were to speak up all at once about the
fundamental role population has to play in planetary
We realized opponents couldn’t discredit everyone
simultaneously! And we were right.
The first annual GPSO, conducted in February 2009, was
supported by over 200 prominent people, like yourself, who
took the GPSO Pledge. That month, we documented 185
individual acts of bravery and determination. Even better,
the international media began to awaken from their long
population amnesia. We had articles and mentions in Science
Magazine, The London Times Online
and The Christian Science Monitor
also conducted radio interviews all over the United
States. Not to mention the 28 blog articles, 46
letters-to-the-editors, and 20 scholarly articles that
were produced by GPSO’s 2009 participants.
Click here to see the list of pledgers
from GPSO 2009
Click here to see the catalog of all
actions they took in GPSO 2009.
We had fun. We made a difference. We are doing it again.
A New Leader, A New Friend
For GPSO 2010, we decided to get even more hands on deck.
So, we’ve partnered with a leading international population
advocacy organization, The Population Institute
As world leaders in educating policymakers, administrators,
news media and the international public about population
issues, they will help ensure that the GPSO message reaches
far and wide.
To Make the GPSO 2010 Pledge
You need only reply to this email with the phrase,
Our website will add the names of every
participant as they submit their pledges, so please include
your title and any details to help us in listing your name.
Population Institute will keep in touch with you up to
February 2010, and then, when you do “Speak Out”,
Population Institute will post a link, description, or
other indication of what you did on their website. The
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us. Your speaking out will pave the way for
others in future GPSO campaigns, helping to permanently
weaken the taboo against public mention of this pivotal
issue. After February 2010, the global discussion of
overpopulation will come a little more easily. And the
future will finally be here.
Click here for suggestions on how you can Speak Out.
Finally, please take this opportunity to sign up
for a daily email
distributed by Population Institute President William
Ryerson. Ryerson, who also serves as President of
the Population Media Center
distributes this email to a network of over 1000
people around the world. Topics always relate to
population and sustainability, and often include
important news stories, editorials and related
Signers names and affiliations.
One of the main Assisi Nature Council’s objective is to
expand the understanding of Environmental Ethics .
Broadly speaking Environmental Ethics is an extension of
applied ethics. It is the practical application of
philosophically-based moral norms to the relation
It emerged as an academic discipline in the Anglosaxon
intellectual and emotional climate of the 1970s. Its social
roots were in a world of higher standard of living that
included the search for environmental quality of life.
The old -style “Love of Nature” sang by poets
and glorified by painters has acquired a new name:
During the transition from Conservation to Environmentalism
and its mantra.
Sustainability, we have gained in pragmatism and realism,
but we have lost something precious, the romantic core of
our view of the universe and we have substituted it with a
firm man-centred outlook. It is our intention to restore
the spirit of Nature Conservation, with its emphasis on
love , sensuous perception and emotional feeling, to the
Ethics of Sustainability.
their works ye shall know them
The Strategy for Sustainable Living "Caring for the Earth”
"To adopt the ethic for
living sustainably, people must re-examine their values and
alter their behaviour.”
This is a tall order , especially as this new ethic calls
for a complete reversal of our most cherished consumer
practices and lifestyle. The most used definition of
Sustainability is found in Our Common Future (also known as
the Brundtland Report) of 1987 :
development is development that meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs.
This message has engendered various interpretations to
suit different worldviews and human contingent needs, which
really do not demand an overhaul of our behaviour of
values. As prof. Albert Bartlett and other eminent
environmentalists notice, the term reveals contradictions
when is seen from political leaders and interest groups,
which do not have sustainability as their objectives.
Living sustainabily means limiting our aggregate ecological
footprint – less People And less Consumption , in order to
adapt to the finite size of resources and the environment,
as a whole and its carrying capacity. And these two notion
have changed and given scientific justification to
environmental economics and politics.
The Sustainable Life should relate and adapt to the finite
size of resources, ecosystems, the environment, as a whole
and its capacity to support all its inhabitants.
An ethically-inspired international initiative the Earth Charter is
a synthesis of values, principles, and aspirations that
reflect extensive international consultations conducted
over a period of many years.
These principles are also based upon contemporary science,
international law, and the insights of philosophy and
The President of the Assisi Nature Council Maria Luisa
Cohen has been involved in the drafting of the Earth
Charter, as part of an open process of participatory
consultation ever conducted in connection with an
It was presented in Assisi on the 11th December 1999, with
the title " Italians and the Earth Charter : A new lifestyle for a new
Millennium " .
The Assisi Nature Council has pledged that the following
purposes be guiding the association’s support of the
To link the EC with efforts to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals.
To promote the use of the Earth Charter in spheres
such as the fields of education, the arts and the
To educate, inform and initiate programmes on
chosen objectives of the EC
OF ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
increases 138 people per minute!
bring about destruction by overcrowding, mass starvation,
anarchy, the destruction of our most cherished values,
there is no need to do anything. We need only do nothing
except what comes naturally and breed.
Asimov, Scientist and Author
A big obstacle to understanding the interplay of
environmental degradation and population growth is the role
of politics with its pursuit of the latest fads in
environmental issues, which ignore the real problem of too
many people in a finite planet.
The Assisi Nature Council has lately decided to make this
crucial issue part of its Programme of Environmental
Ethics, as assessed dramatically by the Worldwatch
Institute in 2002:
The projected growth in population over the next
half-century may more directly affect economic progress
than any other single trend, exacerbating nearly all other
environmental and social problems....the trend that will
most affect the human prospect is an irreversible one.
Our objective is to demonstrate through
documentation and access to population links, to publicize
through conferences, seminars, letters and articles, urging
the attention of politicians and the media, that a world of
reduced population is not only desirable but necessary and
that its realization, though difficult in a short time, has
developmental benefits and is the only way out of a human
and ecological catastrophe.
Our Major links on the
The Optimum Population Trust
The subject of overpopulation and its
consequences on the environment and on our lives are
confined to the rarified sphere of academia , research
institutes , world institutions and the internet, while its
wider dissemination in the public media and therefore in
the people’s consciousness, is missing.
We aim at correcting such mysterious absence from the
public debate, presenting here
some articles and documentation regarding what we consider
one of the most important issues of our time,
The Eco-Tradition, its historical and
religious roots and its present day manifestations (action
Environmental perception, values and attitudes,
studies in environmental psychology, including the
Aesthetic dimension and theory related to landscape
meaning, beauty, transcendence, creativity.
Aesthetic judgment springs from a deep social
imperative, that invites us to live within a community of
people and landscape.
Sustainable Tourism, also known as
Eco-Tourism, which has to reverse
the destructive responsibility of much of modern mass
tourism, for the destruction of natural resources and
All these issues are addressed through Education and
Ethics as foundation for Environmental education
Environmental education concerns values and behaviour,
promotes research skills (critical observation,
documentation, analysis, etc...) and knowledge through
active involvement in environmental planning and change in
support of a sustainable environment.
It is not confined to formal schooling, but extended to
non-formal education settings.
The ecological teaching in schools, for ex., still
concentrates on the necessity of fighting pollution, as the
most important task.
But very few teachers are engaged in showing that what
happens is the inevitable consequence of our way of
thinking and that we have responsibility for our individual
Drawings from the
kids in Assisi