2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Limits to Growth study. If we had paid more attention to this study, numerous crises we face today might have been avoided. Please read our petition letter and take the Pledge to Think Small. Do your part to help us return to a sustainable civilization.
1. I recognize our population and economies have grown beyond a size the Earth can sustainably support. I realize our beautiful Earth is small when we visit 7 billion people upon it. I acknowledge Earth’s resources are not unlimited.
2. I pledge to change my life. I will do my part to bring the scale of the human presence on Earth back into sustainable equilibrium. I will scale back my footprint on the planet while increasing joy and fulfillment. I will set an example for my friends, neighbors and children.
a. I will bring into this world no more than two children. If I’ve already produced more than two, I will not produce more.
b. I will take steps to get out of debt and stay out of debt.
c. I will continually strive to “live small,” reducing the size of my ecological footprint with conscious, responsible decisions and actions about energy and materials consumption.
d. I will work less and spend less. When I’m able, I’ll share my job with someone who needs one.
e. I will loan and borrow items that aren’t needed daily. When I must acquire goods, I’ll seek quality goods that last. I will buy used and buy local.
3. I pledge to change the system. I withdraw my participation in, and support for, societal activities and public policies that encourage, accelerate, or rely on growth in population, resource extraction or energy consumption.
a. I will inform my elected representatives that further economic or population growth are indicators of failure rather than success. I will give them permission to pursue stability or contraction.
b. I will insist on elimination of growth subsidies (These include most urban renewal incentives, tax increment financing, enterprise zones, utilities tap fees that don’t recover full cost, impact fee abatements, most economic development incentives, and tax breaks and other financial benefits for larger families.)
c. I will support public policies that fully connect the costs of growth with the behavior.
d. I will root out antiquated metrics, strategic plans, and language that reinforce the old growth-seeking paradigm.