Chapter Two: The Root Causes


I. Introduction

World Scientists' Warning to Humanity - appeals to protecting the environmental health of the planet by reducing population growth and consumption
II. Consumption, Technology and Population

    A. Consumption - Living in a Material World

    1. The Challenges Posed by Consumption
All-Consuming Passion: Waking Up From the American Dream - provides statistics on consumption in the U.S.

IISD Linkages: Sustainable Production and Consumption - provides a summary report of a workship on sustainable consumption and production in Norway

Eco-Labels - provides information to consumers regarding eco-labels, products that carry eco-labels, the organizations that produce eco-labels, and government and private standards for "green" products

    2. The Role of Advertising and Public Relations in Consumerism
The Sludge Hits The Fan - Chapter 8 of the book Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, examining the impact of public relations on the public's perception of environmental and other issues

3. The North-South Debate: Over-Consumption vs.Over-Population

Ecological Footprints of Nations - includes the Ecological Footprints of Nations report and slide show by the University of British Columbia, Canada; spreadsheet for the Ecological Footprint of Santiago De Chile; and the Ecological Footprints of Nations Sample Calculations of Italy, which tracks national economies' energy and resource throughput and translates them into biologically productive areas necessary to produce these flows

4. The Role of Law in Consumption

United Nations Working Group on Sustainable Product Development - provides a database on sustainable consumption resources

B. Technology: Promises, Pushes, and Perils

1. Promises of Technology

Tweed Horizons: Centre for Sustainable Technology - based in Scotland, raises awareness of sustainable technology, supports companies which have commercialisation of sustainable technology central to their business philosophy, and demonstrates sustainable technology and its relevance to economic development

Global Environment Outlook-1: Policy Responses and Directions - discusses possible resource efficiences as advocated by the Factor Ten Club

Daimler Chrysler Introduces Fuel Cell Vehicles - a corporate press release announces plans to construct 20 to 30 city buses with fuel cell technology during the next few years, providing zero emissions and low noise levels

2. Pushing Technology

Realia Group - uses experience-based, action-oriented learning tools to enable organizations to capture the competitive advantages associated with sustainability, based on ideas advanced in Stuart L. Hart's article, Strategies for a Sustainable World

Searching for the Profit in Pollution Prevention - includes a summary of findings in a report written by James Boyd with a link to the full report in PDF format, focusing on three case studies of pollution prevention-related decisionmaking at three multinational chemical manufacturers headquartered in the U.S.

3. Perils of Technology

Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India - promotes innovations and environmentally sound use of protection products to ensure high quality, abundant food, fiber and other utilising crops for the growing population in the Indian sub-continent

C. Population Growth

1. The Challenges Posed by Population

The Population-Environment Research Network - seeking to advance academic research on population and the environment by promoting on-line scientific exchange among researchers from social and natural science disciplines worldwide

The Population & Environment Linkages Service - brings comprehensive and reliable information to researchers, students, policymakers, government officials and others around the world who are working on, or concerned about, the linkage between population growth on the environment

Zero Population Growth - the oldest Non-governmental Organization focusing on population issues

Population Action International - an NGO dedicated to advancing policies and programs that slow population growth in order to enhance the quality of life for all people

Food Production, Population Growth, and Environmental Security - a 1998 report from leading experts on the interactions between ecological and economic systems

Office of Population Research - provided by Princeton University, includes data on American and European fertility and mortality, fertility and health surveys in less developed countries, and more

CIESIN Dataset Guides - offers dataset guides covering population census surveys, social and economic databanks, economic census, social surveys, and more

Environment Losing Ground To Growing Population - explaining that a Johns Hopkins School of Public Health report is warning that the increases in human population is eliminating natural ecosystems and threatening public health

ENN Population Quiz - test your knowledge about the world's population

2. The Role of Law in Population

United Nations Population Fund - includes information on the International Conference on Population and Development

The Cairo Conference homepage - held in 1994, containing all relevant documents and information on the UN International Conference on Population and Development

3. Next Steps for Population

International Conference on Population and Development - held in June 1999 Cairo Conference 5 year review

Homepage for the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) - held in June 1996 and related issues

III. Cultural Values and Norms

A. Consumer Culture and Deep Ecology

What is Deep Ecology? - article by Stephan Harding, explaining the deep ecology platform as an ecosophy

The Journal of Simple Living - inspires and supports people to simplify their lives

United States Agency for International Development: GreenCOM - works with developing country community groups, schools, and government agencies on strategies that can produce measurable behavior change to promote environmentally sustainable development

B. Environmental Ethics

A Very Brief History of the Origins of Environmental Ethics for the Novice- includes an overview of environmental ethics and informational links

The Millenium Institute - Homepage of the Millenium Institute, a broad alliance of NGOs, international organizations, governments, religious organizations, corporations, educational institutions

Environmental Ethics & Public Policy Program - a core project of the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School

C. Organized Religion

National Religious Partnership for the Environment - a federation of major American faith communities with a goal to integrate commitment to global sustainability and environmental justice permanently into all aspects of religious life

The Noah Fund- provides a socially responsible fully-invested growth fund based on Biblical principles

IV. Education

President's Council On Sustainable Development - advised President Clinton on sustainable development and developed new approaches to achieve economic, environmental, and equity goals.

Earth Force - helps youths discover and implement lasting solutions to environmental problems in their communities

The Natural Step - a non-profit environmental education organization working to build an ecologically and economically sustainable society

University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program - offers undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental studies, providing interdisciplinary coursework in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, management, public policy, design, and law

EE-Link - provides links to environmental education resources on the internet