Unitarian Universalist Statement on Survival and Population Control 1970 General Resolution

WHEREAS, two hundred scientists from fifty different countries meeting in Paris in the fall of 1968 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Organization came to the conclusion that within a period of approximately twenty years the life process on earth will be seriously threatened if not in fact dead unless major changes are made immediately; and

WHEREAS, U Thant has repeatedly warned the nations of the world that fundamental political, economic and environmental changes must be made very quickly if we are to forestall an irreversible destructive course within ten years; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that the "ecological crisis" is not just around the corner; it is here now. An estimated four million people a year — over ten thousand a day — starve to death. Millions more die from conditions caused or aggravated by environmental decay. One half of the world's people are either malnourished or undernourished. Population continues to mount at an explosive rate, creating drains on already diminishing resources. Slums, poverty, and war testify to the fact that man has not learned that he is dependent on a limited life system; and

WHEREAS, we are convinced that man's survival as a species is imperiled by his mushrooming technology and by his excessive breeding rate;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Unitarian Universalist Association:

  1. Recognize that many distinguished ecologists believe that environmental problems are not ultimately solvable by mere science or technology. A new religious emphasis is needed which includes a deep reverence for the diversity of life and understands people's dependence upon the planet's life system. Such an awareness would lead to a new life style which is balanced ecologically;
  2. Encourage the leaders of the great religions of the world to send delegates or observers to Stockholm, to the United Nations 1972 Conference on the human environment;
  3. Use its present resources in such a way that Unitarian and Universalist Churches and Fellowships increase their ecological understanding and undertake appropriate action by:
    1. giving emphasis to environmental matters in the UU world;
    2. developing materials and curricula on the religious aspect of ecology;
    3. urging Beacon Press to publish pertinent books when possible;
    4. calling upon our UUA representatives in Ottawa, Washington, DC and the United Nations to support legislation of resolution on environmental change;
    5. encouraging each society to participate in local environmental action programs;
  4. Urge the members to restrict themselves and their own future family planning to no more than two children per family except by adoption;
  5. Support the right of each individual to limit his family size through freely available contraceptive materials, abortions, and sterilization, and publicize the availability of these materials;
  6. Work with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and other groups or agencies who are working toward worldwide population control.
  1. Recognize Canada's efforts to prevent pollution of the Arctic; and
  2. Support Canada's legislation creating a 100-mile offshore pollutional control jurisdiction zone around Canada's North coast and Arctic islands;
  3. Notify the United States government and the Canadian government of the UUA's endorsement of Canada's pollution control legislation.