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We’re hearing mixed messages about the state of our planet and the people on it. On the one hand, census reports show that the United States, which is struggling to deal with its current carbon footprint in order to protect future generations from climate change, will become a lot more crowded in years to come. Yet some thought leaders in Washington are pushing for faster growth “because it will help us sustain our labor force” and “increase consumer demand for lots of products that young people and young adults and young householders need.” 

Businesses may benefit in the short term from a growing supply of workers competing against each other for jobs and long lines of customers to buy their goods and services, but the long term effects are much less clear. The approach raises many questions and highlights the mixed messages we’re receiving. Doesn’t this growth make it harder to mitigate climate change, which is already a major issue? Does having more kids mean less time and energy will be invested in each child? How does crowding affect kids’ quality of life, the connection between people and their community, their connection to nature, and our ability to work together to define the future? Are we all better off, in the long run, with small families working together to invest more in each child?

These are important questions, and they need answering. Let’s start the conversation

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