This book has legs that will carry it around the world. Indeed, it must!!
Valorie Allen’s research and writing are essential to understanding how human society can settle down into a sustainable path. We are not just in a climate crisis; we are in a full-scale ecological crisis. Ms. Allen writes about the global effects of human population growth, one of the driving factors of our ecological dilemma. All pathways out of our ecological catastrophe require the contraction of human enterprise. In this book, Ms. Allen clearly articulates the importance of addressing both twin towers of our crisis—consumption and population. Fortunately, there are non-coercive ways to reverse human population growth that offer other social gains, primarily universal women’s rights and universally available contraception. Ms. Allen’s book is part of a third important focus: public education.
Rex Weyler — a founder of Greenpeace International; author of Greenpeace: The Inside Story, Blood of the Land, and other books. He writes the ecology blog, Deep Green.
Population growth is not a victimless crime. It hurts those already here and further damages a planet reeling from over-exploitation by too many people wanting and exhorted by unscrupulous leaders to acquire and consume too much stuff. Every hectare of farmland paved over with more houses and every bit of added energy demand makes it harder for future generations to ensure food security and renewable energy resilience. Val Allen’s books are treasure troves of information and perspective serving up a veritable researchers’ bonanza while still carrying any interested reader through the whys and wherefores of the biophysical threats we face and up to a new and well-grounded awareness.
John Erik Meyer — author; president of Canadians for Sustainable Society
Val Allen’s book is a crash course on the population issue. It examines the history of human population growth, its connections to all other environmental problems, the factors that influence it, the people and the organizations trying to do something about it, the impediments to addressing it, the growth promoters and deniers, and much more. It is a trove of information both for novices and for those who have had a long-standing interest in the issue. It can serve as both an inspiration and tool kit for anyone who wants to do something about the problem.
Dr. Madeline Weld — President, Population Institute Canada
Val Allen’s book is a great resource for students to learn about population and its connection with numerous vital issues. It makes those links admirably well.
Bill Ryerson — founder and president of Population Media Center; chair of the board of the Population Institute
AWARD WINNING BOOK
"In a world reeling from environmental, social, political and economic crisis, the vast majority of elected people, scientists, citizens and media doggedly prolong their failure to even address, let alone deal with the driving fore behind this turmoil -- massive and escalating human overpopulation. This book is a brave and rare effort to step into the gap and shine light on humankind's most critical and threatening failure."
Dr. Brian L. Horejsi,
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Endorsements for POPULATION IN SYNC Presentation:
"The Original Lethbridge Business Breakfast Club recently had the pleasure of hearing a presentation from Valorie Allen on the subject of the population crisis. She not only shed a light on population concerns, but examined why we should be concerned, and what, as ordinary citizens, we can do to contribute to the solution. She is extremely knowledgeable about this topic, surpassed only by her tremendous passion for population control. Members of our group left the presentation with a much clearer understanding of the issue, as well as of the implications of continued inaction. We were extremely pleased to have her as a guest presenter, and would be pleased to welcome her back for a follow-up presentation in the future." Amanda Jensen
Original Lethbridge Business Breakfast Club ~
"We have waited a long time for a book like this. In the clearest terms, Growing Pains provides the reasons why we need to reduce the world’s population and gives us the how-to information required to get on with the job. Val Allen lists things anyone can do right now, regardless of the size of their family, to help humanity overcome its greatest threat. Buy this book, read it and pass it on. We should all take its message to heart.”
Ben Gadd, award-winning naturalist
"The Growing Pains presentation was informative and motivating. It resonated with our Vegan Potluck because it addressed the current state and future of humanity. We strive as a group to positively affect our world, and this presentation has helped us to do just that. Growing Pains reinforced our belief that there are not enough resources on this planet for a wasteful animal consuming society. As vegans we are equally committed to making responsible choices that include proper family planning. To solve global problems we must be willing to question the traditions that caused them. We hope that the world will recognize the Growing Pains it is feeling and correct itself before things get worse."
-The Lethbridge Vegan Potluck
ENDORSEMENTS for POPULATION IN SYNC Presentation:
"In January 2013, Val Allen, the author of "Growing Pains" spoke to my 3rd year Environmental Quality class at Lethbridge College. She had prepared an excellent powerpoint presentation titled "Population in Sync" which was the basis for a lesson linking the human population explosion to environmental quality and human quality of life. Val engaged the students in several discussions and gave them much to think about. The presentation was very professional and well-delivered and a great asset to the course."
Instructor, Lethbridge College
*1994 WON CANADIAN VOLUNTEER AWARD
*1995 Completed graduate Course of Study at the Institute of Children’s Literature
*2010 iUniverse Editor's Choice Award
* 2010 PARIS BOOK FETIVAL AWARD
*2011 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD in New York
* 2013 Green Book Festival Award
GROWING PAINS – A PLANET IN DISTRESS By VALORIE M. ALLEN
A review by Dr. Vivian Pharis, former president of the Alberta Wilderness Association
Some books are known to change people’s lives. Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring is one such book that changed many. Now, out of SW Alberta comes a book by Val Allen that could and should be another life changer. Growing Pains is an extremely timely compendium of logical, reasonable thoughts made by those who have clearly considered where the human obsession with growth has come from and where it is pushing us to go. Her work is designed to galvanize people’s actions on what is clearly the single most critical issue facing humankind, and the one underlying and under scoring most of the world’s intractable problems – that being too many of us demanding too much from one small planet. Anticipating a new global movement, Growing Pains points to possible, rational routes through the morass of growth that can lead the world to a stable future, but time is critical.
Val’s book is not a doom and gloomer, rather, it’s an eye opener, and a very readable and compelling one too. Through her book, Val delves into each of the major issues confronting global stability, including poverty, endless wars, brinksmanship and fear, climate change, failure of our economic model, failure of feminism, man’s inhumanity to man, and the loss of biodiversity, fresh water and wilderness. She relates how each is being driven by uncontrolled growth, particularly of our own numbers and of our insatiable appetite for resources.
While many of us realize we cannot continue to ride this escalator where we now seem trapped into always needing more, most of us have no idea how to jump off. Val knows though, and her ideas for change, gleaned from extensive research into the ramifications of growth, are logical, understandable and even doable. Growing Pains is a book of fact, explanation, hope and practicality. Through her book, a compelling case is built that entreats people to divert attention and efforts in a gargantuan way towards the most fundamentally vital of causes – the reduction of population and consumption. As you read Growing Pains the realization sets in that the long and good fights by environmentalists, anti-poverty groups, world aid groups, and so on, are all for naught as every gain is soon overwhelmed by the pressures of more growth. If population and consumption levels could fall towards sustainability, almost all of the other major world problems would diminish correspondingly. Only recently the Optimal Population Society of Britain made the point that the most efficient and cost effective way to stem climate change is to increase contraception.
In the words of Sir David Attenborough, “Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of the environment.” Growing Pains is full of apt quotations, but none better sums the crux of what Val Allen has achieved through the distilling of many thoughts on a matter so convoluted, controversial and crucial as growth, than Victor Hugo’s “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” What Val Allen has done is expose the myths and explode the taboos about our own devastating fecundity and bring logic and reason into play to counter it. She shows it is possible to take hold of the population juggernaut and wrestle it into reasonable order. Yes we can! This idea has legs that will carry it around the world! Yes, it must! ~
FOREWORD by Dr. Madeline Weld -- President, Population Institute of Canada
Val Allen has written a very readable book on a very serious subject—Earth’s human population in overshoot. Her book provides plenty of facts and data, but it does much more than that. It also reaches us at an emotional level and invites us to consider what we are destroying and to mourn the loss we are inflicting upon ourselves even as we decimate other life-forms.
For those who will consider it and connect a very few dots, the evidence of what we are doing has become incontrovertible. And yet, as stated in Growing Pains, “Never before on this planet have so many inhabitants been so misinformed about something that is so important and urgent, as with the population issue.” Allen illustrates with examples how, at many levels, political priorities are misguided, to say the least. She also describes the futility of so many of the “solutions” to our environmental, social, and economic problems, because they ignore the Real problem—that infinite growth of population and consumption on a finite planet is impossible.
Humankind’s most noble objectives, such as human rights for all as endorsed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, will not be attainable in a world in which overpopulation is unraveling the web of life. Allen offers some rays of hope. She uses citations from and describes the efforts of many population activists and scientists. A quote from Victor Hugo reads, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Perhaps the increased reporting on population that is now starting to occur reflects the slowly dawning awareness among a critical mass of people that we humans are biological organisms that can and indeed have exceeded the carrying capacity of our environment. Val Allen’s straightforward book is a great tool to help spread this idea whose time has most certainly come. ~
What does world's most trusted book critic, KIRKUS, say about my book:
"In her debut, Allen warns against overpopulation and exhausting the Earth’s ever-dwindling resources.
The author argues that although human beings crave nature, their arrogance and “anthropocentrism” has led to a depleted
and unsustainable environment. She compares this human-centered view of ecology to the ancient theory that the Earth is the center of the universe. Like a modern-day Copernicus, the author seeks to challenge the “universal consciousness” of Earth’s “wise hominids.”
She argues that mankind’s uncontrolled consumption produces waste, extinction and
poverty, threatening not just the planet, but mankind’s very existence. Allen uses compelling facts and statistics while
listing the numerous causes of humanity’s accelerated growth. For example, she contends that although “most religions”
address family planning openly, some governments “coerce” mothers into parenthood.
At the other extreme, she cites the
striking decline in Iran’s birthrate, accomplished, she writes, through religious edicts. She discusses at length the Vatican’s stand against contraception and abortion and also reminds readers that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke presciently about family planning’s importance.
Although she points out various efforts and partnerships that offer
possible overpopulation solutions, some ideas may be more achievable than others.
For example, the Ontario-based
Sustainable Scale Project advocates the implementation of a “1.5 children per family policy” by 2100. The author covers
the end of life, as well, including her thoughts on right-to-die issues. Allen’s well-argued book bravely tackles a subject that, as she notes, is “taboo” even among some environmentalists......
An informative, passionate treatise on the impact of population growth.
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744