October 1994

Our population numbers and material demands now exceed the sustainable capacities of our biological support systems. Under such conditions, every community and political jurisdiction has the independent responsibility to restore the activities within its boundaries, and the impacts of those activities outside of its boundaries, to sustainable levels. We also have the responsibility to refocus our actions onto improving our real wealth and quality of life rather than increasing our material consumption.

In the past, public responsibility for "growth management" has been considered to mean only planning for effective accommodation of growth in population or demands, which were expected and considered desirable. That is no longer adequate. We must also avoid all growth which does not contribute to sustainable community well-being. Every jurisdiction needs to ensure that the demands and actions of its population do not exceed or contribute to exceeding the capabilities of the natural and cultural systems which support life. Our communities need to realize that excessive material consumption is destructive of our real wealth, and to nurture what does constitute that real wealth.

This public responsibility includes actions necessary to ensure our society is rooted in and fully embodies these qualities:


* To ensure all people have equitable access to and share of wealth, health, income, security, education, opportunity, respect, political power, and fulfilling work.

* To ensure that all life has scope to ensure well-being and development of innate capabilities.


* To remove the inequities of power, self-esteem, opportunity, resource access, and emotional health which form the base of fear and insecurity.

* To realize that biosystem health, a lasting supply of world resources, and the capabilities of human and global systems - not material consumption rates - constitute our real wealth. To act to ensure and improve the health and capabilities of these resources.


* To stabilize and restore population to sustainable levels commensurate with the well-being of all life.

* To draw materials and energy only from sustainable sources and at sustainable rates.

* To work within those sustainable energy and material use levels to both improve our non-material quality of life and more effectively provide for our material needs.



* To acknowledge the primacy of immaterial rewards in personal and community health and develop giving-based principles of interaction which honor the contribution of all life to what we hold of value.

* To replace our violent forms of obtaining food and resources with ones which are based on consensus and fulfilling the needs of all parties

* To ensure all have roles in the community which offer meaningful self-esteem, mutual respect, and being of value to the community of all life.


* To acknowledge that our greatest cultural problems are at root diseases of the spirit. To act to improve the spiritual, mental, psychological and community dimensions of our real wealth and their expression in our communities.

* To seek the wisdom and connectedness to restore well-being to all of creation and purpose and meaning to our lives.

Tom Bender
38755 Reed Rd.
Nehalem OR 97131 USA
© 20 October 1994