Rooted in a philanthropic tradition that supports vital causes whether or not they are embraced by popular culture, Colcom Foundation promotes efforts that address the chief cause of the Sixth Mass Extinction – human overpopulation.
The sixth mass extinction, caused primarily by human activities, is a global phenomenon affecting all regions of the world, including North and South America.
The United States, in particular, has a high concentration of endangered and threatened species. According to the United States Environmental Agency (EPA), there are over 1,300 species listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This includes Bryde’s whale, of which there are only about 40 left in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Massasauga, a small rattlesnake native to Pennsylvania, which is considered an “umbrella” species, meaning its protection impacts other species sharing all or some of the same environmental requirements.
One major driver of the sixth mass extinction in America is habitat loss and fragmentation. This is primarily caused by human activities such as uncontrolled immigration, deforestation, urbanization, and agriculture. As natural habitats are destroyed or altered, species lose their homes and the ability to find food and mates, which can lead to population declines and even extinction.
Colcom Foundation believes that the ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction is the moral equivalent of genocide against the natural world and civilizational self-destruction. By funding efforts related to immigration, family planning, conservation, and research, the Foundation hopes to address the root causes of the Sixth Mass Extinction and support solutions that promote the coexistence of humans and the natural world, restoring biodiversity, addressing the impacts of overpopulation and unsustainable consumption, and promoting a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
Immigration has been a crucial factor in shaping the demographics of the United States. According to recent data, immigration accounts for 88 percent of US population growth. Colcom Foundation supports NumbersUSA, Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Center for Immigration Studies’ efforts to advance a public conversation on sustainable immigration policy.
By reducing current immigration levels, Colcom Foundation believes the goal of stabilizing and gradually decreasing the US population can be achieved, which can help reduce the country’s ecological footprint and begin to shrink the US population by 2040.
In the area of Conservation, The Colcom Foundation Revolving Fund for Local Land Trusts, operated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, offers financial aid in the form of short-term loans to land trusts and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to preserving open space and conserving high-priority properties. This funding is specifically designed to help support these organizations in their conservation efforts.
To grow awareness, educate and inform, Colcom Foundation provides funding for the Environmental Update segment of The Allegheny Front, an award-winning public radio program covering environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Front has been honored with journalism awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association, Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Colcom Foundation also funds access to environmental justice through its financial support of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm committed to the “enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies; and providing legal representation to allow equal access to the environmental decision-making process and to foster equal protection under the law for the health, preservation and restoration of natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment.”
In addition, The Foundation supports a variety of other causes and programs, including The Student Conservation Association, a youth conservation service organization that focuses on “empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources.”
Colcom Foundation’s values revolve around the belief in the equal value, dignity, and humanity of each individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, political ideology, sex, gender, or nationality, and the fundamental American ideal and pursuit of liberty and justice for all. The Foundation is committed to fostering conversations that include viewpoint diversity and evidence and rationality-guided public conversation.
Colcom Foundation believes that “multi-stakeholder, pluralistic public discourse is the lifeblood of healthy democracies.” The Foundation is dedicated to fostering open debate among diverse perspectives and beliefs, with the understanding that “the marketplace of ideas, composed of open debate among diverse perspectives and beliefs, is the fertile ground from which knowledge springs. “
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