Thanks to Boyd Wilcox and Mark Weiss for letters (June 27, July 9) about overpopulation. Theirs are voices crying in the wilderness, trying to save humankind’s apparent determination to self-destruct.
We cannot survive relentless human population growth. A sustainable population (continuing into the distant future) with a livable environment and with the survival of organisms upon which we depend requires a large reduction of the human population.
When population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth, tragedy results. The environment is severely damaged, people suffer, mass migration occurs, violence and disease spread, wars may start, and other species are driven to extinction.
The environmental destruction that has begun is self-sustaining and difficult to reverse. Example: ice sheets reflect the heat of Sol (our star). When global warming melts them, the resulting water absorbs heat, speeding global warming. More ice melts even faster.
The main cause of global warming, flooding by rising seas, worsening storms, desertification, massive forest fires, and so on, is rarely mentioned. It is ever-growing human population.
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Solutions to overpopulation are almost never mentioned. We’re all in this together. We must reduce our world population to a sustainable level. Education of all people and the provision of free birth control and abortion is a start. As this is slow and many ethnic and religious groups may not cooperate, I suggest that all people who have had two or more children be sterilized.
We have it in our power to stop and reverse this growing disaster, but we have little time left.
Corvallis (July 10)