Letter: Disaster is not inevitable from population growth

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The Independent Online
Sir: On Tuesday you reported on the dangers of over-population (22 February). Perhaps this taboo subject can at last be taken out of the closet. Too many of our problems, from global warming to the protection of Sites of Special Scientific Interest, are fundamentally a consequence of too many people. It surely isn't rational to aim at small reductions in the damage we are doing while refusing to recognise the impact of a further doubling of the global population.

Perhaps at last we will see the political parties put population on the agenda. We should be aiming for a reduction in the UK population to somewhere around 12 million - the sort of number that we could support indefinitely from our own resources.

A serious programme, based on persuasion not coercion, could set an example for other developed countries and give us the moral authority, and the experience, to help the developing world to address their population problems. In many ways it is more urgent that we trim our numbers because of the profligacy with which we consume the world's resources.

We have a stark choice: control our numbers, or condemn future generations to misery.

Your faithfully,

MARTIN ANDERSON

Newbury,

Berkshire

23 February

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