Letter: Isle of Wight proves a flaky analogy

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The Independent Online
Sir: In response to Trevor Pankhurst's question (Letters, 24 December), the world's population would not fit into the Isle of Wight. Simple division reveals that the island's 381 square kilometres would provide each of the world's 5,500 million inhabitants with an area of only 6.9 square centimetres, about the size of a postage stamp.

Even allowing for standing room only (four people per square metre), the world's population would need three Isles of Wight to accommodate it. However, it is of greater significance that every two seconds there are nine births and three deaths somewhere on the globe. This means the population is increasing by 1 million every four days, the equivalent of 1,000 jumbo jets arriving every day.

We agree that the current Kellogg's advertisement trivialises the problems the world faces as a result of the current population explosion. A better fact to demonstrate the magnitude of the crisis facing the planet is that in only 16 years, even at the current population growth rate, an additional area the size of the Isle of Wight will be required to accommodate all the extra people.

Yours faithfully,




London, W9

6 December