Some Americans recognize the urgency of reversing the world’s human population growth, and only a few environmental organizations make overpopulation a top priority. For many people, the mistaken myth that we can keep growing in numbers – and believing that economic growth is tied to population growth – is threatening to unravel life on earth as we have known it. Human population has ballooned from about one billion people in 1800 to nearly eight billion in 2020. Even more alarming is that from 2011 to 2022 we added another billion people, (“Feeling crowded? World population hits 8 billion,” Nov. 15).
Is it acceptable for one species to cause the disappearance of other species, each species with a seldom understood ecological function within this global living system? Is it okay to bring about the likely extinction of the elephant, the giraffe, the tiger, the zebra? What about the loss of our old growth forests, pollution of our rivers and oceans, and food and water shortages all because of too many people on this small planet?
Let’s not kid ourselves that we can do business as usual, paying little heed to human population growth trends and the negative effects our increased numbers have on the fragile, yet beautiful, web of life on this blue planet.
Greg Jacob, Hillsboro