Letters to the Editor, September 2021

Published: September 13, 2021

I just finished reading the June 2021 issue of Population Connection and want to report on my bipolar experience reading it. First, I read the shattering report on life in the Sahel with overpopulation, climate change, abuse of women, lack of women’s rights, and starvation and was just in a state of deep despair.  While still reeling from that experience, I went on to the “news” of the UK cutting aid to UNFPA by 85 percent and the ongoing attack on women and reproductive rights in Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

But then I read the report of highlights from this year’s World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest. Seeing all of these bright young people, of all ethnicities and genders, with their inquiring, intelligent, and concerned minds, together with their creativity in bringing such important ideas and information to so many people, was genuinely elating.  As I said, a bipolar experience!

Michael A. Kalm, M.D.

Thank you for the electronic version of the latest issue of Population Connection—it is excellent and highly informative. Your articles in general fearlessly address the nexus between population pressure, political-societal instability, and misery among humans, while not neglecting climate and environmental issues. Kudos!

And, yes, as another writer of a letter to the editor wrote, we need to pay more attention to the responsibilities and reproductive health of men. Men can have many more children in their lifetime than women and can use their status and greater physical strength to pressure women into having children. While women’s and children’s health care remain a primary concern, perhaps the time has come to talk increasingly about social mores and attitudes among men that need to be addressed in our effort to stabilize and reduce the human overabundance.

And finally, thank you for taking an official stand in the press regarding the antediluvian attitude that the human population needs to grow in order to grow the economy to serve a growing human population, etc. ad infinitum.

Dominique Homberger

Thank you for your response to an inaccurate and highly subjective New York Times article. The front-page article inaccurately reported that world population was in decline. The authors’ gloomy wording and tone expressed a blindly pessimistic attitude toward this imagined decline.

Equally biased was the authors’ dismissive statement that “there is no guarantee that a smaller population means less stress on the environment.” While no future projection is ever “guaranteed,” it has become increasingly obvious to most of us that human overgrowth goes hand in hand with environmental degradation.

Marie Galletti Mitchell

I just wanted to say bravo for your response to the NYT article on sliding population growth. Your much broader and more ethical viewpoint on this subject, especially towards the poorest countries in the world, was very welcome to those of us who were thinking, “Really?” after reading the Times article.

Carol Sternkopf