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We can’t fight climate change without addressing overpopulation

Letter to the editor by Robert Johnson, originally published 3 Sept 2023 in the LA Times here. Photo by Irfan Khan for the Los Angeles Times.

To the editor: Thank you for the critically important compilation of articles on our planet’s climate emergency. However, there was one conspicuous omission: None of the articles dared broach the taboo subject of overpopulation.

As you may know, our lovely planet is overrun with humans. Some scientists who study population have estimated the Earth’s carrying capacity at current per-capita consumption rates to be around 2 billion. Yet we are at 8 billion and still adding some 82 million people annually.

If we are truly serious about mitigating climate change — let alone saving the coral reefs, reducing air and water pollution, protecting habitat, avoiding mass extinction and, yes, even curtailing wars, famine and the desperate migrations the world ‘round — we somehow have to muster the courage to address the primary cause of them all.

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