The Population Bomb is Ticking Here Too
Editor, Simcoe Reformer,
Plaudits to Monte Sollenberg for giving readers the facts of life. (“Another Mouth to Feed” , Sept 24/09). Both climate change and the loss of biodiversity services---which is the more dangerously imminent but under-publicized threat to humanity---are driven by population growth. But it is the migration of people from nations of low ecological footprints to nations of high footprints that is most critical. One typical immigrant to the United States, for example, quadruples his green house gas emissions upon arrival, and thereby hastens the timetable of our collective demise.
Sermonizing about our excessive consumption does not address the reality that inhabitants of a cold country like Canada, cannot reduce their energy consumption ad infinitum. Reversing population growth in Canada--- dependent on fossil fuels to grow crops on less than 5% of its land base--- is even more urgent than pursuing that goal abroad. Only a sustainable Canada will be in a position to assist more unfortunate countries. And we can’t achieve sustainability by cutting our per capita consumption in half and then doubling our population.