Letter: World population explosion is concerning

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I'm just an old guy, so I probably shouldn't have to worry about this for myself. But I am concerned for the grandchildren and coming generations.

The following statistics are quite threatening for the future and portend nearly inevitable catastrophic consequences that could easily be felt during our grandchildren's lifetimes:

In 1950, there were about 2.5 billion people in the world. Today, we have 7.5 billion. If the next 65 or 70 years have the same rate of increase, then about 25 billion people will populate the world. Because of religious influences, it is almost impossible to halt or reverse this trend.

It's not hard to see that tremendous social and economic and ecological problems lie ahead. We'll see shortages of food and polluted water; not to mention housing and jobs for billions of people when robots and automation displace manual laborers.

Melting glaciers and rising sea levels will render some coastal areas uninhabitable. Rising global temperatures and more extreme weather events will cause stress on the earth's resources and ability to provide for the flood of humanity.


It is unrealistic to assume that these future population trends and accompanying ecological effects and pressures will somehow resolve themselves. They won't, and it's a ticking time bomb. Yet naysayers in our government think only about the next election and how to retain power in the short term. Taxes are slashed, the already huge debt is increased in order to promote short-term prosperity so as to appeal to voters without thought of the effects on future generations. It's similar to an individual who really can't afford it abusing available credit to purchase an unneeded gigantic house, new SUV and all the goodies that go with it. Delayed gratification is now considered old-fashioned.

My Norwegian immigrant grandparents and my Depression-era parents instilled in me better values than that. If they were alive today, they would probably say, "Uff da! What's this world coming to?" Only God knows for sure.

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