Kudos to the letter published in the Feb. 16 Source by Eddie Kinnamon, "Population Bill Has Come Due.” It was refreshing to read such an articulate and vigorous commentary on this subject. I'm not sure if the author was aware that February was Global Population Speak Out month, but his speaking out was timely and appreciated.
We urgently need to ignite a frank and honest international dialogue addressing the obvious: overpopulation is currently driving every major threat to the biodiversity, health and sustainability of our planet. At 6.9 billion [people] and expanding exponentially, there is little argument that we are rapidly exceeding the Earth' s carrying capacity. Combine our bloated population numbers with our seemingly limitless capacity for consumption and waste, and there is little wonder that we are currently experiencing a global extinction rate that many prominent scientists believe equates to a sixth mass extinction event. Unlike past events, however, this one clearly seems driven by the same force [behind] as our other great environmental threat: global climate change and the ever-increasing demands of an ever-increasing human population.
When and why it became politically incorrect to openly address this issue, I leave to others to ferret out. Excess human population plus excess human consumption is a recipe for potential planetary ecological catastrophe that we must urgently confront now. The empowerment of women worldwide, providing basic education to all, adopting a cultural commitment to the right of all living beings to exist, and providing universal access to family planning and birth control would, if implemented with urgency and rigor, greatly facilitate stabilizing and gradually reducing population numbers to a sustainable level.
Given that approximately 40 to 50 percent of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended – including U.S. pregnancies – it is particularly disappointing and unfortunate that the House of Representatives voted recently to cut off all federal funding to that bastion of reproductive planning and empowerment for millions of women across the U.S. for nearly a hundred years, Planned Parenthood.
Let's hope that this disastrously bad decision will be undone before it emerges from the Senate.