I read your December 2014 issue with great interest, but was rather dismayed to find that neither Secretary Kerry nor Leonardo DiCaprio specifically mentioned human population impacts on ocean deterioration in their talks. As commendable as their concerns and actions to protect our oceans may be, the remedies proposed cannot succeed over the long term without including human population stabilization. The creation of ocean reserves, and policing the breaching of such reserves against the mounting pressures to feed billions of hungry people, would be increasingly difficult or impossible!
Peter V. Fiorentino
Rosendale, New York
Thanks for all the great work you are doing. Clearly and unequivocally, it’s the growing population that’s at the root of every environmental problem I can think of. Reading “The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the Worlds’ Oceans May Be Irrevocable” left me totally depressed. Clearly family planning is the solution. I applaud you for putting the hard news and science out there.
I want to tell you I strongly support your organization. The editorials in your newsletter are superbly written and very compelling. That’s the insight and leadership that I’m motivated by to continue being a supporter.
Jim Craner, MD, MPH
I am writing to applaud your December 2014 issue on how population growth threatens our ocean. I am the author of Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a nonfiction book for ages 9-13, and I frequently speak to school-age children. While I discuss the explosion of single-use plastic that winds up in our ocean, I never before equated the problem to a growth in our world’s population. Thank you for another perspective. Your PopEd interactive story, “Code Blue: Endangered Oceans,” will be particularly helpful to me.
Thank you for bringing ocean acidification into the spotlight. Ocean health is depressingly neglected in the media and public mind. I was dismayed when even Scientific American failed to mention ocean chemistry in a recent editorial on mitigating climate change with “geoengineering.” Collapse of ocean life would make the effects of global temperature change seem like a sideshow.
Of course, anthropogenic CO2 is not the only human threat to the oceans, and Alex Renton’s article does an admirable job of highlighting the disturbing trends. Thank you for printing it. (One weakness of note, however, is the article’s discussion of pH. A change from 8.2 to 8.1 looks almost trivial. Many readers may not appreciate that pH is exponential, so a change of 0.1 is actually a 25-percent difference.)
No doubt most Population Connection members share my dismay that most social and environmental organizations won’t touch the root cause of devastating global trends. As a result, the most effective and lowest cost non-coercive solutions wither.
With the ocean issue, Population Connection has risen above all the other worthy organizations asking for my support. (It was headed there anyway.)
The latest issue of Population Connection is powerful and convincing. I wish I had the power to compel every literate person on this abused and despoiled “water planet” to read and digest it. We need more advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio who seems to be following in the footsteps of Jacques Cousteau. Keep fighting the good fight!