Letters to the Editor
March 2016

The cover of the December 2015 issue of Population Connection states: “Next U.S. president could help tens of thousands of women and girls with the stroke of a pen.” Why should we wait that long? Marian Starkey points out that Population Connection has been pushing President Obama in this direction. We should push even harder and get Obama to sign an executive order that clarifies the Helms amendment now, to save the lives of some of the 47,000 women who die each year from botched abortions.

George Webb, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
College of Medicine, University of Vermont

We agree, and continue to push President Obama to act. We have submitted a petition with some 700,000 signatures urging action and, with allied organizations, continue to make the case. But even if President Obama does act, we need the next occupant of the White House to be fully engaged and committed to ensuring that the policy change is implemented. That’s why we’re working to make sure that every candidate—in both parties—is asked about this topic and pushed to take a stand.

—Brian Dixon, VP of Media and Government Relations

After the excellent attention given to water in the July 2015 issue of Population Connection, it is sad but important to note the extent to which potable water supplies around the world are being poisoned with arsenic. This topic, reported in the January 2016 issue of Scientific American, is primarily the result of growing populations in India and elsewhere.

Gale Corson
Santa Rosa, California

When will our “leaders” get it? When will someone of high political influence have the courage to bring the topic of human overpopulation to the forefront of discussion in a public forum? When will the impacts of human overpopulation become a topic or even a question during the presidential debates? Why is it such a taboo topic of discussion? How can we change that?

It is only when our political leaders have the sense that discussion of this topic will not bring an end to their respective candidacies that we will have a chance to make the necessary larger strides towards change.

As I have stated in letters to several environmental, conservation, and wildlife organizations, members of the congressional delegation from my home state of Rhode Island, and the Vatican (shortly before Pope Francis succeeded Pope John Paul), climate change and human overpopulation are the two biggest issues of our time. We cannot expect to effectively deal with the impacts of climate change, nor stop fueling that fire, without addressing and resolving the human overpopulation crisis.

Keep up the good work and keep pressing for change. Somehow you/we need to find some major political leaders that are willing to start discussing this topic in major public forums, and hopefully it will be the topic of a presidential debate this year. For without it, we will simply continue to monitor the negative impacts with no apparent end in sight.

Dave Brunetti
Harrisville, Rhode Island

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