More people, more emissions, more damage

Date: Monday 8th April 2019

CLIMATE change is a favourite subject in letters to the Herald and similar newspapers (e.g. ”Urgent action needed to tackle climate change”, 30th March).

Unfortunately, this subject is very reminiscent of the other top subject these days: Brexit. This is failing because most MPs, although expressing (and indeed voting) for the “will of the people” are Remainers and work to frustrate Brexit.

Likewise, most people express a desire to reduce their impact on the environment, but do quite the opposite. They have more holidays, in more distant places, buy bigger cars (e.g. the BMW “Mini” is now huge), drive longer distances, use more Internet (servers now account for a substantial fraction of electrical usage), buy and dump more “stuff” and show little actual intention of cutting back in spite of their expressed wishes.

Reduction of our carbon footprint is necessary. Not only are our lifestyles too lavish, but the country is severely overpopulated and environmental degradation is widespread.

It is true that Africans have a per capita low CO2 production, but it is growing rapidly. Moreover, the populations of many countries in Africa and Asia are growing explosively.

This is the main threat to the planet: more people, more emissions, more damage to the environment — an unsustainable situation.

Something must be done to limit population growth before Armageddon (also called “mass extinction”) does the job.