Blame over­con­sump­tion, not over­pop­u­la­tion

Weekend Witness - - Opinion -

I RE­FER to thee letter from Dick Joness ( The Wit­ness, May 18).8). Ar-Ar­gu­ing that over­popu-pop­u­la­tion is the prob­lem,blem, while be­ing partrt of the wealthy 20%% of the global pop­ula-ula­tion that uses 80%% of the planet’s re-re­sources, is thehe height of de­nial-al­ism.

Over­con­sump­tion­tion not over­pop­u­la­tio­n­ion is the greater prob­lem.blem. This scary re­al­i­tyeal­ity fright­ens most over-over­con­sumers to death.death. They have to findd some­one else to blame so theyy cre­ate a bo­gey­man, an imag­i­nary en­emy,y, and trot out rhetoric to jus­tify their op­u­lent­lent life­style.

It’s a proven fac­tact that one of the most ef­fec­tive ways to lower pop­u­la­tion growth and re­duce poverty is to pro­vide ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tion for girls and boys. Coun­tries in which more chil­dren are en­rolled in school, even at the ppri­mary level, tend to have strik­inglystrik­ing lower fer­til­i­tytil­ity rates. Fe­male ed­u­ca­tion is es­pe­cially im­por­tant.imp Re­search­search con­sis­con­sis­tently shows that wom­en­wom who are em­pow­ere­dem­pow throughthr ed­u­ca­tion­tio tend to haveha fewer chil­drench and haveha them later.

FoodF prices haveha risen dra­mat­i­cally.ma Food crop­scr are used for bio­fu­els to pow­er­pow mo­tor ve­hi­cleshi­cle cre­at­ing food short­ages. Cli­mate changecha is also caused by over­con­sump­tion of re­sources by the 20%. But peo­ple con­tin­ue­cont to shout the over­pop­u­la­tion myth from the rooftops of their green, leafy sub­urbs in pi­ous in­dig­na­tion.

ANDREW TAYNTON

Shong­weni

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