Population is the threat

13 January 2015 | Leicester Mercury

(Headline by Leicester Mercury)

Elizabeth Allison is one those rare campaigners who pull their punches. She tells us (Mailbox January 8) that “Greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector are estimated to account for 14.5 per cent of the total – more than all the emissions from transport” The respected scientist James Lovelock in his book ‘The Vanishing Face of Gaia’ puts it more forcefully when he asks “Did you know the exhalations of breath and other gaseous emissions by the nearly seven billion people on Earth, their pets and livestock are responsible for 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions? If you add on the fossil fuel burnt in the total activity of growing, gathering, selling and serving food, all this adds up to about half of all carbon dioxide emission… Merely by existing, people and their dependent animals are responsible for more than 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions of all the airline travel in the world.”

Elizabeth Allison’s gallant effort to prevent us destroying our earthly home will not get far: ideology and religion will block it. The dominant ideology in the west – political correctness – has established a taboo against the public discussion of population increase in the national media, and religions are dismissive of the need to control population growth so that, wherever religion is powerful, populations – and livestock numbers? – rocket upwards, as we see in Africa and the wider Middle East.

The Royal Society summarized its report People and the Planet 2012 like this: “Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment. This report gives an overview of how global population and consumption are linked, and the implications for a finite planet.”

It’s worth a read. In the meantime why not try vegetarianism?

Gerald Danaher

(The Mercury left out the first sentence and the words “respected” and “in the national media”)