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The Salt Lake Tribune, July 3, 2014

Letter: Slower population growth benefits all

On July 11 people around the world will be taking part in World Population Day to raise awareness about population issues. But here in the United States, we don’t talk enough about the specific effects our exploding numbers have on wildlife, the planet and our own future.

There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we’re adding 227,000 more each day. Every eight seconds another person is born in the United States. The toll on wildlife is devastating. Species are disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the historical rate.

As we face unprecedented drought, extreme weather driven by climate change, ocean acidification and wildlife extinctions, we need to be frank about our role in it all and shift course before it’s too late. We can stabilize our population growth and save wildlife with common-sense solutions, such as universal access to family planning and reproductive health care and education for women and girls.

Future generations ought to know what it’s like to live in a world with wild grizzly bears, wolves and all the other magnificent creatures, big and small, in the web of life. But at the rate we’re growing and using up our world’s limited resources, we’ll be passing on a diminished future.

Gordon Carmichael

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton