Readers React

Fewer babies today, a better world tomorrow

To the editor: It is refreshing to find that not every economist links economic growth to population growth. As authors Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason indicate, a growing population has its own costs, such as building schools. ("Are our low birthrates and aging population threatening the economy?," Op-Ed, Nov. 12)

They do not mention that a growing population means increased resource consumption. As easily accessible resources are depleted, we turn to those less accessible, which have higher economic and environmental costs, such as offshore oil.

We need to make more policymakers aware of Lee's and Mason's conclusion that "more childbearing today would make everyday Americans worse off now and in the future."

Ric Oberlink, Berkeley

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To the editor: Thanks to Lee and Mason for opening this discussion. However, they do not mention the effect of a ballooning human population on the environment and climate.

Humans have managed to survive and adapt for some 200,000 years. There is no reason to believe that we cannot continue to do so in the future, assuming that we do not destroy the planet in the process.

Please, advance discussions on this and include the balance of development and water availability.

Georgia Goldfarb, Malibu

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