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Overpopulation

Newspapers give us history in small daily doses nearly as ephemeral as the spoken news on radio and TV, but it is printed news and can be assembled into a kind of graph showing trends in the fears and interests of readers over time. News stories change as we change.

The news we read today is filled with new things; the many kinds of environmental pollution, mass starvation, and the formation of a permanent world population of refugees and homeless people. Even if you and I escape industrial poisoning for the moment and don’t have to step around bloated bellies, we are beginning to realize that no place on Earth is safe forever in our highly interconnected modern world.

This is not the kind of news we used to read, for today there is a missing ingredient, the sense of hope for improvement that went with bad news even during the Great Depression.

Something else is missing from the hail of disaster stories that now pelt readers; a recognition of the underlying, basic cause of shattered societies and poisoned air: overpopulation.

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We are twice as numerous in the world today as when I was 60 years younger and it is this fact, numbers alone, that we must talk about, read about in newspapers, and finally do something about. Survival and population control and international action will fill tomorrow’s newspapers.

WILLARD OLNEY

Hesperia


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