I found the article about overpopulation in California to be a breath of fresh air ("Infinite Ingress," by Lee Green, Jan. 25). How can such a huge problem seem so obvious and yet receive no discussion from national or local politicians, or any media coverage until now? There is no easy cure, so politicians don't discuss it. Maybe this article will start the dialogue.
Immigration, both legal and illegal, and the birth rates of immigrants account for the bulk of our state's unquestioned overpopulation. It is not racist to recognize these significant factors. As the son of an Auschwitz survivor, I can safely say that I would avoid any appeal to racism or ethnic bigotry. I acknowledge that many immigrants who come here do so with the best intentions. However, it is a question of numbers and of our state and nation's carrying capacity.
Californians for Population Stabilization
California can easily welcome 24 million more residents. However, it cannot absorb 24 million more motorists. If we continue to pursue outdated, wasteful and expensive "dumb growth" policies that promote automobile-dependent sprawl, then our paradise will be severely threatened. California must embrace "smart growth" practices that provide alternatives to driving and facilitate walking, bicycling and public transit.
California Bicycle Coalition
I have lived in Southern California for most of my 40 years. I have seen the changes, and I'm not surprised at the lack of care by California politicians. I plan to leave for a place where I can buy a home on a teacher's salary and not face such growth problems.
The problem of immigration is going to continue until birth rates fall in the Third World. If we want to live in a country worth living in, we have to find the guts to reduce levels of legal immigration and stop tolerating illegal immigration with a wink and a nod.
Someone needs to tell immigrants that it's OK to use birth control, and that it's desirable to have small families. Perhaps that "someone" is the pope. Until the Vatican addresses its stance on family planning for poor, undereducated and underemployed Catholics, California's population numbers and problems will continue to increase.
I recently visited friends in Henderson, on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The region is growing at an incredible rate, and at the bottom of the morning news program was a reminder that water rationing is in place. Yet new residents move into new homes there. Where will the water come from? What has happened to planning for the future?
Why do we unimaginatively and incorrectly believe that coercion is the only tool in our kit, and that growth is inevitable? By harnessing the power of advertising, education and incentives, California can successfully deal with growth, just as many countries have.
Climate Protection Campaign