Letters to the Editor: We can’t fight climate change without addressing overpopulation

High school students take part in a rally with signs calling for climate change action.
High school students take part in a rally calling for climate change action in downtown Los Angeles in 2019.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thank you for the critically important compilation of articles on our planet’s climate emergency. However, there was one conspicuous omission: None of the articles dared broach the taboo subject of overpopulation.

As you may know, our lovely planet is overrun with humans. Some scientists who study population have estimated the Earth’s carrying capacity at current per-capita consumption rates to be around 2 billion. Yet we are at 8 billion and still adding some 82 million people annually.

If we are truly serious about mitigating climate change — let alone saving the coral reefs, reducing air and water pollution, protecting habitat, avoiding mass extinction and, yes, even curtailing wars, famine and the desperate migrations the world ‘round — we somehow have to muster the courage to address the primary cause of them all.


Robert Johnson, Santa Barbara


To the editor: The very impressive 24 pages you compiled and delivered to your subscribers on Sunday shows how serious The Times is about global warming. But you could produce a 24 pages everyday and still have little impact.

Unfortunately, communications have changed too much, and the general public reads threatening facts all the time and builds a resistance to them, if only for personal emotional protection.

We need a different approach. We should offer the public a hands-on experience in real time, in a real structure, devoted to education and improved messaging about climate change.

California has two exceptional industries that can accomplish this like nowhere else on Earth. If we team Hollywood and Silicon Valley to lead this effort, the progress can be dramatic.

We also have the architectural talent to build an iconic structure that will represent the struggle much like the Statue of Liberty represents our freedom.


William Bergmann, Hollywood