How many people can the US comfortably support?
The Sept. 26 article, "The environmental load of more people: How heavy?" seems to say that it's worth taking the gamble that technology can make a US population of 300 million to 400 million sustainable. I disagree. Technology may make such a population marginallly sustainable, but it will result in a lower standard of living and less open space for us all. It will also make us much less resilient to droughts and severe storms. Immigration is the main cause of our population growth, and our current policies will result in an increase of 100 million (a third again more than our current population) in the next few decades. What possible benefit could current US citizens gain from this? If your answer is economic growth, then you doom us to perpetual growth in population, which no one can argue is sustainable.
Regarding the Sept. 26 article on the US population reaching 300 million: It is sobering to consider what our population does to the environment. But an amazing fact should be on the table as well, that being: If the entire population of the world (6.5 billion people) lived in Texas, the population density (persons per square mile) would be a bit more than one-third the population density of Manhattan. The issue is not so much the number of people living in the US but our unwillingness to govern and conduct ourselves with conservation constantly in mind.
Thomas E. Bier
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
With regard to the Sept. 28 article, "Kids say 'Yuck!' to healthy school lunch": I am cheering the 110 students at Ms. Bignell's school in Waterlooville, England, who are choosing to eat healthier foods. This is far better than having 180 students chomp down those processed nuggets and "turkey twizzlers," despite any (short-term) profit losses. I don't think that students' lack of appreciation for the new meal choices should discourage these latest efforts. Student input and involvement is important; the more students are invited to participate in bringing tasty, healthy food to lunch tables, the more they will appreciate eating it.
Regarding the Sept. 19 article, "Pope's comments on Islam hit 'civilization clash' fault line": It's time! Today! Each person, no matter what religion, needs to wake up and to realize that there are as many ways to God as there are people. It's time to realize that no one's religion, creed, or belief has an exclusive on God. Allow each human being the right to find his or her own way spiritually without interjecting your personal opinions on their beliefs. You have no right to do otherwise.
Your job isn't to make people believe what you believe. Your position is to live what you believe only. Then peace will begin to be realized on our planet.
Marree H. Babich
Regarding Jeffrey Shaffer's Sept. 22 Opinion column, "Sometimes silence is better than sounding off": Just a note to Mr. Shaffer to tell him that I agree with his "quiet mornings." My three children grew up knowing that no radio, TV, or stereo would be played while they were getting ready for school. I never heard a complaint and they, in turn, carried out "quiet mornings" with their children.
Mary A. McKinley
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