Readers' letters: Global population growth is concerning

On the question of unfettered global population growth, perhaps policy makers might be incentivised by lessons from history, noting climate change events destroyed 3000 years of Egyptian civilisation and now threaten ours.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 7:00 am

One might consider 1950 as a watershed year. The British population has increased since 1950 from around 50 million to an estimated 67 million in 2020. While significant, this looks modest in a global context. The USA more then doubled its population from 1950 to 2020 from 150 to over 329 million.In contrast China massively increased its population, from an estimated 550 million in 1950 to 1.4 billion in 2020, whilst India showed an even greater growth rate, from 359 million to 1.38 billion.Controlling population size is not impossible. From 1980-2015, China implemented a one child per couple policy and encouraged later marriages. This prevented another 400 million people being added to their population, although in 2015, China, wanting more young workers, abandoned this one child policy.

Elsewhere, Singapore restricts affordable state provided accommodation to married couples while imposing taxation disincentives on those who have more than two children. Globally there has also been some success with population reduction through education and the availability of contraception.Evidently, if there is the will, governments might contain excessive population growth over time, in tandem with other urgent climate change measures including curbing global heating from emissions and conserving increasingly scarce water resources.The rebuilding of compromised infrastructure and relocation of strategic assets and millions of people, and the provision of new industrial developments necessary to survive the impacts of climate change, poses massive economic challenges.

Elizabeth Marshall, Edinburgh.

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Time the Sussexes made it on their own

Another article in the press today about Meghan plugging brand Sussex on American TV.

It's definitely now time for the Queen to strip these two chancers of their titles and then let's see if they can manage to survive on their own two feet.

Sylvia Wilson, Edinburgh.

Real bearskins have no place in Guards

Now that PETA has unveiled the world’s first faux bear fur, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has no excuse for continuing to wage war on black bears.

Using real bearskins in the Queen’s Guard’s caps flies in the face of the values of the British public, 95 per cent of whom object to killing animals for their fur.

Today, most designers, retailers and high-profile individuals – including the Queen herself – have shunned the cruelly obtained material.

The UK banned fur farming 20 years ago and with a ban on the sale of fur anticipated, the MoD cannot deem itself exempt from society’s standards

Bears are cruelly killed for their fur by being shot during hunts or ensnared, sometimes for days, in painful traps.

To add insult to injury, these ornamental hats cost UK taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. A Freedom of Information request revealed that over £1 million of taxpayers’ money was spent on bearskin caps in the past seven years alone.

It’s past time for the MoD to end this unbearable cruelty and switch to modern, humane faux fur that is indistinguishable from the real thing.

Elisa Allen, PETA, London N1.