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Population Bomb a Dud?

June 14, 1987

Wattenberg's article angered me greatly. There is an old adage that statistics don't lie, but beware of people using statistics. As a person who is greatly concerned with man's mistreatment of our planet, I find it hard to comprehend that people like Wattenberg don't even think there is a worldwide overpopulation problem.

So, for example, I am supposed to rejoice that there are now only an average of 4.0 children in Mexico instead of 4.2. Well, whoop-de-do! I urge Wattenberg to travel to Mexico City, Cairo, Lima, or any other overcrowded, polluted Third-World city and run through the streets shouting about how everything is going great now because the population problem has been solved. Chances are good that he would soon be locked up as a lunatic.

The truth is that things are grim and are getting grimmer in many parts of the Third World as their populations keep growing and outstrip the resources necessary to support them. In the absence of any meaningful policies aimed at birth control, it is sheer wishful thinking to think that the population bomb is going to fizzle out. The sad part is that much of the world's beauty and biological diversity will be wiped out by this uncontrolled crush of people.

S. ASIMOW

Glendale

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