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Water dictates population

July 14, 2007

Re "60 million Californians by midcentury," July 10

The state Department of Finance's predictions of 60 million people in California in 2050 and exponential growth in Riverside County shows it is out of touch with reality. The twin crises of global warming and the peaking of world oil supplies make this extremely unlikely.

By 2050, California will probably be experiencing severe water shortages from the loss of the Sierra snowpack and have trouble supporting current urban populations, let alone large populations in dry inland desert areas. The fossil fuel for this fantasy growth also will be increasingly unavailable and far too expensive. We also will face the loss of coastal areas that support large populations.

It's time to take predicting the economic future out of the hands of economists and put it into the hands of climate change researchers, who are much more attuned to reality.

LARRY SALTZMAN

Santa Barbara

*

In the 50 years I have been reading The Times, I have never been so disappointed. The glaring omission in this front-page story is so beyond irresponsible it is offensive. To run a story like this and talk about roads, congestion, traffic and not one word about where we will be getting the water for all these additional people is ludicrous.

So where will all of these new Californians be getting their water? From us, of course. We are supposed to conserve as much water as possible by not flushing our toilets or watering our yards so developers can build millions of new houses (and make billions of dollars) for 25.4 million more people who will make more smog for us to breathe and more traffic for us to be stuck in.

And we get what out of this? It is the responsibility of The Times when covering a story to present the whole story.

RANDALL BRUCE

Los Angeles

*

Any useful study that projects the state's population over the next 40 years should not assume that the inflow of illegal aliens will continue unabated. Californians and other Americans will not stand for it. Perhaps The Times should ask what our population would be in 2050 if we immediately halted illegal immigration. Maybe people would have some cause for optimism instead of dread.

SCOTT POMERANTZ

Venice

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