Nations and people addressing environmental issues such as water pollution and global warming must soon face the fact that such efforts only address symptoms of the real problem, which is population growth.

In my lifetime, world and U.S. population has tripled, creating demands for the food, energy and material goods whose production creates the environmental problems we face. In the Middle East and Africa, wars are fought over what is left in deserts created by man through deforestation, overgrazing and erosion.

Because of population growth, America continues to pave over and destroy the farmland, forests and waters essential to long-term survival. Immigration was needed when land and resources seemed unlimited, not now. Through better use and education of our people, we must increase productivity with zero population growth. In nature, starvation, disease and predation (war) rebalance overpopulation in an ecosystem. Do we really believe humans are exempt from this reality?

Tom Gillette


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