Letters to the editor for Aug. 12, 2013

Written by Union Democrat staff August 12, 2013 04:00 pm

Overcrowding not just a Yosemite issue

To the Editor:

I appreciated the July 31 editorial by Froma Harrop on overcrowding in Yosemite and other natural areas.   I spend a week each spring in Yosemite Valley and have experienced traffic jams, long lines, and choking campfire smoke.   Allowing fewer people and cars into Yosemite Valley will help to alleviate these problems.  

But the “big idea” in Ms. Harrop’s article is beyond national parks — overcrowding on a global scale.    World population has now surpassed 7 billion and is growing by 84 million people each year.  At the current growth rate of 1.2 percent, Earth’s population will double in 58 years.  

This population growth is not sustainable, and is harmful to humans, plant and animal life, and all of the natural systems that protect and maintain life on earth.  Organizations such as Population Connection, Population Media Center, and Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Program promote a future with a sustainable population by encouraging education, empowerment of women, voluntary family planning, and reduction of resource use.   We can elect local, state, national, and world leaders that can help create a sustainable future by implementing, in Ms. Harrop’s words, “sage population policy.”   I love Yosemite and all wilderness, and with less population pressures, these areas may provide us with beauty and recreation forever.

Elaine Gorman

Twain Harte