Numbers count

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Thank you, Jan Cosgrove (Letters, last week).

In my attempts to highlight the many downsides of our ever-present population growth in this country, I have been called many things.

‘Fascist’.

‘Little Englander’.

‘Uber-kommandant’ is new.

Should I feel flattered?

Continued population growth – the force that, ultimately, creates Arun’s housing dilemma – stems from two things, family sizes and the ‘human rights’ of those families to move freely.

All very fine until the gross numbers overwhelm the system, as is happening, not just in housing, but also in our schools and health centres.

The question is – whose rights take priority?

Do the passengers have the right to sink the ship?

Some measure of the problem might be seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old.

At present rates of population growth he would, during his short life, have seen world numbers increase by more than the entire population of Europe.

Except that he won’t have seen it at all.

Population growth, its causes and implications, is barely discussed in schools (or anywhere else).

We grow up largely ignorant of it and so tend to address it purely in terms of our own human rights.

What about the rights, for example, of our wildlife, crowded out as our own numbers soar and soar?

By October this year there will be an estimated seven billion of us, and our ten-year-old will be one of them.

That is the scale of the problem we are a part of.

Population control?

I don’t advocate ‘population control’, a term trotted out in one form or another as soon as this subject is mentioned.

We must each, entirely voluntarily, exercise our own control.

That is the best way and the democratic way, but before that we should acquaint ourselves with the facts and just maybe take some of the heat out of it.

Now that is something we could be doing.

Meanwhile, alas, your comments are typical.

Recently, Bognor Regis has experienced a mini baby boom.

There are also large immigrant numbers.

I wish good luck to ADC in their housing deliberations amid the clamour for individual human rights.

How do you say ‘no’?

I just hope there’s still a blade of grass to be seen at the end of it.

William Partridge

Stoney Stile Close, Aldwick