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The World's Population Situation

The Monitor is to be applauded for the section on World Population; I feel obliged to criticize it, however, for giving the impression that the problem of overpopulation is a problem of the South. It is not just numbers that matter, but the impact of the numbers on the planet's resources. In "The Population Explosion" Paul and Anne Ehrlich estimated, based on energy use, that a baby born in the United States represents 35 times the destructive impact on the Earth's ecosystem as one born in India and 280 times that of one born in Chad, Rwanda, Haiti, or Nepal. Reduction of waste and affluence in the North can do much to reduce the overall impact. Eugene Peterson, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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