Letter: Can’t get behind Shragg’s overpopulation message

To the editor:

I believe Karen Shragg’s crusade against overpopulation is well intentioned. However, I felt like there was so much being left unsaid in the latest article on her work that I decided to do a little follow-up research of my own.

For starters, it appears Karen bases much of her inspiration on the 1968 best-seller, “The Population Bomb,” an alarmist book with notable failed predictions. The book contains a theme that Karen reiterates time and again in online interviews: The root of all problems (poverty, climate change, traffic, etc.) is overpopulation. Instead of focusing on other possible contributing factors (like overconsumption, political instability, indifference, etc.) and ways to combat them, Karen suggests focusing on controlling the population.

Karen believes there are 5.5 billion too many people on the planet and therefore says it would be ideal for couples to have between 0-1 children. While she doesn’t seem to want to say it, she insinuates the need for governmental population control, possibly at a worldwide level (in one interview Karen even says the implementation of the one-child policy in China was “a very heroic act”). On another occasion, after implying that people aren’t any different than the geese and deer at Wood Lake, Karen praises the sterilization of dogs and suggests that we are foolish not to praise those who wish to do the same with humans.

On top of all of this, there is also current demographic research that says overpopulation is an overblown issue (Google Population Research Institute to see science-based counter-arguments to Karen’s claims).

While I can certainly applaud Karen’s fight for the environment and a world free of poverty and other ills, some of the ideas behind her message are simply ones that I cannot get behind and ones that I don’t think the people of Richfield would be proud to represent.

Greg Aitchison