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Feedback is always welcome to most writers, even the constructively critical type, but Jennifer Kim’s Nov. 10 response, “Myth of an overpopulated world“, to my Nov. 6 letter (“The challenge of population growth“) leaves much to be desired.

First off, it is audacious of Kim to summarily declare my opinion as based on anything at all, let alone a “myth.” Second, Kim hardly responds to the issue at hand. Numbers of people per unit of land area is an old argument and to claim there is enough food and water to sustain the planet shows a blatant lack of foresight.

Energy is the crux of the population challenge. Our traditional dependence on fossil fuels cannot carry us too far into the future. If people had it their way, we would cease to rely on nuclear power. But not enough investment — by the private and public sectors — has been made in alternative energy sources. Nor are such alternatives beneficial to many of Earth’s inhabitants all year.

With another increase of 3 billion people expected by mid-century, we will very likely be unable to continue the high standards of living many of us enjoy at present. The time to act is now. The U.N. secretary general’s recent “clarion call to action” should raise no doubt as to the urgency with which we must solve the population challenge.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

chris clancy

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