Professor Colin Green (Letters, 7 September) makes a classic first-world myopic error in believing that the rise in human population is mainly responsible for the impending ecological crisis. It is not numbers of people per se damaging the planet, but frenetic consumption in the wealthy world that lies behind anthropogenic climate change. You can curb family sizes in poor countries all you like – if you have the moral stomach for such gross colonialism and denial of essential human freedoms – but the ecological crisis will remain as long as we live the way we do in the rich world.

As Pope Francis puts it in his ecological teaching document, Laudato Si’: “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimise the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalised, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.”

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Source: Guardian Environment