Dear Editor

Living in Grey/Bruce, given the space we feel around us, it's hard to get a handle on world population. What does it mean to have 7.3 billion people in the world when you live in our counties? Well, in thinking about it, I decided to consider population density. In Grey/Bruce we have on average 47 people per square mile. While we have folks clustered in smaller areas like Owen Sound, if you spread them out, that kind of makes sense. So what is the population density of the earth? If we take only the arable (capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops) portion of the earth, the population density is 1,354 people per square mile, almost 30X more.

That means, if we wanted to be fair and took our "share" of the world's population, we would have 4.5 million people living in Bruce/Grey. Sounds to me like a scary number and a situation I would never want to face. With 4.5 million people, we would quickly wipe out many of our resources and be in trouble in very big ways.

I personally like the size and space of things up here so I then wonderedwhat the world's population would be if it were all like Bruce/Grey. Of course it would mean that our planet wouldn't have giant cities since most cities and towns would then look like Owen Sound, Meaford or Hanover. It turns out that for the world to look like Bruce/Grey, our planet would only have 255 million people. Given that the earth's population is currently 7.3 billion and on its way to 10 billion by 2050, we are clearly out of whack with the planet's supporting ability.

I conclude that if we want to really help the planet and the poor, we must support world-wide birth control programmes and not criticize them. You may feel that all human life is sacred but please, not at the expense of destroying everything else. Want to help 3rd world countries? Help them to look like Grey/Bruce.

Bob Hope

Owen Sound<