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Loving children is not selfish

Letter to the Editor | Monday, September 18, 2006

Liz Coffey claims that “America is one of the leading killers in the ongoing murder of Mother Earth” in her Sept. 14 editorial (“Big families equal big trouble”). According to Coffey, the culprits for this slaughter are big families. She indulges in the fear mongering typical of pseudo-scientists of the 60s and 70s who predicted an imminent global catastrophe caused by population growth. This “science” has proved to be wrong: their predictions failed to take into account the advances in agriculture, science, and technology that have occurred since then. If population has increased over the last century, then food production has exploded. The UN Population Division 2001 report, “World Population Monitoring 2001,” stated: “From 1900 to 2000, world population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion persons. However, while world population increased close to 4 times, world real gross domestic product [actual output of goods and service] increased 20 to 40 times, allowing the world not only to sustain a fourfold population increase but also to do so at vastly higher standards of living.” The truth is that humanity is in no danger of becoming extinct because of overpopulation and big families. Coffey’s claim that “having six kids is selfish” is not only false, but offensive and illogical as well. I have six siblings. My youngest three brothers are adopted. My parents’ choice to adopt three inner-city children and love them as their own was anything but selfish. My parents have given much of their love, time, and yes, valuable resources, to provide them with a fair shot at life. Coffey acts as if it would’ve been better if my brothers had been left on the dangerous streets of drug-ridden neighborhoods. Back in the slums, my brothers wouldn’t be using up nearly as much of the world’s resources and “hastening its death.” In light of this, Liz Coffey’s accusation of selfishness is grossly insulting.

I wouldn’t mind, however, if Coffey would follow her own advice and have only one or two children. At least then her ignorant attitudes wouldn’t be passed on to much of the next generation.

Joe Falvey


Dillon Hall

Sept. 14