George Simpson

John Morrissey's and Peter Donald's excellent recent submissions on the myth of man-made global warming deserve some further comment.

The alarmists claim support from the equally false assertion of overpopulation. This myth can be debunked by some primary school arithmetic.

The area of Victoria is approximately 227,000 square kilometres (Encarta Encyclopaedia). Each square kilometre is 1000 metres by 1000 metres and the world population is estimated at six-and-a-half-billion. To estimate the density if the entire world population were moved into an area the size of Victoria, we apply the formula:

227.000 x 1000 x l000 divided by 6.5 billion. This equals approximately 35 square metres per person. As Victoria is but a pinprick on the globe of the world, this would suggest that far from being overpopulated, the world is relatively sparsely populated.

We now address the question of regional population density. China, often quoted as overpopulated, has an area of 9,571,300 square kilometres. When China's population reached 1.5 billion there were over 6,380 square metres for each person.

Africa is also often quoted as being overpopulated. United Nations figures released in 1999 revealed that, for the first time since statistics were taken, Africa's population equalled that of Europe. Yet Africa is five times the size of Europe and on average more fertile. If Africa is overpopulated, then Europe is five times more overpopulated. This is obviously not so as attested by the actions of European governments desperate to reverse the trend of declining birth rates.

Climate does change. It always has and no doubt always will. The warm period of the Middle Ages saw Greenland colonised for farmland and grapes growing in Scotland. Prominent American earth scientist, Emeritus Professor Don Easterbrook, claims that we are now entering a period of global cooling which could last until about 2030. His research shows regular cycles of warming and cooling over the last few hundred years and these seem to be linked to solar flare activity.

North Blackburn, Vic

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