Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 16, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
WcdnoHlay, Doconibrr 16, 1970 THE IETH5RIDGE IICRAID 5 Gerald Leach. Britain's looming.popu ation em I ONDON Brilain no less than India, is silling on an ominously licking populal i o n bomb. The licks may be slow, yd in Britain's crowded islands they nevertheless point lo a doub- ling of the number of people lo a startling 112 million in little more than a century, a mere one and a half life spans away. Few people doubt that this bomb must be de-fused or our environment and hopes for a decent life will be squeezed intolerably. But how? This is not an easy question. Indeed, one can al- most forgive governments and the rest of officialdom for the way they have shunned it all these years, treating population control as the great orphan is- sue to be hidden behind walls of uneasy silence. It prickles with very real dilemmas. The first, and quite basic, di- lemma is over how any elect- ed government can ever decide when it must act to curb popu- lation growth, especially when everyone assumes that the curbs will be unpleasant. What they should do and with the widest public participation as a sina qua non is to examine as thoroughly as passible which restricts our freedom or qual- ity of life the most; the conse- quences of untrammelled popu- lation growth, or the restraints needed to curb that growth. Neither side of the equation has any meaning without the other. For instance, conserva- tionists who stridently insist that we must drop down to only rooting of an established culture and the century of exploitation and neglect. And the topoful sign is lhat the Eskimos, whose life, of necessity, always has been prag- matic, an; prepared lo work within the system and within Hie laws for a "fain share what is nurs."