Population myth

Alistair McBay (Letters, 19 June) calls for the Catholic Church to amend its stance on contraception to reduce the world’s population and the perceived impact on the environment.

The Malthusian threat of overpopulation has been misinterpreted so many times, perhaps the most recent being an article in the New York Times on the “Unrealised horrors of population explosion” (31 May).

Some 28 countries now have skewed gender ratios. Half of the world’s fertility rates have fallen far below a replacement level of 2.1 children per couple.

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As a result, the world’s population is ageing quickly, with 34 per cent over 50 by 2050.

Many countries are facing a “demographic winter”. Perhaps Mr McBay could enlighten the Church as to how his programme of population control would operate.

Presumably it would include the abandonment of artificial reproductive technologies and surrogacy. Would it be supported by enforced sterilisation and abortion in case contraception failed?

How many children should couples have and how old should people get, and how would this be administered and paid for?

What would be his ideal population size?

Ian Maxfield

Lodge Park