Population should be factor in housing discussion

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Nishali Naik/Staff

Your Feb. 7 editorial began with you noticing “an increasing horde of students.” One would think that your own words would have caused you to realize that the increasing horde is the problem. But like the vast majority of people, you are blind to the obvious fact of human overpopulation and constant population growth, so you immediately go on to discuss a supposed lack of housing and how more needs to be built.

While human overpopulation is first and foremost an environmental and ecological problem, it affects almost all aspects of our lives, including housing. But there is no lack of housing in Berkeley; instead, there is a major lack of affordable housing and a lack of open space.  

Like every other urban area, Berkeley is not only overpopulated, but it is suffering from constant population growth. A much bigger problem in Berkeley is lack of open space; Berkeley has less open space per acre than even San Francisco, which is an extremely densely populated city.

It amazes me that the problem of human overpopulation, which is in plain sight for everyone to see and which I recognized as the biggest problem on Earth at age 14 without anyone even mentioning it to me, goes unnoticed by most people. This is not the elephant in the room, it’s the blue whale in the room, and no one ever talks about it. Instead, people try to deal with overpopulation by doing anything but dealing with overpopulation.

So your solution to this problem is building more housing in Berkeley, including advocating for the possible immoral destruction of People’s Park. A much better solution would be to advocate for limiting families to one child until our population is low enough that we’re not destroying our planet by our mere numbers as we are now. A much lower population would also eliminate the so-called housing problem.

As UC Berkeley students, you are supposed to be learning to think critically and not just regurgitate whatever others write or say, whether from the left, center or right.  It is crystal clear that only by lowering human population can we solve or even substantially reduce what seems to be a housing problem.

Building even more housing would just make living in Berkeley even more unpleasant and displace even more urban wildlife. Building taller buildings destroys our sky. And there is no way to build enough housing fast enough to keep up with the constantly increasing number of people.

In the future, please discuss the actual problem of overpopulation and constant population growth, and identify the lack of housing for the “increasing horde(s)” as a symptom of this problem, not the problem per se. We are choking our planet with far too many people, and it’s way past time that we start limiting our families to one child until the human population is low enough to leave room for every other species on our planet, including UC Berkeley students.

Jeff Hoffman is a member of the Berkeley community. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.