Monday, 22 October 2007

A quote from The Independent

I hope Alan MacColl and the Editor of the Independent won't mind, but I could not resist this very eleoquent letter published today. The Indie has been at the forefront of environmental reporting (even if it does still promote its motoring supplements).

America is ploughing up the last remnants of the Great Plains grasslands to produce fuel for SUVs ("Victims of the ethanol rush", 19 October); old-growth forest in Canada is cut down for tissues and toilet paper; the ancient forest of Tasmania is being turned into woodchips for Japanese paper manufacturers. If supposedly advanced western democracies continue to promote such greedy and reckless behaviour, what hope is there of persuading weak or corrupt states like Brazil and Indonesia to adopt more rational and responsible policies towards their forests?
Alan MacColl

Hermitage, Berkshire

The Independent 22 October


  1. This is taken from
    The world has plenty of room for more people
    Sir – Boris Johnson (Comment, October 25) is right about most things, but this time he seems completely off-beam. I travel all over the world, as Mr Johnson says he does, but my impression as I look down on long-haul night flights to China or South Africa is entirely different.

    The Earth seems a vast empty space, with only occasional lights signalling human habitation. The figures seem to support my impression, rather than Mr Johnson's.

    Perhaps his fears are prompted by having to endure living in the south east of England, which is one of the world's most densely populated regions, with 419 people per square kilometre.

    But most of the world is empty in comparison. South-East England is three times more crowded than China, Mexico and Nigeria (137, 142 and 145 persons per sq km respectively). It is 30 per cent more crowded even than India (329 per sq km).

    In fact, if you took every person on this planet and put them all in France, each person would have 100 sq metres to themselves. There's plenty of room for us all to go forth and multiply. Boris Johnson should stop scaremongering.

    Professor James Tooley, Hyderabad, India

    James Tooley, PhD, Professor of Education Policy at Newcastle University

    Do I need to comment?

  2. I can only assume that James Tooley is flying with his head in the clouds.