Fewer people does not mean more CO2 emissions

The Guardian, 4 August 2015:

Your leader writer fails to recognise the complexity of climate change (Fewer people means more carbon: the population paradox August 3)  Carbon per capita may well increase with economic prosperity, but globally carbon emissions are still a function of total population and are increasing fastest in underdeveloped countries.  Every extra mouth has to be fed and agriculture is one of the main producers of greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore it is not just carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas and is generated from raising livestock as well as rice-fields.It has risen from an historic level  of 500 parts per billion (ppb) to around 1800 ppb and is currently increasing by 6 ppb per annum.This is not all due to agriculture, but to argue that population growth will not impact on climate change is highly misleading.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

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