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Letter: Breeding Ground for Nastiness

To the Editor:

Back in the 1960s, a distinguished behavioral scientist named John Calhoun observed that overcrowded and overpopulated rats displayed what he called “behavior sink.” By this, he meant that the rats, in a frenzied reaction to their situation, acted anti-socially and against their own interests. Murder and mayhem were rampant.

Reading the headlines of the Valley News and other newspapers makes me believe that we humans are entering into such a state. Stories of rape, murder, bullying, dishonesty, warfare, destruction of the habitat, cheating, joblessness and nasty behavior of all sorts greet the reader every day. Clearly, overpopulation is the major contributor to these ills. Does that mean we mount a gigantic effort to limit population growth?

Apparently not, at least in the halls of power. Talking about overpopulation is not favored by heads of state. Religious conservatives do not like this topic. Fear of the truth has won the day. If nothing is done, global warming may cook us all!

David G. Binger

Plainfield