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Take action to curb overpopulation: sample letters to the editor

November 2, 2011
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IMAGE | Center For Biological Diversity




From Center for Biological Diversity

By any ecological measure, Homo sapiens sapiens has exceeded its sustainable population size. We use 50 percent of all freshwater, we’ve transformed 50 percent of all land, and we’ve changed the chemical composition of the whole biosphere and all the world’s seas, bringing on global warming and ocean acidification. As a result, other species are running out of habitat and struggling to survive — or not surviving at all. As the human population closes in on 7 billion, three species go extinct every hour.

To confront overpopulation head-on, the Center has launched a new national campaign 7 Billion and Counting to help people understand the devastating impact of the crisis on other species around the globe. We’re also giving away 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms — with packages depicting six different endangered species — to people in all 50 states. You can sign up to be a local distributor here. One of the most important actions you can take is to get people thinking and talking about this critical issue. We’re urging residents in all 50 states to hold local events, write letters to the editor, chat online and help highlight the connection between global human population growth and the species extinction crisis.

Learn more about our 7 Billion and Counting campaign and take action with us today.

Just 1 hamburger from Costa Rican beef results in the estimated eradication of one tree, 50 saplings, seedlings from 20-30 species, 100s of insect species, and a huge diversity of microorganisms.




WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A letter to the editor (LTE) is one way to reach large audiences — even writing to a small-town or city newspaper can have a big impact, because the letters to the editor section of the newspaper is read more frequently than any other. When published, letters are often perceived by legislators and other decision-makers as a highly credible expression of mainstream community and public sentiment.

Your letter to the editor can provide:

  • An explanation of how your issue relates to other current news items.
  • A chance to furnish insight on news and issues not being adequately covered by your local newspaper.
  • A correction of facts after a misleading, inaccurate or biased letter or story.
  • A response to other editorials.
  • A rebuttal to a news or feature story.
  • A chance to cover the local impact of national issues and raise public awareness of an issue in your city or town.



WRITING AN EFFECTIVE LETTER TO THE EDITOR

  • Find out your newspaper’s policy for LTEs. Call the newspaper and tell them you would like to write a letter. Ask to whom you should address the letter, in what form you should send it, and what length or other restrictions the newspaper might have.
  • Be concise. Even if the paper you’re writing to does not explicitly limit the length of letters it publishes, it will be to your advantage to keep your letter short and succinct.
  • Stick to one subject. You’re much better off writing a widely read letter about one topic than writing a letter that touches on many topics but isn’t read — or, worse, isn’t published — because it’s too long.
  • Be timely. Newspapers will rarely print letters about subjects that aren’t in the news. Use a recent news event or recently published article as a hook for making your letter timely.
  • Don’t assume that readers will know what you’re writing about. If you are writing about pending legislation, explain what that legislation is, what its effects will be, and when it will be decided on. If you’re writing in response to an article or editorial, start your letter by saying which article you’re responding to and when it appeared.
  • Use your credentials. If you have personal experience or expertise in the subject area, mention it.
  • Concentrate on the local angle. Newspapers are community-based and the letters to the editor column is where they interact with the community most explicitly. Any local angle on the subject you’re writing about will increase the impact of your letter and increase its chances for publication.
  • Follow up. Call to make sure the newspaper has received your letter, and then call a few days later if it hasn’t been printed to find out if it will be printed. If they tell you it’s not going to be printed, make sure to ask why so you can incorporate changes into your next attempt.



FINDING YOUR LOCAL AND NATIONAL EDITORS

Find any local media outlets HERE.



SAMPLE LETTER ONE

To the editor:

By the end of October, there was 7 billion people on the planet. And in less than 100 years, the world population will hit 10 billion.

Crowding that many people onto the planet comes with a cost, including the loss of plants and animals around the world. In fact, scientists tell us that species are going extinct 100 to 1,000 times faster than the normal rate.

This is the perfect moment to start talking about the best ways to curb population growth. For starters, how about providing more birth control? Around the world, more than 200 million women who want access to birth control don’t have it. That’s just one step for addressing this crisis – but at the very least, we need to get this conversation going.

Thank you,
Name
Address
Email
Phone



SAMPLE LETTER TWO

Dear Editor:

In the recent article, “XXX” I couldn’t help but notice that the connection to human overpopulation was missing. By the end of October, the world population reached 7 billion people. But it’s not just a global issue. It affects us right here in XXXX. As populations grow, impacts to plants and animals are enormous. The species extinction crisis is not something that is happening far away.

That’s why I am helping to raise awareness about this issue by holding an event to inform my friends, neighbors and family. I am also taking part in a campaign put together by the Center for Biological Diversity to distribute free condoms packaged in pictures of endangered species. The United Nations predicts that the world will have 10 billion people at the end of the century. The only way to stop that from happening is one conversation at a time.

Thank you,
Name
Address
Email
Phone



SAMPLE LETTER THREE

For this letter, use the Center’s interactive map to find out which species are listed as endangered in your area.

Dear Editor:

By the end of the October, the world population hit 7 billion people. Many news outlets have been covering this significant point in history, but there is still little recognition of what this means for plants and animals on the brink of extinction. The connection is undeniable. And even effects us right here in <>. In my county of XXXX, there are XXX species listed as endangered.

Our planet is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. Hundreds of plant and animal species are disappearing from our planet every day, never to return. They’re going extinct because of us – humans. Population growth in our towns and cities has led to massive loss of habitat and interruption of natural processes. The United Nations predicts the planet will have 10 billion people in the next generation. There simply isn’t room for us to grow without having cataclysmic effects on species survival.

Thank you,
Name
Address
Email
Phone



SAMPLE LETTER FOUR

Dear Editor:

Is it getting crowded in here? Yep, you may have noticed. So did I. In fact, the world population hit 7 billion people at the end of October.

The burden of that many people – compounded by a staggering consumption of natural resources – is bound to come with a cost. Sadly, the price is being paid by plants and animals around the globe. Scientists tell us we’re in the midst of an “extinction crisis” – species are disappearing at 100 to 1,000 times the normal rate.

It’s time to start talking about human overpopulation. How many more people can this planet take, and what are we giving up in return?

There are good, common sense solutions out there, including providing birth control around the world for all women who want it. That’s just one step – but the first is simply to start talking about this problem.

Thank you,
Name
Address
Email
Phone




SEE MORE:


it is not rocket science
to deduce
that there are too many people
and less should reproduce
before what is left
of our planet
turns on its ear
everything dies
and then noone
will be left here

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 2:33 pm

    it is not rocket science
    to deduce
    that there are too many people
    and less should reproduce
    before what is left
    of our planet
    turns on its ear
    everything dies
    and then noone
    will be left here

    Like

  2. linda badham permalink
    November 3, 2011 2:38 pm

    WELL REST ASSURED PEOPLE WONT BE GUNNED DOWN IN THE STREETS OR THROWN IN AN OVEN LIKE THE POOR DOGS ARE !! AGAIN I SAY EVERY THING IS THE FAULT OF THE HUMANS !!!

    Like

  3. November 3, 2011 6:21 pm

    I totally agree. Humans have manufactured their own demise.

    Like

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