At what cost?

Malcolm Stuart, Somerset West

I refer to Professor Mark New’s contribution “We are living beyond the earth’s means”, (Bolander, April 11).

He conceded to his graduating students that his generation had left a “bit of a mess for them to clean up”.

His observations that we humans are using up our bio-resources at about twice the rate of the earth’s ability to replenish them are convincing.

The reason is simply that there are too many people in this world requiring a share; add to this the new generation’s demands for education and health facilities and a host of other costly social expectations leading to economic impossibilities.

But in our own efforts to alleviate the predicament of the “poor” (who constitute a huge percentage of our community) we established a “basic income grant” which has been delivered to single women who have children: this has the logical effect of encouraging pregnancies, particularly unmarried girls.

Is this not exactly what we do not want? I make the following suggestion in all seriousness: that the massive sum of money going to basic income grants be withdrawn and instead, go to all women who undergo, entirely voluntarily, a mini-laparotomy after, say, two children.

Is incumbent on our president to meet with all provincial and other relevant ministers, and others, to thrash out any reservations and start a programme, now. If we do nothing, as Professor New says, “our future will crumble”.