A New York Reader Explains Population Density To A Canadian Reader
October 04, 2006, 05:00 AM
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From:  William Dial

Re: Today's Letter: A Canadian Reader Gives Joe Guzzardi A Geography Lesson

There's no need for Guzzardi to take a geography lesson from someone who clearly never studied the subject.

When geography was taught in American (and I presume Canadian) schools, students learned about ecumene, which can be defined as the inhabited—and more importantly, the inhabitable—part of the world or of a given country.

I'm tired of hearing that the United States can accommodate the entire population of the world and be no more densely populated than England, or some such nonsense.

The ecumene of the U.S., as a fraction of its size, is much, much smaller than that of England.

There's plenty of empty space in America and even more in Canada. And that will never change because there will never be enough resources to settle people at uniform density. Three hundred million U.S. residents is plenty.

I think I'm still within my rights as an American to say that.

Dial is a freelance writer who says that "New Yorker" and "American" should not be "conflicting identities"