Having fewer children is a no-brainer, write Robin Maynard and Jonathon Porritt. The overconsuming west must not blame the global south, says Christine Galavotti. It is ironic that Italy bears the brunt of the surge of ecological migrants, says Chris Brausch. Apocalyptic changes in the countryside go largely unnoticed, says John Green

It is heartening to see the Guardian giving considered coverage to the issue of human population and its impacts upon our planet and the threat that continued population growth and excessive consumption pose to the wellbeing and indeed survival of future generations (Best solution to climate change? Fewer children, 12 July). For too long population has been a taboo subject avoided by those normally courageous and outspoken in publicising inconvenient truths about the consequences of ongoing environmental damage.

The new study from Lund University showing that the most effective solution to curbing climate change is for people to have fewer children and smaller families confirms research we highlighted back in 2012, when seeking to persuade the likes of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund to talk openly and honestly about population issues (with little success!). That earlier study by Oregon State University concluded that, over a lifetime, a family that chose to have one less child would reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 times the amount saved from undertaking all other obvious “eco-friendly” lifestyle changes.

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