Defusing the "bomb" myth
I've long found it ironic that there should be so much concern over supposed
resource depletion while we continue to squander the most precious resurce of
all--the creative power of educated human minds, especially of young people--so
recklessly. Some actual figures to offset the ongoing hype about the population
"explosion" are interesting ("NY Post," March 28, 97). Under
modern conditions it takes 2.1 children per woman to keep a population constant.
In the last decade the rate for Europe has plunged 21 percent, from already
record low levels, to 1.45--in Italy 1.2, lowest in world history. Japan is
at 1.5, the U.S. 1.98, with Third World declining from 6.0 to 3.1 over the last
30 years, the most dramatic being since 1990. China, always the favorite cited
by alarmists, is at 1.8 and falling.
The astounding thing is that these facts are not acknowledged in the projections
concocted by the U.N. and fed to the media--presumably because they fail the
test of political expediency. Countries with below replacement fertility rates
are automatically taken up to 2.1, increasing projections for Europe's 2050
population by 38 percent. Conversely, rates for Third World countries with below
replacement rate (currently numbering 27) are set no lower than 2.1. The result,
according to many leading demographers, is that the totals being touted at 10
to 11 billion for the middle of the next century could be high by 3 billion,
and after that we might well see a decline. Yes, decline.
Yet another example of tailored computer models replacing reality for policymaking:
Garbage In, Gospel Out.
The neo Malthusians who fuel the hysteria about population growth should remember
that populations decline geometrically too, and when such a trend sets in it's
almost impossible to reverse. Many civilizations have collapsed in just this