Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Population Myths

Many of us have been versed in the "population explosion" theories that were promulgated in the 60's. And we feel unable to counteract those who claim that it is actually best to have fewer children in order to share the earth's resources with everyone. Their argument is convincing because it seems to be based on humane concerns. But is it truthful?

The western world is facing a demographic winter. Canada has a birth rate of 1.6, which falls well below the 2.1 rate necessary just to replace ourselves. The US is currently at 2.1, but is declining and will join the rest of the west. Many countries in Europe have birth rates below 1.4 and, once the rate declines to that extent, it is next to impossible to reverse it. You simply cannot get enough people to have enough babies to make the rate turn around. What you then get is "implosion", something that Russia is now facing.

Is there any nation as contrary in its demographics as Russia? While the world’s population police obsess about the ongoing “explosion” of the human species, Russia is on a depopulation slide and in danger of imploding. Again, while the world’s conscience is stirred by Asia’s 163 million missing females, Russia has a gender deficit of 10 million men. And, while “family planning” nearly everywhere else means preventing births at all costs, in Russia it now means reminding people to have a child or three.

... The net result is that Russians are not reproducing themselves. The total fertility rate has been below 1.2 children per woman but has risen to 1.4 -- not far behind Europe’s, but still far short of "replacement". Of the children that are conceived, a shocking number are aborted: official figures for 2008 put the number of births at 1.7 million and abortions at 1.2 million, but some say the true figure for abortions may be as high as 4 million a year. Some 10 to 15 per cent of abortions have complications, leaving at least 7 to 8 per cent of women sterile, which, ironically, has opened the way for surrogacy entrepreneurs.

... In any case, it is in the area of values that the most important work remains to be done, and not only in Russia. This is the reason that the World Congress of Families is meeting in Moscow at the end of this month to hold a demographic summit on Family and the Future of Humankind. The New York Times has tried to write it off as exporting anti-abortionism, but as WCF managing director Larry Jacobs says, it is about much more: “Late marriage, cohabitation and the culturally induced desire for small families are among the many factors that have led to a 50 per cent decline in birthrates worldwide since the late 1960s.”

Rebuilding the Russian Family, by Carolyn Moynihan on www.mercatornet.com

While Russia is the extreme example of demographic winter, the rest of Europe is suffering from the same problem of low birth rates.

WASHINGTON DC, June 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Given the precipitous decline in the birthrates of European countries, all anti-natal programs funded by the United States should immediately be replaced by pro-natal programs, one top population expert recently told the U.S. Senate.

“It doesn’t matter whether we call them reproductive health programs, family planning programs, or population control programs,” said Stephen Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI). “They all have the same effect: they force down the birth rate in countries that are already dying. Such programs are only making a bad problem worse.”

“Five centuries after the Black Plague devastated Europe, a White Pestilence is now decimating that same continent,” he said. “Many nations, especially in Europe, are already in a death spiral, losing a significant number of people each year. Listen closely, and you will hear the muffled sound of populations crashing.” said Stephen Mosher, of the Population Research Institute.

(Interestingly enough, Greece faced this problem once before in its history.)
“One remarks nowadays all over Greece such a diminution in natality and in general manner such depopulation that the towns are deserted and the fields lie fallow. Although this country has not been ravaged by wars or epidemics, the cause of the harm is evident: by avarice or cowardice the people, if they marry, will not bring up the children they ought to have. At most they bring up one or two. It is in this way that the scourge before it is noticed is rapidly developed. The remedy is in ourselves; we have but to change our morals.” (Polybius, 204-122 B.C.)
Europe is Dying, LifeSiteNews

As Mark Steyn says, next time you have a pregnant waitress serve you in a diner, leave her a big tip. She is doing her part to keep society going.

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