European birth politics - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Posts: 36,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
European birth politics

Population paradox: Europe's time bomb
Saturday, 9 August 2008

A leading medical journal recently called for British couples to stop having so many children to 'reduce global warming'. But much of the rest of Europe has a different problem: declining birthrates and ageing populations. And trends across the traditionally more fertile developing world are just as uneven. Paul Vallely investigates the global demographic conundrum

Save the world! Stop having children! Such was the rather drastic solution to the problem of climate change proposed in an editorial in the prestigious British Medical Journal, no less, the other day. And since one of its authors was a distinguished academic – Dr John Guillebaud, emeritus professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College, London – we should consider the notion seriously.

His argument was straightforward. The mushrooming population of the world is putting extreme pressure on the planet's resources and increasing the output of greenhouse gases. Every single month there are nearly seven million extra mouths to feed. And because a child born today in the UK will be responsible for 150 times more greenhouse gas emissions than a child born in Ethiopia the obvious place to start cutting back is here rather than there.

Dr Malthus, thou shouldst be living at this hour. But, actually, this goes one better. When Thomas Malthus first published his gloomy Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798 he had others than himself in his sights. His argument sounded academically neutral. Human populations grow exponentially whereas food reproduction expands in a linear fashion (it's the difference in maths between multiplication and addition) so disaster always looms, in the shape of disease, war or famine, to balance the population out. But he wasn't looking to himself for the solution; those he had in his moral scrutiny were the lumpen poor, breeding mindlessly, careless of the demographic implications of their lusty loins.

Since then Malthusian disciples have continued to point the figure at a Them rather than Us. Zealots for population control have always had the poor in their sights. Until it fell out of fashion a decade or more ago, "population control" always targeted the hapless peoples of the Third World as the ones who we needed to stop breeding. Holland is the most densely populated major country in the world but there was rarely any talk of too many Dutchmen. It was always too many Indians and Africans. Dr Guillebaud has at least had the good grace to point the finger of blame at himself.

But hold on. All this anxiety is premised upon the idea that the population of the world is mushrooming. It certainly was throughout most of the 20th century. But, quietly, something has changed in recent years. The global population is continuing to grow. But, fairly suddenly, birthrates are falling all across the globe. In the 1970s women around the world had six children each; today they have just 2.7 children on average, and in some places that figure is as low as 1.

The implications of this will take a generation to work through, because the children born in the boom years have yet to have their own children, so there is a great deal of increase built in. Demographers call that population momentum. But the United Nations has had to revise downwards its prediction that the world population would reach 11.5 billion by 2050. The human race is now expected to peak, according to one of the world's top experts, Dr David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University, at 9.5 billion people. Then, around 2070, it will begin to decline. We have reached a demographic crossroads which will have dramatic consequences for large sections of the world – including us.

more at: Population paradox: Europe's time bomb - Europe, World - The Independent

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
Botnst is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Separated At Birth? Qubes Off-Topic 3 06-10-2008 04:15 PM
    Separated at Birth? Check Codes Off-Topic 5 07-18-2006 02:34 PM
    Separated at Birth? Norb W221 S-Class 1 01-12-2006 06:53 PM
    Birth Date AMPM R170 SLK-Class 2 06-21-2005 03:12 PM
    Birth certificates for ur benz! arevee R170 SLK-Class 5 05-11-2005 02:09 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome