The Population Bomb Has Fizzled

Gwinnett Gazette
Submitted by Harold Brown

Predicted calamities are always the worst; until the future comes. Then, they don't show up, or they shrink to ordinary. (All the hype and nonsense about 2012, The seemingly never ending dates from Christian soothsayers in which Jesus Christ will bodily return)

Overpopulation is a prime example.

Calamity resulting from too many of us has been the subject of countless prophecies, but those never came true. More humans are living on the planet now than ever and living better, rather than being starved and desperate.

Thomas Malthus set the stage in 1798 by predicting that food production couldn't keep up with the increase of humans because population, by nature, increases faster than food supply. His model was simple, but there is nothing simple about the factors that govern population and food production.
Malthus was not as rigid and apocalyptic as many think. In an 1803 revision, he wrote, "though our future prospects respecting the mitigation of the evils arising from the principle of population may not be so bright as we could wish, yet they are far from being entirely disheartening, and by no means preclude that gradual and progressive improvement in human society ... ."
Every few decades, earth prophets repeat Malthus' dirge, more strident and less philosophical than he was. In 1898, a British Association of Science lecture warned "all civilized nations stand in deadly peril of not having enough to eat."
Such warnings fail to value humans' ability to cope. World wheat yields averaged about 750 pounds per acre in the 1890s; about 6,000 pounds today.

Americans have been saturated with fear of world overpopulation for the last half-century.

In 1970, "The Population Bomb" was a bestseller. Its author, Paul Ehrlich, declared, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over." He claimed hundreds of millions of people would starve in the 1970s and '80s.
Instead, starvation decreased. World food consumption today is 20 percent more per person than in 1970. The world had 3.7 billion people then; today, it is about 6.8 billion.

But pessimists don't quit. Even the National Audubon Society predicts disaster, including decline of birds, from human overpopulation. Their president writes, "Human population growth is the most pressing environmental problem facing the U.S. and the world."

Although current generations were indoctrinated with fear of overpopulation, under-population has historically caused great alarm. The French, for example, worried about under-population for the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1903, a New York Times article noted, "It is well-known that the population in France is practically stationary ... ." In 1920, the French Ministry of Health chief said, "The lowness of the French birthrate, which becomes worse each year, endangers the existence of the nation."(The danger of the policies this ficticious book has caused in all of westernized society -- are identical to the Augustine doctrine of having few children --This erroneous doctrine ofAugustine brought on the Muslim invasion and overthrow of all of Europe -- As there were not enough people to build or muster standing armies in all these Roman Catholic European nations) His government (France, Canada, and Japan) spent lots of money to "encourage the birth of more children."
And wouldn't you know it? Forty years after "The Population Bomb," the fear of decreasing population is again a growing concern. Philip Longman's 2004 book, "The Empty Cradle," has the subtitle "How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do about It."
Longman is not alone. Depopulation concerns are being expressed by governments and policy groups. The problem is often couched in terms like the aging of the population. Aging populations mean more dependent people supported by fewer of working age. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, the elderly in the United States will outnumber the working-age population by nearly 2-to-1.
As far back as 1994, the World Bank published a report titled "Averting the Old Age Crisis." A recent U.S. government publication, "An Aging World: 2008," states, "People aged 65 and over will soon outnumber children under age 5 for the first time in history." Aging of the populace is because humans are living longer, but mainly because of falling birthrates.
A United Nations committee reported in 2009 that global fertility declined from 5 children per woman in 1965-70 to 2.6 children in the past five years. The latest figure is near the 2.1 children per woman needed to maintain a constant population. More than 100 countries, representing 46 percent of the world's people, have birth rates below 2.1. (It is up to Christians of all feathers to take up the slack and to be fruitful and multiply God's Commandment 00001. The foolish in the Church have been grossly negligent of this duty before God. Children are men's tithe unto the Lord. How many Christian households have zero, one, or two children -- the greatest majority. Regardless of what these may think they have not done their duty unto God and country as those small families can not and will not sustain a nation. How can this tide be turned? By a change in preaching and teaching -- Just as the Pope did as he peered over the Vatican's wall to see the Muslims without that had by that time conquered all of Europe, all of Italy, and all of Rome. In that day this unrighteous Pope had a revelation from on high -- God's commandment to every beleiver: Be fruitful and multiply. And in that day God blew upon the Muslim's so that they were driven out of the whole of Europe and Christianity was restored -- Church's and Pastors should concentrate on their young people making sure they have full medical coverage, making sure they have good food on the table, and their obligations are met until these are able to stand upon their own feet and support their own families. Just as we are commanded by Jesus Christ to give to and care for the poor, the fatherless, orphans, and widows.)
The problem of too few people in the future has not become a hot media topic, but the "Population Bomb" has fizzled. The fading of it should be an object lesson to Earth prophets; people are too ingenious to be put in a miserable trap by someone's imagination of their helplessness.
Harold Brown, a University of Georgia professor emeritus, is author of "The Greening of Georgia: The Improvement of the Environment in the Twentieth Century."