Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Baby Bust and Falling Fertility: Europe on Life-Support

People Power

Family Feud

"When [Rocco] Falivena took office in 2002 for his second stint as mayor [of Laviano, Italy], two numbers caught his attention. Four: that was how many babies were born in the town the year before. And five: the number of children enrolled in first grade at the school, never mind that the school served two additional communities as well. “I knew what was my first job, to try to save the school,” Falivena told me. “Because a village that does not have a school is a dead village.” He racked his brain and came up with a desperate idea: pay women to have babies…"
--NY Times: No Babies?

Red Planet Cartoons' latest theme is one that will surprise Eco-Weenies: Western Civilization's baby bust.

While eco-warriors are preaching the many ill-effects that humans have on Mother Earth, RPC demonstrates that Earth Firsters might have too many trees in front of them to see a barren, Western Civ forest.

Around the time that President Kennedy went to Germany and gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, Europe represented 12.5 percent of the world’s population. Today it is 7.2 percent, and if current trends continue, by 2050 only 5 percent of the world will be European.

As Mark Steyn, the Paul Revere of Western Demographic Decline, points out in recent Wall Street Journal article, It's the Demography, Stupid, "In 1970, the developed world had twice as big a share of the global population as the Muslim world: 30% to 15%. By 2000, they were the same: each had about 20%."

Can these trends continue for another 30 years without having consequences? Europe by the end of this century will be a continent after the neutron bomb: The grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the races who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world.

Though Steyn is best-known for his chronicling the abysmally-low fertility rates of Western Europe in 2005's best-seller, America Alone, he was not the first.

Phillip Longman's 2004 article for Foreign Affairs, The Global Baby Bust, put the problem in front of many readers for the first time. In it, Longman documents falling fertility, not only in Europe, but also other countries traditionally associated with high birth rates.

By some estimates, the world's fertility will fall below replacement levels by 2050, if present trends continue.

Which ought to send Al Gore into a fit of ecstasy: with less drivers, there will be less pollution from less cars.

And less people to notice any difference.

by Mondoreb
image: Red Planet Cartoons
* People Power

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