Fallout effects from the Population Drought


In 1968, Paul Ehrlich wrote a book titled “The Population Bomb.” In it he predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s and 80s due to overpopulation. While there were famines, there was no great increase in the death rate around the world. In fact, today world hunger is at an all-time low (with a global population of 8.1 billion compared to 3.4 billion in 1966).
Yet, his predictions became mainstream. As a result, there was a population crusade that led to human rights abuses around the world. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the Population Council and the World Bank among others, spread population control throughout the world. Forced sterilization, selective abortions, and coercive hiring practices tied to fertility were the result. For example, in 1975, eight million men and women were sterilized in India. China embarked on the one child policy which today is responsible for a demographic imbalance between men and women.
Recent statistics predict the exact opposite: population decline throughout the world. According to the Wall Street Journal, if trends continue, the global fertility rate will drop such that the global population will begin to decrease. This has the potential to lead to problems as well: Labor shortages, pension shortfalls and a strained healthcare system. We wonder why young people don’t come to Mass anymore. One reason to add to the list: there aren’t any young people. Predicting the future is an imprecise science, but if there is a population decrease on the horizon let’s ensure we resist immoral means to handle it.