By Rick Oltman, November 20, 2017
NBC News made the startling proclamation on their recently launched “commentary” website called “Think” that, “Science Proves that Kids are Bad for the Earth.” To make the case for parental responsibility, they compare having children to releasing a murderer from jail.
Informed observers have long noted the effects of overpopulation on the world. Since 1950, the population of the earth has tripled from about 2.5 billion to the estimated 7.5 billion today. The graph looks like a hockey stick, rising rapidly from the post World War II period, which is not surprising, as the use of antibiotics really became widespread in the late 1940s. Penicillin was used extensively during the war. The antibiotic cure for Tuberculosis (TB) was finally developed in 1946, as the development of streptomycin made the treatment and cure of TB a reality. Inoculations for childhood diseases, including polio, began in the 1950s in America and the death rate for children plummeted. And the post World War II Baby Boom rapidly grew the populations of the Western World.
Just a century prior, healthcare had barely advanced from the day of the Greeks. Epidemics of typhoid, cholera and other fevers decimated cities and towns, sometimes whole communities. Life expectancy in Europe in the 1860s was 40 years, rising to 50 by the dawn of the 20th century. Large families were the only way to ensure any family survived at all.
The use of the medicines that worked wonders in Western Society soon found their way to the Third World, and their babies survived as well, triggering the rapid growth of world population that has brought us to where we are today.
However, recently in the West, birthrates have plummeted. The current average number of babies per woman doesn’t reach replacement level in the largest segment of the population. Which brings us to an interesting question. At whom is NBC aiming this “Think” piece? Likewise, the bumper sticker you may have seen that proclaims, “Thank You for Not Breeding.”
I recently had a congenial conversation with a woman who was concerned about the environmental effects of the world’s population who opined that the problem was that too many people were crowded together, that they needed to “spread out.” I immediately queried if she felt we should open our borders to let them come into America and she said yes, we should.
I then asked her how taking millions, over time hundreds of millions, of people from the Third World and turning them into first-world consumers, and therefore, first-world polluters, makes the environment cleaner?
Her response was dead silence and a blank expression, what is also known as “the thousand-yard stare.”
However, if population growth is once again being discussed as an environmental issue, then the opportunity exists to educate our fellows about the overpopulation caused by mass legal and illegal immigration. The environmental groups don’t talk about it anymore, but we can. We may find a receptive audience with some of the younger demographic.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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