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Population Tsunami

Posted on: 29.09.2012    11:06:19

There is another Tsunami on its way, we all know about it but are too polite to do anything about it.

What am I talking about?  The explosive population growth seen in many countries including the UK where population growth of another 4.5 million in the next 10 years needs to be accommodated by an economy already struggling to deal with headline unemployment above 8% and economic inactivity that has to be supported of over 20%.

The earth has finite resources and whilst technology will doubtless help us get more bangs for our bucks the trend has been that machines take the place of man as we progress into the future, exacerbating unemployment.

You may find it callous but:

  • With improved healthcare infant mortality has dropped sharply and life expectancy has increased as diseases are better controlled
  • Whilst we still have wars that tend to be short and sharp and the loss of life is minimal in relative terms
  • Religion and a lack of education often see those least able to support a large family having one. It does nothing to improve the gene pool and creates the unemployable that have to be supported.

Every nation state needs to have a plan to control population, it is an economic imperative and no country is an island as far as this requirement is concerned.

The world’s population hit the 7 billion mark last year and at current birth rates is projected to grow to between 9 billion and 11 billion by 2050. How will we cope? We won’t unless we start to do something about it today.

By contrast, the world’s population was estimated at 1 billion in 1800, just before the Industrial Revolution, large parts of the world had yet to be colonised and the world was asset rich but without the human capital to exploit it.

How things have changed! Overpopulation contributes to climate change and other environmental and economic problems particularly unemployment.

What should the world population be today? It is all a matter of perspective . If you take a Western view with today’s standards probably 2-3 billion. If viewed from Africa it is probably double that figure but still less than our current number let alone the numbers forecast.

Countries whose population growth falls at or below “replacement rate” — when births and deaths equal out — include the USA.., Canada, China, Europe and the former Soviet nations. India, the Arab states and South America’s growth falls less than 1% above the replacement rate, while Africa and some Arab nations continue to see substantial population growth.

It is a frightening dilemma but has to be tackled positively through education, birth control (that offends some religious boundaries) and if needs be economic penalties and possible state intervention.

We already have record global unemployment and need to be reducing the world’s population rather than seeing, up to a 50%, increase in less than 50 years.

Overpopulation, causes avoidable economic pressures that lead to the social unrest currently being seen. We ignore it at our peril.

 

Author: Chris Slay

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