Monday, October 31, 2011

then and now

when my mother was born the population was here

37 years later when I was born it had only risen by a little less than four hundred million
and since then it has just about tripled

three of the countries with extremely high birth rates--Brazil, China, and India--have all found novel ways to reduce their own meteoric growth;  China has the One Baby law,  India is being reshaped by women who have been taught that sex is necessary but not 'nice' and are passing that along to their daughters;  and in Brazil voluntary sterilization is becoming the norm, almost simultaneously across the country.  A woman has one child and requests a tubal ligation at the same time.  As they put it, " the factory is closed".
We won't live to see the impact, but in 20 or 30 years, if things continue this way, the population growth could very well level out as older, more populous generations die off.

There are all kinds of revolutions, and they often start at the bottom because people want a better life for themselves and their children.


  1. When I look at that chart, near the top, the line isn't as steep. Perhaps in due time things will improve. I have felt for some time that over population has led to a lot of our problems. Pollution, over crowded highways, waiting in long lines, and famines.

  2. Absolutely. There used to be (and possibly still is) a billboard in Times Square, with this same kind of countdown going on. When it would be shown on TV, it seemed that the most right hand two numbers moved a LOT faster than they do now.

    Famines happen to people anyway, whether there are 10 million of them or a thousand. But when a famine happens to a small group of people it's a lot easier to bail them out with food and other supplies.

    And of course you're right, too many people cause problems simply by being. It takes a long time for the effects to show, but I'll wager the next 50 years will show a huge huge leveling off.