Thursday, December 21, 2006

Swatting mossies and birth rates

So I'm trying to get back to sleep - when I hear that ear piercing buzz of the mosquito. God, knows why the silly buggers love to go for the head. It was so close that when I clamped my pillows against my ears, I squashed it. Normally, I'd go back to sleep. But my pillow case is a "Garcia"- I can't let it get stained!! So I pulled it out, gave it a wash.

In the meantime, I'm reading this site which quotes our illustrious leader.

Basically what we are having here is a paradox. In the past, the countries which were successful- militarily, politically and socially- saw great rises in its population base- and were able to colonize other nations who were not successful.

Today, we have the opposite. The nations which are the weakest are having massive increases in its birth rates- and the ironic thing is that- they are the ones "exporting" its young to the more powerful nations.

In the past, mass migration resulted in open warfare. No way the ancient Romans would tolerate the Gauls and Germanic tribes coming into their lands. They fought them.

Today, mass migration seems to result in the local populace (from the stronger nations), acquiescing and giving more social welfare handouts to the newcomers. At the same time, the latter's foreign aid helps to maintain the population increases in the poorer nations- which keeps the cycle rolling.

Meanwhile, the citizens of the powerful nations are too busy having a good time to produce babies and hence their culture and society gets slowly diminished.

Its not rational. In the end something has to give.

Read it here: Stupidity Sans Borders

Here's the initial part:

The 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries have witnessed the most spectacular population growth in human history, most of it in Third World countries. The world’s population, estimated at 6.4 billion in 2006, grows by more than 70 million people per year. In sixty years, Brazil’s population has increased by 318 per cent; Ethiopia’s by 503 per cent. There are now 73 million people in Ethiopia — more than the population of Britain or France.

At the same time, many of the most economically successful countries, both in the East and in the West, have problems with ageing or declining populations. At its peak around 1910, one-quarter of the world’s population lived in Europe or North America. Today the percentage has probably declined to about one-eighth. South Korea’s birthrate has dropped to the point where the average Korean woman is expected to have only one child throughout her life. The U.S. still has a birthrate of more than two, while the U.K. saw births inch up from 1.63 to 1.74 and Germany from 1.34 to 1.37 in the same period. The low birthrate problem in Asia is rooted in women’s rising social and economic standing. Japan’s birthrate was 1.28, comparable to Taiwan’s 1.22, and Hong Kong’s 0.94.

“Europe and Japan are now facing a population problem that is unprecedented in human history,” said Bill Butz, president of the Population Reference Bureau. Countries have lost people because of wars, disease and natural disasters but never because women stopped having enough children. Japan announced that its population had shrunk in 2005 for the first time, and that it was now the world’s most elderly nation. Italy was second. On average, women must have 2.1 children in their lifetimes for a society to replenish itself, accounting for infant mortality and other factors. Only one country in Europe – Muslim Albania – has a fertility rate above 2. Russia’s fertility rate is 1.28.

Writer Spengler in the Asia Times Online commented that demography is destiny: “Never in recorded history have prosperous and peaceful nations chosen to disappear from the face of the earth. Yet that is what the Europeans have chosen to do. Back in 1348 Europe suffered the Black Death.” “The plague reduced the estimated European population by about a third. In the next 50 years, Europe’s population will relive — in slow motion — that plague demography, losing about a fifth of its population by 2050.”

It’s numbers like these that have prompted Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to state that “it’s demography, and not democracy, that will be the critical factor shaping growth and security in the 21st century. High rates of births are contributing to the booming populations which are dragging down developing nations. Meanwhile falling birth rates are sapping the growth of developed nations.” “Although migration is one option developed countries are looking at to keep their economies vibrant,” Lee said, “it might not solve all their troubles and might even breed social tensions.” According to him, governments may not be able to afford to keep out of personal issues like sex, marriage and procreation much longer.

Niall FergusonHistorian Niall Ferguson reveals how Islam is winning the numbers game. “If fertility persisted at such low levels, within 50 years Spain’s population would decline by 3-4 million, Italy’s by a fifth. Not even two World Wars had inflicted such an absolute decline in population.” “In 1950 there had been three times as many people in Britain as in Iran. By 1995 the population of Iran had overtaken that of Britain. By 2050, the population of Iran could be more than 50 per cent larger. At the time of writing, the annual rate of population growth is more than seven times higher in Iran than in Britain.”

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