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Concerned about talk of decreasing world population Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I was more than a bit perplexed by the “Challenges to feeding, thinking about the hungry” article in the November 20 issue of the Catholic Herald. In the last paragraph it is noted that perhaps our world population needs to be moved down to a more sustainable level, from the current seven billion to perhaps three to five billion.

It concludes that no one at the symposium had any suggestions of how to get down to that level. Unfortunately too many people/organizations do have an answer to that question (i.e., Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, UNFPA, Zero Population America, Hemlock Society, etc.) by promoting abortion, birth control, and euthanasia.

The fact that Mr. Fred Kirschenmann, a distinguished fellow, posed this question, would seem to indicate he may have an answer but did not want to verbalize it at a Faith & Food Summit. But by asking the question he is already giving the answer.

An article by David Brooks called “The Fertility Implosion,” published in the New York Times, takes a different perspective than Mr. Kirschenmann.

Brooks writes, “Already, nearly half the world’s population lives in countries with birthrates below the replacement level. According to the Census Bureau, the total increase in global manpower between 2010 and 2030 will be just half the increase we experienced in the two decades that just ended. At the same time, according to work by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, the growth in educational attainment around the world is slowing.

“This leads to what the writer Philip Longman has called the gray tsunami — a situation in which huge shares of the population are over 60 and small shares are under 30.

“Some countries have it worse than others. Since the end of the Soviet Union, Russia has managed the trick of having low birthrates and high death rates. Russian life expectancy is basically the same as it was 50 years ago, and the nation’s population has declined by roughly six million since 1992,” writes Brooks.

If anyone wants to do more research on this, a good source is the Population Research Institute.

Greg Wagner, Middleton