China reaffirms its one-child population policy today to keep the birth rate low. This is seen as an extreme measure by most people of the world, but not by me. I look at the resources available over the next one hundred years and longer and with current technology, there are far too many people on Earth to be sustained for even that long. When politicians talk about permanent solutions and sustainability, they generally mean until the next election cycle when they must defend their actions. No one seems to look a hundred years into the future with realistic expectations because they don’t expect to live that long. There is a huge ecology movement, but it is aimed at consuming less, cleaning up pollution and more healthy babies. Babies are cute! They are the future. Unfortunately, the presence of these babies will also worsen the very problems which are already going out of control. These babies are already condemned to a premature death because of the over-consumption by now existing people. The current life expectancy of developed countries is already about eighty years, but that is calculated by taking the proven life of persons now living at each year of age and summing up the survivors to the next year. Unfortunately that method doesn’t mean that half of the babies born today will live to be eighty; it only means that if the future is identical to last year, half will live that long. With modern technology improving every day a newborn’s life expectancy should be considerably longer, but once again that is a projection based on the unreasonable premise that things will keep going as they presently are for another eighty years.
There is plenty of food, oil, coal, copper and other minerals at the moment to sustain current growth and the proof is obvious – the world population is growing rapidly. If there wasn’t a sufficient supply of the essentials, people would be starving, and some would be having fewer children. And, of course, those people who die would not have any more children at all. Here are some facts which even an occasional scan of the news makes obvious. The cheapest place for Americans to get oil this year is a mile under water and a mile further down through the rock. It costs billions of dollars to even sink the wells. Coal is still available and will remain so, but it is polluting the world and another eighty years of burning oil and coal will really make a mess and disrupt things. Last year, some South American copper miners were trapped deep under ground, proving that even that essential metal requires tremendous expense to get even today. With a huge population of new people needing even more copper, the question becomes where will it come from if it doesn’t exist. There is no substitute for copper and it is hard to imagine a modern society without it.
China’s population policy has helped that country come from being very poor to very prosperous. The existing population is healthier and physically better off than ever before, and they should be praised by the world’s media for their success. Usually they are condemned for being oppressive, but that is shortsighted because the media is always looking for a flashy story rather than realistic facts and analysis.
What if there had been no one-child policy and there were now a half a billion more people on the Earth? Wouldn’t they have the right to all of the necessities of life? Of course they would, but could the present technology and world supply a half billion more people, when it is reported that over a billion are presently living in extreme poverty? Food and other necessities seem to magically appear in the stores, but they are created out of our Mother Earth and she is bountiful, but she is not infinitely capable and human population will be difficult to support for another eighty years – probably impossible.