My big beef with the global warming guys is not sloppy science, it’s allocation of assets. The recent recession should have forced a thinking reset at the UN.
Resources are limited. People all over the world are adjusting their spending. We are still spending too much of our collective net worth on climate science.
Now for some good news…my big worry…too many people on the planet…is becoming less of a problem. Bloomberg recently ran an article about changing population fertility rates. An interesting article that talks how shifts in fertility rates throughout the world will impact global politics years into the future.
The article focused on the problems a declining birth rate can have in places like China, Japan and Western Europe…and that was interesting. But I chose to look at the other side of the coin. Maybe we won’t have mass starvation in the 22nd century.
The fertility rate is now 2.6 live berths per woman. The average woman in the world will have 2.6 live births during her lifetime. It was 4.9 in 1960. That is a dramatic change in only 51 years. 2.1 live berths is considered the number needed to maintain population. We have gone from more than doubling each generation to about a 25% increase per generation. Still too high but much better.
The CIA publishes estimates of fertility rates. Who knew, the CIA. Every country in the top 20 is in Africa, except Afghanistan sitting at #9. Niger tops the list with a rate of 7.52. The average woman in Niger has more than 7 kids. Wow. India, the largest still growing population in the world has a fertility rate of 2.58, number 79 on the list of 222 nations. The USA is in 122nd place at 2.06, a pretty good place to be. Singapore is last on the list at .78.
If we can get Africa to slow down a bunch, and India to slow a little, maybe there is hope for the world. Maybe we can stop population growth by slowing the fertility rate, rather than by rapidly increasing the death rate through famine or some nasty medical event.
When I think of things to worry about in the world…runaway population in much of Africa is something that comes to mind right away. Others that also come to mind; safe drinking water, Alzheimer’s, air pollution (visible not carbon dioxide), AIDS, Cancer, and over fishing of the oceans. Global warming doesn’t make my list.
Maybe it will some day…but the science has to become more compelling before I jump on that bandwagon.