Beware of the depopulation explosion

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • boyd Ricks sandy/salt lake, UT
    Dec. 4, 2016 11:58 a.m.

    Common sense tells me the Earth cannot sustain unlimited population growth. Common sense doesn't tell me that we must maintain growth to find a cure for cancer, or that if there twice as many of us, we might already have a cure. Experience tells me we are more crowded than we were 40 years ago. It tells me the world population is not declining, and Utah's is certainly not. What is an optimum population for this earth? I can't say for sure, but for those who think prosperity is tied to growth, there is a limit....... there will eventually be a day of reckoning. When I drive at rush hour, I think the day of reckoning may be here already. I pity my Grand kids, or their Grand kids, in they live in a Utah with twice as many residents as we have now.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 4, 2016 10:09 a.m.

    I read "What to Expect when no one's Expecting" and while the author made good points and offered suggestions for the troubling depopulation statistics, it was frustrating no statistics were given on the influence of single young men and their contribution to this problem. Instead, all the blame was placed squarely on single, never married women. Like me and all my single friends. Why are we not married? Why are we not having children? Because no one ever asked us. Murphy Brown was a nice fairy tale but this isn't the nineties, the reality of being a single mom is why so many women are putting off marriage. I suggest Jay Evensen read "Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game" by Jon Birger.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2016 10:36 p.m.

    Christmas is about having a baby, and the sacrament prayers focus on this too (twice in each prayer), so perhaps traditional family brings a remission of sins and links us to eternity and generations past and future. Also, rich nations are becoming poor and the poor (who have more kids) are becoming rich. This is also purpose of Christianity to exalt the poor and curse the rich. Children worth more than money. Helaman 13 say riches can shrink and disappear. And NBC, CBS, and ABC are wrong to say it costs $250,000 to raise one child. Children make the future rich. Christmas is a shot in the arm to the economy, always has been.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 3, 2016 6:33 a.m.

    @ JoeCapitalist2

    "But I wouldn't trade my life with them for all the freedom in the world."

    Okay, but isn't this freedom, too? You chose the life you lead, yes? You chose to value and follow the norms in your particular culture, and you've benefitted from doing so, including in terms of social acceptance/approval within your community, right?

    Why is this a less selfish choice than those who see things differently and follow their values/norms?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 2, 2016 11:05 a.m.

    "it's sad to see posts whose authors do not recognize the purpose of the earth's creation, or even worse those who view man as a parasitic growth that needs to be reduced.'

    It is sad to see posts whose authors do not recognize that the earth was not created for us. Who fail to see that we are simply a part of the terrestrial system.

    We are not a parasitic growth that needs to be reduced (typical conservative hyperbolic logic..or lack there of). We are a part of the system and unless we live within the system and stop trying to over power and control something we can't we will continue to create unsolvable problems for ourselves that will lead eventually to a dystopian nightmare.

  • Cora Smith BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 2, 2016 8:38 a.m.

    Why yes, let's just continue the excellent quality of life we will give to future generations. The air is so foul over most every city the children will be lucky to live as long as we are. Our elected leaders are doing next to nothing to clean up our environment. We keep voting for them. How about all that abundant fresh water and unfouled ocean water? How about the oceans being fished out? Well since the fish population is having mercury poisoning among other poisons, maybe we should stop eating fish. How about living in rabbit hutches eating chemically enhanced food? We are talking quality of life versis existing.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 2, 2016 8:28 a.m.

    joecapitalist nailed it in his first post.

    it's sad to see posts whose authors do not recognize the purpose of the earth's creation, or even worse those who view man as a parasitic growth that needs to be reduced.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 2, 2016 8:04 a.m.

    It's almost amusing to read the comments of those who first of all think that humans are a creature separate and apart from the rest of the world and therefore somehow exempt from the terrestrial system. And secondly think of humans and the human condition within the context of decades rather than millions of years.

    Of course the piÈce de rÉ·sis·tance is when humans decided that economic growth was the mark of a successful existence.

    That's the context of the whole depopulation discussion. Without more people we can't sustain more growth, and we're exempt from the consequences of continual growth (see the world didn't experience mass famine in the 80's). Ever hear of the dust bowl? Yea we fixed it for a while but the principle is still here.

    Hey while we're at it let's give half the world's population the opportunity to destroy the world with the push of a button and see how that works out for us over the next couple of hundred years.

  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    Dec. 1, 2016 6:24 p.m.

    The birth rate is dropping in developed and developing countries due to several factors.

    In the past couples had a large number of children due no family planning, the economic imperative to have labor on the farm and children to look after the parents in their old age because 25% of children died before adulthood.

    Since WW2 the world has seen medical science reduce the death rate of children dramatically. The development of engineering has seen a reduction labor required for production and the industrial accidents causing deaths etc. The development of family planning has reduced the incidence of a child every 2 years.

    Increased education, has helped families increase production without the need for more children. The increased production has means they can accumulate wealth (either personnel and Government) to fund the later years.

    The population in the world is increasing because life expectancy has increased due to medical and nutritional science. This week an Italian Lady had her 116th birthday.

    More recently the birthrate is dropping due to concern for the life due to climate change

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 3:55 p.m.

    Immigration is a great thing and has been for our nation. It is, however, like many other things in life. No guarantees. Has it been a disaster? How many people were killed by immigrants this week? How many by dyed in the wool Americans? Would we be better off from a murders/week perspective if we stopped every future immigrant right now or got rid of every handgun? Failure to keep the threat in perspective isn't a reason to fear immigrants.
    In the mean time, the world is not underpopulated, Japan has a cultural aversion to immigration, not a fear based one, and have a nice evening.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 2:47 p.m.

    When people feel economically secure they will settle down and be willing to have a large family. I have three children currently and it's already more then I can afford, especially considering my wife does not work. I don't want more, and one of the main reasons is it's simply not economically feasible. Wages have remained static for 20 years now (if adjusted for inflation, and of course only for the middle class, the wealthy have seen a dramatic increase in wealth but let's not go there) while the cost of living has risen dramatically. It's not about being "selfish" it's about economic realities.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 2:22 p.m.

    10CC: " Today, it's a matter of staying as nimble as possible, ready to quickly change directions."

    Single people call this "not being tied down" to a spouse, children, and a house.

    I didn't mean to imply that everyone who fails to have a family is a selfish individual. Too many different circumstances out there to make that blanket of a statement. But overall, a self-centered society is certainly a major factor in the trend away from traditional families over the past few decades.

    There is no doubt that my life would be much more 'carefree' if I didn't get married and have children. My life is full of parental and spousal responsibilities. But I wouldn't trade my life with them for all the freedom in the world.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 1:52 p.m.

    I've heard these arguments for decades to boost immigration numbers. Our country reached one hundred million in the 1920's, two hundred million by 1970, and 300 million by 2010. The US is not experiencing depopulation.

    Our world population is 7.4 billion and expected to reach 11 billion by 2100. The world is not experiencing depopulation.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 1:33 p.m.

    Well obviously Jay, the world is running out of people!

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 12:45 p.m.

    Great article Jay. To summarize: 'Large nuclear families have a measurable positive impact on the social welfare and economic success of nations.'

    Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb was once (and still is for many) part of the liberal canon of sacred writings. The fact that the mass starvation did not happen in the 1970s and 80s as predicted may have tarnished it for some of them.

    Hutterite: "Japan could solve it's [sic] problem with the one methodology it adopts very little...immigration."

    Perhaps they have looked around the planet and taken note of how that worked out for everyone else. Immigration is a great thing if you accept people who want to be part of your culture, are needed and are likely to succeed. The open borders "enough to go around, if we are allowed to go around" policies have been a disaster whose effects were realized again this week at Ohio State.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 12:38 p.m.

    Those who are concerned with population growth need to be aware of a few things:

    People are not just consumers. In fact, people tend to contribute far more than they consume. We have clearly seen this as quality of life is far better in 1916 than 1816 and far better in 2016 than in 1916. More people equals more innovation, creativity and other social and technical contributions.

    One of the big problems that limits contributions is limiting population growth. Our world society's acceptance of infanticide has cost us dearly. We could already have a cure for cancer but the creator may have been a murder victim by way of abortion. Efficient use of alternative power sources may be a reality today but the contributor to that science may have been dismembered before he/she was ever born.

    The world view that people are the problem is a false narrative that has cost us dearly, not only in a moral sense, but in a practical quality of life sense as well.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 12:28 p.m.

    @JoeCapitalist - with all due respect, it's superficial to assign blame to a worldwide epidemic of selfishness.

    Rather, it's an aggregate result of individual rational decision making, in a hyper-competitive global economy.

    I know many, many young people who view the idea of marriage and four kids as being - essentially - *irresponsible* - given that job conditions can change quickly. "Careers" are something the parents and grandparents aspired to. Today, it's a matter of staying as nimble as possible, ready to quickly change directions.

    The immigrants see the same thing - they may have had large families where they came from, but their kids quickly see that in our survival-of-the-fittest society, it's better to "eat, drink and be merry..." and not create potential burdens for others that you may not be able to support, yourself.

    Brutal, but true.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 10:09 a.m.

    The problem is not so much about a declining population. It is really about large numbers of people who have zero interest in getting married and raising a family. If the average family was having 2 children instead of 3 or 4, we would be alright. Instead the average is brought down by those who have zero children and have no desire to ever have any.

    We are raising a generation of self-centered individuals who are only interested in what society can give them instead of what they can contribute to society. Fatherless children, divorce, and gangs are symptoms of the epidemic deterioration of the family as the stabilizing force for nations.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 9:54 a.m.

    The US population has doubled over the course of my life. Cities are hugely crowded, urban sprawl is expanding. People leave small towns to go to where the jobs are... the massive urban areas.

    Another simple truth is that most Americans can't afford to have larger families even if they want them.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 1, 2016 9:19 a.m.

    This is exactly the story we're used to hearing. Around here. How depopulation is going to empty the planet. There are four billion (with a B) more people alive today than when I was born. If I live to my actuarial predicted age, there will be nearly 3 billion more. Surely pointing to declining populations in depressed areas or advanced nations is a bit of a mislead.
    I think it's really time we stop thinking of the world as a macrocosm of what's happening in some small town we can pick out.
    Japan could solve it's problem with the one methodology it adopts very little...immigration. We are enough to go around, if we are allowed to go around.
    In the mean time, as young couples today know, they may be under pressure to have kids. But it's a mistake if you don't want them, and totally OK if you don't want them.