As a kid I carried water to the chicken coop each morning in a glass gallon jug. In the winter the water was quite hot. For an eight year old, the jug was heavy and I set it down to rest in the snow. Mysteriously the glass shattered to pieces. Today I feel another contrast too great and like the glass I am shattering.
I grew up convinced the human race was multiplying. More than just conventional wisdom, it was Malthusian science… it was biblical as in ” Go forth and multiply”. Population was projected to double every 25 years on into infinity. Soon every inch of dry land would be inhabited – crowded with starving people standing on each other’s toes. They’d be stacked up on top of each other in condo towers. Editorials, books and talking heads of my day opined as to what our doomed race was going to do.
Then, suddenly, within one lifetime, this zeitgeist started to fall apart like my chicken water jug. That script did not work out as expected. The boom seems to be turning into a bust. Fertility is not only declining, the decline is accelerating in a number of countries.
You’re not ready to lose sleep over the human race extinction on earth, but at least think about it. Project out to infinity the fertility trend in Russia and many countries in Asia, Americas, and Europe. Less native births than deaths and the planet becomes lonely. The oldies go and there’s not enough babies to replace them. Who is going to run the place? What will the hood look like then?
*Lights out in empty cities.
*Congestion free highways.
*Nobody shows up on the field or in the stands for Super Bowls.
*Old people won’t attend rock concerts so the mosh pit will be empty.
* With nobody there, who will know Shakespeare, Leonardo, Beethoven, Elvis, or the Kardashians? Gone, gone, gone!
The plants, bugs, worms and mice have the place to themselves. It will be different!
For environmentalists, a world free of garbage landfill, greenhouse gasses, and habitat destruction, would be paradise. But environmentalists will be gone too.
For me, I’m still thinking about why the glass suddenly fell apart. How can a “boom apocalypse” based in science and confirmed by the word of god, become a “bust apocalypse” in so little time?
Indeed, I see this in my own progeny. My oldest died with no offspring and of the three remaining one says “No way” while the other two say “maybe”, and they are in their 30s so if they do have kids it won’t be a plethora. I strongly suspect that economic conditions have a great deal to do with it, as well as societal expectations. The only place where I see a landscape of expanding inhabitants is where a particular religion places a high value on it. My Wife’s Paternal Grandfather was responsible for at least 48 kids with his 7 wives. Now THAT is dedication, also had to be tiring.
We need more like you Gary. Get after those kids before one more tick of the bio clock
Some years back I told my youngest daughter “Roselyn, you are my best bet for grandchildren. I want you to go out and hook up with someone…I don’t care who he is just get preggo and produce a grandchild. You can then turn the kid over to me and I’ll do all the hard work of raising!! She said “Dad, I’m 14!” “No problem” says I, “I’ll take care of the authorities.” She is now 33 and has found her first serious male relationship. There is hope on the horizon. Dang kids filling up their time with university, careers and travel experiences first. OTOH they say “Our friends who got married right out of school are on their second or third spouse by now and we don’t want to repeat their mistakes.” Hmmmmm, may have something there.