Sunday, 10 April 2011

Doesn't look full too me!

The Greens, their fellow travellers and the proto-fascists at the Daily Mail have returned to the subject of population and how the human species, like some spawny bacterium, is devouring the planet with its excessive breeding.  And coming up on the rails is the BBC celebrity – in the form of “wildlife expert” Chris Packham. Demonstrating an almost complete ignorance of population geography or demographics, Mr Packham launches an appeal for us to have fewer sprogs:

The Springwatch presenter suggested offering Britons tax breaks to encourage them to have smaller families. He effectively endorsed China’s controversial one-child policy, which sees couples who adhere to the rule given a lump sum on retirement. But he stopped short of suggesting people should be penalised for having too many children.

This charming childless chap thinks that the pandas will die out if we don’t stop breeding:

‘I question the way, for example, people have two children with one partner, then split up and have two with their next partner, just to even up the score.

'Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.’

I hate to be a controversialist on this matter but it really is about time we started thinking about this issue on the basis of fact rather than prejudice (indeed the Daily Mail’s problem with population growth appears to be the lack of blonde, blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon Christians).

The Journal of Comparative Family Studies celebrated its 40th anniversary with this observation:

A global fertility decline has left only a small set of countries and a few percent of the global population with very high fertility. The dominant pattern is fertility decline to low levels-with over half of the global population now living in countries with below replacement level fertility. Concerns of a population explosion are now geographically concentrated and are being supplanted by concerns of a population implosion (i.e., declining population size and rapidly aging populations).

Britain’s problem is going to be an ageing population, declining fertility rates and the crisis of too few workers (something that contributed to our recent immigration episode). Yet there remain useful idiots like Mr Packham to indulge the nastier elements of the Green movement such as the Optimum Population Trust – the ones who think the UK population should be cut to just 29 million and who promote draconian disincentives to larger families.

It is organisations such as this – and the equally unpleasant uber-greens at Forum for the Future – who are wrong, both in their science and in the proposals they put forward to control fertility. Just because a few celebrities can be rolled out to tell us not to have babies doesn’t mean for one second we have a population problem.

As the picture at the top makes pretty clear – whatever is said about England’s population density (and it does suit the green fascists to select England rather than the UK for their figures) – the country is a long way from full and very unlikely to be concreted over anytime soon!


No comments: