too many people…


As a young person I was very much for decreasing the planets population…and then I grew up and had children which made me feel I should stop being an eco-fascist. I was (and am) laid back and libertarian about most things but tend(ed) to think when time is short or times are truly desperate you sometimes need to resort to a big stick.
Anyway…I read something today posted by my friend Iain on Facebook and it made me think and this is what I thunk.

My mother told me that once I was married I should have as many babies as I could because I’m clever and as it’s usually stupid people who breed most – she meant Irish Catholics (who she had no time for) – her hatred of them would have made her a terrible bigot but for where we lived and history so she got away with being merely a minor bigot. She went on to tell me that the population of the planet if stupid people out-bred the clever ones would get bigger and bigger and more stupid. I think in return I told her that as the nuclear threat was all her generations fault she should have done something about it before encouraging me to bring more children into a doomed world.

Anyway; I only had two in the end (both of which were born out of wedlock but she didn’t seem to mind)…those two children have three parents…those three parents have three children in total – those three children have six parents in total -(I’m including later step parents who are childless themselves). To sustain the same level of population each woman (I read somewhere) needs to have 2.33 children. In my disjointed extended child-centred family each female in our equation therefore has one child.  I don’t feel too guilty as it’s a distinct downward trend and I feel justified in edging back into ranting about humans over breeding.

Of course my shining example of low level breeding was more happenstance than intent and I don’t ‘think’ I even know any childless women who remain so because of worldwide over population…at least not once their body clocks start ticking and they bow to a lifetime of not-so-subtle societal pressures.

It also made me wonder whether the modern family structure of divorces and re-marryings and children shared between households means we are ending up with fewer children per female capita or more?

In the meanwhile I shall try never to pressure my own children to breed out of my own selfish urge for grand-children…after all…should they decide the earth is populated enough they’re likely to throw global warming at me and ask why my generation didn’t do anything about that.

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