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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Population bomb still a fizzer 40 years on | The Australian

Full article from The Australian

Did that read like a "rant," perhaps a tad "inflammatory?" No, I didn't think so, and yet that's how it sounded to one commentator. I guess I'm commenting on how people can react when they hear something that they are passionately opposed to. I hear it from my 10-year-old from time to time, and I guess that goes with the age.

But on to the population issue -- being a best-effort (but far from perfectly) orthodox Catholic, I would naturally go with the author: let's be reasonable. I think this debate can do with some balance. We can't blindly advocate for 10 children per family (I have four and that's it), but we can't go the other extreme either. Children are good, in and of themselves. I can't, for the life of me, understand why rich couples would settle for two children! For the rest of us, parents do have to be responsible enough to weigh everything, in prayer, and come up with what's reasonable for them. Applying population science to family sizes, however, is going overboard. Apart from the fact that each family is different, population science can miss many factors, such as man's ingenuity and ability to increase production of needed resources -- without harvesting wheat or taking meat from bovines to extinction. Add to that the complexity of the socio-economic and cultural issues involved.

Let's not forget that today's environmental problems will not be solved simply by tightening belts. We need brilliant minds and mighty sinews for that, which calls for new generations to be born. The way I see it, there's so much going wrong in the world that the best thing we can do -- assuming reasonable prospects for success, is we raise up and throw our best and brightest at those problems. We have to feed them though, and train them up right, but you have two choices when your house is getting cramped: you start throwing people out or you build yourself a bigger house. Which one will it be?

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