posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 10:53 PM
People have had overpopulation pounded into their brains for so long that nobody seems to realize that the average woman gives birth to far fewer
children now than ever before. Most of Europe is just beginning to experience population declines, and it won't be long before the true crisis of a
shrinking population becomes apparent. The US will continue to see population growth for a longer period of time, due to immigration and certain
segments of the population that still have many offspring.
Even in less developed countries the numbers have shown a drastic drop off. The cause can very much be attributed to widespread urbanization. As
people move to cities there becomes far less reason to produce a lot of offspring. There is no land to have children work, and they become a financial
burden to raise rather than an asset.
In the long run, this becomes a bigger concern than the short term(next 30-50 years) prospect of increasing population. Our whole way of life has
evolved to take advantage of a growing population, with the young outnumbering the elderly. This is in the process of reversing and the effects will
be seen in some places very soon. Programs of Social Security will have absolutely no hope of being saved. We have very little true knowledge of what
a population weighted heavily towards the elderly with an ever decreasing workforce will do.
We'll see what happens. We've done a good job escaping the past predicted food shortages. The capacity seems to be there, with government and lack
of infrastructure largely to blame for distribution issues.
While short term food obviously need to be dealt with, I truly fear that a shrinking population will be disastrous simply because we let it sneak up
on us even though it's pretty obvious it's coming soon. Europe and Japan should be an interesting test case.