By Alan on Nov 11 in Blog tagged actually decreasing, d, declining, demographic disaster, demographic divided, economic and social problems, or, population control activists, population control is being discredited, seven billion people, shrinking populations, smaller number of young people | Comments Off
Seven Billion People: Demographic Dividend or Demographic Disaster?
Not surprisingly, the symbolic birthday of the seven billionth person on the earth recently has spawned a range of predictable, and mistaken, reactions.
Those who favor population control have seized upon this milestone to push for more aggressive population control measures and are using it as an excuse to call for greater access to abortion as a means of family planning.
The attitude of many is “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.” Seven billion people, they say, is way too many and we must do something to stop this!
It reminds me of the saying that every so many seconds somewhere in the world a mother is giving birth to a baby. Population control activists would add, “So we better find that woman and stop her!”
However, the reality is despite this 7 billion people milestone, most nations are not experiencing a population explosion. They are experiencing a population implosion with not enough young people being born to fuel their economies.
The big die off that was predicted for the world in the 60’s due to burgeoning populations triggering famines and scarcity of food, simply never happened.
This is due in part to the rapid development of advanced technologies and farming techniques that have enabled the world to produce more life-sustaining essentials quickly with substantially less resources.
As a result of advances in medical sciences and the improved delivery of healthcare worldwide, people are living much longer, which is creating a new population dynamic. Most countries now have a higher percentage of older people than ever before in human history.
Consider these facts and projections:
While worldwide population is increasing, it is increasing at a much lower rate. In 1960 the rate was 2.1 percent but this year the rate has dropped to 1.2 percent.
Today, only 10 of the 193 countries in the world have an annual population rate increase above 3.0 percent.
Family size has been steadily shrinking, even in developing countries.
As a result, by 2050, worldwide there will be twice as many people aged 65 or older as there are aged 15 or younger.
The most reliable estimate suggests that world population will peak at somewhere over 8 billion in about 30 years and then begin a steady decline.
Worldwide population is likely to shrink back to below 7 billion by the end of the century.
One hundred years from now, at the projected rate of decrease, world population will be 6 billion people and will likely lose another billion every 20 years thereafter into the 22nd century.
While these may seem like positive trends, shrinking populations are predicted to cause serious economic and social problems, particularly over the next couple of generations. This is because the proportion of the population that is older and beyond their working years will have to be supported by an ever smaller number of younger people still in the workforce.
In developed countries where birthrates first began falling, only a few are now at or near the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Currently, 80 countries with about half the world’s population are below replacement birthrate levels.
Many developed countries with declining birthrates are taking steps to increase the birthrate by offering various financial and other incentives. However, despite these incentives few of these countries have increased their fertility rates. As a result, these countries are currently in the process of committing “demographic suicide.” Unless something is done, eventually they will simply cease to exist.
For those interested in more detail on what has led to this population decline and the consequences for societies around the world we highly recommend “Demographic Winter” and “Demographic Bomb.” More information is available here.
To be sure, essential resources are not readily available in many parts of the world. But the problem is not so much one of scarcity of resources as it is the efficient and economic distribution of them. This is a political and economic problem.
In light of this, how can the continued push by so many for population control be explained? Ignorance of the facts is one reason, of course. But the more sinister one is that population control is camouflage for the push for unrestricted and easy access to abortion worldwide.
Population control advocates already are seriously being discredited simply by the fact that so many populations are declining. As these downward population trends continue and economic problems worsen it will become increasingly evident to everyone how destructive population control policies are.
The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), which is at the forefront of the world’s efforts to decrease population growth, needs a complete reversal of policy. Their goals should be to encourage child-bearing, not to promote abortion under the euphemism of “reproductive health.”
We still have a big job ahead of us to bring the hard facts to bear in exposing the other initiatives and policy agendas that are continuing to undermine the institution of the family around the world.
But to the 7 billionth baby who was born on October 31st, we welcome you to a world that needs more babies!
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion overthe fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Gen. 1: 28
For The Family
By Alan on Feb 27 in Blog tagged Apostle, declining, destroy, Family, first, God, grandparents, M. Russell Ballard, misplaced, parents, priorities, Proclamation To The World, sacred, society, tolerance, values | 1 Comment
We need to to put family first and identify specific ways to strengthen their individual families.
Parents, grandparents, and extended family members everywhere, we gave been given a Proclamation To The World on The Family by the Prophets of God that we need to hold fast to and make it a banner like unto General Moroni’s “title of liberty,” and to commit ourselves to live by its precepts. As we are all part of a family, the proclamation applies to everyone.
Public opinion surveys indicate that people everywhere in the world generally consider the family as the highest priority; yet in recent years the broader culture seems to ignore or misdefine the family. Consider some of the changes of the past decade:
- Many larger national and international institutions that used to support and strengthen families now try to supplant and even sabotage the very families they were created to serve.
- In the name of “tolerance,” the definition of family has been expanded beyond recognition to the point that “family” can be any individuals of any gender who live together with or without commitment or children or attention to consequence.
- Rampant materialism and selfishness delude many into thinking that families, and especially children, are a burden and a financial millstone that will hold them back rather than a sacred privilege that will teach them to become more like God.
And yet most parents throughout the world continue to know both the importance and the joy that are attached to natural families. Friends of mine who just returned from speaking to families and parents on several continents reported to me that the hopes and concerns of parents are remarkably similar throughout the earth.
In India a concerned Hindu mother said, “All I want is to be a bigger influence on my children than the media and the peer group.” And a Buddhist mother in Malaysia said, “I’d like my boys to be able to operate in the world, but I don’t want them to be of the world.” Parents from all different cultures and faiths are saying and feeling the same things we are as parents in the Church.
The world needs to know what the proclamation teaches, because the family is the basic unit of society, of the economy, of our culture, and of our government. And as Latter-day Saints know, the family will also be the basic unit in the celestial kingdom.
In the Church, our belief in the overriding importance of families is rooted in restored doctrine. We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death.
If we live and act upon this knowledge, we will attract the world to us. Parents who place a high priority on their families will gravitate to the Church because it offers the family structure, values, doctrine, and eternal perspective that they seek and cannot find elsewhere.
Our family-centered perspective should make Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.
President Harold B. Lee spoke of the Church as a crucial “scaffolding” that helps build the individual and the family (see Conference Report, Oct. 1967, 107). The Church is the kingdom of God on earth, but in the kingdom of heaven, families will be both the source of our eternal progress and joy and the order of our Heavenly Father. As we are often reminded, we will be released one day from our Church callings; but if we are worthy, we will never be released from our family relationships.
Now, one may ask, How do we protect and preserve and strengthen our homes and families in a world pulling so hard in opposite directions? Let me make three simple suggestions:
- Be consistent in holding daily family prayer and weekly family home evenings. Both of these invite the Lord’s Spirit, which provides the help and power we need as parents and family leaders. The Church curriculum and magazines have many good ideas for family home evening. Also consider holding a family testimony meeting where parents and children can express their beliefs and feelings to each other in a private and personal setting.
- Teach the gospel and basic values in your home. Establish a love for reading the scriptures together. Too many of our parents are abdicating this responsibility to the Church. While seminary, auxiliaries, and priesthood quorums are important as a supplement to parental gospel instruction, the main responsibility rests in the home. You might want to choose one gospel subject or a family value and then watch for opportunities to teach it. Be wise and do not involve children or yourselves in so many activities out of the home that you are so busy that the Spirit of the Lord cannot be recognized or felt in giving you the promised guidance for yourself and your family.3. Create meaningful family bonds that give your children an identity stronger than what they can find with their peer group or at school or anyplace else. This can be done through family traditions for birthdays, for holidays, for dinnertime, and for Sundays. It can also be done through family policies and rules with natural and well-understood consequences. Have a simple family economy where children have specific chores or household duties and receive praise or other rewards commensurate to how well they do. Teach them the importance of avoiding debt and of earning, saving, and wisely spending money. Help them learn responsibility for their own temporal and spiritual self-reliance.
We call upon government and political leaders to put the needs of children and parents first and to think in terms of family impact in all legislation and policy making.
We call upon Internet providers and Web site creators to become more responsible regarding their potential for influence and to adopt the conscious objective of protecting children from violence, pornography, filth, and sleaze.
We call upon educational entities to teach universal values and family and parenting skills, supporting parents in their responsibility to raise children to become the leaders of families in generations yet to come.
We call upon our own Church members to reach out in love to neighbors and friends of other faiths and include them in the use of the many resources the Church has to help families. Our communities and neighborhoods will be safer and stronger as people of all faiths work together to strengthen families.
It is important to remember that all larger units of society depend on the smallest and most fundamental unit, the family. No matter who or what we are, we help ourselves when we help families.
Brothers and sisters, as we hold up like a banner the proclamation to the world on the family and as we live and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will fulfill the measure of our creation here on earth. We will find peace and happiness here and in the world to come. We should not need a hurricane or other crisis to remind us of what matters most. The gospel and the Lord’s plan of happiness and salvation should remind us. What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
M. RUSSELL BALLARD
Of The Twelve Apostles
From: “What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,” , (October 1, 2005)
For The Family