No Lonely Planet; There Won't Be an Overstuffed World, after All
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Malthusians can breathe a sigh of relief: If current trends hold, human beings won't fulfill doomsday predictions by making like rabbits after all. Thanks to the success of incessant fear-mongering, the world's population is expected to peak soon and then begin a long slide downward. That's fewer of us defacing the planet.
A research team from the Autonomous University of Madrid and CEU-San Pablo University in Spain predicts the global population will begin to decline by the middle of the 21st century. Their study, published in the scientific journal Simulation, used computer models to project population based on current fertility and death rates. It predicts that global population will reach its high-water mark around the middle of the century, then decline. By 2100, there will be only about 6.2 billion of us, about the same number as in 2000.
Only yesterday, on Oct. 31, 2011 (Halloween, as a matter of fact), the United Nations announced the birth of the 7 billionth baby - not in celebration, but in alarm. The U.N. called it the Day of 7 Billion, and sounded a call to action to world leaders to meet the challenges that a growing population poses. The U.N. Population Fund marked the occasion with a report that included a graph projecting a steep increase in the rate of human growth, and asked the scary question: Will my grandchildren live in a world of 10 billion?
The U.N. has spent decades and billions of dollars to bend the rate of childbirth downward, particularly in Third World nations, where large families are often considered essential to work the fields and hence survival. …