Some days ago, a good friend of mine brought to my attention a recent article published by the Telegraph on Sir David Attenborough’s thoughts and opinion on the topical issue of hunger in Africa.
For people who do not know him, Sir David is a highly respected and celebrated broadcaster in the UK who has been featured in many documentaries on nature and life science.
So I thought I should respond to Sir David’s population control philosophy which is spreading, like toxic smoke, throughout the western world and even now to the developing world where many of our leaders are constantly being reminded (by the likes of Sir David) of the “threat” of the ticking population bomb which is the carelessly reproducing masses of people that they govern.
In the Telegraph article, Sir David Attenborough spoke of a “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.
I am no demographer, but I do not need to be one to notice the undeniable demographic decline which is now occurring in many western countries where the fertility rate has dropped below replacement rate, thereby creating all sorts of complex fiscal and economic difficulties associated with population aging, labour shortage, loss of tax revenues, collapse of social welfare systems and general economic decline.
As many respectable scholars and demographers have pointed out, this is a real demographic dilemma with real consequences that are now slowly but surely paralyzing some of the most powerful countries in the world.
Beyond the economic implications of population decline, are the difficult social and cultural changes that are inevitable and inescapable in societies where the median age is constantly rising. Case in point Japan. The ramifications are profound for both young and old in the society.
One small but concrete example of this is in the unavoidable fate of most retired people in the developed world who are having to move into the (often) lonely world of the nursing home.
This is simply not the case in the developing world, where there are enough children and grandchildren to care for the elderly parents in warm and loving multigenerational households.
Another thought from the article that I would vehemently object to is the ambiguous and unfounded notion that the famine and hunger in Africa is attributable to “increased or high population”.
Sir David asserts that in order to end the famine and hunger crisis in Ethiopia, the Ethiopians should stop having babies. In his assessment and judgment, there are too many Ethiopians scrambling over very little piece of land.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
And so we ask , where are more people likely to scramble for less land?
The facts and figures are eloquent enough.
Dear Sir David Attenborough, the reason why your flawed population control recommendation is being unequivocally rejected by the Catholic Church is probably because from your clearly articulated views, needy nations must overcome hunger by eliminating the hungry through extensive population and birth control mechanisms. This approach does not adequately highlight the dignity of the human person.
And it is unfortunately the tone of advice that is now ringing louder and louder in the ears of the African leaders who are constantly seeking help and hope from the elite crowd of the developed world.
This is a terrible disappointment! A condescension towards the Africans! A disregard for the prevalent culture of the people.