Welcome, Baby 8 Billion!
COMMENTARY: Powerful people have spent billions of dollars pushing the morally offensive idea that there is an 'over-population crisis,' but facts prove otherwise.
Rather than just bracing ourselves for the barrage of doomsday propaganda that is sure to come, let’s go on offense: Without apology or equivocation, we welcome Baby 8 Billion.
With falling fertility around the world, we need babies now more than ever. Elon Musk said, “If people don’t have more children, civilization will crumble.” The labor shortages that many businesses are experiencing today are a foretaste of what the world will look like when population starts to actually decline.
The idea that there are too many people is morally offensive. Who exactly has the right to make such a statement? Too many people for what purpose? Too many people by what definitions?
When we start fretting over “too many people,” plans to “do something about it” won’t be far behind. We’ve already seen decades of propaganda and policies steering people’s reproductive choices here in the West. In China, we’ve seen decades of out and out control of people’s choices through the notorious One-Child policy.
Thomas Malthus thought the world was overpopulated in the late-18th century when there were 1 billion of us. He predicted mass famine. When Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968, the earth’s population was 3.6 billion. He predicted worldwide starvation in the 1970s. It never happened.
As a matter of fact, the world is better off in material terms than it ever has been. More and more people have been lifted out of poverty. According to World Bank estimates, 36.3% of the world’s population lived in poverty in 1990. By 2019, a mere 8.6% of the people of the world were poor by these same measures. These astonishing figures do not seem to slow down the doomsayers who claim there are too many people.
It is true that population is growing, even though fertility rates have fallen all across the world. That’s because people are living longer. Let’s take the Philippines as an example. Their population grew from 28 million to 112 million between 1960 and 2020. I don’t know about you, but in my mind, more Filipinos is a good thing! Nonetheless, this rising population was the excuse that Western “experts” gave for pushing the 2012 Reproductive Act on the people of the Philippines. “Too many people,” don’tcha know?
Population alarmism hides these facts: The Total Fertility Rate in the Philippines has fallen from 7.15 births per woman in 1960 to 3.2 in 2010, and now down to 2.53 births per woman in 2020. What are the birth controllers complaining about? That last half child per woman? Get a life people!
Now consider these facts: The child mortality rate in the Philippines has dropped from 68.05 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 18.12 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2020. Fewer babies are dying. Yea! Great news for everyone! The life expectancy in the Philppines has increased from 61 years to 71 years over the same time period. People are living longer! Yea!
Yes, population is growing, but not because we are breeding like bunnies. It is because we are no longer dropping like flies.
Yet, rich and powerful people have spent literally billions of dollars convincing us that there is an “over-population crisis.” These naysayers are, in effect, complaining about people living longer. Either that, or they don’t know what they are talking about.
The prophets of population doom forget that every new person is more than a consumer, another mouth to feed. Every new person is potentially a producer, a pair of hands. The late, great Julian Simon pointed out that the human mind, with its imagination, ingenuity and motivation to help others, is The Ultimate Resource in his masterful book of that name.
So here at the Ruth Institute, we will be watching the World Population Clock to see it hit 8 billion. We know it is not possible to know exactly who Baby 8 Billion will be, or when he or she will be born.
Maybe Baby 8 Billion will be a boy in Nigeria, arriving precisely on Nov. 15 at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. Maybe Baby 8 Billion will be a girl in the Philippines the day before. Or perhaps twins in France will push us over the mark several days later.
No matter. We are looking forward to Baby 8 Billion. We have a letter we are addressing to all the babies born this November and their parents. The letter starts like this:
Dear Baby 8 Billion,
We’re glad you’re here. In fact, we’re so happy, we want to thank your mother and father for bringing you into the world.
Please know that we’re not the slightest bit worried about your “carbon footprint.” We’ll always consider you a gift to the world. We don’t care where you live, what religion your family professes, or what race you may be. Our wish for you is the same: that your mother and father love you and each other your whole life.
And the letter ends like this:
Our little ones taught us how to love. Every one of them, every one of you, is loved by somebody!
God, especially, loves you. And that’s the real reason you’re here. God made you in his image and likeness. No one will ever reflect the image of God in exactly the same way as you. Isn’t that amazing? God wants you to be here. That’s good enough for us!
So, Baby 8 Billion, welcome to the world! We thank God for you. We thank your mother and father for having you! Whatever your life may bring, you are part of the human family. We’re glad you’re here!
Your friends at the Ruth Institute.
So please join us in welcoming Baby 8 Billion to the world! Join us in thanking parents everywhere who bring children into the world, allowing all of us to have a future on this earth. I hope you’ll share this message of encouragement to the new babies and their parents!