Monday, November 30, 2015

WSJ's "African Baby Boom" = A Recipe for Disaster

calais, migrant, britain, welfare, economic, immigration, population ...
African migrants congregate near Calais, France to try to make a break through the "Chunnel" to get to Great Britain. Teeming billions in the future will no longer be able to pour into Europe

As the Paris Climate Summit opens concern mounts over which solutions will be used to achieve the goal of no more than a 3.6F increase in global mean temperature since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Emission standards and carbon taxes will doubtless be on the table, but another element that must be on participants' radar is the burgeoning global population. This is because population increase directly fuels global warming. See e.g.

In another rose-hued Weekend WSJ piece ('African Baby Boom Brings Hope and Fear', p. A1) we are informed that "the biggest human increase in modern history is underway in Africa". Also, noting that "while every other continent shows slowing population growth, and rates are slowing for the first time in centuries.... not here, not yet".

Which is pretty damned horrific to hear because time and resources aren't on the Africans' side, though it seems a patch of economists believe it is.

How bad are these population growth stats? The WSJ again:

"Some 2.5 billion people will be in Africa by 2050, the UN projects. That would be double the current number and 25 percent of the world's total (10 billion). There will be 399 million Nigerians then, more than Americans. When the century closes, if projections hold, 4 of 10 people will be African."

Let's be clear first that those projections won't hold. Most likely those additional billions will never survive or be born. What will occur is a monumental collapse of the continent's population owing to lack of resources (including crops) to support them, as well as sufficient potable water and jobs.

Lack of resources will mean anywhere from 500m to 1 billion will starve. It will make the Biafra famine in the 1960s look like a carnival. No lie! There simply won't be enough food crops to support the burgeoning population and both Europe and the U.S. will be food-strapped to the point they won't be able to help. Multiple droughts and climate disasters will winnow the available crops down to barely sufficient for those existing populations.

Lack of potable water will ensure another half billion will perish from water borne diseases including amoebic dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

Lack of enough jobs to go around (9,000 Africans are being born on average each day and 9 percent employment is the best these nations can do right now) will inflame further economic and tribal divisions leading to more national uprisings, civil wars and terror. Don't take my word, just look around African now to see all the failed states and instability and this is with barely 1.25 b population. Why would anyone believe doubling the numbers will make things better? It  won't!

And don't look for the Europeans to help out with immigration. They are dealing with enough now with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis flooding in. They will be in no mood to take in Africans too. Which, of course, is another reason for African nations to control their numbers.

The WSJ (p. A13) gloats that by mid-century all the advanced nations will also be suffering from advanced age populations. (By 2050 nearly a fourth of the people on Earth will have passed their 60thj birthday) and lo and behold Africa's numbers hold a way out of this "gray flood".


"For comparison the average African wil be 28, and e both old and young enough to start a business, educate themselves, builds new homes, embark on careers...."

And other Pollyannish codswallop, e.g.

"Simply put: a baby boom will lift the poorest continent on Earth into the center of  global affairs. Africa will soon be the world's most reliable source of new life".

And death, as the battle for scarce resources consumes all their energy and tribal instincts reign. This stuff isn't rocket science!  Not mentioned is how most of them, jobless, and without resources - will likely kill the other half that are "haves" - merely for survival.

Even the goofy author (Drew Hinshaw)  admits in crannies of the piece how bad things are. '

- Africa is growing faster than governments can lay down the basics of a modern economy: power plants, roads and schools.

- In Nigeria electricity cuts out daily, public schools are packed, textbooks are few

- Banks barely lend. Nigeria has just 20,000 mortgages for a country of 182 million

- There isn't even enough oil to support a population that grows by 13,000 a day

If it's this bad now, what makes this pie eyed fool believe adding more people will make it better? Does he think free money will pour in from the rest of the world, or no interest loans from the World Bank and IMF?

And yet he writes of a "demographic dividend"  (the moment big families become small and people find themselves with more money because of fewer mouths to feed). But he's talking of a process that takes YEARS , decades. They just don't wake up one morning and find money under the sheepskin rug!

The best way for this continent to at least survive isn't mentioned until near the end: birth control.  But the problem is "birth control has been slow to cattch on". Why?

Well, "women often need permission slips from their husbands to take it"

Adding, "all the files from all the women in the largest hospital in the state don't fill a single filing cabinet".

Which  is sad, but it means Africans are for the 'high jump', in Bajan parlance. Again, these migrations  as solutions - to either wars or overpopulation and lack of  resources- can't go on, and the Europeans won't accept millions piling onto their shores in the coming years,  when the originating nations can't or won't control their own numbers.

They can either stop breeding and "begin feeding", or else starve and perish. And no amount of foolish economic snake oil is going to save them, nor any "demographic dividends".

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