One Point Eight - (1.8)
Two factors which may save the Earth for future inhabitants were reveled by their author on Charlie Ross's interview show this week. The author, name overlooked, is a nattily dressed 70 some year old man, who runs a financial firm and by Ross's demeanor, he is of real importance in the financial health of the Planet.
Mr. Pinstripe, I'll call him, since he wore quite well a fine pinstriped suit, bemoaned for most of the interview the dire straights of the Planet being able to sustain itself beyond the next fifty to one hundred years. Mr. Pinstripe points to the ever increasing rate of depletion in natural resources throughout the World. A depletion rate brought on more quickly because of the continuous rise in World population, now nearing 7.5 billion and headed toward 10 billion. Unsustainable he claims at any number over 4 / 5,000,000,000 people.
Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Pinstripe revealed the two saving graces which have good chances to save the Planet from the excesses of mankind. First is switching from carbon based energy to renewables; such as, wind, solar, geothermal, and yet to be discovered new non carbon energy sources. Mr. Pinstripe acknowledges, even with the obstructionists in our Congress, the United States will wake up and take its rightful place in the World leading the way in total renewable energy sources.
His second point is Planet over population. Remember the number 1.8 . Mr. Pinstripe analyzed the population history of the Earth and came to some conclusions. He asserts, opposite of ordinary sense, when populations become more educated and more affluent, they reduce their number of offspring. This phenomenon is showing itself in country after country around the World. Most apparent is the heaviest populated country on the Planet, China. China's population is in decline and after a few generations it too will manifest itself in gross numbers that are sustainable.
Mr. Pinstripe claims we are headed toward 1.8 children on average born to each child bearing couple on the Earth. Over time this would reduce gross population on the Planet to a sustainable number of around 4 to 5 billion inhabitants. If this happens, a birth rate below two children per couple, the decline not easily quantified in the short run but meaningful, never the less, in the Planet's health and that will allow civilization to exist into a brighter future.
Ronald C. Downie