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Waiting for the balloon to go bang.

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During my historically insignificant lifetime of six decades, the population of Australia has increased 275% from 8 million to 22 million.  (source)

Ethiopia, despite it's frequent reliance on overseas food aid, has, during the same period enlarged it's population 600% from 15 million to 90 million.  (source)

Now honestly, who amongst all the intelligent people of the world including world leaders really believe this trend can continue unabated?

When will we realise that our monumental achievements during the 20th century in disease prevention and treatment (sanitation, vaccination and antibiotics) need to be counterbalanced by fertility control.

Or are we, like rabbits, just waiting until a human equivalent of myxomatosis re-establishes the balance of nature?

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

18 responses »

  1. In grad school we studied the effects of deforestation (and subsequent mudslides and drought) in Ethiopia. It was one of the darkest classes I've ever sat through. It was so dismal I couldn't believe it.
    I think many people think that population growth is a sign of health.

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  2. It's been said before.

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  3. It's been said before.Well thank you Snowy….it's good to be in such company, although perhaps the time has finished for all the "saying" and someone has to now do some serious getting off the arse and doing something about it.

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  4. I think many people think that population growth is a sign of health. Time will provide the ultimate answer.Politicians think population growth is good because it keeps the Dow Jones and GNP kicking along. Religions love it because there are more souls to save.Like you I find the whole subject depressing…..I think I'll go to the beach for a couple of days and see if some rum and coke will change my perspective.

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  5. Doing my part by not having kids.I work in a small company; several of the women here have gone through terrible fertility treatments. Terrible in their toll on the psyche and body — hormones are brutal enough, let alone those that at that "bionic" level.It pisses me off. There really are plenty of unclaimed kids out there. I don't get that. I hear them say, "I want my own baby" but what makes them so special? There's no guarantee that the baby you'll have is going to be better than the poor unloved sods out there.Also, I don't think I'm so flipping wonderful that the world needs a half-me out there. What makes them so special? If there were a half-me out there, one generation younger, I'd feel sorry for it from the state of the world.That's how I feel. People usually have Bad Things to Say about Women Who Don't Want Kids but there you go. I love my unborn babies too much to bring them into this world. ::ducks and covers::-want to mention there are people not only making better choices but going above and beyond: in my acquaintance is a family who takes in foster kids with developmental problems…they're upper middle class and feel they're paying it back/ forward/ whatever — she's a Saint (the mother, that is).

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  6. Thanks m-t for your contribution, to what has always been an unpopular topic.At least for the first time in my life I see International discussion taking place about limiting the world's population in view of it's connection with the destruction of our natural environment.I admire you and every other woman who has made the choice not to have children.At least today it is a socially acceptable option. Girls of my generation were expected to get married quickly then start reproducing.And as for the women out there who choose to care for the unwanted children of others….well I have written about them before…..they are real heroines in this world.

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  7. I assure you, it's not acceptable.I've endured scores of "What? Are you one of them lesbians?" "Don't you like men?" comments from the community I was raised in–including family members.My own mother is quite appalled (not at my true feelings shared here but that I simply refuse to marry and bear children because it is what is expected), where my father keeps his own council on this one, at least! It has been ugly!

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  8. oops:And more! :)Where I'm from isn't the norm. A full 1/3 of the girls I started high school with dropped out due to pregnancy. This was not only common but not considered shameful.They chose to "become adults" and to "take on responsibilities." When I turned 18, the questions began. That I was heading to uni was no excuse. A good girl started making babies, even if she wasn't married. It's a different mentality. You were "good" because you were doing what was expected and many women chose to continue having children as it meant gov't checks in an area where there were literally no jobs. Bass-akward to me but I'm the weirdo here!

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  9. It has been ugly!Sorry to hear that m-t.I suspect that for most Australians it is different…certainly within my social circle it is quite OK for women to make their own fertility choices.But then again, my "social circle" is not the most extensive on the planet so I may be wrong. Maybe Globet will have some more accurate thoughts to add to this subject.

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  10. My social circle is circa 1880. One of the problems of growing up in an isolated area. I'm not joking when I say they settlers were cut-off til 1968. We were sort of 80 years behind everywhere else. Poverty and lack of education tends to lend to elevated population, too. We are long on both of those in this area.

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  11. I'm the weirdo here!I don't think so m-t. But then again, we both might be :-)Quite extraordinary that 30% of girls dropped out because of pregnancy….certainly in our local high school occasionally senior students might get pregnant but they are encouraged to stay at school, and return again after the child is born.I think I am getting out of my depth here. Where's my Inga when I need help?:-)

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  12. It really was 1/3. Promise. That was the stats for girls. One-third of freshman dropped out before senior year.I forget how many boys dropped out. Newsweek did an article on my school and found it to be the worst in the nation for drugs, violence, drop-out rates, etc. They called us "Smoke City, USA."My mother came to me when I was almost 16. "You ready to leave school yet?" It was legal for kids to drop out and it was as common as Coke or Pepsi: stay in school or drop out. Whatever. Get a job, live your life, be an adult.The year after I graduated, our valedictorian held her baby on her hip when she gave her speech. So, some girls did choose to stay in!

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  13. I sheet home a lot of the blame to Church Leaders.

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  14. I'm the grinch of these sorts of situations, I'm afraid. I just don't hold out a lot of hope for humanity, and I do think it's the human equivalent of myxomatosis that will (temporarily) sort out the imbalance.

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  15. I'm the grinch of these sorts of situations,You are the realist LOM. I don't think enough individuals or world leaders in politics or religion have the guts to make the decisions that are needed.

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  16. Well, I think those leaders are realists as well. The most sensible realistic person I saw in the last election here didn't seem to have a chance of getting elected because people will mostly vote for lofty ideals over reality any day. We're all looking for a savior, when we need a gym coach who's going to work us hard for our own good.

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  17. We're all looking for a savior, when we need a gym coach who's going to work us hard for our own good. Now that LOM is the most wise and memorable sentence that has ever appeared on this blog.With your permission I would like to give it more legs at some future date.Thank you.

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  18. That's why I did my part … no children and no swine flu vaccine!

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