In response to one of my recent posts, I received a comment saying basically the following: shouldn’t we all refrain from having more than two children, due to the planet’s being overpopulated?
They are plenty of statistics and videos available online, showing how not overpopulation, but population ageing and decline are plaguing the Western world, demographically, socially and economically – I can’t supply links right now, but that won’t be necessary because we can all do a Google search. I am just going to clarify a few brief points.
First, and most importantly, I don’t worship nature; I’m coming from the premise that even if nature could benefit from there being less people on the planet, it doesn’t mean we should restrict our population. Of course we must put all effort towards preserving our ecology, but the notion of not reproducing reminds me of the old Soviet joke saying, “no person, no problem” – the only sure way to get rid of a difficulty is to get rid of the person to whom it relates! Surely none of us wants to think along these lines.
Second, I am under the impression that “we are not having children because we are thinking about the planet” is only ever stated by people who wouldn’t want to have a numerous family anyway, for reasons that have to do with their personal convenience rather than with the environment. How many people who are thus choosing to have fewer or no children, are also making an effort towards living simply and sustainably? What else are willing to “go without” for the sake of the environment – cars, new clothes, travelling? Or are they ready to give up only that which they do not value anyway?
Third, not all regions of our planet are overpopulated – far from it. In fact, there are countries, such as
, where population decline is one of the gravest national problems, and the government is trying in vain to induce people to have more babies. Would you tell a family living in a small village somewhere in the arctic circle or the far East that they ought to have no more than two children, for the sake of the planet? Russia
Of course, even within the borders of one country there are regions which are more, and regions which are less populated.
is tiny and is considered a densely populated country, but even here, we have regions which suffer from population decline, because people flock to the urban areas which offer more opportunities for employment. The solution for crowded population is not to have less children, it is to give people opportunities which will enable them to spread out to emptier regions. Israel
When talking to a Jew, overpopulation is a rather sad joke, when you remember that around one third of our number was wiped out in the Holocaust a couple of generations ago. Add to this the threat of assimilation and intermarriage, and you’ll see than unfortunately, it doesn’t look like our ranks are going to swell anytime soon. Thus, as a people, we must rejoice in every Jewish child that is born.
And here's a link I stumbled across after I finished writing this, which illustrates my points exactly.