Thursday, 20 August 2015

Hunger and poverty not caused by "overpopulation" new data shows

I am grateful to Fr John Fleming, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who has written to me to draw attention to Population Research Institute's analysis of World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, prepared by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division.

Fr Fleming writes:

In his excellent analysis of that report, Jonathan Abbamonte of the Population Research Institute, demonstrates the way in which the world has been seriously misled by population controllers. All the emphasis from international bodies such as UNFPA and USAID has been on encouraging and coercing developing countries to embrace their population control policies which have as their centrepiece “sterilisation and abortifacient contraception pills and devices with bribes and other methods of coercion”.

Abbamonte explains that the latest figures predict that world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. The default position of population controllers has always been that population growth has been and will be the single biggest cause of catastrophic outcomes for the planet:
1. Widespread famines as the world struggles to feed the people;
2. continuing low life expectancy in developing countries; and
3. high infant mortality rates among developing countries.
But, as Abbamonte points out, relying on the information contained in the new Report, the facts are actually these:
1. Despite the rapid rise in population over the last two and a half decades, “the percentage of people living with hunger in developing countries has actually dropped from 24% to 14% over the same time period.”
2. “World average life expectancy at birth in the early 1950’s was 48 years for women and 45 for men. Today those numbers are 73 for women and 68 for men. By 2100, life expectancy at birth will have risen to almost 85 for women and 82 for men worldwide and even higher in developed nations—92 years for women.”
3. Infant and childhood mortality are set to decline sharply worldwide. “By 2100, the rate of deaths among children under the age of five will fall as much as 82% in less developed nations and 80% in the world’s least developed countries.”
So it seems that the world is well placed to receive the predicted increased population.

Among other things, Abbamonte concludes: “Population alarmists would have us believe the world is overpopulated with too many people placing too great a strain on the environment and our resources. While it is true that we all share limited resources on this one planet we call home, hunger and poverty in the world today are largely the result of underdevelopment, civil strife or conflict, and poor distribution of wealth, not an excess in today’s population. Environmental degradation, although a pressing problem, has much more to do with an irresponsible disposal of waste, corporations cutting corners to meet their bottom lines, poor urban planning and excessive urban sprawl, and a culture of waste that has been fostered in developed nations.”

Abbamonte’s analysis of the new data provides plenty of food for thought.

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