Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Fear and fertility

One of the latest human beliefs is that you should not want to raise children because of the imminent apocalypse (eg, Wired-2019). This is a quite normal attitude in case of approaching disasters: individual survival is indeed a must for survival of the species. The problem, however, is the alleged imminence of the alleged apocalypse.

The climate change debate is extremely simple for climate change believers and extremely complicated for anyone else. I believe in climate change as Earth’s history is the living proof of its existence. I do not believe in the extremely simplified climate change debate: more CO2 = apocalypse. Unfortunately, that makes me a non-believer in the simple minds of believers.

Global human fertility has been decreasing and especially in western countries. The main reason is an increase in wealth. Children no longer need to provide their retired parents’ pension (my recent blog). In several countries the total population – excluding the influx of migrants and refugees – is already declining (eg, China, Germany, Japan, RussiaWiki, my blogs).

It’s hard to believe that this latest belief (“no children please“) will attract lots of support. It’s much more likely that the cost of raising children will prevent people from becoming future parents (eg, Atlantic-2019, Conversation-2019).

The above explains why we are already noticing articles about a future shortage of labour (eg, ERE-2005, Forbes-2013WEF-2016BI-2018, KornFerry-2018, Forbes-2019). Total human population may still be growing but the demographics are against us: too many elders, mismatches in the location of available workers (eg, Africa rather than Europe).

In 2015, the German Chancellor’s unilaterally decided to accept a massive influx of migrants and refugees. However, “even all its refugees can’t help prevent Germany’s longterm population decline” (Qz-2016). Moreover, it reshaped European politics by boosting nationalism, based on fear over migrants, refugees, and loss of cultural identity.

The global demographic crisis is already causing weird side effects: (i) a crime wave of elderly women in Japan as prison has become their “sanctuary” (eg, BBC-1, BBC-2), (ii) a suicide wave amongst China’s rural elderly people (eg, Globe-2016, NCBI-2018, Times-2018).

Fear generally invokes 3 different kind of responses: fight, flight or freeze (eg, Wiki). Climate activists fight governments, others (like me) flight to higher altitudes, and most people freeze through indecision.

You better sanctify yourself. In other words: be accountable and assume responsibility for your own (lack of) actions.

Sanctify Yourself (1986) by Simple Minds

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Is this the age of the thunder and rage 

Can you feel the ground move ’round your feet 

If you take one step closer, it’ll lead to another 

The crossroad above is where we meet 

I shout out for shelter, I need you for something 

The whole world is out, they’re all on the street

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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