I figured we could use a new subject just for fun :-)
I was listening to someone go on about global warming and how in a few generations, the coasts will flood, the deserts will expand, cold places will be tropical....blah!
It occurred to me that it might not really matter. Why? Because almost all of the developed countries have gone into negative population growth. Even in 2nd and 3rd world countries, the birth rate is down. The US and New Zealand have static rates of growth.
Before you clap your hands in ecstasy that we will soon have fewer nasty humans polluting the earth, consider these few facts. The normal work force is made up of those between 18 and 60. After that, people tend to retire. They are supported by social welfare programs paid for by the young work force coming behind them. It takes several young workers to pay for 1 retired persons promised social welfare programs. What happens when the population ages and there are fewer and fewer workers to support them?
In addition, it is young people who dream and innovate. If an old person has a brilliant idea, it is the young work force that will implement it. imagine Henry Ford coming up with a way to mass produce the auto, and only have a work force of elders to work the lines! How many 70 year olds will be sitting on the garage floor building micro chips, or making running better running shoes? Who will nurse the elders? Where will new doctors, teachers, astronauts, come from?
At the moment, many countries rely on an imported work force. As underdeveloped countries reduce birth rates, they won't be so likely to want to work for a bunch of old people....and certainly not at low wages. They will be a commodity in short supply, and will be able to demand what they want.
Before global warming gets us, we may depopulate ourselves. Long live the polar bear!