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"The Population Bomb" implosion
By Paul M. Weyrich
Beginning in the late 1960's, the prevailing orthodoxy of the liberal establishment has been that the world population is growing at an alarming rate and thus we should take measures to control population growth. In the early 70's, former Senator Bob Packwood (R- OR) and the late Sen. Jacob Javits (R- NY) seriously discussed having the government license parents to have children.
Today in virtually every public school and in many private and parochial schools the social studies textbooks reflect the population scare mindset. The textbooks suggest that the world is running out of resources and the ability to feed people decently. If the population keeps on increasing at the rate it has over the past few decades the world will collapse into a state of famine and chaos. People, these textbooks claim, are the problem. Indeed some of these textbooks are designed to make the children who read them feel guilty because we represent only 4 per cent of the world's population yet we consume 25 per cent of the world's natural resources. Other textbooks openly praise Communist China's one child per couple policy. Of course, these textbooks don't explain how the government forces couples who have more than one child to have abortions. Nor do they tell their young readers how many parents leave baby girls on the roadsides to die because they want a male child who they think will be better take care of them in their old age.
No institution has promoted the population bomb scare tactics more than the UN population fund. That organization has been for decades the propaganda central for the population control crowd. Surprise! Surprise! Now comes a new report by the UN Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs which challenges virtually all of the premises of the population controllers. The report is entitled "World Population Monitoring 2001". It suggests that between l961 and l998 there has been a 24 per cent increase in the food production in the world, which, the report suggests, is more than enough to see to it that people are fed adequately. It points out that the world's population increased from 1.6 Billion in 1900 to 6.l Billion in 2000. That's a four-fold increase. But during the same period the gross domestic product increased at least 20 times. That has produced a higher standard of living for much of the world.
This Population Monitoring report suggests that where there has been poverty and famine that it is due to political and economic inefficiency or social inequities rather than because there are too many people. This report is bound to drive the population controllers crazy. Since it is based in reality it will be hard for that crowd to discredit the report with real data. So they will launch ad hominem attacks on the authors of the report.
It behooves all who are interested in promoting the truth about population problems to get hold of this report and to quote it whenever possible. It ought to be given to any youngsters whose social studies texts reflect the population control mentality. It should be discussed at civic clubs. It should be excerpted for letters to the editor. Radio talk show hosts should be encouraged to send for the report and to make it a topic for airtime discussion.
I don't ever recall commending anything the UN has produced as reflecting the truth. But for whatever reason this report, produced by a UN division which is regarded as the least ideological of any in that body, is in line with reality. Let's take advantage of this opportunity while we can.
Paul M. Weyrich is president of the Free Congress Foundation.
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