New Report Confirms Decline in Fertility By Father John Flynn, LC ROME, February 02, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Recent years have seen a dramatic decline in the …
The data still looks pretty convincing to me that industrialized, politically stable nations with ready access to contraceptives by nature fail to reproduce their own populations in the long term. If you actually go to the UN report and look at the graphs the results are nothing less than astounding. un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/dataset/fertility/wfr2012/MainFrame.html
Truly we are WAY past the inflection point where overpopulation is anything to seriously worry about. The worry now has to become whether disastrously rapid depopulation is in the global future or not.
The strange thing is that in spite of their own clear data, UN future projections for global population still assume for their median model that long term TFR will stabilize at 2.1 (replacement rate). Their “low variant” model is the one that actually fits the data for what post-industrial countries trend towards (1.6 TFR). That one shows global population peaking and starting a long term decline around 2050.
In the future, the culture will claim to “solve” this situation in the form of cloning.
Underpopulation is, to me, a lot scarier than asserted overpopulation.
I remember a small town in my state in which the sewer system stopped working. They brought in engineers to see what the problem was. Well, the population had declined and there was no longer enough water going into the system to make it work.
I remember reading about the period following the Black Death. Houses stood abandoned and became the abodes of vagabonds and vermin. Fields went back to brush. Wild animals roamed the roadways and attacked travelers. Roaming bandit bands operated with impunity because there wasn’t enough law enforcement to keep them suppressed. Everything fell into disrepair because there weren’t enough able-bodied workers to keep them in repair and not enough taxes to pay for it.
Imagine a city half-abandoned because there aren’t enough people. Whole electrical grids would go down for lack of maintenance. Water mains would be cut off to some former neighborhoods, and those beyond would get no water. Streets would fall apart. Law enforcement would take hours to arrive at a crime scene if they arrived at all. Whole blocks would have to be demolished, and wild animals would roam in those former neighborhoods. (Detroit is called to mind)
Not an enticing picture at all.
I’m one of those engineers. Yup, sanitary sewers rely on flow rates to maintain self cleaning velocities. If you have a 12" sewer designed for a large neighborhood and suddenly half of those homes are abandoned and the other half have half the residents they used to you will get such problems.
Water mains can have similar problems. If the population declines dramatically, the turnover time for water in the system can get long enough that the chlorine residual is exhausted and nasty stuff starts growing in the water.
Even when fully occupied, single family neighborhoods are a net drain on municipal tax base for maintenance. They get subsidized by the much higher values of commercial real estate. Imagine what a budget sucker those neighborhoods will be when they are half empty lots!