“Civilization is going to crumble”

low fertility rateTwo prominent celebrities had competing views on our country’s low fertility rate. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is okay with it due to climate change concerns:

“Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around and so it’s basically like, there’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, ‘Is it okay to still have children?’”

Tesla and Space X CEO, Elon Musk, pushed back in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:

“I can’t emphasize this enough, there are not enough people. And I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birth rate. And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control.

It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers. If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.”

The data supports Elon Musk

Pulse Life Advocates looked at the numbers. Musk is right. The fertility rate is below replacement in every state, but South Dakota.

Since the turn of the century, the international rate has dropped nearly eleven percent. Ninety-five countries have a total fertility rate below replacement level.

Two of the three largest population countries in the world, China (1.7) and the United States (1.8) have fertility rates below the replacement rate of 2.1 children born over a woman’s lifetime.

The world’s second largest country in terms of population, India, has a falling fertility rate that has just dipped below replacement levels.

A low fertility rate affects Iowa

Here in Iowa, our fertility rate has been below replacement levels since 2009. In 2020, 36,054 babies were born in Iowa, the lowest number in a century. In response, Maggie DeWitte, Pulse Life Advocates’ Executive Director, said:

“The fertility rate in Iowa dropped more than eight percent since 2009. Iowa is dying a slow demographic death unless we do something about it. The first place to start is to ban abortion. Abortion isn’t just evil, it is suicide.”

And yet as Elon Musk pointed out, the consensus among left-leaning politicians and our cultural elite is just the opposite: they say we have too many people, and that people hurt the climate. Bill Gates expressed it like this:

“Crucially, one of the factors pushing carbon emissions to an unsustainable level is population growth.”

The same people who tout overpopulation concerns also tend to look to abortion as one of the solutions.

Abortion is never the solution. And in the case of overpopulation, the so-called problem has been misrepresented in the media and by our elites, as the data shows. A decline in population leads to worker shortages, a drop in innovation, economic stagnation and overall civilizational decline.

Sixty-one million Americans have been aborted since Roe v Wade. Imagine how much better off we’d be if they had been born.

[How do the politics of climate change and the pro-life movement intersect? Read “The Anti-Life Politics of Climate Change.”]

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