The anti-populationists' ideological armour of righteous environmentalism leaves them blind to the fact that we need a sustainable rate of growth because without at least stasis in natural increase, we will have an unnaturally ageing population, like Japan's. Without a natural increase of at least 2.1 children per woman -- ours is only 1.9 -- we cannot achieve the age balance that will give us enough children to fuel the future economy and care for the aged. If we can't get sustainable natural growth, we must have immigration.
Lately there has been a slight rise in the Australian birth rate, and a stabilising of the divorce rate. It could be that more people are having the children they want, although the rise in the ex-nuptial birth rate is a genuine cause for alarm. But the anti-natalists don't care about the causes and social consequences of children born out of wedlock; they are more worried about the bird life.
Percentage of babies born to unmarried parents.
Ms Irvine gives her sources as "www.everest1953.co.uk, guinnessworldrecords.com, ft.com, abs.gov.au, goldprice.org, roymorgan.com, RP Data". I could not find any mention of this figure in the archives for the two most recent months—January and December—of A.B.S. media releases, however. I'd appreciate it if any readers could supply a web reference for Ms Irvine's citation about illegitimacy.]
One of the letters spoke of Mrs. Shanahan’s “irresponsibly large family” (of nine children). But I would have thought that the irresponsible families were those who choose not to have at least two children; families like Mrs. Shanahan's should be commended for doing their bit to make up for the short-fall between overall population increase and population increase by natural increase. That same letter contained an unfortunate arithmetical error (unfortunate, since its author said, insultingly, “[t]ime, Ms Shanahan, for some basic mathematics”):
If each of her nine children also has nine children, then she will have 89 grandchildren
JENNY Goldie ("Time for some maths”, Letters, 12/1) suggests that if Angela Shanahan’s nine kids each have nine kids, she’ll have 89 grandkids. When I went to school, nine times nine made 81. Time indeed for some maths!
Feast of St. Paul the first Hermit, Confessor, A.D. 2009