Don’t get me wrong. When a baby is born in my family, or in the family of a friend I love, I share the joy of new life. I was one of those celebrants (led by the late Elizabeth Woodburn) who pioneered Naming Ceremonies for secular people, and made them better and better. We enhanced and defined the role of godparents, and included grandparents in these ceremonies for the first time in human history. (I should mention that anticipated life spans for men have gone from 45 to 84 in the last 100 years.)
And I am not talking against refugees either. I am an agnostic, but a Christian one, and I believe in the corporal works of mercy*. (Didn’t Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, so called Christians, hack that list to pieces in the Australian Parliament.) I believe that people who come to us for help should be helped, just like the Turks and the Jordanians are helping the hundreds of thousands of Syrians as I write. (Looks like Islam is beating Christianity hands down on that one.)
But there is no denying that every child born in the world needs the resources of the planet – and like of all of us is contributing to its destruction. When one reads that the average number of children born to African women is 5.4, and that the average woman in Niger has 7 children, and that African young men in the tens of thousands are sailing across the Mediterranean in leaky boats to Spain and Italy in desperation for food and work, one knows there is something badly wrong.
On the local scale, in my city of Melbourne, the developers fund both political parties so that no one dares says a word, even though the roads are congested, public transport is crowded, and the rest of our infrastructure is bursting at the seams.
Sure a developer might open a new estate and pay for the roads and the electricity wires and the sewerage pipes, but for every person on the suburban fringe we need that bit of extra lane on the highways and bridges, that bit of extra sewerage tunnel under the Yarra Yarra River, that bit of additional burner in the electricity generator – to say nothing of how the quality of life is diminished every time our phones drop out, or we go into traffic gridlock, or pay extortionate parking fees in the city or at the airport. The developers and the others do not pay for that, and suffer for that – we do!
There comes a point when overpopulation destroys the planet, impacts badly on the ordinary taxpayer, and contributes to the general stress and unhappiness of all.
*The Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty.
To clothe the naked.
To visit the prisoner.
To shelter the homeless.
To attend to the sick.
To bury the dead.