When Hope For The Future Dies

  • Posted on: 5 March 2018
  • By: David Trammel

While resource depletion, climate change, political instability and economic inequality are all top subjects when we discuss the causes of the coming collapse of our current global civilization, there is one cause that is often not mentioned because of its sensitive nature, and that is "Over Population".

In 2017 the World population stood at 7.6 Billion people. By 2050 that figure is expected to grow to 10 Billion.

Those two numbers though, mask a wide diversity of trends. Some countries are shrinking in their populations, while others are rapidly expanding. While the global average birth rate is 2.5 births per woman, in Europe it is 1.6 births per woman but for Africa it is 4.7.

One of the major drives of this difference is the access to birth control.

In developed countries, birth control is usually easy to access for women. The higher economic situation (aka people make more money on average), combined with a more progressive attitude of the citizens towards the use of birth control, allows both single and married women to obtain either birth control pills or condoms with little trouble. While countries who have a majority of citizens of a religion which frowns on birth control, often make restrictions on their access, women in developed countries like Europe and the United States can still access birth control.

For countries in areas like Africa, which are poor and whose economic situation is still under developed, access to birth control can be limited or non-existent.

Often it is out of country entities, which further limit the local woman's population to access to birth control. Either religious organizations like the Catholic Church, which has a moral objection to preventing conception, or political or charitable organizations, like many United States sponsored NGOs, which during times where more conservative political parties are in power, and prevent those NGOs from discussing, educating or provide birth control material, can limit or make access nearly impossible except on the prohibitive black market.

Personally I find it hypocritical for religious and political organizations with religious agendas to be opposed to basic birth control and family planning.

(Lets leave aside the hot topic of abortions for now.)

One of the major factors to the expanding opportunity for women in Third World countries is the access to birth control. The ability for a woman to plan her pregnancies and decide when she wants to have children can not only influence that woman's entire life in a positive way but also is of utmost importance on how well her children grow and become productive members of her community. And not just Third World countries. Larger and larger areas of the United States have no local medical facilities which offer birth control or family planning.

"Note to GOP: To improve women’s economic opportunities, don’t cut family planning – expand it"

No one, who calls themselves moral, wants to see innocent children born into poverty and squalor.

Maybe it time we dial back the emotions and rhetoric, find common ground and agree that unlike the God so many people profess to worship, WE are not all knowing and can be fallible. Moral lessons are best taught by example.

There is a third situation where birth control is limited, which is beginning to appear. Countries who were developed economically but now are in heavy decline. A good example is Venezuela. This Central American country should be a prosperous member of the First World community since it is recognized as having one of the largest oil reserves in the World. Yet decades of political instability, rampant corruption and crony capitalism has pushed this promising country over the sharp edge of the cliff into early Collapse.

"Venezuelan women’s response to the country’s economic crisis: Get sterilized"

CARACAS, Venezuela — In crisis-hit Venezuela, where raising a family is an increasingly grueling and expensive task, a growing number of young women are choosing to be sterilized.

With inflation spiraling out of control, food and medicine supplies dwindling and violent crimes on the rise, women as young as 27 are seeking out surgeons to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

A study by PLAFAM, the biggest family planning clinic in the country, estimates that about 23 percent more Venezuelan women are being sterilized today as compared to four years ago, said the clinic’s director, Enrique Abache. “The financial crisis is one of the main causes for this,” he explained.

Years of government mismanagement have fueled what is now a full-blown humanitarian crisis in a country where infant mortality has almost doubled in recent years. A study of nearly 1,500 adults last year by a group of academic and social-service groups found that 87 percent of them lacked enough money to buy the food they needed.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to make,” said a recently sterilized mother of two, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the personal nature of the topic. “It was the most feasible option … because of the country’s financial situation.”


One of the depressing features of the Coming Collapse of our modern civilization will be people giving up their Hope.

You can see it in the links above as Mothers give up on having children.

You can see it in the faces of the victims of this Nation's opioid crisis.

You can see it in the tales of those who have dropped out of the economy and have abandoned the American Dream.

Can Green Wizardry offer Hope?

I'm not sure, but I will promise you will always have a seat at our fire, a bowl of Stone Soup from our pot and sometimes, a story or two to make you smile. Perhaps as we sit against a log and watch sparks rise like fireflies, we will find something together in the Fading Light which will sustain us until the Coming Dawn...


I wish I could remember the name of the author I heard off some years ago that said that over population it self wasn't so much of a problem as was the amount of resources that that 1.6 births in Europe will use as compared to the 4.7 births in Africa. This really changed my thinking on this subject as it put blame for our diminishing resources squarely where it belongs, the developed nations. Even if you only have one child and you live in the US, that one child will use far more resources then one child in less developed Africa.

I never had children as in my young adulthood, the things I read at that time convinced me that over population was a problem in the world that I didn't want to contribute to and all those people in the 3rd world needed to have better access to birth control. True on both counts, but I think the question of who uses more resources is much more nuanced and perhaps truthful description of the problem then a simple problem of who can or can't have more babies and also seems to me to be far more important.

The situation in Venezuela may well reflect a lack of hope, but it is also a recognition that resources are finite. It is perhaps a pity that the lack of resources is not so well distributed as it might be so that we all might share the pain.

David Trammel's picture

Here is a good article on the right way to bring up over population,

"I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why."

David Roberts correctly points out that talking about limiting population growth, carries a load of bad history, that can be used by its opponents, to misdirect the argument in a way you can not win. Instead, he argues that you should argue for two things, "female empowerment" and "reducing income inequality", which are both policies that have among their benefits, reducing birth rates.