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OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
Mon May 27, 2024, 06:42 PM May 27

The Guardian: America's premier pronatalists on having 'tons of kids' to save the world: 'There are going to be count...

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/article/2024/may/25/american-pronatalists-malcolm-and-simone-collins
America’s premier pronatalists on having ‘tons of kids’ to save the world: ‘There are going to be countries of old people starving to death

Jenny Kleeman
Sat 25 May 2024 02.00 EDT



The world’s most famous pronatalist is father-of-11 Elon Musk. He has cited falling birthrates as a bigger risk to civilisation than global warming

This is not Quiverfull, the fundamentalist Christian belief that large families are a blessing from God. The Collinses are atheists; they believe in science and data, studies and research. Their pronatalism is born from the hyper-rational effective altruism movement – most recently made notorious by Sam Bankman-Fried – which uses utilitarian principles and cool-headed logic to determine what is best for life on Earth. This is a numbers game, focused on producing the maximum number of heirs – not to inherit assets, but genes, outlook and worldview. And it’s being advocated by some of the most successful names in tech.

The world’s most famous pronatalist is father-of-11 Elon Musk. “Population collapse due to low birthrates is a much bigger risk to civilisation than global warming. (And I do think global warming is a major risk),” he Link to tweet
" target="_blank">warned in 2022. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has invested in several reproductive technology startups, one aiming to engineer human eggs out of stem cells, another screening embryos for health outcomes. “Of course I’m going to have a big family,” Altman said the same year. “I think having a lot of kids is great.” The Skype co-founder and Estonian billionaire Jaan Tallinn (father of five) donated just under half a million dollars to the Collinses’ pronatalist foundation in 2022.

The data, pronatalists fear, points to a looming crisis. As societies become more prosperous, people are having fewer children; after 200 years of overwhelming population growth, birthrates are plummeting. An average of 2.1 babies needs to be born per woman for populations to remain stable; in England and Wales the birthrate is currently 1.49, in the US it is 1.6, in China it’s 1.2. Politicians in South Korea have referred to their birthrate as a national emergency: at 0.72 (with 0.55 in the capital, Seoul) it is the lowest in the world. According to a paper published in the Lancet in March, 97% of the planet – 198 out of 204 countries – will have fertility rates below what is necessary to sustain their population by the end of this century. In the short term, this is creating a pension timebomb, with not enough young people to support an ageing population. If current trends continue, human civilisation itself may be at risk.

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The Guardian: America's premier pronatalists on having 'tons of kids' to save the world: 'There are going to be count... (Original Post) OKIsItJustMe May 27 OP
The massive imbalance of species... Think. Again. May 27 #1
Chicken? Egg? OKIsItJustMe May 27 #5
No chickens, no eggs, just idiocy. Think. Again. May 27 #7
In past ages, people had lots of children, because many of them would not survive to adulthood OKIsItJustMe May 27 #10
Reducing excessive population levels would reduce energy needs. Think. Again. May 27 #13
Are you proposing "culling?" Because we cannot wait for the decades it would take. OKIsItJustMe May 27 #14
Yes, thanks, in any case, in regards to your OP... Think. Again. May 27 #15
Don't suppose I was supporting the cause of the "pro-natalists." OKIsItJustMe May 27 #16
And there it is. Brenda May 28 #21
I don't get it either... Think. Again. May 28 #22
Yeah, that and I suppose it could be part fundamentalist religious Brenda May 28 #23
I've always thought... Think. Again. May 28 #24
That's true. Brenda May 28 #25
There's also a fear of "them" outnumbering "us" OKIsItJustMe May 28 #35
See my post #26. -nt CrispyQ May 28 #27
My point was... OKIsItJustMe May 28 #31
We need a new economic system. We're consuming our planet for the profit of a few. CrispyQ May 28 #26
Oh... There's some validity to the whole issue of an inverted pyramid OKIsItJustMe May 28 #34
Yeah, I understand the money aspect and we def need a new system. Brenda May 28 #36
I heard a climate scientist being interviewed recently who said that 50% of all non-pave land is devoted to agriculture. Lonestarblue May 28 #28
Effective Altruism is a Cult Metaphorical May 27 #2
Too many humans already for this Dear Rock named Earth. It'll still be here, and thrive, once Traurigkeit May 27 #3
Don't count on it OKIsItJustMe May 27 #6
The Earth will thrive, whatever that lives or not lives on surface doesn't really matter. Traurigkeit May 27 #8
What Lovelock meant was that nothing might live OKIsItJustMe May 27 #11
Limiting yourself to organics ? Traurigkeit May 27 #17
Actually, Lovelock did not. OKIsItJustMe May 27 #19
"If we damage the ecosystem thoroughly enough, it may not be able to recover..." CrispyQ May 28 #29
I highly recommend John Brunner's 1972 novel, The Sheep Look Up OKIsItJustMe May 28 #32
I know at least one. SarahD May 27 #4
He had his Father's money, Elon didn't do anything. Traurigkeit May 27 #9
Nature? Nurture? OKIsItJustMe May 27 #12
Give the kids PLENTY of $$$ to nurture them well Traurigkeit May 27 #18
Money is not a requirement, but (like genetics) it can certainly help OKIsItJustMe May 27 #20
There's Another Way To Solve the Population Bomb Deep State Witch May 28 #30
That's not the "population bomb" I'm concerned about OKIsItJustMe May 28 #33
Immigration is key to US Survival Metaphorical May 28 #37
Instead of billionaires birthing dozens of nepo-babies... Shipwack May 28 #38
Hear Hear! Deep State Witch May 28 #39

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
1. The massive imbalance of species...
Mon May 27, 2024, 06:50 PM
May 27

...caused by the human population explosion (4 billion in the past 50 years!) is the direct cause of our soon-to-be-extreme ecological chaos and the eventual 6th mass extinction event we are just beginning to suffer from.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
5. Chicken? Egg?
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:46 PM
May 27

The Industrial Revolution, powered by fossil fuels (especially coal) enabled a tremendous increase in human population.


Some point to the introduction of agriculture, with it’s “clearing” of forests, to make room for fields, as the true start of climate change.

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
7. No chickens, no eggs, just idiocy.
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:59 PM
May 27

It's easily understood by anyone that a limited and well-balanced planetary ecology can only be a healthy environment for a likewise limited population, despite our ability to force more food from it than it supplies within that balance.

Humanity's decision to instead go on an ever-increasing baby making binge was, and is still, a fatal idiocy.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
10. In past ages, people had lots of children, because many of them would not survive to adulthood
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:13 PM
May 27

When parents are confident their children will survive to reproduce, they have fewer children.

India emits less greenhouse gas than the United States, in spite of a larger population, because, the “average Indian” produces less greenhouse gas than the “average American.”

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/per-capita-ghg-emissions

Population certainly is a problem, however the profligate use of energy may be the more serious threat.

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
13. Reducing excessive population levels would reduce energy needs.
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:29 PM
May 27

(And before anyone accuses me of intending to murder people to reduce population, let me say this, if that is the first concept that pops into a person's head before the more obvious solution of reducing birthrates, that person might benefit from seeing a therapist.)

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
14. Are you proposing "culling?" Because we cannot wait for the decades it would take.
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:38 PM
May 27

And, frankly, decreasing emissions to 0 is not sufficient. We need “Net Negative.” The level of “greenhouse gases” already in the atmosphere is more than enough to kill us all.


FWIW: As noted in the article, total fertility rates are already below replacement in a number of “developed” countries.

https://www.unfpa.org/data/world-population-dashboard

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
15. Yes, thanks, in any case, in regards to your OP...
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:46 PM
May 27

...pro-natalists are wrong and always have been. Ever increasing population growth is not an answer to anything.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
16. Don't suppose I was supporting the cause of the "pro-natalists."
Mon May 27, 2024, 09:11 PM
May 27

To be clear, they’re fatally (criminally?) short sighted.

Brenda

(1,178 posts)
21. And there it is.
Tue May 28, 2024, 06:58 AM
May 28

A reply about culling.

These quiveridiots should all be charged with child abuse. I walk around seeing young women pregnant with a few small kids in tow and think "they must just be visiting this planet."

What really is the purpose of billionaires like Musk pushing for more babies. Racism just isn't enough to explain this.

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
22. I don't get it either...
Tue May 28, 2024, 07:02 AM
May 28

...it's usually rightwingers pushing for more destructive overcrowding, could it be as simple as they're hoping for a massive "slaveforce" and consumer base to keep their corporate overlords happy?

Brenda

(1,178 posts)
23. Yeah, that and I suppose it could be part fundamentalist religious
Tue May 28, 2024, 07:07 AM
May 28

brainwashing that has infected them (God has a plan, blah blah blah) and/or some kind of self-preservation denialism. Everyone who can read KNOWS what's happening but it is so horrible they don't want to think about it and be depressed or (in the case of the really rich) DO SOMETHING to help slow it down.

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
24. I've always thought...
Tue May 28, 2024, 07:21 AM
May 28

....the reasoning behind the centuries-old religious push for overpopulation is basically the same as the rightwingers (since they're mostly the same type of people), more people in any given religion means more pennies in the "collection" plate.

Brenda

(1,178 posts)
25. That's true.
Tue May 28, 2024, 10:24 AM
May 28

As they say:

Money
It's a crime
Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie
Money
So they say
Is the root of all evil today

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
35. There's also a fear of "them" outnumbering "us"
Tue May 28, 2024, 12:25 PM
May 28

America needs to have more “white” babies, because “whites" may soon be outnumbered by “minorities” (i.e. non-whites.)

You will not replace us!

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
31. My point was...
Tue May 28, 2024, 11:48 AM
May 28

If you want to cut emissions meaningfully by reducing populations, simple means like cutting birthrates won’t work fast enough. We cannot afford to wait generations for it to “kick in.”

As pointed out in the O.P. numerous countries already have Total Fertility Rates “below replacement.” (i.e. less than 2.)

Culling is (if you will) “A Modest Proposal. Or, perhaps a reductio ad absurdum.
.

If we could go back in time and avert the “Post-War Baby Boom” that would be helpful, but (I’m afraid) not sufficient. The “war machines” of World War II burned a heck of a lot of fossil fuel. (i..e. not just the tanks, and jeeps and airplanes, but the factories which made them and the munitions and so forth.)

Even before the 20th century, we were well on the road to ruin.

CrispyQ

(36,968 posts)
26. We need a new economic system. We're consuming our planet for the profit of a few.
Tue May 28, 2024, 10:50 AM
May 28

A global economic system based on continual growth in a closed system isn't sustainable. What Musk is really worried about is that the economy won't continue to grow without new consumers.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
34. Oh... There's some validity to the whole issue of an inverted pyramid
Tue May 28, 2024, 12:05 PM
May 28

Our “Social Security” system (for example) was based on the simple notion that each generation would be larger than the previous one. Especially with a life expectancy of about 65, the current workforce would always far outnumber the current pool of retirees. Life expectancies have gone up, and “total fertility rates” have gone down. That throws the whole system completely out-of-whack.

Brenda

(1,178 posts)
36. Yeah, I understand the money aspect and we def need a new system.
Tue May 28, 2024, 12:54 PM
May 28

It just seems "off" that he supports this "more babies" (even if he really means "more white babies" ) notion that it will save us.

Maybe it's just BBS, Broke Brain Syndrome, because forced birth nutters say the same thing...that aborted baby could have been another Einstein!

Yeah, or another Hitler, dumbass.

Lonestarblue

(10,728 posts)
28. I heard a climate scientist being interviewed recently who said that 50% of all non-pave land is devoted to agriculture.
Tue May 28, 2024, 11:07 AM
May 28

This is worldwide, and more land in sensitive areas is being cleared of forests to raise animals, especially beef, to satisfy the demand. We are just killing our planet.

Metaphorical

(1,730 posts)
2. Effective Altruism is a Cult
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:16 PM
May 27

Effective Altruism is 17th century Calvinism dressed up in 21st century clothing. God, in their viewpoint, is Artificial General Intelligence, but if you look at it objectively, EA is eerily similar to the Christo-fascist agenda, only without the Church-going.

I have been sounding the alarm on population decline for twenty-five years, and I suspect that it is in fact an adaptation to a post-industrial society dealing with resource constraints.

However, I also think that income inequality, climate change, and microplastics are all major factors. it now costs a million dollars to raise a child to the age of 18 in the United States, and whatever gains people made in salaries during the pandemic have largely been eroded away by the subsequent bout of inflation. Solve these things, and in maybe eighty years, birth rates will turn around, but it won't be resolved by actively trying to have more children. Italy and South Korea both have tried that, and it hasn't even made a dent.

Traurigkeit

(1,157 posts)
3. Too many humans already for this Dear Rock named Earth. It'll still be here, and thrive, once
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:38 PM
May 27

the virus of humans die off.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
6. Don't count on it
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:59 PM
May 27

In Novacene, James Lovelock, perhaps most famous as the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis pointed out that the Sun has become hotter over its lifetime. We are no longer in the “habitable zone.” (AKA the “Goldilocks Zone.”) A theoretical distant astronomer, examining our solar system would see Mars as the best candidate for life, but it’s dead.

It’s only the ecosystem (AKA “Gaia”) which has kept the Earth cool enough for life to thrive. If we damage the ecosystem thoroughly enough, it may not be able to recover as it has recovered in the past. (He compared it to an elderly person, who can no longer recover from diseasea as easily as they once could.)

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
11. What Lovelock meant was that nothing might live
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:19 PM
May 27

It is only the intact ecosystem (“Gaia”) which makes life possible.

If we were thorough enough, and the ecosystem were destroyed, or injured badly enough, life would not reemerge again (as it has in the past.) Earth will simply be too hot.

Saying that “Earth” (a dead rock floating in space) will “thrive” is meaningless. “Thriving” implies life.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
19. Actually, Lovelock did not.
Mon May 27, 2024, 09:30 PM
May 27

He suggested that humanity’s role in the ongoing saga of “Gaia” might have been to produce a new type of life, which could not have emerged spontaneously from the primordial soup. However, he also said that “electronic life” (artificial intelligence) requires a temperature range similar to what we do. (You may have noticed, even a smallish computer, like a laptop tends to have a cooling fan. Large servers, which support large language models, use tremendous amounts of energy, and produce lots of heat.)

https://www.wired.com/story/fast-forward-chatgpt-hunger-energy-gpu-revolution/

He anticipated that AI’s would quickly surpass us, but he did not expect a violent takeover (a la The Terminator or The Matrix.) His belief was that “Artificial Intelligence” would become intelligent fast enough to understand its dependence on organic life to keep the planet cool enough for it to survive.

However, once again, if we have damaged the ecosystem badly enough, nothing may survive, including “cybernetic life.”

CrispyQ

(36,968 posts)
29. "If we damage the ecosystem thoroughly enough, it may not be able to recover..."
Tue May 28, 2024, 11:15 AM
May 28

Personally, I think we're super close to this. I know I'm alarmed. I look around my neighborhood at the kids under 10 & wonder what this area will look like in 20-30 years, in 50 years. I doubt most of us can imagine the change coming.

There's a new genre of fiction called cli-fi. Climate fiction. I've read a few. One story I read took place in Florida & I thought the author nailed what it would look like. Roads slowing being taken over by water, electrical service harder & harder to maintain, the military helping people to evacuate & eventually warning those who chose to stay that there wouldn't be any help anymore.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
32. I highly recommend John Brunner's 1972 novel, The Sheep Look Up
Tue May 28, 2024, 11:56 AM
May 28
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sheep_Look_Up

It doesn’t include much about “Climate Change” but everything else is dead on, which, he explained nicely in an interview.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13818683-900/
What frightens me in retrospect about The Sheep Look Up, with its vision of a world where pollution is out of control, is that I invented literally nothing for it, bar a chemical weapon that made people psychotic. Everything else I took straight out of the papers, and magazines like New Scientist. But then, I have long been resigned to the fact that no matter how ghastly a plot element I may devise for a story, it will never outdo what I am certain to find in the next day’s news.
 

SarahD

(1,732 posts)
4. I know at least one.
Mon May 27, 2024, 07:40 PM
May 27

He regards himself as some sort of transformative genius, and believes he can best serve society by passing on his precious genes. He has reproduced rather excessively, but his offspring have been unexceptional, even subpar in certain respects.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
12. Nature? Nurture?
Mon May 27, 2024, 08:29 PM
May 27

Genes may help, however, the environment the children are raised in must certainly play a part.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,061 posts)
20. Money is not a requirement, but (like genetics) it can certainly help
Mon May 27, 2024, 09:37 PM
May 27

My father used to say, “Whether you’re rich or poor, it’s good to have money.”

Donald Trump’s family had plenty of money. Joe Biden’s did not. (Need I say more?)

Deep State Witch

(10,778 posts)
30. There's Another Way To Solve the Population Bomb
Tue May 28, 2024, 11:31 AM
May 28

But the wingnuts don't want to admit it. Immigration, especially from the Global South. As areas become less habitable, people will need to migrate to more habitable climates. But rich a$$holes like this guy don't want a whole bunch of black and brown people "invading" the U.S. They just want to make more white babies.

Metaphorical

(1,730 posts)
37. Immigration is key to US Survival
Tue May 28, 2024, 01:17 PM
May 28

Right now, the tropics - the region between 30 degrees and and 30 degrees below the equator in latitude - account for nearly all of the increase in global population (which is why we will likely peak at around 9.5 billion people on the planet by 2070). However, even here birthrates are falling, they are just above the critical 2.1 children per family replacement rate. By 2050, most of these countries will be at or below this rate. Outside of this zone, which includes most countries, population replacement rates (number of children born to a given woman - the 2.1 replacement rate) are already negative, in some cases dramatically. This includes the US (-0.47 net children per family), Canada (-0.62) and (against public perception) Mexico (-0.50), which has a lower birth rate than the US. The only reason that US population is even stable has been that people are surviving into their 80s and 90s more often, though the US average age of death (77) has actually dropped by a couple of years due to Covid, and because of immigration.

Mexico is still the largest source of immigration at around 140,000 people per year. but the next two sources are India (at 130,000) and China (at 70,000), extrapolated based upon 2022 figures, making up around 30% of the total number of immigrants. These totals mean that total influx of immigration per year is around 0.5% of the total population, with the total immigration population making up around 12% of the total US population of around 360 million people. Assuming current trends hold (or even increase some) the US will hit peak population around 2050 at just shy of 400 million people.

At that point several things happen:
* As population rates decline, countries are going to be trying to stem the loss, without a lot of success, but it will likely slow emigration some.
* At the same time, climate related emigration is likely to increase, perhaps dramatically, before it too tails off (either due to too much infrastructure damage or due to a shift of priorities). Both of these mean that the flow into the US may increase for up to a decade before dropping dramatically.
* The US economy, which has been predicated upon population growth, will now face population shrinkage. Labor will become much tighter, especially with an inverted population pyramid. We will be faced with increasing periods of overemployment -- too few people to do the jobs that are needed.
* Credit, which is also predicated upon a growing economy, will become more expensive.
* Bank failures, tied to exposure to a growing inventory of unoccupied (and hence unproductive) houses, retail outlets, and office space, will become common place. Think 2008 but worse.
* Tax collection (both property and income) will decline significantly. This translates into fewer services that are available including infrastructure, education, research, etc. Social security and other programs will be forced into making significant cuts.
* Population will continue to consolidate in and around cities as agrarian towns disappear entirely due to aging and emigration.








Shipwack

(2,254 posts)
38. Instead of billionaires birthing dozens of nepo-babies...
Tue May 28, 2024, 02:28 PM
May 28

... they could focus their wealth on improving healthcare in the US?

Make it more economically viable to give birth to and raise a child.

Improve infant mortality rates so that the US is no longer the worst in industrialized nations.

(Needless to say, this could be done in other countries, too, with these issues, not just the US...)

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