"Many of the world's largest industrialized nations will lose population between now and 2050 as low birth rates, struggling economies and curbs on immigration stifle growth, says the author of a world population report. The annual study by the private Population Reference Bureau found that, while the world's population will increase nearly 50 percent by mid-century, Japan will lose 20 percent of its population in the next 45 years, while Russia, Germany and Italy will also see declines. The United States is the biggest exception among developed countries, with its population forecast to rise by 43 percent from 293 million now to 420 million at mid-century. [all italics mine]"
I know that many humans believe themselves somehow set apart from the rest of the biosphere, inherently different from other animals. Humanity, they might insist, is set apart by virtue of its brain or its soul or whatever. And yet, when generally freed from the pressures of predation, starvation, disease, etc., humanity behaves with exactly as much forethought and self-control as populations of sea urchins, rabbits, and cane toads. It's difficult to even imagine a world crammed with more than 12 billion people, a world where there is room for very little else. I like to think that this isn't my problem (I'll most likely be dead by 2050, I'm not a breeder, and there's nothing much I can do to curb the human plague...I mean, population explosion). But it is. Over the coming decades, I'll have to watch this happening. I'll have to watch the consequences of it. I'll wager the K/T extinction event had nothing on what we'll see.
Few things wake me up on a Wednesday morning like a stiff dose of future history.
Anyway, yesterday I wrote the essay for the Fiddler's Green souvenir book, and it felt good to get something done. I also signed the contracts for Daughter of Hounds, and Spooky put them in the post to NYC. Now, I just have to write the frelling book. I got my schedule for Dragon*Con. I'm scheduled a little heavier than last year, but that's okay. I'll include it all in an entry when the con's a little closer. And, finally, I uploaded the new Nar'eth pinup to Nebari.net. I hope today will be half so productive. I'll settle for a third.