Polish Catholic-nationalists, and 'liberal' environmentalists, in their different ways, fear there is a demographic time bomb waiting to go off. Bang!
Poland’s population is shrinking faster than any other country in the EU. Strange that, in a country that claims to be 95 percent Catholic, don’t you think?
The average family in Poland has 1.22 children, and a couple of weeks ago the government announced tax breaks for working women with children which will cost the tax payer 17 billion zlotys (US$5.6 billion, €4.5 billion). At a time when the EU is pressing the government to cut its budget deficit, that's not going to help, fiscally.
Catholic nationalists (of which the governing coalition is full of) blame all sorts of things for this. Feminism is the main culprit, apparently. They would like women to get back in the home and return to what the ‘natural’ function of a woman should be: being a baby machine.
A report by the UN adds to these people’s fears. In half a century’s time Poland will be one of the oldest nations on earth. In a dozen nations - including Japan, Bulgaria, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy, Poland, Korea, Slovenia, Romania and Spain - four in 10 citizens will be 60 or older by 2050, the UN says.
Does this mean that Poland will simply fade away as a nation?
But scratch the surface and you will find that what these people are really worried about is that there will be no Polish Catholics - the 'true' Poles - left in Poland to light up the candles in church before Mass.
A shortfall of population can easily be addressed by immigration, of course. But that, as catholic nationalists like Maciej Giertych would say, would weaken Polish (read ‘Polish Catholic’) ‘civilization’.
But if immigration is the obvious solution, then where would it come from?
There is always the less developed countries. They have lots of babies, don’t they?
And the tree huggers don’t like it
Whereas catholic nationalists in Poland fear that the low birth rate is a threat to (Latin) civilization as we know it, western ‘liberals’ think that there is just too many people in the world.
It’s getting impossible, for instance, to pick up the UK Guardian without being confronted by some misanthropic gibberish like this from ‘columnist’ Juliette Jowit:
In the time it takes you to get to the end of this sentence, seven people have been added to the population of the world…..
Then welcome seven new people to the world, I say! It’s a great place to be, if you avoid reading the Guardian too often, that is.
Jowit works herself up into a froth of indignation about how we cannot deal with ‘climate change’ without cutting down the number of humans on the planet.
Some population activists argue the world can only support a population of two to three billion, even as few as 500 million in future [?!?]. But even if reducing the world's population is unlikely or distasteful, it is incredible that there is not even a debate about limiting and maybe one day reversing growth.
….some braver voices - Sir David Attenborough, Jonathan Porritt and Professor Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey, to name a few - have begun to raise the issue.
Well, Juliette (where does the Guardian get these morons from?) Sir David Attenborough, Porritt et al have not suddenly 'began to raise this issue', they have been raising it for sometime. In 2003, these people - who have formed the scary sounding Optimum Population Trust (sounds like a bunch of Nazis) - were calling for the UK’s population to be cut in half!
Attenborough, the BBC’s natural history guru, seems to prefer the company of tigers and algae to his fellow human beings.
But whereas these kind of people would be scoffed at in the past, today this kind of thinking is becoming almost mainstream.
It’s basically a form of neo-Malthusian ‘analysis’ – which progressives used to laugh at when I was at college in the late 1980s – which fits in well with the culturally miserable-ist times.
What both Catholic Polish nationalists, and the tree hugging human haters need to be told is that too many humans, or not enough Poles, is not the problem. The problem is the lack of faith in human ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
It just goes to show that neither conservatives nor liberals have the ideology to cope with the modern world.
A little more faith in humanity, and a little less fear of the future, will sort this out. Humans - even immigrants! - are not the problem, they are the solution.