It can’t have escaped your attention that there are now more than seven billion of us sharing our increasingly burdened planet. What could have escaped your attention, however, but I hope not, is the shocking story of a ten-year-old girl recently giving birth to a baby boy in Mexico.

Two things troubled me about this: the girl’s age, obviously, and that, under state laws, mothers are not allowed to have abortions unless they can prove they were the victim of a sexual assault. They face a fine or imprisonment if they break this law. The state’s minimum age of consent is, amazingly, just 12.

The main thing is, and thank God if you believe in him, that the premature baby boy, who weighed little more than three pounds and was born by Caesarean section, is said to be doing well.

Now, I’m not at all casting aspersions on (one part of) Mexico when my own homeland is hardly void of similarly shameful and suspicious episodes (keep reading for those). I will continue to doubt the wisdom of the Roman Catholic Church, though, as I wonder about the validity of feeding chemicals to livestock in order to bring about early maturity. I dread to think how many other children will themselves bear children in future, and all the while I wish more and more that I could just make for the hills and live like a hermit on a mountainside with only dogs and a wind-up radio for company, so increasingly dispiriting are the tales coming from every angle.

This story isn’t quite as unusual as you or I would like to believe. A Romanian girl, also aged ten, gave birth in a Spanish hospital last year. The father, at 13, was also a minor and barely a week after the birth it was reported that the couple (gosh, it seems so very wrong to use that word) had separated. Not to worry, the girl’s family were ‘ecstatic’.

I don’t know about you, but at the age of ten, I was playing kerby and collecting trading cards which smelt of bubble gum. What is it with some people today, what is wrong with our society, what are we doing to our children? The sexualisation of youth continually astonishes me, but my despair is aimed only at teenagers aspiring to look like their favourite celebrities and exposing too much flesh in the process, I don’t consider the dismal consequences of small children actually having sex. The thought of being a parent at that age revolts me. The thought of my family being ‘ecstatic’ at the prospect revolts me almost as much. I can find no joy in my heart for these two girls, only sympathy.

(Perversely, the youngest ever recorded mother was a five-year-old Peruvian. She still lives in poverty in the city of Lima and despite her financial circumstances, refuses to speak to the press and has never identified the father.)

I suppose we should heave a collective sigh of relief and be thankful that the Romanian girl belongs, it would appear, to a tight-knit community and has the unrivalled support of a strong family unit, and reassure ourselves that all this probably means that the baby will be brought up well. Yet try as I might I cannot understand how encouraging – for is the grandmother not encouraging others by exaggerating her joy and minimising the event’s seriousness? – children to have children, before they themselves have had a chance to be children, is in any way a good thing for anybody. Will there be a second or third child born to this child before she is even a teen? How many more children could she potentially bring into the world during the course of her life? It beggars belief. Quaint traditions and accepted community norms are all well and good, if you care for them, but children having children is just too much for me to stomach.

Then there’s the not very small matter of our rising world population. I’ll get to that in a moment.

As you’d expect, cynics questioned whether there was a financial motive involved, the baby being born in Spain and thus a Spanish national. Not so, it seems. I recall how Britain’s youngest grandfather, aged 29, was branded a ‘scrounger’ earlier this year; his fourteen-year-old daughter the same age as he had been when she was born. His mother, the baby’s great-grandmother, has not yet reached 50.

“She was 18 when she had me. She was shocked when I told her the news, but she is happy now. Her own mum is alive, and so too is her grandmother, who will become a great-great-great grandmother. There can’t be too many families with six generations alive at the same time.”

No, indeed – and I’m glad. There are seven billion of us now, for goodness sake.

The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. Britain’s youngest parents became parents at 14, Britain’s youngest father at 12.

There is nothing more disheartening than the case of Britain’s youngest mother, who hit the headlines in 2006, also aged 12. Both she and her baby were immediately taken into foster care before being separated, then two years later the awful truth was revealed: the young mother’s own brother was the baby’s father, aged 16. He had been abusing his little sister since she was seven.

“I don’t regret it because if I didn’t have sex with him I wouldn’t have my baby. I knew straight away that I couldn’t have an abortion because that’s something I don’t believe in.”

Now estranged from her family, her baby adopted with access denied, and recovering from assorted addictions (drugs, alcohol, self-harming), this poor girl was most recently found telling the tabloids that she’d like another baby and fretting over claims that her good-for-nothing family were likely to make on the compensation she was due to receive for the unimaginable anguish she has suffered in her short, sad life.

This, like the others previously mentioned, might well be a most exceptional case, each one as rare as it is appalling to us to comprehend. Much can be said about the indisciplined and feckless; parents clearly failed their daughters miserably, as did schools and the care system. As did their faith, I dare say, for not allowing them to entertain ideas of an alternative conclusion to their predicament. Yet these aren’t impoverished farmers needing a large family to support the land and its elders into old age, grateful for any additional numbers and praying that they will survive infancy when so many do not. This is happening in the First World. What is it with our child-rearing obsession? It seems to be valued more highly than protecting the children who have already been born from enduring clear abuse.

It’s happening in the Second World, too. In China last year, where sex with a child under the age of 14 brings an automatic rape conviction and lengthy jail time, a nine-year-old gave birth. A hospital in Shanghai announced that about 30 per cent of its abortions were on schoolgirls.

Under Spanish law, the age for consensual sex with an adult is 13 – one of the world’s lowest. If a Spanish judge believes there are exceptional circumstances, you are permitted to marry at 14. Marriage legitimises childbirth. In Bangladesh, half of all girls are married before the age of 16 and this statistic remains even though fertility and mortality rates have declined as the level of girls’ education has risen. It’s been that way for 35 years: fifty per cent of girls married by 16.

By the age of 16 in low- and middle-income countries, almost 10 per cent of girls are mothers, claims the World Health Organisation. Girls aged between 10 and 19 account for 11 per cent of all births worldwide.

Returning to that alarming figure of seven billion and rising (it’s 7,005,166,131 now), noting the obvious (that young mothers have the greatest potential to bring many more children into the world), I wonder whether we, as a global society and shared custodians of our planet, irrespective of our conflicting religious views, cultural norms and varied degrees of prosperity, are truly fit to bring so many children into the world, never mind wise to do so? I think not.

Like it or loathe it, and thinking of middle- and high-income countries here, all this does raise questions about our dysfunctional tax and benefits systems, as well as how we administer financial aid to the less well off. In essence, we reward people for having children and there is a bias in favour of those who have children, in terms of time off work and other concessions denied to those who do not. Wouldn’t the opposite be wiser in certain countries, all things considered? Peter Preston thinks so: “Child benefit is the absolute logical opposite of what’s needed.” (He also notes that family planning is the cheapest way to abate a tonne of CO2. It costs three times as much to do so with wind power and twice as much again by using solar power. It’s a valid point.)

Perhaps we do need benefits systems to be geared towards the ideal two-child family. (You can make a Two or Fewer pledge, as is the done thing these days, if you wish.) Governments insist that austerity measures are vital at this sombre time, so why not boldly announce that in the not-so-distant future benefits will only be paid for your first two (three, four…) children, irrespective of family income, in order to discourage large families for a year or two (three, four, if not for ever), until the national figures are more preferable, with no limit to the number of children you can adopt if you really want a large family that much.

Whilst I doubt that payment for not producing children, thanks all the same, would be as beneficial to peasant farmers who need an agile workforce to help tend to their plantations as it might be tempting to the less-well off (and a thoroughly welcome bonus to the genuinely maternally and paternally disengaged), I see this idea as a possible bit-part solution to what is a First World problem purely because the children of the wealthy weigh heavier on the planet than those of the poor. They consume far more, they live longer because they have access to a better diet, better healthcare and better living conditions. I’m with Peter Preston: an incentive not to is much wiser than an incentive to have children in the West.

In many societies, those who choose not to have children are deemed to be somehow socially and morally deficient. This is very worrying and, writing as someone with no children, a bit of an insult.

It raises the question: Is it selfish to be a parent or not to be? Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argued, and maybe still argues, that those who do not have children are the selfish ones. I beg to differ on the grounds that I cannot think of many more effective ways of contributing to climate change than breeding. Choosing to tread as lightly as possible along life’s increasingly eroded pathways seems incredibly unselfish to me.

Then there was Tory numpty, Howard Flight, a multi-millionaire banker (that’s spelt with a ‘b’, not a ‘w’) who came out with this beauty:

“We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive. But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible.”

Well, when people come out with such incendiary comments, it always makes me wonder for a fleetingly evil moment if perhaps the world would be a better place today had more mothers had a ‘right to choose’ in days gone by. But he, too, has a point.

Haven’t the rich imposed population control on the poor for decades, though? The rich who consume more than anyone and whose carbon footprints continue to tread ever deeper thanks to their reliance on travel by, and fondness for the conditioning of, air? The poor, particularly those in the developing nations, are seen as a grave threat to the capitalism of the developed world, which does not like sharing anything equally. It’s why President Johnson, in 1966, made US foreign aid dependent on countries adopting family planning programmes. The UK, Japan and Sweden all followed suit. Yet, in the 1980s, President Reagan put a stop to financial support for any programmes that involved abortion or sterilisation in the USA. But then, I suppose it’s different if the babies are going to be mostly white and dressed in adorable designer clothes with those cute little bracelets serving as wholesome reminders to ask what Jesus would do in times of uncertainty, even if every one of those babies born in the land of the free will consume as much as, say, a dozen Indian babies. Better sterilise more Indians, I guess. For the sake of humanity, naturally.

In 1975 alone, some eight million Indians, the majority of them poor and male, were sterilised as part of a mass campaign. The head of the World Bank at the time, Robert McNamara, was impressed. He had earlier declared that countries promoting birth control would receive preferential access to resources. Result.

The idea had gained widespread support courtesy of American biologist, Paul Ehrlich, and his 1968 book entitled The Population Bomb. In it, he suggested that governments should concentrate on reducing population growth and grant financial assistance only to those that would reduce birth rates. He now concedes that, instead of focusing on the poverty-stricken, “I would focus on there being too many rich people. It’s crystal clear that we can’t support seven billion people in the style of the wealthier Americans.”

We absolutely cannot. The populous, privileged, post-industrial countries are by far the main offenders in our assault on the planet. I recall watching the inimitable David Attenborough explain that if the productive capacity of Earth were shared fairly, we would each be allowed two global hectares. The Chinese have this spot-on (more on them later) and use no more than they ought to. Most Africans use little more than half their share, Indians less than half. The average European, however, uses twice as much (those semi-Europeans in the UK use more still) and the USA, four times as much. If we all consumed at Indian levels, the Earth could sustain 15 billion people. Stick a decimal point in the centre of that number to see how many people the planet could cope with if we all consumed at US levels, a figure we’ve already surpassed by some considerable way. It’s no small wonder that people in the developing world are allowed to starve and perpetually kept in relative poverty.

Maybe the problem isn’t about overpopulation at all, purely one of unfair distribution and deliberate misallocation of resources instead. Regardless, the allocation of resources isn’t going to become any fairer with a greater number of rich people. On the contrary, as population increases, so does inequality.

More than one billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water and rich nations are striking deals with the poorest to acquire their land and labour cheaply to grow food for the wealthiest of Earth’s inhabitants to gorge themselves on. So that’s food grown in Ethiopia by the hungriest people, where nearly three million rely on food aid, flown across the world to those that least need it. It’s tragic. Never mind ‘Do they know it’s Christmastime?’ Do they know that you can’t eat money?

Visualise, if you will, another type of tragedy: the sprawl of concrete, the high rise flats reaching ever-higher, the green lusciousness being dug up and replaced with twisted metal, glass and standard block work that is needed to house all these new people jostling for space in our finite world with its finite resources, where it is estimated that, on current trends, we will lose half of all species of animals and plants over the course of the next century. This scenario breaks my heart more than anybody’s personal desire for additional children they cannot and perhaps should not have. Through our selfish and careless consumption of resources which cannot be replaced, we have endangered the 10 million other species with which we share our beautiful blue planet. Shame on me, perhaps, but I want there to be rhinos and sea turtles more than I want to be surrounded by an even greater number of greedy, selfish people.

The world’s population has doubled since 1968, as birth control was legalised and the contraceptive pill became more easily available. Around the world, two babies are now born every second. That’s 200,000 born each day (graphically illustrated here, if you want to feel overwhelmed). By 2050, it is predicted that there will be more than nine billion of us. India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation and most of sub-Saharan Africa will double its numbers. Ethiopia could see a rise from 80 million to 145 million by 2150. (Of course, maybe that’s considered a good thing to some, as it will mean more hands to turn the soil to feed the increasing numbers in the wealthy countries.)

Such demographic changes will impact upon everybody.

Right now, there are more people alive of child-bearing age, more children surviving infancy thanks to better health care, and more people living longer into old age. In spite of this, global fertility is said to be falling. In 1950, people had on average five children whereas now that figure is down by half. The falling birth rate in Japan and Germany, to give two examples, has created serious national concerns. (Germany’s population, similar to Ethiopia’s, is expected to fall to 75 million by 2150.) Take Macedonia as another example, where village populations are down by half because today’s parents choose to have just one or two children, unlike fifty years ago when most had more than four. Combined with a rising elderly population, it is predicted that this country of two million inhabitants could lose 15 per cent of its population in the next 40 years and this in spite of government incentives to procreate. There are already 150 entirely abandoned villages, with more than 450 at risk of becoming totally deserted.

But still, seven billion…

I wonder which Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks would consider most selfish: the ones waiting to be born or the ones not dying quickly enough? Life expectancy, according to the United Nations, is projected to increase across all countries. Obviously, the average life expectancy is lowest (just 56 years) among the poorest, which also happen to be the high-fertility countries, mostly concentrated in Africa. Because of medical advances, however, mortality rates are expected to continue to decline. Therefore, by 2050, in high-fertility countries, life expectancy will rise to 69 years and to 77 years by 2100. For intermediate-fertility countries, such as the USA and India, the same will be true: the average life expectancy of 68 years is projected to rise to 77 years by 2050 and to 82 years by 2100. Low-fertility countries (China and most of Europe) tend to have higher average life expectancy. This too will rise. It was estimated at 74 years in 2010 and is projected to rise to 80 years by 2050 and to 86 years by 2100.

As I doubt that many would favour euthanising instead of aborting, and accepting that a strong economy is of little use when the planet has been damaged beyond all repair, the assumption that only increasing numbers of heroic, determined children can offer a solution to the problem of how to support a growing aging population dependent on the state pension for longer than ever imagined, seems to be a load of old guff.

China’s population stands at around 1.3 billion today, having doubled between 1950 and 1980, and its infamous “one child” policy, introduced in 1979, is estimated to have prevented 400 million births. Although there is no doubting the huge cost in terms of human misery, the probable alternative would have been death by famine, a fate we all face if we continue to consume ao excessively. The world’s population would have exceeded seven billion long ago without China taking such controversial measures to curb its growing numbers.

Because we’re not supposed to use the term ‘population control’ due to its insensitive, authoritarian connotations, we now speak of ‘reproductive rights’ instead. Abortion, prohibited almost everywhere up until 1967, is now legal in many countries although still a highly contentious and emotive issue and a practice widely considered immoral. In India, many families with a first born girl are aborting their second child if told that it too will be a girl. It is estimated that as many as 12 million girls have been selectively aborted in India over the last three decades.

Abortion is a horrible word. Contraception isn’t so bad, though.

For me, quite clearly, the negatives of a rising population far outweigh the positives. We must undoubtedly reduce our impact on the Earth’s resources and reducing the population is one key way of going about this.

(Oh, and I’ve been assured that we shouldn’t panic about lack of space because apparently there’s room for the entire world population in France – with room to spare. So, all you claustrophobics, be sure that it’s not loss of space that we should all live in morbid fear of just yet. Besides, we can always move to Macedonia.)

What do you think? Would you pledge to have no more than two children? With respect to those that would, would this be as ineffectual as all the other pledges dutifully taken and as such need to be enforced by the state, as in China, to ensure that people only brought two children into the world? Should governments intervene by offering incentives to prevent people from having children instead of financially supporting those that do? Should foreign aid be withheld from the impoverished Third World or provided only with contraception and strict instructions on how to use it, for the good, not of its precious arable farmland now owned in wide swathes by the rich, but for the environment and the many magnificent species that have in no way contributed to man-made climate change and are doomed to extinction because of mankind’s unchecked overindulgence? Or is this, as ever, yet another case of the West needing to practice what it preaches first and to stop dictating to the poor?

Lots of questions, I hope you can provide your views on at least some of them. May the conversation spill like crude oil from a tanker, or trickle like vomit down a high chair if you prefer, into the chatroom, which opens tomorrow – Friday – at 1pm (UK). Hope to see you there.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. tim_c

    Blimey F’ed, spare a thought for us slow readers …. I shall print off your masterpiece, get it bound in hog’s leather and settle down by the fireside to read it … before making some comments on the side of the eco-friendly childless amongst us.

    Playing Golf at the appointed chat time tomorrow so I’ll leave you with best wishes of keeping the unruly mob in order (should you choose to turn up yourself this time of course. 😉 )

  2. Paul Sexton

    I don’t know about you, but at the age of ten, I was playing kerby and collecting trading cards which smelt of bubble gum.

    Nice one FEd!…the fun I had with caps and spud guns… I still have a little detonater which I put below phones etc. The trouble I have getting caps for it in Northern Ireland is just shocking!!!! :v

  3. Colin

    Are you aware of or interested in the Zeitgeist Movement? Have you seen the film Zeitgeist Moving Forward on YouTube? Please check it out. I think you would be very interested to ponder some of the ideas presented. It is a bit radical, but we need big ideas to overcome big problems.

    The Movement’s principle focus includes the recognition that the majority of the social problems which plague the human species at this time are not the sole result of some institutional corruption, scarcity, a political policy, a flaw of “human nature” or other commonly held assumptions of causality.

    Rather, The Movement recognizes that issues such as poverty, corruption, collapse, homelessness, war, starvation and the like appear to be “Symptoms” born out of an outdated social structure. While intermediate Reform steps and temporal Community Support are of interest to The Movement, the defining goal here is the installation of a new socioeconomic model based upon technically responsible Resource Management, Allocation and Distribution through what would be considered The Scientific Method of reasoning problems and finding optimized solutions.

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” – Albert Einstein

    • FEd

      I saw it on your recommendation, I believe, a few years ago, but I will refresh my memory. Thanks for the links.

    • Conceição Faria

      🙂 Concordo com voce em alguns aspéctos.

      No Brasil as meninas estão engravidando com 11 anos e são sempre da classe muito pobre, porém, elas tem alguma informação, mas os meios de comunicação influenciam demais na sexualização dessas crianças, a falta de uma família unida, ou seja, quase sempre o pai abandona a mãe, que sai para trabalhar e deixa os filhos sozinhos na miséria e quase sempre o homem que engravida essas meninas é o vizinho ou o amigo da família ou até mesmo o padrasto.

      A miséria é um problema que está se espalhando junto com a corrupção nos países em desenvolvimento, a falta de escolas também contribui para que essas crianças fiquem assistindo TV o dia inteiro, e com isso se perdem no mundo, não são orientadas.

      Poderia ficar escrevendo laudas sobre o assunto, mas em resumo é isso.


      Conceição (Rio de Janeiro – Brasil)

  4. Damian Cunningham

    Hi Fed and all.

    Only me and Kat here, no children, though Kat would disagree, and there is Floyd our lovely boy woof. I do have 2 great nieces and spoil ’em as much as possible, but what future is there for them and other kids? None while the Tories and Lib Dims, I mean Dems, are in power. The way the world is going at the mo’ I doubt there will be anything for anyone except as you say the rich, a new world order springs to mind.

    Ever heard of the Illuminati Fed? Sorry I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

    • FEd

      Lib Dims, I like that. :))

      I have heard of the Illuminati and it does sometimes feel as though we’re heading towards a one-world government that wants to suppress the poor.

  5. snow

    Wow FEd,

    Another slow reader here, I wish now I took my education more seriously.

    These are some of my thoughts only.

    In regards to Western children wanting to have sex at an earlier age, there is too much porn around and to many people ready to exploit children or young adults as soon as possible. They do this for profits, they have no morels.

    In poorer counties a lack of education and health care doesn’t help their situation.

    I look at our planet as a large space ship traveling through space, all we need is here, but profits seem to rule. If we find something in the ground we can’t leave it in the ground for future generations, no, we need to dig it up and sell it ASAP.

    FEd, we’re not here for long, and we are on the devil’s playground. I just do my best to not leave a large footprint and when it’s all over I just hope to call it in as I sore it. I’ve got 5 acres of land at the base of world heritage listed national park and I spend a lot of my spare time rehabilitating it. It takes it out of me, others don’t understand why I do it and I don’t really know either, but it is my happy place and at this stage it is also my family’s (wife and child) happy place.

    I do have one child, I would have liked more but that’s the cards I was dealt. I’m pleased to have a child and an heir.

    Take it easy FEd, the world’s problems are not on your shoulders only. 😉

  6. Michèle

    Mon Dieu!

    Unable (or not brave enough, or no time enough, or…) to read/digest/analyse about 300 lines in English, sorry. :!

    Giving birth (twice, bien? 😉 ) was the most wondeful thing I have ever experienced and although I respect women who choose to remain childfree (yes, I have read your link ‘bias in favour of those who have children’), I have a thought and feel very sorry for all the women who try so hard to have children but don’t succeed. Very sad.

    Have been quite shocked by your use of the term “producing children” and by your words “I cannot think of many more effective ways of contributing to climate change than breeding.”, but maybe I misunderstood what you said, I don’t know.

    On the other hand, I hate the position of The Church and the Pope who keep banning abortion and contraception. Ridiculous and dangerous. What do they know? (Maybe a positive step forward, I think that Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010 that the use of condoms would be acceptable in exceptional cases, to prevent HIV infection. – It’s about time he saw some light!)

    Will try later to read your post, I promise.

    Oh and on a lighter note, please, what is that, ‘playing kerby’? I have no idea.

    And please, you all, seven billion people, don’t all come to France! 8| (David can, if he wants…)

  7. KenF

    Another thought-provoking, pragmatic, Magnum Opus FEd. Providing plenty of food for thought, as ever.

    I’m not sure that Michèle and her countrymen/women would welcome the world’s population taking up residency in her homeland though, even if there would still be room to spare, if that were to happen.

    As for pledging to only beget two offspring, it would as you suspect, be wholly ineffectual, unless there was some REAL incentive available to adhere to said pledge. Changing the rules on Child Benefit could well be a meaningful starting point, especially in the currently calamitous economic climate. 1st world countries certainly need to take a lead on this matter, but as ever, the political will just isn’t there.

    The link to the 7 Billion & Me site certainly throws up some interesting, if alarming statistics. Apparently, since I was born, way back in 1955, there have been approximately 983,535 extinctions of the world’s 10 million species. 2,759,434,463 people were alive on this mortal coil when I was born, but 2,820,527,120 have died since that date.

    Here in the UK, since my birth, the population has allegedly risen from 51,154,370 to 62,536,642 yet bizarrely the populous within my native West Yorkshire has FALLEN from 1,696,732 to 1,554,415, despite it being God’s county.

    • KenF

      Well, despite being one of 5 siblings myself, I’ve kept to my part of the bargain by only bringing 2 children into the world (I opted for ‘the snip’ after #2) If only everyone else would follow my lead (or yours FEd) then maybe, just maybe, there might be hope for the future well-being of mankind. 🙁

    • frank par

      Good comments by all and a great song by the Temptations. Thanks KenF. We both were born in 1955. I am one of six siblings and have no children of my own, but I am a proud Grandfather of 3 grandchildren. That will suffice. 🙂

    • KenF

      We both were born in 1955. I am one of six siblings and have no children of my own, but I am a proud Grandfather of 3 grandchildren. That will suffice.

      Thanks Frank.

      I’ve just learned today that I too am set to become “a proud Grandfather” next May.

      Whoops, it looks like I’m guilty of perpetuating the next generation of population incrementation. :!

      • FEd

        :)) I count three excited, first-time parents-to-be (or are they already parents?) as my friends. I hope they never see this post.

        Thankfully, they all have rubbish taste in music, so they shouldn’t do.

  8. Gabrielle, Washington State

    Another thought provoking topic, FEd and much food for thought ~ I’ll spend all weekend attempting to digest it! 😉 Joking aside, there’s enough heavy/disturbing information contained in your post to cause my mind to be boggled indefinitely! 8| Lots of links to peruse …

    Peace ~

  9. frank par

    Well Fed, that covers everything. Now I know why everyone is sex-texting and partly to blame for this mass of population growth.

    Very informative reading. Thanks!

  10. ash

    Some of you have probably seen this and had a go.

    I completed this, I was the 2,702,500,000th person on the planet the day I was born.

    Some thoughts I’ve had on this fact :

    – I only had to compete with about 3billion others at that time for resources.
    – My two children had to compete with approx 4.5 and 5 billion respectively the days they were born.
    – My mother was 24 when she had me, she was 2,060,051,229th person on the planet.

    I remember being a little better off than our neighbours in that we had a car, but otherwise we were the same as most people. Family stories tell me that my mother’s family were poor. Granny was poor, had to work because her husband had died and there was no welfare state then.

    What I can’t work out is, where was all the wealth when there were only 2.5 billion people on the planet? Where did it all come from? Why were people poor back then, why couldn’t they access the wealth there is around today?

    ash 😐

    • ash

      I was the 2,702,500,000th person on the planet the day I was born.

      I’ve been watching a re-run of “The Prisoner” on TV and decided, I am not a number, I am a free woman! And society is definitely weird.


  11. ash

    Fed, another fantastic post! You deserve a medal as well as a pay rise!

    I’m still digesting all this and hopefully I’ll have more comments to make and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s too.

    ash 🙂

  12. Christopher Everard


    I read some comments regarding the so called New World Order and people asking if you knew of THE ILLUMINATI. I have made several feature length motion picture documentaries about The Illuminati secret societies, membership of cults by presidents and politicians and a film about the present geopolitical situation.

    I have enjoyed Dave’s music for many years and wish him well in his charitable events and projects.

  13. Damian Cunningham

    I have a job interview this afternoon, for a support worker role with vulnerable adults and children. So I’ll let you know how I get on.

    Kind regards
    Damian. 🙂

    • FEd

      “…the government is using police groups and parts of the military to exterminate people that are considered to be socially unwanted, such as the homeless.”

      I don’t know what to say, but thank you, I’ve signed the petition.

    • Hydrea

      I think it’s a shame! So, we can do something to help the Homeless. For example, by signing this petion.

      Many thanks FEd for spreading the appeal on Blog.


    • ash

      Isn’t that a disgrace? In this day and age when we still remember the Nazis and their particular way of trying to manipulate so that only the type they wanted would survive to pass on the genes they wanted.

      It wasn’t just the Jewish people the exterminated, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they also targeted people who were not blond, blue eyed types, disabled, homeless. All were sent to death camps but many were also experimented on by medical researchers and often without anaesthetic.

      It may well be that in nature sickly and outcast animals eventually starve to death so do not survive to pass on their genes. A troop of monkeys may well invade a neighbouring territory to take the fruit.

      We are highly intelligent, one of the things that sets us apart from the animals is care and compassion for the less fortunate and our ability to think of ways to solve almost any problem presented to us. Yes we have overpopulation but lets hope we can keep our struggle against it humane and compassionate. I vaguely remember a story years ago about orphaned, homeless children being shot in one of the South American countries. 🙁

      I don’t think killing off the people we have is the answer, trying to prevent too many new people being born is the answer.

      I know you all agree with this, I’m feeling enraged about another disabled person going to court to fight for the doctors to kill him! I’d hate for it to become expected by society that “worthless” people be killed off.


  14. Michael Kelly

    The question that I and probably nobody else has an answer to is the following: How does one make sex less enticing?

    I, too, at ten years old was doing the things ten year old kids do. But I was interested in the fairer sex even at that young of an age, and if there had been the temptations then that there are now, there is no way my moral judgement would have prevented me from succumbing to those temptations.

    And the fear of getting in trouble does not stop the temptation. That’s why underage pregnancy happens. Certainly from the male’s perspective, the idea of sex now overpowers any repercussions later on. How does one prevent that? Does getting rid of porn and the sexualization of children prevent it? I think it would cut it down considerably, certainly not having it as a child helped keep me from acting out, but it won’t prevent societies that condone sex in the early teens from not condoning it. And it won’t prevent lusty older teens or adults from acting out on their temptations. And let’s face it, if the Catholic Church cannot prevent its own priests from acting out on their temptations, there is no way one can expect “morality” to combat sexual temptations.

    You can’t make sex less enticing. Nature prevents it. Contraception is the only answer. It has to be reversible to get the masses to agree, because people ought to have at least one child (later in life preferably), and it should be used by anybody physically capable of having kids, even if they are kids.

  15. Andrew

    I could not get through reading the whole post right now. Will have to get back to finish it. But a comment to consider.

    While I also find it revolting of kids having kids, history shows that there was a time that kids were married by 12 or 13. However the life expectancy at that time was also about 30. So most of us on this blog today would be dead.

    We have the advances of science just as much to blame for our world population. Not that I am unhappy about the fact that we all don’t get sick sooner.

    As for the topic of abortion. I have to say that my views changed after we had our first child. Personally I don’t like the idea but I also sometimes feel like I am not the one to decide what someone else should do. I also know a number of folks who have had an abortion and today really regret that decision.

    And then there are cases like the Octomom (sure you have heard of her). To me she is a woman who is totally clueless and it’s interesting that she states she does not get government assistance. Right! She definitely is getting assistance and is just plain stupid.

    Dirty Harry said it best, “A man needs to know his limitations.” We live in a world where everyone seems to want everything and they want it now. That is what needs to change. We need to be pleased with what we do have and not take on more than we can handle.



  16. Andrew

    And can I add one more thing that gets me going?

    I don’t know if this happens in other parts of the world. In the U.S., the day after the Thanksgiving holiday is known as Black Friday. A huge pre-Christmas shopping day.

    The way this all started is because many folks were off from work on the day after the holiday and so they went shopping. It was such a big shopping day that it essentially helped many stores get “into the black” for the year, in other words they made a profit.

    Well, it was always a crazy day to go shopping but now the stores have gone to new extremes. I can’t tell you how many stores decided that they would open at midnight. And people on the other hand have their dinner and then go out and wait on lines for the stores to open. This is all just so they could get a deal.

    Personally, I like to sleep. I don’t think of shopping at 2AM. I don’t wake up at 2AM saying, “hmmm, wish I could go shopping.” This is just totally insane and to me just shows how our society is so f-ed up. And it all goes back to one word – GREED.



    • FEd

      Dear God, the sight of the shamelessly vain and competitive lining the shop fronts with their sleeping bags and bobble hats so that they can be among the first to get their sweaty hands on the new iPad or Harry Potter book has always made me feel quite sick. Can you imagine how those people, so self-absorbed, who have virtually no conscience and can barge past others (younger, smaller) as the shop doors open without a care in the world are going to behave when there’s not enough food to go around? There will be carnage. The only ones left will be the most fervent, well-trained consumers.

    • Morgan

      As much as I love Christmas shopping, the whole Black Friday thing disgusts me – I’d rather pay full price. Nothing says “peace, good will toward men” like a stampede at the Wal-Mart entrance. I read an account of a man who collapsed in a West Virginia store on Black Friday. Customers walked by or stepped over him. Eventually an off-duty paramedic stopped to help, but the man died at the hospital.

      I fear our society has lost all sense of compassion.

  17. ash

    I’ve never heard of ‘kerby’ either. When I was ten we were playing hopscotch, skipping, roller skating (on skates that you strapped on to your shoes and could make bigger or smaller using a wing nut on the underside), climbing trees, fishing about in streams and ponds, swinging on a rope across the stream. . . I am seriously wishing there was such a thing as a time machine. 🙂

    Ooooh, yeah, another thing we played was ‘two ball against a wall’, there were all sorts of tricks we learnt as well to throw the balls.

    When I was fourteen we were still climbing trees, cycling, scrumping, playing hide and seek, tig off ground. Also when I was fourteen we started going to concerts, dances, I kissed a boy :v (yeeeuch. . .spit, spit, choke).

    I can’t help but feel that 10 year olds giving birth is as a result of abuse mainly. I can’t get my head round it because we knew nothing about sex at age 10, the world must be a terrible place for some children. 🙁


    • FEd

      Oh, Kerby was great fun. (Sorry, Michèle, I should have explained this earlier. The suspense must have been infuriating.) You could use any ball, a tennis ball was for the more experienced player, a football was easiest. You stood at the edge of the kerb, facing your opponent across the road, and took turns to throw the ball at his or her kerb with the aim of making the ball bounce back at you off the kerb’s edge (scoring a point for each clean hit and catch). Simple, you could play it anywhere and parents could keep an eye on you from their window of choice.

      Of course, this was back in the day when you could actually see the kerb. You couldn’t play it now, obviously, because cars are parked bumper to bumper, taking up half the pavement in the process because cars are so damn big now that the biggest must mount the kerb and people need several of them and some have selfishly opened up their front gardens without consideration for the wildlife, let alone the aspiring Kerby players of the future, to provide off-road parking, necessitating the scourge of the Kerby enthusiast: the dropped kerb. (Please don’t get me started on wheelie bins.)

      Ash, I’m getting desperate for this time machine. Where is it? To whom do we complain about the length of time it’s taking for time machines to be accessible (but only to those of us in the West, naturally)? I don’t expect to see them on the high street, I mean, I’m not stupid, but in selected dusty garden sheds owned by moustachioed eccentrics with brightly-coloured woolly jumpers.

      As you can tell, I’m outraged by this broken promise for the future. What do we get instead? Overpopulation, that’s what, when we were promised time machines. It stinks.

    • Michèle

      Haha, an innocent game called ‘Kerby’ leading to some moaning about those evil cars… Any excuse, eh?

      I would need a time machine just to ‘see’ at least once a non-cynical/sarcastic FEd…

    • Andrew


      Was this were the phrase “go play in traffic” came from? :))

      Also, I have to remember that I am reading this blog from an international perspective. When you first said using a football was easiest and then I read how the game is played; I was trying to figure out how using a pointy ball that really does not bounce back (a U.S. football) made it easier to play. Then I realized you were referring to what we affectionately call a soccer ball.

      I have to say that Kerby was not something that we played over here. Where I grew up, you were likely to get killed in traffic if you tried playing that game.

      But we used to enjoy using a tennis ball to play hand ball. Even though they also make a nice pink ball for that game a tennis ball worked just as well. This was another rather simply way to amuse yourself, all you need is a hand, a ball and a wall. And the best part was that you really did not need a friend to play with like you do with Kerby.

      Michèle probably played Jacks (no, not the card game).



    • ash

      CERN will be the place Fed. They could do it, they probably are doing it, it could be that tomorrow they will go back to last week, come and pick us up to go somewhere we’d like to be and your post and my response will never happen/have happened/will happen.

      We might as well have a good time whilst we wait for them though and drown our sorrows or otherwise party to alleviate the outrage at their (presently) unkept promise. Then last week in the future we won’t have a hangover. 😀

  18. NewYorkDan

    A decade ago, before I became a teacher, I was a case worker for families of teen mothers. The youngest mother on my caseload was 9. I had a woman on my caseload who, at 30, was already a grandmother. I remember asking a nurse to help a 12-year-old girl learn to use a breast pump (needed so that the girl could give the baby to a caretaker but still feed it her own milk — enabling her to continue to go to school). Young parents are not usually great parents. I had to call the authorities after learning that one girl left her baby in the car while she partied with her friends (thank God the baby was okay after that). I arranged a paternity test for a 14-year-old boy who claimed he was not the father of a woman’s baby (the test revealed that he was the father, and now he must give the baby’s mother half of all his earnings until the baby turns 21). That was an upsetting job.

    My question is, if the boy was under the age of consent (which he was) and the woman WAS at the age of consent, why was she not charged with statutory rape?

    And I didn’t ever think about the worldwide implications of all this, in terms of planetary overpopulation. It is awful!! What is humanity doing to itself, it’s mother planet, its future?

    • ash

      Jeez Dan, 🙁 what a depressing job. On the other hand, did you get a sense of satisfaction when your help resulted in a happy outcome?

      Surely these youngsters were helped and learned by your support? If indeed they did learn and used birth control thereafter, then they also sent an educational message to their peers.

      And yes, I think the adult, whether male or female, should be tried for statutory rape.


  19. Tim-c

    Well Fed, I’ve worked my way through your epic and am now feeling suitably depressed. Much of what you say I can hardly disagree with, from the personal tragedy of sexualised youth and lost childhood to the Malthusian gloom of ballooning world population. Indeed I’ll add further misery because you only hint at the problem of the ageing population as part of this scenario …. And as you say life expectancy in the West is running away with itself, which some might think a good thing unti they realise that their pension isn’t going to do the job, but which I look forward to with unmitigated gloom. I mean, who in their right mind wants to grow old, demented, decrepit and or incontinent? (Apologies to any bloggers who already fit this bill.) Not me, that’s for sure. I would happily sign a contract authorising somebody to sneak up behind me with a large mallet and finish me off as soon as I start showing a specified set of symptoms. Perhaps this is because, like you, my loins have been unproductive and I will have nobody to live vicariously through in my dotage.

    The problem is, I see no earthly prospects of a solution. The human race is quite clearly a virus in Global terms and we really should not grant ourselves the title of “custodians” of this planet. We will dominate and exploit and adapt and fight and scratch our way, via any number of ecological and human catastrophes until some equilibrium is reached … and then race to the next tipping point.

    We may be wonderful as individuals, but as a species we stink. As small collections of individuals we can be pretty dodgy as well, but that’s Man City for you.

    Trying to find some positives, I guess we should allow that some of these young parents may find joy and fulfilment in their families. Quite possibly the rest of their options are no more attractive. Perhaps the sexualised youth will at last succeed in “getting over” the whole issue (at least in the UK) where previous generations remain subject to the wit and wisdom of Benny Hill.

    As a childless, unselfish type I agree it is time we re-examined the idea that child rearing requires subsidy … a policy rooted firmly in the past when it was important to keep the supply of labourers and cannon-fodder coming. In fact perhaps we should go the other way and have a child tax. After all taxation is generally applied to activities where demand is inelastic. Then at least gin-sozzled, cigarette smoking drivers of large MPVs to carry their 4 kids would contribute some extra tax revenues to fund nice museums for me to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet (ho ho).

    The trends you outline are long-term and powerful. They quite simply cannot be reversed by normal individual or political action. Famine and nuclear war are more likely routes to getting the numbers down I’m afraid. Anyone read “The Road”? Good Boxing Day reading, I would suggest.

    • ash

      Perhaps this is because, like you, my loins have been unproductive and I will have nobody to live vicariously through in my dotage.

      I hope you remember your impoverished friend in your will Tim, seeing as you have no children to pass your wealth to, I will gladly place it under my mattress for safekeeping. 😀

      The trends you outline are long-term and powerful. They quite simply cannot be reversed by normal individual or political action. Famine and nuclear war are more likely routes to getting the numbers down I’m afraid.

      I fear you could be right Tim, however, we could pull it off, birth rates in most of the developed countries have fallen and continue to fall.

      Good education and cooperation between countries is essential and I know that, gloomily, it’s a very long shot. The thing is, if everyone gives up hope, we really will be doomed. It is pointless for rich people to think, “my money will see me and my heirs through”, “our own bomb shelter etc”, it won’t. So I think even governments and people in high places know what needs to be done and we need to continue to urge them to do it.

      As for humans stinking, yes, I know what you mean. Look at the human animal though as if you were an outsider, see our beauty, we are incredible.

      ash (taking temperature, must be something wrong if I like people)

    • Ralph

      Thank you Ash and Fed. Will try to pop in the chatroom later today.

      And blimey FEd, quite an essay you wrote on the overpopulation topic.

  20. ash

    This bloke has fathered 17 children. 13, maybe 15, different women. 8|

    This bloke’s family even plead with him to stop doing it.


  21. Howard Bayliss


    As Scrooge would say, ” Better to die and decrease the surface population.” 😉 :))

    Cheers, Howard

  22. Michèle

    Yes, the fact is that the average kid today is immersed in sexual imagery.

    I can understand why young teens can unintentionally get pregnant (rape, insouciance of youth, ignorance about sexual activity, no or erratic contraceptive use – and that, probably because of lack of sexual education that should be provided earlier at home and in school. It begins in primary schools here (that is from 6 to 11), but it remains a controversial law for many parents and teachers, a sort of taboo at this age.

    But what I can’t understand is the fact that now very old women (who should be wiser than teens) choose to give birth just because medical progress allows them to. (Progress, really? I doubt it.) Isn’t that a particularly selfish decision, what future will they give the child?

    For example, here and here.

    We have to recognise and respect the difference of culture in India, of course, but, don’t these pictures look terrible?

    • FEd

      Indeed. That gives us something new to think about: are these women selfish to have a child so late in life, a child they will sadly leave orphaned at an early age, to spare them from having to bear the stigma of being childless? Or are they selfless for sacrificing their health for the sake of an heir to inherit their land and carry on their family name?

    • Morgan

      On the subject of older women giving birth . . .

      God created menopause for a reason. Why anyone would want to medically reverse that is beyond me. I can’t imagine giving birth at my age (48). It was exhausting enough at 35.

    • Michael Kelly

      I should probably mind what I am saying considering whose blog this is, but it’s not just the women. I’ll leave it at that.

    • ash

      I think it completely irresponsible of the doctors involved in doing this. Anyone who has had children will tell anyone else, it’s the most important job in the world.

      Also the most rewarding, but being a support to your child doesn’t stop when they reach majority, 18 in Britain. I am well past 40 (that’s as much as I’m saying) and I am still learning from my parents who are now 80.

      I also have to say, now I know what I do about the world and imagine the kind of future my children might have, I can’t bear the thought to leave them in this world without me to help them.

      I know this sounds terrible, but in a way I wish I’d never had children so I wouldn’t have this worry, what you never had, you never miss. On the other hand I don’t wish them away because I have enjoyed them so much too. Even the heartache parts, I don’t want to change a minute of it.

      I think the doctors are irresponsible and these older mothers haven’t got a clue and will regret that they will leave their child to cope alone.


    • ash

      In the chat room yesterday, we also touched on older fathers, they too won’t be arround for the more than 40 years my father has, aside from that though, an interesting thing came to mind which I’d said I’d put in a comment about.

      I attended a lecture a while back called “Is human evolution over?”, given by biologist Steve Jones. He suggests that, and gives a very plausible reason for it, older males drive evolution. This is because males manufacture sperm constantly, they are therefor affected by environmental factors, and cell division changes over time. The genes a male handed down in his youth may be different to the ones he hands down later in life because they will have undergone mutation as the years progress. It is mutations which allow change therefor evolution. Female eggs on the other hand remain “constant” sice the eggs were all made at the same time when the female was a fetus herself, the eggs stored until breeding age.

      Just thought it was an interesting snippet to tell folks. Sorry I can’t tell it as well as Dr Jones.


    • Michèle

      Selfishness or selflessness? I don’t know, we are in India… Maybe just ignorance, lack of education?

      I think the doctors are to blame there. Immoral, unethical behaviour. Just an easy way for them to rob the poor. It’s all about the money. As always.

    • ash

      :v Sorry about that, I sent you a useless link.

      I know you hate the Mail Fed, but this is a better link.


  23. Orlando Gomes (from Brazil)

    😐 Once again, I was shocked with their vision of “dog world” in which we live. Said a colleague here who is adept in the conspiracy theory and I agree with him that “few who govern” this world are injecting ideologies and even inventing new pests and making wars for a population decline. But there are few to establish a new world order and maintain balance. This Secret War lasted for centuries. So, each of us just do our part and question every jerk ideology that pushes us. We will not swallow ideological nonsense.

    FED, hey – thanks for sharing your thoughts. See ya. :/

  24. shay

    please david…. come to do a show in israel!!! you just have to!!!! it’s a dream of a milions here!!!!

  25. John nff

    …which ‘smelt’ of bubble gum

    Since you are always correcting my spelling/grammar, did you mean ‘smelled’?

    • FEd

      No. 😉

      Well, I did, but that’s my preferred past tense of ‘smell’ and I’m going to keep using British spellings, however archaic, however much they’re being phased out in favour of Americanisms, until my dying day. 🙂

      It’s something that many people take quite seriously:

      Fight to save English spelling, BBC News, June 2003

    • John nff

      Reminds me of the old ‘rooves or roofs?’ debate from oh so long ago. Remember that?

    • Taki

      … just for fun I used the little but very effective word “haveing” in text distributed worldwide. No one can imagine the fun we had. 😉



  26. ash

    Fed, this is a really thought provoking topic, I’ve still to think and comment on other stuff you covered. I feel really angry about the article, “How food and water are driving a 21st-century African land grab”, that you linked too (see aquire their land).

    The weather forecast is on TV at present, we have so much rain in comparison to Ethiopia. (I got my washing out today though Lorraine, humming “Rainy Day, Dream Away”, I hope Scotland isn’t flooded.)

    In fact I feel outraged that it appears another country is allowed to buy Ethiopia’s best bits and don’t five a flying ***k about the indigenous population. For these people LIFE IS CHEAP.

    AND. . . we have to do business with them! The sooner we find alternatives to and replacements for oil the better. The country buying Ethiopia can only do it because they have the wealth from oil and holding the world over a barrel. I for one would support my government if it stopped doing business with them (really in rant mode now). The problem is the population of this country and most of the Gulf States is expanding at a phenomenal rate because of their oil wealth, when the oil runs out where will they get food and water? They have a massive famine waiting to happen.

    Surely if I can see this, and I’m a nobody, not particularly well educated in anything, the people with power to effect change can see it too. I can’t believe they are all living ‘for the moment’ and ***k the future.

    ash 🙁

  27. ash

    To try to provide oxygen for our children, prevent desertification, to provide wood for fuel, to provide habitat for wildlife therefor biodiversity, everything else I might have left out. . .

    This project to plant trees is something any of us can join in with, anyone involved in a community group? Get 100 or over 400 free trees that your community can plant in your area.

    ash 🙂

  28. ash

    Ok, I’ll shut up now Fed. 😀 (Probably given you more than enough work for the time being.)


  29. Taki

    … what can I say, FEd? I fully agree with you in the case of the young parents. It is painful only to think about it.

    The overpopulation though, is not that simple to discuss. I think that we cannot change they way homo sapiens is programmed a lot and if you have seen the eyes of a mother with her newborn in her hands then you’ll understand what I mean. The key is not to have children as insurance policy or by mistake, or because of religious reasons.

    As a father of three I am happy, but it would have been pretty hard to have more, the risks for my wife much higher… We are quite of the average here in Germany but on the other hand a lot family members haven’t even one child, I don’t see any way statistics help. Talking about support by government: we get some, as all parents, but the additional VAT that we pay is much, much more. I can’t believe that it is different in UK…

    Coming to an end: it doesn’t matter to me if people have or have not children, as long it’s their choice (i.e. they have them for the children’s sake). On the other hand I understand that we are about to destroy Earth, but is it only overpopulation? I am sure, it is not.

    Best regards,


    PS. I am not sure if it is really true, but I heard that a saying in Afghanistan goes like: the mother of the idiots is always pregnant. We should start educating those mothers ASAP.

  30. Penny

    Hi FEd!

    How have you been?

    I personally have given birth twice. But my husband and I have been foster parents since around ’87. We have tried not to contribute to the overpopulation.

    Here in the US there is a family that has a TV series called “19 Kids and Counting”. Ugh!!! They just announced she is pregnant with #20. It just boggles my mind that anyone could possibly think having 20 children is okay.

    (By the way it is our 28 wedding anniversary today!!!)

    Have a fabulous weekend, 🙂


  31. Bruce

    Speaking of overpopulation, what about Rolling Stone Magazine? If I could depopulate bad tabloids, I would start by turning Eugene loose on them.

    In all seriousness, they can’t be serious. ’nuff said.


  32. syncopa

    “If you survive ’til 2005, I hope you’re exceedingly thin…” I say BULLSHIT! This conversation doesn’t belong here. How many children has David fathered now? Hypocritical, INDEED!

    • FEd

      To be fair, many conversations don’t belong here, and arguably never did, yet I have to write about something and have merely expressed one controversial and widely unpopular point of view, it would seem, that nobody reading has to agree with, including David, who is gracious enough to allow me to write about whatever I feel will generate an interesting (I hope) discussion for those that want to contribute to it in the absence of the kind of stuff that obviously does belong here. I expected your observation, of course, though perhaps not with quite so much anger, but one rather inconvenient fact potentially jeopardising my argument is not enough to discourage me from writing about something topical and meaningful, I hope. I wouldn’t say it’s hypocritical (impolite and objectionable, no doubt); I personally have no children and environmental concerns are of great importance to me, to David, to many people reading, but there you go. I’m sorry that you think it is and realise why you would think it is.

      We’ll leave it at that.

  33. ash

    Fed, FED ! Wake up! Hello, it’s Monday morning and the sun’s out and it’s not too cold, get out of bed!

    ash 😀

  34. Oleg

    I think most funny is no one speaks about heroin and all other drug users that are killing Alice (Alice in Wonderland), your own kids, kids in all the world in all times and other kids by using this drug…

  35. graham knight

    Hi Fed,

    I didn’t play ‘Kerby’ but the girls in our street did, but we did play footie in the road and Bike Chicken where we cycled along the middle of the road from opposite directions to see who lost their nerve first, me and my mates must have had nerves of steel (or no imgaination) as I remember many collisions resulting in multiple scraped knees.

    I drove down this same road recently and cars were parked on both sides of the road and there is no way any sort of game could ‘safely’ be played on that road today.

    Maybe they play 4×4 instead nowadays, a larger target.

  36. Ralph

    Hi FEd, gang,

    Belgian TV station Canvas has ‘A Pink Floyd Miscellany 1967 – 2005’ programmed for Thursday December 8 at 23:45.

    Details (in Dutch) here.


  37. GianLuca

    I think we shouldn’t take those sad examples of mistreated youth as indicators on how the population is growing on our beloved planet.

    That is not, fortunately enough, the normality. Those are kids that never had a chance to be kids, certainly not for their own fault, but for that of the adults they took example or encouragement from.

    What is dramatic is indeed some institutions behaviour, like the denied abortion in Mexico, but again, domestic violence, incest, sexual slavery happens everywhere, everyday, in most civilized countries.

    There are kids that were not lucky enough to be left alone being kids, this should not take away our optimism on being alive on this Earth, neither should take us from the good will of giving birth to our children.

    The centre of a safe society is still the family nucleus, if you deny that to a child, he or she will grow up in the jungle, in survival mode, and then it’s too late to regret for whatever consequences.

  38. Antisthenis

    Excellent article (by the way, Hello David from Greece!).

    According to my opinion, guys, the problem is not over-population but over-politication which nowdays leads to over-economization.

    This our globe is controlled by few idiots who are getting their power “democratically” with the stupid vote of the silenced majority. Stupid majority and idiots on power is the perfect recipe for catastrophy .

    We see year by year dangerous idiots gettitng the power, being elected with people’s votes… and we stay and watch, watch, watch…

    War, economy, poverty, death… this was your Life on Earth. Sad. 🙁

    The so called “Western World” elects people like George W Bush in U.S and Papandreou in Greece or even Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. These people can’t manage their brain, so how they can manage the world’s food?

    And the biggest problem is overpopulation???

    Oh really? KALIMERA!

    We went to the moon, we have warm water, we eat MTV, we’ve got iNtErNeτ, FaceB00k… BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HUMAN BEING? 😮

  39. Michael

    The question is: how many children have you personally sired and if more than two, which two would you keep and which ones do you wish had never been born? It’s unanswerable, isn’t it?