Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Far from the madding crowd

Recently I was reading what seemed a fairly routine article in The Economist about the very low birth rate in Germany, when the final paragraph caught my attention:

“As humans withdraw, wildlife is returning, notably near the eastern border. The lynx can be found again. The Lausitz, part of Saxony, is now home to two packs of wolves. Some even expect bears to come back one day. Their reappearance might be the ultimate sign that Germans really are a dying breed.”

It would be great if the low German birth rate could spread to all other countries. Then we could look forward in the end to a sensible world population much lower than it is now, in which mankind could live in harmony with itself and with nature, on a greener and more pleasant planet. I'm not exactly a tree-hugger, but I see no sense and no benefit in the vast number of people now overcrowding the Earth. We all just get on each other's nerves, creating traffic jams and pollution and noise and garbage, and pushing up the price of land and accommodation.

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