|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Monday, March 17, 2003
Humanity's Slowing Growth: "the United Nations revised its 2050 world population projections, from 9.3 billion people down to 8.9 billion (we're at 6.3 billion today). The U.N. estimates that there will be a half-billion fewer people in the 53 nations most afflicted by AIDS than there would have been. " Other projections:
- by 2050, the median age in Japan and Italy will be over 50.
- In the developing world, fertility rates average three children, down from six a half-century ago, and the U.N. projects that the rate will dip below the replacement level in most poor countries later this century.
- Europe will decline, after accounting for immigration, from 728 million people to 632 million in 2050. Italy is expected to shrink by a fifth; Estonia, staggeringly, by half.
- America's population, boosted by a higher fertility rate and immigration, is projected to be 409 million in 2050, up from 285 million today.
- Eight countries are expected to account for half the population increase in the next 50 years (ie, 1.3 B people): US, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Congo.
Dot-Com Saviors, Tilting at the World's Ills
: "In increasing numbers, high-tech entrepreneurs who grew wealthy during the dot-com boom of the late 1990's — as well as many who didn't — are turning the intense business acumen they once devoted to making money to working for what they see as the global good. With the best of intentions, and maybe a hint of hubris, these New Age saviors are trying to build water purifiers, manual irrigation pumps, low-cost solar collectors, hearing aids, even highly durable mosquito nets. Armed with Po Bronson's recent best-selling book, "What Should I Do With My Life?" they hope to save lives while also giving greater meaning to their own." 5:57:16 AM
George W. Queeg: Krugman slams Bush administration: "Mr. Bush's inner circle seems amazed that the tactics that work so well on journalists and Democrats don't work on the rest of the world. They've made promises, oblivious to the fact that most countries don't trust their word. They've made threats. They've done the aura-of-inevitability thing — how many times now have administration officials claimed to have lined up the necessary votes in the Security Council? They've warned other countries that if they oppose America's will they are objectively pro-terrorist. Yet still the world balks. Wasn't someone at the State Department allowed to point out that in matters nonmilitary, the U.S. isn't all that dominant — that Russia and Turkey need the European market more than they need ours, that Europe gives more than twice as much foreign aid as we do and that in much of the world public opinion matters? Apparently not. ..
What really has the insiders panicked, however, is the irresponsibility of Mr. Bush and his team, their almost childish unwillingness to face up to problems that they don't feel like dealing with right now [like budget, north korea]." 5:34:29 AM