How the West dies

Mark Steyn points out a few realities of a successful European battle against overpopulation:

In Europe, (I happen to be in Spain at the moment) it’s very weird to go to a Mediterranean wedding with tons of aunts, uncles, gram’pas, gran’mas, but no kids, or to a German suburb built for families and to hear no children playing in the street. Yes, you’ll have more space, in the sense that a poor mill town has more space after the mill’s closed: the young folks have fled but at least ol’ Bud and Earl won’t have to wait for stools at the lunch counter, assuming it hasn’t gone out of business….

So don’t delude yourself: If the English and Scots and Belgians and don’t want to have children, it won’t mean a return to bucolic pastoral vistas, it will just mean the places of the kids you never had will be taken by immigrants. If Yemen cuts its fertility rate, Yemen will empty out. If Britain cuts its fertility rate, Yemen will move in.

It’s positively haunting to walk through some of the nearly abandoned towns and villages of Italy. There’s one place that we like to go wandering in the mountains where perhaps thirty people live in a place that used to be home to hundreds. In several visits, we’ve never seen a single sign of a child outside any of the habitations that aren’t abandoned yet.

Didn’t the vision of a humanity without children used to belong to dark and dystopian sci-fi? I picked up a magazine at the fitness club the other day and happened to open it to a list of the 15 largest cities in the world now and projected for 2015. It was interesting to note that none of them were in Europe and that the story was lamenting the possibility that Europe would become less and less important in the world as its percentage of the global populace shrank relative to Asia, Africa and the Americas.