POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
I don't know that there is any justice for crediting the cretin in the White House, but this is obviously good news, a triumph for science.
There is however an unpleasant side effect to the drop in infant mortality, and that is an ensuing population explosion.
The theory of demographic transition - a theory supported by all past Western experience - says that high birth rates will continue for a while after death rates have fallen.
The reason for this is that it takes a long time for parents to adjust to the reality of lower death rates. After all, in simple societies, children are your only form of social insurance as you become old, and centuries of experience with both high death and birth rates doesn't quickly change.
Clearly, birth control becomes sharply more important. The advanced world should do everything in its power to make good birth control available and understood in these parts of the world.
There is no measure more important to the future of many of the world's struggling economies, but there also is no measure more important to the world's environment.
Of course, in this the cretin in the White House stands in hard opposition, as does that great spiritual leader, the Pope.