Commentary by John-Henry Westen

NEW YORK, May 25, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Even though recent demographic study has revealed a great looming threat of demographic winter, the richest of the rich seem to believe that overpopulation is the top priority for their philanthropic endeavors.  John Harlow writes today in The Times about a secret meeting of the global financial elite, convened by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, at which attendees agreed that curbing the world’s population should be their top priority. 

In "Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation," Harlow recounts that a May 5 meeting took place in Manhattan that included "David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey."  Harlow notes that the general agreement that population control was a major priority came at Gates’ instigation.

Gates’ enthusiasm for population control comes as no surprise since he has himself admitted to being strongly influenced by the views of Thomas Malthus, the fear-mongering overpopulation guru of the late 18th century.  He has also admitted that his father headed a local Planned Parenthood while he was growing up.  (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2003/may/03050902.html)

Of note, The Times reports that at the secret meeting, participants "discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change." 

The group’s priority certainly comes into conflict with Catholicism, as Pope Benedict has recently spoken of population growth as an asset rather than a deficit. In his message for World Day of Peace issued in December, Pope Benedict XVI deplored the "international campaigns afoot to reduce birth-rates, sometimes using methods that respect neither the dignity of the woman, nor the right of parents to choose responsibly how many children to have; graver still, these methods often fail to respect even the right to life." 

Smashing any appeal to undertake population control in the name of alleviating poverty, the Pope added: "The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings."

In his message, the Pope brought demographic evidence to defend his views. "Nor must it be forgotten that, since the end of the Second World War, the world’s population has grown by four billion, largely because of certain countries that have recently emerged on the international scene as new economic powers, and have experienced rapid development specifically because of the large number of their inhabitants. Moreover, among the most developed nations, those with higher birth-rates enjoy better opportunities for development.

"In other words, population is proving to be an asset, not a factor that contributes to poverty," the Pope concluded. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121202.html)

The Times paraphrased the account given by one attendee of the secret meeting who spoke anonymously, saying, "a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat." 

"This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers," said the guest. "They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming."  In answer to a question about the secrecy, the guest replied, "They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government."

In sharp contrast to the ideas of the billionaires, a recent film containing the views of some prominent demographers has sounded the alarm on underpopulation rather than overpopulation.  Promoting the film ‘Demographic Winter’ at a recent event, celebrated columnist Don Feder said that the demographic problem of worldwide declining birthrates "could result in the greatest crisis humanity will confront in this century" as "all over the world, children are disappearing."

Feder noted, "In 30 years, worldwide, birth rates have fallen by more than 50%. In 1979, the average woman on this planet had 6 children. Today, the average is 2.9 children, and falling."  He explained the situation noting, "demographers tell us that with a birthrate of 1.3, everything else being equal, a nation will lose half of its population every 45 years." (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012611.html)

See the article in The Times here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece