The Tsilent Tsunami,
Part Three… A Perfect Storm
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus
“No level of border security, no wall, doubling the size of the border patrol, all these things will not stop the illegal migration from countries as long as a 7-year-old is desperate enough to flee on her own and travel the entire length of Mexico because of the poverty and the violence in her country.” Jeh Johnson
“History in its broadest aspect is a record of man’s migrations from one environment to another.” Ellsworth Huntington
“Data is agnostic. It simply is what it is.” David Weston
In part one of this three part series on the catastrophic significance of human migrations I discussed the global impact of demographics (human population growth) and its staggering implications for the near future. Last week in part 2, we took a look at: Labor Migration, Climate Change Migration, and War Refugee/Asylum Seeking and their increasing inevitability and the global changes which will take place as a result.
I realize that I risk the possibility, that I will be labeled a pessimist and that it will be easy to look for holes in my analysis. I’ve tried to present the data as simply as possible and allow them to speak for themselves. It seems pretty clear to me, but I know not everybody will agree.
I know that up until now most demographers have pointed to China and India as the serious progenitors of population over-growth. China has stalled after implementing its sometimes machiavellian one child policy. India is attempting to step into the 21st century with educational, technological and industrial growth that is for the moment forestalling its own potential disasters.
What most are not paying attention to is that within the next decade or two there will be an additional 300 million African young men and women, from a continent that is already experiencing low levels of development and unemployment, who will be looking for jobs and lives of peace and prosperity. This dilemma represents an existential threat to all of humanity’s existence. The sheer momentum and magnitude of it should be a subject of great concern, especially to western nations as they will be the receptors and expected benefactors of this global dilemma.
What appears to me is that there is a perfect storm looming just over the horizon of human affairs. There lies before us three, in particular unfolding trends that will contribute to the chaos of the not too distant future. Looming closest is the gathering in Marrakesh, Morocco next week December 10-11 which will see 188 nations signing an intergovernmental agreement called, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. In this document most of the modern world will agree to essentially make the migrations of peoples a human right. I will be watching this with great care. Will it be an agreement holding with it some real conviction, or will it be similar to the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement that holds the better ideals of mankind in front of us, but truly lacking any substantial actions that will ultimately make a difference. I say this because, even as the intergovernmental compact is being signed, Europe is convening to discern how to stem the flow of migrants into their territories.
Second, in the triad of storm warnings is the massive population growth in Africa now and into the projected future. With a median age of 19 and a fertility rate of 4.43 this bodes well to see African populations grow by an anticipated 300 million souls over the next decade and a half. Don’t simply believe me on this. Run the numbers yourself or check out the sources I cite below. It is happening and there is little that can be done about it. The data is agnostic. It simply is what it is.
Third, western nation populations are shrinking at an alarming rate. The need for a blue collar labor force continues to grow at a rather rapid rate. In 1995 only one country, Italy, had more people over 65 than under 15; today there are 30 and by 2020 that number will hit 35. Demographers estimate that global population growth will end this century. The east is not faring much better as economists estimate that China’s elderly population will increase 60% by 2020, even as the working-age population decreases by nearly 35%. A low number of workers in the country decreases the amount of tax money going toward retirement and healthcare services for older residents, who are growing in numbers. It is straining the retirement systems of many nations today as there are a decreasing number of tax-payers working to pay for the increasing numbers of pensioners receiving pensions.
In the coming decades, the countries that can maintain an at least somewhat reasonable population growth rate, and enough younger people, will likely do best. To a large extent, it’s too late for that in much of Europe and East Asia. For countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, with among the most liberal immigration policies and large landmasses, the prospects may be far better. However, we also need native-born youngsters to launch, get married and start creating the next generation of Americans.
What the demographic data reveals is that there is a tectonic shift about to take place between the south and the north. With the political climate setting the stage for the free flow of human migration, the fast increasing birth-rate of the population of Africa and the rapid declining work force of Europe and the US there is a distinct possibility of a significant flow of peoples (numbering in the hundreds of millions) from south to north in the next decade to two decades. This is not a far away matter that our grandchildren will have to deal with. It is the Millennial generation that will be faced with solving this dilemma. It will be a huge matter that will cause cultures to either learn to co-exist or there will be a massive conflict of proportions not seen. What tools are being provided by the baby-boomer generation to deal with this?
If you have been following my train of thought over the past three or four weeks you will see why I am passionately presenting my analysis. It cannot be ignored. If you are reading More than Meets the Eye, it tells me that you are probably different than most anyway. What I want to challenge you with is that you do not simply take what I have said as gospel truth. Test it. Check out the resources that I have cited over the past few weeks. Come to your own conclusions.
The matter seems simple to me. The global community is taking down, for all practical purposes the boundaries that have hindered the movements of peoples over the past century. Populations, particularly in Africa, are growing at such a rapid rate that their local economies and ecosystems can no longer sustain them. Lastly, the economies in the west are shrinking due to rapid demographic losses. This vacuum will open the doors to many, but not all of the needs for educated laborers. Simply put, the population growth in Africa will outpace the ability for Europe or the US to create labor opportunities if something significant is not done…and soon.
When this crisis reaches a tipping point, the possibilities for conflict will swell at the seams of the fabric of nations. It will allow for a climate of radicalization, nationalism, racism, and economic separatism; all seeds for human struggle.
It is important that global citizens respond now, particularly Christians. The future holds a lot of possible hurting, sorrow, loneliness, marginalization, hatred, anger and violence in its hands. Christians need to be prepared to live in a world characterized by chaos. No one is better prepared than the Church to enter into this fray with love and peace. We cannot enter into it with our heads buried in the ground. We must realize that there is so much more than meets the eye and look deeper. Only by looking deeply at these problems will we be able to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
To be certain, there is a lot of positive happening in the world today. Life expectancy is at its all-all-time high, believe it or not, war is at a historical low. Economies around the world are booming. There is much to celebrate in our lives. My warnings are given so that we will not neglect to prepare for the future as there are trends which look disturbing.
Putting up a defense is not the answer. Going on an offensive is the only solution. We need to lead with an offensive of love and grace to this hurting world. We need to focus resources that will truly solve the problems and not simply chip away at them. We need to recalibrate our lives to serve and not to only be served. We need to help the Africans develop a sustainable ecosystem in Africa, an ecosystem created by and for the African peoples with the help of western education, technology and resources.