Our real existential crisis is extinction
If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk.
Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year.
On New Year's Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington Post admonished us anew: "A Lost Decade for Climate Action: We Can't Afford A Repeat, Scientists Warn."
"By the final year of the decade," said the Post, "the planet had surpassed its 2010 temperature record five times.
"Hurricanes devastated New Jersey and Puerto Rico, and floods damaged the Midwest and Bangladesh. Southern Africa was gripped by a deadly drought. Australia and the Amazon are ablaze."
On it went, echoing the endless reports on the perils of climate change to the planet we all inhabit.
Yet, from the inaction of the carbon-emitting countries like India, China, Russia and the USA, the gravity with which Western elites view the crisis is not shared by the peoples for whom they profess to speak.
For many First World countries, there are more compelling concerns. High among them is population decline, and, if birth rates do not rise, the near-extinction of many Western peoples by this century's end.
Consider. The number of births in Japan fell in 2019 to a level unseen since 1874, around 900,000. But there were 1.4 million deaths for a net loss of 512,000 Japanese. An even larger loss in Japan's population is expected this year.
Japan's population has been shrinking since 2007, when deaths first exceeded births by 18,000. And with 28% of its population over 65, and fewer births every passing year, Japan is aging, shrinking and dying -- with no respite in sight.