This could be the worst Halloween ever
As I have repeatedly made clear to friends, professors and random people in bars, I am no supporter of the United Nations. I’ve always been against any organization telling America what to do (unless that organization has lots of money for lobbyists, in which case telling America what to do is its right and responsibility). I remember long evening conversations with my grandfather, Henry Cabot Lodge, on the subject. “Michael,” he would begin, “the United States is the world’s best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her powerful good, and endanger her very existence. Also, how am I supposed to be your grandfather? I died in 1924. And we look nothing alike. That’s a very flimsy premise for a joke.” And I grasped his hand firmly, looked him in the eye, and said, “I know, grandfather. I know.”
But sometimes, it is necessary to ignore my better judgment and pay attention to the United Nations. The other day, I was reading the newspaper and discovered a shocking report from the UNFPA. The UNFPA is the United Nations Population Fund, some kind of agency that creates acronyms that don’t work and also helps developing nations with health-related issues. The report states that on Halloween, October 31, the world population will reach seven billion people. Now, I am not a scientist, but I think I can authoritatively say that once that seven billionth umbilical cord is snipped, all hell will break loose.
Ever since Thomas Malthus egotistically coined the adjective “Malthusian” to describe the ugly effects of overpopulation, people have been worried about making too many babies. Perhaps worried isn’t the right term. If people were actually worried, they might have stopped making so many babies. But I digress. As religious folk probably say all the time, if God didn’t want us to have all these babies, he wouldn’t have created tequila.
But what does this mean for you? Well, as is always the case when another suckling piglet enters the competition for the limited number of proverbial natural resource teats, things are going to get more difficult (and the metaphors are going to get more uncomfortable). I am from New Jersey, the most densely populated state in America. Add in a healthy measure of jingoism, and you could say I come from the most densely populated place on Earth...If you wanted to.
Friends, I am afraid that once baby-seven-billion comes (let’s call him Eric), the entire world is going to be like New Jersey. You see, little Eric doesn’t know it yet, but he is going to be the baby who breaks the camel’s back. Pretty soon, we are going to run out of resources unless we do something drastic. Now, I’m not suggesting we stop Eric from being born. That would be unethical. We need to follow the advice of the people who number hotel floors and run our nation’s financial institutions: fudge the numbers. Instead of calling Eric the seven billionth baby, let’s just start over and call him the six billionth. No one will notice.