Version en español
by Prof. Dr. Werner Müller
On 01.08.19, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the football club Schalke 04, Clemens Tönnies, gave a speech in his capacity as entrepreneur at the celebration of the Day of Craft in
Paderborn. He wanted to criticize the German climate policy, because in his opinion a lot of money for very small successes should be spent, while the same money in other parts of the world
could give a much greater benefit. Economists call this phenomenon the law of decreasing additional yield. Specifically, he said, "And if we invest between 20 and 27 billion euros to set
an example out into the world to change 0.0016 percent of the world's CO2, why do not we just go and give the money to Gerd Müller, our development minister, who donates 20 large power plants
to Africa each year? - Then they stop cutting the trees, when we electrify them stop to produce children when it's dark. - I've been to Zambia, where there are 14.6 children per couple. Yes,
what do they do when it's dark?" Whether he meant this statement to the 1798 by the British economist Thomas Malthus formulated theory about the global population growth, or if common
sense was quoted here, is irrelevant. Without any consideration of politically correctness he formulated an honest statement that would not have happened to a politician!
At about the same time, the author was in Cuba for professional reasons (more on https://mueller-consulting.jimdo.com/home/project/). At a private meeting in the evening, a professor from Guantánamo University mentioned that his father had 18 children with 3 different women - he has only 2 children. The author then said that this man probably had no TV. The echo of this comment was a big laugh. The professor's daughter answered, "That's how it must have been! He was bored in the evening, and then he made children." So she made the same statement as a few days later Clemens Tönnies. Another Cuban professor said: "We have the solution to the problem of overpopulation. Give each African (he knew the population forecasts of the UN) a TV with solar panels and satellite dish. Population growth is stopped immediately."
The two jocular remarks in Paderborn and Guantánamo have raised a problem that is hushed up by the politically-correct-humorlessly published opinion:
Developed countries have been providing development aid for about 60 years and their successes have been eradicated by population growth. It appears as a bottomless pit.
According to the UN, the world population has (or will) developed as follows between 1950 and 2050:
1950 1997 2016 2030 2050
Asia 1,435 3,575 4,437 4,946 5,327
Africa 222 743 1,203 1,681 2,527
America 331 788 997 1,117 1,220
Europe 515 705 740 744 728
Oceania 13 29 40 51 66
World 2,516 5,840 7,418 8,539 9,869
By 2050, the population of Africa will double and in 1950 more than tenfold. A continent with 16% of the world population will cause 50% of the population growth. Around 1970, the world was already described as overpopulated with 4 billion people! The anger of the Frydays for Future Movement that the problem of greenhouse doses is being known among scientists since 50 years, and the policy has not taken it seriously, can be transferred. The problem is known with the theory of Malthus for 220 years! It causes the governments of the affected countries to cut down the rainforest and ignore the ecological dimension in their economic development. But then anger must also be directed against those countries, cultures and religions that reject family planning and contraceptives. The protests against the Brazilian president are important, but his policy is only the tip of an iceberg.
As an economist, one can take seriously the criticism of Clemens Tönnies, knowing the law of decreasing marginal output. Of course, in other parts of the world, with the high costs needed to
achieve Germany's climate goals, much greater benefits can be achieved. But then you would really have to return to colonialism and the industrialized countries would have to regain political
control in the developing countries, where they would use their taxpayer money to take large steps to reduce greenhouse gases in a short time. Who will say A, need to say B as well! Of
course, it is unfair that developed countries have historically developed economically at the expense of the environment. There is no time left for justice!
Climate protection and poverty migration would be ineffective without drastic birth control measures. The experience of the Chinese one-child policy would have to be evaluated. The spread of televisions to distract people from sex would be just one measure. In the television program but also spread information. In Cuba, the education offensive after the revolution has led to a drastic reduction in the birth rate.
A stop of population growth is not everything, but without it everything would be nothing!