One of the world’s most frightening demographic stories is occuring in Russia. Its population is diminishing so rapidly that by mid-century it could have one-third fewer people than today.
I can hardly believe this sentence from the BBC story: “Statistically, a baby boy born in Russia today is unlikely to see his 60th birthday.” [I originally had “16th”, not 60th. I don’t think it was my typo — I think the mistake was in the original BBC article, since changed.] The problem isn’t just poverty; in fact, poverty levels have diminished in Russia in recent years. It’s the continuation of a long-term, terrible trend that results from poor environment, poor diet and poor lifestyle.
Murray Feshbach spoke eloquently about these issues in Davos in the early ’90s. Then, hardly anyone listened to Murray’s explanations of what he called ecocide in Russia. We should have listened harder.