Declining fertility

I was listening to a talk-radio program last night, and the hostess was talking about some study that just got published. It was either conducted by, or published in the journal of, some “environmental something-or-other” organization. The study apparently indicated that, if male fertility rates continue to decline at the rate at which they have been declining, all European males will be infertile by 2010, and all American males will be infertile by 2020. The basic question was, “do you care?”

In response to one of the callers who voiced one of my concerns (namely that getting all worked up over one study put out (or forward) by an organization I’d never heard of might be a bit unwise), the hostess hammered away at the point that, “if we know what fertility rates were in 1940, and we know what they are today, can’t you see how we can predict when they will be zero, if all things remain the same?” I didn’t get a chance to call in, but my response would have been, “I’d have to see a lot more intermediate data than that in order to feel comfortable with a straight-line curve.” For all I know, fertility rates declined rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and are now actually on the rise.

However, that’s a side point. I don’t know the actual data, but I’ll just assume it’s accurate, that male fertility rates have been declining in America, and they’ve been declining even more rapidly in Europe. My answer to the question is, “no, I don’t care.” If the human race ceases to exist in 100 - 200 years, what do I care? I’ll be dead.

Any thoughts?


My first thought is that there are humans in many places other than America and Europe.

That having been said, I somehow doubt the results of that study. I’d like to see more info. I think I’ll go do some research now.

And I wonder when I sing along with you, if everything could ever feel this real forever,
If anything could ever be this good again.

–Foo Fighters

Yeah, that was one of my first thoughts, too. But it was pretty clear that she was just using this “study” as a springboard to the more general question, so I didn’t worry about the euro/american-centrism too much.


MY first thought (on seeing the title of this thread was):

WAITER: Would you care for some fertility?
CUSTOMER: No thanks, I’ll pass.