Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
Today's big problem is the population. Some may argue that this has always been the problem, and depending on your point of view you will agree or disagree. But the trouble with the population today is, in common parlance, that it is exploding.
Not a very elegant word in the context, this "exploding," because the individuals of this little world of ours are not popping like so many broom pods in the sun, but nevertheless the idea is there. What the word is intended to convey is that before long there will be too many people around.
Economists see the world food supply rapidly proving inadequate. A physicist recently said that by the year 3000 there would be so many people on the earth that it would become unbearably hot, and the sea would evaporate clean away. An author has put the wind up us all by writing a book entitled "Standing Room Only." A mathematician has calculated that in the not-too-distant future, what with geometrical progressions and all, the population will be expanding outwards from the surface of the earth at the speed of light.
It certainly seems, from a careful examination of the evidence, that one day we might be faced with a slight problem. Translated into familiar terms. Wellingtonians must realise that Lambton Quay is destined to become a trifle more crowded than it is at present. And the city council is going to have to face up to the harsh reality of putting a third cable car into service to cope with peak loads.
Or will it? It might just be that we are to be reprieved. A doctor, speaking in Dunedin recently, cast gloom and despondency in quite the opposite direction. He, observant fellow, has been keeping his medical eye on the population trends in Australia, and he has found that the rate of increase has slowed up perceptibly, And the reason? The reason comes in little bottles, and is taken with a glass of water.
The rate of population increase has slowed so quickly over yonder that the eminent doctor is worried. Big Brother's heart-beat has slowed, and all may not be well for his future. However, Australia's problems are her problem; we must concern ourselves with ourself. This means, says the doctor, that we must forswear this wonder of medical science which provides the maximum of temptation with the minimum of risk.
In the words of the doctor, he hopes that New Zealand women will use it less when "the novelty has worn off." The novelty, he call it! What does he think that we think this scientific wonder is? A sort of prescripted souped-up dolly-mixture? Poor fellow. He thinks that all the good red-blooded New Zealand women are going to replace a houseful of kids with a synthetic estrogen regulator. However, he need not worry. Once again New Zealand leads the world.
It foresaw this problem years ago. You see, you can't claim the Family Benefit on a pill-bottle.— G.E.J.L.