Over the last two weeks, we've been talking a lot about climate change, i.e. President Trump pulling out of the Paris Accords.
We're even hearing that President Macron is going to lead the way and carry the accords forward. I don't know whether Mr. Macron will be successful. Time will tell but huge youth unemployment in France and divisions over reforming an overtaxed economy may interfere with his plans.
We've also heard about Europe's childless leaders, or the amazing story of a continent where no one has children. It started with a post from the middle of May titled: Emmanuel Macron and the barren elite of a changing continent.
Who would have believed this 25 years ago?
Let me be clear and say that some people choose not to have children or others can't. I understand that. However, I am talking about a continental case of demographic suicide. Sooner or later, babies become young men and women and carry the culture forward. You can't have a future if you are not reproducing.
As a Catholic, I enjoy reading George Wiegel. His writings about Pope John Paul II were great. His notes about Europe today and the lack of babies should be a wakeup call for a continent consumed with climate change:
(1) Europe is committing demographic suicide, systematically depopulating itself in what British historian Niall Ferguson has called “the greatest sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death in the fourteenth century.”
(2) This unwillingness to create the future in the most elemental sense, by creating new generations, is at the root of many of Europe’s problems, including its difficulties assimilating immigrants and its fiscal distress.
(3) When an entire continent -- healthier, wealthier, and more secure than ever before -- deliberately chooses sterility, the most basic cause for that must lie in the realm of the human spirit, in a certain souring about the very mystery of being.
The response to this analysis that has stuck in my mind ever since came from an Italian Euro-parliamentarian, who said, in so many words, “Look, we know we’re finished. We’re trying to arrange things so that we can die comfortably in our beds. Don’t you Yanks come over here and start stirring things up.”
As for me, I am not planning to stir anything up or tell the Europeans to change their ways. I just want to politely remind Europeans that there won't be enough of them around to see if the temperatures went up or didn't.
We teach our children to remember past generations, such as the soldiers who fought and died to preserve our freedoms and way of life. This is what future generations do. They look back and find role models in the great sacrifice of a soldier at D-Day or patriot in the Revolutionary War. We name our schools, streets, or parks after them.
What a terrible shame to invest so much on "climate change" and then not have the children to remember your sacrifice. At today's pace, there won't be Europeans around to gather at a future "Macron Park" to remember how President Macron stood up to President Trump over climate change in 2017.