Bob Meade - Does nature compensate for human mistakes?

  • Published in Columns

Let’s start with life itself. Normally, when we think of life, we think primarily of ourselves; human life. But the incredible genius of life, in all its forms, is its ability to reproduce.

Trees drop their fruit which can result in “baby” trees springing to life. A variety of animals feed on those fruits as squirrels store up their nesting oak trees with acorns and feed on them throughout the winter. Bears enjoy dining at the apple trees as they get prepared for their hibernation. And little chipmunks forage for the seeds from the sunflowers and stash them in their tiny underground pantry. And plants and grasses reproduce and multiply and become food for most living creatures, from tiny insects to humans to animals of all sizes and shapes.

A fish drops its countless eggs, roe, on the bottom of the lake and another fish comes along and drops its sperm and the result is countless more little fish come to life. And, as nature would have it, bigger fish feed on the smaller fish on up through the food chain.

All throughout nature, animals become the food source for other animals. It seems like the bigger herds of creatures may be, the more likely it is that they are the food source for other animals. The gnu or wildebeest becomes the fodder for the lion.

Not only are life forms used to feed other life forms, in many cases they become the source of food, clothing, and shelter for humans. The fact that trees can and do reproduce has provided mankind with an on-going supply of materials needed for shelter. The wood from oaks, pines and others provide structural materials. Rubber tree plants can provide for roofing and hoses and tires and more. And, as winter bears down, those trees provide the fuel need to heat many dwellings or to act as shelter for herds of deer who gather together to share their heat.

There’s more but you get the picture, when the cosmos was created, the Almighty created life in order to sustain life. And that preamble brings me to the question, the point of this article, that is, does nature adjust to compensate for an anomaly it didn’t plan?

In trying to assess life, we looked at the demographics of fourteen nations. The six Western countries were the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. The Middle Eastern countries were Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The remaining countries were India, China, Russia, and Japan.

In the Western countries, the under 25 years of age populations ranged from a low of 23 percent in Germany to a high of 32 percent in the United States. In the Middle East, the low was 39 percent in Iran up to a high of 59 percent in Iraq. In the remaining countries, Japan had the lowest number of less than 25 years of age at 23 percent while India was much higher at 45 percent.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the percentage of the population over 54 years of age, the U.S. led Western countries with a low of 29 percent, with Germany coming in at the high end with 37 percent. The Middle East again had the most impressive numbers with Iraq having only 8 percent of its population over 54 years old, and Iran topping the list at 13 percent. Of the remaining countries, India came in with a low of 14 percent and Japan a high of 40 percent.

When these numbers get boiled down, the median age of each country’s shows that the Western and remaining country’s populations are significantly older than those in the Middle-East. For example, the median age for males in the West show that the U.S. has a low of 37 years and Germany has a high of 46 years. The remaining countries show Japan at 46 years on the high end and India at 27 years. However, the Middle East comes in well below most countries with Iraq being the lowest at 20 years of age and Iran the highest at 30.

The differences between the Middle-East and the rest of the world are only going to get wider as the numbers of births compared to the numbers of deaths swings heavily in their favor. For example, per 1,000 population, Iraq births 30.4 children. Because they also have only 8 percent of their population over 54 years of age, their death rate per 1,000 population is only 3.8. The other Middle-Eastern countries have very similar numbers.

In the West, the U. S. has a 12.5 to 8.2 birth/death ratio but two countries, Germany and Italy actually have more deaths than births; Germany births 8.6 to 11.7 deaths and Italy is 8.6 to 10.4. Of the remaining countries, Russia and Japan also have more deaths than births.

As the West and other countries continue to get older and older, the Middle East is becoming younger and younger. If our current population continues to think and act as they do, it may not take all that many years for the Middle East nations to dominate the world.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident. He may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)