And the walls come tumbling down

Sometimes I miss Melbourne... I miss the cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurants, the big fat eastern-European women selling sausages in the market and the Greek guys with their oysters and fish, the Italian boys parading in their V8s on Lygon St past pasta-to-die-for, the big Tongan bouncers at the Espie hotel, fish and ships on the marina, Kenyan cabbies, and barbequed kangaroo in our backyard.

This is the future, and certain large nations better get used to it.

Here is a great essay on world population for your contemplation. I agree with much of it though I am more optimistic. One arguement that I thought was simplistic was the first strategy for dealing with exploding world population:

"let nature take care of the problem." There are, unfortunately, still people out there who think those of us in the wealthy part of the world ought to hunker down, arm ourselves and let everyone else die off.

Not only is the idea abhorrent, but it won't ever come to that. Long before they really start dying off, they'll come after the rest of us.

Australia has two-hundred-and-something-million Indonesians crammed onto islands ten miles off their border. This directs all their military thinking now.

The USA has hundreds of millions of Mexicans and South Americans across a porous border.

Europe has a billion Chinese, a billion Indians, a billion Africans and another however-many eastern Europeans and Middle-Easterners ringed around them.

Imagine Indonesia invested a few hundred million dollars in building basic shipyards all along its southern coast, then started giving simple boats away to anyone who wanted one.

Imagine if the Chinese grew to two billion and handed a bedroll, an overcoat and a pair of boots to anyone who exited their western border.

Imagine the worst drought in recorded history comes to Africa and India.

If you think ignoring them and leaving them to die is abhorrent, try gunning them down by the million as they clamber over the wall.

Paul Keating was smart enough to see this in Australia and align the country with Asia and start the cultural change via the concept of multi-culturalism (though the incumbent regime is too stupid to understand the basic demographics).

I don't pretend to have the answers but two responses seem obvious to me:

Encourage world trade. Let developing nations follow the prosperity trail of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, China.... How much evidence do people need that the mechanism works, so they will stop whining about "third world sweatshops"? Take any country with one of those sweatshops and I'll quickly find you a list of a thousand parents who will give their own life if their child could please be allowed a job in that sweatshop. And I'll find you millions of retired parents in now-wealthier nations who say a "sweatshop" allowed them to give their children a better life.

Encourage immigration and multi-culturalism. Accept the inevitable and prepare for it culturally. Sure immigration causes some disruption and stress on systems, but not as much as an uncontrolled invasion. And in the long run it seems to do much more good than harm, as the great immigration experiments show: USA, Australia, Canada. The UK and Europe are less clear, but I do think part of that is those nations' greater resistance to multiculturalism. I draw hope from the line from the (black) British comedian Lenny Hendry who said something like "Immigration is destroying traditional English culture. It's hard to find a decent vindaloo anywhere". Saxons were immigrants once (uncontrolled ones).

Spanish is already a strong second language in the USA. Being a Texan, GWB seems more open to addressing the issue than other rednecks, but most of the USA seems to regard southern immigrants as a quaint underclass to be ignored rather than an integral part of US culture, as American as "Mom and tortilla".

The way the Europeans treat Africans and Middle-Easterners is an investement in their future tragedy. If Europe cannot turn east and south and open its arms like Australia did to its north, then they ensure their descendants will live among war and horror (I guess "tout ca change...").