The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret Everyone knows about the spread of war and the hopeless intractability of poverty. But everyone is wrong.|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nicholas begins: “We journalists are a bit like vultures, feasting on war, scandal and disaster. Turn on the news, and you see Syrian refugees, Volkswagen corruption, dysfunctional government.

Yet that reflects a selection bias in how we report the news: We cover planes that crash, not planes that take off. Indeed, maybe the most important thing happening in the world today is something that we almost never cover: a stunning decline in poverty, illiteracy and disease.”

Nicholas Kristof claims that birthrates are falling dramatically, the ghoul of overpopulation is fading. I hope, but do not expect, that he is right. However, many now recognize that k-12 education for all children, means a declining birth rate, which is desperately needed for the world ecology.

Everyone knows about the spread of war and the hopeless intractability of poverty. But everyone is wrong.|By Nicholas Kristof

Educating girls changes demography.

NIcholas Kristof wrote this in May, 2014.
“So why does girls’ education matter so much? First, because it changes demography.

One of the factors that correlates most strongly to instability is a youth bulge in a population. The more unemployed young men ages 15 to 24, the more upheaval.

One study found that for every 1 percentage point increase in the share of the population aged 15 to 24, the risk of civil war increases by 4 percent.

That means that curbing birthrates tends to lead to stability, and that’s where educating girls comes in. You educate a boy, and he’ll have fewer children, but it’s a small effect. You educate a girl, and, on average, she will have a significantly smaller family. One robust Nigeria study managed to tease out correlation from causation and found that for each additional year of primary school, a girl has 0.26 fewer children. So if we want to reduce the youth bulge a decade from now, educate girls today.”

The greatest threat to extremism isn’t an army. It’s girls reading books. Want to stick it to Boko Haram? Help educate a girl.|By Nicholas Kristof

NYT: Saint Nich strikes with– Smart Girls vs. Bombs

Saint Nich strikes.

Here is the top comment to date:
Julia Gillard
Australia 20 hours ago

“As the first woman to serve as Australian Prime Minister, I know from my own life the transformative power of education. Now, as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education I have seen the difference access to education makes for poor girls and boys. The terrorists understand the power of girls education. So should we. The world radically under invests in education and this year, as the global community defines the new sustainable development goals, is the time to step up and fix that problem. Campaigning for change by citizens will make a difference. My thanks go to Nicholas Kristof for continuing to inform as well as hopefully inspiring that vital campaigning.”

After 9/11, the United States overused military tools and underemployed two other kinds: girls’ education and women’s empowerment.|By Nicholas Kristof

Is it good to help the poor, if adding to overpopulation?

I wonder how Nicholas Kristof reconciles this Doctor who serves the poor in Angola, with the possibility that the work contributes to population growth, in a place that already has too much population?  I keep holding up such stories of aiding the poor, with the graph of Wold Population growth that is of deep concern. Kristof’s story is clear and touching, but it raises many reactions, as one can see by the comments. I have to confess that I now want to evaluate most interventions against the following graph of the history of world population growth, which is perhaps the greatest problem facing most countries.

Evangelical Christians are one of the few groups liberals mock openly. Here’s why that is wrongheaded.|By Nicholas Kristof