A lumber trader’s attention is commonly drawn to supply/demand curves and the wider impact that imbalances in supply and demand can have. With increasing significance of global markets for our lumber these days, it’s not surprising that western commentators are taking notice of societal developments in faraway places.
At first glance, it would seem that a ‘girl shortage’ among the growing populations of China and India might attract only passing attention. However Valerie Hudson, co-author of Sex and World Peace outlines the serious implications of the trend: “It’s critical for China to do everything in its power to redress the deteriorating sex ratio among China’s birth population, even if this means moving toward a two-child policy. Internal, regional, and even international security is compromised by the fact that approximately 15 percent of its young adult males will not be able to form conventional households. China need only look to its own imperial history to see the destabilizing consequences of devaluing daughters.”
Of course, allowing families to have more kids would create other issues. Environmentalists worry that our planet can’t handle the strain of 7 billion people all polluting at developed-country rates. That calculus gets even uglier if China’s population, now at 1.3 billion, heads toward 2 billion in short order.
The “air-pocalypse” in Beijing over the weekend indicates pollution levels in China’s capital city are already off the charts. In the next decade, it will be up to Xi’s team to find a balance between narrowing the gender gap and sustainable growth.