There is a possibility, says the United Nations, that, by century's end, world population may reach 15 billion. What does this mean for Western civilization?
It may not matter, except to identify who inherits the estate. For while world population is exploding, Western peoples are dying. Not a single European nation, except Muslim Albania, has a birth rate that will enable it to replace its present population.
By mid-century, Western man will be down to 12 percent of world population. By century's end, he will be a tiny fraction, roughly equal to the white population of Rhodesia when Robert Mugabe came to power.
The demographic winter of the West has set in.
Between now and 2050, Russia, a nation of roughly 140 million, down from nearly 150 million at the breakup of the Soviet Union, is on schedule to lose an additional 24 million people.
"Hypermortality" is a word demographers use in discussing Russia.
Germany is to lose 8 million of her 82 million people. Ukraine has lost 6 million people since liberation in 1991 and will lose another 10 million by 2050. The population of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, 8 million in 1990, will by mid-century have fallen by 30 percent to 5.7 million.
Britain, however, is to add 12 million. But since emigration from Britain is bleeding the population and the birth rate of her native-born has been below zero population growth for 35 years, the U.N. has to be factoring in immigration from the old colonies in the Caribbean, the Middle East, the sub-Sahara and South Asia.
With the median age of European nations rising toward 50 and above, and a growing share of the population over 65, the continent is going to need millions of young immigrants to maintain the labor force and cope with seniors and elderly in retirement centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Where will they come from? Continents and countries with population surges and surpluses.
By 2050, Africa's population will double from 1 billion to 2 billion people. Where today the six most populous Islamic nations -- Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Turkey -- have a combined population of 885 million, by 2050 their populations will have increased by 475 million to 1.36 billion. Of the 48 fastest-growing countries in the world, 28 are majority Muslim or have Muslim populations of more than one-third of the national population.
And since it is the Muslim nations of North Africa and the Middle East that are closest to Europe, with easiest access to the continent, Muslims will likely furnish most of the multitudes who are coming.
What will this mean for Europe? Religious and racial conflict.
On Sept. 11, 2001, after the twin towers fell and Germany expressed her anguish and solidarity with America, a strange event occurred. In the Turkish districts of Berlin, bottle rockets were fired all night in celebration.
In the banlieues around Paris and other French cities, Arab riots, assaults on police and mass arson of vehicles regularly occur. This summer in London, the immigrant enclaves exploded and poured out into the city night after night.
Angela Merkel of Germany, seconded by David Cameron of Britain and Nicolas Sarkozy of France, declared multiculturalism had "utterly failed."
What is the future of Europe? What is the future of Western man? Houari Boumedienne, Algerian revolutionary and president of his country, predicted it at the United Nations in 1975.
"One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere of this planet to burst into the Northern one. But not as friends. Because they will come in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women."
Boumedienne's words were spoken just as European and Western birth rates plunged below ZPG.
What, then, is the future?
A Russia with not one-tenth China's population will not hold on to a continental nation twice China's size. Already the Russian Far East is being invaded by Chinese crossing the Amur and Ussuri rivers to work, even as Mexicans cross the Rio Grande to reoccupy lands torn away from their ancestors in 1836 and 1848.
What is the future of the West?
China will retrieve all the lands lost to Russia in the 19th century and slices of Russia that China never owned. Mexicans and Hispanics will dominate from the Floridas to the American Southwest the lands Spain and Mexico lost to the United States in the 19th century.
Africans, whose lands were colonized and exploited by Europeans, and Muslims and Arabs, whose ancestors were turned back at Poitiers and Vienna, will succeed in the final conquest of Europe.
Demography is destiny.