Child mortality declines

The New York Times reports:

The number of children dying before their fifth birthdays each year has fallen below nine million for the first time on record, a significant milestone in the global effort to improve children’s chances of survival, particularly in the developing world, according to data that Unicef will release on Thursday.

The child mortality rate has declined by more than a quarter in the last two decades — to 65 per 1,000 live births last year from 90 in 1990 — in large part because of the widening distribution of relatively inexpensive technologies, like measles vaccines and anti-malaria mosquito nets.

This is why the efforts of Africa Fighting Malaria and Not Evil, Just Wrong to replace insecticide-treated nets with less effective means are so pernicious. There is real progress being made and these folks advocate going back to using 1940s technology to fight malaria, just so they can bash environmentalists.


  1. #1 DrBob
    September 13, 2009

    As was succinctly put by Theoden in the Lord of the Rings, “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to bury their child”, with which I concur.

    Yet according to many, including myself, the root cause of the world’s climate and other problems is due to an increasing population striving to live as unsustainably as
    the current ‘developed’ world.

    Therefore, I also concurred with the latest statement from the Optimum Population Trust :-

    which claims at:-
    [quote] Contraception is almost five times cheaper than conventional green technologies as a means of combating climate change, according to research published today (Wednesday, September 9). [/quote]

  2. #2 Chris O'Neill
    September 13, 2009

    Contraception is almost five times cheaper than conventional green technologies as a means of combating climate change,

    Of course, anything that makes population lower than it otherwise would be is even more politically incorrect than green technologies.

  3. #3 CW
    September 13, 2009

    according to many, including myself, the root cause of the world’s climate and other problems is due to an increasing population striving to live as unsustainably as the current ‘developed’ world.

    Well then many, including yourself, would be wrong. The AGW contribution of Africa is almost completely insignificant in comparison to the US, or China, or the EU. Developing nations, without exception, contribute less than one tenth of one percent of the global CO2 burden.

    It’s not “them”. It’s us.

  4. #4 fred
    September 13, 2009

    Although you could argue that they would do the exact same as us in our position. Ie the general human psychology of following shorterm growth and consumption bridges all races and all countries of origin.

  5. #5 jre
    September 13, 2009

    I just got back from a panel discussion on climate change, and the topic of population control came up — specifically, the impact of China’s “one child per family” policy. Al Bartlett said that China’s population is probably lower by 350 million as a result of that policy. China’s total CO2 emissions are now about equal to the US’, so the effect of having that many fewer people is significant.

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    September 13, 2009

    Which, of course, is why India needs more effective family planning. Their population has exploded by a factor of almost four in the last 50 years. This places enormous stress on their resources. The same could be said for many other countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia

  7. #7 Marion Delgado
    September 14, 2009

    Finally, our struggle against Rachel Carson pays dividends in the lives of little children. I note with alarm that the warmists wanted us to pay attention to Al Gore’s carbon credits instead of sending fertilizer, pesticides and bed nets to the developing world.

    I for one am willing, in the spirit of compromise, to agree that the Rachel Carson death count can end as of this year. Clearly, her only rivals will have been her fellow Leninists.

  8. #8 Ray C.
    September 14, 2009

    @#7: Begone, foul troll, and don’t come back until you have:

    * read the post you want to reply to, in this case the mention of bed nets

    * read the f***ing article

    * read Silent Spring cover to cover, and realized that Steven “Junk Scientist” Milloy is lying to you.

  9. #9 Lars
    September 14, 2009

    Ray C., I believe that Marion Delgado’s posting was Swiftian in intent.

  10. #10 Dave Andrews
    September 14, 2009


    Of course if you talk to the parents of the 5000+ school children who died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake they might have a very different view of China’s one child policy.

  11. #11 Marion Delgado
    September 15, 2009

    I have to agree with Dave Andrews here. Being Chinese Communists, their only concern is socialist welfare. Hence, if the population were double what it is, they would have been compensated for 10,000 children, instead of 5,000. How perceptive, but I think this is too PC a crowd to accept obvious facts you don’t have to go to college to grasp.

  12. #12 Marion Delgado
    September 15, 2009

    CW: It may be “us” now if you mean mainly Canada, Australia and the US, but that’s not the trend. Reduced child mortality can actually be a precursor to people adopting contraception, you know. The “already-developed” countries have increased their efficiency quite a bit, but not only do they have to cut back, the developing world is aspiring to a particular economy and lifestyle they’re never going to arrive at. Something like the so-called second world/east bloc but without their undemocratic political systems, with strong ecological laws and carbon taxes, and with more flexible economics, is about as good as they’ll be able to do realistically. But that world (I used to live in it) included basket case countries like Albania and wonderful countries like Yugoslavia in its heyday.

  13. #13 DrDave
    September 30, 2009

    Only Unicef could call 9 million children dying a “significant milestone,” and only liberal-minded eugenicists on a blog such as this would celebrate it.

  14. #14 Jeff Harvey
    September 30, 2009


    Methinks you are barking up the wrong tree, sir. The ones who habitually express optimism at marginally declining mortality rates around the world, whilst neglecting to mention that there are more starving people now than there were people alive in the 1930s, are those on the far end of the political right. Check out the “feel good” literature from the likes of Indur Goklany, Julian Simon, Ronald Bailey, Bjorn Lomborg etc., which has tried to put a positive spin on just about everything.

    At the same time there are many on the other side of the political fence who are well aware that humans are devouring natural capital like there is no tomorrow, and who roundly attack the global casino economy and its attendant free market absolutism who are derided as doomsayers and worse by those on the right.

    So, DrDave, either you are wearing very large ideological blinkers or else you haven`t read a whole lot.

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