Jeunes et vieux face aux périls du 21° siècle

LONDRES – Que nous réserve 2009 ? Comme toujours, l'inattendu – un attentat terroriste ou la décision inconsidérée d'un dirigeant politique va faire son lot de victimes. Mais beaucoup de ce qu'il adviendra sera le résultat de l'Histoire.

Au siècle dernier, la population mondiale a été multipliée par quatre et la population urbaine par 13. La production mondiale a été multipliée par 40, la consommation d'eau par 9, la consommation d'énergie par 13 et les émissions de dioxyde de carbone par 17. Bonnes ou mauvaises, on en verra les conséquences au 21° siècle.

Certains des éléments qui vont façonner nos vies poussent dans des directions différentes. La pyramide des âges de nos sociétés s'est transformée radicalement. La baisse du taux de fertilité a été considérable en Asie et en Europe. Elle est encore plus spectaculaires à Hong Kong, à Singapour et en Corée du Sud que dans des pays catholiques d'Europe comme l'Espagne, l'Italie ou la Pologne.

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