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PRODUCER OF DEMOGRAPHIC WINTER SAYS USA Today INACCURATE. The producer of a new documentary that focuses on the underpopulation crisis around the world says a Monday editorial in USA Today misses the mark.

Barry McLerran, the producer of Demographic Winter, tells the USA Today commentary is "sensationalistic and just plain wrong." USA Today columnist Oliver Thomas suggests parents who have large families are destroying the planet.

Supposedly, that's because each additional human being results in the production of more greenhouse gases, accelerating so-called global warming.

McLerran says Thomas specifically attacks [religions that are] encouraging large families.

"While man-made Global Warming is a theory, plummeting birth rates – which will eventually lead to population decline – is an incontrovertible reality," McLerran said.

McLerran points out that, since 1970, birth rates have declined by over 50%.

According to the United Nations Population Division, if current trends continue, by 2050, there will be 248 million fewer children under 5 in the world than there are today.

That's just the beginning of the grave underpopulation problem the planet faces and a phenomenon McLerran chronicled in Demographic Winter — the first documentary to address this crisis.

It includes the views of prominent economists, sociologists and demographers on what demographer Philip Longman calls "the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the twenty-first century."

As McLerran observes, "Far from dooming the planet, by encouraging people to have children, traditional religion is helping to save humanity."

The data shows the underpopulation problem is on a global scale. There are now 59 nations, with 44% of the world's population, with below replacement birthrates.

A birthrate of 2.1 is needed to replace current population, but the European Union has a birthrate of just 1.3. By 2030, the groups estimate, Europe is expected to have a shortfall of 20 million workers.

Meanwhile, in Russia, where abortion has been used for decades as a method of birth control, the nation is expected to lose one- third of its current population by 2050.

Related: Demographic Winter – [21Apr08,, Ertelt, DC]