(FRONTPAGE) — Although Mark Steyn writes knowledgeably about a great many topics, he keeps returning to what he calls the biggest story of our time—the planet’s demographic death spiral.

The decline in population is a global phenomenon, but it’s happening faster in the West and in Japan. For a description of where it all ends, Steyn recommends P.D. James dystopian novel, The Children of Men.

Published in 1992, the story is set in 2021 in a world that has become literally sterile: human beings have lost the power to reproduce. Steyn points out that James’s description of a childless society is uncannily prescient:

In Lady James’s speculative fiction, pets are doted on as child substitutes, and churches hold christening ceremonies for cats. In contemporary Japanese reality, Tokyo has some forty ‘cat cafes’, where lonely solitary citizens can while away an afternoon by renting a feline to touch and pet for a couple of companionable hours.

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