How bad is the world population crisis (outside of Gilead)?

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The world outside of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale is likely to be plagued by environmental crises, which are responsible for its falling birth rates.

Hulus The story of the maid keeps emphasizing the Gilead population crisis, but how bad is it in the rest of the world? The television series, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, followed a servant girl named June Osborne who navigated the inhumane conditions in the young theocratic nation. The falling birthrate was a big contributor to the Sons of Jacob, an extremist religious group that came to power so quickly at first. The Gilead Society sought whatever means were necessary to further subjugate women, placing all of the blame for pregnancy complications on them. Their solution to the problem forced countless women to become maids and have babies for childless commanders and their wives. In addition to the obvious moral concerns, this method was also impractical. The harsh conditions to which the maids were exposed were hardly conducive to childbirth. However, it appeared to be producing results. In flashbacks from June when she and Luke Bankole’s daughter Hannah were born, a nurse revealed that all of the other babies born in the hospital that day had died except two. After Gilead was founded, these statistics improved. Fred Waterford even boasted that hers was the only country in the world with a rising birthrate. Was it really that bad for everyone else?Related: The Handmaid’s Tale: Any Character Who Escaped Gilead The World Outside Gilead In The story of the maid likely suffered from environmental disasters that resulted in their falling birth rates. Though Gilead leaders blamed sin for the population crisis, co-executive producer and writer Dorothy Fortenberry stated (via UN News) that climate change actually served as the backdrop for America’s collapse. The former United States, largely under Gilead’s control and now only surviving in Alaska and Hawaii, suffered badly from pollution and other environmental degradation that directly contributed to the deterioration in the birth rate. Ironically, Gilead has done a lot of work to improve these issues by reducing its carbon footprint with electric cars and cleaning up radioactive areas like the colonies. The story of the maid hasn’t shown much overwhelming pollution in the rest of the world, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.



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While the show didn’t reveal much about the outside world, some details pointed to similar environmental issues elsewhere. In season 1, an ambassador from Mexico stated that no healthy child had been born in her city for six years. Unfortunately, it would be much more difficult for other places to make the same progress as Gilead in cleaning up the country, because the nation relies on fear, Gilead’s secret police and violent punishments with their public executions and the constant threat of sending troublemakers, too the colonies. Gilead’s approach to radioactive waste disposal was to send rebels and other rule breakers where they worked in appalling conditions and suffered a slow, painful death. Most countries have laws protecting against such blatant mistreatment of their citizens, but that also means any progress they make in cleaning up their home countries would be much slower. Of course, it is possible that some countries have been spared some of the worst environmental impacts. The story of the maid has only shown or mentioned places with economic power similar to the former United States, mainly in Europe and North America, where reliance on fossil fuels and plastic products was the norm. Fred could only have accepted nations that he considered valuable trading partners or that had armies as powerful as Gilead’s. Gilead tends to twist facts and purposely leave out details that don’t fit into its agenda, so this possibility is likely. If a “lesser” country had caused less pollution and therefore given it lower birthrates, Fred might not have been interested. While the status of the outside world most likely depended on each nation’s environmental impact, The story of the maid never contradicted Fred’s statement. Thanks to the Gilead cleanup, the country’s birth rate has been more promising than the rest of the world. Hopefully other nations can find better, more humane ways to resolve the population crisis before it’s too late.Next: Maid’s Tale: Will June get Hannah back in Season 5? Why it is unlikely


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