Overpopulation: The Fallacy Behind The Fallacy Of Global Warming

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Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball

Global Warming was just one issue The Club of Rome (TCOR) targeted in its campaign to reduce world population. In 1993 the Club’s co-founder, Alexander King with Bertrand Schneider wrote The First Global Revolution stating,

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

They believe all these problems are created by humans but exacerbated by a growing population using technology. Changed attitudes and behavior basically means what it has meant from the time Thomas Malthus raised the idea the world was overpopulated. He believed charity and laws to help the poor were a major cause of the problem and it was necessary to reduce population through rules and regulations. TCOR ideas all ended up in the political activities of the Rio 1992 conference organized by Maurice Strong (a TCOR member) under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The assumptions and objectives became the main structure of Agenda 21, the master plan for the 21st Century. The global warming threat was confronted at Rio through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It was structured to predetermine scientific proof that human CO2 was one contribution of the common enemy.

The IPCC was very successful. Despite all the revelations about corrupted science and their failed predictions (projections) CO2 remains central to global attention about energy and environment. For example, several websites, many provided by government, list CO2 output levels for new and used cars. Automobile companies work to build cars with lower CO2 output and, if for no other reason than to appear green, use it in advertising. The automotive industry, which has the scientists to know better, collectively surrenders to eco-bullying about CO2. They are not alone. They get away with it because they pass on the unnecessary costs to a befuddled “trying to do the right thing” population.

TCOR applied Thomas Malthus’s claim of a race to exhaustion of food to all resources. Both Malthus and COR believe limiting population was mandatory. Darwin took a copy of Malthus’s Essay on Population with him and remarked on its influence on his evolutionary theory in his Beagle journal in September 1838. The seeds of distortion about overpopulation were sown in Darwin’s acceptance of Malthus’s claims.

Paul Johnson’s biography of Charles Darwin comments on the contradiction between Darwin’s scientific methods and his acceptance of their omission in Malthus.

Malthuss aim was to discourage charity and reform the existing poor laws, which, he argued, encourage the destitute to breed and so aggravated the problem. That was not Darwins concern. What struck him was the contrast between geometrical progression (breeding) and arithmetical progression (food supplies). Not being a mathematician he did not check the reasoning and accuracy behind Malthus’s law in fact, Malthus’s law was nonsense. He did not prove it. He stated it. What strikes one reading Malthus is the lack of hard evidence throughout. Why did this not strike Darwin? A mystery. Malthuss only proof was the population expansion of the United States.

There was no point at which Malthuss geometrical/arithmetical rule could be made to square with the known facts. And he had no reason whatsoever to extrapolate from the high American rates to give a doubling effect every 25 years everywhere and in perpetuity.

He swallowed Malthusianism because it fitted his emotional need, he did not apply the tests and deploy the skepticism that a scientist should. It was a rare lapse from the discipline of his profession. But it was an important one.

Darwin’s promotion of Malthus undoubtedly gave the ideas credibility they didn’t deserve. Since then the Malthusian claim has dominated science, social science and latterly environmentalism. Even now many who accept the falsity of global warming due to humans continue to believe overpopulation is a real problem.

Overpopulation was central in all TCOR’s activities. Three books were important to their message, Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968) and Ecoscience: Population, Resources and Environment (1977) co-authored with John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar, and Meadows et al., Limits to Growth, published in 1972 that anticipated the IPCC approach of computer model predictions (projections). The latter wrote

If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years.

Here is what the TCOR web site says about the book.

They created a computing model which took into account the relations between various global developments and produced computer simulations for alternative scenarios. Part of the modelling were different amounts of possibly available resources, different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control or environmental protection.

They estimated the current amount of a resource, determined the rate of consumption, and added an expanding demand because of increasing industrialization and population growth to determine, with simple linear trend analysis, that the world was doomed.

Economist Julian Simon challenged TCOR and Ehrlich’s assumptions.

In response to Ehrlich’s published claim that “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000” – a proposition Simon regarded as too silly to bother with – Simon countered with “a public offer to stake US$10,000 … on my belief that the cost of non-government-controlled raw materials (including grain and oil) will not rise in the long run.

Simon proposed,

You could name your own terms: select any raw material you wanted – copper, tin, whatever – and select any date in the future, “any date more than a year away,” and Simon would bet that the commodity’s price on that date would be lower than what it was at the time of the wager.

John Holdren selected the materials and the time. Simon won the bet.

Global warming used the idea that CO2 would increase to harmful levels because of increasing industrialization and expanding populations. The political manipulation of climate science was linked to development and population control in various ways. Here are comments from a PBS interview with Senator Tim Wirth in response to the question, What was it in the late 80s, do you think, that made the issue [of global warming] take off? He replied,

I think a number of things happened in the late 1980s. First of all, there were the [NASA scientist Jim] Hansen hearings [in 1988]. … We had introduced a major piece of legislation. Amazingly enough, it was an 18-part climate change bill; it had population in it, conservation, and it had nuclear in it. It had everything that we could think of that was related to climate change. … And so we had this set of hearings, and Jim Hansen was the star witness.

Wikipedia says about Wirth,

In the State Department, he worked with Vice President Al Gore on global environmental and population issues, supporting the administration’s views on global warming. A supporter of the proposed Kyoto Protocol Wirth announced the U.S.’s commitment to legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Gore chaired the 1988 “Hansen” Senate Hearing and was central to the promotion of population as basic to all other problems. He led the US delegation to the September 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo Egypt.

That conference emerged from Rio 1992 where they linked population to all other supposed problems.

Explicitly integrating population into economic and development strategies will both speed up the pace of sustainable development and poverty alleviation and contribute to the achievement of population objectives and an improved quality of life of the population.

This theme was central to Rio+20 held in June 2012 and designed to re-emphasize Rio 1992.

The Numbers

The world is not overpopulated. That fallacy is perpetuated in all environmental research, policy and planning including global warming and latterly climate change. So what are the facts about world population?

The US Census Bureau provides a running estimate of world population. It was 6,994,551,619 on February 15, 2012. On October 30, 2011 the UN claimed it passed 7 billion; the difference is 5,448,381. This is more than the population of 129 countries of the 242 listed by Wikipedia. It confirms most statistics are crude estimates, especially those of the UN who rely on individual member countries, yet no accurate census exists for any of them

Population density is a more meaningful measure. Most people are concentrated in coastal flood plains and deltas, which are about 5 percent of the land. Compare Canada, the second largest country in the world with approximately 35.3 million residents estimated in 2013 with California where an estimated 37.3 million people lived in 2010. Some illustrate the insignificance of the density issue by putting everyone in a known region. For example, Texas at 7,438,152,268,800 square feet divided by the 2012 world population 6,994,551,619 yields 1063.4 square feet per person. Fitting all the people in an area is different from them being able to live there. Most of the world is unoccupied by humans.

Population geographers separate ecumene, the inhabited area, from non-ecumene the uninhabited areas. The distribution of each changes over time because of technology, communications and food production capacity. Many of these changes deal with climate controls. Use of fire and clothing allowed survival in colder regions, while irrigation offset droughts and allowed settlement in arid regions. Modern environmentalists would likely oppose all of these touted evolutionary advances.

Ironically The Fallacious Problem is The Solution

It all sounds too familiar in the exploitation of science for a political and personal agenda. But there is an even bigger tragedy because the development the TCOR and IPCC condemn is actually the solution.

All of the population predictions Ehrlich and others made were wrong, but more important and damning was they ignored another pattern that was identified in 1929 and developed over the same period as the Mathusian claims. It is known as the Demographic Transition.

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It shows and statistics confirm, population declines as nations industrialize and the economy grows. It is so dramatic in developed countries that the population pyramid results in insufficient young people to support the massively expensive social programs for the elderly. Some countries offset this with migration, but they are simply creating other problems. Countries that don’t allow or severely limit migration such as Japan face completely different problems. Some countries offer incentives for having more than two children, such as the announcement by Vladimir Putin in Russia. China took draconian, inhuman, steps by limiting families to one child. The irony, although there is nothing funny about it, is they are now the largest producer of CO2 and their economy booms. If they had simply studied the demographic transition and let things take a normal course the tragedies already incurred and yet to unfold could have been avoided.

The world is not overpopulated. Malthus began the idea suggesting the population would outgrow the food supply. Currently food production is believed sufficient to feed 25 billion people and growing. The issue is that in the developing world some 60 percent of production never makes it to the table. Developed nations cut this figure to 30 percent primarily through refrigeration. In their blind zeal those who brought you the IPCC fiasco cut their teeth on the technological solution to this problem – better and cheaper refrigeration. The CFC/ ozone issue was artificially created to ban CFCs and introduce global control through the Montreal Protocol. It, like the Kyoto Protocol was a massive, expensive, unnecessary solution to a non-existent problem.

TCOR and later UNEP’s Agenda 21 adopted and expanded the Malthusian idea of overpopulation to all resources making it the central tenet of all their politics and policies. The IPCC was set up to assign the blame of global warming and latterly climate change on human produced CO2 from an industrialized expanding population. They both developed from false assumptions, used manipulated data and science, which they combined into computer models whose projections were, not surprisingly, wrong. The result is the fallacy of global warming due to human CO2 is a subset built on the fallacy of overpopulation.

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January 5, 2014 3:19 pm

Global warming appears to be exaggerated, but I’m all for reducing world population, and I’m fed up with growth for growth’s sake.

Doug Huffman
January 5, 2014 3:23 pm

On the Malthusian Fallacy, don’t miss Dan Brown’s latest ‘Robert Langdon’ tale Inferno.

MarkW
January 5, 2014 3:27 pm

GregS, I have never met anyone who promotes population growth for growth’s sake, so stop with the silly strawmen.
The only conceivable reason for stopping population growth would be if you could demonstrate that it is a problem. To date, no one has been able to do that, indeed, the opposite is probably true. As Julian Simon stated, more people means more minds working on the world’s problems.

TobiasN
January 5, 2014 3:32 pm

re: “population declines as nations industrialize”
I think it’s the advent of pension systems. No pension: = people have ~8 kids to ensure there is one to take care of them when they are old.
Coldly calculated Industrialization means the need to keep people in the workforce and not taking care of elderly parents. Social Security wasn’t just DC being nice.
Why don’t any of the stop-overpopulation campaigners get this? I don’t mean you. I mean folks like Bill Gates.

Cheyne Gordon
January 5, 2014 3:34 pm

So the world is not overpopulated: I’m sure the 300 million women who have no access to family planning will feel a lot better when you tell them that.
Family planning remains the most cost-effective technology we have for reducing poverty.
So the world can produce much more food? Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food.
Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.

TobiasN
January 5, 2014 3:37 pm

I forgot to add, I want a sustainable earth, too. Its just that the way to do it is
-have everyone on earth due an old age pension
-change the monetary system to one where money is not created as debt
CO2 is irrelevant. CAGW is the warmists way of praying. They simply do not know how to actually achieve what they really want.

wayne Job
January 5, 2014 3:43 pm

Thank you Dr Ball a very good article. Much needs to be done to educate our current crop of politicians.

January 5, 2014 3:45 pm

GregS: How would you reduce world population? Grinding poverty, lack of industrialization, diseases like malaria, Chinese-type population control, war, euthanasia? And for what reason? The predictions made by Malthus, TCOR and idiots like Ehrlich have been demonstrably false. Remember, Ehrlich was predicting mass starvation, wars over non-existent resources, failure of energy supplies and the next ice age by the mid-1980’s.
Good essay, Dr. Ball. You very nicely summarize the failed predictions of the environmentalists and others. I keep being amazed by the fact that people can still make claims like climate refugees, climate wars, energy failure from peak oil/coal/etc, when the facts are demonstrably just the opposite.
Never underestimate the power of human ingenuity nor the power of human stupidity. Which will win?

Thorsten
January 5, 2014 3:49 pm

@Cheyne Gordon,
the very fact that you need to invite me on an imaginary journey to “the slums of Africa or Asia”, to let me see what you want to show me, proves that your argument doesn’t hold water. If THE WORLD were overpopulated, similar sights would logically be found less than a few miles away from you or me, not only on other continents. The situation in the slums of Africa or Asia might indicate that these slums are overpopulated, it says NOTHING about the world as a whole.

ed mister jones
January 5, 2014 3:51 pm

What are CBR, BDR? Combined (?) Birth Rate & Combined (?) Death Rate? It is left to be ciphered or researched.

Lil Fella from OZ
January 5, 2014 3:53 pm

I hope more people read this article than this blog. It demonstrates the wider battle the average person is up against, against the Left (I am Left because I can use your money to destroy your way of life!).

R. Shearer
January 5, 2014 3:56 pm

There is a big universe out there and we don’t occupy much of it.

Kit Blanke
January 5, 2014 3:57 pm

Bob Geene wrote
“Never underestimate the power of human ingenuity nor the power of human stupidity. Which will win?”
The ingenuity will be used to get out the hole stupidity dug

Dodgy Geezer
January 5, 2014 4:01 pm

You mentioned Julian Simon!
Don’t you know that he was supposed to be written out of history?
He used real data to blow all the doom-mongers out of the water, and is a hate figure of the Left second only to Margaret Thatcher. They spent a lot of time and trouble suppressing his memory. By now I honestly didn’t expect to hear his name spoken of again…

North of 43 and south of 44
January 5, 2014 4:01 pm

GregS says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm
Global warming appears to be exaggerated, but I’m all for reducing world population, and I’m fed up with growth for growth’s sake.
_______________________________________________
You may lead by example.

Pat Frank
January 5, 2014 4:03 pm

Malthus was correct concerning populations in a native environment. Boom-bust populations have been verified in predator-prey relationships; overview seminar slides here (pdf download). Boom-busts occur because natural populations overshoot their food supply and then crash. It happened in early human societies, too, with crashes mainly occurring due to famine years after poor harvests. Malthus grew up in a society that had only just emerged from the ever-present threat of famine and mass starvation.
Darwin applied Malthus’ idea to the natural populations he observed, and was correct to do so. His perceptive hypothesis has been widely verified since then.
Humans have escaped the Malthus trap only because of science and technology, plus the creative innovation brought by individual freedom. The first door out of the Malthus trap was the early modern agricultural revolution that began in Holland in the 17th century and then spread to England. Amazingly, that revolution involved the dual discovery that clover crops increased soil fertility, and that rotating crops husbanded soils further. These two truly revolutionary discoveries increased available farmlands immediately by 1/3 and increased crop yields, both. Holland and England were free of famine by 1750, with the rest of Europe following later.
Malthus was wrong about humanity only because he could not forsee the impact of science and technology. These, operating in freedom, are the drivers of the good news about the non-crisis of population in Tim Ball’s essay.
Modern farming can feed the entire present population of the world without increasing the land now under cultivation — something that cannot be said of organic farms. One may suppose that, as Africa and Asia enter into modern industrialized economies, the improvement in their own agricultural methods up to modern standards will actually reduce the amount of land needed for food production. The truly eco-conscious will applaud that transition, in view of the concommittant increase in wilderness habitat that will accompany it.

January 5, 2014 4:03 pm

Cheyne Gordon: 300 million women have not access to family planning? Does approximately 8% of the world population not having access to family planning cause world poverty? And why don’t they have access or practice family planning? I believe you will find as technology and societal wealth increases, the population growth rate decreases. Poverty is the problem, not some lack of family planning.
The slums of Africa and Asia are signs of over population or are they really signs of lack of technological growth, such as clean water, inexpensive power and the like? Environmentalists policies will do more to increase and sustain poverty than technological growth.
Population control to reduce poverty? How would you do it? I believe we’ve had enough failed eugenics policies over the past century or so.

Bart
January 5, 2014 4:04 pm

Doug Huffman says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm
I enjoy Dan Brown’s novels, and the portrayal of Langdon by Tom Hanks in the movies. But, they are fantasy novels, not reality. The best fiction, or at least, the most fun for me, draws you in because it has vestiges of truth which allow you to become absorbed in the story while suspending disbelief. But, the Merovingians were not actually descendents of Jesus of Nazereth, and an air-burst of a nuclear weapons-level explosion above Rome at helicopter altitudes would actually be much worse than a ground burst.
Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
“So the world can produce much more food? Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food.”
Elephants, orangutans, and tigers are threatened by poachers who can sell their body parts to get scarce food, not by efficient plots of farmland which could be created to feed those poachers and their families.
What should appall you, if you really care about endangered species, is the slaughter of rare raptors by useless windmills.

mfo
January 5, 2014 4:05 pm

A quote from part 3 of a BBC radio programme The Age We Made sums up its themes, in particular CAGW, that humanity is doomed to annihilate itself:
“I like to compare what’s going on today to the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, except now we’re the asteroid.”
http://wanderinggaia.com/2012/11/15/anthropocene-radio-series-on-the-bbc/
(Andrew Luck-Baker, a science producer at the BBC, is with the Spirit of Mawson expedition and was involved in making The Age We Made.)
http://www.spiritofmawson.com/aae-media/

Gary Pearse
January 5, 2014 4:06 pm

Population is on track to level off at ~ 9B by 2050, a UN calculation no less.
U.N. estimates for 2050 are down from 9.4 billion to 8.9 billion. The population is expected to stabilize at 9 billion by 2300.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2003-12-09-worldpop-usat_x.htm
As an engineer, I like to size up “problems” rather than stare at a big number. Some years ago, I calculated that 6B people could fit into Lake Superior, each with 15sqm to tread water in – not a nice thought but it did quantify the problem. The rest of the math was that 90B people could fit into the lake with a square meter to tread water in. Now spread them out over the globe…. and think about it.
The declining fertility rate with economic development is well known. If, instead of blocking economic development in Africa by denying them fossil-fired or even the hated clean hydro electrical power, plus the activities the anti-development NGOs and their minions who frustrate development of mineral resources and other prosperity avenues, the peak would probably come earlier (I’ve seen NGOs in action from fledgling beginnings in Africa from as far back as the 1960s and in later visits a decade ago, I was appalled to see so little real development – apparently by 2000, over $50 trillion had been spent and this is what they got out of it!)
There is no lack of resources, just lack of imagination by the naysayers.

January 5, 2014 4:08 pm

Thank you, an excellent article, Dr Ball. It has always seemed to me that people who protest about overpopulation come from crowded cities and often travel from crowded city to crowded city at high speed via planes. This gives a warped view of the rest of the world, most of which does not contain anyone at all.
The world is a lot larger than we think, and a lot tougher, too, yet people are taught to think of it as small and fragile. Add to that looking out over crowds, and you have a population sucked into believing the worst of humankind and seeing “sin” everywhere.
I would like to see some of these alarmists taken out to wilderness areas and left to walk home. I’ve lived out there, I know what it’s like. They’d soon learn appreciation for vastness, but alas, we are too kind with them.

john
January 5, 2014 4:08 pm

Gary Pearse says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm
Well said.

January 5, 2014 4:10 pm

There was no Great Famine ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_famines

rabbit
January 5, 2014 4:12 pm

Most of the world is near zero-population growth (ignoring immigration), the main exceptions being equatorial Africa and parts of south Asia. Even there, population growth is slowing.
We may well see a stable global population by the middle of this century.
As Dr. Ball polnts out, the main driver to less fecundity is a modern lifestyle. In other words, widespread affluence will ultimately reduce the pressure on the world’s resources, a counter-intuitive result.

Leon Brozyna
January 5, 2014 4:12 pm

Taking their elitist thinking to its logical conclusion, they would view genocide as a viable option to reining in the growth of human population.

Typhoon
January 5, 2014 4:19 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
“Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.”
Why spend all the money on a plane ticket? Just take a stroll through the slums of America . . .
The economies of Asia and much of Africa are among the fastest growing today.
Much of Asia already has a problem of declining populations, it’s only a matter of time before industrialized Africa faces the same demographic transition.

January 5, 2014 4:21 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
“Family planning remains the most cost-effective technology we have for reducing poverty.”
Well, that is a completely wrong statement. Captialism is the most cost-effective effective technology we have for reducing poverty, bar none.
When you begin with an incorrect premise, your conclusions will necessarily be wrong.
Dr Ball writes:
The world is not overpopulated.
That is certainly true. We had this discussion here a few years ago. The entire population of the Earth could fit within a 1-cubic kilometer sphere, with plenty of room to spare.
The ‘problem’ is that people want to live in choice places, and since there are not enough choice places, those places get crowded. But we live on a big, big planet, and we can easily produce enough food to feed everyone. Therefore, “overpopulation” is an invented non-problem. Want to avoid overpopulation? Then move to the boonies, and away from everyone. ‘Problem’ solved. But of course, new problems will appear.
AGW is a similar non-problem. But because there is a Chicken Little syndrome present in a large part of the population, self-serving scamsters have appeared to prey upon their fears. But the reality is that AGW is only a tiny acorn — it is not the sky falling.

January 5, 2014 4:23 pm

I argue that resources also increase exponentially:
1-we explore more of the earth’s surface
2- We explore deeper in the earth
3 – we can recover less concentrated materials
4- we material more efficiently
Example: oil – deeper wells; fracking
thanks
jk

January 5, 2014 4:30 pm

Reblogged this on Johnsono ne'Blog'as.

heysuess
January 5, 2014 4:32 pm

Another educational and provocative post by Dr. Ball. A question, stemming from this: “It confirms most statistics are crude estimates, especially those of the UN who rely on individual member countries, yet no accurate census exists for any of them” I’ve searched the www but cannot find a serious answer as to how many, or even which countries carry out a census.

Hlaford
January 5, 2014 4:35 pm

I did GIS estimate of my country’s populated area by both cadastre data, and by clutter usage (more accurate by showing where the actual people are, but less politically correct) and both my conclusions were WTF! and WTF!!! respectively.
There is no such thing as an overpopulated country. There are some densely populated hot spots, but that still is not a problem of overpopulation. The vast majority of arable areas are in pristine wild condition, and the population is not growing. The other resources fare the same.
So yeah, nice one Dr. Ball

Steve from Rockwood
January 5, 2014 4:37 pm

Egads, what a terrible article.

January 5, 2014 4:39 pm

Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
Greens Kill Birds and Bats and Other Living Things. They kill by Building Bird and Bat Killing Wind Turbines and Skyrocketing Energy prices that causes fuel poverty that impoverish and Kill Poor people. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/15/james-hansens-policies-are-shafting-the-poor/ Greens kill by Converting tropical rain forests and land that grows food crops into land that grows biofuel crops. Eugenists with a Green shirt.

January 5, 2014 4:39 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
So the world is not overpopulated: I’m sure the 300 million women who have no access to family planning will feel a lot better when you tell them that.
Family planning remains the most cost-effective technology we have for reducing poverty.
So the world can produce much more food? Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food.
Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.
****************************************************************************************************************
And that has nothing to do with overpopulation and all to do with corrupt governments and corrupter greens who won’t allow cheap energy into these places.

charles stegiel
January 5, 2014 4:41 pm

You are really too kind. The emotions behind Agenda 21 and Club of Rome are raving racism and misanthropy coupled with strong class privilege and a desire by a small class of men to create a Neo-Feudal New World Order.

January 5, 2014 4:51 pm

Some members of The Club of Rome:
Algore
George Soros
Bill Clinton
Kofi Annan
Henry Kissinger
Mikhail Gorbachev
Anne Ehrlich (wife of Paul Erlich)

RS
January 5, 2014 4:52 pm

The green elites see the world as portrayed in the book and film Soylent Green.
Al Gore and the rest of the green elite (who deserve it, naturally) live in air conditioned luxury with pretty girls and strawberries, while the rest of the world peddles bikes to keep a light going and eats dead people.
And they will do WHATEVER it takes to ensure this future.

gnomish
January 5, 2014 4:53 pm

it sure looks like all the consternation is pretty much the nature of living in a city.
we don’t have pollution in the country, we don’t have crime (well, ok- people dump stuff in the woods sometimes), we don’t have a lot of violence or waste or neighbors we don’t know…we don’t have much of anything worthy of enquiring minds’ daily feed…

Gail Combs
January 5, 2014 4:55 pm

Cheyne Gordon says: @ January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
So the world is not overpopulated: I’m sure the 300 million women who have no access to family planning will feel a lot better when you tell them that…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You missed THE WHOLE POINT!
Those 300 million women have been intentionally keep poor and therefore breeding like rabbits by the policies of the world elite. It is industrialization that slows birth rate to replacement rate or below. You can see that in this chart
Although I will agree the ‘Poor Laws’ need to be redone. The US government has created a new job catagory – Unwed mother.

u.k.(us)
January 5, 2014 4:59 pm

This (post) won’t end good.
Best I hold my tongue.

Pathway
January 5, 2014 5:06 pm

The most cost effective plan for reducing poverty is the creation of wealth.

Mac the Knife
January 5, 2014 5:07 pm

Gary Pearse says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm
Gary,
Solid reasoning, from the first word to the last.
MtK

January 5, 2014 5:16 pm

[quote] North of 43 and south of 44 says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm
You may lead by example.[/quote]
Agreed, and I am, so far, anyway – 49 with no children. Try to follow my lead everyone. A lot of you will fail, which is ok because if you all succeeded that wouldn’t be good.

January 5, 2014 5:17 pm

Argh – I can’t even quote properly – just as well someone stupid like me hasn’t bred.

DirkH
January 5, 2014 5:23 pm

GregS says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm
“Agreed, and I am, so far, anyway – 49 with no children. Try to follow my lead everyone. A lot of you will fail, which is ok because if you all succeeded that wouldn’t be good.”
Congratulations for not having offspring. It makes the next generation smarter.

January 5, 2014 5:24 pm

Translation from progressive/commie speak:
Life for me, but not for thee.

Gail Combs
January 5, 2014 5:24 pm

u.k.(us) says: @ January 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm
This (post) won’t end good.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Unfortunately the truth sometimes hurts. The facts Dr. Ball presents can all be backed up from many different sources. I figured the same thing out from a completely different angle.
You can search key words: UNESCO Huxley eugenics and get for example: Over the course of his lifetime, Julian Huxley developed a multifaceted position regarding eugenics, the applied science of improving the genetic composition of the human population. Eugenicists sought to achieve this goal through both encouraging reproduction among fit individuals and discouraging breeding among unfit populations. Huxley was the first director of UNESCO.
or The eugenics movement Britain wants to forget
Now consider the fact that both in the USA and the UK newborns have their DNA taken and stored without the consent of their parents. The USA is also taking the DNA from those accused of a crime and even at police blockades set up for the purpose along with doing alcohol tests.
Then there is the USDA grant used to develop a spermicidal corn. link
So in this day and age, Why is Royal Society hosting pro-eugenics conference? (2004)

January 5, 2014 5:24 pm

England’s population density, spread over the earth…Approximately 130 Billion…
England, not too crowded. Japan – Too crowded due to lack of flat land space. Italy similar problem.
If the USA wasn’t so “cowardly” we could have had 1000 of these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MH-1A
Say one has a reactor go bad. What do you do? Tow it to the Marianas Trench, sink it. Consumed by the subduction zone eventually.

January 5, 2014 5:27 pm

Sorry I forgot to make my point. Had we produced, say, 1000 of 500 MWE Roving Liberty Ship power plants, we could have ELECTRIFIED THE WORLD after WWII. The PR would have been INCREDIBLE.
Instead, the USA has Pearl Harbor and 9/11 because of our ill educated, self centered, fear of technology, and Neanderthal population.

Mac the Knife
January 5, 2014 5:27 pm

The link Dr. Ball provided (Demographic Transition: http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/Demotrans/demtran.htm) should be reviewed in depth. There is a wealth of information there that may focus critical thinking and (perhaps) realign preconceived notions.
Good post, Dr. Ball!

Ray
January 5, 2014 5:29 pm

Doug Huffman says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm
On the Malthusian Fallacy, don’t miss Dan Brown’s latest ‘Robert Langdon’ tale Inferno.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks for the recommendation, here are a couple more. “1491” and “1493” both by Charles Mann
and “How Civilizations Die” by David Goodman.

Mario Lento
January 5, 2014 5:29 pm

Steve from Rockwood says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm
Egads, what a terrible article.
++++++++++
Pray tell, why? Make some cogent claim.

Roger Dewhurst
January 5, 2014 5:30 pm

When New Zealand had a population less than 2 million it had about the highest standard of living in the world. When I came to New Zealand the population was a little over 2 million. The standard of living was pretty good. University education was free. There was little crime and murders could be counted on the fingers of one hand. I could carry a rifle down the main street of Wellington and no-one would even notice. The police were unarmed. The forests were free to shoot in and trout fishing was a sport of the working man. Now the population is just over 4 million. The standard of living is now near 30th in the world. University education is not free. The crime rate has gone through the roof, comparatively. The murder rate appears to have gone up tenfold. Bank robberies are not unknown. If I appeared on the streets of Wellington carrying a rifle I would probably be shot out of hand by the police. The police now have a gang of rambos or thugs known as the armed offenders squad. They are a bloody menace. The forests are largely closed to shooters. River fishing for trout has been largely buggered with the implementation of green policies. Business regulation has eased but there is far less freedom to pursue one’s interests. Political correctness rules. Give me New Zealand as it was with half the population.
As for what is happening into Britain I would thank my god if I had one that I shook the dust of that country off my feet nearly 60 years ago.

January 5, 2014 5:32 pm

Cheyne Gordon said:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.
———————————–
The world is not overpopulated, we just need redistribution of population, not of wealth 🙂
However, we also need distribution of education and economic freedom. If the populations of the slums of Africa or Asia were relocated, they would most likely establish new slums.
Consider Hong Kong: one of the most densely populated areas in the world, yet this tiny sector, an enclave of freedom in a communist country, enjoys a thriving economy. Its laws, like those of the U.S., are based upon English common-law, which provide a high level of civil liberty. Their education system is also based upon English models. Compare that to the teeming slums of Africa, Asia, India, etc; they are spawned by ignorance, caste systems and other social stratification, repressive governments, repressive religions.
Freedom, liberty, education, self-determination; these could solve many of the problems in Dr Ball’s excellent article.
The common enemy of humanity is liberalism/socialism/communism.

January 5, 2014 5:34 pm

Reblogged this on CraigM350.

Lady Life Grows
January 5, 2014 5:34 pm

I think the Overpopulation Lie is the single most dangerous lie threatening the well-being and existence of the human species. As pointed out in this article the Global Warming Lie and the Overpopulation are are linked, as each provides justification for the other–and for wars and mass murder.
I just recently acquired a book on the subject from one of my favorite authors, Robert Zubrin. “Merchants of Despair,” 2012, is chock full of information you activists can use to counter these lies. It reveals Malthus as the source of Darwinian racism, and Darwin’s misunderstanding of the competition for survival as the source of the Jewish holocaust of WWII–and identical holocausts perpetrated by Britain and the USA against other peoples.
I also have a catalog of horrors called “Death By Government,” 1994, by RJ Rummel.which discusses “169,911,000 Murdered.” Many or all of those atrocities are also based on the scarcity think discussed in this article.
As to irrigation, that is usually done by the most wasteful methods know, and there are indications that the practices will cause desertification and a reduction of the carrying capacity of the Earth’s land masses for vertebrate life. The solution is neither population reduction, nor a crash in economics and technology, but healthier agriculture, using Israel’s drip irrigation–and Permaculture and Sonic Bloom (R).
The real solutions are not government and bad news, but abundance and tons of fun.

DirkH
January 5, 2014 5:35 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
“Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.”
Take a walk through Kasachstan and tell me that the world is overpopulated.
People move to the slums you cite voluntarily to improve their situation. A city might offer some combination of: better food security, better sanitation, electricity, schools, safety from violent conflict, better access to safe water, jobs, a higher standard of living, cinemas, internet, cellphone networks, doctors, culture, availability of illicit drugs, availability of mating partners.
People do not move from the countryside into a city slum if they have no reason to. So there must be reasons, don’t you think so.

Pablo an ex Pat
January 5, 2014 5:40 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
“Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food”
err not food, not in Borneo, they are being pushed aside by loss of habitat, and in the case of Orangutans actively hunted and killed, to safeguard the new Palm plantations that have been put into the cleared rain forest to produce PALM OIL for BIODIESEL.
I suggest you consider that before you quote the example and try to tag population growth with a Green created issue. Yet another error that the so called Greens have made.
http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival-Information/About-Palm-Oil.aspx

January 5, 2014 5:42 pm

Pat Frank says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm
Amazingly, that revolution involved the dual discovery that clover crops increased soil fertility, and that rotating crops husbanded soils further. These two truly revolutionary discoveries increased available farmlands immediately by 1/3 and increased crop yields, both. ……….
****************************************************************************************************************
Crop rotation was written by Moses in the bible 3500 years ago so nothing new there.
Exo 23:10 “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield,
Exo 23:11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.

DirkH
January 5, 2014 5:43 pm

Roger Dewhurst says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm
“When New Zealand had a population less than 2 million it had about the highest standard of living in the world. […] The standard of living was pretty good. […] Now the population is just over 4 million. The standard of living is now near 30th in the world.”
So you blame that on one single doubling of population. Hmmm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_population_density_1994.png
Man, are you lucky that you don’t live in Germany. Must be terrible here.

TRM
January 5, 2014 5:43 pm

Well said Dr Ball. I would like to add that there is only one problem in the world. A trillion+ dollar a year arms race to “protect” ourselves from each other. Now I’m not a pacifist or a “beat your swords into ploughs” type. There is a certain amount of arms required.
Can you name me a problem that can’t be solved with 20% of the arms race funds? Nobody can because a problem that size doesn’t exist. Look at the boom we had world wide in the 1990s. There was a 10% reduction in the global arms race for most of the decade.
Now imagine double that for the rest of time! Not much chance of that happening is there. So we continue to spend to protect our empire (yes it is, get over it). Any percentage of that spent on raising the standard of living for the poor will drop the birth rate as fast as anyone can imagine. But the Mathusians must have their way and humans must be the problem so more war is the answer.
How primitive, sad and pathetic.

January 5, 2014 5:46 pm

GregS @3.19 says: “I’m all for reducing world population, and I’m fed up with growth for growth’s sake.” Humans are the highest development on the planet, the most creative and adaptive animal. Why on earth would you want fewer? Economic growth has driven huge improvements in human well-being over the last 200 years, and particularly the last 60. What’s wrong with that?
TobiasN @ 3.32 attributes slowing population growth to pension systems. It has been most pronounced in countries without pension systems.
Cheyne Gordon @ 3.34: see above. It’s only when incomes get past a certain level that we begin to put resources into caring for other species and their environment. I first saw Asian slums over 40 years ago, living standards of Asians have soared since then, stopping growth won’t help those still in poverty. Births will fall as they get wealthier.
TobiasN @ 3.37 want “a sustainable earth.” Tobias, the Earth will sustain itself until it is overwhelmed by the Sun in 4-4 billion years time. The nature of our planet, and all existence, is continual change – nothing is sustainable; there is no “ideal” state which we could or should preserve.

u.k.(us)
January 5, 2014 5:51 pm

Gail Combs says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm
“Unfortunately the truth sometimes hurts.”…………
—-
Don’t attempt to lecture me …..
I just said it “won’t end good”.
See what I mean ?

Mac the Knife
January 5, 2014 5:53 pm

Steve B says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm
Steve B.,
Nice! The lessons taught in the Bible are manifold, to those who can read and understand.
MtK

Jim Clarke
January 5, 2014 5:55 pm

So the bottom line is that the world is being socially engineered by people who have never been right about anything.
Well…that’s annoying!

Bob Weber
January 5, 2014 5:57 pm

The bottom line is – who has the right to decide how many of us live?

January 5, 2014 5:58 pm

A.D.Everard @ 4.08: Good point on how people see the world. Travelling overland from England to India in 1972, I got a much better feel for how we are related to our environment and the aggregates with which economists (like me) often deal arise from individual decisions and circumstances. Two years in and around India reinforced this. CAGW proponents generally seek highly centralised, anti-democratic, solutions. As a retired economic policy adviser, I understand that policies to bring about change depend (in a democracy) on a compact between people and government, they can’t be imposed by fiat. Cf the EU. Even in a dictatorship like China, tensions arise when change is imposed by, and favours, an elite few rather than being through a compact with the people.

gregole
January 5, 2014 6:01 pm

Dr. Ball,
Great post! I clearly remember reading books like Ehrlich’s back in the ’70s – Remember “Famine 1975! America’s Decision: Who Will Survive?”. Google “Neo Malthusian” and you’ll get this on wiki:
There was a general “neo-Malthusian” revival in the 1950s, 60s and 70s after the publication of two influential books in 1948 (Fairfield Osborn’s Our Plundered Planet and William Vogt’s Road to Survival). During that time the population of the world rose dramatically. Many in environmental movements began to sound the alarm regarding the potential dangers of population growth.[1] The Club of Rome published a famous book entitled The Limits to Growth in 1972. The report and the organisation soon became central to the neo-Malthusian revival.[26] Paul R. Ehrlich has been one of the most prominent neo-Malthusians since the publication of The Population Bomb in 1968. Other prominent Malthusians include the Paddock brothers, authors of Famine 1975! America’s Decision: Who Will Survive?.
Of course it was all tosh and nonsense. Speculation based on conjecture mixed with all kinds of turgid, self-centered, self-hating thought patterns generated by wealthy, do-nothings – so-called intellectuals.
Overpopulation? No. Crowding – perhaps in places.
A bigger question for people’s well-being is demographics. Aging populations with a dearth of new births are headed for trouble because there isn’t a new generation to pay for health-care and social security. When populations crash so do economies – look at Detroit and various locales in Eastern Europe to name a couple of places where the local population has crashed. Property values plunge, things fall into general disrepair – people in general are filled with despair and the young do everything they can to move someplace that is “happening”. A balance of young and old – growing; life; hope for the future.
Crowding. Demographics. Forget “Overpopulation”. It is a figment of human imagination. There’s plenty of room for everyone.

Gail Combs
January 5, 2014 6:05 pm

DirkH says: @ January 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm
….People move to the slums you cite voluntarily to improve their situation…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Not necessarily, often they are intentionally driven there.
Two examples:

…transformation was the result of organized plans developed by a group of highly powerful — though unelected — financial and industrial executives who wanted to drastically change agricultural practices in the US to better serve their collective corporate financial agenda. This group, called the Committee for Economic Development, was officially established in 1942…
CED’s plans resulted in widespread social upheaval throughout rural America, ripping apart the fabric of its society destroying its local economies. They also resulted in a massive migration to larger cities. The loss of a farm also means the loss of identity, and many farmers’ lives ended in suicide [6], not unlike farmers in India today who have been tricked into debt and desperation and can see no other way out….. link

More recently:

…Alongside this, as hoped for by designers of NAFTA, has been ‘modernisation’ – a sharp decline in the share of agriculture and allied sectors in the workforce. From nearly 27% in 1991 it declined to slightly less than 15% in 2006, losing more than 2 million jobs[18]. Again small and marginal farmers and agricultural labour bore the brunt, as evidenced by very sharp decline in the number of rural households. According to a study by Jose Romero and Alicia Puyana carried out for the federal government of Mexico, between 1992 and 2002, the number of agricultural households fell an astounding 75% – from 2.3 million to 575, 000[19].
There has been a significant increase in migration out of rural areas as livelihoods are lost and farms have been abandoned. The hope was that this migration out of low-productivity agriculture would be absorbed into higher-productivity non-agrarian urban employment. But anemic employment growth in the post-NAFTA period, particularly in manufacturing[20], put paid to that…..
link

Steve from Rockwood
January 5, 2014 6:05 pm

“The US Census Bureau provides a running estimate of world population. It was 6,994,551,619 on February 15, 2012. On October 30, 2011 the UN claimed it passed 7 billion; the difference is 5,448,381. This is more than the population of 129 countries of the 242 listed by Wikipedia. It confirms most statistics are crude estimates, especially those of the UN who rely on individual member countries, yet no accurate census exists for any of them.”

6,994,551,619 relative to 7,000,000,000 is 99.92%. The article is trying to suggest inaccuracy where no such inaccuracy exists, thus setting up the strawman argument that if this is inaccurate, everything else must be inaccurate too.

“Population density is a more meaningful measure. Most people are concentrated in coastal flood plains and deltas, which are about 5 percent of the land. Compare Canada, the second largest country in the world with approximately 35.3 million residents estimated in 2013 with California where an estimated 37.3 million people lived in 2010.”

This is silly. Most of Canada is uninhabitable. It is either too mountainous, too barren, too cold, or water covered (and frozen in winter). 85% of Canadians live below the 49th parallel, far less than 10% of the total land mass of our country. How many people live on Mt. Everest? How many people “could” live on Mt. Everest? Probably the same number of people who could live in much of Canada.

“Most of the world is unoccupied by humans.”

Most of the world is water. Then you have Antarctica. Then the deserts, the mountains, the lakes etc. The reason that most of the world is uninhabitable is because most of the world is uninhabitable.

“Population geographers separate ecumene, the inhabited area, from non-ecumene the uninhabited areas.”

Yet the author makes no attempt to quantify how much of the Earth is habitable. This is central to his thesis yet it is a statement that goes unanswered.

“[The Demographic Transition] shows and statistics confirm, population declines as nations industrialize and the economy grows.”

The two most populous countries in the world (China and India) have rising populations even as their economies grow. Birth rates decline as economies improve so the rate of population increase may decline (population still increases) but the few countries that fall below replacement rate supplant their population through immigration. In fact only Russia’s population is declining that I am aware of (in the developed world).

“Some countries offer incentives for having more than two children, such as the announcement by Vladimir Putin in Russia.”

Quebec also offered such incentives because, without immigration, their population was declining. But these are exceptions to the rule. Why focus on 150 million people when you should focus on the 2.5 billion (China and India) who are increasing in population?

“China took draconian, inhuman, steps by limiting families to one child. The irony, although there is nothing funny about it, is they are now the largest producer of CO2 and their economy booms. If they had simply studied the demographic transition and let things take a normal course the tragedies already incurred and yet to unfold could have been avoided.”

This is my biggest problem with the article. “Draconian” and “inhuman”? No. “Drastic”? Yes. China was facing a serious problem of population growth within its very poor peasant population. Very poor people having many children who would be very poor. They had to stop that and they did. I would refer to the steps as “brave” and “drastic”. The rules have been eased somewhat recently. If you and your spouse were both an only child then you can have 2 children. And of course if you have the money you can have a second child (and always could). I think the cost is around $60,000 to the government. Try spending a few weeks in Beijing and you will realize why these actions were necessary.
You blame China for implementing a one child policy and then blame them for emitting more CO2 than any other country. Do you not realize that without population control the situation would have been even worse? Or are you suggesting that with such over-population China would have failed to improve its economy, far more people would have been in poverty and therefore by total CO2 emissions China would not have “succeeded”.

“The world is not overpopulated.”

This is a relative statement and not an absolute one. Yes, the world is not over-populated if you divide the surface area of the earth into the number of inhabitants. But this is a very useless task. The real math is to divide the number of haves into the have nots. In this measure our planet is very over populated.

“The IPCC was set up to assign the blame of global warming and latterly climate change on human produced CO2 from an industrialized expanding population. They both developed from false assumptions, used manipulated data and science, which they combined into computer models whose projections were, not surprisingly, wrong. The result is the fallacy of global warming due to human CO2 is a subset built on the fallacy of overpopulation.”

Conspiracy theory nonsense.
The problem is not how many people are on the planet. The problem is the standard of living of the poorest and how we address that. Clearly, calling CO2 a pollutant and increasing taxes to reduce energy use is not the answer.

January 5, 2014 6:07 pm

Dr Ball, the most worrying thing is that what you say has been demonstrated time after time, yet few are aware of it. They are therefore prone to accept the recurrent scare stories such as the population bomb and CAGW. How to counter this? One tactic I use is to get frequent letters on related topics published in Australia’s national newspaper, The Australian, whose readership is more likely to be interested in such issues than the population at large. I have one or two letters in most weeks, so have developed some credibility with the readers. Michael Cunningham.

William Astley
January 5, 2014 6:10 pm

In reply to:
“The world is not overpopulated. That fallacy is perpetuated in all environmental research, policy and planning including global warming and latterly climate change. So what are the facts about world population?”
“Population density is a more meaningful measure. Most people are concentrated in coastal flood plains and deltas, which are about 5 percent of the land. Compare Canada, the second largest country in the world with approximately 35.3 million residents estimated in 2013 with California where an estimated 37.3 million people lived in 2010.”
William:
You must be living on a different earth. Have you ever visited China? India? Africa? Are you suggesting that we need more people? That there are not enough people? Clearly you do not have friends or children that are looking for work. I would suggest you spend a week or two in Mumbai and then write something that includes facts and firsthand knowledge.
What you write is removed from logical and reason.
There are limits to resources and more importantly there are limits to the number of well paying jobs.
When there are more people than there are jobs, wages go down. Jobs move to the lowest cost of production. There is a race to the bottom. (Same as happened in the great depression.) Initially the low paying manufacturing jobs moved to Asia. That was followed by call centers and company computer help centers and other medium level jobs. Now the higher paying jobs, such as software and engineering are moving from the developing countries to Asia.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443545504577566752847208984
China’s Graduates Face Glut
“China’s universities have churned out more than 39 million graduates with undergraduate or specialized degrees over the past decade, according to the Ministry of Education. People with some college education now account for about 8.9% of China’s population, according to 2010 government data. While that’s a much smaller proportion than the 36.7% of the adult population in the U.S, it’s a sharp rise from China’s 3.6% in 2000.”
http://www.industryweek.com/the-2000s
America lost 5.7 million, or 33%, of its manufacturing jobs in the 2000s. This is a rate of loss unprecedented in U.S. history—worse than in the 1980s, when BusinessWeek warned of deindustrialization and worse than the rate of manufacturing job loss experienced during the Great Depression. While U.S. manufacturing has clawed back, regaining about half a million of those lost manufacturing jobs since 2010, there’s little doubt that the 2000s constituted the worst decade for manufacturing employment in the Republic’s history.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/05/343888/new-delhi-witnesses-over-40-percent-rise-in-crime-in-2013/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_populous_cities_in_India

Policycritic
January 5, 2014 6:11 pm

You can put the entire population of the world in Texas at one sq. yd./per.

Gail Combs
January 5, 2014 6:13 pm

TRM says: @ January 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm
…But the Mathusians must have their way and humans must be the problem so more war is the answer.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
They make a heck of a lot of money out of war and kill off part of the population while they are at it. A win-win from their point of view.

john robertson
January 5, 2014 6:14 pm

Those persons most frightened by living, are the most aggressive in trying to impose their solutions on everyone else.
It is no coincidence that the most ardent believers in CAGW are also convinced the number of men on this planet is a signal of doom.
@Greg S 5:15, good work but if you also obsess over atmospheric CO2 you need to hold your breath.
It should be no surprise to find that the most intrusive do-gooder, who seek to control all, run your life for you, usually thro the use of a bureaucracy, are frightened of everything.
Not having a life, terrified of children, they devote themselves to saving you.
Reason and honest discussion are not part of their toolkit.
It is always such an urgent matter, that you must surrender your self determination.
We are here to help, we are from the government.
I am coming to the conclusion, a tax on do-gooders shall be compulsory, for all freemen.
155% of their gross income will encourage wisdom.
Or take the pun and make it like whack a snake day.
For some people are indeed so stupid, unreasonable and dangerous that you must drive them into exile.
For todays Chicken Littles I propose Coats Island in Hudson Bay Canada.
It is perfect, no permanent residents(as far as I know), no “carbon intensive infrastructure.
Exile yourselves to this paradise, show me how this eco-friendly, zero carbon life style works.
Naturally I would predict a guaranteed zeroing of population, if you practiced what you preach.

Policycritic
January 5, 2014 6:16 pm

Steve B says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm
Crop rotation was written by Moses in the bible 3500 years ago so nothing new there.

Moses was a johnny-come-lately. The Sumerians were doing it 2,000 years before that, which was recorded on their clay tablets.

bones
January 5, 2014 6:22 pm

Pat Frank says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm
. . .Modern farming can feed the entire present population of the world without increasing the land now under cultivation — something that cannot be said of organic farms. One may suppose that, as Africa and Asia enter into modern industrialized economies, the improvement in their own agricultural methods up to modern standards will actually reduce the amount of land needed for food production. The truly eco-conscious will applaud that transition, in view of the concommittant increase in wilderness habitat that will accompany it.
———————————————————————————
Mechanized, corporate style farming is capable of feeding the world well for as long as oil is cheap. But oil won’t always remain cheap if demand exceeds productive capacity. Despite oil prices of $100 per barrel, world crude oil production has been essentially flat for eight years. The use of natural gas liquids as a chemical feedstock has taken up most of the growth in demand in recent years. While energy remains abundant and cheap, the liquid fuels used for transportation and agriculture are beginning to be squeezed. The next decade will be interesting times.

Steve from Rockwood
January 5, 2014 6:22 pm

Should have read “The reason that most of the world is uninhabited is because most of the world is uninhabitable.”

MarkW
January 5, 2014 6:23 pm

TRM says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Are you seriously trying to claim that the economic boom in the US was caused by a small drop in defense spending, and that alone?
Sheesh, the ability of people to see only what they want to see remains amazing.

MarkW
January 5, 2014 6:28 pm

Gail Combs says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
—-
Mind naming where that garbage came from?
Nobody had to drive people off the land, technology did it all by itself.
New equipment meant that we could grow more food with fewer workers.

DirkH
January 5, 2014 6:33 pm

Gail Combs says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
“DirkH says: @ January 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm
….People move to the slums you cite voluntarily to improve their situation…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Not necessarily, often they are intentionally driven there.
Two examples:”
Okay, maybe I should scratch the “voluntarily” and say “People move to the cities to improve their situation”. I mentioned escape from violent conflict; as forced as that is, the escape might improve the situation of the refugee.

SIG INT Ex
January 5, 2014 6:34 pm

China’s Proletariat has officially abandoned the “One Child, One Family” Policy so beloved by Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore (who are such cowards as not being able to kill themselves for the ‘Good’ of the world and fulfill their own wishes) must have both Paul and Al pissing blood these days.
}:-)

MarkW
January 5, 2014 6:34 pm

bones says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

We’ve got enough cheap oil to last several hundred years.
Even the UN believes that population will peak by 2050 and start falling.
In 200 years we’ll have other, even better methods of growing food.

January 5, 2014 6:38 pm

“Thomas Malthus raised the idea the world was overpopulated. He believed charity and laws to help the poor were a major cause of the problem and it was necessary to reduce population through rules and regulations. ”
Could you quote where Malthus said those things? That does not fit my memory of the essay on population. Nor does most of the rest of what you say about Malthus, which makes me wonder whether you are basing it on reading him or reading second and third hand accounts.
His central thesis as I remember it was neither that the world was overpopulated nor that rules were necessary to reduce population. It was that the optimistic future projected by Godwin and Condorcet was impossible because if everyone was that well off there would be no incentive for people to hold down birth rates, and if population expanded at the biological maximum it would outrun the food supply. I don’t believe he claimed that population was expanding at that rate, had, or would in the actual future–only that a stable population equilibrium required that the mass of the population be poor enough to make the cost of additional children high enough to hold the birth rate down to what economic growth could accommodate. That’s one version of the iron law of wages, other versions of which appear in Smith and Ricardo.

MarkW
January 5, 2014 6:38 pm

William Astley says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm
——
I’m willing to bet that you have never visited either China or India. They have very crowded cities, but most of the country is lightly inhabited at best.
Anyone who knows anything about economics knows that more people also means more demand which resorts in more production and more work.

DirkH
January 5, 2014 6:40 pm

William Astley says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm
“You must be living on a different earth. Have you ever visited China? India? Africa? Are you suggesting that we need more people? That there are not enough people? Clearly you do not have friends or children that are looking for work.”
If there were less people there would be less demand for work. Your argument doesn’t hold.
Unemployment is not caused by a specific level of technology – though technological improvements enforce change that causes suffering for those who are made redundant. See the Luddites. Unemployment is mostly caused by policies that make being unemployed attractive. See Sweden before they reformed their welfare state somewhat. (Currently they are importing and nurturing a new unemployment problem; but that is in the nature of Social Democrats)

leo danze
January 5, 2014 6:41 pm

Education, industry, technology and manufacturing, in short productivity is the way forward. Japanese study found West is cleaner than the rest. Cleaner by use of fossil fuels. Obvious to anyone without a preconceived agenda.

Brian Bach
January 5, 2014 6:46 pm

I’m happy to see Dr. Ball pointing out the origin and motive for the creation of the CO2 boogeyman. It does puzzle me why so many skeptics bravely refute popular opinion, yet are so afraid of being labled a conspiracy theorist. If ever there was a massive conspiracy laid bare, CAGW is it. Depopulation is the goal of the environmentalist movement. If you recall your Greek mythology, Zeus liked to cull the herd of mortals every now and then and became a bit nasty when Prometheus gave man fire. He’s never stopped trying to take it back. The financial oligarchy are the modern Olympians who feel entitled to decide who gets to survive. Those who see it as a right or left issue are missing the point.

Alan Robertson
January 5, 2014 6:47 pm

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
_________________________
What’s the deal, Cheyne? Why don’t you come back and address some of the issues which others have brought forth in response to you? This place is all about the free exchange of ideas. Are you interested in further conversation- or did you just jet blast around the place to reinforce your need to be right?

Janice
January 5, 2014 6:51 pm

We are not overpopulated. We are underdeveloped.

Berényi Péter
January 5, 2014 6:53 pm

Well, there is nothing inherently impossible in molecular nanotechnology, we can see that by now using proven scientific principles. It may be an engineering challenge and a huge one at that, but nothing more. In fact we ourselves are proof-of-concept products of God’s nanotechnology; two molecules of the same enzyme in our bodies are identical down to individual atoms, that is, the molecular machinery we are relying on is standardized to its ultimate limits.
That’s what is in store for us in technological development. With self replicating and programmable nanobots costs of production are no longer proportional to quantities, but to their logarithm, which makes all the difference. We shall be able to manipulate atoms the same way we currently do to bits using descriptions called computer programs along with prefabricated data structures.
There are no rare raw materials any more, for example. We do know from thermodynamics that the ultimate limit of energy needed for enrichment is proportional to the logarithm of original concentration, and with molecularly precise manufacturing we can get reasonably close to this limit.
Neither energy supply is an issue, because solar panels will become viable. They are not supposed to produce electricity of course, but some energy rich, non toxic, non flammable substance like sugar, to be stored locally and used to produce electricity on demand by closely packed arrays of molecularly precise micron sized fuel cells. A nuclear fission reactor with passive cooling, inherent safety and no long half life radioactive isotopes in waste is also an option.
Artificial intelligence to be used in technological design is in the pipeline as well. It can be controlled by an advanced checks and balances architecture to ensure it would never outsmart us or be hijacked by a small group of people who would use it to overpower the rest of humanity.
Of course carbon, due to its chemical versatility, is the default construction material of molecular nanotech. The easiest source is airborne carbon dioxide, so the real danger is to get it depleted to an extent when plant life begins to suffer. To prevent that we may be forced to replenish it from limestone, but we shall have to figure out what to do with the enormous amount of byproduct called lime milk. We can’t simply dump it into the oceans without a very real danger of their catastrophic basification.
Anyway, with this kind of technology space travel and utilization is affordable, which makes all resources of the solar system readily available. It can support several thousand trillion human beings in this region alone, most of them in space habitats.
The timeframe for these sequels is probably less than a century, so it makes no sense to worry beyond that point based on current state of affairs. Anything on the other side of singularity is shrouded into dense fog.

bones
January 5, 2014 6:54 pm

MarkW says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm
bones says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

We’ve got enough cheap oil to last several hundred years.
Even the UN believes that population will peak by 2050 and start falling.
In 200 years we’ll have other, even better methods of growing food.
———————————————————-
As the old joke goes, we are only haggling over the price now. You are correct that we will never run out of oil, but that is not the issue. The question is whether or not it is possible to significantly increase the production rate at affordable prices. I believe that is an open and important question.

January 5, 2014 6:54 pm

I created a blog with a title suitable to mock these people
Power and Control.

Alan Robertson
January 5, 2014 6:56 pm

john robertson says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm
____________________________
Brother John!
Your words bear repeating, so here they are.
____________________________
Those persons most frightened by living, are the most aggressive in trying to impose their solutions on everyone else.
It is no coincidence that the most ardent believers in CAGW are also convinced the number of men on this planet is a signal of doom.
@Greg S 5:15, good work but if you also obsess over atmospheric CO2 you need to hold your breath.
It should be no surprise to find that the most intrusive do-gooder, who seek to control all, run your life for you, usually thro the use of a bureaucracy, are frightened of everything.
Not having a life, terrified of children, they devote themselves to saving you.
Reason and honest discussion are not part of their toolkit.
It is always such an urgent matter, that you must surrender your self determination.
We are here to help, we are from the government.
I am coming to the conclusion, a tax on do-gooders shall be compulsory, for all freemen.
155% of their gross income will encourage wisdom.
Or take the pun and make it like whack a snake day.
For some people are indeed so stupid, unreasonable and dangerous that you must drive them into exile.
For todays Chicken Littles I propose Coats Island in Hudson Bay Canada.
It is perfect, no permanent residents(as far as I know), no “carbon intensive infrastructure.
Exile yourselves to this paradise, show me how this eco-friendly, zero carbon life style works.
Naturally I would predict a guaranteed zeroing of population, if you practiced what you preach.

___________________

North of 43 and south of 44
January 5, 2014 6:59 pm

GregS says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm
[quote] North of 43 and south of 44 says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm
You may lead by example.[/quote]
Agreed, and I am, so far, anyway – 49 with no children. Try to follow my lead everyone. A lot of you will fail, which is ok because if you all succeeded that wouldn’t be good.
_________________________________________________________________
Maybe, and maybe only so far.

OssQss
January 5, 2014 6:59 pm

You know Dr. Ball, I watched a version of this video about 8 years ago and thought this was rubbish.. I just watched it again, its not……
I read the 40 chapter document. It is really a horror story for truth, justice and freedom.

Try and search for Agenda 21 through your browser. Just like the term “global warming”, it has changed. In this instance, to sustainable development, or smart growth for many locally. The UN no longer supports the original site.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

DirkH
January 5, 2014 7:02 pm

Berényi Péter says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm
“Artificial intelligence to be used in technological design is in the pipeline as well. It can be controlled by an advanced checks and balances architecture to ensure it would never outsmart us or be hijacked by a small group of people who would use it to overpower the rest of humanity.
You mean the NSA will cease to exist?

January 5, 2014 7:04 pm

Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.
The obvious problem in those places is not enough technology.
Women’s literacy (and further educational accomplishments) is the best general predictor of family size.

TRM
January 5, 2014 7:06 pm

” MarkW says:January 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm
Are you seriously trying to claim that the economic boom in the US was caused by a small drop in defense spending, and that alone?
Sheesh, the ability of people to see only what they want to see remains amazing. ”
No I never claimed that at all. The “world wide” boom of the 1990s was in part fuelled by a 10% reduction in the GLOBAL arms race. The Soviet Union’s collapse was a huge part of it. The US was actually looking at a budget surplus scenario! Ah the good old days.

January 5, 2014 7:09 pm

North of 43 and south of 44 says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm,
The first mate and I decided on a minimum of three. We have four. Why? We figured the world could use more brain power.
1. An artist
2. Foreign (Russian) language expert
3. Electrical engineer
4. Chemical engineer
I’d say we have been moderately successful in our goal.

phlogiston
January 5, 2014 7:09 pm

China’s one child policy has some positive consequences:
– The attention that children receive from parents and grandparents is very high – this is good for children’s psychological wellbeing;
– Only the very rich can afford multliple children. This is a kind of eugenics improving the intelligence of the population, even if only slightly. Politically naughty but maybe beneficial.
These factors may explain some of China’s spectacular success in improving its people’s standard of living. Siblings are over-rated.

Barry Cullen
January 5, 2014 7:10 pm

Let the people promoting this over population silliness be the first to go.
All the information needed to see the evolution of improvement of the human condition can be found at gapminder.org (try this one first; http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=6.80645161290323;ti=2011$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1gkNuUEXOGag;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=0AkBd6lyS3EmpdHo5S0J6ekhVOF9QaVhod05QSGV4T3c;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=0.0001;dataMax=252$map_y;scale=log;dataMin=55;dataMax=108111$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds= )
I think the info available at gapminder successfully blows both the old and new doomcasters fantasies out of the water.

Robin W.
January 5, 2014 7:14 pm

I am shocked by how few people, including skeptics,know about UN Agenda 21. More exposure is needed about the way it’s sneaking into local councils etc via the excuse of “sustainable development ” ,I shudder every time I see or hear the phrase. Exposure would put all the CAGW nonsense into context for people.
If I mention Agenda 21 to folks I’m regarded as being nuts because they think that surely the UN wouldn’t propose such things…would they?

Berényi Péter
January 5, 2014 7:16 pm

DirkH says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm
You mean the NSA will cease to exist?

It depends on you, guys. I am certainly on the opinion that all secret services should be abolished ASAP. They are good for nothing except circumventing the law, erasing freedom &. making trouble. A well regulated police force subject to constitutional control can do a much better job.

Mike
January 5, 2014 7:16 pm

Bob Greene said:
“Population control to reduce poverty? How would you do it? I believe we’ve had enough failed eugenics policies over the past century or so.”
Where is the ‘like’ button!

William Astley
January 5, 2014 7:18 pm

In reply to:
DirkH says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm
Dirk says: If there were less people there would be less demand for work. Your argument doesn’t hold.
William: Why? Provide logic to back up your point. Are you asserting that when the population increases there are more jobs? You are confusing consumption and demand with the number of people in a country. Spain has unemployment of 40%. Are saying the solution to the Spanish unemployment problem is an increase in population? More immigrants from Africa? Clearly that would only increase the number of people on welfare in Spain. Unemployment occurs when there are too many people looking for too few jobs.
Dirk says: Unemployment is not caused by a specific level of technology – though technological improvements enforce change that causes suffering for those who are made redundant. See the Luddites. Unemployment is mostly caused by policies that make being unemployed attractive. See Sweden before they reformed their welfare state somewhat. (Currently they are importing and nurturing a new unemployment problem; but that is in the nature of Social Democrats)
William: I do not disagree that technology can improve living standards. The problem is the high paying US and developed country jobs are moving to Asia, as there are very qualified Asians who will do the same job for less money. Supply and demand. We are having a race to the bottom.
The US has lost 33% of our manufacturing jobs. Now software and engineering jobs are moving to Asia. What is left?
There is a second problem. Balance of trade and tax revenue. The US and the other developed countries are losing the battle. The money is running out. All with the jobs that have been lost we have lost the tax revenue. The problem is not that there are not enough people in the US.
P.S. Yes I agree people must work. We must either compete with Asia or face economic collapse. There is no other options. A significantly higher minimum wage in Asia would help to create a level playing field and forced balanced trade.

Pat Frank
January 5, 2014 7:20 pm

Steve B, letting some land lie fallow is the system Holland and England abandoned in favor of crop rotation. Crop rotation uses all the fields all the time, with different crops rotating through them. Hence the name: crop rotation.

mortis88
January 5, 2014 7:36 pm

Not to seem insensitive, but this is a quote from your link
Although the potato crop failed, the country was still producing and exporting more than enough grain crops to feed the population. Records show during the period Ireland was exporting approximately thirty to fifty shiploads per day of food produce. As a consequence of these exports and a number other factors such as land acquisition, absentee landlords and the effect of the 1690 penal laws, the Great Famine today is viewed by a number of historical academics as a form of either direct or indirect genocide.[8]

Pat Frank
January 5, 2014 7:46 pm

bones, when I was a chem grad student I attended a seminar given by an oil geologist, who described current and coming technology. He ended on a bleak note, warning we were running out of oil. He hoped that the faculty had good ideas for energy production because otherwise, in 10-15 years, we’d be in big trouble.
That seminar was quite a long while ago. Proven gas reserves are up two-fold since 1980. Our known oil reserves are about 2.5x higher now than they were then. Here’s a Julian Simon-like suggestion: oil will never become expensive. Neither will energy. Unless ideologues manage to squelch technology by deliberately regulating it into oblivion.

Phil
January 5, 2014 7:48 pm

Great article I’ve always been interested in world population and spent much of the past two decades involved in development and relief work in developing countries.
Some interesting things I’ve read.
1 Any country that ensures the majority of its women are educated untill the age of 15 ( ie 2-3 years of high school) with recuce it’s fertility rate to 2.4. (Ie close to parity)
2 The world population growth rate peaked in 1965/66 around 2.2% it is now down to aprox 1% with no signs or that turning around.
3. UN population figures I last checked (2012) had the world peaking at aprox 9.5 – 11.0 billion around 2090 – 2110 and then tapering off.
I wish rather than feeding peoples fears on this subject, the protagonists would realise that we have made huge improvements in peoples lives and while much more needs to be done we know what to do and need to just get on and do it!
Clean water, toilets, eduction, fighting malaria, it’s not rocket science but it has and will change the world.

Roger Dewhurst
January 5, 2014 7:50 pm

Put your brains into gear, all of you. The duty of a government is to obtain the best standard of living, on averge, inter alia, for its population. That means a balance between the productive capacity and the population leaving aside the fair distribution of wealth. The income distribution curve tends to be peaked without long tails in either direction. The standard of living means much more than the gross product per capita. It included crime, corruption or the absence thereof, individual freedom among many other things. When there are more jobs than people pay is good, crime is low and the standard of living tends to be high. When there are more people than jobs pay tends to be low and the income distribution curve has a long tail at the high end. Breeding to maximise population favours the wealthy but that is all. Eventually however the hoy polloi will rebel and slaughter the wealthy.

Bob
January 5, 2014 8:07 pm

I wonder if this man would have joined TCOR.

mortis88
January 5, 2014 8:10 pm

I wonder if this man would have joined TCOR.
I think you have it backwards.

MattS
January 5, 2014 8:11 pm

dbstealey,
“The ‘problem’ is that people want to live in choice places, and since there are not enough choice places, those places get crowded. But we live on a big, big planet, and we can easily produce enough food to feed everyone. Therefore, “overpopulation” is an invented non-problem. Want to avoid overpopulation? Then move to the boonies, and away from everyone. ‘Problem’ solved. But of course, new problems will appear.”
But what do you do when you move out to the boonies and away from everyone then find 10 years down the line that your isolated out of the way spot is now one of the choice places?

mortis88
January 5, 2014 8:13 pm

Apologies for the incomplete post
Josef Raddy says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm
There was no Great Famine ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_famines
Not to seem insensitive, but this is a quote from your link
Although the potato crop failed, the country was still producing and exporting more than enough grain crops to feed the population. Records show during the period Ireland was exporting approximately thirty to fifty shiploads per day of food produce. As a consequence of these exports and a number other factors such as land acquisition, absentee landlords and the effect of the 1690 penal laws, the Great Famine today is viewed by a number of historical academics as a form of either direct or indirect genocide.[8]

michael hart
January 5, 2014 8:14 pm

Put some simple mathematics in a verbal argument, like Malthus did, and it somehow becomes more valid in many peoples mind. I think it is due to fear of mathematics. This opens the door to enslavement by other people with computer models. Frank Herbert understood this. Perhaps we are exceptional because computing power first became widely available in our lifetimes, but the problem needs addressing.

January 5, 2014 8:16 pm

There is a fallacy very well described by Dr. Tim Ball that man alone can not self-regulate the population, and there is the need to impose another family planning.
Just to confirm the arguments of Dr. Tim will put Brazil’s example that through urbanization and education, universal health program in five decades passed the fertility rate of 6.3 children per women in 1960 to 1.7 in 2013. At no time was taken a government family planning campaign, simply because the Catholic Church, very strong in Brazil, prevented the institutionalization of this type of public policy, couples itself adopted their own successful family planning.

Rud Istvan
January 5, 2014 8:27 pm

Dr. Ball, please familiarize yourself with the idea of carrying capacity. Then apply to the globally dominant species homo sapiens in all environments/ecosystems. Then apply inevitable resource limitations. I suggest using liquid transportation fuels as the limiting constraint.
You will find in the hard geophysical data a rather conclusive refutation of this Pollyanna post.
The issue to be engaged is not CAGW, nor even AGW. It is simply that we as an exploitative species soon loose the ability to annually produce enough fossil fuel to continue as before.

pwl
January 5, 2014 8:38 pm

If one thinks the planet is over populated please start the depopulation with yourself. Thanks for giving the rest of us who want to live the consideration of your going first to set the example.
#AfterYou

Berényi Péter
January 5, 2014 8:55 pm

Rud Istvan says:
January 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm
It is simply that we as an exploitative species soon loose the ability to annually produce enough fossil fuel to continue as before.

As an exploitative species we have lost the ability to put ever more horses on the streets of our cities as before. So what?
How Much Horse Manure Was Deposited on the Streets of New York City Before the Advent of the Automobile, and What Happened to It?
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt0mk1b09NM&w=640&h=360]

January 5, 2014 8:55 pm

MattS says:
“But what do you do when you move out to the boonies and away from everyone then find 10 years down the line that your isolated out of the way spot is now one of the choice places?”
That’s one of the new problems, isn’t it? I guess then you will sell out the land you bought extremely cheaply because no one wanted it, and pocket $millions. Then move to the next out of the way place.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Rud Istvan says:
“The issue to be engaged is not CAGW, nor even AGW. It is simply that we as an exploitative species soon loose the ability to annually produce enough fossil fuel to continue as before.”
I generally agree with your posts, Rud, but that particular comment sounds very Malthusian.
Humans always manage. When the talk was ratcheting up about the end of fossil fuels, what happened? Fracking provided huge new sources of fossil fuels — so much so that the cost plunged. There are no shortages, and in fact, now the talk is about the US supplanting Saudi Arabia as the world’s top producer.
Here is how it works in the real world: we do not suddenly run out of fossil fuels. The supply slowly dwindles, and as it does, the price gradually rises. As the price rises, other alternative energy sources become cost competitive and begin to take the place of fossil fuels.
There is available energy, and there always will be. Also, the global population is forecasted to peak by around 2050, and gradually decline after that. There really is no emergency, so long as governments allow the free market to work.
But of course, there are forces in government that would prefer to constrain the availability of cheap energy, since that would cause the populace to squeal. Then the government — the original cause of the shortage — will step in, and proclaim that it is the savior, thus entrenching its bureaucrats in their job security. It is already happening: witness Obama’s promise to make energy prices skyrocket. There is no legitimate reason for that. But that is not to say there are not very self-serving reasons for the shortages that he, through his EPA, is causing.

n.n
January 5, 2014 9:03 pm

The world is not overpopulated, but it is underutilized.
That said, the population control protocols, especially elective abortion through lethal injection or dismemberment, represents an unprecedented denial of our inalienable right to life. There has never been a period in history where as many human lives were callously terminated and for nothing more than sex, money, ego, or convenience. Modern men and women are not only selfish but they are actual ghouls.
Oh, well. Whether it is devaluation of capital and labor through printed wealth in bubble economics, or devaluation of human life through classifying it as interchangeable and disposable throughout its evolution from conception to death in planned parenthood, we have embraced the Dodo Dynasty with a remarkable vigor.

January 5, 2014 9:08 pm

n.n,
That’s a fact, isn’t it? It is hard to believe how low our society has descended in a very short time. Truly, the most helpless creatures of all — those who depend on us completely to take care of them — are destroyed in the most vile ways imaginable. I still shudder to think about the Planned Parenthood doctor who killed thousands with his bare hands by literally twisting their heads off while they were alive. And he was just one out of thousands.
I sincerely hope that at some point there will be no-holds-barred retribution.

January 5, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks Dr. Ball. This a very interesting article.
A couple of years ago I attended a lecture by a professor at Florida International University where he presented two other college professors from California that not only professed CAGW but overpopulation catastrophe and peak-oil, peak-food, peak-everything.
Afterwards, when I came out of the lecture hall I invited the two professors to kill themselves.
They would not oblige. I did not go back to FIU.

January 5, 2014 9:15 pm

Several points:
“Are you asserting that when the population increases there are more jobs? ”
I don’t know if he is, but I am. The model “fixed number of jobs, variable number of people, unemployment rate determined by the difference,” which you seem to have in the back of your mind, is wildly inconsistent with casual observation. From the American Revolution to the present, population has increased by about two orders of magnitude, from a bit under three million to a bit over 300 million. Yet during that period, the unemployment rate has been above ten percent for only about one year out of ten, always under unusual economic conditions. Can you seriously interpret that as two independent variables that just happen to move almost perfectly in sync for two hundred years?
So far as the claim that overpopulation is the cause of poverty, it doesn’t fit observation. Forty or fifty years ago, when population played the same role in public discourse that warming does now, I calculated population density by country to see what countries were most densely populated. The five top ones were two rich European countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) and three Asian countries in the process of becoming rich (Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore). Hong Kong, which didn’t make the list because it wasn’t a country, had about ten times the population density of Singapore, the densest on my list–and between then and now its per capita income passed that of the U.K. India and China had big populations but were also very large countries so did not have extraordinarily high density..
I should probably add that I’ve been part of this argument for a very long time. You can find a piece of mine from 1972 criticizing the then orthodox view that increased population was clearly a bad thing webbed at:
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Laissez-Faire_In_Popn/L_F_in_Population.html
And I should probably add that I think Malthus is falsely claimed by the people who believe in the population problem and falsely attacked by those who don’t, neither of which seem to have read him. He made a prediction and it turned out to be wrong, but it wasn’t a prediction of catastrophic overpopulation.

Mac the Knife
January 5, 2014 9:30 pm

Pat Frank says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm
Steve B, letting some land lie fallow is the system Holland and England abandoned in favor of crop rotation. Crop rotation uses all the fields all the time, with different crops rotating through them. Hence the name: crop rotation.
Pat,
Rotating from a corn crop into a simultaneous planting of oats and alfalfa in the following spring produces a crop of annual oats AND establishes alfalfa as a perennial crop for the next 3 years or so. The alfalfa fields produce 3 cuttings of haylage or baled hay per year while the soil is not tilled and the alfalfa sod remains undisturbed. The alfalfa roots fix nitrogen in the soil for the 3 year duration while the soil ‘lays fallow’. It’s the best of both methods!
MtK

R. de Haan
January 5, 2014 9:32 pm

Great article Dr. Ball, good to address this subject because Agenda 21 is currently rolled out in Europe and the financial crises aimed to eliminate the Middle Class and transform the consumer society is part of the plot. That’s why your article and Matt Ridley’s “When idea’s have sex” make such a convincing counter argument.
Let there be no misunderstanding here: the establishment is waging war on the world population and we’re quickly entering the phase where we arrive in a “it’s them or us” situation.
This is not a joke. Also visit http://green-agenda.com

January 5, 2014 9:33 pm

Roger Dewhurst says:
“Breeding to maximise population favours the wealthy but that is all.”
Where to begin? How about like this: that statement is flat wrong.
As David Friedman points out above, a growing population creates wealth for everyone. The faster the US population grew, the more equally the wealth was allocated. As population growth began to slow, wealth became more concentrated in the “top 1%”.
The more people there are, the better off everyone is. There is more opportunity. There are more jobs. People are happier in general. You can observe that in numerous countries, and you do not need to limit your observations to North and South Korea, or the old East & West Germany.
The current US government is deliberately implementing policies that make the population more miserable and poor. That callous policy is designed to give the incumbents more political power. The fact that they point to their opponents with endless accusations of what they themselves are doing is simply a strategy; a tactic. They are formenting unhappiness, in the hopes of cashing in on the very unhappiness they are creating. All you have to do is look, and you can see it.

Khwarizmi
January 5, 2014 9:46 pm

Rud Istvan,
The hydrocarbons on Titan are renewable geochemical ones, not biological. The same is true here on Earth, where hydrocarbons are a crucial source of food and energy for many living things.
Microbes have been consuming hydrocarbons for billions of years–long before the evolution of the photosynthetic organisms required for producing “fossil fuels.”
Did you ever wonder where the diamondoids in crude oil come from?
quote:
= = = =
“We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all
A boom in oil production has made a mockery of our predictions.
– George Monbiot
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/02/peak-oil-we-we-wrong
= = = =

bones
January 5, 2014 9:53 pm

Pat Frank says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm
. . . Proven gas reserves are up two-fold since 1980. Our known oil reserves are about 2.5x higher now than they were then. Here’s a Julian Simon-like suggestion: oil will never become expensive. Neither will energy. Unless ideologues manage to squelch technology by deliberately regulating it into oblivion.
————————————————————-
Reserves are not the issue, and proved reserves are only a small fraction of the known resources in any case. Production rate is the issue. Never is a long time. Unless we find out that crude oil is a renewable resource, I would say that exponential growth in production rate won’t continue indefinitely on a finite planet. And when growth stops it is likely that prices will increase. Interestingly enough, they only have to increase enough to cause demand to cease to increase and you might not say that it was “expensive” yet.

john robertson
January 5, 2014 9:59 pm

@Rodger Dewhurst 7:50.
Sorry I would disagree, government cannot do that, obtain the best standard of living on average…without picking winners and losers,bending the rules, in rebalancing, somebody pays.
The only function of government is to maintain the illusion that we have civilization.
All other activities are theft by government AKA kleptocracy.
Other than maintaining the basic institutions of law, order,equality before the law, property rights (defence), government destroys more wealth than it is worth.
A simple comparison between tribal societies, where you only build what you can protect and trust is local, self defence a large cost, contrasted to western civilization, where we can share extra wealth because we cooperate with strangers.
The expectation of the same rules being applied to all and enforced by those elected and appointed paid actors who begged for these opportunities to play the roles.
Government is a morality play, which must perform to convince the majority of us citizens that civilization exists.
Currently the whole show is in the hands of the B shift and it shows, when people stop believing, civilization vanishes.
When the cost of government exceeds the benefit of civilization, tribalism become cost effective.

Bart
January 5, 2014 10:03 pm

Roger Dewhurst says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm
“When there are more jobs than people… When there are more people than jobs..”
So, jobs are a finite resource which simply spring out of the ground spontaneously?

RockyRoad
January 5, 2014 10:04 pm

Steve from Rockwood says:

January 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm
Should have read “The reason that most of the world is uninhabited is because most of the world is uninhabitable.”

Where I live is desert, and we’re doing fine.
The average annual rainfall here is just 14 inches. I’ve lived in other places where rainfall was just 4 inches.
Now, to the unimaginative man, most of the world is uninahabitable.
To the rest of us, it is pure opportunity, as long as you and other unimaginatives don’t prevent us from taking the challenge.
Henry Ford is quoted as saying: “Whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you are right.”

January 5, 2014 10:13 pm

There is the matter that mineral resources are limited. I think it is better to have more time before we have to mine landfills.
Another matter is that worldwide on average, cultures who believe in being fruitful, multiplying, and outpopulating other cultures tend to have a smaller percentage of their children becoming scientists or engineers, and a larger percentage becoming soldiers or chronically unemployed. They also, on worldwide average, have a smaller percentage of their children getting married.
And as I have seen it, nations believing in faster population growth tend to be more war-like, and I have seen warfare being done in ways to destroy or steal food shipments in faster-population-growth areas, especially in Africa.

Gerald Kelleher
January 5, 2014 10:53 pm

There must be a different Malthus because the sterilized version I see here of an irrational Malthus is a lot different to the ideological one which proclaimed it was a natural law that people die of starvation and why an aggressive tyranny is the driver of life .
Until Malthus came along,evolutionary geology and biology was written by the fossil record in rock strata,a delicate process developed by people like Steno and Smith. Then Darwin,as typical of his age,focused in on a social commentary of Malthus and a one-eyes view of evolutionary biology and ran with it in much the same way they try to squeeze planetary climate through a minor atmospheric gas.
Even when shown the actual texts and where the reasoning of Malthus leads , and it is more a justification for one nation’s dominance over another, people today still retain a one dimensional view when they really,really shouldn’t. I am sure Malthus would be pleased to see his work cleaned up by contemporaries to appear rational but history itself bears the irrationality of it all. I have yet to see any higher reasoning applied to any terrestrial science or astronomy because people can rewrite history when it suits or assert anything and everything without physical considerations.
The perceptions of the historical and technical details are so narrow and designed to promote an individual agenda such as Darwin came up with evolutionary biology that the wider world knows literally nothing about the non aggressive approach of Smith and Steno but boy,are the consequences grave with the narrow view –
“One day something brought to my recollection Malthus’s “Principles of Population,” which I had read about twelve years before. I thought of his clear exposition of “the positive checks to increase”—disease, accidents, war, and famine—which keep down the population of savage
races to so much lower an average than that of civilized peoples. It then occurred to me that these causes or their equivalents are continually acting in the case of animals also.. because in every generation the inferior would inevitably be killed off and the superior would remain—that is, the fittest would survive.… The more I thought over it the more I became convinced that I had at length found the long-sought-for law of nature that solved the problem of the origin of species.” Charles Darwin
“Till at length the whole territory, from the confines of China to the shores of the Baltic, was peopled by a various race of Barbarians, brave, robust, and enterprising, inured to hardship, and delighting in war. Some tribes maintained their independence. Others ranged themselves under the standard of some barbaric chieftain who led them to victory after victory, and what was of more importance, to regions abounding in corn, wine, and oil, the long wished for consummation, and great reward of their labours. An Alaric, an Attila, or a Zingis Khan, and the chiefs around them, might fight for glory, for the fame of extensive conquests, but the true cause that set in motion the great tide of northern emigration, and that continued to propel it
till it rolled at different periods against China, Persia, italy, and even Egypt, was a scarcity of food, a population extended beyond the means of supporting it.” Thomas Malthus
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/malthus/malthus.3.html
“Without consideration of traditions and prejudices, Germany must find the courage to gather our people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation. The National Socialist Movement must strive to eliminate the disproportion between our population and our area—viewing this latter as a source of food as well as a basis for power politics—between our
historical past and the hopelessness of our present impotence” Mein Kampf

Bulldust
January 5, 2014 10:56 pm

As part of my Masters in Mineral Economics I read the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth and “Scarcity and Growth” by Barnett and Morse. The latter effectively debunked the CoR’s efforts. No more need to the said. Significantly the CoR overlooked technological change and material substitution.
Scarcity is essentially a non-issue as far as resource economists are concerned. That’s what markets are for … assuming well-meaning (or not) politicians haven’t tampered with them. Malthus, the CoR, Ehrlich, and peak (fill in your favourite resource) modellers are equally unreliable. They generally make good headlines and increase media circulation. That’s about as far as it goes.

Rhys Jaggar
January 5, 2014 10:58 pm

Having trivial arguments about population density is a bit silly without mapping out what percentage of the globe is either uninhabitable, barely habitable or poorly habitable.
Canada is sparsely populated because vast tracts of it are too cold to allow high density populations to survive without importing food. Unless you have some permanent wealth to trade, risking starvation seems a pretty stupid reason for 10 million people to invade the lands of the Inuit.
Siberia east of the Urals is similar. Yes there is a short growing season, yes some people can live there, but it will never be the density of Shanghai, California or London. The area referred to is vast.
Australia will always be limited to high density populations on the Eastern and South-Eastern seaboards. Much of its interior is desert which can happily support only a small itinerant population. Currently.
Ditto with the Sahara desert.
The only thing about population is whether it can support itself. If the world suddenly gets brilliant at vertical growing ,you may find that cities like London can become semi-autonomous in food. It’d require a construction revolution, but it could happen by 2100. If indoor growing becomes possible in the frozen north, then maybe populations in Canada and Siberia can increase. If water management technology improves, who knows which parts of the world will become bread baskets in future.
The immature thugs who want to stop the poor from breeding should ask what value they add to the world if all they do is work as spies to steal from more intelligent people than them. I would contend they add zero value to humanity. Zero. They are thieves incapable of positive contribution. But they are allowed to breed, are they??

Bulldust
January 5, 2014 10:58 pm

PS> I forgot to add a link. Here is the Google books copy of Scarcity and Growth, for those that are interested:
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=gf-NAQAAQBAJ&dq=inauthor%3A%22Harold%20J.%20Barnett%22&source=gbs_book_other_versions

Toto
January 5, 2014 11:45 pm

Although overpopulation was a foundation of the save the earth movement, it is impossible to get a consensus about it, not even a fake one, so it doesn’t get mentioned much. Global warming is a much easier cause to sell.

Brian H
January 5, 2014 11:53 pm

Phil says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

3. UN population figures I last checked (2012) had the world peaking at aprox 9.5 – 11.0 billion around 2090 – 2110 and then tapering off.

You must look at the “Low Fertility” version of the spreadsheet http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Excel-Data/EXCEL_FILES/1_Population/WPP2012_POP_F01_1_TOTAL_POPULATION_BOTH_SEXES.XLS , previously called the “Low Band”. It is the only one that has ever been close to accurate. Currently, it has the World peak at about 8.3bn in 2049, probably an overestimate. Thereafter population declines, to about about 6.7 bn by 2100.

Richard111
January 6, 2014 12:06 am

When I was born, 1940, world population was 2 billion. Today, 2014, world population has passed 7 billion. I am definitely older than more than 5 billion people on this planet. I expect to be around when world population passes the 8 billion mark predicted for 2020.
Reducing availability or increasing costs of energy will lead to hardship and early death.
Go figure.

Greg Goodman
January 6, 2014 12:28 am

MarkW says:
“GregS, I have never met anyone who promotes population growth for growth’s sake, so stop with the silly strawmen.”
GregS did not even mention population growth, so stop with the silly straw men.
The current futility of ever more production of ever more obsolescent material is sapping our resources and our lives. GregS was referring to economic growth, which is more and more dependant on built-in obsolescence.
We have the technology to build durable machines but we do the opposite. How much more could we advance our standard of living if we did not have the buy the same thing year after year?
The current system keeps us like hamsters in treadmill, madly running day after day consuming more and more resources to stay exactly where we are.

mogamboguru
January 6, 2014 12:32 am

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
So the world is not overpopulated: I’m sure the 300 million women who have no access to family planning will feel a lot better when you tell them that.
Family planning remains the most cost-effective technology we have for reducing poverty.
So the world can produce much more food? Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food.
Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.
///////////////////////////////////////////////
Cheyne, FYI: Zeal NEVER beats knowledge.
What you are stating is just another fallacy in a fallacy: Rain forest is being destroyed, BECAUSE everyone is using palm-oil as a substitute (bio-diesel) for fossil fuels and raw material for the chemical industry – quote:
“Facts about palm oil and rainforests
Palm oil is an edible plant oil which has become a common ingredient in many consumer products. Today, around 50 percent of the goods we use every day contain palm oil, from processed foods to candles, grooming products and “biofuels”. Read on for more information on why palm oil has become so pervasive, and how it is destroying rainforests.”
http://www.rainforest-rescue.org/topics/palm-oil
and
“Orangutans and oil palm plantations
Hanging on – but just barely
Of approximately 11 million hectares of oil palm plantations globally, about 6 million hectares are found in Indonesia1 (in 2006) – and counting. But in many places, these plantations are taking over rainforests, the natural habitat of endangered species such as orangutans.”
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_forests/deforestation/forest_conversion_agriculture/orang_utans_palm_oil/
I could go on for HOURS like this. So please tell me, what your excuse for your own zeal-induced blindness is. Is it, perhaps, white man’s guilt?
http://de.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=white%20man%27s%20guilt
Or, rather, post-colonial guilt?
http://www.academia.edu/3615182/Postcolonial_guilt_and_national_identity_Historical_injustice_and_the_Australian_settler_state
Make your choice.

January 6, 2014 12:36 am

Greg Goodman says:
“The current system keeps us like hamsters in treadmill, madly running day after day consuming more and more resources to stay exactly where we are.”
‘Exactly where we are’?
So you can do without antibiotics? A washer and dryer? Central heat? Electricity?
I would say the current system has a lot to recommend it.

William Astley
January 6, 2014 12:52 am

In support of:
phlogiston says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm
China’s one child policy has some positive consequences:
– The attention that children receive from parents and grandparents is very high – this is good for children’s psychological wellbeing;
– Only the very rich can afford multliple children. This is a kind of eugenics improving the intelligence of the population, even if only slightly. Politically naughty but maybe beneficial.
These factors may explain some of China’s spectacular success in improving its people’s standard of living. Siblings are over-rated.
William:
The assertion/statements (people make statements without supporting logic and facts) above for an increase in population; leading to a better brighter world are not supported by the facts and/or by logic. We must compete with Asia and particularly with China for jobs and for resources. We are losing. The solution is to our problems is not an increase in population of the world. Our problems are more complicated than that. The Developed countries are spending is not sustainable. They are spending more than they take in taxes and the developed countries have started to print money. That road leads in every case in the past has lead to currency collapse, riots, and wars. We are heading for an economic war with China as certainly as winter follows summer. The most recent issue of the Economist layed out the parallels with the rise of power of China and the ambitions of China and the conditions that lead to the First World War.
http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300190526
When the Money Runs Out, The End of Western Affluence
In order for an increased in population to result in more demand, the children born into a country must finish high school, must have a work ethic, and must get a job. That is not the case for many children born in the developed world. China can make rules, does make rules, and can enforce rules; that gives China a competitive advantage over the US and the other developed countries. (See loss of 30% of the US manufacturing jobs above.)
In the Developed countries on the other hand we have incentives for the poor (those how cannot afford to raise their children and that do not have a stable household in which to raise their children) to have more children and the rich to have no children (The more affluent Americans are so busy making money they do not have time to get married and/or do not care to have children. The lack of children in stable economically sound families is a problem.) The more children a single mother has the more subsidies the mother receives (the subsidies/per single family household are twice the average salary of an American family) and the more likely it is that the children and mother are on welfare and/or have problems with the children such as drugs, gangs, and drugs. (No surprise there.)
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-number-of-children-living-in-single-parent-homes-has-nearly-doubled-in/
The number of US children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled in 50 years: Census data
Today, one-third of American children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father. Nearly five million more children live without a mother. Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, blames this trend for many of society’s ills. He claims the way to deal with poverty, drugs, crime and other hot-button cultural issues is to strengthen the two-parent family. Deal with absent fathers, he says, and the rest follows. A growing number of studies show that fatherlessness has a major negative impact on the social and emotional development of children.

Dr. Strangelove
January 6, 2014 12:57 am

The world is not overpopulated. If Alaska had the population density of Hong Kong, you can put all 7 billion people in it and still have a vacant space the size of Texas and the rest of the world will be uninhabited. There are more cows than humans by weight and they eat more food and drink more water than all 7 billion people on earth. The world has too many cows.

Seattle
January 6, 2014 1:08 am

Why not read some von Mises? See http://mises.org/books/humanaction.pdf
Human Action p. 668
“Nonhuman beings are entirely subject to the operation of the biological saw
described by Malthus. For them the statement that their numbers tend to
encroach upon the means of subsistence and that the supernumerary specimens
are weeded out by want of sustenance is valid without any exception…. But the case is different with man. Man integrates the satisfaction of the purely zoological impulses, common to
all animals, into a scale of values, in which a place is also assigned to specifically
human ends… Man does not blindly submit to a sexual stimulation like a bull; he refrains from copulation if he deems the costs—the anticipated disadvantages—too high… Rationalization of sexual intercourse already involves the rationalization of proliferation. Then later further methods of rationalizing the increase of progeny were adopted which were independent of abstention from copulation…In the last hundred years the technique of contraceptive devices has been perfected and the frequency of their employment increased considerably”
Human Action p. 136
“Labor is more scarce than material factors of production. We are not dealing at this point
with the problem of optimum population. We are dealing only with the fact
that there are material factors of production which remain unused because
the labor required is needed for the satisfaction of more urgent needs. In our
world there is no abundance, but a shortage of manpower, and there are
unused material factors of production, i.e. land, mineral deposits, and even
plants and equipment.”

Seattle
January 6, 2014 1:37 am

>William Astley says:
>We must compete with Asia and particularly with China for jobs and for resources… We are heading for an economic war with China as certainly as winter follows summer
I don’t understand this mindset. Do you also worry about competing with your neighboring state, neighboring city, or your neighbor? If your neighbor is impoverished, have you “won”?
>When the Money Runs Out, The End of Western Affluence
A better title would be “When Other People’s Money Runs Out, The End of Socialism”
> that gives China a competitive advantage over the US and the other developed countries.
Perhaps. Yet US will still have a comparative advantage. See the Ricardian Law of Comparative Advantage.
>See loss of 30% of the US manufacturing jobs above.
US has also lost most of its agricultural jobs – few people are farmers. Yet, Americans still eat.
>A growing number of studies show that fatherlessness has a major negative impact on the social and emotional development of children.
Women do not often need fathers for their children when they have tools to put the men into slavery (“child support”) and steal money from entirely unrelated third parties (“welfare”).

CodeTech
January 6, 2014 1:48 am

Rhys Jaggar, bad choice using Canada as an example, since some of us regulars live here.
In fact, the habitable portion of Canada, say the main Provinces, are not even at 1% of their potential. This land could easily support 100x the population without encroaching into the Arctic regions. Even if you drew the line at, say, where Edmonton is, you’re looking at a 50 fold increase possible, with the only problem being the fact that immigrants tend to not be good at handling the cold (Edmonton is the farthest north major city in North America).
And if you round the population down to make the math easier, 30 million times 50 is 1.5 billion, in the habitable zone that current has the majority of the population and has a growing season long enough to grow significant food.

richardscourtney
January 6, 2014 2:00 am

Tim Ball:
Thankyou for a very fine article. It summarises truth which has often been said but needs constant repetition because it refutes falsehood which is constantly promoted.
The Malthusian idea wrongly assumes that humans are constrained like bacteria in a Petri dish: i.e. population expands until available resources are consumed when population collapses. The assumption is wrong because humans do not suffer such constraint: humans find and/or create new and alternative resources when existing resources become scarce.
The obvious example is food.
In the 1970s the Club of Rome predicted that human population would have collapsed from starvation by now. But human population has continued to rise and there are fewer starving people now than in the 1970s; n.b. there are less starving people in total and not merely fewer in in percentage.
Now – as seen in this thread – the most common Malthusian assertion is ‘peak oil’. But humans need energy supply and oil is only one source of energy supply. Adoption of natural gas displaces some requirement for oil, fracking increases available oil supply at acceptable cost; etc..
In the real world, for all practical purposes there are no “physical” limits to natural resources so every natural resource can be considered to be infinite; i.e. the human ‘Petri dish’ can be considered as being unbounded. This a matter of basic economics which I explain as follows.
Humans do not run out of anything although they can suffer local and/or temporary shortages of anything. The usage of a resource may “peak” then decline, but the usage does not peak because of exhaustion of the resource (e.g. flint, antler bone and bronze each “peaked” long ago but still exist in large amounts).
A resource is cheap (in time, money and effort) to obtain when it is in abundant supply. But “low-hanging fruit are picked first”, so the cost of obtaining the resource increases with time. Nobody bothers to seek an alternative to a resource when it is cheap.
But the cost of obtaining an adequate supply of a resource increases with time and, eventually, it becomes worthwhile to look for
(a) alternative sources of the resource
and
(b) alternatives to the resource.
And alternatives to the resource often prove to have advantages.
For example, both (a) and (b) apply in the case of crude oil.
Many alternative sources have been found. These include opening of new oil fields by use of new technologies (e.g. to obtain oil from beneath sea bed) and synthesising crude oil from other substances (e.g. tar sands, natural gas and coal). Indeed, since 1994 it has been possible to provide synthetic crude oil from coal at competitive cost with natural crude oil and this constrains the maximum true cost of crude.
Alternatives to oil as a transport fuel are possible. Oil was the transport fuel of military submarines for decades but uranium is now their fuel of choice.
There is sufficient coal to provide synthetic crude oil for at least the next 300 years. Hay to feed horses was the major transport fuel 300 years ago and ‘peak hay’ was feared in the nineteenth century, but availability of hay is not significant a significant consideration for transportation today. Nobody can know what – if any – demand for crude oil will exist 300 years in the future.
Indeed, coal also demonstrates an ‘expanding Petri dish’.
Spoil heaps from old coal mines contain much coal that could not be usefully extracted from the spoil when the mines were operational. Now, modern technology enables the extraction from the spoil at a cost which is economic now and would have been economic if it had been available when the spoil was dumped.
These principles not only enable growing human population: they also increase human well-being.
The ingenuity which increases availability of resources also provides additional usefulness to the resources. For example, abundant energy supply and technologies to use it have freed people from the constraints of ‘renewable’ energy and the need for the power of muscles provided by slaves and animals. Malthusians are blind to this obvious truth; for example, Greg Goodman says at January 6, 2014 at 12:28 am

The current system keeps us like hamsters in treadmill, madly running day after day consuming more and more resources to stay exactly where we are.

And, of course, his assertion is blatantly untrue: the “current system” has freed humans from the need for slaves to operate treadmills, the oars of galleys, etc..
The Malthusian idea is wrong because it ignores basic economics and applies a wrong model; human population is NOT constrained by resources like the population of bacteria in a Petri dish.
Richard

January 6, 2014 2:11 am

The 7 billion population figure is a UN modeled projection, it’s not a head count.

January 6, 2014 2:15 am

“I am shocked by how few people, including skeptics,know about UN Agenda 21. ”
Also look up “Planet Drum Foundation” started about 40 years ago.

January 6, 2014 2:16 am

My January 6, 2014 at 2:15 am hit the bit bucket.
[Rescued & posted. — mod.]

richardscourtney
January 6, 2014 2:19 am

Mods:
I write to express exasperation at the WordPress system which has put my post (in this thread at January 6, 2014 at 2:00 am) in the moderation bin for no clear reason.
My post contains no links, does not mention our host, and uses no profanity or other obvious language problem, so it cannot be known how to avoid such pre-moderation. I notice that several similar expressions of annoyance at this were posted by others yesterday and it must add work for the Mods. Is there really nothing that can be done about it?
Richard
[Sorry about that, Richard. Rescued & posted. — mod.]

January 6, 2014 2:19 am

He claims the way to deal with poverty, drugs, crime
Tackle PTSD which is definitely a factor in drugs and crime. And where does the majority of this PTSD come from? Child abuse.

johnmarshall
January 6, 2014 2:32 am

Totally agree.
Environmental groups are criticizing a charity that helps third world peoples dig wells to provide pottable water in each village. This reduces health problems and gives children, who previously trudged miles to get dirty water, time to go to school. Parents also have time to tend crops. The eco argument is that clean water encourages people to have more children who survive into adulthood. CRIMINALLY STUPID THINKING.

January 6, 2014 2:36 am

The current futility of ever more production of ever more obsolescent material is sapping our resources and our lives.
It only looks that way from a certain point of view. In actuality there are 3E21 metric tons of Earth. Divide that among 1E10 people and there are 3E11 Tons per person. There is no shortage of resources. We just need to figure how to use them.
Making things smaller helps. The cost of transistors (in bulk) is still going down.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 2:36 am

MarkW says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm
Gail Combs says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
—-
Mind naming where that garbage came from?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
From Nicole Johnson who uses direct quotes and list pages of references.
Here is an example of quotes:

In a number of reports written over a few decades, CED recommended that farming “resources” — that is, farmers — be reduced. In its 1945 report “Agriculture in an Expanding Economy,” CED complained that “the excess of human resources engaged in agriculture is probably the most important single factor in the “farm problem'” and describes how agricultural production can be better organized to fit to business needs.[2] A report published in 1962 entitled “An Adaptive Program for Agriculture”[3] is even more blunt in its objectives, leading Time Magazine to remark that CED had a plan for fixing the identified problem: “The essential fact to be faced, argues CED, is that with present high levels farm productivity, more labor is involved in agriculture production that the market demands — in short, there are too may farmers. To solve that problem, CED offers a program with three main prongs.”[4] ….

That is pretty darn clear if you ask me. Why are you surprised? The Highland Land Clearances and the Clearances in England and Ireland are well documented as is the present day on going land grab. After all Thomas Malthus made it clear there was going to be a food shortages (and therefore money to be made) and CNN Money has an article Betting the Farm: As world population expands, the demand for arable land should soar. At least that’s what George Soros, Lord Rothschild, and other investors believe.
Here are some of Nicole’s the References:
……
[1] A.V. Krebs, The Corporate Reapers: The Book of Agribusiness. Essential Books, Washington DC, 1992, pp 289-299.
[2] Agriculture in an Expanding Economy: A Statement by the Research Committee of the Committee for Economic Development, 1945. Republished by AstroLogos Books, New York. http://www.AstroLogos.org (Books on Demand)
[3} An Adaptive Program for Agriculture: A Statement on National Policy by the Research and Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development. The Committee for Economic Development. July 1962. http://www.normeconomics.org/adaptive.html
[4] “A Farewell to Farms,” Time Magazine. July 20, 1962. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,896357,00.html
.
.
.
[19] William Sperber, “HACCP and Transparency” published by Food Control, Vol. 16 Issue 6, July 2005, pp 505-509
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?
[20] William Sperber, “HACCP Does Not Work From Farm to Table” published by Food Control, Vol. 16, Issue 6, July 2005, p 512.
.
.
.
[33] “Setting Food Safety Priorities: Toward a Risk-Based System” Transcript of Proceedings. RFF Conference Center, May 23-24, 2001. page 2.
http://www.rff.org/rff/Events/Foodsafety/upload/6621_1.pdf
[34] Michael Taylor, “Reforming Food Safety: A Model for the Future” Resources for the Future, February 2002, Issue Brief 02-02, p. 2.
http://www.rff.org/RFF/Documents/RFF-IB-02-02.pdf
36] Testimony of Michael R. Taylor, JD, Senior Advisor to the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services before Subcommittee of Domestic Policy Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, US House of Representatives, July 29, 2009, p. 8.
http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/2009/07/t20090716a.html
[37] William Sperber, Video of “Global Food Protection: A New Organization Is Needed” presented at Food Import Safety Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison: http://mediasite.engr.wisc.edu/Mediasite/Viewer/?peid=a3f4fe4f0b75482f9f7ec0cd68ff3462
[38] “Cargill Executive Cites Single Regulatory Agency as Necessary” The Food Safety Consortium Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 3, Summer 2009.

Les Francis
January 6, 2014 2:43 am

Here’s a mathematicians take on the argument
Dr Albert Bartlett – Department of Physics Boulder Colarado
Since this video was made I believe he has passed away.
It’s a long lecture but worth the viewing

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 2:51 am

SIG INT Ex says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm
China’s Proletariat has officially abandoned the “One Child, One Family” Policy so beloved by Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Talko of do as I say not as I do.
Al Gore had four children
Maurice Strong had four children
Paul Ehrlich at least exhibits his believe by having only one child.

January 6, 2014 2:51 am

There is the matter that mineral resources are limited. I think it is better to have more time before we have to mine landfills.
Engineers are continually doing more with less. In addition old buildings get torn down and new ones are built with a fraction of the materials used in the old buildings. We actually mine our cities.

January 6, 2014 3:03 am

Bucky’s answer to
Les Francis January 6, 2014 at 2:43 am
http://youtu.be/v7OBTiyMoSE
Do more with less.

January 6, 2014 3:04 am

Not all of what is in the video is practical. So we need to keep trying news designs.

January 6, 2014 3:08 am

dbstealey, David Friedman, good posts, saves me making similar points.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 3:14 am

Janice says: @ January 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm
We are not overpopulated. We are underdeveloped.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Out of the mouth of Babes.
Beautifully put.
I would add the elites are afraid of the middle class because the aggressive new upstarts challenge their position and wealth. They want a two caste system the elite and the serfs they life off of. Agenda 21 is a modern version of feudalism with the Transit Village the equivalent of a feudal estate. The only difference is you get a choice of corporate masters instead of one feudal overlord. This is why massive red tape strangles small businesses preventing more and more people from moving up the economic ladder.
The USA and the EU could improve their economies overnight just by removing a lot of the idiotic red tape but instead they just increase it. link

Patrick
January 6, 2014 3:28 am

“SIG INT Ex says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm
China’s Proletariat has officially abandoned the “One Child, One Family” Policy so beloved by Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore…”
The reason is China will not have enough young people to support itself (Work and pay taxes) in a very few years.

January 6, 2014 3:28 am

Re: oil – I would say that exponential growth in production rate won’t continue indefinitely on a finite planet.
Oil is our starter battery. Fusion is for sustaining civilization. Polywell Fusion looks like our best bet at this time. With Thorium nukes as a fall back position if fusion takes longer than desirable.

January 6, 2014 3:33 am

I don’t believe he claimed that population was expanding at that rate, had, or would in the actual future–only that a stable population equilibrium required that the mass of the population be poor enough to make the cost of additional children high enough to hold the birth rate down to what economic growth could accommodate.
And from what we know today “poor enough” is incredibly rich. In 1800 terms.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 3:36 am

Malthus’s aim was to discourage charity and reform the existing poor laws, which, he argued, encourage the destitute to breed and so aggravated the problem.

That is the problem right there. Poor people don’t breed less when they have less, they breed more!!! The less they have the more they breed. Wealthier people breed less than poor people. Same for education. Don’t believe a word I have just said just look at the formerly developing countries who have become wealthier since the 1960s. Look at global fertility rates. Why are they falling?
And now for some info. Don’t panic.

Population Bomb? No, there’s been a massive global drop in human fertility that has gone largely unnoticed by the media
Mark J. Perry | May 14, 2013
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/05/population-bomb-no-theres-been-a-massive-global-drop-in-human-fertility-that-has-gone-largely-unnoticed-by-the-media/

YaleGlobal, 26 October 2011
Global Population of 10 Billion by 2100? – Not So Fast
With urbanization and education, global fertility rates could dip below replacement level by 2100
………………….
The demographic patterns observed throughout Europe, East Asia and numerous other places during the past half century as well as the continuing decline in birth rates in other nations strongly points to one conclusion: The downward global trend in fertility may likely converge to below-replacement levels during this century. The implications of such a change in the assumptions regarding future fertility, affecting as it will consumption of food and energy, would be far reaching for climate change, biodiversity, the environment, water supplies and international migration. Most notably, the world population could peak sooner and begin declining well below the 10 billion currently projected for the close of the 21st century.
Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division,
is research director at the Center for Migration Studies.
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-population-10-billion-not-so-fast

The Breakthrough Institute – May 8, 2013 – Martin Lewis
“In a recent exercise, most of my students believed that India’s total fertility rate (TFR) was twice that of the United States. Many of my colleagues believed the same. In actuality, it is only 2.5, barely above the estimated U.S. rate of 2.1 in 2011, and essentially the replacement level. (A more recent study now pegs U.S. fertility at 1.93.)…..
…In today’s world, high fertility rates are increasingly confined to tropical Africa…..
…fertility rates are persistently declining in almost every country in Africa, albeit slowly. Many African states, moreover, are still sparsely settled and can accommodate significantly larger populations. The Central African Republic, for example, has a population of less than 4.5 million in an area almost the size of France……
…As it turns out, the map of female literacy in India does exhibit striking similarities with the map of fertility. States with educated women, such as Kerala and Goa, have smaller families than those with widespread female illiteracy,…..
…Thus while the education of women is no doubt significant in reducing fertility levels, it is not the only factor at play……
That television viewing would help generate demographic stabilization would have come as a shock to those who warned of the ticking global population bomb in the 1960s…..
To return to our first map, fertility rates remain stubbornly high across tropical Africa. The analysis presented here would suggest that the best way to bring them down would be a three-pronged effort: female education, broad-based economic and social development, and mass electrification followed by the dissemination of soap-opera-heavy television……”
http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/conservation-and-development/population-bomb-so-wrong/
http://geocurrents.info/population-geography/indias-plummeting-birthrate-a-television-induced-transformation
http://geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/television-and-fertility-in-india-response-to-critics

BBC
Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population
With the world’s population at 7 billion and still growing we often look at the future with dread. In Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population, world famous Swedish statistical showman Professor Hans Rosling presents a different view.
…..
Professor Rosling reveals that the global challenge of rapid population growth, the so-called population explosion, has already been overcome. In just 50 years the average number of children born per woman has plummeted from 5 to just 2.5 and is still falling fast. This means that in a few generations’ time, world population growth will level off completely. And in what Rosling calls his ‘Great British Ignorance Survey’ he discovers that people’s perceptions of the world often seem decades out of date…….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/45/this-world-hans-rosling.html

http://youtu.be/QpdyCJi3Ib4

January 6, 2014 3:47 am

An extremely simplistic analysis by Dr. Tim. Overpopulation is not an absolute. It is a relative measure and a function of among others time, geographical area, sex, age, and education. A good bellwether for population levels is the unemployment rate which even in developed nations is today unacceptably high.

January 6, 2014 3:48 am

Nice one on the future of oil:
http://www.singularity2050.com/2011/07/the-end-of-petrotyranny.html
BTW – women who don’t want to reproduce shouldn’t. Darwin in action. And Darwin is one ugly SOB. But the world that remains will be better for it.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 3:50 am

The UN gives its numbers while others, as we can see, beg to differ.

BBC
Some might consider that an increase in the world population from seven billion to 11 billion by 2100 still represents out-of-control population growth.
But this UN figure – contained in its World Population Prospects, published every two years – is considered by one expert, at least, to be much too high.
When I looked at them I discovered that they were almost certainly wrong,” says Sanjeev Sanyal, Global Strategist for Deutsche Bank, of the latest update of the World Population Prospects, released in June this year.
“If you look at fertility rates – the number of babies that a woman has over the course of her life – in very large parts of the world, those fertility rates are now below what is needed to replace the population,” he says.
“Much of Europe, Japan, large countries like China, even Brazil, don’t produce [the necessary] 2.2 or 2.3 babies [per woman]. Some of them are way below that level and as a result it is almost certain that these huge countries are going to see rapidly declining populations within a few decades from now.”…………………
Overall, Sanyal paints a very different picture from the UN, with world population peaking around 2050 at 8.7 billion and declining to about 8 billion by the end of the century. That’s about a billion higher than it is now, but well short of the UN’s 11 billion.
Both Sanyal and the UN start with the same data – national censuses from 2010. ……..
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24303537

Malthusians hate inconvenient observations.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 3:51 am

William Astley says: @ January 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm
…. A significantly higher minimum wage in Asia would help to create a level playing field and forced balanced trade.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The other option is an import tariff that makes the cost of goods equal. This discourages companies from moving to a country with less taxes, pollution controls and slave wages.
The World Trade Organization, pushed by both Bush Sr. and Clinton got rid of import tariffs world wide and suddenly everyone is in competition and the only winners are the large corporations.

…President Bill Clinton, now the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, publicly apologized last month for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized US rice during his time in office. The policy wiped out Haitian rice farming and seriously damaged Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient….
BILL CLINTON: Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.

Note that for the Grain Traders this is a win because they buy tax payer subsidized grain at below the cost of production and then sell it at a price that deliberately bankrupts third world farmers. Later the prices can be upped to above what the third world farmers were selling. Foreign Policy: How Goldman Sachs created the Food Crisis
As I was trying to point out before, by taking away their livelihoods the peasant farmers are then forced into the cities and desperate for any job. They are therefore willing to work for slave wages. This is a win-win for the large corporations because they have a large labor supply to choose from.
The UK clearances that fueled the industrial revolution I think was serendipity. The ‘Clearances’ in the USA after WWII and the recent clearances were deliberately done to provide the disparate abundant labor the industrialist wanted.

January 6, 2014 3:51 am

A good bellwether for population levels is the unemployment rate which even in developed nations is today unacceptably high.
That was done by government. Milton Friedman once estimated that we could have an economic growth rate of 10% a year if the government didn’t control so much of the economy. Slow growth favors the rich. And guess who controls government?
Audit the Fed.

January 6, 2014 3:57 am

The World Trade Organization, pushed by both Bush Sr. and Clinton got rid of import tariffs world wide and suddenly everyone is in competition and the only winners are the large corporations.
This is temporary. China is becoming “high wage” – so production is moving to Viet Nam. Which will eventually become “high wage”. etc.
How can America remain high wage? Keep inventing.
The world is equalizing. This is probably not a bad thing.

Vince Causey
January 6, 2014 4:06 am

M Simon,
“Polywell Fusion looks like our best bet at this time.”
Problem is, the stated goals of Polywell fusion are always about 2 years in the future. In 2010 they said they would know by 2012 whether or not economic fusion by their method was viable. It is now 2014 and they are no nearer to answering that question. Go figure.

January 6, 2014 4:09 am

Vince Causey,
Yes. You have a point. Except the program has gone dark. It is my belief that they are now developing in secret because it works. If they announce in 5 years they will have a 5 year head start. That is quite a military advantage. If they are not covering up failure.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 4:12 am

The importance of the independent farmer is summed up by this quote I captured years ago.

‘The Socialist Revolution in the US cannot take place because there are too many small independent farmers there. Those people are the stability factor. We here in Russia must hurry while our government is stupid enough to not encourage and support the independent farmership.’ ~ V. Lenin, the founder of the Russian revolution
Quote provided by Anna Fisher

And for those who think the USA would not act against it’s own citizens:
1934, “[Our] future is becoming visible in Russia.” Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Rexford Tugwell http://www.archive.org/stream/rednetworkwhoswh00dillrich/rednetworkwhoswh00dillrich_djvu.txt
September 1995, Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, stated “Food is power. We use it to change behavior. Some may call that bribery. We do not apologize.” UN’s 4th World Conference on Women: Beijing, China. http://ngin.tripod.com/280702c.htm

In 1976, the U.S. government signed a UN document that declared:

Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice;
D-1. Government must control the use of land to achieve equitable distribution of resources;
D-2. Control land use through zoning and land-use planning;
D-3. Excessive profits from land use must be recaptured by government;
D-4. Public ownership of land should be used to exercise urban and rural land reform;
D-5. Owner rights should be separated from development rights, which should be held by a public authority.

This document was signed on behalf of the U.S. by Carla A. Hills, then secretary of housing and urban development, and William K. Reilly, then head of the Conservation Fund, who later became the administrator of the EPA.
Land-use controls found their way into the 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, “Our Common Future,” which first defined the term “sustainable development.” The meaning of sustainable development here defined was codified in another U.N. document called “Agenda 21,” which was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. This document recommended that every nation create a national sustainable development initiative.
http://freedom.org/reports/human-settlements/index.html

jensen
January 6, 2014 4:13 am

I will remind you to visit Hans Roslinds “gapminder”
The birthnumber is not greater now than 20 years ago.
The greater number now in population depends on better Health and thus longer lifelength.
Thus better Life reduces nativity., sometimes too much, but that will be levelled by migration
Look for actual and scientifically correct statistics
The numbers of wasted food visavi developing and developed countries speaks clearly.
Visit gapminder.! Do not get hysterical because of illfounded propaganda.
Have a good Year.
jensen

DirkH
January 6, 2014 4:14 am

William Astley says:
January 6, 2014 at 12:52 am
“[…] Today, one-third of American children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father. Nearly five million more children live without a mother. […]”
Yeah okay, we get it, life’s terrible and then you die, but what does any of that have to do with the size of the population. If the population were half as big you’d give us the same litany, only with half as big numbers.

DirkH
January 6, 2014 4:16 am

Vince Causey says:
January 6, 2014 at 4:06 am
“Problem is, the stated goals of Polywell fusion are always about 2 years in the future.”
That’s 25 times faster than hot fusion; where economic fusion is always 50 years in the future.

Stefan
January 6, 2014 4:26 am

Nature just said she is fed up with growth. I’m done with all this change, She says!
I wonder why people often forget we are Nature, and our biology, deep instincts, drives, and emotions, are far more powerful than our intellectual sophistications about how horrible we are as a species.
Hans Rosling had an interesting presentation that basically, we’d always try to have two kids survive, and as medical advances spread, we started having more survive. Now things are starting to readjust and parents across the world are tending towards having two kids, both of which survive. Things will level out around 9 or 10 billion. We no longer have to pop out six to be sure two live.
As for resources, Howard Bloom keeps pointing out that our imagination and deep drive for novelty (at the level of the mass mind, the global organism of humanity, so no human can change it, it changes us) is what takes the most useless of stuff, like sand, and turns it into new novelties, like microchips. Conservation and limits to growth are complete delusions, there is no conservation in Nature, just stagnation and death. Be creative or die, that’s Nature’s imperative. Materialism is also a myth. We live in a world of matter, and our inventions, be they fashion or phablets, are about connecting with other humans.
And for the Western New Agers who created their own version of American Buddhism, “don’t think, feel!” and all that, become a meditating enlightenment-seeking nonviolent vegan nonmaterialistic drop out, read Ken Wilber’s massive critique of that phenomenon, “Boomeritis, A Novel That Will Set You Free” for the long list of cultural dead ends which they took all the young creatives into, with massive self-loathing and formal self contradictions.
It takes a generation or two to shake out these cultural memes, and then we wake up one day and wonder why China just became the Number 1 Superpower.

richardscourtney
January 6, 2014 4:27 am

Mike Mellor:
Your post at January 6, 2014 at 3:47 am says in total

An extremely simplistic analysis by Dr. Tim. Overpopulation is not an absolute. It is a relative measure and a function of among others time, geographical area, sex, age, and education. A good bellwether for population levels is the unemployment rate which even in developed nations is today unacceptably high.

Sorry, but your post is completely wrong.
Population growth declines with affluence.
There are several reasons for this. Of most importance is that poor people need large families as ‘insurance’ to care for them at times of illness and old age. Affluent people can pay for that ‘insurance’ so do not need the costs of large families.
The result is that the indigenous populations of rich countries decline. But rich countries need to sustain population growth for economic growth so they need to import – and are importing – people from poor countries.
Unemployment rates in the rich countries are high because
(a) their indigenous populations lack people with skills to match demand for skills
and
(b) their indigenous populations include people with an unwillingness to undertake menial tasks that workers from poorer countries will undertake.
Increased affluence in poor countries could be expected to reduce their population growth with resulting lack of people for import by rich countries.
Hence, the real foreseeable problem is population decrease; n.b. not population increase. And this is the underlying reason why there are actions to inhibit developments in poorer countries (e.g. as reported in this thread by johnmarshall at January 6, 2014 at 2:32 am).
I cannot link to my post (in this thread at January 6, 2014 at 2:00 am) which explains the fundamental error of Malthusianism because it is still in moderation. However, if my post ever does appear then I think this link should jump to it
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/05/overpopulation-the-fallacy-behind-the-fallacy-of-global-warming/#comment-1526318
Richard

richardscourtney
January 6, 2014 4:36 am

Mods:
Thankyou for finding and resurrecting from moderation my post at in this thread at January 6, 2014 at 2:00 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/05/overpopulation-the-fallacy-behind-the-fallacy-of-global-warming/#comment-1526318
Richard

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 4:37 am

Rud Istvan says: @ January 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm
….The issue to be engaged is not CAGW, nor even AGW. It is simply that we as an exploitative species soon loose the ability to annually produce enough fossil fuel to continue as before.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No, the real issue is that humans are an adaptive and inventive species.
If the elite with their propaganda machines (MSM) and useful idiots (NGOs) had not interfered we would already be in much better shape economically world wide.
Thorium nuclear was sidelined in 1976, now U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium
This is the type of thinking that is preventing advancing of civilization and aiding the population explosion as a result.

Dear Rod and other experts,
I had the opportunity a few days ago of talking to a bright young anti-nuclear activist about the way Fukushima has helped the anti-nuclear cause. Pretty quickly we got into the difference between what actually happened at Fukushima, and what has been reported about it by anti-nuclear lobby groups such as the one he was involved with.
I braced myself for a debate about how serious the nuclear accident really was, health effects, long term effect, cleanup costs, etc. But I was completely taken off-guard by what he told me right off the bat. He actually *agreed* that the seriousness of the accident was greatly overstated and that the health effects were likely te turn out to be as small as to be nonexistent.
He said that the ideology of sustainability and anti-nuclearism was so important for the future of humanity that facts should be of no concern. Moreover: if the invention of fake information (i.e. lies) about nuclear energy could bring closer the day of elimination of nuclear power from the earth, then that meant that producing and spreading fake information should (and indeed was) a top priority of all anti-nuclear groups….
Finally, I asked him why he thought nuclear power should be eliminated even after he told me that he agreed that nuclear power was good for the economy. His reply was simply that an additional goal of the antinuclear movement (as far as he was concerned) was in fact the reduction of economic activity, since according to him, the greatest cause of ecological damage was increased economic activity.
So in his mind, the fact that nuclear power was a boon for the economy was all the more reason to try to eliminate it. In closing, I told him that a reduction in economic activity would also reduce his own prospects for a high quality of life and prosperity. But he didn’t agree with me. He said that further economic expansion was of no use to him, because he believed in living a simple life.
He said that economic expansion was bad for people because it distracted from the true quality of life, which consists of community and social activities that are mostly threatened by improved prosperity, rather than improved by it.….
http://atomicinsights.com/conversation-with-an-anti-society-antinuclear-activist/

That activist should go live in a remote African village for a few years and see if he still “believe[s] in living a simple life.”

January 6, 2014 4:41 am

richardscourtney,
Very good post @2:00 today.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 4:43 am

Darn it forgot the / in the blockquote close. Mods please fix.

Paul Hanlon
January 6, 2014 4:53 am

This should be required viewing for anybody posting here. It is unmitigated good news re the population, so I give him a pass on his references to climate change.
http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/
Brief synopsis, the number of 0-15 year olds will stabilise at 2BN in ten years time. Asian fertility is 2.5 children per woman, just above replacement rate. Europe and North and South America are below replacement rate. Only Africa is above RR with 4 children per woman, down from 6.5 about twenty years ago. And it continues to fall. Because of technology leading to people living longer, overall global population will stabilise around 2080 at about 11BN people.
Singapore is one of the nicest places to live in in the world. At the density levels of Singapore (7540 per sq km), we would need about 1.5m sq km (just over the size of two Texases). This would include all schools, industry, national parks, entertainment facilities, government facilities, hospitals, etc, etc, etc, and some agriculture, although not enough to feed everybody. At Dutch levels of farming, it would probably require two more Texases to feed all those people, or an area the size of India to house and feed everybody.
And that’s it. The whole of the rest of the world could be totally devoid of humans. I don’t say that this is what we should do, I’m just trying to illustrate that as much as we like to think the world revolves around us, it doesn’t.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 4:57 am

Let’s look at the Joker in the pack. Africa. Does it look hopeless? Maybe, maybe not. Malthusians, pay attention.
ARABLE LAND WARS

Current and potential arable land use in Africa
Year: 2006
From collection: African environment collection
Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
Out of the total land area in Africa, only a fraction is used for arable land. Using soil, land cover and climatic characteristics a FAO study has estimated the potential land area for rainfed crops, excluding built up areas and forests – neither of which would be available for agriculture. According to the study, the potential – if realised – would mean an increase ranging from 150 – 700% percent per region, with a total potential for the whole of Africa in 300 million hectares. Note that the actual arable land in 2003 is higher than the potential in a few countries, like Egypt, due to irrigation.

AGRICULTURAL DECLINE

IEEE Spectrum
Why Africa Can Feed Itself—and Help Feed the World Too
If you haven’t been tracking developments in African agriculture lately—and unless you’re an economist or working for a nongovernmental organization or something, why would you?—then you may have missed the big news: For the first time in a half century, farming in Africa, particularly in the sub-Sahara, is booming.
…..
Even infamously food-insecure Malawi and Ethiopia now grow enough to export surpluses to their neighbors.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/why-africa-can-feed-itselfand-help-feed-the-world-too
————————–
Globe and Mail – 3 June 2013
Neglect of agriculture has been a defining feature of Africa’s economic policy over the last four decades. The future is more promising. Today Africa has become a major destination of agricultural foreign direct investment.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/how-africa-can-feed-the-world/article12305300/

WATER WARS / WATER STRESSES

BBC – 20 April 2012
‘Huge’ water resource exists under Africa
Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater.
They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.
The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17775211

ECONOMIC STAGNATION

The Economist – May 1st 2013
THERE is no shortage of economic growth in Africa. Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2013/05/development-africa

So much for climate change making things worse. Somehow, it’s making things better. It’s worse than we thought.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 4:58 am

I forgot the link for my first quoted paragraph.
“Current and potential arable land use in Africa
Year: 2006
From collection: African environment collection
Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:……”
http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/current-and-potential-arable-land-use-in-africa_a9fd

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 5:04 am

Global warming and noxious co2 has lead to agricultural declines. The future looks very bleak. We must act now!

Abstract – 31 May, 2013
CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments
[1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. …….Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%.…..
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract
_____________________________
Abstract – May 2013
A Global Assessment of Long-Term Greening and Browning Trends in Pasture Lands Using the GIMMS LAI3g Dataset
Our results suggest that degradation of pasture lands is not a globally widespread phenomenon and, consistent with much of the terrestrial biosphere, there have been widespread increases in pasture productivity over the last 30 years.
http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/5/5/2492
_____________________________
Abstract – 10 April 2013
Analysis of trends in fused AVHRR and MODIS NDVI data for 1982–2006: Indication for a CO2 fertilization effect in global vegetation
…..The effect of climate variations and CO2 fertilization on the land CO2 sink, as manifested in the RVI, is explored with the Carnegie Ames Stanford Assimilation (CASA) model. Climate (temperature and precipitation) and CO2 fertilization each explain approximately 40% of the observed global trend in NDVI for 1982–2006……
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gbc.20027/abstract
_____________________________
Abstract – May 2013
The causes, effects and challenges of Sahelian droughts: a critical review
…….However, this study hypothesizes that the increase in CO2 might be responsible for the increase in greening and rainfall observed. This can be explained by an increased aerial fertilization effect of CO2 that triggers plant productivity and water management efficiency through reduced transpiration. Also, the increase greening can be attributed to rural–urban migration which reduces the pressure of the population on the land…….
doi: 10.1007/s10113-013-0473-z
_____________________________
Abstract – 2013
P. B. Holden et. al.
A model-based constraint on CO2 fertilisation
Using output from a 671-member ensemble of transient GENIE simulations, we build an emulator of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration change since the preindustrial period. We use this emulator to sample the 28-dimensional input parameter space. A Bayesian calibration of the emulator output suggests that the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%. It is important to note that we do not represent all of the possible contributing mechanisms to the terrestrial sink. The missing processes are subsumed into our calibration of CO2 fertilisation, which therefore represents the combined effect of CO2 fertilisation and additional missing processes.
doi:10.5194/bg-10-339-2013

Espen
January 6, 2014 5:05 am

Jørgen Randers of the club of Rome and coauthor of “Limits to Growth”, now “professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School” (see http://www.bi.edu/research/employees/?ansattid=fgl99096), managed to get in the limelight in Norway again one year ago when he argued for a one child policy and the need for authoritarian regimes in order to cope with climate change. Apparently, he wrote a new apocalyptic book in 2012 (http://www.2052.info).

James Strom
January 6, 2014 5:09 am

I’m surprised to see so many people with poor reading comprehension. Right there in Dr. Ball’s essay is a demonstration that population growth is leveling off. The solution to the Malthusian problems doesn’t even depend on the green revolution or the technological revolution, as brilliant as some of the scientists behind those revolutions were. People are having fewer children. That’s true not only in advanced technological societies, which are beginning to panic because of population deficits, but even the traditionally fertile societies of Asia, Africa, and South America. See, for example, the writings of Nick Eberstadt or Ben Wattenberg for explanations.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 5:13 am

GregS says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm
Global warming appears to be exaggerated, but I’m all for reducing world population, and I’m fed up with growth for growth’s sake.

How do you suggest we do that? Since you posted first you might have read all the comments and references. Do you think population growth is really as bigger problem now than when you first posted your comment?

Mark
January 6, 2014 5:19 am

I’ll just leave this here I think:
“What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint) is our teeming population. Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us . . . . In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.”
-Tertullian, Carthage, 2nd century Ad
Frankly, if Thomas Malthus hadn’t written his daft “theory”, someone else would have, and we’d be talking about Brownian or Smithian overpopulation theories or what-have-you. Don’t expect these idiots to disappear any time soon just because they’ve been wrong every single time for the last two-thousand-plus years 😀 .

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 5:22 am

Cheyne Gordon says:
January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm
So the world is not overpopulated: I’m sure the 300 million women who have no access to family planning will feel a lot better when you tell them that.
Family planning remains the most cost-effective technology we have for reducing poverty.
So the world can produce much more food? Tell that to the elephant, orang-utan and tiger. I’m sure they will happily give up their habitats for you to grow more food.
Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.

You are getting waaaay over excited. Read all the references above. People in Africa and Asia are better off today than their grandparents. People are living longer. Slums are a part of development, they will reduce as nations develop. Take a chill pill man.
This is the problem with crazed Malthusians. They talk about the ‘population problem’ and remain silent on THEIR proposed solutions. I will ask it here, what solutions aside from family planning do you propose? I don’t think anyone here opposes voluntary and affordable family planning for all.
PS The Club of Rome et al would do themselves much good if they looked ahead towards the end of this century and even beyond. Some of the problems can already be seen in Singapore and Japan. Over population will not be our problem in 2100. ;-(

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 5:28 am

Seattle says: @ January 6, 2014 at 1:37 am
….Women do not often need fathers for their children when they have tools to put the men into slavery (“child support”) and steal money from entirely unrelated third parties (“welfare”).
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
They also do not need to look for jobs when the welfare pay is higher that minimum wage. Men do not need to look for jobs when they can bully those women in to supporting them off those welfare payments. For example a guy I know has 52 children and is known for his abusiveness…
Fabien George Bernard Shaw, said “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”
Altruism has nothing to do with welfare payments. It is all about power and control.
Shaw, a believer in Eugenics also said.

“The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent
human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us a to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?”
Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable and Co., 1934), p. 296
“Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well.”
George Bernard Shaw: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, 1928, pg. 470)
link

I do not want to be around when this consolidation of power is finished and the other shoe drops.

M Courtney
January 6, 2014 5:30 am

I’ve been trying to think of case studies to illustrate how resources are running out.
But I can’t think of anything that we used to be able to do that we can’t do now.
Can you?
In fact, I can’t think of anything that we used to be able to do that isn’t more widely available now -except when restrained by regulation.
Anything?
So, with all these extra people fighting for resources, what are we running out of?

North of 43 and south of 44
January 6, 2014 5:33 am

M Simon says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm
North of 43 and south of 44 says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm,
The first mate and I decided on a minimum of three. We have four. Why? We figured the world could use more brain power.
1. An artist
2. Foreign (Russian) language expert
3. Electrical engineer
4. Chemical engineer
I’d say we have been moderately successful in our goal.
_________________________________________________________________
Well the boss and I decided on two but had three.
1. Systems dude.
2. Business owner.
3. Teacher (classroom and instrumental) and artist (musician).
Such is the way of the world huh?

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 5:37 am

@Cheyne Gordon
There were slums in underpopulated Victorian England, the heavy use of fossil fuels, public works and legislation got them out of it. There are glittering areas in ‘overpopulated’ India. What am I to take from your meaningless comment.
Even if you halved the population of Nigeria or Calcutta you would still have slums. It’s called poverty not overpopulation.

North of 43 and south of 44
January 6, 2014 5:39 am

When you get down to it the Malthusians want mass murder to occur and for it not to be them that gets their head handed to them.
My vote goes to handing them their heads, that way they lead by example.

Espen
January 6, 2014 5:51 am

Jimbo: “PS The Club of Rome et al would do themselves much good if they looked ahead towards the end of this century and even beyond.”
Indeed! If Jørgen Randers had his way, and one child policy would be globally enforced, the human race would be gone in just a little more than 500 years. But Singapore and Macau are now at a shocking fertility rate of 0.79 and 0.93, respectively, i.e. they’re even doing “better” than mr. Randers suggests! The replacement fertility rate is around 2.1 for industrialized countries (higher for poor countries with higher infant mortality), but today half of the world’s countries, including many developing countries have fertility rates below that (see https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html). Even a country like Germany, which at 1.42 has a much higher fertility rate than Singapore, would be reduced to a mere 100,000 inhabitants if they closed their borders for roughly 500 years…

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 5:54 am

johnmarshall says: @ January 6, 2014 at 2:32 am
… Environmental groups are criticizing a charity that helps third world peoples dig wells to provide pottable water in each village….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Totally agree. This is the one place I see a windmill having a place as long as it is built by the natives out of native materials so they understand it, repair it and build others. Not necessarily just to draw water but for grinding grain, charging batteries, irrigation and other uses where intermittent power is not a problem. The windmill has been around since the ninth century in the Middle East so it is not like the technology is difficult to understand. Finding the needed wood would be the only draw back I can see.
ChiefIO goes into an easy change in primative Ag. practices that works wonders and stops “Desertification” HERE. This was KNOWN in the 1970’s and here we are forty years later with no real improvement despite all the “World Aid” to Africa.

January 6, 2014 5:57 am

Please remember the Danish Economist, Ester Boserup:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester_Boserup
Who contrary to Malthus argued already in 1965, “that population determines agricultural methods”

North of 43 and south of 44
January 6, 2014 6:05 am

Espen,
That method is too slow, they can’t afford 500 years..

January 6, 2014 6:07 am

Dr Ball is no development expert and has little grasp of human ecology and the ecosystems that support mankind – I wish this site would restrict itself to climate science. When it strays into these zones where most have little comprehension but a lot of prejudgements the whole thing gets very messy. There will be an extra 1 billion mouths to feed within the next 13 years…..not in the developed world, but in those regions currently barely able to sustain their present populations. I have been to these places – looked at soil structure, water resources and agricultural potential, and can tell you, ‘industrial’ development is not sustainable….tropical ecosystems do not respond in the same way as the temperate systems upon which the industrial ‘revolution’ was founded. Moreover, that ‘revolution’ was not simply technological….it was founded upon empire, colonialist grab of resources and labour, clearances, slavery and genocide….all too readily forgotten or never known by ill-educated commentators.
It is too easy to slag off the early ecologists like Ehrlich or the Club of Rome. In my perception, they just got the timing wrong. You cannot have a ‘post industrialisation’ in regions where you don’t have industrialisation to start with. And the reason not all of the world is industrialised is because the resources are not there at the same cheap colonial prices that underpinned the first industrialists. Only China, Russia, Brazil, India and Indonesia can afford to grab what resources are left – and their populations are relatively stable. Their GDP growth rates are between 5-8% and so is their return on capital…which is why there has been a massive relocation of industrial global capital…that fuels more demand.
But the crunch has to come….oil has peaked in production (forget the new 100 billion barrels of new shales and tarsand fields….that’s 3 years supply at current rates of use). Agricultural production has also reached a plateau. The limits are not now technological….but physical: underground water, soil, and protective forests….these cannot be ‘consumed’ in some new industrial revolution in the tropics. As the oil becomes more expensive, the industrialised north will struggle to maintain social stability. Anyone who believes nuclear technology can rescue that situation is living in cloud-cuckoo land.
Why oh why does being a sceptic on climate change science also ally with ill-informed, anti-environmentalist naive belief systems on the never-ending American Dream of increasing material wealth? I despair!

Steve R W
January 6, 2014 6:07 am

Overpopulation, Malthus and poor old Giammaria Ortes is left feeling out in the cold. Where is the love?
People should at least know his part in human history.
Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated The Myth of “Carrying Capacity”
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
Printed in The American Almanac, June 20, 1994
During their preparations for the United Nations’ so-called International Conference on Population and Development, scheduled to be held in Cairo in September of this year, the genocidal bureaucrats of the U.N. are seeking to condition governments and public opinion worldwide to accept the notion of a “carrying capacity” for our planet. In other words, the U.N. butchers would like to establish scientific credibility for the idea that there is an absolute theoretical maximum number of persons the earth can support. Some preliminary documents for the Cairo conference set a world population level of 7.27 billion to be imposed for the year 2050, using compulsory abortion, sterilization, euthanasia and other grisly means. It is clear that the U.N. and its oligarchical supporters seek to exterminate population groups in excess of the limit.
Academic kooks like David Pimentel of Cornell University argue that the earth’s carrying capacity is even lower, and claim that their studies show the need to cut world population down to 2 billion, the “optimum human population” of “number of people the planet can comfortably support.”
But where does the idea of “carrying capacity” come from? Is there any scientific basis for attempting to posit any limit for the human family? There is none whatsoever. An examination of the history of the “carrying capacity” argument reveals that it originated as one of the epistemological weapons of the dying Venetian Republic during the late eighteenth century–that is, of one of the most putrid, decadent, and moribund oligarchical societies the world has ever known. The originator of the “carrying capacity” argument was Giammaria Ortes, a defrocked Camaldolese monk and libertine, who in 1790, in the last year of his life, published the raving tract Reflections on the Population of Nations in Relation to National Economy. Here Ortes set the unalterable upper limit for the world’s human population at 3 billion.
http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/giammaria-ortes-the-decadent-venetian-kook-who-originated-the-myth-of-carrying-capacity/

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 6:16 am

“SIG INT Ex says:@ January 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm
China’s Proletariat has officially abandoned the “One Child, One Family” Policy so beloved by Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore…”
Patrick says: @ January 6, 2014 at 3:28 am
The reason is China will not have enough young people to support itself (Work and pay taxes) in a very few years.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
There is another problem.
In Chinese culture the woman becomes a part of the man’s family. The MAN takes care of his parents in their old age so females fetuses were aborted until a son was conceived. China now has a very lopsided demographics. …It is not only a population problem, but also a grave social problem as many men will fail to find a wife. It’s estimated that by 2020, China will have 24 million more men than women of marriageable age on the mainland.

Janice
January 6, 2014 6:19 am

Gail Combs says: January 6, 2014 at 3:14 am
Janice says: @ January 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm
We are not overpopulated. We are underdeveloped.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Out of the mouth of Babes.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks, Gail. Haven’t been called a “babe” in many years.

RockyRoad
January 6, 2014 6:28 am

richardscourtney says:
January 6, 2014 at 4:27 am


Population growth declines with affluence.
There are several reasons for this. Of most importance is that poor people need large families as ‘insurance’ to care for them at times of illness and old age. Affluent people can pay for that ‘insurance’ so do not need the costs of large families.

I disagree, richard.
I believe affluent people care more for material things than for other people.
So they have less kids because kids cost a lot of money, take a lot of time, and are a life-long challenge.
God doesn’t give children to selfish people.

R. de Haan
January 6, 2014 6:34 am

Josef Raddy says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm
There was no Great Famine ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_famines
Of course there was a Great famine, that;s why we now have more Irish living abroad than living in Ireland but it wasn’t a famine caused by lack of food.
During the entire famine Ireland was exporting food to the England.
It was a famine caused by poverty.
Now the US and the UN have used this “weapon” again by introducing the bio fuel mandate and the loss of dollar value.
The bio fuel mandate, processing food crops into bio fuel hiked food prices and in combination with the loss of US dollar value this triggered the food protests that started in Tunis and Egypt where over 50% of the population couldn’t afford their daily bread anymore.
Destabilizing the Middle East and promoting conflict was the principal objective of Obama, the UN and the EU.
Now the entire Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, North, East and Central Africa is turning into a slaughterhouse. All conform “The Agenda”.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2014 6:37 am

Precise, with a great foundation and on point is Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies, examining and damning the foundation and legacy of the Hegelian dialectic as particularly used by Marx. Popper followed ‘Open Society’ with The Poverty of Historicism.
None of Popper is amenable to weak post-modern minds as his masterworks, including The Logic of Scientific Discovery, that gave us falsification as a solution to the Problem of Demarcation of science from non-sense, are ~800 pages footnoted and annotated.

Patrick
January 6, 2014 6:38 am

“Peter Taylor says:
January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am”
Well I have been to Ethiopia and all I see is official corruption, everwhere, at the expense of people. Poor people in rich countries funding rich people in poor countries. The land can support the population. Now lets not talk about “multinationals” and “Govn’ts” evicting peoples from their lands in favour of “carbon sequestration” projects!

MarkW
January 6, 2014 6:39 am

bones says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm
——————
Any review of the history of oil extraction shows that we are far from running out of cheap oil.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 6:43 am

TRM says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm
—————
Still seeing what you want to see, I see.
The US budget surplus was accomplished by controlling welfare costs. The small drop in defense spending was a very small part of it.

wws
January 6, 2014 6:45 am

Peter Taylor’s comment reminds me of my ever-so-well meaning relatives on the left coast who are very earnest in their environmentalism, and who never stop preaching about the need for a reduction in world population, for the good of us all.
I take an odd delight in first pointing out to them that they don’t have any problem with population growth in the post-industrial economies, such as Europe, the US, or Japan? They agree, and think that Japan is a marvelous model for the future. (I disagree, but that’s a different topic) I then ask if they agree that the population problem that they wish to see “fixed” is almost exclusively confined to the 3rd world – they also agree with that, and usually remind me how much they approve of China’s population policy.
And then I say “So what this really boils down to is the Rich White People are trying to figure out how to guarantee that a whole lot less brown and black babies will be born, because that kind of thing scares the Rich White People.”
and then they don’t want to talk about it anymore. At least this has stopped them from ever bringing that topic up again if I’m around.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2014 6:45 am

Malthus is DRM free at, for instance, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4239

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2014 6:48 am

It seems illogical to ask about the content of a topic/book under discussion, particularly when it is in the public domain. At least make a bald assertion and retire gracefully on its falsification, rather than shore-up your argument with adhockery infinitely regressing.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 6:49 am

Rud Istvan says:
January 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm
—–
The world could easily support three times our current population if the entire world would start using the most up to date farming technologies.
With every improvement in technology, that number increases.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 6:54 am

Leon Brozyna says:
January 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm
Taking their elitist thinking to its logical conclusion, they would view genocide as a viable option to reining in the growth of human population.

That is exactly what they are attempting in a roundabout manner. They think some of us haven’t worked out what they are up to.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 6:54 am

William Astley says: @ January 6, 2014 at 12:52 am
William:
The assertion/statements (people make statements without supporting logic and facts) above for an increase in population; leading to a better brighter world are not supported by the facts and/or by logic. We must compete with Asia and particularly with China for jobs and for resources. We are losing….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You are just looking at the surface.
WHY is the USA and the EU losing? Because that was the intention of the globalists. They want ‘Interdependence’ but the Chinese are not that stupid (SEE: Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations
To achieve the globalist goal of ‘interdependence’ The US government has intentionally betrayed her people.
Bush tried to get the World Trade Organization ratified and did not succeed. Clinton however did by promising it would not impinge on US sovereignty.

… During the debate on approving the WTO Agreement, the prevailing view was that the multinational pact was not in conflict with U.S. sovereignty generally for two reasons: first, Congress is ultimately responsible for changing the laws of the United States; and second, the U.S. is entitled to withdraw from the WTO if it feels that the DSB abused its power. These arguments were vehemently endorsed by Clinton Administration officials who were eager to get the agreement passed Congress. Mickey Kantor, U.S. Trade Representatives, stated emphatically that “[n]o ruling by any dispute panel … can force us to change any federal, state or local law or regulation. Not the city council of Los Angeles, nor the Senate of the United States can be bound by these dispute settlement rulings.” His assistant, Deputy USTR Rufus Yerxa reiterated that “a WTO dispute settlement panel recommendation does not automatically change U.S. law. It has not self-executing effect …. Only Congress can change that law to implement a panel recommendation.”
But the language of the URAA is even clearer. The features of the URAA are described as follows:
United States Law to Prevail in Conflict The URAA puts U.S. sovereignty and U.S. law under perfect protection. According to the Act, if there is a conflict between U.S. and any of the Uruguay Round agreements, U.S. law will take precedence regardless when U.S. law is enacted. § 3512 (a) states: “No provision of any of the Uruguay Round Agreements, nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, that is inconsistent with any law of the United States shall have effect.” Specifically, implementing the WTO agreements shall not be construed to “amend or modify any law of the United States, including any law relating to (i) the protection of human, animal, or plant life or health, (ii) the protection of the environment, or (iii) worker safety”, or to “limit any authority conferred under any law of the United States, including section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.”
http://www.eastlaw.net/research/wto/wto2b.htm

However once WTO was ratified we get this interpretation from the FDA (old link)

International Harmonization
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/int-laws.html
The harmonization of laws, regulations and standards between and among trading partners requires intense, complex, time-consuming negotiations by CFSAN officials. Harmonization must simultaneously facilitate international trade and promote mutual understanding, while protecting national interests and establish a basis to resolve food issues on sound scientific evidence in an objective atmosphere. Failure to reach a consistent, harmonized set of laws, regulations and standards within the freetrade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreements can result in considerable economic repercussions.

Seems that little tidbit was never mentioned to Congress.
That bit of treachery was bad enough but it gets worse.
Clinton not only orchestrated China’s entry into the WTO he GAVE them US technology! From the New York Times: Clinton Approves Technology Transfer to China
The technology transfer not only included manufacturing type technology but MILITARY technology.

…In return for campaign contributions, the President shifted regulation of technology exports from the State Department to the free-wheeling Commerce department. The administration also relaxed export controls and allowed corporations to decide if their technology transfers were legal or not. When easing restrictions wasn’t enough, Clinton signed waivers that simply circumvented the law. The President’s waivers allowed the export of machine tools, defense electronics, and even a communications system for the Chinese Air Force….
Clinton even involved the Department of Energy, caretaker of our nuclear weapons, in his fundraising schemes. In 1994 and ’95 then Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary accompanied Johnny Chung, John Huang, Charlie Trie, and Bernard Schwartz on trade missions to China. Shortly afterward the DOE relaxed security at US weapons labs. Wen Ho Lee, an ethnic Chinese physicist assigned to Los Alamos, illegally transferred data on nuclear warheads to his private computer files.
In June of 1995, the CIA learned that China had stolen the crown jewels of our nuclear arsenal, including the neutron bomb and the W-88 miniaturized warhead. Later that year National Security Advisor Anthony Lake is briefed on the thefts. He is replaced on the Security Council by Sandy Berger, a former lobbyist for the Chinese government. In June of 1996, before Bill Clinton’s re-election, the FBI opens a formal investigation into the theft of US nuclear weapon designs.
Proof of China’s military intentions came in March of 1996, on the eve of Taiwan’s first democratic elections. China used the threat of force to intimidate the island nation into electing a pro-Beijing candidate. Military maneuvers included bombing runs and launching ballistic missiles that impacted within twenty miles of Taiwan. When the US sent an aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Straits, a Chinese general threatened to “rain down nukes upon Los Angeles”….
link

R. de Haan
January 6, 2014 6:55 am

M Simon says:
January 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm
“Take a walk through the slums of Africa or Asia, and then tell me again that the world is not over-populated.”
The obvious problem in those places is not enough technology.
Women’s literacy (and further educational accomplishments) is the best general predictor of family size”.
Thanks to the UN and it’s NGO’s who thrive on misery.
Chili kicked out the UN NGO’s and took a hands on approach to the problems and solving them.
Today Chili ranks in the top 15 of most free countries in the world…above the USA and soon will be the first developed country in Latin America: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/10/chiles-path-to-development-key-reforms-to-become-the-first-developed-country-in-latin-america#

January 6, 2014 6:55 am

R. de Haan, thanks for the very good TED video from Matt Ridley.

January 6, 2014 7:02 am

David D. Friedman, thanks for the link to your excellent writings at http://www.daviddfriedman.com
Yes, I should have thought of all that, thanks for leading they way.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2014 7:05 am

Mark and two Cats says: January 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm “Freedom, liberty, education, self-determination; these could solve many of the problems in Dr Ball’s excellent article. The common enemy of humanity is liberalism/socialism/communism.”
The common enemy of humanity is progressivism that does not except the right-wing ruling parties. Progressivism is merely the au courrant euphemism for the conspiracy theory of “making things better.”

R. de Haan
January 6, 2014 7:08 am

DirkH says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm
GregS says:
January 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm
“Agreed, and I am, so far, anyway – 49 with no children. Try to follow my lead everyone. A lot of you will fail, which is ok because if you all succeeded that wouldn’t be good.”
“Congratulations for not having offspring. It makes the next generation smarter.”
It is my observation, and not only mine, that it is the educated classes that stopped “breeding”.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 7:10 am

Mike Mellor says: @ January 6, 2014 at 3:47 am
…. A good bellwether for population levels is the unemployment rate which even in developed nations is today unacceptably high.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You forgot to add “because of bureaucratic red tape and interference.”

…Today, the Institute for Justice released a series of studies documenting government-imposed barriers to entrepreneurship in eight cities. In every city studied, overwhelming regulations destroyed or crippled would-be businesses at a time when they are most needed….
…the dreams of individuals are repeatedly crushed:
•In Chicago, Esmeralda Rodriguez tried to open a children’s play center, paying rent month after month while she waited in vain for the government permits she needed to open her business. After a full year of bureaucratic red tape, she finally exhausted her life savings and closed down for good….
•In Newark, several long-term businesses just managed to escape destruction. The city tried to use eminent domain to remove one of the few thriving business areas, but new judicial restrictions on eminent domain put a stop to the city’s plans. Ignatius Paslis was also lucky. Although the city delayed his permits so that his café catering to Rutgers students could not open until after all the students had left for the summer, he managed to survive until the fall, and now his business is thriving….
When governments actually get rid of barriers to entrepreneurship, new businesses open almost immediately. Indeed, removing even a single law can unleash entrepreneurial energy and create hundreds of jobs. Mississippi finally got rid of its requirement that African hair braiders get government-issued cosmetology licenses to practice or teach. The result? A single entrepreneur — Melony Armstrong — trained dozens of women to braid hair and open their own businesses….
America was once known as the Land of Opportunity. It could be again, but not until state and local officials get out of the way of entrepreneurs trying to fulfill their dreams of new business and new prosperity for themselves and their families.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-21-mellor26_st_N.htm

Bureaucracies exist to perpetuate themselves. From the point of view of a bureaucrat, especially a low level bureaucrat the safest action is to STALL until the person goes away.
It has been thirty years and I am still waiting for the information a state of Massachusetts bureaucrat promised me about the regulations on the business I wanted to open. (And yes I badgered the heck out of the guy.)
“Arguing with a Bureaucrat is a lot like wrestling with a pig in a mud hole and half way through realizing the pig is enjoying it!”

M Courtney
January 6, 2014 7:11 am

I asked on January 6, 2014 at 5:30 am
“I can’t think of anything that we used to be able to do that we can’t do now.
Can you?
In fact, I can’t think of anything that we used to be able to do that isn’t more widely available now -except when restrained by regulation.
Anything?”
And Peter Taylor says at January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am:

It is too easy to slag off the early ecologists like Ehrlich or the Club of Rome. In my perception, they just got the timing wrong.

So that’s a No then. Not yet.
Yet this is rotten-jam tomorrow. I can understand the benefits of Hope. It may not be rational but it is beneficial. It can inspire endurance and survival.
But what is the point of irrational despair?

Gary Pearse
January 6, 2014 7:12 am

Steve from Rockwood says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
Indeed Canada has a lot of uninhabitable land, but it’s not the extreme view you take. A lot of my work as a geologist/engineer is in Northern Canada and people live almost all over the place. Yes a high percentage live below the 49th parallel, that is Ontario and Quebec’s major cities. All the western provinces share the 49th with the USA so the pop there is above that line. Your bread, beef, oil, gas, potash, timber and a host of other resources come from there. You Torontonians should get out more.

TRM
January 6, 2014 7:12 am

” MarkW says:January 6, 2014 at 6:43 am
Still seeing what you want to see, I see.
The US budget surplus was accomplished by controlling welfare costs. The small drop in defense spending was a very small part of it. ”
For the USA correct but as clearly stated in my original post the point was “world wide” and “global” NOT just the USA. 100 billion a year dropped into the world’s economy for most of the decade for things other than armaments. That is a very good thing.
We are talking about 2 very different things here.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:13 am

Donald L. Klipstein says:
January 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm

There are huge amounts of all mineral resources in the crust. The problem is that most of those resources are in concentrations too low to mine economically, AT PRESENT.
Each time technology improves, we are able to mine more ore at an economically viable price.
Every time the price of a mineral increasese, we are able to mine more ore at an economically viable price.
Another truth is in how ore’s are distributed. There are very few high concentration deposits, but as the concentration goes down, the amount amount of ore goes up geometrically. Just to put some made up numbers on it, say an ability to mine ore that is 10% more diffuse, means that there is twice as much of that ore available for exploitation. This is one reason why horizontal drilling and frakking have resulted in such huge increases in available oil and natural gas. It’s permitting developers to exploit deposits that were too diffuse using older technologies.
In some places, engineers are going back and processing the tailings from earlier mining activities. New technology has made it possible to economically extract ore’s that were considered trash, only a few years ago.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:15 am

Rhys Jaggar says:
January 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm
—-
One of the scariest things in the world, are people who talk about whether other people should be allowed to breed or not.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 7:17 am

richardscourtney says…
Richard as usual both your posts are spot on. Thanks.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:20 am

Greg Goodman says:
January 6, 2014 at 12:28 am
—-
Speaking of silly strawmen, you are an expert.
If you want to buy high quality stuff that will last for decades, go ahead. It’s out there, it just costs an arm and a leg. There’s no conspiracy to force people to buy stuff that will wear out soon, it’s basic economics. Building to last costs money, and most people don’t want to spend the money.
One of the reason’s people trade in stuff that hasn’t worn out is because they perceive the new to be better. So if you want to stop technological develpment in it’s track, go ahead and mandate that everything made must last for decades.
Finally, it’s a myth that growing prosperity requires more resources. Compare how much material is used in a flat screen TV compared to an old style one of the same size.

mib8
January 6, 2014 7:20 am

“Texas at 7,438,152,268,800 square feet divided by the 2012 world population 6,994,551,619 yields 1063.4 square feet per person.”
That’s not a valid or remotely complete analysis. All land is not created equal. Some land is fertile, other land is not. Some is steep slope, other alluvial plain; some almost solid rock (and the rock varies, too), other rich loam; some desert, some swamp, some tundra, some rain-forest…
And then even if all land were equal, one must make a judgement call on how many square feet or square miles per person is “optimal”, all things considered. The last I checked, large areas of Montana and Wyoming had about 16 people per square mile. That feels only a bit over-crowded, to me; and in that area there are crowding problems amongst the ferrets, prairie dogs, wolves, bison, elk, dogs, and humans (with associated disease issues, from brucellosis to black plague, brought over from eastern India in about 1895 through Asia and then spread throughout the rodent population of California, then intentionally transferred in an effort to kill off prairie dogs), and forage quality issues. Meanwhile, Union City, NJ, has about 10K people/square mile; totally unfit for a free human, IMO, but others might not be comfortable unless they were living 6 to a room and thousands per square mile. It’s important to try to keep that choice open.
But then, we have water issues. It used to be that people were spread widely enough that pathogenic parasites and microbes died/were killed off before traveling through water from one village to the next. That hasn’t been the case for at least 50 years, probably more. We use chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, ozone, UV, filtering…
Atlanta, GA, has gotten large enough that the people in Florida complain about the reduction in flow of the Chattahoochee river, and reduction in mussel and shrimp populations as a result. California, Nevada, and Arizona had similar disputes long before. Too many people, not enough fresh and potable water with the technology of the day, without steep price rises or cost-shifting. Trace radioactive element analysis show that what were believed to have been huge multi-state spanning deep, well-filtered aquifers turn out to conduct rainfall only 8-15 miles, over streets, carrying used motor oil and anti-freeze, brake- and other hydraulic-fluids to what were formerly believed to be pristine springs.
My umpty-great aunt+uncle had a 10K acre ranch with over 630 head of cattle, but they couldn’t make a go of it economically, the soil wasn’t rich enough, the sons and sons-in-law had more pressing matters driving them, wars…; now most of it is an ExxonMobil refinery and chemical plant, with shipping docks next to where their home used to be, before the hurricane of 1900… unless you want an apartment on top of a cracking tower; just think of the morning view of sun-rise over Galveston Bay and the delicate scents on the breeze. Just because it is possible to pack people like sardines does not mean that it is healthy or desirable.
Yes, the leftists leveraged projected over-population and notions of eugenics into their schemes for oppression. I certainly argued vehemently enough against such in my econ classes. OTOH, even some of my best economist friends have from time to time fallen into the fallacy of believing that every square inch of land that does not have a building or pavement on it is “undeveloped”. A farm is a developed farm, a wood-lot is a developed wood-lot, a hunting preserve is a developed hunting preserve, a garden is a developed garden, a stand of timber for lumber is a stand of timber for lumber, an open pit mine is a developed open pit mine, a big side yard is a developed big side yard (providing increased privacy amongst other things)… all are valid economic uses of land. Yes, as some things become more scarce the prices go up and we can shift to substitutes. Substitutes are usually better for some human purposes and not as good for others.
“In 1940, 34 species of burrowing rodents and 35 species of fleas in the United States had become plague carriers, thanks in part to the ranchers’ efforts… In 1992 alone, at least 10 cases were reported in the United States. One man in Arizona died from pneumonic plague after handling an infected domesticated cat…” — Edward Tenner 1996 _Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of UnIntended Consequences_ pg39 (Several cases were reported in Florida in 2002, but the same goes for other diseases: malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, meningitis, equine encephalitis, BSE. Higher densities means more effort+cost to control the diseases and more illnesses and deaths.)

R. de Haan
January 6, 2014 7:23 am

Population decline triggered b collapsing birth rates is a long time subject from Spengler, channeled by Asian Times, who wrote entire books about the subject and several great articles: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-03-220713.html#

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:25 am

Rhys Jaggar says:
January 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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Furthermore, your requirement that populations must be able to grow food to support them locally is absurd. It’s much better to put the people where food can’t be grown, in order to leave the productive land available for food production.

Alan Robertson
January 6, 2014 7:26 am

Peter Taylor says:
January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am
“I despair!”
_____________________
Obviously.
Want to change the world? Change your thinking.

RockyRoad
January 6, 2014 7:28 am

Peter Taylor says:
January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am


Why oh why does being a sceptic on climate change science also ally with ill-informed, anti-environmentalist naive belief systems on the never-ending American Dream of increasing material wealth? I despair!

You should despair, because the American Dream isn’t built on “increasing material wealth”–it’s built on American Exceptionalism, Material wealth is simply one of the consequences
And what, exactly, is American Exceptionalism?
Simple: For the first time in human history, a government and country was founded on the belief that leaders serve the population.
All other nations have that in reverse, and America is now going through a reversing transition as well.
Global Warming, like all the other UN-sponsored “people-control initiatives” is designed to get rid of American Exceptionalism. No longer will the government serve the people; people will serve the government and be owned by the state.
We’ll become just like the rest of the world as a consequence.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:28 am

richardscourtney says:
January 6, 2014 at 2:00 am
—–
Another factor is that when the cost of a resource increases, people find ways to use less of that resource. An example is people voluntarily adding insulation to their houses when energy costs increase.

January 6, 2014 7:31 am

An excellent essay. There are surely analogies between the simple-minded notion of Malthus, a notion that was easy for people to think was incontrovertible, and that of those who push the simple-minded notion that man-made CO2 is an important, even dominant, driver of the climate system. They assert the science is settled and not to be argued with. In each case, the layperson can get a sense that they have mastered a profound and basic insight.
In each case, awful suffering has been tolerated because the simple-minded views are enough for people to shut-down both their brains and their consciences. See the Irish and Indian Famines of the 19thC for example – why help those people, it would only make things worse for more in the future? See the bio-fuels causing starvation – why stop that since many more would die from rising CO2? The mindset is convenient for some, and also poisonous, and destructive.
Malthus has been contradicted by observations. So has the CO2 conjecture. But both are so attractive to a ruthless mentality that holds humans in low regard, that I fear they will always be with us.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:32 am

Gail Combs says:
January 6, 2014 at 2:36 am
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The part you quote supports me, not you.
Technology meant that we didn’t need as many people to farm as we used to.
It was the technology that moved those people off the farm.
The conspiracy is in your mind only.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:36 am

Mike Mellor says:
January 6, 2014 at 3:47 am
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Speaking of simplistic, you could write a book on the subject.
Unemployment has absolutely nothing to do with population. It is instead caused when govt created impediments to working.
More people means more demand which creates work.

Bill Hunter
January 6, 2014 7:40 am

The ultimate cause for the “world owes me a living” crowd.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:43 am

Jimbo says:
January 6, 2014 at 3:50 am
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Another problem with the UN projections is some of the assumptions built into it.
The UN assumes that every country where fertility is falling, the rate will continue to fall at the same rate until replacement is reached, and then the rate will stop falling and hold at replacement. Out here in the real world, that has never happened, the rate has always fallen to below, sometimes well below replacement.
The UN also assumes that over the next decade or so, all the countries that are below replacement level will return to replacement level. That too has never happened in the real world. No country that has fallen below replacement level has ever returned to replacement level.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:46 am

Gail Combs says:
January 6, 2014 at 3:51 am
—–
Wow, so much paranoia wrapped in so much ignorance. Let me guess, you work for the UN.
1) The WTO has not eliminated tarrifs world wide. I wish it had, but it hasn’t even come close.
2) If countries are subsidizing the growing of grain that is then being sold to others, that’s the stupidity of politicians and only hurts the taxpayers of that country.
3) In your fevered imagination, corporations buying more food causes the price of food to collapse to below production costs?

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 7:46 am

RockyRoad says: @ January 6, 2014 at 6:28 am
I disagree, richard.
I believe affluent people care more for material things than for other people….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
As an educated female, I refute your statement.
When I considered having kids the first thing I took into consideration was their future well being. With my first husband I observed his treatment of animals (pets) and decided he lacked the qualities of a good father. With my second husband I was thirty-five and had been a chemist working with what turned out to be mutagens for years. Shortly thereafter my cousin, two years younger, gave birth to an autistic child. My husband and I discussed the subject and decided not to risk having a child under the circumstances. Instead we now have a small business doing entertainment at children’s birthday parties and tutor for free.
One of the other points missing is the window in which a woman can give birth to healthy babies. It is generally from the early-teens to 35. However on average women in the USA are waiting til they are 25. Fertility rates begin to decline gradually at age 30, more so at 35, and markedly at age 40

Once you conceive, and you get past the first trimester miscarriages, you face a higher risk of conceiving a baby with a chromosomal problem. This risk goes up every year. If you get pregnant at age 25, your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, for example, is about 1 in 1,250, according to the National Institutes of Health. At age 40, the risk is 1 in 100….
…Women who give birth at 35 or older have a higher risk of stillbirth and maternal death…

Higher education means you just cut the number of years an intelligent woman would consider having kids in half.

Gail Combs
January 6, 2014 7:53 am

MarkW says: @ January 6, 2014 at 7:46 am
Gail Combs says:
—–
Wow, so much paranoia wrapped in so much ignorance.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Right back at you dude.
You might try READING.

Observations
January 6, 2014 7:54 am

What most of you fail to understand, is that this is really just about control. Control over the people in how they travel, eat and most of all… their private property- LAND! Tagged animals, tagged trees etc. Oh , and don’t forget people. All of this falls under Agenda 21; which would not have been possible if not for the Global Warming propaganda. And for those that think i’m incorrect,…. i say this: When you have spent 7 years dealing with corrupt local de-facto governments, lawyers, land rights groups and pseudo environmental groups like The Nature Conservancy of Canada, you to will then come to the same conclusion as i did.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:56 am

R. de Haan says:
January 6, 2014 at 7:08 am
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You seem to assume that education is a viable proxy for intelligence.

MarkW
January 6, 2014 7:58 am

Gail Combs says:
January 6, 2014 at 7:53 am
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I have, which is why I can recognize paranoid garbage when I see it.
Anyone who whines about elites robbing everyone else has sacrificed any right to be taken seriously.

Phil.
January 6, 2014 8:01 am

David Friedman says:
January 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm
“Thomas Malthus raised the idea the world was overpopulated. He believed charity and laws to help the poor were a major cause of the problem and it was necessary to reduce population through rules and regulations. ”
Could you quote where Malthus said those things? That does not fit my memory of the essay on population. Nor does most of the rest of what you say about Malthus, which makes me wonder whether you are basing it on reading him or reading second and third hand accounts.
His central thesis as I remember it was neither that the world was overpopulated nor that rules were necessary to reduce population. It was that the optimistic future projected by Godwin and Condorcet was impossible because if everyone was that well off there would be no incentive for people to hold down birth rates, and if population expanded at the biological maximum it would outrun the food supply. I don’t believe he claimed that population was expanding at that rate, had, or would in the actual future–only that a stable population equilibrium required that the mass of the population be poor enough to make the cost of additional children high enough to hold the birth rate down to what economic growth could accommodate. That’s one version of the iron law of wages, other versions of which appear in Smith and Ricardo.

At last about 200 posts before one which actually shows what Malthus actually wrote rather than the mis-statement by Ball!
Malthus argued that it would be better and more humane if the population were maintained by a lower birthrate rather than a higher death rate caused by disease and starvation due to poverty. In the overpopulated cities of Victorian England 20% of children died before the age of 5, the life expectancy was about 40 in the mid-1800s. This in an extremely prosperous country with a consumer boom and rapidly growing industrialization. Large families weren’t restricted to the poor (Victoria had 9 which was typical), the high death rate was predominantly the preserve of the poor in the overcrowded cities.
Similarly in NYC, around 1900 infant mortality was over 120/1000 live births.

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 8:10 am

You often hear that we can’t produce enough food for everyone. The question is wrong. A lot of food crops go rotten before they reach the market in many poor countries due to lack of refrigeration, infrastructure etc The EU had for years been fighting against its food mountains and milk lakes – too much food. Biotech is making advances each year. Food to fuel is not a very good idea. There is no food shortage problem but a storage and management problem.

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
http://www.unep.org/wed/quickfacts/
India: Surplus of grain is going to waste
Agricultural advances have increased India’s grain production, but much of that surplus is not feeding the population.
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120703/business-insider-india-surplus-grain-going-waste

PS
Al Gore has (AT LEAST) 4 children & 2 mansions.
David Suzuki has 5 children and allegedly 4 properties and the list goes on…….
These are the kinds of people we are dealing with here folks. Those who believe that they can live as they want but want others to change their ways. They claim they care for the planet but behave in a way that makes you doubt it. They are the eco-hypocrites of today and please don’t listen to a single thing they have to say.
Read more about the saitly Suzuki who hates overpopulation. 🙂
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/10/11/the-two-suzukis-theres-saint-suzuki-the-one-you-see-on-cbc-and-secret-suzuki-the-capitalist-millionaire

Jimbo
January 6, 2014 8:14 am

Here is a great piece from Haunting The Library on environmentalists’ children and overpopulation.

“Thank You For Not Breeding: Green Hypocrisy”
http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/thank-you-for-not-breeding-green-hypocrisy/

Henry Clark
January 6, 2014 8:28 am

Africa has an average population density of 31 people per million square meters.
Europe, in contrast, has a population density of 73 people per million square meters.
Why is the former, rather than the latter, more commonly referred to as overpopulated?
One of the reasons, aside from racism: “Overpopulation” is in reality mostly a function of technology and economic development, with what gets blamed on overpopulation being a matter predominately of poverty.
Back when the whole world had 1% the population of today, about the whole world was dirt poor by modern standards.
As relevant projections indicate, world population will peak at around 10 to 11 billion in the mid 21st century and then be declining, a result of the demographic transition (including more and more countries already with fertility rates far below the ~ 2 children/woman replacement rate).
Activists speak in terms of vague “resources.” Let’s rather speak in terms of specifics:
Water:
The cost of some modern desalination plants has already dropped to below $0.50/m^3, not much more than non-desalinated water.
Elements:
Let’s start with phosphorus as an example. Activists claim such will run out within several decades (the standard rule for about all doomsaying: a 2 digit number of years, so late enough to be forgotten by most by when the time passes or be after the doomsayer retires/dies but soon enough to scare the naive). In reality, the 190 million tons/year of phosphorus extracted from mines compares to how there is 30,000,000,000 million tons of phosphorus in Earth’s crust. While the concentration of phosphorus in the average rock is nominally low at 0.1%, its needed concentration in biomass is comparably low. When the USGS publishes a figure of 71000 million tons of “identified reserves” of phosphorus at the ore concentrations favored in present mining operations, there is a whole continuum of intermediate concentrations between those and the 0.1% concentration in the average rock.
The elements used most (aluminum, iron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc.) exist at still higher concentrations by far in Earth’s crust, oceans, or atmosphere. For instance, while the Limits to Growth activist book back in the 1970s claimed aluminum would run out within several decades (which didn’t happen o