Opinion: CO2 is the Demon Because Malthus and Ehrlich Were Wrong About Overpopulation

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The world focus on CO2 is simply the end objective of a much larger political agenda. The Club of Rome (COR) and then UNEP’s Agenda 21 under Maurice Strong created a political agenda based on certain assumptions all related to overpopulation.

1. The world and all nations are overpopulated.

2. All population growth is at an unsustainable rate.

3. All nations are using up resources at an unsustainable rate.

4. Developed Nations use resources at a much greater rate than Developing Nations.

5. Developed Nations achieved wealth using fossil fuel driven industries.

6. Developed Nations must pay compensation to Developing Nations for benefits gained at their expense and for hardships and adaptation costs involved in dealing with climate change created by CO2.

7. Reducing activities of Developed Nations and slowing growth of Developing Nations requires a world government.

8. Once a world government is established population control can progress.

Global warming and climate change are simply the emotional threats used to confront overpopulation. The problem is the world is not overpopulated.

The current attack on Developed Nations includes punishment for their success, and for the redistribution of their ill-gotten wealth. It is ironic that they chose Thomas Malthus (1766 – 1834) and his ideas as the basis for their agenda because he argued that increased prosperity was hampered not by inequality of wealth but too many people unable or unwilling to create wealth. He didn’t want across the spectrum population reduction, just a reduction of those who were holding society back. His views and proposals are markedly different than the socialist solutions of Agenda 21. His major work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, proposed what today’s socialists would consider completely unacceptable reasoning and solutions. He wanted the government to end policies that encouraged people to have more children. Instead of reducing the population totally and taking from the wealthy to give to the poor, he wanted fewer poor people born.

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Thomas Robert Malthus

The Club of Rome, under the facade of saving the planet, adopted and expanded the work of Thomas Malthus as an agenda for population control. As one group explains,

Malthus was a political economist who was concerned about, what he saw as, the decline of living conditions in nineteenth century England. He blamed this decline on three elements: The overproduction of young; the inability of resources to keep up with the rising human population; and the irresponsibility of the lower classes. To combat this, Malthus suggested the family size of the lower class ought to be regulated such that poor families do not produce more children than they can support.

This is important for the modern debate because overpopulation is still central and the driving force behind the use of climate change as a political vehicle.

Malthus blamed government social policy and charity for exacerbating the overpopulation problem by encouraging people to have more children. As he explained,

I entirely acquit Mr Pitt of any sinister intention in that clause of his Poor Bill which allows a shilling a week to every labourer for each child he has above three. I confess, that before the bill was brought into Parliament, and for some time after, I thought that such a regulation would be highly beneficial, but further reflection on the subject has convinced me that if its object be to better the condition of the poor, it is calculated to defeat the very purpose which it has in view. It has no tendency that I can discover to increase the produce of the country, and if it tend to increase the population, without increasing the produce, the necessary and inevitable consequence appears to be that the same produce must be divided among a greater number, and consequently that a day’s labour will purchase a smaller quantity of provisions, and the poor therefore in general must be more distressed.

Malthus’ objective was to reform or eliminate the Poor Laws and curtail charity. Unfortunately, his argument lacked hard evidence, and the examples he used were not relevant. For example, he used US population increase that more than doubled from 2 million in 1775 to 4.3 million in 1800. He failed to identify immigration as the major reason for the increase.

Malthus had a crucial influence on the theory of evolution, as Darwin acknowledged in his 1876 autobiography.

“In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long- continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The results of this would be the formation of a new species. Here, then I had at last got a theory by which to work”.

Darwin demanded evidence to support any theory but somehow overlooked it for Malthus. However, he clearly liked the idea of “favourable” (desirable) or “unfavourable” undesirable traits. It suited his acceptance and inclusion in the sixth edition of Origins of Species of Spencer’s phrase “survival of the fittest”. The problem is Malthus

Malthus and Darwin also ignored technology apparently because they were only interested in biological evolution. They didn’t include the Agricultural Revolution that preceded the Industrial Revolution. This omission still pervades society today as many assume evolution has stopped. It is also central to the underlying theme of environmentalism that technology is a dangerous anomaly in human development. It underscores creation of the meaningless term sustainable development.

Alarmism over population growth was central to the ideas of the Club of Rome. It received momentum through Paul Ehrlich’s even more egregious and incorrect book, “The Population Bomb.” The fact that every single prediction Ehrlich and John Holdren, advisor to President Obama for Science and Technology made, have proved completely wrong doesn’t stop extremists seeing the need for total control. Some believe people should not exist. Holdren thinks they should be limited and controlled as detailed in a list of his totalitarian proposals.

· Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;

· The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;

· Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;

· People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.

· A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

Crucial to all alarmism is a mechanism to bypass public resistance to draconian controls, especially in the US with its constitutional guarantees. Holdren proposed a method for bypassing the Constitution by using the Constitution. He wrote,

Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

It sounds very official, legal and plausible until you realize how it cedes control. He is the person who explains how the Constitution could be used in for this purpose. He is the one who decides when the crisis is sufficiently severe to endanger the society. This technique is applicable to any perceived threat, including climate change.

Holdren told his Senate confirmation hearing that he no longer held his views and refused to answer media questions about the views expressed in Human Ecology. His actions and support of global warming and climate change contradict the assertion. Certainly de-development, which is achieved by eliminating fossil fuels, is central. In a 2010 interview, he was asked to explain the thinking behind views expressed in Human Ecology.

CNSNews.com asked: “You wrote ‘a massive campaign must be launched to restore a high quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States’ in your book Human Ecology. Could you explain what you meant by de-develop the United States?”

Holdren responded: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.”

Sir John Houghton, the first co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and lead editor of the first three IPCC Reports, confronted the overpopulation issue differently. In an article for the Global Conversation in Lausanne in 2010;

First let me write a few words about God and science. A few prominent scientists are telling us that God does not exist and science is the only story there is to tell. To argue like that, however, is to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is about. At the basis of all scientific work are the ‘laws’ of nature – for instance, the laws of gravity, thermodynamics and electromagnetism, and the puzzling concepts and mathematics of quantum mechanics. Where do these laws come from? Scientists don’t invent them; they are there to be discovered. With God as Creator, they are God’s laws and the science we do is God’s science.

The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psalm 24), and Jesus is the agent and redeemer of all creation (John 1:2; Colossians 1:16-20; Ephesians 1:16). As we, made in God’s image, explore the structure of the universe that God has made with all its fascination, wonder and potential, we are engaging in a God given activity. Many of the founders of modern science three or four hundred years ago were Christians pursuing science for the glory of God. I and many other scientists today are privileged to follow in their footsteps.

A special responsibility that God has given to humans, created in His image, is to look after and care for creation (Genesis 2:15). Today the impacts of unsustainable use of resources, rapidly increasing human population and the threat of climate change almost certainly add up to the largest and most urgent challenge the world has ever had to face – all of us are involved in the challenge, whether as scientists, policy makers, Christians or whoever we are.

The COR and its manifestation Agenda 21’s arguments are considered neo-Malthusian because they expand his hypothesis to say that the population will outgrow all resources. The threat was laid out in the COR book Limits To Growth. It became the format for all subsequent claims, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Based on totally inadequate data including on population and resource reserves, it was subjected to analysis using very restricted development mechanisms and forced through a computer model to a predetermined result. Economist Julian Simon challenged the hypothesis of The Limits with a bet that resulted in an empirical study. Simon won the battle but lost the war. It is 35 years since Simon made the bet, but still most believe the world is running out of resources.

So the resource and population predictions are wrong, which is not surprising because Malthus was wrong about both. However, many still want to control and limit population. A summary of their proposals is revealing.

  • Malthus wanted population reduction, but he decides which group must decline, but he was a church minister.
  • As an atheist Darwin says nature will limit numbers, but that’s confusing because humans are natural.
  • Houghton wants numbers to decline but claims God gave him the authority to decide.
  • Holdren wants numbers to decline but since he or the political party he supports is superior to everybody they will decide.

The insanity of it all is that none of what they think matters because there is no overpopulation, no shortage of resources or any connection between CO2 and climate change. It is a story of science without evidence or at best-concocted evidence from Malthus through the COR to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Richard111
April 26, 2015 11:34 pm

Well, even if the world is not over populated, going to be a problem feeding the current population with horse and cart technology.

RockyRoad
Reply to  Richard111
April 27, 2015 1:17 am

Given the latter, the former will resolve itself–with starvation. I’m wondering how those who support this form of world population control will preclude themselves from the consequences.

MarkW
Reply to  RockyRoad
April 27, 2015 7:06 am

That’s why they want to be in charge of govt. They will use the armed forces to protect themselves from the proles until such time as a sufficient number of proles have died.

Reply to  RockyRoad
April 27, 2015 8:43 am

Money, RockyRoad, money.

george e. smith
Reply to  RockyRoad
April 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Well right at the top of my current on line AT&T news is another nut job predicting a sixth mass extinction by the end of this century with half of all existing species going extinct and “the asteroid” that causes this sixth mass extinction is homo sapiens sapiens.
I won’t even dignify this idiot by name because that would require me to waste my time going back to AT&T and getting it.
So far as I know, no animal species bigger than a passenger pigeon has gone extinct in the USA for example since that food bird passed into history.
Well I know they say the Eastern elk has gone extinct. Well actually they just went west and they are all over the place out here in California.
But if I was in an academic dead end job and wanted to get noticed, I would claim that what I was working on with my post doc fellow grant, was showing us all being gone in the next 30 year climate cycle.
Well it could be true; all dying of boredom , waiting for the start of the sixth mass extinction.

MarkW
Reply to  RockyRoad
April 27, 2015 9:08 pm

george, they have models that tell them that millions of species that we never knew about are going extinct every year.
Have any of these models ever been validated? Of course not, that’s not how science works these days.

higley7
Reply to  Richard111
April 27, 2015 7:04 am

No horses in the Agenda 21 plan, sorry. No livestock, not machinery, no firearms. Subsistence farming (by hand) is the norm in their plan. Of course, residents at the control center Das Kapital will have everything they desire, raised by forced labor, who wold not be allowed to enjoy what the grow or make.
Feeding people will not be a problem as they thoroughly expect mass starvation and disease to reduce world population to less than a billion, with 500 million the most mentioned number.
They also want to go back to the original wild grains, like Zea mays, which they see as more “sustainable.” We would all be vegans, which is a clear road to malnutrition, lacking any source of animal protein, including dairy and eggs. If they keep the world’s population malnourished, they will have a hard time rebelling.
An old saying in India is that “red meat causes war.” Malnourished people do not have the energy to fight oppression. Healthy people stand up for themselves.

PiperPaul
Reply to  higley7
April 27, 2015 7:53 am

…residents at the control center Das Kapital will have everything they desire, raised by forced labor robots

Bryan A
Reply to  higley7
April 27, 2015 12:34 pm

Sounds a lot like the Hunger Games where the Autocrats are in charge of the central “Government-a-plenty” while the Subsistence districts are utilized as entertainment factor.

Keitho
Editor
Reply to  higley7
April 28, 2015 11:12 am

Sounds a lot like Cambodia under Pol Pot and his buddies. I do get the sensation that these ultra leftists admire Pol Pot’s purposefulness.

Bryan A
Reply to  higley7
April 28, 2015 2:29 pm

If I were to make any changes to the US Constitution it would be to eliminate the “Anchor Baby” problem by eliminating the “You are a US citizen if you are born here” to You are a US citizen if you are born here to an existing US citizen.” Any Alien can have their baby here and that baby is automatically a US Citizen. They shouldn’t be an Automatic Citizen until their Parents have citizenship. They can be a resident Alien, like their parents and would be allowed to apply for Citizenship once they are either 18 or their parents have become citizens.
I would also amend State Aid for non citizens such that only the First Born child would qualify for State Aid. This would force the parent(s) to supply their own additional aid for any additional children born after the first born and unburden the state from supporting larger families.

Michael 2
Reply to  Bryan A
April 30, 2015 12:33 pm

Bryan A says “(change to ) You are a US citizen if you are born here to an existing US citizen.”
If I had my druthers I’d make citizenship earned as in the science fiction story “Starship Troopers”.
The problem with much of the “left” is “no skin in the game”; or to refer to the Little Red Hen, not many people wanted to help her make a cake, but they all wanted to help her EAT it.

rogerthesurf
Reply to  Richard111
April 27, 2015 1:34 pm

Agenda 21 is in my country now including our legislation, local government and education. Its probably in yours as well. Check your governments website. Search for “agenda 21” oR “ICLEI”.
Cheers
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

MRW
Reply to  Richard111
April 27, 2015 5:23 pm

Alert: This is exactly what is going on right now, under the aegis of the UNEP Finance Initiative—Changing finance, financing change. Click on the link and read the UNEP banners. Because every American reading this has to call their congressman and senator tomorrow and stop President Obama from getting the congressional approval he seeks this week to fast-track it in advance of the 2015 Paris conference.

A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

The UNEP Finance Initiative, based out Geneva, describes itself as

“a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 200 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance.”

The crawl in the footer notes:

UNEP Finance Initiative is a Unit of the Economics and Trade Branch, within the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics at the United Nations Environment Programme.

The person ramming this through is the current US Trade Representative, Michael Froman, who was “Deputy Assistant to the President (Obama) and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs,”and in charge of the unsuccessful US effort at Copenhagen ’09 to achieve what the young Mr. David de Rothschild said on Bloomberg TV then was “global governance.” The explanation under Mr. de Rothschild’s youtube appearance says

“Simon Linnett, Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild, has called for a new international body, the World Environment Agency, to regulate carbon trading.
In a recently published paper, Trading Emissions, for the Social Market Foundation, Mr Linnett argues that the International problem of climate change demands an international solution.
Unless governments cede some of their sovereignty to a new world body, he says, a global carbon trading scheme cannot be enforced and regulated.”

These three proposed agreements will be the legal basis underpinning the ‘global governance’ being sought in Paris, December, 2015. They are being peddled to the public—and no doubt, Obama–as “free trade” agreements. Nothing could be further from the truth.
• Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
• Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)
• Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)
These agreements give the transnationals that the UNEP Finance Initiative is assisting the power to override national jurisdiction, and impose treaty-level laws on citizenry and businesses that prevent an appeal to their respective governments to overcome. Further, there are serious questions being raised now about how the US monetary system and its sovereignty will be affected. (Google Joe Firestone published at nakedcapitalism.com or Corrente.)
All three agreements are being negotiated in secret in Geneva. In the leaked copies I have seen, there are draconian penalties promised to anyone who distributes a copy, and the TISA draft (I think that’s the one) says that terms of the agreement may not be made public for five years after it is signed. The TISA agreement includes global law enforcement. No one, no member of Congress, has been allowed to see the complete drafts of any of these agreements, and they can only be read in the presence of the US Trade Representative.
Former Harvard banking and finance law professor, and now Senior Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is battling Obama on the issue, and is 100% correct about this. Obama is furious with Warren for not lying down and playing dead. But she knows exactly what they are trying to pull off.
I reiterate: everyone needs to call their congressman and senator tomorrow and say no to the fast-track vote this week. This needs to be stopped. Now. Treaties trump national laws, and these treaties will impose things that the Congress and public neither know about, nor debated.
The United States Capitol switchboard is 1-202-224-3121. The operator will connect you to the right office.
The President’s comment line is 1-202-456-1111.
[I apologize for the thread hijack but this is important.]

johann wundersamer
Reply to  MRW
April 28, 2015 4:07 pm

such hijack is spelled
c i v i l c o u r a g e
Hans

April 26, 2015 11:59 pm

Clearly they weren’t wrong about population increasing. They were wrong about ‘over’. So this whole argument is over ‘over’ and could be over.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  fenbeagleblog
April 27, 2015 5:06 am

Well, this argument is underdone. The argument that it is overdone is if it is underdone. Personally, I’m over overdone on it, and think it should be underdone.

Alberta Slim
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
April 27, 2015 9:34 am

Well done………………..

Duster
Reply to  fenbeagleblog
April 27, 2015 3:05 pm

I’m not so sure about that. Edward Abbey remarked that “if a man can’t p*** in his own front yard,, he’s livin’ too close town.” I tend to agree.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Duster
April 28, 2015 7:26 am

+1 to that!

Barry Sheridan
April 27, 2015 12:05 am

Thank you for this thoughtful summary of the philosophy that sustains the arrogant self appointed elites whose purpose is to oversee the fate of the rest of us. There is little question these folk are more than dangerous. Indeed I have begun to wonder of late if the renewed campaign of hate towards Israel is not being conducted with a view to creating the very war that will at a stroke alter the world. An exchange of nuclear weapons in this area will remove the oil producing ability of the Middle East, or at least severely restrict its potential, while at the same time killing off a few million and condemning many millions of others to death by starvation. The impact of limiting access to oil would of course impact the world’s transportation system with all this means for trade and the eventual survival of huge numbers because many populations are wholly dependent on imported food. I wish I did not think along these lines, but I am doing so, frankly it is genuinely scary that there are those who might consider such outcomes a good thing.

Bruckner8
Reply to  Barry Sheridan
April 27, 2015 5:09 am

But we vote for these people, and that vote embolden’s them.

Tom O
Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 6:05 am

Have you considered, at least in America, that the “two parties” that are rally one CHOOSE who we vote for, long before we get the chance to go to the touchscreen voting machine and hope it registers our choice correctly? Even if you are a registered party member, you still only get to choose between the “vetted” candidates, and the “vetting process” insures that they have the right political positions or they don’t make the ballot. So yes, we vote for them but we don’t get to choose who we would like to vote for in honesty. Oh, yes, you can write in a candidate, but you and I both know that only means your vote didn’t count in the end.

Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 8:48 am

About 25 to 30 percent of Americans vote for a candidate because of that candidate’s celebrity status attained through the mainstream media and social media. These people would vote for Katy Perry if she could get the Democratic nomination.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 12:37 pm

Actually we (voice our opinions) cast a vote but it is the Electoral College that contains the power to elect who will be in charge

Bryan A
Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 12:39 pm

We do need a “None of the above” choice and if it garners 51% of the vote then all candidates are dismissed and new ones get to run

Duster
Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 3:12 pm

Tom O
April 27, 2015 at 6:05 am

Indeed we have Tom. But there are these memetic entities out there that maintain the idea that there is some real difference between a Dem and Rep. If they want to dictate, it doesn’t matter what they want to dictate.

george e. smith
Reply to  Bruckner8
April 27, 2015 6:15 pm

Well the problem is that the 97% of American voters who think that the Congress is full of do nothing dead beats, who should all be recalled, all live in a voting district represented by the one person in Congress who is doing a good job.
And that is why they keep on voting to return that person to Washington.

Reply to  Barry Sheridan
April 27, 2015 8:39 am

I have to agree with Barry Sheridan that actions of the present US administration toward the Middle East and Israel in particular are hard to rationalize. With the actions of Russia and Iran in mind, it’s insane for Obama and Biden to declare that climate change is our biggest threat. No doubt their actions show how important the control of the world’s energy supply is to those who prefer a one world order. Do not be fooled. Obama, if he could by executive order, would align the US in a global order with the UN as the governing body. It appears to me that the Climate Change Agenda is the last best chance for the Globalists to scare the world into a unified alliance. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but if the Club of Rome could dictate administration policy, what would they do differently than what the Obama administration is presently doing?

Alberta Slim
Reply to  doohmax
April 27, 2015 9:38 am

I am guessing that he will want to head the UN next, 2017. No??

MarkW
Reply to  doohmax
April 27, 2015 2:21 pm

Under current UN rules, no citizen of a Security Council permanent member can be secretary general.
Then again, Obama was never big on following the rules.

Duster
Reply to  doohmax
April 27, 2015 3:17 pm

Putin is an odd duck. He’s an old Cold Warrior and he seems bound an determined to get the world back to where he is more familiar with things. Obama on the other hand is a president, and as such has graduated from a useful congressional vote to a figurehead. Presidents are useful scapegoats, while congress goes its merry way. No one has taken a president seriously since Dwight Eisenhower.

auto
Reply to  Barry Sheridan
April 27, 2015 1:43 pm

A variety of sources of supply of crude oil helps provision against that.
The recent fall in the price of oil does mean that marginal fields – such as the UK/European North Sea [and the outer fields, East and West of Shetland] are not, currently, very viable.
This will – in the short to medium term – reduce the amount of oil available if, as you suggest “An exchange of nuclear weapons in this area will remove the oil producing ability of the Middle East, or at least severely restrict its potential”
Merely a mention. At this time.
Auto

T. Jefferson
Reply to  Barry Sheridan
April 27, 2015 3:58 pm

[trimmed.] If one view of the truth gives offense, I am sorry for it.
[Thank you for being sorry for writing it. mod]

Reply to  T. Jefferson
April 27, 2015 4:30 pm

Moderator. Get this T Jefferson guy banned. Read his post.
[trimmed Jefferson’s hate-speech. .mod]

Melbourne Resident
Reply to  Barry Sheridan
April 29, 2015 12:26 am

Oceania is at war with Eurasia; Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia; I have it on the best authorities from the Ministry of Truth….

Chris Hanley
April 27, 2015 12:06 am

Holdren’s ‘proposals’ are wasteful and immoral.
He may be attracted to a far more efficient, productive and sustainable solution to overpopulation as proposed one hundred years before Malthus by Swift:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

Hivemind
Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 27, 2015 1:38 am

An interesting observation, and I am sure Holdren would be well read and therefore aware of this work. However, I think the Germans had a more practical solution… turn them into soap.
Holdren would no doubt note that this has the double benefit that the soap made from his victims can be used to clean the great unwashed. By great unwashed, I mean the deluded few that don’t drink from his great Kool-Aid dispenser. After a few years, there would be very few of the unwashed left alive.

Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 12:14 am

@Richard111
Well, even if the world is not over populated, going to be a problem feeding the current population with horse and cart technology.

The world has a ‘carrying capacity’ which depends on the level of technology a society has. Living by hunter/gathering enables a certain amount of people/square mile – living by simple agriculture increases this, and so on.
Ehrlich’s mob want to lower our level of technology. The minute you do this, the world WILL be overpopulated – and their 1960s theories will have become correct….

Leo Smth
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 12:35 am

Correct. And that is a fundamental point, the most crucial and scarce resource at the moment is energy. Not because it is, but because governments have made it so.
However the mere fact that we could double or treble world population by using e.g. vast amounts of nuclear power, does not imply that we should.
There are conflicting forces at work. The financial systems need exponential growth in order to be sustainable. The financial shocks of the early 21st century are a reflection on what happens when that growth falters.
Likewise the eco movements tend towards a limited or falling population to reduce human effect on the ecosystems.
What is actually happening though, is that young men with no prospects, but high exposure to propaganda are joining radical groups and engaging in internecine violence across the middle East and Africa and, increasingly, Europe. THAT is Malthus and Darwin in action, in my opinion.
It doesn’t matter what we argue here: the real game is being played out in Syria, and sub Saharan Africa. And Bangladesh. And other places.

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 7:09 am

The financial shocks of the early 21st century are an example of what happens when govt seeks to bend the financial markets to the politicians benefit.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 7:53 am

“the most crucial and scarce resource at the moment is energy.”
–This is similar to the concept that, with enough money, you can get almost anything done.
You first must have the money.
With the money, you can round up the labor, materials, etc.
Then, you need energy to carry out the task.
So, the rate-limiting factor can be seen to be energy.
CO2 governance plans cap the energy that any one nation can consume.
Hence, capping energy consumption caps a nation’s productivity, power, and wealth (under decent governance, all are interchangeable concepts – greater capacity for productivity translates into international power, etc.).

gbaikie
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 12:07 pm

–However the mere fact that we could double or treble world population by using e.g. vast amounts of nuclear power, does not imply that we should.–
Yes, it does. In particular to nuclear power because citizen’s have ceded many rights regarding nuclear energy to the government. So “we” should use vast amounts of nuclear power, unless we have other sources of vast amounts of energy, which makes the use of nuclear less needed by “we”.
There are other sources of available energy. There are vast amounts of natural gas in the world/s oceans. If “we” don’t want to increase the use of nuclear energy, then “we” could do things that enable the use of this energy source in the oceans.
There is also a much greater source of energy than nuclear or methane from the ocean, and that getting energy from the space environment.
Now, with nuclear energy we given much control to the Governments, this also applies to any activity involving mining the Ocean, and this also applies
to mining heavens.
So “we” have choice, either we use these energy resources, Or “we” remove the restrictions of their use- therefore let various people, rather then “we”, harvest these resources.

gbaikie
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 12:29 pm

–Hence, capping energy consumption caps a nation’s productivity, power, and wealth (under decent governance, all are interchangeable concepts – greater capacity for productivity translates into international power, etc.).–
And why the lefties wanted to limit global emission of CO2- they wanted to limit the US international power. Having US as superpower was/is a vast problem to Lefties and their failed ideology.
Of course now that China emits twice as much CO2 as the US, and that US has actually reduced it’s CO2 emission by technological improvement- and will continue. And things like Germany which has no population growth and needing to use ever increasing amounts of coal for electricity, due to failure
of it’s government’s policy in regard to using “alternative energy”. Plus the insane political opposition to fracking.
One could now say this lefty solution to US having too much international power hasn’t worked. Not surprising since the Lefties have been and remain vastly, stupid.

Duster
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 3:28 pm

MarkW
April 27, 2015 at 7:09 am
The financial shocks of the early 21st century are an example of what happens when govt seeks to bend the financial markets to the politicians benefit.

You can’t be serious. I don’t like politicians but they only nail the coffins together based on plans and pre-cut pieces provided BY the financials markets and their lobbyists. The financial interests own the government.

gbaikie
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 8:18 pm

–The financial shocks of the early 21st century are an example of what happens when govt seeks to bend the financial markets to the politicians benefit.
You can’t be serious. I don’t like politicians but they only nail the coffins together based on plans and pre-cut pieces provided BY the financials markets and their lobbyists. The financial interests own the government.–
He may or may be be serious, but he is correct.
This view of government is cute, but the Cuba government has demonstrated it’s quite capable of controlling financial interests. What else explain why a tropical island near a superpower is so darn poor.
That requires a government to bring about so much misery.
Lobbyist may make getting re-elected easier [in various ways] but the buck stops at the government- they make the rules, they allow lobbyist to talk and/or wine and dine them.
Only if you assume that any particular politican has some kind of god given
right to be in office can you begin to consider that lobbyist have any power over elected representatives of the people. And politicians will commonly say that their vote is not for sale.
So no one forcing various politicians to do anything- and it seems it’s so bad these days that these clowns think they are above the law.

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 9:11 pm

Duster: Not everyone suffers from the delusions that rich guys are evil and run the world.

David A
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 9:20 pm

“The financial systems need exponential growth in order to be sustainable.” ==================
Sorta seems like that is what got us in so much trouble.

johnmarshall
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 2:56 am

The main problem is that the Ehrlich mob has ignored the basics of population growth.
“As development improves so child mortality rates decrease as does child birth rates”.
So development solves the problem.

4 eyes
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 5:36 am

I firmly believe that human population will continue to increase until we simply cannot sustain ourselves, just like birds, mosquitoes, snakes, mice, fish, etc., etc. As we advance our knowledge and technology we keep pushing out the date at which we will be dying at the same rate as we are reproducing. Birds etc don’t seem to have such ability. There is no script for the future of humankind.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 6:03 am

The main characteristic of the Ehrlich mob (radical leftists in general) are that they first and foremost want to take away the free agency of the majority while keeping their agency and thus freedom to do as they wish. Anyone who wants to live well by eliminating and dominating others is evil.

MarkW
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 7:11 am

4 eyes: If that’s true, why are birth rates plummeting across the world? At current rates, the world’s population will peak sometime between 2030 and 2050 and begin dropping after that.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 9:53 am

4 Eyes, that flies flat in the face of all evidence. Europe and America both have population growth rates that have flattened (America’s population is artificially growing due to immigration, but our birth rate is just about 2/woman). China and Japan have low population growth and are headed for a population crash soon. India too is slowing down it’s birthrate.
You seem to simply be ignoring facts to fit your own presumptions. That’s the basis of Malthus.

menicholas
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 10:42 am

The best predictor of birth rates is very simple: It is directly related to the educational level of women in a society.

Duster
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 3:38 pm

The causes of population growth are 1) increased neonatal survival, mainly thanks to doctors and midwives finally learning to wash their hands, and 2) improved dentistry, which allows healthy adults to survive well past 40 commonly. Median age of death in the 19th century US was about 35. The very same median was in effect among Native American groups who were not in close contact with European immigrant populations and their diseases. In the US neonatal survival rates are dropping and are among the lowest survival rates in the “first world.” They have been since financial groups increased pressure to reduce healthcare and increase the profits of not-for-profit health care racket – ah – systems.

Reply to  Duster
April 27, 2015 3:39 pm

What about antibiotics?

MarkW
Reply to  johnmarshall
April 27, 2015 3:52 pm

The primary cause of the drop in neo-natal survival is the growing number of teenage pregnancies and the unwillingness of many mothers to seek any form of pre-natal care.
It has nothing to do with evil “financiers” trying to increase profits.

ferdberple
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 6:29 am

The world has a ‘carrying capacity’ which depends on the level of technology a society has.
==============
none of the major cities of the world could exist without access to low cost energy to produce and transport food into the cities. remove the energy and people would need to relocate from the cities to the country to produce their own food. or they would starve.
Pol Pot showed the world first hand the results of “back to the land” policies promoted by well meaning people. Pol Pot didn’t set out to kill millions. He truly believed he was creating a paradise on earth. Had not the Vietnamese invaded, the death toll would have been much higher.
http://www.jmprphotography.com/imgs/gallery/2523/2523_1078017624453f6389499c0.jpg

Reply to  ferdberple
April 27, 2015 8:57 am

fred Pol Pot is the posterboy for the IPCC. I find it hard to believe that the “theoreticians” behind him didn’t know full well what the result would be. I also know for a fact that the US public was not informed despite lots of effort and facts and photographs provided to every possible media outlet. The story didn’t get told until after the Vietnamese invasion let the cat out of the bag. Meantime Pol Pot held “observer” status at the UN.

phlogiston
Reply to  ferdberple
April 27, 2015 8:58 am

That’s why the right name for the green anti-carbon movement is the “KHMER VERT”.

exSSNcrew
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 12:00 pm

I reject the assumption that “The world” is the scope of human influence and action. The “Solar system” would be OK, but that scope alone vastly expands the sources of raw materials and other resources that become available, as long as we don’t limit technology or innovation.

Tom Harley
April 27, 2015 12:18 am

Thanks for this Dr Ball, I only just saw this after posting along similar lines an hour ago, as usual your message is brilliantly put and much more interesting and easy to understand, I have borrowed your link: http://pindanpost.com/2015/04/27/global-warming-misery/
The many failed predictions should falsify global warming once and for all, but the ideology has blinded the true believers.

JJM Gommers
April 27, 2015 12:20 am

When do we have overpopulation? Technically there is almost no limit, the Netherlands has a population density of 410/km2, global is around 50/km2. USA 33/km2, EU 110 /km2., Canada 3,6/km2; Russia 8,4/km2, China 142/km2; India 386/km2; Australie 3,1/km2; Japan 336/km2.
Agriculture in The Netherlands is now on a new level of technology and be able to produce far more than captive use and is exported.
However a PD of 100 would suit The Netherlands much better of social and environmental issues.
The problem is that technology is making more people unemployed.

george e. smith
Reply to  JJM Gommers
April 27, 2015 6:22 pm

Playing with their finger toys is what is making more and more people unemployable, since they aren’t capable of doing any kind of real job.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  JJM Gommers
April 27, 2015 6:43 pm

I think the population density of Rwanda is 435/sq km. Save for liquid petroleum fuels they are pretty much self-sufficient in energy. They have privatised all their hydro capacity and are licencing many more installations. They cook mainly with charcoal which is all locally produced, mostly from private farms. They grow the vast majority of their own food. That has been achieved with a low level of education by Western standards.
With more education and better technology they could sustain a far higher level of comfort and efficiency. What then is the carrying capacity of the planet? Certainly in the tens of billions. Minerals? Grab a passing asteroid. Energy production from nukes is certainly a way forward. Rail transport is often faster, net, than planes. The future of mankind is very bright and quite unMalthusian.

Melbourne Resident
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
April 29, 2015 12:38 am

Ah but they have had their massacre – so it is post population reduction – is there a message in that?

Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 12:24 am

Overpopulation is a matter of definition, or opinion, not fact.
It is as bigoted to say the world is not over populated as to say that it is.
What is your definition of overpopulation? If it is ‘more people than the earth can sustain’ then we can of course never be overpopulated, because the surplus will in fact die, leaving us always just shy of being overpopulated. That is a state of affairs that has persisted as long as man has been around, apart from a few ‘golden ages’ where men erupted into areas that were either unpopulated or well under populated by the standards of the incomers. The USA would be the prime example.
It doesn’t matter how much the Cornucopians bleat the anti-Malthusian message, without some radical change there will always be limits to growth. The problem is where are they, and how close are we, and what ought we to do about it?
In the west, economic growth has already largely stopped. Not because we have totally run out of this or that, but because the cost of acquiring it has risen to a point where it exceeds the value to us of acquiring it.
Population too would have stabilised but for immigration. So we now have a static GDP more or less and a rising population comprised of ‘foreigners’.
If I wanted to create a climate of xenophobia…
I would say we are close to the limits to growth – in terms of sheer material wealth, anyway. We might manage a another doubling of world population, although the cost in terms of restricting peoples freedom and personal wealth, I would argue,raise the question of whether it would be worth it.
As to what we ought to do about it, well that is like climate change. The arrogant anti-science linearists* of course believe that Big Government and if possible World Government, is the Answer To Everything.
The Trotskyites don’t care, as long as the existing order is destroyed beyond hope of resurrection.
The people who do understand non linearity and chaos, shrug their shoulders and say “Que sera, sera” and idly place bets with themselves as to whether it will be a pandemic, starvation, world war three or internecine violence that actually limits population and decimates it back to the level where peole actually feel comfortable enough to have sex.
There are, and always will be, on a finite planet, without access to infinite resources, limits to any particular growth you care to mention. To deny this is as stupid as denying that human activity has any effect on the ecosphere – including climate – at all.
It is not the principle that is at issue, it is the magnitude. Can we sustain a doubling? Trebling? Order of magnitude increase? and what would be the implicit result in living in a town that is say – 10 times more populated than it is now? Or removing all the spaces where wild things are and replacing them with suburbia?
Like peak oil, the argument is not about running out It is about the point where more is so much more unnattractive, financially or emotionally, that people simply change attitudes and behaviour.
For me that point came 40 years ago, I have no children, and I wouldn’t want to introduce any to this world.
It would feel like an act of cruelty.
*People who see the world in simple linear cause and effect equations and have no concept of dynamic non linearity or the real complexity of natural systems.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 1:19 am

Couldn’t agree more. Do we really want a world full of concrete? I don’t have kids, and I don’t intend to.Even if I don’t think humans cause AGW, we certainly do a good job of destroying our habitat.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Jay Hope
April 27, 2015 1:45 am

Jay Hope
As all successful creatures do, humans certainly do a good job of CREATING our habitat.
And we inhabit a small part of the fifth of the world not covered in water. But as we look around we see we are surrounded by the amendments we have made to the world so – as every beaver also could – some of us have an exaggerated opinion of our effect on the world.
Richard

MarkW
Reply to  Jay Hope
April 27, 2015 7:14 am

Less than one percent of the earth’s surface is covered with concrete.
The world’s habitat has been improving over recent decades even as population has grown.

Reply to  Jay Hope
April 27, 2015 9:35 am

Jay Hope: The average fish thinks the world is all water because he has never seen land. The average fish can not conceive of anything living on land, even if he has seen it, he knows he can’t live on it. If we lived underwater we would have fish’s view of the world. To us there would be no need for trees or anything on land.
When I go for long drives and some not so long drives on some that concret I see lots of trees, Driving on 95 in South Carolina for example I see nothing but trees on either side of the narrow strip of concrete for at least 100 miles. I see hundreds of thousands maybe a million trees in just that one stretch of road. I see tons of trees in North Carolina, and Virginia too, and all the way up to Vermont. In between the trees there are occasionally some house and a few cities, but far more trees than houses.
Now I am looking at these trees only from the narrow roads that I am driving on. I don’t venture away from human habitat. I am like the fish, I am only seeing what I can see from my own habitat. Some humans leave our habitat and go camping, but I am not one of them, yet I still see tons and tons of trees. On occasion I get away from our habitat and see the world more like a bird does. From planes I see even more trees and even more green spaces than I can see from the road. From the air I see far more lakes and bays than I can from the road (too many trees in the way from the road). I see some cities and quite a few airports. Generally my flights are for transportation not sightseeing so the planes follow air routes which were designed to take people from one human habitat to another, not to take people out to see nature. So even from the air I am seeing a disportionate amount of man made things.
Wild animals have a different view of the world, they tend not to travel by road they see the world even more as forest than I do from my car or from the air.
My point is it depends on your frame of reference as how the world looks to you. If you never get out of the concrete it is going to look very concrete to you, if like a fish you live under the water the world looks quite different, and it looks different from space. Before being overwhelmed by concrete you might want to try to get a different perspective.

benofhouston
Reply to  Jay Hope
April 27, 2015 9:58 am

Tom, you missed your calling. You should have been a poet.

Michael 2
Reply to  Jay Hope
April 27, 2015 3:40 pm

Jay Hope (any connection to “Hope Forpeace?”) says “Do we really want a world full of concrete? … we certainly do a good job of destroying our habitat.”
Two “we” and no kids. Somewhere on the left side of things.
There is no “we” to all want the same thing. Some wish for a world of concrete, some no concrete, most probably in between.
There is no “our” habitat. Some destroy habitat, some create habitat, most seem to be somewhere in between. I have pheasants, marmots and occasionally deer in my backyard; they don’t seem particularly oppressed. I leave a strip of thistles and other natural cover. A few days ago I was amazed to see a marmot eating dandelions. Go for it! Eat them all!
What did you do to your habitat to destroy it?

Reply to  Michael 2
April 27, 2015 3:45 pm

Exactly. Man has to have a constructed or contrived habitat otherwise he can’t survive. Our contrived habitat is surprisingly hospitable to other animals, so much so we have to occasionally take steps to make it inhospitable. We don’t destroy habitat we create it.

Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 1:57 am

“In the West, economic growth has largely already stopped”
.. ..only true in relation to the developing world, where at long last China and India etc have embraced free markets and freer borders, the denial of which held them back for so long. Exactly the opposite of what I take to be your message.
The West, of course, is now rather hamstrung by its high-cost regulation and high-cost government, so that industrial production (and increasingly, technological development) is migrating out of Europe and North America to more congenial business environments. Even intellectual advancement is now moving out.
This is a choice we in the West make (rather clumsily) and doesn’t tell us anything about limits to growth. We might CHOOSE, for instance, to preserve forests or marshes, or to prevent building on green belts, or on agricultural land. We might CHOOSE not to take low-paid jobs, or work long hours. This will certainly stunt our growth, but it is down to us what we value more. (At least in theory we are making that choice, but we probably are not as well informed of the balance of the issues as we should be).
I take it you’ve read ‘The Ultimate Resource’? Looked at now, years after Simon’s death, and with a lot more economic history to go on, it seems to me more relevant than ever.
As I’ve said here before – people are expensive, and getting more so; things are cheap, and getting more so. That’s the way it should be.

Grey Lensman
Reply to  mothcatcher
April 27, 2015 7:49 am

Jay. Look at Singapore, its population density and find also that it is not a “concrete Jungle”. then realize that at that same density, every single human being alive today could live in Texas, the rest of the world being “empty”.

Duster
Reply to  mothcatcher
April 27, 2015 3:42 pm

Texas? Gad.

Jay Hope
Reply to  mothcatcher
April 28, 2015 5:56 am

Michael 2, you suggest that I am ‘somewhere on the left side of things’. Certainly not true. I am just someone who thinks that the world will get worse, not better. Therefore I will not bring another human being into such a world. It is morally unjust. And I think a lot of folks who have children suffer from a guilt complex that they will do anything to deny. I do not believe in AGW, but I do have a conscience when it comes to ecology, and the future of our planet is not to have any children, believing as I do that the fewer humans there are, the better for our global environment. That said, I do not hate human beings, as someone else has emotively claimed on this thread. I cannot understand why they should react so emotionally to a debate like this. I thought only the warmists did something like that!

Michael 2
Reply to  Jay Hope
April 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Jay Hope says “Michael 2, you suggest that I am ‘somewhere on the left side of things’. Certainly not true.”
I believe most people consider themselves well centered. Objectifying this requires indicators. One that I have found highly reliable is the use of unqualified “we” as if everyone should understand what it means and if the sense of it is that no one is not “we”. Groupthink. Hive mind.
“I am just someone who thinks that the world will get worse, not better.”
I believe “the world” will simultaneously get better and worse; depending on what these words mean and for whom it is meant.
“Therefore I will not bring another human being into such a world.”
Glad to hear it, more room for mine 🙂
“It is morally unjust.”
That’s starting to lean a bit to the left. The right has morals but they are shared and defined by an Authority. The left has no authorities, or hundreds of them, so it is unpredictable what you may think is morally unjust.
“I think a lot of folks who have children suffer from a guilt complex that they will do anything to deny.”
Still leaning left; hive mind; you know better than others their own minds. I have no guilt. I will not do anything to deny it. My words suffice.
Shame and guilt are powerful forces on the hive but ineffective on libertarians. Guilt emanates from an awareness of one’s failure to conform to the Hive (ie, Social Norms). Libertarians are aware of social norms and will choose to conform or not, but are not motivated to do so by the emotions of guilt or shame.
“I do not believe in AGW, but I do have a conscience when it comes to ecology, and the future of our planet is not to have any children, believing as I do that the fewer humans there are, the better for our global environment.”
WAY out to the left! You are a victim of clever human competition. Gametes compete for scarce resources. One way for a gamete to compete is to persuade all other gamete-carriers to quit the game. That would be you, quitting the game. The “quit gene” leaves the gene pool.
Humans are part of the global environment. In fact, I believe humans are the purpose of the global environment; without humans the global environment has failed.
“I do not hate human beings, as someone else has emotively claimed on this thread.”
A subtle nuance, no doubt, a lack of distinction between there shouldn’t be any humans versus hating them.
“I cannot understand why they should react so emotionally to a debate like this. I thought only the warmists did something like that!”
“Only” is a word to be carefully used. Nearly everyone is emotional to some degree; what differs is what produces an emotion. Skeptics tend to be dismayed by being cheated for no particular reason, warmists are of course afraid of global warming. Some are taking advantage of global warming and see it as an opportunity.

MarkW
Reply to  mothcatcher
April 28, 2015 11:01 am

Anyone who openly expresses a belief that is different from you actually agrees with you but suffers from a guilt complex that doesn’t let them openly express that agreement.
Fascinating how you justify your belief system.
There is no evidence that the earth is going to get worse. However with your attitude towards others, I whole heartedly agree with your decision not to have children.

Michael 2
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2015 12:09 pm

MarkW says “Anyone who openly expresses a belief that is different from you actually agrees with you but suffers from a guilt complex that doesn’t let them openly express that agreement.”
Is that diagnosis from the DSM-V?
“Fascinating how you justify your belief system.”
Odd that anyone feels a need to do so.
“There is no evidence that the earth is going to get worse.”
It doesn’t need evidence. “Worse” is a value judgment; for you the Earth may get better or worse at the exact same time it does the opposite for me.

ferdberple
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 6:36 am

I would say we are close to the limits to growth – in terms of sheer material wealth, anyway.
===================
human population has always been “close to the limits to growth”. there is nothing new in this. ask the people living 200 or 2000 or 2 million years ago, the answer would be the same.

Duster
Reply to  ferdberple
April 27, 2015 3:44 pm

Two million years ago the genus began to expand without any great changes for about a million years. It is arguable that those early pioneers were no where near their limits, since so little change accompanied the expansion of territory.

Jay Hope
Reply to  ferdberple
April 27, 2015 3:49 pm

Then consider the impact that apparently so few humans are able to wreak on the environment (AGW aside, that being a non-issue). Then imagine the massively multiplied impact of a greatly increased human population on the scale that you’re imagining. Then we really would have to start to think of finding another place to live. We need to get over ourselves. All this self-loving humanism can be taken a mite too far.

MarkW
Reply to  ferdberple
April 27, 2015 3:55 pm

The only impact I see, is for the better?
Why do you hate people so much?

Ian W
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 6:54 am

It doesn’t matter how much the Cornucopians bleat the anti-Malthusian message, without some radical change there will always be limits to growth. The problem is where are they, and how close are we, and what ought we to do about it?

But there are continual ‘radical changes’ – new sources of energy new ways to use energy efficiently and so on. You are making the same mistake as Malthus and assuming that technology has stopped.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Ian W
April 28, 2015 1:13 am

MarkW, I don’t hate people. I’m just a realist.

MarkW
Reply to  Ian W
April 28, 2015 11:03 am

Claiming to be a “realist” is how most haters justify their feelings towards others.

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 7:13 am

Economic growth has stopped because of govt programs that all but require it.

Tom J
Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 8:08 am

Every party needs a pooper.

Reply to  Leo Smth
April 27, 2015 9:04 am

leo! COME ON! Buddy To the stars! and BEYOND!

ggf
April 27, 2015 12:24 am

The reality is that this idea is misplaced. All of the evidence seems to suggest that if you bring people up to a high standard of living they tend to reduce the number of children they have to somewhere around replacement level or close to it. This is what has happened across the developed world and is why we have problems with ageing. Poverty is what causes the population growth. The focus should then be on getting everyone up to this standard ASAP and the problem will largely fix itself.
Therefore getting energy to people as quickly and cheaply as possible should be the aim. This will probably lead to lower long run energy use than leaving people in poverty longer. Maybe I should try and create a computer model to demonstrate this/sarc
There does not seem to be much evidence that the likely population level that will result from the natural stabilisation of the population will be a problem. We may need to change the distribution of people over time to fix the crowding in certain locations but that should be possible.

Reply to  ggf
April 27, 2015 12:34 am

ggf
Quite so.
That is an opinion I’ve been expressing on blogs for some years now and others take the same view.
Even the UN predicts global population stabilising later this century before starting a long slow decline.

MarkW
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 27, 2015 7:18 am

The last estimate I saw had the population peaking around 2050. I haven’t seen a new estimate in almost 20 years. One thing I remember from the earlier “estimates” was that each update had the peak occurring earlier and lower.

Leo Smith
Reply to  ggf
April 27, 2015 12:47 am

Classic cat belling* argument.
My Damascene moment was when I went to live in South Africa for a few years just before Apartheid collapsed. The consensus from my UK lefty friends was that indeed, what should happen in South Africa was that the whites should be taxed, and the money given to the black population for education and developments and to create a uniform level of opportunity. Admirable aspirations of course….
Then I actually arrived there, where 5 million ‘whites’ held sway over 25 million ‘non-whites’ and I started to do the calculations.
There isn’t enough water in south Africa to give 30 million people a flush toilet.
Dividing the GDP of South Africa by the population, gives a standard of living in which no one escapes poverty at all. Worse, there is no capital to invest in schools, roads, power stations and the like. Because its all been taxed away and redistributed.
In short what you end up with with this ideological meddling is that egalitarianism manages to reduce everyone to abject poverty with no hope of a better future.
That is the price of ‘equality’.
And 35 years later, with political power now firmly in the hands of people who have no notion of how to apply it wisely, not much has changed beyond the fact that affluent people of all skin colours live together in enclaves patrolled by armed security guards and behind 12 foot high security fences topped with razor wire.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belling_the_cat

imoira
Reply to  ggf
April 27, 2015 1:06 am

“We may need to change the distribution of people over time to fix the crowding in certain locations but that should be possible”.
In developed nations at least, the scheme is to move people into densely populated ‘human settlements.” Just last week I was at a meeting with others to object to a 48 storey residential tower on a small parcel of land in a downtown area of mostly low rises but with some of about 20 stories in height. Another 48 storey bilding is also proposed, just a block away. Within a mile of there dozens of extremely high buildings have gone up in the last few years and more are under construction.
The units in these condos are 250 to 475 square feet. They are each within easy walking distance of the subway transit. Already at some times of the day the sidewalks are as crowded as the streets of Mumbai. Earlier this evening I had a conversation with a building developer who told me that people are asking for condos with much more space and he is providing it as best he can. The problem is that this city and other cities and their city planners are largely under the control of the province. The ‘leadership’ there has adopted the plans of Agenda 21, one of which calls for moving people from their farm lands for the stated purpose of preserving wildlands and wetlands (but more likely for sake of huge agricultural companies and ohers) and into one of the settlements where housing is in towers or townhouse developments. Single family homes are considered (like red meat) unsustainable.
This bunching of people into intensified housing creates the illusion that the population is growing. In addition, because units are so small, they do anything but encourage people to have children.
So…yes, redistribution is possible but what is being enforced on us now does not fix any crowding. It also raises questions about health and sanitation. Towers are springing up so fast that sewage and water treatment plants are easily strained. That could help bump off a lot of people, especially if some highly contagious deadly infection were to be introduced.
The technocrats, of which Holdren is only one, seem bound and determined to do in as many as they can. They do not care about poverty or about lifting people within the middle class. It’s a Brave New World.

Reply to  imoira
April 27, 2015 8:08 am

:
People are moving from farm lands to cities because farming is becoming too efficient to be profitable for most farmers. This population shift can be seen in most developed nations, especially larger ones.
It’s also interesting to note that the buildings you are protesting would allow a greater population density to co-exist. You’ve listed only your own aesthetic desires as objections, as most people who complain about ‘over crowding’ and ‘over population’ do…
Technology is the way to improve all these things – while also allowing people the freedom to procreate as they wish.
BTW: Why do you live in a city if you don’t like it there? Is farming only for others to do?

Gary Hladik
Reply to  ggf
April 27, 2015 2:11 am

“All of the evidence seems to suggest that if you bring people up to a high standard of living they tend to reduce the number of children they have to somewhere around replacement level or close to it.”
Apparently Malthus himself had second thoughts about his theory, at least according to this:
http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/4111/Malthus/Thomas%20Robert%20Malthus.htm
‘[Malthus] also argued that once the poor had a taste for luxury, then they would demand a higher standard of living for themselves before starting a family. Thus, although seemingly contradictory, Malthus is suggesting the possibility of “demographic transition”, i.e. that sufficiently high incomes may be enough by themselves to reduce fertility.’
This was in the expanded 1803 version of his essay.

MarkW
Reply to  ggf
April 27, 2015 7:17 am

At least in the west, wealth causes birth rates to drop below the replacement level, in some countries way below replacement level. For most of Europe and N. America, if it weren’t for immigration, we’d already have falling populations.

Joseph Adam-Smith
April 27, 2015 12:33 am

Malthus did have a point about over-breeding, though. Although, in the following case, it’s more of the NON-working classes ie, the parasites on society: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/573068/Benefit-mum-demands-bigger-EIGHT-BEDROOM-council-home

hunter
Reply to  Joseph Adam-Smith
April 27, 2015 2:34 am

Malthus was at heart a vile bigot.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  hunter
April 27, 2015 5:20 am

Said before, we’re all bigots, some of us just won’t admit it. Having lived and worked among a lot of people in my 56 years, I’ve learned that people are incredibly bigotted. So much so that it is actually normal behaviour. To NOT be a bigot is abnormal. I have listened to people who say they aren’t one, then I have reeled off their list of chosen friends…who are ‘like’ them. People move home to areas where people are just like them. They Facebook ‘friends’ who are just like them. It’s fascinating to look where foreigners move to. They tend to group into areas within towns and cities…to be with people who are like them. We are quite naturally intolerant of others’ beliefs and views, because it grates against our own. The only difference between us all is that some are vehemently bigotted and some are not. This forum is a great example; if you get a warmist on here who makes a reasonable comment, quite a few contributors here will attack. To be intolerant is human.
Out of interest, where did you read that Malthus was a vile bigot? Please don’t say wikipedia.

Reply to  hunter
April 27, 2015 9:10 am

here here!

David A
Reply to  hunter
April 27, 2015 9:30 pm

I think of bigotry as more then birds of a feather flocking together. Yes, some bias is natural. I have seen bigotry expressed as hate and anger, and IMV, it is not so widespread as the former. I do feel that the current admin in the US is fanning the flames of hate and anger between disparate groups.

sophocles
Reply to  Joseph Adam-Smith
April 28, 2015 12:53 am

Malthus made the all too-common mistake of identifying a symptom of a different problem as a cause>. Henry George took Malthus’ arguments apart in his book “Progress and Poverty(1875) Part 2, chaps 6-8 inc. and refuted Malthus’ thesis in chap 9.
Enjoy.

richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 12:37 am

Tim Ball
Thankyou for again raising this important subject on WUWT.
I again provide the comment I provided in the thread beneath a previous article on this subject from you.
The fallacy of overpopulation derives from the disproved Malthusian idea which 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 percentage.
Now, 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 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 the obvious truth that human ingenuity has freed humans from the need for slaves to operate treadmills, the oars of galleys, etc..
And these benefits also act to prevent overpopulation because 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. Increased affluence in poor countries can 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.
All projections and predictions indicate that human population will peak around the middle of this century and decline after that. So, we are confronted by the probability of ‘peak population’ resulting from growth of affluence around the world.
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. There is no existing or probable problem of overpopulation of the world by humans.
Richard

Reply to  richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 7:09 am

First came across this common sense in print via Paul Zane Pilzer in ‘Unlimited Wealth’ in the 90’s

richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 12:42 am

Joseph Adam-Smith
Malthus was wrong about everything.
I explain this in my post which I think will be here.
You resurrecting the idea of the “deserving poor and undeserving poor” does not change anything because nobody has given Malthus or Ehrlich or you the right to decide those who are deserving.
Richard

Leo Smith
Reply to  richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 1:01 am

Its less the undeserving poor, than the unproductive and dispensible poor.
The poor who, if they suddenly vanished, would not be missed….
I had a chilling inline exchange some years ago with a local councillor, who said that he really had no answer to the ‘gypsy’ (traveller) problem,. and sometimes he just wished they would ‘just disappear’.
I pointed out to him that that was in fact exactly what Hitler’s Reich had achieved. The ‘disappearance’ of millions of ‘gypsies’ (amongst others) Was that what he was advocating?
Unfortunately and unbeknownst to me he was as they say ‘of the Hebrew persuasion’. Unable to face the dichotomy of his own schizoid worldview, he vented his spleen on me.
My point is this: In a highly technological world there is a stable system possible, in which big capital builds a robotic labour-free society that is enjoyed by a very few that work to construct and maintain that society, and to defend and regulate it. The rest of the populations are entirely surplus to it and live outside it. This state of affairs exists in certain oil and mineral rich countries, where the wealth is not handed out to the general population, but used to defend a narrow elite who control it, from them. You might also consider Israel to come within this definition.
I make no moral point here: I merely assert that such a system is politically stable, and becomes more so if total genocide is practised on the ‘surplus’ populations at large.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 27, 2015 6:49 am

Leo Smith
You say

I make no moral point here: I merely assert that such a system is politically stable, and becomes more so if total genocide is practised on the ‘surplus’ populations at large.

Indeed, you make an immoral point.
And we know it does not work because others have tried it notably in Germany in the 1930s.
Richard

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 27, 2015 8:34 am

@Leo Smith:
>I merely assert that such a system is politically stable, and becomes more so if total genocide is practised on the ‘surplus’ populations at large.
Maybe. And this is somewhat true even if humans were lions or bacteria.
But we are humans and not lions nor bacteria. We humans are capable, using our large evolution provided brains, to extend ourselves, our reach, our knowledge, our food making ability, our population density co-exist, and anything else really — to meet the needs of the population [no matter what size] in a caring and [somewhat] conflict free way.
It’s a moral imperative to be compassionate humans with each other in our own lives as well as the governments we create. Humans are sexual beings and raising children is a part of our desires, as creatures, leaving any ‘god’ out. Most people, of whatever sexual persuasion, have the evolutionary implanted ‘idea’ of child rearing. Without this ‘idea’, humans surely would have gone extinct a long time ago.
So, even though it is true that most humans in a modern societies are ‘extra’ in terms of production of the needs of the society – that doesn’t mean society should seek to discard those lives rather than enrich them through distribution of food, shelter, and clothing to those members who are without. Nor does it mean that human population will ever reach an ‘over-populated’ state… and not because of mass death or starvation – but because of increased abilities to feed, shelter, and cloth those ‘extra’ human bodies.

richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 12:43 am

Sorry, I should have pointed out that my linked post is not yet visible because it is in moderation.
[Cleared. .mod]

Reply to  richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 2:06 am

But… Malthus, Ehrlich, Strong, Holdren; if you take their ideas and you observe population groups of mice, rats, deer, etc. the observed facts play out pretty much according to their prophecy.
Man is altogether different. Never in the history of the world has mankind been so prosperous. Famine has disappeared (except when famine is engineered) The cost of cartage and communication is incidental: almost minute. Premature death by disease/illness is exponentially reduced. A commodity ‘glut’ is the current problem for the commodity world markets.
All of this very real progress correlates nicely with both the massive increases in CO2 emissions and the growth in world population. Perhaps the increase in world population caused the increase in prosperity. I doubt it was the CO2.

Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 5:15 am

Few if any natural populations – and certainly none of the ones you cite – display similar characteristics as humans: i.e. they have less children as they grow more prosperous.
Now if animals had the internet and could become yuppies…

Ian W
Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 8:50 am

But… Malthus, Ehrlich, Strong, Holdren; if you take their ideas and you observe population groups of mice, rats, deer, etc. the observed facts play out pretty much according to their prophecy.

That shows that Malthus, Ehrlich, Strong, Holdren; had/have a low regard for humanity. Unlike the mice, rats, deer, etc and indeed the bacteria in a petri dish, humans have a great ability to change their environment and adapt to it including the creation of access to new resources – that is why humans are not still living in trees with their ape cousins who are resource limited.

richardscourtney
Reply to  richardscourtney
April 27, 2015 2:14 am

willybamboo
I hope my post will soon be released from moderation because it directly addresses all your points.
My post concludes saying

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. There is no existing or probable problem of overpopulation of the world by humans.

Richard

steverichards1984
April 27, 2015 12:49 am

Is not an accepted fact that as populations become wealthier they have less children and quite dramatically so?
By allowing/encouraging populations to have access to low cost energy would increase their productivity and wealth causing a fall in their birthrate.

Reply to  steverichards1984
April 27, 2015 2:09 am

That is a weak and speculative cause and effect. It is not an accepted fact – even if it has been lately observed. The opposite was observed in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries.

ferdberple
Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 6:50 am

The opposite was observed in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries.
==============
short of holding a coin between their knees, even wealthy women in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries had limited ability to control their reproductive rate.

Duster
Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 4:31 pm

Ferd, as far back as the Romans, women, especially upper class women were acquiring abortions. It has been in continuous practice since that time. During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries upper class families were often on the large side in order to ensure heirs, or marriageable daughters for the purpose of conserving property and wealth within the family(ies). Farming families tended to be large because kids were cheaper than draft animals.
In anthropology there is an observation of correlation between diet quality and breadth, and the imposition of social hierarchy. Groups that can survive comfortably as mobile foragers don’t need “leaders” and don’t tolerate them. When a society begins to rely more intensively on food sources like grains that are very high in labor costs, then hierarchy raises it ugly head. This tends to happen when the productivity of a region in high quality resources (mainly animal) is exceeded by human predation. Because humans are able to subsist more or less on vegetable foods, they can move down the food chain and rely vegetable foods including grains. Because these foods are labour intensive, require storage, and have critical harvest timing, hierarchies emerge at both the family level and later at community levels: patriarchs, big man systems, chieftainships, etc., manage the process. The sole function of these hierarchies is control food production, distribution and consumption. Curiously, the hierarchy tends to reserve things like hunting rights to itself. So, in a mortuary site, the upper levels of the hierarchy can be recognized by skeletal health alone.
A good example is in California where a member of a Patwin valley tribe could hunt all the rabbits they liked, but if a hunter took a larger animal, they had to take said deer, elk or antelope to the chief who would share it out amongst his buddies first and then the rest of the village including the hunter. Similar useages were seen in iron-age western Europe where specific parts of animals were shared based upon social position. Of course, we see the precise same patterns in our “civilization” too, don’t we?

David A
Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 9:38 pm

In response to the claim that prosperous low energy cost nations have lower population growth this was said,
“That is a weak and speculative cause and effect. It is not an accepted fact – even if it has been lately observed. The opposite was observed in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries.”
“===================
The 17th – 19th centuries did not have low cost energy relative to the 20th and 21st century.

brc
Reply to  willybamboo
April 28, 2015 3:35 am

In those times, a pregnancy was much less likely to produce a healthy child who made it to 5 or 10. You had to have more pregnancies to increase the chance of having adult children. Wealthy societies have lower birthrates, mores than wealthy individuals. It is not just the womens wealth that drives the lowering of the reproductive rate, it is the probability that a pregnancy will result in an adult child that lowers the rate.
To disprove the correlation, you’d have to find where an increase in wealth for the society resulted in either a maintenance of the birthrate when it was poor, or actually increased from when it was poor. Find one of those and you’ve busted it. I don’t think you will.

Reply to  steverichards1984
April 28, 2015 4:59 am

The correlation between increasing societal wealth and declining birth rates is much weaker than the correlation between the use of contraceptives and declining birth rates. France experienced a 44% population increase during the 19th century. Great Britain’s population grew 282%. The French were early practitioners of contraception, using douching and intestine or rubber condoms. The United States during the westward expansion experienced both increasing birth rates and rapid wealth increase. All at a time when energy costs were dropping.
steverichards1984 proposed cause and effect is weak. Low cost energy will not necessarily cause a fall in birth rates. “accepted fact” is strong language. Simple cause and effect, “low cost energy ,,, causing a fall in their birthrate” is well, simple, too simple. It is likely to be more complex. Use some weasel words, like ‘maybe’ ‘contributes’ ‘correlates’ ‘possible’ and I will leave you be.

MarkW
Reply to  willybamboo
April 28, 2015 11:05 am

There is a very weak correlation between the use of contraceptives and declining birth rates. Unfortunately for you it goes the other way. An increased use of contraceptives results in a higher birth rate.

whiten
April 27, 2015 12:52 am

Just a thought, an assumption actually.
Considering our present population grouth, our present technological, social and civil evolution path, I would think that the “safety net” is at 9 billion….. And we are not there.
A reduction and a smaller population, in this aspect requires a much better and evolved civilization….which will not happen if the path towards the future is based on lies and deception and lead by mediocrity and idiocracy……… only by means of hipper and hot ideological approaches…
Only a thought, please do not jump the guns…:-)
Cheers

MarkW
Reply to  whiten
April 27, 2015 7:26 am

In the US, about 20% of our agricultural land is out of production because of govt programs.
Around the world, agricultural production is way below the US level because of lower technology levels.
Even if we merely raised world wide agricultural productivity to US levels, we could easily support 10 to 11 billion.
And that’s without adopting new technologies that are already being developed.

Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 10:17 am

Mark: I noted one time in a class I was taking n the mid-70’s (shortly after Limits to Growth came out) that if the average Indian farmer of that time was able to raise his agricultural output to that of an average American farmer of the 1870’s, that India would be able to feed itself and have a surplus to export. The technology needed, The “steel mold board” horse or ox pulled plow. Sometimes the advance in technology is not very great.

MarkW
Reply to  whiten
April 27, 2015 7:32 am

Forgot to add that enhanced CO2 is allowing us to grow crops in areas that used to be too dry.

Lawrence13
April 27, 2015 1:05 am

The main issue here left out is the ‘falling population rates’ in the developed countries. Nowadays despite all the self hate whining by the left, as the once British PM Harold mcMillan said in 1957
“you’ve never had it so good”
So the western birth rate s dropping due to affluence and I believe when other people through energy and technology live far longer, it will dawn on people that there is no need to keep having children as the odds are the first few will now outlive the parents and thrive barring accidents and they are hard to have in modern society. The only fly in the oinment I can see is the wholesal acceptence of ‘abortion’ which really is human hedonism over moral behavioir and when that dwans and gains acceptance then rate may soar again. But there is no excuse whatsoever in the developed world for unwanted pregnancies.
I’m at work so cannot find the time to give links.

Leo Smith
April 27, 2015 1:08 am

A reduction and a smaller population, in this aspect requires a much better and evolved civilization…
I am not sure which ‘aspect’ you are referring to, but in general, “A reduction and a smaller population” requires nothing more than ruthless people armed with superior firepower.
And let’s face it, once they have squared the moral triangle, they will indeed have created a better society…for themselves.
I fear the future belongs to the genocidal technocratic warlords.

whiten
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 27, 2015 2:42 am

Hello Leo.
“in this aspect” means in the aspect of better safety in general.
My point is that we at 7billion at the moment can not afford to consider the prospect of a smaller population, we still less than from the best safety margin.
Generally the numbers naturally are needed to sustain their safety.
The numbers self regulate in accordance with the ability to the better adapting with the environment.
Cheers

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 27, 2015 9:47 am

@leo So who would oppose the Romans? Khan? Zulus? the Samari?. There has never been in the history of humankind a lack of ruthless even bloodthirsty genocidal maniacs. Yet they did not prevail and establish eternal kingdoms. Why? I submit because human beings march to a different metronome than informed self interest or abject fear. Ideas are what its all about and in that area there are no “useless eaters”

Robin Curtis
April 27, 2015 1:13 am

Can recommend Tim Morgan’s “Life After Growth”. Take a look at the impact of EROEI. A few folk are beginning to pay attention…….
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-After-Growth-global-economy/dp/0857193392/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430122258&sr=1-1&keywords=life+after+growth

hunter
Reply to  Robin Curtis
April 27, 2015 3:15 am

If Morgan’s premise were to be true, that we are running out of cheap energy- it does not even now appear to be- it wold only be true due to the hard work of the Malthusians and greens: Malthusians for their misanthropic bigotry, and the greens for halting progress in energy production.

MarkW
Reply to  Robin Curtis
April 27, 2015 7:29 am

First off, we aren’t running out of cheap energy. We are running out of politicians who are willing to let other people live their lives without being controlled by govt.
Secondly, you really do sound like the worry warts who were concerned about how we would light our lanterns. What with whales becoming harder to find.

Robin Curtis
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 7:37 am

Let me know where the “cheap” energy is – lots of folk would be really interested. Been working on it for a few decades now – and haven’t seen anything on the horizon that matches up with the low cost fossil fuels. It’s the EROEI that’s the catch………

Ian W
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 12:26 pm

Robin,
Try to get a permit to drill for oil or gas on the ever expanding ‘Federal Lands’. Try to get a permit to build a new oil refinery, try to get a permit to build a coal fired or gas powered or nuclear power station etc etc. A little army of greens and Malthusians with the support of the EPA and the Federal Government will do their very utmost to stop you usually by adding extreme taxes to ensure that the energy you generate is not ‘cheap’,.
Cheap energy is an anathema to progressives, they are also doing their utmost to prevent poor third world countries creating their own cheap energy. Back in fact to Tim Ball’s post.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 2:27 pm

Let’s see. The politicians don’t allow new exploration or exploitation of known sources.
And for you this proves we are running out of cheap energy.
Never spent a day inside an econ 101 class, did you?

pete
Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2015 3:41 pm

Robin, the cheap energy is in the various types of nuclear and fossil fuels which are not even close to being exhausted. Those forms of energy just happen to be the ones demonised by the greens/left. Coincidence, i’m sure.
As Ian and Mark have stated, the EROEI equation is skewed by govt and regulation which increases the cost component beyond all reason. You cant rely on that argument at all.

Reply to  Robin Curtis
April 27, 2015 8:43 am

All I see is a picture of a reused human made object. That object in the field of overgrown grass is similar to the ships sunk – on purpose in the middle of oceans – that give root to new coral reefs. There is great irony in using a re-purposed shelter which probably support a vast ecosystem of insects, rodents, birds, snakes, and other creatures by both night and day — to indicate that something is ‘dying’ after flourishing.
But – maybe the author’s point is something similar to what I wrote — doubtful though.

imoira
April 27, 2015 1:25 am

Thank you for this Dr. Ball. I confess to not having read Malthus’ writings but only to quotes from them by other people. One such, by Robert Zubrin in Merchants of Doom:

April 27, 2015 1:35 am

In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a social movement of “progressives” called “Eugenics”. The idea was to breed a “better population” by selective breeding and sterilization. The idea was that certain “learned men” would decided who was worthy of reproducing and who was not. Further, like we have done with animals, we could breed for certain traits by forcing people to procreate without regard to love or other such silly and old fashioned notions. Certain people (whole races?) were seen as not worthy of life on earth.

Eugenics was practised in the United States many years before eugenics programs in Nazi Germany[4] and U.S. programs provided much of the inspiration for the latter.[5][6][7] Stefan Kühl has documented the consensus between Nazi race policies and those of eugenicists in other countries, including the United States, and points out that eugenicists understood Nazi policies and measures as the realization of their goals and demands.[5] ~ Wikipedia

As Dr. Ball points out, we know that the CO2 is the devil movement is just an attempt at population control via different means. If our industrial society is dismantled then obviously several billion people will die world wide and that seems to be the ultimate goal. As you observe “scientists” fudge the facts and corrupt the data sets, recall that the corruption of science may be one of their lessor crimes. To actively work towards the death of billions is a goal so heinous that one almost can’t think of it … can’t believe it even possible. But we know that demonizing CO2 is both a religion and politics: it is certainly anti-science.

hunter
April 27, 2015 2:06 am

Ehrlich is the target whose work no one seems to aim for.

Reply to  hunter
April 27, 2015 2:17 am

Ehrlich is the author of the Population Bomb. His ideas are really just the ideas of others. Something Tim Ball is good at pointing out – Erhlich gets his due in this post. But so do the other minds behind him. Malthus was the first to write these ideas down. Like Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, Daniel Malthus, Thomas’ father, may have been the real original thinker. Most of us are not very original. That goes in spades for Paul Ehrlich.

hunter
Reply to  willybamboo
April 27, 2015 2:36 am

Ehrlich deserves far more.
And as far as evolution is concerned, let’s be careful to keep the science separate from the social perversions of the eugenicists and their modern descendants, the greens and climate creeps.

Reply to  hunter
April 27, 2015 10:00 am

@ hunter Ehrlich is one of those academics that can casually allude to genocide on a colossal scale as though its just an unfortunate consequence of the science. When I think about him I’m always reminded of that quote about Eichmann “banality of evil”

hunter
April 27, 2015 2:15 am

GK Chesterton gave some early warnings on the perverse outcome of Malthus and a naive view of evolution, better known as eugenics.
To find out who said what regarding eugenics is surprising and disturbing.
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/eugenics

Ivor Ward
April 27, 2015 2:17 am

Whilst we do not foresee a general overpopulation arising as long as development is allowed to take its natural course the problem is with unemployment of the population. In particular. young, and potentially aggressive men. There is a 25% unemployment rate in some EU countries of 18 to 30 year old men. This is the potential problem as this group has been used by every usurper, dictator, religious fanatic and loony leader throughout history. Idle hands and all that.
Thank you, Dr Ball, for your clarity. If I had had lecturers that expressed themselves with such clarity and not the bunch of waffling, under brained. over-educated academic twitteraty that I experienced I might have a higher opinion of academia.

richard verney
Reply to  Ivor Ward
April 27, 2015 3:42 am

The figure is nearer 50% than 25%.
See: http://www.voxeu.org/article/youth-unemployment-europe-it-s-actually-worse-us
It is indeed a huge problem, and a travesty for a lost generation.

Dodgy Geezer
April 27, 2015 2:31 am

@Leo Smith
…It doesn’t matter how much the Cornucopians bleat the anti-Malthusian message, without some radical change there will always be limits to growth. The problem is where are they, and how close are we, and what ought we to do about it?…
The limits are very close. They are, effectively, tomorrow. However, they are ALWAYS tomorrow. This is obvious, once you read Julian Simon. And tomorrow ALWAYS produces radical changes, making the problem go away. ALL of history shows us this…
We therefore need do nothing new about it. We are increasing towards a limit which is constantly receding, and will always do so…
It is not the principle that is at issue, it is the magnitude. Can we sustain a doubling? Trebling? Order of magnitude increase? and what would be the implicit result in living in a town that is say – 10 times more populated than it is now? ……..Like peak oil, the argument is not about running out It is about the point where more is so much more unattractive, financially or emotionally, that people simply change attitudes and behaviour….
Taking the invention of agriculture as a convenient starting point, we have had around 4 orders of magnitude increase. During that time individual population centres have adapted to phenomenal population increases – London, for example, has moved from around 60,000 people in Roman times to 8.6m nowadays. Yet people are still happy to live there. They would be happy to live there if it were 100m in size (though their living technology would doubtless be different – as ours is from the Romans).
It is ALWAYS (as Simon pointed out) a capital mistake to take today as a special point, and then extrapolate into the future but keeping the technology current. You end up hitting tomorrow with today’s technology, while the whole point about tomorrow is that it will use tomorrow’s technology and mindsets.
And, thinking about tomorrow, you should realise that we have a Universe out there – not just a planet….

old construction worker
April 27, 2015 2:55 am

Hit he nail on the head. It’s has always been about control. Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil (CO2), you control the country; if you control food (CO2), you control the population.
The war on Co2 is a progressive socialist’s war on the middle class but it is only one “front” of the socialist’s war.

old construction worker
Reply to  old construction worker
April 27, 2015 2:56 am

Hit the nail on the head.

Geoff Sherrington
April 27, 2015 3:22 am

When I read these essays about Agenda 21, population control, the role of the President (of the USA) and so on, invariably I get drawn back to the Stanley Kubrick movie Dr Strangelove. Here we have an extract of President Muffley (Peter Sellers) in the Pentagon’s War Room, with General Turgidson (George C Scott) and others. The world is minutes away from nuclear disaster …
(Note the excuses from Turgidson, they remind me of climate scientists whose results mismatch observations).
……………………
Turgidson:
General Ripper called Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a partial transcript of that conversation if you’d like me to read it.
Muffley:
Read it.
Turgidson:
The duty officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact the he had issued the go code and he said, “Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them, otherwise we will be totally destroyed by red retaliation. My boys will give you the best kind of start, fourteen hundred megatons worth, and you sure as hell won’t stop them now. So let’s get going. There’s no other choice. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.” Then he hung up. We’re still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.
Muffley: There’s nothing to figure out General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic.
Turgidson:
Well, I’d like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.
Muffley: (anger rising) General Turgidson, when you instituted the human reliability tests, you assured me there was no possibility of such a thing ever occurring.
Turgidson: Well I don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip up sir.
……………….
Strangelove: (Executes an about face from the big board to face the camera). Mr. President, I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy… heh heh… (rolls forward into the light) at the bottom of ah … some of our deeper mineshafts. The radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep. And in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in dwelling space could easily be provided.
Muffley: How long would you have to stay down there?
Strangelove: Well let’s see now ah, searches within his lapel cobalt thorium G. notices circular slide rule in his gloved hand aa… nn… Radioactive halflife of uh,… hmm.. I would think that uh… possibly uh… one hundred years. On finishing his calculations, he pulls the slide rule roughly from his gloved hand, and returns it to within his jacket.
Muffley: You mean, people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?
Strangelove: It would not be difficult mein Fuhrer! Nuclear reactors could, heh… I’m sorry. Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country. But I would guess… that ah, dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.
Muffley: Well I… I would hate to have to decide.. who stays up and.. who goes down.
Strangelove: Well, that would not be necessary Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross section of necessary skills. Of course it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. (Slams down left fist. Right arm rises in stiff Nazi salute). Arrrrr! (Restrains right arm with left). Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. But ah with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present gross national product within say, twenty years.
Muffley: But look here doctor, wouldn’t this nucleus of survivors be so grief stricken and anguished that they’d, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?
Strangelove: No sir… (Right arm rolls his wheelchair backwards). Excuse me. (Struggles with wayward right arm, ultimately subduing it with a beating from his left).
Also when… when they go down into the mine everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead! Ahhhh! (Right are reflexes into Nazi salute. He pulls it back into his lap and beats it again. Gloved hand attempts to strangle him).
Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ration of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?
Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious… service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.
…….
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0055.html

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 27, 2015 10:10 am

geoff….So this is the conversation you visualize when you see Holdren and Obama together?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  fossilsage
April 27, 2015 10:05 pm

Yep, fossilsage. The parallels are quite flexible and can fit a number of silly walks people. Geoff.

richard verney
April 27, 2015 3:34 am

Very little of the planet is populated to any significant degree.
Nearly all problems can be solved with cheap limitless energy. If the energy problem is cracked, I see no reaon why Earth’s human apopulation can not rise 10 fold (or more).
For example, some talk about lack of water in Africa, but heck the planet is a water world. It is just a question of de-salination to provide water for drinking and crops, and a pipeline from the coast. It is just an issue of energy, but if this was cheap and plentiful, there would be no bar to the engineering diffiulties in providing all the water that humans need delivered to the place where it is needed..
The same with raw materials. Raw materials can be created given limitless cheap energy. It is just that we use materials that presently require the least amount of energy to convert them into something useful.
And what about mining on the Moon and Mars? These have yet to be exploited. With limitless cheap energy, one can bet one’s bottom dollar that these resources will eventually be exploited.
There is a brave new world waiting out there to be discovered. With human ingenuity, it is just a question of time.

MarkW
Reply to  richard verney
April 27, 2015 7:36 am

If energy is no object, than it might be easier to create lakes and swamps in areas that are currently up wind of the areas you want to farm. Just keep pumping in the sea water and let evaporation create rain downwind.

doubtingdave
April 27, 2015 4:11 am

Thankyou Dr Ball, as a so called atheist i see things a little differently .History repeats itself its no surprise that they call themselves the club of ROME because the Romans invented the false religion of Roman catholicism which was nothing more than Emperor worship in disguise, they conquered with the sword then surpressed and pacified the population with a state manufactured faith., that later evolved into the european fudal system that used the church as a weapon to keep peasants in servitude to their nobility. The hold on power by the fudal states and the church began to crumble at the time the printing press was invented up until then the lords and bishops controlled the mainstream media of the time (The Royal courts and the church pulpit)but the free printing press ( Like the internet today gave a platform to the alternative free thinkers of the day such as the lutherians, the cat was out the bag and there was no putting it back. Over the centuries since, the fudal system and the state church with it have lost their grip on power and the people through liberty and democracy have taken control What we see now in my opinion is an attempt to re establish the fudal system by a small but powerfull group of bankers and industrialists so that they can controll the food and energy resources of the future, to do that they need a one world government and a religion to control the masses with.Christianity is not fit for this purpose because its a multi religious multicultural world so they need a religion that has elements in all faiths that followers can relate to, what could be a better fit than enviroment and earth worship.ps i know many here have a deep and personnel relationship with their God i didnt intend to question your faith, just to demonstrate how states have used religion as a weapon against their own people in the past and they will again if we allow it, so i apologise to those of faith that i may have offended love and peace to all.

Reply to  doubtingdave
April 27, 2015 4:51 am

If your faith is easily offended, you have no faith

MarkW
Reply to  doubtingdave
April 27, 2015 7:37 am

I always find it fascinating the way those who wish to pontificate regarding other people’s religions, are always so incredibly ignorant regarding the subject on which they pontificate.
Sir, is there anything you know that is actually correct?

DoubtingDave
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 10:04 am

Mark, i am English , christianity in one form or another has shaped and dominated my nation and its people ( my ancestors) for the best part of 1500 years ,so despite not being christian myself it gives me the right to as you put it ” pontificate” on other peoples religion if i wish to.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
April 27, 2015 2:29 pm

Let me see if I have this right.
Your ancestors were Christian, therefore you are an expert on Christianity.
It never ceases to amaze me how those who know nothing about Christianity, actually feel entitled to pontificate on it.

Reply to  doubtingdave
April 27, 2015 10:19 am

Doubtingdave you have the right to say anything you want. Forgive us if we think your summary of the last 2000 years of Western Civilization to be laughably ignorant. There are certainly atheists that could do a much better job on that count. Perhaps you should go to the library and take out a book or two on history.

DoubtingDave
Reply to  fossilsage
April 27, 2015 11:24 am

fossilsage thanks your comment made me smile, you reminded me of my elder sister who says my scepticism of dangerous manmade climate change is laughably ignorant. She is a evangelical christian and also a phd physicist, when i asked why she is convinced on manmade climate change she said shes a follower of sir John Houghton who had a visit from God , So as a xmas gift i tried to purchase the ” Resisting The Sky Dragon ” dvd set from the Cornwall Alliance so she could take it to her congregation for discussion, but alas i couldnt get a dvd in european zone 2 format only the north american zone 1

Reply to  fossilsage
April 27, 2015 12:24 pm

doubtingdave. Send your sister to this site to read. She will come to her senses once she realizes that the “evidence” is not in. Here she can at least chose articles and discussion where the polemic is not the primary thing. You, on the other hand, get a book or two a good one for a sweeping view of the basics is “Mankind the story of all of us” which also has a well done documentary series. It’s not the Bible but a good summary of the last 5000 years. (please try to enjoy the snarky humor in that last sentence)

MarkW
Reply to  fossilsage
April 27, 2015 2:30 pm

Because you are right on AGW, therefore you are right on everything you care to comment on.

Christopher Paino
Reply to  fossilsage
April 28, 2015 12:35 pm

I found nothing in DoubtingDave’s post that was ignorant. In fact, quite the opposite. The truly ignorant are those that think that organized religion has ever been anything but a human-designed, mass population control device. In the case of Catholicism, the etymology of the name of the religion itself belies its true intention. What it is, what it was, and what it shall be.
Thank the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster (may His noodly appendage be on you) that humans in great numbers are getting wise to the con.

Michael 2
Reply to  Christopher Paino
April 30, 2015 12:43 pm

Christopher Paino says “The truly ignorant are those that think that organized religion has ever been anything but a human-designed, mass population control device.”
But you, being smart and wiser than just about everyone, can be easily manipulated as you avoid the label “ignorant” whereas I embrace it, provided of course it is my enemies that label me so. Your faith in your religion is at least as strong as mine in mine. I also find the FSM to be a useful metaphor; it is part of the dogma of a real atheist.

cedarhill
April 27, 2015 4:13 am

The common thread running through The Club of Rome, Agenda 21, etc., is the need of some for totalitarian control to impose their will. Virtually all socialist theories degrade, over time, to dictatorship. Hitler explained it simply as the best way to govern. It makes little difference, as Holdren proves, the mechanism provided the end result is obtained. The totalitarian folks are simply using the enviro folks as a tool.
But you may not have noticed but CO2 is being supplanted by the rise of “sustainability”. CO2 and global temperatures can be attacked with reality, even if it takes 20 years of flat lined global temperatures. With the data not supporting CO2 warming, “Sustainable” has been groomed to will be the is perfect. It’s the perfect amorphic term that simply cannot be debated since it has no real world substance. Even if someone noodles out a political counter to “Sustainable”, the totalitarian group will have developed yet another straw man. The totalitarian folks are simply using the enviro folks as a tool. They’ll be discarded either when the enviro activists no longer produce results or when the totalitarians complete their takeover.
And they will win in their drive to control. Some think they already have and it’s just a matter of fluffing up things. Consider the Church — the actual Papal meeting is primary about “Sustainable” with CO2 as mostly a hanger on. What will happen is they will concede CO2 but use this meeting as a pivot to sustainable.
If the totalitarians really cared about people, they would promote energy and cheap energy. Energy is, in fact, life. Cheap energy is, in fact, prosperity. Prosperity allows humans to improve their environment for themselves. The totalitarians are simply evil people.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  cedarhill
April 27, 2015 6:08 am

Thanks. Up with freedom, down with tyrants.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  cedarhill
April 27, 2015 9:04 am

SUSTAINABLE REALITY
If you like your energy sustainable,
You must first make the climate trainable.
With sun day and night,
And the wind always right-
I think it just might be attainable!
Solar and wind are renewable,
But have proven to just not be doable!
They’re killing the birds
And displacing the herds
(But the general public is gullible).
It appears to employ better vision,
To subsidize nuclear fission.
(The Thorium kind,
For our peace of mind)
With world-wide grids, for transmission.
Affordable power to the poor,
Is a key to open the door
To an affluent life,
A job and a wife.
With less offspring than folks made before.
So curtailing overpopulation
Is not about limiting nations
On what they can do
Which emits CO2…
It depends on industrialization!

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
April 27, 2015 10:22 am

dawg…good poem or is it verses to a rap song?

Warren Latham
April 27, 2015 4:14 am


UN IPCC DOWNFALL

Mike M
April 27, 2015 4:21 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic-economic_paradox
Why it is “they” call it a “paradox” remains unclear to me but it is obvious that the cure to over population is to encourage poor countries to do what rich countries already did – exploit their natural resources in a free market capitalist economy.

Reply to  Mike M
April 27, 2015 4:38 am

Mike, I dont think the math jibes. Third world nations received know how to reduce mortality, but the birth rate didn’t decline proportionally. Natural resources are well on their way to being over exploited. Population growth is clearly unsustainable, the question in my mind is whether the eventual population peak will be sustainable or not. I don’t think so. I bet it’ll be down a couple of billion from that peak within 200 years.

Mike M
Reply to  Fernando Leanme
April 27, 2015 7:17 am

Mortality? I did not state anything about mortality. My link was “GDP per capita”. Certainly, if life expectancy is increased without increasing productivity (which would be the outcome of extending the life of someone old who has already stopped working), GDP per capita can only go DOWN. The question to be pondered is, “Is extending the lives of those in the third world actually making life even worse for them and therefore even more dependent upon rich countries?” “The First World” didn’t rely on anyone to extend our lives ~150 years ago, we did it ourselves by becoming rich via the tools of capitalism and cheap energy. So doesn’t it make sense to help them develop those same tools to become independent and wealthy rather than making them poorer and more dependent on us? (I know, insecure people just thrive on the thought that other people will always need their “help”.)
“..well on their way..” – Present a USGS report that ever projected LESS fossil fuel reserves than a past report?
“Population growth is clearly unsustainable” No one disagrees that there is ~some value~ that is unsustainable, the disagreement concerns “how many” per the conclusion by Tim Ball that I agree with – there is no evidence that we are any where near it.

MarkW
Reply to  Fernando Leanme
April 27, 2015 7:41 am

Fernando, the poor countries received advice on how to reduce mortality, but for obvious reasons, they ignored it. Until they get wealthy, they need to keep having kids. No matter what do-gooding crusaders tell them.
Natural resources are no where close to being over exploited.
Population growth is no where close to being unsustainable. The world could easily support two to three times current population. Regardless, the population will peak sometime in the next 20 to 30 years.

Golden
April 27, 2015 4:55 am

Malthusian ideas are completely wrong. Population growth supports an expanding economy. Population decline is destructive to the economy. John Maynard Keynes came to this conclusion in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unfortunately this segment of his economic thought is all but forgotten.

jimheath
April 27, 2015 5:00 am

What really is unsustainable is our farmers in Australia ploughing the crops back in because it’s not worth picking them.

April 27, 2015 5:15 am

I was going to write the very sensible comment written by Leo Smith, but he saved me the trouble. Back in 1969, I wrote a song called “Science Will Find a Way,” which I reproduce here in its entirety:
Took a little trip on the LA freeway, bumper to bumper in a gray-green cloud;
Said it looks to me like the end of the world, when the fellow in the next car hollared out loud:
Science will find a way; science will find a way;
To pack in a few more billion people; science will find a way!
I took my girl to the beach one day, just to se if we could get away from it all;
It was beachball city and sand in the face; a beer-drinking party; they were havin’ a ball, singing:
Science, etc.
Paid fifteen dollars at a big ski hill [exorbitant back then!] just to stand in the lift line all day long;
Watch the ski patrol cut in line while the ski instructors all chanted this song:
Science, etc.
Well, I got mad, and I climbed Mount Everest; thought I could find some solitude there;
Boy scouts swarming all over the summit; it was Troop Number Nine way up in the air, singing:
Science, etc.
The four and a half decades since 1969 have satisfied me that science has in fact done just what my song predicted, but they have also convinced me that there are forces at work other than the deadly alliance of the single-minded profit motive and reproductive potential. True, such green-minded strategies as recycling and pollution control have actually enabled population growth by sweeping its undesirable externalities under the rug, but the same market forces that promote population growth have yielded the hopeful result that, in accordance with Malthus’s thinking, smaller families are actually more prosperous and productive than larger ones. Ergo: overpopulation is a function, and a manifestation, not of the profit motive, but of poverty. Eliminate poverty, and the result will be prosperity and population stabilization. Another hopeful development was the seemingly counterintuitive endorsement of conservation and the protection of endangered species by many, if not most, Republicans. This I interpret as a nod to our ultimate dependence on Nature and to the recognition that unhealthy environments are inimical and antithetical to prosperity and the enjoyment of life, which are, after all, the perquisites of productive (but not of reproductive) success. So now, 44 years after writing that song, I feel a bit more sanguine about the prospects of our human-dominated world making the necessary adjustments to provide for an ultimate balance between our reproductive potential and Nature’s ability to provide the high quality of life to which the most prosperous amongst us aspire.

April 27, 2015 5:19 am

Oops, that would be 46 years…

Richie D
April 27, 2015 5:19 am

Julian Simon was right, and the Malthusian death cult was wrong — wrong in 1800, still wrong today. The question is not how many people can the planet support, but in what style? It cannot support 9 billion people living in the style of the nineteenth century (powered by horses and coal), and perhaps not even in the style of the 20th. However, our adaptability and technological prowess — and stabilizing population — suggest the 21st century will be a piece of cake for humanity, requiring only minor adjustments such as for example reducing the “throw weight” of our personal transportation and replacing the 3- to 7-liter internal combustion engines now in use with much smaller ones. Increasing CO2, meanwhile, will increase food production, and materials science will provide lighter, cheaper, more durable “plastics” (probably not made of petroleum, hence the quote marks). We will likely morph a culture driven mostly by acquisition and disposition, into one predicated on less materialistic values. I see a future of greater personal freedom and prosperity (redefined a bit) for mankind, once we get past the counterproductive machinations of the Malthusian death cult and its crypto-feudal agenda.

michael hart
April 27, 2015 5:29 am

“He blamed this decline on three elements: The overproduction of young; …”


And he probably wasn’t the first to think that his generation had invented sex and reproduction. The population was increasing because fewer people (primarily children) were dying. Significantly due to the use of fossil fuels and industrialisation, among other factors.

April 27, 2015 5:34 am

As a Canadian it shames me to say it, but Maurice Strong is evil incarnate. Every awful global control issue has his stench on it. To bad China is so fond of him or we could see his face (ass) in court.

Bruce Cobb
April 27, 2015 5:37 am

The CAGW memeplex serves many masters. That is why it is so difficult to kill.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 27, 2015 10:51 am

memeplex. ….Good word.

Phil Ford
April 27, 2015 5:38 am

“…The insanity of it all is that none of what they think matters because there is no overpopulation, no shortage of resources or any connection between CO2 and climate change.”
Dr Ball, thanks for your piece – great reading. The excerpt above troubles me only because, although I share the sentiments, I would appreciate the evidential facts to back them up. Do you have any such evidential proof – statistical or otherwise – preferably from an independent source or sources that cannot be instantly labelled ‘skeptical’ by pro-CAGW ‘believers’ (who will instantly dismiss anything that doesn’t come from one of their trusted sources)?
I really think knowledgeable members of the skeptical community need to produce some kind of ‘reality checklist’, easily understood and fully cited, which documents statements of ‘fact’ regarding claims made about CAGW, over-population, ‘peak oil’, etc which have all turned out to be completely unsupported by time and subsequent reality. It would help to be able to just put such a ‘reality checklist’ in front of people who refuse to accept the CAGW narrative they ‘believe in’ is nothing more than rainbows and unicorns.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Phil Ford
April 27, 2015 11:59 am

You could start with The Ultimate Resource II by Julian Simon, and The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg. Each is chock full of references to “independent sources”. In 2015 they’re a bit outdated, but still useful.
This site lets you choose individual countries and see their historical and projected growth rates, according to the UN. Note that even most third world countries have declining growth rates, both past and future:
http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/panel_population.htm

April 27, 2015 5:50 am

Where is research that shows the optimum climate for our biosphere? The first question must be: where is our current climate and trend in relation to this finding.
Strangely, nobody seems interested in this vital comparison. Not so strangely, the solutions that are frequently demanded in the most urgent voice, all converge on a socialist worldview: statism, bigger government, higher taxes, less personal liberty, even fewer people. That bigger picture tells me all that I need to know about “climate science”.

pat
April 27, 2015 5:52 am

27 April: Spiked: Brendan O’Neill: Are you now or have you ever been a climate contrarian?
The fury over Bjorn Lomborg Down Under confirms the intolerance of greens
Once, it was Communists who were harassed on Western campuses. Now it’s contrarians. Specifically ‘climate contrarians’. The massive stink over Bjorn Lomborg being given Australian government funding to set up a climate-change centre at the University of Western Australia (UWA) shows that the spirit of McCarthyism lives on. Only now, its targets aren’t Reds, but anti-greens: anyone who dares to criticise either the science — sorry, The Science — or the politics of climate change…READ ON
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-climate-contrarian/16913

Gamecock
April 27, 2015 6:03 am

People want to kill you now. They use “The Future” as justification for doing it. Though all they really want is to kill you now. If it weren’t for “The Future,” they’d find some other justification. Hence, should you prove that “The Future” will be okay, it would change NOTHING.
“The Future” is a prop.

Scott
April 27, 2015 6:04 am

FINALLY….a real scientist who recognizes the Club of Rome (COR) and UN Agenda 21 for what they are and NOT conspiracy theories…..
We saw a perfect example of this when BHO and “Bill Nye the 9000 gallons of Jet Fuel – Political Guy” did their speech in the Everglades with, “The science is settled”, “Everyone knows” and the load of tripe they spew.
Ed Miliband (labor candidate for Prime Minister) in the UK this past weekend said he was going to make “Islamophobia” a FELONIOUS THOUGHT CRIME if elected PM of the UK. No, I’m not making this up, check the British news websites. The Climate “Deniers” will be next. This is where the world is headed – certainly Europe.
Ladies and Gentlemen, wake up before Orwell’s “1984” just slides right in and no one notices…..till it’s too late.

Patrick
Reply to  Scott
April 27, 2015 6:25 am

It *IS* too late. Nothing will stop this other than a war.

Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 10:56 am

Yep, 1984 just slid right in. Been with us 31 years, just festering and biding its time

April 27, 2015 6:05 am

This article is no more than another nutty conspiracy theory– the entire world is out to get us and since we don’t like the answer from ALL Science, then ALL of Science must be in a conspiracy against us. And since every one of the world’s National Science Academies conclude AGW, they ALL must be in on it — the Chinese, The French, Germans, Japanese, British, Russians, Americans, the Aussies.
Do we need more evidence of the author’s mindset than his absurd proposition?

Gamecock
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 6:21 am

It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Reply to  Gamecock
April 27, 2015 7:34 am

OK. So you are one of those who believes the World’s Science Academies are in a conspiracy to publish fraudulent Science?

JJM Gommers
Reply to  Gamecock
April 27, 2015 1:51 pm

warrenlb;;; try to deviate the party line, there are numerous examples of going wrong.
you lose your job, or subsidy, or protection. That are reasons for many people to stay quiet.
Retirees stand up to be more critical, but maybe in the future these too might be carefull , something can be found to put pressure on them.

MarkW
Reply to  Gamecock
April 28, 2015 7:42 am

Conspiracy or not, the fact that they have been taken over by politicians and supporting fraudulent science has already been proven.
Deal with it.

Gamecock
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 6:22 am

What is conspicuously absent is a connection with the PRESENT.

MarkW
Reply to  Gamecock
April 27, 2015 3:58 pm

What is conspicuously absent is any connection with REALITY.

Patrick
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 6:22 am

You are so uniformed, it’s too funny!

Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 6:56 am

Do you believe that all the world’s Scientific Institutions – the Academies I cited — are in a conspiracy to publish fraudulent Science?

MarkW
Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 7:44 am

Do I believe that the politicians continue to push disproven science because it’s in their benefit to do so.
Of course. That’s what politicians do.

MarkW
Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 7:45 am

We had several articles last week regarding those precious academies of yours.
Most of their members are quitting because the politicians who run them will not listen to the members.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 11:10 am

“warrenlb
April 27, 2015 at 6:56 am”
Prove it warren, prove it! No models, no computer predictions/projections, prove it with actual, observed, testable, evidence.

MarkW
Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 2:32 pm

warrenlb doesn’t have to prove it.
His sacred texts say it is so, and that settles it.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 6:50 am

We certainly need no more evidence of your mindset than your climate koolaid-inspired spittle-flecked rant.

Steve P
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 7:36 am

Do we need more evidence of your ignorance? The Russian Academy of Sciences most certainly does not promote AGW:

When it comes to warming and the man-made CO2 greenhouse gas effect, the Voice of Russia writes that

“Russian scientist Vladimir Bashkin is categorically in disagreement. He claims that the climatic changes are characterized by cycles and have nothing to do in any way with the activities of man.”

Global warming is coming to an end: In the coming years the temperature over the entire planet will fall and the cooling will provide a character of relief. This is the conclusion reached by Russian scientists from the Physics University of the Russian Academy of Science.

(my bold)
http://notrickszone.com/2013/04/11/russian-academy-of-sciences-experts-warn-of-imminent-cold-period-global-warming-is-a-marketing-trick/#sthash.CioD5OA0.dpbs
What the Chinese really think is a little more inscrutible, imo

Steve P
Reply to  Steve P
April 27, 2015 7:38 am

And inscrutible inscrutable too…

Steve P
Reply to  Steve P
April 27, 2015 7:52 am

Sorry, my comment here is in response to:
warrenlb April 27, 2015 at 6:05 am

And since every one of the world’s National Science Academies conclude AGW, they ALL must be in on it — the Chinese, The French, Germans, Japanese, British, Russians, Americans, the Aussies.

Reply to  Steve P
April 27, 2015 8:03 pm

@Steve P.
You have it wrong, three times over:
“2007 — In preparation for the 33rd G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration referencing the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and acknowledging the confirmation of their previous conclusion by recent research. Following the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the declaration states, “It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken.” The thirteen signatories were the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”
“2008 — In preparation for the 34th G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration reiterating the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and reaffirming “that climate change is happening and that anthropogenic warming is influencing many physical and biological systems.” Among other actions, the declaration urges all nations to “(t)ake appropriate economic and policy measures to accelerate transition to a low carbon society and to encourage and effect changes in individual and national behaviour.” The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 joint statement.”
“2009 — In advance of the UNFCCC negotiations to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a joint statement declaring, “Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change”. The statement references the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment of 2007, and asserts that “climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated; global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions, Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted, and the rise in the sea level has become more rapid.” The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 and 2008″

Jay Hope
Reply to  Steve P
April 28, 2015 1:39 am

The Russian scientists have been saying this for ages. But I’m not sure the cooling will be such a good thing. Better to be warm than cold.

MarkW
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 7:44 am

Dementia is not your friend.

Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 11:08 am

@Warrenlb Look there’s no conspiracy theory involved in the fact the John Holdren co-authored a book with Paul Ehrlich which suggested we need an international body to create an international policing mechanism to “compel” population control. It might require force of arms. These days John says he doesn’t remember that part. HE’S CO-AUTHOR OF THE BOOK for crying out loud! It’s not like he would forget the contents of the only book he wrote with his academic mentor do you think? Do you think they discussed it before it got in the book? He is now science adviser to the president of the United States! You don’t need a conspiracy theory. Wherever Neomaltusians arrive they will be quick to the draw on compelling conformity with their view for the greater good and, surprise, they will tend to hire like thinkers around themselves. Which is why it has taken forty some years for the Club of Rome to create and bring the IPCC into the “mainstream” Warren just read the history of the organizations and look up the biographies of the main players on Wikipedia these guys aren’t very shy about saying what they want to do.

Patrick
April 27, 2015 6:21 am

The entire human population of the earth, to date, can stand, literally in their footprints only, on the Isle of Wight off the south cost of England. The issue (Problem?) is food, water supply and shelter. We seem to be doing reasonably well.

Silver ralph
Reply to  Patrick
April 27, 2015 8:01 am

Whywould you want your children to live in such a world? What would be the point? Have you never heard of a ‘quality of life’?

Patrick
Reply to  Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 10:11 am

Thats not the point. The point of my post is to demonstrate that humans have littile, phyical, impact on the global climate on this rock that we live on. And yet there are those who believe ~3% of ~400ppm/v CO2 can *DRIVE* change to the climate on this rock so that we, and no other being, can live on it! It seems this rock is proving these claims wrong.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Silver ralph
April 28, 2015 12:10 pm

Good question.

Reply to  Silver ralph
April 28, 2015 1:55 pm

@Patrick.
You say: “There are those who believe ~3% of ~400ppm/v CO2 can *DRIVE* change to the climate…”
‘Those’ are all world’s Institutions of Science. When faced with choosing between the opinions of a blogger, vs the research of the world’s scientist, who should we believe?

Michael 2
Reply to  warrenlb
April 30, 2015 12:38 pm

warrenlb asks “When faced with choosing between the opinions of a blogger, vs the research of the world’s scientist, who should we believe?”
1. There is no “we”. You will choose who to believe based on a variety of factors.
2. There is no “should”. This is not church.
3. Your comparison lacks vital information. What is the qualifications of your hypothetical blogger and what are the political motivations of your world’s scientist? Both are relevant. The scientist may be ethically compromised and the blogger might be the One True Discoveror of something important and relevant.
In the story of the “Emperors New Clothes”, it is a boy that eventually proclaims the truth. The boy has no qualifications whatsoever BUT most people realize the boy also has no social motivations to lie. (He will have personal motivations to lie, but not social).
So you see, it is best if a “non-expert” proclaims the emperor has no clothes. Someone whose job does not depend on proclaiming one way or the other.

April 27, 2015 6:38 am

All 7 billion people on earth today would fit easily inside half of the Grand Canyon. Picture that in your mind’s eye. Whatever the real problem is, it is not too many people.

cba
April 27, 2015 6:40 am

turns out they totally missed the boat on the ultimate population control. It is greed and capitalism. Once the free market reaches an area along with suitable medical treatment to drastically reduce childhood deaths, the 4th kid or a new flatscreen tv or car becomes a no brainer. Countries with even a modest amount of these factors require influxes of foreigners to maintain the population – ie the US and western Europe. Without the immigration, they would be a dwindling population – no tyrannical rule required.
these clowns, Malthusians, progressives (really they are retrogressives), are retarded in some way or another and are incapable of viewing the big picture. First, if we truly were overcrowded, nature would solve the problem immediately. Second, if we became overcrowded, as conditions declined, immigration would start to become a viable solution. The Moon, Mars, asteroids, man made satellites like the L5 society analyzed back in the 70s are technologically achievable and eventually can become cost effective and that’s before we ever get to a stage of interstellar colonization. Third, without a large population of random genetic activity and societal backgrounds, the great intellects of tomorrow will be replaced by idiots. Fourth, sooner or later all life on Earth will be destroyed by events which will happen that nothing can be done about – except to evacuate the place. Before that, there is a very high likelihood that some events almost as devastating will happen which could be avoided given sufficient warning time and technology.

April 27, 2015 6:40 am

Your local IKEA has a 400 sq ft example of living space furnished with their products. Those 7 billion could each be allocated 400 sq ft and all fit inside the sate boundaries of Colorado. It’s called math.

cba
Reply to  nickreality65
April 27, 2015 6:45 am

for 6bil or so, TX could be turned into one giant suburb. LOL. No water? Same problem with any city from ancient rome on. That’s what pipelines (aqueducts) are for. On a world that is over 2/3 water, there is no shortage of water, only of freshwater in some locations and desalination plants are readily created when there is cheap abundant energy around.

Bernie McCune
April 27, 2015 6:50 am

With all the talk of limits to growth, it is probably worth revisiting Chiefio’s common sense look at “enuf stuff”
https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/
You name it, he takes a look at some of the real issues in water, food, energy and even living space. Who is the nut – warrenlb? All this sounds strange because you never see it in everyday discussions but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t truly realistic. Thanks Dr. Ball for another good post. And many thanks EM Smith for your wide ranging thoughtful discussions.

Reply to  Bernie McCune
April 27, 2015 7:31 am

Where did I say anything about limits to growth?
And are you one of those who believes all the world’s Science Academies are in a conspiracy to publish fraudulent science?

Bernie McCune
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 1:51 pm

Malthus, the Club of Rome and Paul Erlich were the ones talking about limits to growth. They are really the nuts in my opinion. You were the one calling Tim Ball a nut not me. There are a lot of nuts in the academic world but I don’t think Tim is one of them. I am certain the honest academics are doing good science.

Reply to  warrenlb
April 28, 2015 6:55 am

@Bernie McCune.
You say: “I am certain the honest academics are doing good science.”
I agree with you. And here is what they say:
2007 — In preparation for the 33rd G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration referencing the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and acknowledging the confirmation of their previous conclusion by recent research. Following the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the declaration states, “It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken.” The thirteen signatories were the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
2007 — In preparation for the 33rd G8 summit, the Network of African Science Academies submitted a joint “statement on sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate change” : ‘A consensus, based on current evidence, now exists within the global scientific community that human activities are the main source of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible for driving this change. The IPCC should be congratulated for the contribution it has made to public understanding of the nexus that exists between energy, climate and sustainability.’
2008 — In preparation for the 34th G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration reiterating the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and reaffirming “that climate change is happening and that anthropogenic warming is influencing many physical and biological systems.” Among other actions, the declaration urges all nations to “(t)ake appropriate economic and policy measures to accelerate transition to a low carbon society and to encourage and effect changes in individual and national behaviour.” The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 joint statement.
2009 — In advance of the UNFCCC negotiations to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a joint statement declaring, “Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change”. The statement references the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment of 2007, and asserts that “climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated; global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions, Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted, and the rise in the sea level has become more rapid.” The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 and 2008 joint statements.
Polish Academy of Sciences: In December 2007, the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk) issued this statement: “Problems of global warming, climate change, and their various negative impacts on human life and on the functioning of entire societies are one of the most dramatic challenges of modern times.”
American Association for the Advancement of Science as the world’s largest general scientific society, adopted an official statement on climate change in 2006: ‘ The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society….The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now.’
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies in 2008 published FASTS Statement on Climate Change which states: ‘Global climate change is real and measurable…To reduce the global net economic, environmental and social losses in the face of these impacts, the policy objective must remain squarely focused on returning greenhouse gas concentrations to near pre-industrial levels through the reduction of emissions. The spatial and temporal fingerprint of warming can be traced to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, which are a direct result of burning fossil fuels, broad-scale deforestation and other human activity.’
United States National Research Council through its Committee on the Science of Climate Change in 2001, published Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions.[36] This report explicitly endorses the IPCC view of attribution of recent climate change as representing the view of the scientific community:
The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century… The IPCC’s conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue.
Royal Society of New Zealand having signed onto the first joint science academy statement in 2001, released a separate statement in 2008: “The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2007 issued a formal declaration on climate change:
“Human activity is most likely responsible for climate warming. Most of the climatic warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Documented long-term climate changes include changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones. The above development potentially has dramatic consequences for mankind’s future.”
European Science Foundation in a 2007 position paper states:
“There is now convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have become a major agent of climate change… On-going and increased efforts to mitigate climate change through reduction in greenhouse gases are therefore crucial.”
Want more?

Reply to  warrenlb
April 30, 2015 12:44 pm

warrenlb says:
Want more?
What he is asking is: “Do you want more of my Appeal to Authority fallacies?”
No, thanx. Every organization listed is a political organization, including the UN/IPCC and all the others. “Man-made global warming” has totally failed the science test. There is no quantifiable evidence for the existence of MMGW. No measurements quantifying MMGW exist. None.
So the argument has shifted into the political arena. Politics comprises warrenlb’s entire argument. Because he has decisively lost the scientific argument.

Mark from the Midwest
April 27, 2015 6:57 am

The world often elevates someone like Malthus to semi-deity status, for some odd reason that escapes me. But if you read the stuff it’s just the rant of an idiot. There’s no starting point, no set of falsifiable postulates to build a foundation for the rant, it’s just pontification.
I had a prof my sophomore year. In the first few weeks of the term he had us read Veblen, Malthus, a little bit of Marx, some Mill, and 3 or 4 others, and to write a one sentence “impression” of each of them. Then in weeks 5 and 6 he proceeded to rip each one of them by revealing flaws in their logic, to show how predictions or assumptions they made were just nonsense, and then he told us, “just because their bust is on the mantle, gold gilded and all, don’t mean they’re crap. Learn to think for yourself!” Other than the coursework in math, computer science, etc, etc., it was the most excellent adventure I’ve had on the formal side of education.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 27, 2015 7:38 am

Why did you think John Stuart Mill wrote nonsense?

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 9:02 am

Mill didn’t write nonsense, but there are all kinds of practical problems with much of his work. Just a couple examples: He argued for inclusive society and broad rights to vote, (good so far), but then also claimed there were exclusions for “barbarians and the uneducated.” He never sufficiently articulated a working definition of barbarians or uneducated, and left it as something that should be somewhat self-evident. If you take large parts of Utilitarianism there are all kinds of issues in defining “greatest good.” On the one hand it was individual happiness, whatever that might be, and on the other he was arguing that people were capable of being educated and enjoying the more refined and intellectual pursuits, and that’s the end to which society should strive. Seems like a practical contradiction, after all, I’m more educated that 99.95%, of the people in the U.S., (Masters in Math, Masters in Cognitive Psych, PhD in Information Theory). I enjoy a good Wagner Opera, but sometimes I’m just happiest when I’m outback unloading my 9mm into a pile of dirt, something that many people would consider the act of an uneducated barbarian.
Where we left off in 1973: Don’t take Mill too seriously just because he argues for the greater good, take him seriously when he tells you something you didn’t already know. In the later respect I’ve learned a lot more from old farmers and mining engineers than I did from most of the 18th and 19th century philosophers and scholars.

Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 9:30 am

Warrenlb,
Mills wrote this: “The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”
That is not nonsense. In fact, the logic there is so compelling, the advocates of ‘action’ on AGW, must insist that they know the future and its CAGW (sorry I know you hate CAGW). The reason AGW has to be turned into a catastrophe is to pass Mills test for coercion. It isn’t the science of climate that is catastrophic, its the politics of AGW that compel a catastrophic outcome. That is the justification for all state-mandated coercion.
That is the point of Dr. Ball’s post. ANY catastrophic prophecy is brought to serve the same end. Coercion and control by the government to save, (A) the planet (B) mankind (C) specific species, aka the tribe, nation, sacred animal, etc.
Philosophically John Stuart Mills and myself are not simpatico – but he did not write nonsense.

Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 2:46 pm

@Willybamoo.
I agree with you, and with Mill’s ideas on individual freedom. His writings also have no bearing on AGW, since the atmosphere behaves according to the Laws of Physics, not according to the writings of a philosopher.

mebbe
Reply to  warrenlb
April 27, 2015 6:43 pm

warrenlb,
Your funny little brain behaves “according to the Laws of Physics” but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense!

Reply to  warrenlb
April 28, 2015 6:37 am

@mebbe
Are you saying that the atmosphere does not obey the Laws of Physics?

Michael 2
Reply to  warrenlb
April 28, 2015 12:30 pm

warrenlb “Are you saying that the atmosphere does not obey the Laws of Physics?”
I had not thought of it that way, but it is exactly correct. It is more correct to say that the principles of physics are revealed by the atmosphere.
The atmosphere neither obeys nor disobeys; that is something for dogs and people, neither is it a law established by an Authority, although some believe it to be exactly so.

mebbe
Reply to  warrenlb
April 28, 2015 9:46 am

warrenlb,
You managed to get the implication of my flippant comment exactly reversed.
The point is that everything obeys the laws of physics and it’s a tiresome diversion to constantly claim that the climate is “basic physics”.
Protein folding is “basic physics” but not understood.
Like clouds.
And lightning…

MarkW
April 27, 2015 7:01 am

Of course these are the same fools who believe that democracy is a problem and needs to be gotten rid of.

Alan Robertson
April 27, 2015 7:21 am

It’s all your fault.
Submit, pay up, then die.
/s?

commieBob
April 27, 2015 7:29 am

Buckminster Fuller pointed out that we use technology and substitution to solve material shortages. He pointed out that almost everything we do can be done using much less material. In other words, we innovate our way out of shortages.
Thomas Homer Dixon points out that problems may come at us so fast that we can’t innovate quickly enough.
Have we suffered from overpopulation? You could argue that it happened in the late middle ages.

A series of famines and plagues, beginning with the Great Famine of 1315–17 and especially the Black Death of 1348, reduced the population perhaps by half or more as the Medieval Warm Period came to a close and the first century of the Little Ice Age began. Along with depopulation came social unrest and endemic warfare. Soil exhaustion, overpopulation, wars, and epidemic diseases helped cause hundreds of famines in Europe during the Middle Ages, including 95 in Britain and 75 in France.[2][3] In France, the Hundred Years’ War, crop failures and epidemics reduced the population by two-thirds.[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Late_Middle_Ages

Andrew Nikiforuk points out that the reason the plagues spread so readily was that the population was already weakened by malnutrition (because of overpopulation and ‘politics’).
I think we have a lot to fear from another ‘little ice age’. The crap could hit the fan. It’s happened before.

mickeycz
April 27, 2015 7:40 am

US Census graphic depiction of world population trends:
https://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/worldgrgraph.php
The accompanying text:
“The world population growth rate rose from about 1.5 percent per year from 1950-51 to a peak of over 2 percent in the early 1960s due to reductions in mortality. Growth rates thereafter started to decline due to rising age at marriage as well as increasing availability and use of effective contraceptive methods. Note that changes in population growth have not always been steady. A dip in the growth rate from1959-1960, for instance, was due to the Great Leap Forward in China. During that time, both natural disasters and decreased agricultural output in the wake of massive social reorganization caused China’s death rate to rise sharply and its fertility rate to fall by almost half.”
Politicians all over can and will lie to us to further their agendas.
It’s sort of like when there was gambling in Casablanca. NOT shocking, just normal.

PiperPaul
April 27, 2015 7:48 am

The problem is Malthus
This part, about halfway through Tim’s article, needs either a period to finish the sentence or some more words.

Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 8:06 am

Richardcourtney
The fallacy of overpopulation derives from the disproved Malthusian idea which wrongly assumes that humans are constrained like bacteria in a Petri dish. 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.
________________________________________
You do have some strange ideas Richard. We ARE constrained, because we live in finite countries, with finite resources, within a finite world. The world IS a large petri dish, and if you disagree then please go to Mars next week and tell us all what it is like. What, you cannot do that?! Welcome to the Earthly petrie dish, Richard.
And why this pre-civilised desire for humans to breed like rabbits or bacteria? Is this madness reIigiously inspired? A species that cannot control its population cannot be called civilised. But why would anyone want to push human populations as close as possible to their theoretical limit? These are the truly bad people in the world, not Malthus. These population-promoters must be aware that with populations at their maximum, any disruption to supplies and production (be that natural or man-made, temporary or long term) will lead to mass starvation and death.
And if we understand the potential hazards and still choose to strive for maximum populations, like the classical lemming imagery, then these will not simply be unavoidable deaths but deliberate institutional deaths. This is what politicians who will not entertain population controls are promoting, and so they are not simply misguided they are ambassadors from the underworld.
R

Reply to  Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 9:53 am

Silver Ralph,
The world is a large petri dish and mankind is just an complex microbe? eh? That’s grim.
“A species that cannot control its population cannot be called civilized”
No one has ever called any other species apart from man ‘civilized’ to my recollection. But we don’t apply that to all the tribes. Some are uncivilized. As far as I know all civilizations were expansionists, until they entered a period of decline and fall.
No one that I know is trying to push human population to its ‘theoretical limits’ Certainly not Richardcourtney. Who is striving for maximum populations? I think the idea is the great population expansion of the last fifty years has been far from catastrophic. On the contrary, man is better of now than he was fifty years ago, when the world’s population was not even half of what it is today.
Maybe we ought to leave how many babies up to the families to whom they belong. We need to stop thinking about people belonging to the state. That is not the sort of civilization I would advocate.
“Ambassadors from the underworld” that sounds religious. I think you’re slipping Ralph

commieBob
Reply to  Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 9:56 am

These population-promoters …

Most of the folks who disagree with Malthus couldn’t be called ‘population-promoters’. They’re just disagreeing with bad thinking.

Vince Causey
Reply to  Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 10:31 am

I think you miss the point made entirely. Nobody is striving to push the population to its maximum limit. The point was that history has shown that the population has increased with the ability of humans to provide for that population. There is nowhere in that idea, the conclusion that this correlation will continue. Indeed, the evidence cites a decoupling, such that as wealth reaches a certain per capita level, population growth ceases.
This amazing serendipity should be loudly cheered. It is saying that technology can, with abundant cheap energy, lift humanity out of poverty, AND, as an additional benefit, prevent populations continuing to rise.

MarkW
Reply to  Silver ralph
April 27, 2015 2:36 pm

Let me know when the martians figure out how to create energy from rocks.
Human ingenuity is unlimited, and because of that, our resources are unlimited.
If the politicians hadn’t interfered, there’s a chance we could be mining the moon for resources by now.

SAMURAI
April 27, 2015 8:11 am

In many industrialized countries: USA, Russia and Japan to name a few, birth rates are insufficient to maintain their respective populations.
If Japan’s current birth rate continues, it’s population by the year 3,000 will be 50,000 (not a typo) 50,000… The rapid decline of birth rates is primarily due to a devastated economy following decades of insanely wasteful Socialist/Keynesian public spending, excessive corporate, personal and inheritance taxes, awful monetary policies, huge and growing national debt, money printing, excessive state control of the economy, crony crapitalism and overregulation.
Japanese simply can’t afford to have more than one or two children, so they don’t…
This is playing out in many industrialized countries.
For countries in abject poverty, most are run by Socialist/Communist/Dictators that don’t allow free-market capitalism to bring them out of poverty..
If the world wishes to develop strong, growing and innovative economies, they need to end their failed experiments with Socialism and command control econimies and implement free-market economies…
CAGW is simply a last ditch effort by Socialists and Communists to keep their failed economic/social theory alive… Like the rest of their failed plans, CAGW simply doesn’t work and economies are being further ruined by implementing inefficient and expensive CO2 sequestration policies.
Had America and other Western countries embraced and maintained limited governments and stuck with free-market economies, we’d have warp drive by now and all our energy would be from fusion and/or thorium… $100’s of Trillions of global wealth has been squandered by Socialism/Communism over the past century.
How long will it take for people to wake up?

Vince Causey
Reply to  SAMURAI
April 27, 2015 10:38 am

I am not convinced that these demographic problems are the result of all these economic policies. Yes, they have ruined the economy and made people poorer, but poorer populations have had higher fertility rates, so I think there are other issues at play.

SAMURAI
Reply to  Vince Causey
April 27, 2015 6:31 pm

Vince– if you look at economic freedom rankings, per capita GDP, birth rates and infant mortality rates, the counties with the worst economies, the least economiic freedom and the highest infant mortality rates have the highest birth rates.
It’s a matter of survival. Parents need to have as many children as possible to assure enough of them survive to take care of the family. They live in hovels with no running water, no electricity, no sewer systems and often burn dung to cook their food. Wood is often very scarce as it has been all used up ( see Haiti). Their economies are still agrarian in areas with poor soils, very low crop yields and over grazed fields and are often in desert to semi-desert climates.
Even destitute countries with fertile soils, good climates and massive natural resources, Socialist dictators nationalized industries and implement destructive taxes and massive rules and regulations, which prevent foreign capital investment and efficient use of land, labor and capital.
It’s a complete mess.
Free people and free economies are the answer to solve 3rd-world problems as can be seen in Chile and Mauritius.

April 27, 2015 8:24 am

Dr. Ball,
I love your article because you are getting at the heart of the matter: CAGW has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with mass mind control.
People see what the expect to see, and not what is really there.
To control what people do, you control what they think.
To control what people think, you control what they see.
And to control what people see, you control what they expect to see.
Here is a fascinating video on the origin and history of the psychological operations leading up to the Club of Rome, Agenda 21 and CAGW.
The basis of the psyops is a keen understanding of how to induce shell-shock in whole populations, reduce them to apathy and compliance.
THE TAVISTOCK AGENDA
by Iona Miller

(On a minor fun note, Iona is pictured in two frames: “Keep Them in Tavi-stocks”, and “Bread and Circuits”. I’ve been in contact with her a few times, and she is a brilliant and fascinating lady.)

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Max Photon
April 27, 2015 9:54 am

ibid

Reply to  Max Photon
April 27, 2015 11:29 am

@Max did you do that on purpose? Line 5 the ‘y’ is missing on they and there’s no space between and & not.

Reply to  fossilsage
April 27, 2015 5:16 pm

‘the’ should read ‘they’
On my screen there IS a space between ‘and’ & ‘not’, so I don’t know what to say about that one.
🙂

Tom J
April 27, 2015 8:34 am

At the age of 40 Malthus married in 1804 and proceeded to father 3 cylinder. Now, this is above the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Thus, if Malthus merely fathered a reasonable 2.1 children he would not have contributed to overpopulation. But, no, instead of walking the walk he merely talked the talk and fathered an additional 0.9 child.
The proper approach to overpopulation would be the one advocated by my sister, my older sister. In her 20s and 30s all of her 12 husbands were wealthy old men in their 60s and 70s. Since they were all in poor health, or would soon be after marriage, I never understood her physical attraction to them. Suffice it to say they all were incapable of fathering any children and nary a child was born by my older sister. Now that she’s in her 70s and no longer able to replicate she’s proceeded to swear off marriage. Now, however she lives with cohabitants all of whom are young males in their 20s and 30s; a few of whom have mysteriously disappeared.

Tom J
Reply to  Tom J
April 27, 2015 8:35 am

I meant 3 children. 3 cylinders are the number in my car.

Reply to  Tom J
April 27, 2015 8:49 am

Chips off the old block.

Tucci78
April 27, 2015 8:35 am

…none of what they think matters because there is no overpopulation, no shortage of resources or any connection between CO2 and climate change. It is a story of science without evidence or at best-concocted evidence from Malthus through the COR [Club of Rome] to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In other words, a political power-grab under the guise of spurious “science” for a putative “public good” that’s neither particularly public in its stated objectives nor good for the common weal in any sense whatsoever.

Science requires a process and unrelenting trial and error, learning and experimentation, the humility to admit error and the driving passion to discover truth. In other words, real science requires freedom, not central planning. The idea that any panel of experts can have the requisite knowledge to make such grand decisions for the globe is outlandish and contrary to pretty much everything we know.
Plus, throw politics into the mix and matters get worse. From everything I’ve read, I’m convinced that fear over climate change (the ultimate public goods “problem”) is the last and best hope for those lustful to rule the world by force. Some people just want to run the world, and this entire nightmare scenario that posits that our high standard of living is causing the world to heat up and burn is the latest and greatest excuse. And that remains true whether or not everything they claim to be true is all true or all nonsense.

— Jeffrey Tucker, “The Rage of the Climate Central Planners” (19 June 2014)

Gary Pearse
April 27, 2015 8:46 am

First and engineering look. Let’s measure the physical problem. Lake Superior would hold 6B people, each with 15sqm to tread water in. If we were to have only 1 sqm, the lake could accommodate 90B people. The earth can support the projected population with ease and ingenuity. What the antediluvian Ehrlichs don’t realize, is by keeping large portions of the population in poverty, they get the unintended result of greater population than we would if we permitted them cheap energy. The fertility rate of well off people has shrunk to below 2 children per family. This is a forecast for all of mankind when we improve the lot of the poor. We should hasten their development to acheive the best outcome.

April 27, 2015 8:55 am

Being a California survivor, and having engaged with countless ‘environmentalists’, I can assure you that most of them HATE HUMANS.
They will tell you in the most cavalier manner that the ‘carrying capacity’ of Earth is 500 million.
Translation: we need to get rid of 6.5 billion people.
In other words, these groove, loving people, who claim to want peace and harmony and all that good stuff, would happily exterminate every 13 out of 14 people.
Feel the love.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Max Photon
April 27, 2015 9:07 am

But Max, does anyone really “survive” California? I “survived” Aspen in the late 70’s, but as my wife often points out “there was some serious and permanent damage done.”

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 27, 2015 5:46 pm

Good Lord … Aspen.
When I was a young lad in grad school I dated the hottest, sweetest, brightest Jewish gal in all of Wharton. (And she’s the one who approached me! Go figure!!)
Her family was a bazillion times wealthier than the world I came from, and they had a place in Aspen where you could ski right to the garage. The entire family lived for skiing, so I got to go to there a few time. It was pretty sweet.
Her parents were very kind and generous to me, but I was perfectly clear they knew that if they just laid low and played it cool long enough, that I’d disappear in due time after their precious daughter out-grew her goy-toy phase. (I don’t begrudge Jewish parents hoping that their daughters marry Jewish boys, so I never took it personally.)
Anyway, what I remember about Aspen is twofold: that it is a superb place for road cycling in the summer — gorgeous scenery with great climbs; and that had I not been subsidized, I would have been absolutely destitute in less than a week. I don’t think I couldn’t even afford to dumpster-dive there.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 27