Was climate change alarmism always about fears of overpopulation?

by Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak

[Note: The following text is adapted from the authors’ recently published book Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change in which the validity of the belief in the inherent unsustainability of economic growth is challenged more thoroughly.]

Numerous population control advocates have linked anthropogenic climate change to population growth, or tried to revive interest in invoking anthropogenic climate change as the key negative outcome of continued economic growth linked to, foremost among causes, an increasing population. One pioneer of establishing and cultivating population growth – anthropogenic climate change linkage was the “Population Bomber” himself, Paul Ehrlich, who during a conference in 1968 identified anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions as a “serious limiting factor” to economic growth.[1] By the 1970s, Ehrlich, his wife Anne and his collaborator John Holdren raised fears that carbon dioxide “produced by combustion of fossil fuels in quantities too large to contain” may “already be influencing climate” and, as such, constituted one of the “gravest threats to human well-being. . . [i.e.] the loss of natural services now provided by biogeochemical processes.”

What motivated the Ehrlichs and Holdren to worry about a looming disaster threatening humanity just twenty years after the end of the Second World War (1939-1945)? After all, the war had brought with it wholesale destruction of infrastructure and loss of life throughout the world on a previously unparalleled scale. Was it the tension of the Cold War? Was it a specific epidemic or a natural event? We argue that no specific trigger events were necessary to spark the anxieties of these activists as they already espoused a neo-Malthusian eco-catastrophist mindset that is part of a wider pessimist perspective.

Among others, the ecological economics theorist John S. Dryzek recognized at least two distinctive perspectives on the understanding of the nature, role, and future of humanity – the pessimist, and the Promethean or optimist – each possessing a distinct set of assumptions, narratives, values and ultimate goals.[2] The pessimists, like the Ehrlichs and Holdren, apply a limit-driven narrative to define the place and goals of humanity on earth. According to the pessimist view, the earth’s resources are severely limited while the balance between planetary health and disrepair is exceedingly tenuous. The pessimists model people as bacteria that, in their Malthusian exponential growth, tend to quickly outstrip the resources of their “test-tube earth,” swiftly destroying both themselves and their environment. Only – perhaps – the timely intervention of top-down expert planning may avert this preordained debacle. The optimists see resources as limited primarily by human ingenuity and ability to utilize them, and humanity itself as a gathering of creative individuals, each capable of being much more than a mouth to feed. Optimist individuals may be driven by seemingly local needs, such as the replacement of a scarce resource or the improvement of the efficiency of a process, but the outcomes of their individual efforts benefit others in a spontaneous diffusion process.

Thus, the Ehrlichs’ and Holdren’s preoccupation with human population numbers and their impact on global development or resource use did not need a specific cause or trigger. Population and resource use anxiety were part of their pessimist perspective that had them always on the lookout for humanity’s confrontation with the inflexible natural limits of the finite earth. The late 1960s and early 1970s belonged to an era when other pessimist scientists like the climatologist Stephen Schneider, a Stanford colleague of Ehrlich, were theorizing about impending glaciation caused by anthropogenic atmospheric pollution reflecting sunlight. The Ehrlichs – who, truth be told, were also worried about every possible (and always negative) impact of increasing human population numbers, including, for a time, the effects of population growth on global cooling – were casting about for a development-related scourge of humanity that would be, perhaps, less easy to redress with fundamentally optimist fixes than global cooling was thanks to technologies such as smokestack scrubbers. For this reason, anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions were the ideal villain – or, pun intended, windmill to tilt at – as their neutralization does require a fundamental reworking and re-thinking of humanity’s key stable technologies – including its electrical power grid – on a scale that, thanks to the quickly mounting “scientific consensus” and political pressure, poses a significant challenge to human innovation.

While admitting he was not a climate specialist – thus just as “qualified” as Ehrlich, a biologist specializing in entomology, to theorize about climate – the economist Julian Simon suspected over two decades ago that global warming was a dubious pessimist scare mostly rooted in older neo-Malthusian concerns about population growth. He observed then that the “latest environmental justification for slowing or halting population growth is supposed global warming.” Simon cited a World Bank paper on the new “global negative externality” represented by greenhouse gas emissions, which he summarized as follows: “[The] old rationales for World Bank population control programs – economic growth, resource conservation, and the like – having been discredited, a new ‘rationale’ has been developed on the basis of speculative assumptions about global warming’s economic effects derived from controversial climatological science.”

Simon then summarized the position of most environmentalists as follows: “But isn’t obvious. . . that additional people and additional economic growth will cause us to use more energy and hence emit more greenhouse gases? Therefore, even if we can’t be sure of the greenhouse effect, wouldn’t it be prudent to cut back on growth?” The economist Jacqueline Kasun similarly believed at the time that “by the 1990s the doomsayers had shifted their attack” as they could no longer invoke resource depletion as the key growth-limiting issue. As she wrote, “the alarmists didn’t miss a step. The problem, they now said, was that people were using too much energy and were causing Global Warming.”[3] Both Kasun and Simon thus identified pessimist limits-based thinking as the chief impetus behind the elevation of anthropogenic CO2-caused climate change to the status of a global catastrophe.

Closer in time to us, retired Canadian academic Michael Hart has commented that “for alarmists, climate mitigation policy is as much a means of achieving their larger goals as it is a matter of addressing a possibly serious issue.”[4] As another retired Canadian academic, historical climatologist Tim Ball, has long argued, the climate change policy agenda is based on certain assumptions ultimately related to a fear of reaching another terrestrial set of limits through overpopulation. Indeed, Dr. Ball goes so far as to argue that while global warming is a “contrived problem,” most of those “who know it is contrived still believe overpopulation is a problem.” It is indeed remarkably easy to find influential climate bureaucrats and scientists who will either admit this much or else acknowledge their neo-Malthusian pessimist stance rooted in enforcing limits to human (population) growth.

Maurice Strong (1929–2015), who was described by business journalist Peter Foster as “[m]ore than any other individual. . . responsible for promoting the [UN] climate agenda,” is the most obvious case in point. Strong first achieved some degree of notoriety in Canada as young deputy minister – a high-ranking civil servant – when he ended up on the record by stating that “with a growing global population, we will have to recognise that having children is not just a personal issue but a societal issue and at a certain point we may be faced with a need to have a permit to have a child.” He also referred to the need for “national population policies” in his opening speech at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Strong reportedly stated the following Malthusian prediction at the 1992 Earth Summit: “Either we reduce the world’s population voluntarily or nature will do this for us, but brutally.”

Having started with the idea of limits to population growth, Strong eventually connected it to the limits of economic growth problem as defined by climate change. At the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, Strong declared: “The climate change issue and the economic issue come from the same roots. And that is the gross inequity and the inadequacy of our economic model. We now know that we have to change that model. We cannot do all of this in one stroke. But we have to design a process that would produce agreement at a much more radical level.” In one of his last extended interviews, Strong said that “growth in the world population has increased the pressures on the Earth’s resources and life-support systems.” He added that “China’s one-child policy is not a perfect policy by any means, but, on the other hand, how do you control growth in your population?” Strong viewed widespread aspirations for a better life as problematic, for if everyone “enjoyed the same patterns of consumption that we in the West do, then we would have an unsustainable situation, and we’re actually on the way to that now. We are in a situation that is unsustainable.” Thus, for Strong, the issue of population growth was clearly part of the pessimist narrative and a clear an issue of limits to growth.

The first chairman of the IPCC (1988-1997), Bert Bolin, was not only an early convert to the alleged catastrophic impact of CO2 emissions,[5] but also a pessimist on population and resources issues, as evidenced in his stance on the controversy surrounding the 2001 publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist by the Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg. Bolin later wrote he “largely share[d] the gist of the . . . analyses” of Lomborg’s critics John Holdren and John Bongaarts.[6] Bongaarts, a demographer long associated with the Population Council and a former chair of the Panel on Population Projections of the National Academy of Sciences, had then opined: “Population is not the main cause of the world’s social, economic and environmental problems, but it contributes substantially to many of them. If population had grown less rapidly in the past, we would be better off now. And if future growth can be slowed, future generations will be better off.”[7] For his part, John Holdren contradicted many of his earlier warnings of imminent resource depletion by arguing that while the word was not “running out of energy,” it was “running out of environment,” by which he meant “running out of the capacity of air, water, soil and biota to absorb, without intolerable consequences for human well-being, the effects of energy extraction, transport, transformation and use.”[8]

The second chairman of the IPCC (1997–2002), Robert Watson, would later go on the record with the following line of reasoning: “The more people we have on the Earth and the richer they are, the more they can demand resources. There’s more demand for food, more demand for water, more demand for energy. . . So, there’s no question the threats on the Earth today are far more than, say, 50 years ago and in 50 years’ time, there will even be more threats.”

The third chairman of the IPCC (2002-2015), Rajendra K. Pachauri, was even more explicit when he stated in 2007 that humanity has “been so drunk with this desire to produce and consume more and more whatever the cost to the environment that we’re on a totally unsustainable path.” He was “not going to rest easy until [he has] articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it” (our italics). When asked why Indians shouldn’t aspire to the same standard of living as westerners, Pachauri answered: “Gandhi was asked if he wanted India to reach the same level of prosperity as the United Kingdom. He replied: “It took Britain half the resources of the planet to reach its level of prosperity. How many planets would India require?” In his IPCC resignation letter (apparently no longer available on the IPCC website) Pachauri admitted that, for him, “the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

In Pachauri’s statements, and in others we have quoted so far, there is ample evidence of a passionate commitment towards the protection of the planet,but there is no sign of recognition that humanity can do, and has done, more than simply consume resources. At no point do neo-Malthusians like Pachauri admit the possibility that technological innovations and human creativity have a place among the things that deserve a place on Earth. What pessimist activists desire is a consensus on the classification of humanity as out of control and inherently driven by destructive greed, thus in need of top-down regulation by the few remaining clear-thinking and benign autocrats – that is, functionaries – of the global government.

Another important figure in the anthropogenic climate change institutional apparatus is former American senator Timothy E. Wirth, one of the main organizers of the 1988 James Hansen hearing on climate change, and from 1998 to 2013 president of the (hardcore Malthusian) Ted Turner-funded United Nations Foundation. While no longer in the news or on the frontlines of the US government, Wirth is still actively promoting a population control agenda. He is on the record as stating in 1993: “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”[9]

Needless to say, many other influential politicians and bureaucrats share a similar outlook. In 1998 Christine Stewart, then Canadian Minister of the Environment, when speaking before editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald said: “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits… Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”[10] More recently, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010–2014), argued that the European Union policy on climate change was right even if the science was not. As she put it:

Say that 30 years from now, science came back and said, “wow, we were mistaken then; now we have some new information so we think it is something else”. In a world with nine billion people, even 10 billion at the middle of this century, where literally billions of global citizens will still have to get out of poverty and enter the consuming middle classes, don’t you think that anyway it makes a lot of sense to get more energy and resource efficient… Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said “we were wrong, it was not about climate,” would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change? I believe that in a world with still more people, wanting still more growth for good reasons, the demand for energy, raw materials and resources will increase and so, over time, will the prices… I think we have to realise that in the world of the 21st century for us to have the cheapest possible energy is not the answer.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, said “We should make every effort to change the numbers… obviously less [sic] people would exert less pressure on the natural resources,” and humanity is “already exceeding the planet’s planetary carrying capacity, today.” She also added that population control was not enough and that fundamental changes need to be made to our current economic system. Figueres, like Strong, Wirth, Bongaarts, Stewart and Hedegaard, was speaking from the depths of the neo-Malthusian pessimist limit-based perspective.

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and an adviser to the encyclical Laudato Si, has long been on the record as estimating the carrying capacity of the planet at “below 1 billion people.” More recently, researchers associated with the Population Reference Bureau and the Worldwatch Institute stated: “Human population influences and is influenced by climate change and deserves consideration in climate compatible development strategies. Achieving universal access to family planning throughout the world would result in fewer unintended pregnancies, improve the health and well-being of women and their families, and slow population growth – all benefits to climate compatible development.”

Since leaving his academic appointment, prominent Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver has become the leader of the British Columbia Green Party. As could be expected from a pessimist activist, Weaver is on the record as stating: “Technology itself will not solve global warming. Individual behavior and consumption patterns will need to change as well. For too long we have lived by the axiom that growth is great. We strive for economic growth year after year. We drive it by increasing population. But infinite growth cannot occur in a finite system. Collapse is inevitable.”[11]

The late climatologist Stephen Schneider was a leading advocate for major reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Schneider was sometimes derided by his critics for having switched, almost overnight, from being a major proponent of global cooling, as we mentioned earlier, to becoming one of the most prominent supporters of global warming. Less well known about him, however, is the fact that he never changed his Ehrlich-inspired belief in the existence of a “wide consensus that exponential growth, for both economies and human populations, cannot continue indefinitely,” and that “population growth must ultimately be controlled.”

Thus, Schneider was a classic neo-Malthusian pessimist thinker. As he wrote in a 1977 popular book mainly devoted to describing the perils of global cooling, the “obvious point about population growth [that] must be stated and restated” is that “population increases will only dilute the effectiveness” of achieving “rapid improvements in per capita living standards for the present 4 billion people on earth.”[12] Twenty years later, having become a major proponent of global warming, he still believed that “control of population growth has the potential to make a major contribution to raising living standards and to easing environmental problems like greenhouse warming.” Not surprisingly, he urged the United States government to “resume full participation in international programs to slow population growth” and to “contribute its share to their financial and other support.”[13]

Whether its goal was curbing anthropogenic global cooling or global warming, the pessimist narrative’s endgame was always to institute top-down expert controls over population and centrally limit the human impetus to grow, create and aspire to change. In effect, the pessimist goal was to combat and control the optimist narrative through fear and discrediting its foundational impulses.

 


[1] Shelesnyak MC (ed.) (1969). Growth of Population: Consequences and Control. Gordon and Breach, p. 141.

[2] Dryzek, J (2005). The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses. Oxford University Press, 2nd edn.

[3] Kasun J (1999/1988). The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of Population Control. Ignatius, rev. edn., p. 49

[4] Hart M (2015). Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change. Compleat Desktops Publishing, p. 289.

[5] Bolin is also on the record as stating in 1959 that the increase in carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations “caused by the burning of fuels by industry and transport” could have an “effect on climate” that “might be radical.” Original quote in Anonymous. “Experts discuss monsters of sea.” New York Times, 28 April 1959.

[6] See Bolin B (2007). A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, pp. 183-185, quote on p. 183.

[7] Bongaarts J (2002). “Population: Ignoring its impact.” Scientific American, 286(1), 67–69, quote on p. 69.

[8] Holdren JP (2002). “Energy: Asking the wrong question.” Scientific American, 286(1), 65–67, quote on p. 65.

[9] Fumento M (1993). Science Under Siege. William Morrow & Co., p. 362.

[10] Original quote in the Calgary Herald, December 14, 1998. See also SEPP December 14-20, 1998.

[11] Weaver, A (2011). Generation Us: The Challenge of Global Warming. Orca Books, p. 108

[12] All quotes from Schneider SH, Mesirow LE (1977). The Genesis Strategy. Climate and Global Survival.

Plenum Books. By order of appearance in the main text, pp. 318, 25 and 318.

[13] Schneider, SH (1997). Laboratory Earth: The Planetary Gamble We Can’t Afford to Lose, HarperCollins, p. 150.

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172 thoughts on “Was climate change alarmism always about fears of overpopulation?

  1. Some, like Erhlich and Holdren, are apparently sincere Malthusians, but the dominant drive in the green blob is a sense it is a “cause’ to exploit to accomplish their desire for power over others.

    • I think for the selected few it was and is and will be about the ‘easy money’.
      For the cult followers it is a substitute for the lack of cerebral rational with security of belonging to a herd.

    • Any “moral panic” capable of generating hysteria will do. This country started to get into trouble around the time we decided we’d listen to “educated experts” instead of our own ancestors, senses, and instincts.
      It’s all about power and always was; but they can’t get power over anyone unless we willingly hand it to ’em.

    • None of these sincere Malthusians look at the obvious solution. When the poorest people reach the first level of success- something more than a mud hut, generally enough food to eat, a job that pays for their needs within 10 years the birth rate plummets, at least to near the replacement level. If they can avoid totalitarian regimes, socialistic dictators, and just plain thugs they will produce a relatively healthy democratic republic of whatever stripe with separation of powers within the government.

    • They simply want your your money and they are very open about it. The lead author of the 4th IPCC report, Ottmar Edenhofer is very clear about this:

      “But one has to be clear: we are effectively redistributing world wealth through climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy”
      Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottmar_Edenhofer

      There is no other motive, there is no science. They are self-confessed thieves and communists.

  2. It was always about One Global Govt. and pulling wealth from the Western & Developed Worlds. It was/is never about how many cars we drive, how many times a cow farts or any of that. A hoax from the beginning.

    • That’s how I see it. And then every professor and grant-writing scientist piled onto the gravy train of climate hysteria. It’s always about the money … and power … always.

      What’s the very best method of controlling population growth? Why capitalism, of course. The most successful (and … white) capitalist countries actually have negative population growth

      • “What’s the very best method of controlling population growth? Why capitalism, of course. The most successful (and … white) capitalist countries actually have negative population growth”

        Yes, we seem to have a phenomenon the overpopulation alarmists didn’t take into consideration: That when countries reach a certain level of affluence, the rate of growth of their population drops. In some cases, to the point where some of those countries are actually encouragig their women to have more children, with monetary incentives.

        https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/have-four-or-more-babies-in-hungary-and-youll-pay-no-income-tax-for-life.html

        Have four or more babies in Hungary and you’ll pay no income tax for life, prime minister says.

        Nature may have given the human race a way to aviod overpopulation without a mass dying. Just get all nations up to the economic level of Hungary and the population of the Earth will stablize or even reduce in numbers if countries like Hungary are any example.

        • @ Tom A, — I think you’re overlooking certain religious precepts that require followers to achieve the maximum number of progeniture to further the aims of said religion.. Now numbering 1.5 Billion and spread into every country on the planet, at this point, it’s hard to see what might trigger a change of direction. Meanwhile, we dwindle and they proliferate but no one wants to discuss the outcome.

          • Good point, alexei.

            I would like to see a study of Muslim population growth among those who are living in Western Europe. Does the increased affluence cause them to have fewer babies? The Turkish population in Germany has been there a long time. They might be a good Muslim population to study.

          • The population growth in Muslim countries is plummeting as well.
            Those rates haven’t fallen as far as they have in western countries mostly because Islam and modernity are mostly incompatible.

      • Kenji, I have read a number of books relating to population, one that I enjoyed was living Within Limits by Garrett Hardin. All speculation and analysis aside, the planet is indeed a finite piece of dirt and like all finite things there is a limit to what it will support. However, I believe that nature will do what we are unwilling to do. Nature always has and always will. Everybody cannot have everything.

    • +1 A hoax so audacious that anyone questioning its’ veracity could easily be labeled a conspiracy theorist. All it required was enough money to buy the media.

  3. Fake climate / environmental crises
    have been used since the 1960s
    to promote stronger central governments (socialism).

    A crisis, whether real or fake,
    can be used to increase government power.

    I believe that’s the primary goal.

    Whether a small subset of people
    want more government power
    to implement some kind of population
    controls, is a side issue.

    The declining birth rates in many nations
    will do a good job of ‘population control’.

    By “fake” crisis, I mean an imaginary crisis
    that is always “coming”, but never arrives !

    Like the imaginary climate change crisis,
    “coming” since the 1960’s, but the climate
    keeps getting better, rather than worse !

    In fact, the climate has been getting better
    for 20,000 years — only the imaginary
    future climate is always bad news.

    On an individual level, people get attention
    and study grants by claiming a disaster is coming.

    Anyone who wanted to “protect” the planet
    would encourage adding more CO2 to the atmosphere
    (as greenhouse owners do inside their greenhouses)
    to ‘green’ our planet, and accelerate C3 plant growth.

    The only “bad” CO2, is the CO2 that results from
    burning fossil fuels without pollution controls,
    such as a Chinese family burning soft coal
    or wood to heat their home, polluting the
    air in their neighborhood.

    • Correct. Populations are crashing across the globe. The UN itself publishes several population projections. The low estimate finds population in 2100 about where it is today.
      https://ourworldindata.org/future-population-growth

      Change one variable in the UN Population formula (female education) and that alone greatly lowers the standard scary projection to a little more than the current global population.
      https://www.wired.com/story/the-world-might-actually-run-out-of-people/

      “Wired” reported on the anomalies in the UN Population Projection and crowed in its headline “The World Might Actually Run Out of People”… that’s not a danger either.

      The rise of a completely artificial labor force spawned by current generations or robotics, machine learning/ AI, driverless cars will replace at least 40% of the current US labor force. This could be a utopian or dystopian development depending on how the challenge is addressed.

      • Actual population growth (much like actual temperature increases) have always come in lower than the lowest model projections.

    • Power concentration, Malthusianism, misanthropy, neuroticism, virtue signaling and hubris explains the drivers of the narrative. People that promote AGW have their personal motivation(s) but what makes it popular to an otherwise inattentive denizen? Why do the masses follow? Why do they care? What makes Gore, DiCaprio and Mann credible? Why do people want to believe? Because they want to know how the story ends. People want to know how we are all going to die? The Apocalypse, Armageddon, A Boy and His Dog, Terminator, Revelations… And then there are a whole bunch that don’t buy it.

  4. I think we will find that a gene is responsible for this way of thinking. This perceived future climate dystopia is deeply rooted in our collective conscious from eons of humans adapting to the climate. It is the oldest story in the book, from the Garden of Eden (height of Holocene) to the Great Flood (ending of the ice age). And everything in between then and now.

    We can now adapt fairly easily instead of haul up our tent and move, but large swaths of the Priestly Classes still think we can call on the weather gods and change the climate. That is in fact their power base, as we see the last 2-3 months of deadly alarmism calls to authority that only a dozen years are left to fix it all, or else. Or else!

      • Obviously..I was was working backwards from present. My point was I think the humans who have this climate believe system that humans who do certain things such as burn fossil fuels cause the climate to change catastrophically and become warmer/colder have a gene responsible for allowing this thought to take hold. The majority must have this gene, based upon academia & media and many political entities buying into this belief system as the absolute truth. If it it is some type of gene similar to the one for religion, then we have an uphill battle fighting this with facts and scientific integrity. Which seems to be the case.

      • I was referring to attempting to match end of ice age with the great Flood, and matching Holocene Optimum with Garden Of Eden. Holocene Optimum followed end of ice age, while Garden of Eden preceded Great Flood. Whether you count backwards or forwards, match up doesn’t work.

        PS Greeks knew Garden of Eden as Garden of Hesperides.

        SR

  5. Population control in China has left them with a surplus of young men and no war within which to waste their lives.

    The consequences of top down social engineering is guaranteed to have unforeseen negative consequences. To some extent conservatism has lost the language war. Even the word conservative isn’t associated with conservation anymore. Worse, the line has been moved from “should we do something?” to “what should we do?” And the latest battle is forcing the “Anthropocene” label on a legitimate science for political purposes.

    • It’s easy to lose the language war when the other side keeps changing the meaning of words. When you can get arrested in the UK for arguing that a person with XY chromosomes is a man, life has taken an odd turn.

    • On the contrary, its left them with an older population and a shortage of young people, especially young women.

      5G will depopulate China as well as the West by reducing fertility rates even more

    • The Chinese leaders need to be careful about starting any wars.
      First they must make sure that it is a war they can win.
      Second they must make sure that it is a war that they can convince the people was worth winning.

      Because of the one child policy, there are a lot of parents and grandparents with only a single child to carry on the family name.
      If the government gets that son killed in a war that the population doesn’t support, the rise in social unrest will be quick and violent.

      • Nearly 50% of parents already lack a male heir to directly perpetuate the family name. Their consolation is the many cousins to their daughters that carry the family name. A war my not make much difference.

        SR

        • The one child policy allowed a second child if the first was a girl.
          I strongly suspect that the Chinese won’t stop at sending just men to war.

  6. The climate alarmist position has always been rooted in misanthropy. People are the problem, the “virus” infecting the earth, and must be controlled and wherever possible, reduced in numbers.

    But since it seems rather difficult to enact laws that result in fewer people – genocide not being a popular organizing principle – the control part of the the misanthropic mindset is what the warmists have left.

  7. “Was climate change alarmism always about fears of overpopulation?”

    No, it’s about virtue signalling for fame and profit by a bunch of knownothings.

  8. It’s ironic that the actual threat to economic growth, funding social programs, and paying climate change policy crusades is in fact the result of the aging population bubble in major countries with resulting impact in rising sovereign debt and unfavorable funding ratios of young workers to retirees. That bubble will persist for another 40 years while climate change policy distortion piles on more cost to deal with demographics that are already baked in.

    Dealing with people on how destructively wrong and out of touch they are is frustrating at times.

  9. To paraphrase George, “Progress and Poverty” (1879): Both hawks and men eat chicken; the more hawks the fewer chicken; the more men, the more and more varied chicken.

  10. Very scholarly linkage between Malthusian scares. SO2 or CO2 … cooling or warming … can’t be good because nature is optimal and pristine.

  11. The cult of CAGW have no master plan. They are angry pushers of evil chaos.

    Is it common sense, that there is for each country, an upper limit to population?

    Population growth in Africa, partly because of Islamic practices, is out of control.

    https://qz.com/africa/1016790/more-than-half-of-the-worlds-population-growth-will-be-in-africa-by-2050/

    “Africa will account for the highest population spurt with an additional 1.3 billion people on the continent, a new UN population report shows.

    Much of Africa’s population boom will come from Nigeria, currently the world’s 7th most populous country. By 2050, the report predicts, Nigeria will become the world’s third largest country by population, becoming one of the six nations projected to have a population of over 300 million.”

    https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/population-of-india-326630-2016-07-11

    “In July 2015, India’s population was recorded at about 127,42,39,769 and it is growing since the last data came out. As per the 2011 Census, the population of India is almost equal to the combined population of the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan put together.”

    https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/population-control-bill-india-crisis-1313179-2018-08-13

    “What is a two-child policy?

    Two-child policy, famously known as ‘hum do humare do’ is a term which has been frequently used in public via advertisements on trucks or on public walls.

    The term is not new to Indians, especially.”

    • What population density can the world support? Well, NJ in the US has the 5th highest per capita income. It is more densely populated than India.

      • And Yet NJ lacks the really big crowded cities like NY or LA and generally isn’t considered a poster child of overpopulation (unlike India which is considered such). It also has a large track of protected land – The New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve aka the Pine Barrens, home of the Jersey Devil, that takes up 22% of New Jersey’s land area – whose development is strictly controlled by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and thus remains relatively sparsely populated compared to the rest of the state.

        • Not to mention the huge amount of basically “no-build” area formed as a result of the Highlands Watershed preservation action.

    • William, the population will peak at 9B we are 85% there. It may overshoot and fall back if we dont provide good conditions for arriving at the prosperity needed to achieve this, like not spending trillions on global warming or one of its generic equivalents and allowing access to cheap energy and good education.

      Sustainability: resources are much more than adequate. Every ton of copper produced remains on the surface of the earth in scrap or in use and mining is now a topping up activity. Moreover, substitutability is huge – moreso than ever with engineered composites, and we use less material per unit with time (the first computer I saw in the early 60s took up a whole airconditioned room and didnt have the computing power of my cell phone)- and so much more. Little Guyana, one of the poorest of countries reports 5B bbls of oil just discovered in their offshore! USGS published a report a couple of years ago that estimates 3.5Bmt of copper yet to be found using current technology. The other minerals and metals are similarly abundant.

      We have prosperity and peace in the offing with a peaked population and a greening planet after mid century. Bangladesh is a success story rapidly moving out of proverty with China-like economic growth rates and an attenuating population. My “Garden of Eden Earth ^тм” is on its way! I won’t make it to mid century as I’m presently sampling my 9th decade (10th in a year from now) but I may see enough that others will even be seeing it. The last of the Malthusians will be a bearded homeless nut with a sandwich board in a couple of decades.

      • Much of current population growth is coming from less people dying as opposed to more people being born.
        As a result populations around the world are aging rapidly.
        Once the population does peak, it won’t stabilize, it will instead start to fall, and fall fast.

  12. It’s just the modern fear-mongers consolidating their alarmism – it’s the same crew – just separated by eras – although not separated far.

    The first and foremost connecting feature is anti-human, people are a pestilence.
    And of course any agenda-item they can dog-pile on-board. Climate change is sexist, racist, capitalist, etc.
    Ever notice THAT particular feature?

  13. Here’s a copy and paste quote from Larry Kummer’s article here at WUWT.

    “The use of questions in headlines to arouse irrational fears is the basis of Betteridge’s Law: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.””

    Climate change alarmism is about socialism, not population control per se.

  14. I recall somebody back in Ehrlich days calculating what the earth would hold (human numbers) in terms of space, maximum density sort of thing. Computers allowed all sorts of quick extrapolation assumptions. Crowds do have their disadvantages. Mob psychology, parasites and diseases, etc.

    • Side note: If you pack all the people in the world into a cube, with no spaces or gaps, it would fit in my neighborhood. It would be a cube 0.4km in size. That’s what is creating all the warming.

      • I calculated that you could get 90 billion people into Lake Superior each treading water in 1 sq.m. (I was told they wouldn’t go for it!) I was trying to get an idea of how much room they would actually occupy.

      • Every single human currently on Earth could fit inside the state of Texas with no more population density the New York City. And that includes all the parkland, as well as some fairly inefficient neighborhoods.

        With modern ‘Arcology’ style building, you could cut that space to a quarter of that and still avoid the kind of overcrowding you see in Chinese cities. It’s all about planning.

        ~¿~

  15. Of course, there was that alt.conspiracy story about Margaret Thatcher creating Global Warming as a way to punish coal miners.
    Some many conspiracies, not enough time.

  16. Authors do make an effort at the current well known usual perps. Still to get a better idea we need some archaeological depth- some may think the story of Prometheus is a myth. Zeus (like Babylon’s Enlil) just could’nt sleep with the teeming masses’ noise . Enlil unleashed a deluge and plague to reduce the population. Zeus tried to remove fire, torturing Prometheus who never would reveal the secret of Zeus’ certain end.

    It is uncanny that the New Brown Greens want to remove fire from the only species that uses it. The Greek story is right on the point. How is it that that ancient story Prometheus Bound (2 sections lost) reveals all? Zeus is imperial and the modern lurch to population reduction pre-programmed.

    This has being going on at least 6000 years. Still, we have always outflanked them, with 7.5 billion now, and China on board, Zeus is actually a looser. It is no surprise Macron invoked Jupiter, and the French reminded him the Greek Temple was too small – if he rose of his throne he either smashed his head off the roof or brought the house down. Aïe, ça fait mal!

    Looks like the GND is too big for the House !

  17. For over ten years I have been studying the science of AGW an slowly became aware of this underlying motivation that is promoting the deceit that surrounds the promotion of the AGW to provide wider control of the population. I have long thought that if everyone knew we were not causing global warming the manipulators would fail. Maybe even admit their error. I have now become convinced that there is no evidence that our use of fossil fuels is changing the atmosphere or the climates. I am just beginning to see the shape of the battle for reality because, all along it has been an excuse not a problem that deserved addressing. Do you think AO-C and her Green New Deal has any idea she is being used or is she in on the scam and proud of it?

  18. See, this is why aliens from Arcturus won’t visit us anytime soon. They peer through their telescope at us:

    “How they doin’..?”
    “They still stupid.”
    “Okay. Try again in another 1000..”

  19. Same hockey stick graph, same people with dire warnings, same pseudo-science. I said 20 years ago that this was all ‘Population Bomb” all over again.

  20. Not sure that this is backed up by the timeline.
    Climate Change alarmism only started after Global Warming failed to deliver.
    Initially, global warming was thought up as a way to hobble capitalism after the collapse of the USSR.

      • The USSR was collapsing for years before it completely broke up. The Berlin Wall, for example, fell in 1989 a mere year after Hansen and Wirth’s little show of turning off the AC. so the “writing was on the wall” as the saying goes long before the end credits rolled on the USSR.

  21. Science turned on its head for social and political purposes… as old as the field of study itself. Humans being human with all the flaws.

  22. Alarmism?

    What planet are you people on anyway.

    Massive loss of life on coral reefs systems already.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-great-barrier-reef-is-in-for-a-rough-ride/

    Massive loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica including recent evidence of major destabilization of West Antarctic ice shelf making it likely it has already passed a tipping point and will all eventually end up in the ocean. Making it possible for the East Antarctic ice sheet to begin flowing into the sea at some point in the future.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/discovery-recent-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-raises-fears-new-global-flood?r3f_986=https://www.google.com/

    Most habitats in rapid transition faster than much of their associated biotas can adapt or migrate with. Which means they will go extinct.

    And now we find that insect populations are in free fall in part due to climate change. Which raises the specter of a general ecological collapse when the basis of most food webs is gone.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320718313636

    I get that climate change denial is a really well paid career as can be seen by the constant ridiculous output here and other places, but you actually share this planet with other people and million of other species.

    And all the evidence says that we in the sixth great extinction in large part due to climate change.

    That’s a human generate nightmare, not alramism. And no amount of money anyone is paid to lie about this growing catastrophe is going to save them unless we end this madness.

    And they is nothing more irrational in today’s world than denying the greatest threat our species has ever faced.

      • “Coombes”

        Seems to be a play on the appeal to God to come and help those in need,
        that is, Kum ba yah.
        Thus Doug comes by here to make the appeal such that WUWT readers will know he is making the case, despite the satanic writings he finds here.
        Thanks Doug.

    • Oh noes!

      Today I learned even before you we’re losing 2.5% of insect mass every year. They’ll all be gone in 50 years, said the scientist. In order to stop this, we need (this time) to stop efficient agriculture and let people starve without food. Otherwise, there will be a big collapse and all people will die!

      It must be true, it was a source suitable for Wikipedia.

      Sadly, this is your ‘news’ today. A bunch of idiots who can’t make a serious, detail-asking article even from a serious subject.

      It’s too good I will be dead in 40 years. It is not that I’d be afraid on sea level rise, heat waves, drought, floods, storms, locusts, wildfires, migrants, ice collapse tsunamis, nuclear accidents, earthquakes, dying polar bears and boiling seas. It is just that I can’t take this shit no longer. I mean, it can’t be so that you listen for incessant apocalyptic brainless story-telling for 80 years and it would not make a dent to your sanity.

      PS. Of the above, I fear dying polar bears. I’m not scared of dead polar bears, they’re perfectly safe if you don’t eat the liver and cook the meat well.

      PPS “I get that climate change denial is a really well paid”, yeah, put the check coming if I count as denial. I’d add a few expletives here but Watts says this is a family site though I wouldn’t quite believe it makes a difference. But I want to respect him so just imagine a cackle.

    • “And all the evidence says that we in the sixth great extinction in large part due to climate change.”

      Yeah yeah. I just realized Archie Bunker was a deep thinker.

      • In Doug’s world view, every prognostication made by one of the Global Warming cabal is not only a proven fact, they are also undoubtedly understated by at least an order of magnitude.

    • I just love these drive by posts…OMG we are all going to die and you rich people just don’t care.

      Yeah I am an old white guy and do ok but these youngsters just aren’t good at history and are probably horrible at science too.

      I went to high school and college in the 70’s and let me tell you there wasn’t a sciencey class like geography, earth sciences, chemistry, physics or especially biology that didn’t proclaim the great Ehrlich’s crap as the truth. Way back then we were all going to die of starvation and famine because of overpopulation and it was going to be all over for civilization before the turn of the century.

      Doesn’t that sound just like the crap that we are being feed over and over right now?

      Before you think of me as someone who doesn’t care let me say that I grew up in an area of the country where there were several superfund sites and I saw first hand what horrible things man can do to the environment. I was involved in the early Earth Day activities where we actually did things to help the environment by cleaning streams and reclaiming stream banks and creek habitat and planting trees in clear cut areas, fixing trails etc.

      All I see now is a bunch of whiny brats who stomp there feet and demand justice but don’t do anything positive to help.

      Guys like Doug just blow through and slam every one here yet don’t realize that most of us who read and comment on here care deeply about the environment and actually do things. But I guess that is to be understood as they look up to men like Gore and trash men like Bush and don’t really understand which of those two’s actions really show who is the one how cares about the environment.

      So come on Doug please tell us what we should be doing to save the planet.

      • TC. You and I went to different schools together. My dad told me on a trip through the western US where there were no signs of humans except for the road, that he was told in grade school, that when he became an adult that there would be standing room only in the US. He said looks like plenty of standing room to me. That was about 45 years ago when I was about 22 yrs old.

    • It really is fascinating how the trolls not only believe the propaganda, but they inevitably believe it’s even worse than the worst of the official propaganda.

      There is no massive loss of coral. Heck, there is no loss of coral at all. Bleaching is just a temporary phenomena as coral adjusts to new temperatures. Coral have been doing as long as there has been coral.

      Massive loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica???
      Antarctica has had small loss of ice from one, very small area. The rest of the continent has been gaining mass recently.
      As for Greenland, the loss was minor, at it’s worst, it would have taken over 10,000 years for all the to melt. Regardless, Greenland has been gaining ice over the last 2 or 3 years.

      The so called study that claimed that insects numbers were in free-fall that only those with absolutely no independent cognitive abilities would fall for it. In a single jungle, they did a rough estimate 20 years ago. Then they took a rough estimate a few months ago. Then drew a straight line between the two numbers. No attempt to account for changes other than climate. Heck, they never even bothered to document that the climate had changed, they just assumed that it must have.

      And finally, the standard line that the only reason why anyone would disagree with you is because they are paid to.

      You really are that clueless.

    • I’m having difficulty receiving my check from the Big Bad Oil Companies, or whomever is supposed to be paying me. Doug, can you help? If they don’t pony up soon, I’m going to have to start believing that failed computer models are reality.

    • With 91 volcanoes recently discovered under the West Antarctica ice sheet you may have to discard that one. And with the insect study having been debunked, you’ll have to discard that one as well.

      Where is your faith in evolution? Is it not as strong as your faith that building windmills and raising taxes will appreciably affect the global climate?

      (Time now to get paid!)

      • “(Time now to get paid!)”

        I think you deserve a raise, Steve O !

        I’ll talk to the Fossil Fuel Industry about this. I need to contact them anyway since I think they have been sending my check to the wrong address so I need to get that straightened out.

        • The last time I tried to get money out of the fossil fuel industry they handed me a bill for the propane they put in the tank.

  23. Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak have provided an excellent summary of the intellectual origins of climatism (cold or warm). It is rooted in the Malthusian mind set. What is most troubling is that this mindset has triumphed in the last 30 years. It is a fundamentally reactionary and radically anti-progressive ideology that has infected liberalism. I wonder how many of my fellow liberals realize that they have been conned into aligning themselves with a militantly anti-liberal ideology? When I learned that Obama, who I voted for twice with some enthusiasm, had appointed Ehrlich buddy and champion John Holdren as his science advisor, I was appalled, a veritable Rasputin in the White House! The quotes dug up by the authors of movement leaders saying they don’t care whether the “science” is right or not are very telling of their true Malthusian intentions.
    I made the case for progress against the Malthusians in my book, “Acceleration,” (Prometheus Books, 2011). Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak cover similar territory. Readers who want a more “balanced” view of the history might also look up ‘”The Bet” by Yale historian Paul Sabin (Yale, 2013) He treats the history as a battle between Ehrlich and the late Julian Simon. He doesn’t take sides. My guess is that in the current academic environment he was scared to do so, but if you read his well-documented text, you will realize that Simon had all the scientific data on his side of the argument. Sadly, Ehrlich and his ilk have won the battle for now in the academy, in the media, and among the “enlightened” policy types the world over. How will we ever walk our way back to a semblance of the truth?

    • “We know that an independent ideology can not be formulated by the working class masses our alternatives are bourgeois or socialist ideology, consequently our choice is clear.” – Vladimir Ilich

    • It’s based firmly in the science.

      Joseph Fourier wasn’t rooted in the Malthusian mind set when he determined almost two centuries ago that the Earth was much warmer that it should be.

      John Tyndall wasn’t rooted in the Malthusian mind set when he determined in the mid 1800s that the primary persistent forcing for this warming was carbon dioxide.

      Svante Arrhenius wasn’t rooted in the Malthusian mind set when he worked out by hand what we could expect with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the 1890s. A warming that is still consistent with today’s science and direct observation.

      All this before we even had Quantum Mechanical explanation for why this occurs.

      And empirical evidence and theoretical science to back up human forced climate change mostly through the massive burning of fossil fuels has just increased our confidence of this process to the point where it really is pseudoscience to discuss other “causes”.

      As for human population pressure being the root of the fear, that is a canard created as so many others are on this subject to distract and divert the discussion from uncomfortable political and economic realities.

      We could have our current population and more if we had a sane energy and resources consumption model. And it wouldn’t cause the catastrophic impacts we are seeing already which increase as each year passes. We are now learning that the basis for much of the food web, insects populations are in free fall. Would you claim it was alarmism to predict dire consequences from a food chain collapse when they are gone?

      We could be using solar, wind, tidal, biomass, geothermal, nuclear and other low or zero carbon sources of energy without the same catastrophic impacts burning billions of tons of oil, coal and gas each year have.

      Gen IV MSFR alone would go a huge way to solving all our energy needs for centuries.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ese3.59

      With catalytic processes we can now replicate the production of oil that takes millions of years in nature to hours with processes like thermal depolymerization.

      Instead of drilling for oil and gas we could be using thousands of producing and abandoned wells for geothermal power production.

      Using electricity, water and air we could be producing diesel and gas from air.

      And the list just goes on, we are using the worst energy model possible while just a few think up ever more complex ways to explain how this really isn’t a reckless thing.

      This alarmism isn’t rooted in the Malthusian mind set as you fatuously proclaim, this is rooted in hard science and the very world impacts we see around us constantly that are growing.

      For instance summers here are becoming hellish in many places with record levels of wildfires that send smoke across a continent.

      I’m not wondering if climate change is real and burning billions of tons of fossil fuels is a highly reckless activity when the skies are filled with smoke and we’re all on evacuation alert due to record wildfire activity which is common globally now. Or when we’re informed that people that live over 2,000 kms are being warned of the air quality from our fires.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/smoke-skies-manitoba-poor-air-quality-1.4777902

      Willful ignorance is one thing… but what’s been going on with climate change and its intentional denial for decades is insane.

      And so is endlessly trying to find an “explanation” for something that has been resolved decades or even centuries ago.

      No credible professional would attach their reputation and standing on such an irrational position. “Reality isn’t real” is a field for fakes not genuine scientists and professionals.

      What is presented here consistently has the same evidential basis as the Moon landings being a hoax or the existence of Big Foot and Nessy.

      • So the many, many qualified scientists including climate scientists who post or who’s articles and papers are presented here amount to

        ” consistently has the same evidential basis as the Moon landings being a hoax or the existence of Big Foot and Nessy.”

        There’s your nasty political bone poking out Coombes Over. Those are courageous scientists who are defending the scientific method. They disagree with your Moonie version of the World so they have to be stuffed. Your arguments may impress your one cyber buddy but they have been carefully refuted here by people who are trained in the facts. Get out of your parents basement more often and expand your mind.

      • Kudos to you, Mr Coombes, for even showing up on WUWT. I will not have the time, energy or wit to respond to your “science” rant, except to pose these four questions:
        1. Was there a medieval warm period? If so, was it a terrible time because of the (perhaps catastrophic) warming?
        2. Was there a little ice age? If yes, then has all the warming since been caused by CO2?
        3. Why has the global temperature risen so slowly and where is the “hockey stick” jump that Michael Mann thought he had found? and
        4. Why does the rate of temperature change over the last 50 years look almost exactly like the change over the previous 50 years?

        • 5. Please explain why 90% of the time over the last 10,000 years, the world’s temperature has been 2 to 5 degrees warmer than it is today. Even though CO2 levels were lower.
          6. Please explain how the world managed to survive times when CO2 levels were close to 20 times what they are today.

          • Which tree rings show that over the last 10,000 years, the world’s temperature has been 2 to 5 degrees warmer than it is today?

          • Keith,
            Tree rings don’t show anything about temperature. However, some people claim they do.
            Did you ask for tree ring evidence because you know that?

            SR

          • I guess treerings found in present day glacier ice and tundra might do? If not, use PCA and invert down-pointing proxies. And use only proxies that correlate with the HCO.

            Though I guess it might not be 5K globally, because the sea levels were only couple of meters higher.

      • Once again, Doug whines about catastrophic impacts of CO2.
        The problem is, outside a handful of discredited models, none of these disasters are occurring.

        Storms aren’t bigger or more common than in the past.
        Heat waves aren’t bigger or more common than in the past.
        Cold snaps aren’t bigger or more common than in the past.
        Droughts aren’t bigger or more common than in the past.
        Floods aren’t bigger or more common than in the past.

        Face it Doug, your gods are false, as is everything you’ve been trained to believe in.

      • “Using electricity, water and air we could be producing diesel and gas from air.”

        Huhh?
        How is this electricity produced? Do you imagine renewables will generate enough electricity to replace diesel and gas currently used for transportation?
        How are the waste products produced from burning this created diesel and gas different from the waste products resulting from burning diesel and gas refined from petroleum?

      • Even if the earth were to suddenly start warming, the CO2 hypothesis would be disproven. There is no spike in water vapor to provide the positive feedback the proposed process requires. If you want to preserve the CO2/climate change model – you need to wait for the water vapor before you can claim laundry list of ‘dire’ consequences.

        The debate should be about what we can do to get CO2 back to an optimal 800-1200ppm; if that results in a degree or two of warming – all the better.

    • They convinced themselves that, with their huge brains, they had sussed out the future and prepared solutions to the problems they foresaw. Just like Nostradamus, only much, much clearer-plus with answers!! The possibility that the path might change was unseen by them or deemed impossible without their (divine?) intervention, despite the fact that human history is chock full of radical changes in social structure and technology.
      If these geniuses had been around in Roam times, they would have predicted legions conquering the moon people by now. If it was Incan times they would have favoured one last, huge sacrifice of everybody but themselves. Our intellectual elite!

  24. The grotesque irony is that the climate cultists themselves are hindering the very thing that has been shown empirically to limit population growth voluntarily viz. economic development.

  25. I’m reminded of an old joke, that I’ll re-cast in a modern relevance: Harvey Weinstein asks an aspiring young actress if she will have sex with him for one million dollars. She happily agrees to the offer. After the fact, Harvey hands her a crisp 100-dollar bill. She looks at it and says, “What is this? We agreed to one million! What kind of a woman do you think I am?” Harvey responds, “We have already established that. What we are doing now is re-negotiating the price.”

    It should be obvious that there is a limit to the carrying capacity of the planet. An upper limit in a dystopian Soylent Green future might be the mass of the Earth. A more reasonable upper bound might be one person per square meter of surface area of the Earth, or one person per square meter of the land area of Earth. The point being, there are natural constraints on how many people can survive on Earth. Implicit in this is that there are costs involved for high density living. Not the least of which is the end of wild areas and natural ecosystems. Also, it can be demonstrated that crime rates are higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

    Through technology, we are capable of creating a world in which people can survive, but may be quite unhappy with the living conditions. Some might suggest that we have already reached that point in many urban areas! This is where the “re-negotiation” comes in. Might it not be better to agree that, as with most dynamic systems, that there is an optimum level of population – sort of a Goldilocks situation?
    If that premise can be accepted, then clearly society needs to exert pressures to try to achieve that level and maintain it. Personally, I can think of few, if any, environmental problems that wouldn’t be improved with fewer people contributing pollution, or making demands on resources.

    I won’t seriously consider any smartass comments about suicide. That is a morally untenable position. The frontier is gone, which I think is unfortunate. What needs to be done is to allow natural attrition to reduce population and find ways to encourage oscillation about the optimal level, which clearly I think is much less than the current seven billion.

    For the record, I believe that any potential contribution to climate change made by humans, is more likely to take place in urban areas than in rural areas.

    Have at me!

    • “clearly society needs to exert pressures to try to achieve that level and maintain it”

      If there’s one aspect of nature I’ve come to appreciate more and more over time, it’s the realisation that nature (including human nature and behaviour) possesses all manner of self-correcting forces, many, if not most, far beyond our limited understanding.

      This idea that we need to control everything “for the good of man/the planet/the biosphere” or even that we are capable of apprehending the universe sufficiently to grasp the underlying realities of life and nature and all its complexities, is, to my mind, the height of arrogance and hubris.

    • What the Hell? People seem to be unhappy with their lot today. Even in the wealthiest countries. It seems there is a great surplus of miserable folk who somehow survive without working and are available at the drop of a hat to make a sign and go out to protest anything and everything, whether it affects them or not.

    • Clyde, we are 85% or so of peak population arising naturally and will get there after mid century. There are abundant resources and human ingenuity seems endless. Heck the “Great Greening” from CO2 has expanded forest cover (habitat?) on the planet by ~18% (15% by 2012 but nobody talks about that now). It coincides with bumper crops arising from CO2 increase, modest temperature rise and human ingenuity in agricultural sciences.

      To literally size up the problem of population, I calculated a few years ago that global population would fit into Lake Superior each with 15sqm to tread water in, and if they used only 1 sqm, 90 billion would fit.

      I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bangladesh has had a China-like economic growth rate over the past couple of decades and economic prosperity is growing apace and families are having fewer children, thereby stopping population growth in its tracks.

      This century is going to witness prosperity spreading to all corners and this should result in peace as well. Don’t despair or be inveigled by a priori thinking pessimists and misanthropists.

      • Gary
        I’m not particularly pessimistic about the future. Just somewhat lamenting that I think that we have already passed the optimum and as long as people are not concerned about the population, there will be less social pressure to reduce the population.

        As to your calculation, Rush Limbaugh has similarly claimed that all the world’s population could be fit in Texas. What that doesn’t take into account is the land necessary for infrastructure to allow people to get to work, go shopping, receive food, and dispose of wastes. It also doesn’t take into account the land necessary to manufacture or grow the things we need. Humans need more than just a space to stand in, in order to survive. That also doesn’t take into account a need many of us feel to get away from ‘civilization’ and commune with Nature. There is more to life than just living.

        • I disagree that we have passed the optimum. The proof of this can be found just by looking at how standards of living are going up all over the world.

          Secondly, there has NEVER been much in the way of social pressure to limit population growth.

        • With all the people living in Texas, you’ve got about 99.5% of the world to handle all the rest of that stuff.
          All you need to do is look around to see that the vast majority of the world is not crowded, much less over crowded.

    • “If that premise can be accepted”… But it needn’t be. What if you have made a bunch of assumptions that are in error? If your premise is faulty…:

      ” it can be demonstrated that crime rates are higher in urban areas than in rural areas.”
      Hasn’t it always been so, even when most of the world was uninhabited?

      “Through technology, we are capable of creating a world in which people can survive, but may be quite unhappy with the living conditions. Some might suggest that we have already reached that point in many urban areas!”
      The urban areas with the least quality of life are those with the least modern technology.
      Some might suggest unpleasant living conditions already existed in cities (without sewage facilities or clean water or central heating), but through technology living conditions have become quite pleasant. You have the direction of change backwards.

      “I can think of few, if any, environmental problems that wouldn’t be improved with fewer people contributing pollution, or making demands on resources.”
      The countries that produce the most power per capita have the cleanest environments. I can think of few, if any, environmental problems that wouldn’t be improved by providing the same per capital number of fossil fuel power plants as the US.

      We have enough fossil fuel reserves to provide the entire world the same standard of living as the US for hundreds of years. The answer isn’t less people, it is more fossil fuel.

      SR

      • Not just Mars, but the asteroids as well.
        Later, the rest of the Solar System, and someday, hopefully, the rest of the galaxy.

    • If urban environments are as unpleasant as you say, why do so many people choose to live in them?
      And believe me, it is a choice.

      While it is possible that there is a limit, you have to realize that improving technology can easily increase that number.

      I would like to know why it is that you are so unhappy with your standard of living.

      Why do you think you, or anyone else, has the authority to decide for others what their “optimal” lifestyle is or should be?

    • OK, Clyde, I will have at you. Let us start with this statement that popped out at me: “It should be obvious that there is a limit to the carrying capacity of the planet.” Maybe it should be obvious , but it is not. There may be a limit to population, to resources, to water, etc etc but what should be clear by now is that nobody knows what that limit might be, and those who attempt to impose a limit at this particular time or any time in the past are simply and grossly underestimating what the real limits might be. Consider as exhibit A the Netherlands, a very densely populated place. Some might be horrified tag the specter of such density, but , I dare say, not the Dutch. They export food and all sorts of other things. They welcome immigrants. They are a vibrant democracy. They have experienced fantastic growth since WWII. They thrive on trade with everyone everywhere. They also live, on average, long lives and take good care of their aged and their poor. The trend in all these things is up, not down. What sort of dystopian hell is that? The same could be said for many other countries in the developed world. What they also have in common is a strong belief, nurtured by the neo-Malthusians, that this is all too good to be true, that the population is out of control, and that there is sin in burning anything to produce heat against the cold or cold against the heat. Now that the developing world is really developing, thanks in part to electrification from coal, now the cheapest form of accessible fuel, just as it was for us in our development stage, the virtuous want them to use windmills and solar panels instead. And, as many have already noted on this list, development inevitably is followed by freely chosen population control.

  26. Yes, yes Coombes over.

    We are all well paid shills of big oil here. We just post as part of an elaborate echo chamber/matrix type thing that’s in your mind.

    Guess you jumped in without reading the Population scare post above our comments. Those science based predictions came and went but like a slow kid in the class lemming you start ranting and raving. A couple of articles in science mags doesn’t cut it here. Seen them, deconstructed them, flushed them. There are many studies showing many things that do not hold up to scientific scrutiny. Those critiques are regularly posted here.

    You are a tool. A worse than worthless one. Work on straightening that out.

    • He’s been trained to reject any fact that runs counter to what he’s been trained to believe as the product of a great oil company disinformation campaign.
      Therefore he doesn’t need to read the article above. He already knows everything in it is a lie.

      It’s such a blessing, being able to go through life without ever having to think for ones self.

      • MarkW, what gives me a decent sleep is knowing that regardless of the relentless propaganda and lefty designer-brained core subjects to clone impressionable children into little lefties, they only get the dullards. Kids with brainpower dont fit into the mould and end up finding their own way through the mental minefield of ‘reducation’.

        In one sense, Cook’s 97% may not be far off. Soviet dissidents certainly didn’t exceed 3% of the population! Nor Germany’s. It may be all it takes ultimately. A branding characteristic of the manipulatable is their sort of helplessness. These are not doers and problem solvers. These are not analytical thinkers. They have learned by rote and they are always quoting the permitted literature and annointed experts. They all sound the same. We know in advance “their” talking points. 3% putting up cogent arguments, and criticisms based on logic and empirical observations drives them nuts because they’ve used up their talking points.

  27. In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s a big environmental call to action was “Zero Population Growth.” Environmentalists were praising China’s one child policy and pushing for the rest of the world to follow it. All humans were supposed to die of starvation should we ever reach a population of 6 billion, double that of the day. I believe we’re currently at something like 7.7 billion. Another doomsday deadline missed…

  28. “Was climate change alarmism always about fears of overpopulation?”
    Of course it was!
    All of what the UN has done since it’s inception is about population control and socialism.
    Here is a edition of a 1969 UNESCO Courier (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000057247) which show that by that time they had the message well and truly sorted — four legs (or two wings, or fins, or scaled, etc.) GOOD, two legs BAD, 2 Legs very bad and must be controlled!

    cAGW, aka Climate Change™, gave an opportunity for the Fabian style, ultra leftists to take over the UN and push for population control via the ‘New World Order’ and ‘One World Government’ socialism.

    • The Future of Humanity: a Lecture by Isaac Asimov (1974 )

      But notice the difference: once you want women not to have children, you’re going to have to give them something else to do! It is absolutely impossible to tell a woman that she can’t have children, and at the same time that she can’t do anything else either except maybe wash an occasional dish.
      Because if you tell a woman that, she’ll figure out some way to have a baby.
      I think I know the way, too!
      Well then, in the world of the 21st century in order to keep the birth rate down, we’re going to have to give women interesting things to do that’ll make them glad to stay out of the nursery. And the interesting things that I can think of that we give women to do are essentially the same as the interesting things that we give men to do. I mean we’re going to have women help in running the government, and science, and industry…whatever there is to run in the 21st century. And what it amounts to is we’re going to have to pretend…when I say “we”, I mean men…we’re going to have to pretend that women are people.
      And you know, pretending is a good thing because if you pretend long enough, you’ll forget you’re pretending and you’ll begin to believe it.
      http://www.asimovonline.com/oldsite/future_of_humanity.html

      Fascinating lecture by Asimov in 1974. Interesting for the overall principles that are worthwhile addressing (resource depletion is a real issue), and for the scientific dogma of the time (global cooling ) etc

  29. I can recall the circa 1970-71 offerings from the “Population Institute’ of summer
    and semester internships for those who qualified.

    These offerings were posted in and around the social science departments and
    associated buildings.

    I didn’t sign up for the program then and I won’t sign up now.

  30. “‘Empty Planet’ Review: A Drop in Numbers: Governments stoke fears about overpopulation, but the reality is that fertility rates are falling faster than most experts can readily explain.” by Lyman Stone on Feb. 6, 2019
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/empty-planet-review-a-drop-in-numbers-11549497631

    “Is a dangerous population explosion imminent? For decades we’ve been told so by scientific elites, starting with the Club of Rome reports in the 1970s. But in their compelling book “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline,” Canadian social scientist Darrell Bricker and journalist John Ibbitson lay out the opposite case: “The great defining event of the twenty-first century,” they say, “will occur in three decades, give or take, when the global population starts to decline. Once that decline begins, it will never end.”

    “Fertility is falling faster than most experts can readily explain, driven by persistent forces. … The drivers of global fertility decline are here to stay.

    “So why exactly is everyone still worried about the opposite problem? The authors pin the blame on faulty assumptions by the population establishment, as represented by the U.N. Population Division. … Never mind their being reliable for long-run forecasts, the U.N. fertility estimates are 5% to 10% off even in the present. … As a result of these mistakes, the most widely used population benchmarks in the world are probably wrong. The future will have far fewer people than the U.N. suggests; perhaps billions fewer.”

    • There’s been a dramatic drop in US fertility in just the past few years. In fact, the TFR has just gone below 1.8, approaching European levels.

      Chinese live births were 2 million short of government forecasts last year. It’s an implosion.

      Even in Africa, we are seeing a rapid demographic transition.

      The U.N. will shortly have to revise down its 11+ billion forecast. Even 10 billion may be too much.

      • What would the US TFR be without abortions? What would US population be now if not for Roe v Wade?
        Don’t forget to figure in babies that would have been born by now from aborted babies.

        SR

        • I doubt the difference in TFR would be that much different without abortions.
          Without the safety net of abortion, a lot of people would be a lot more careful regarding birth control.

  31. I would say AGW and population concerns are both false scares. The objective is total control over governments and people, and reengineering humans through eugenics and epigenics, gene editing, etc to create a more evolved human species, with the elites achieving a god like status. 5G in conjunction with the IoT and smart meters/cities and carbon/energy digital credits will allow these technocratic elites the total control they seek. Control over human biological reproduction and consumption of material resources. A global technocracy.

    You see, beliefs in eugenics and technocracy never really went away, they just renamed themselves after Germany gave both a bad name in the 30-40’s.. Many of those technocrats and eugenecists simply assimilated themselves into the post war order and continued to spread their beliefs under other names.

  32. It’s amazing how quick these educated elites are to cut off vast swathes of humanity from any hope of progress. They are comfortable and only interested in riding the crest of their positions as decision makers for the rest of humanity. They continually convince themselves that they deserve the height of their position because they are smarter than the rest of us. They are Socialist by nature, in that they accommodate the idea of command without question and remove themselves as completely as possible from the consequences of their decisions.

  33. If you look into the backgrounds of a lot of these zero population growth supporters you will probably find a lot of feminists as well.

  34. Dr. Ball goes so far as to argue that while global warming is a “contrived problem,” most of those “who know it is contrived still believe overpopulation is a problem.”

    I think there’s conflation of ideas going on. Ignore climate change, ignore overpopulation, and ask yourself whether we wish to be so arrogant as to be the only species on the planet of any meaning or relevance. We aren’t. Does that make a person who believes that a neo-Malthusian? Personally, I don’t think so. But I also don’t see it as carte blanche to procreate endlessly in places that cannot afford to raise their children without foreign aid assistance to support them.

    The Middle East, in places like Jordan and Syria, have quadrupled their population since 1960. It’s not a fertile area of the planet. I see no reason to condone unrestricted birth rates in a highly unstable, highly susceptible region of the planet when women’s rights are subjugated and religious dogma is draconian. Whatever the local carrying capacity for those areas is naturally, without mass importation of basic resources like food, water and energy, then that’s where the population ought to revert to.

    I do not wish to see the megafauna of the African continent (or elsewhere) disappear off the planet because select people have a misguided belief that consuming them will help the consumer get a hard-on. Where does one fall on the Malthusian spectrum when one values the natural world and wishes to keep nature in nature, and not only behind walls cages in a zoo?

    • There is no population problem and people aren’t procreating endlessly.

      If you insist on worrying yourself silly, at least find yourself a problem that actually exists.

      • MarkW –

        If I’m allowed to, I would beg to differ and agree with AZ1971 on this.

        Few would disagree that a problem actually DOES exist regarding the huge reduction in many species of wild animals in places such as Africa and Asia, due not simply to poaching but to the encroachment of a rapidly growing human population shrinking the size of these animals’ natural territory. It is not a question of “worrying oneself silly” to deplore the loss of so many wonderful creatures because of this mainly one-sided uneven competition for survival.
        The future human population forecast for Africa alone in 30 years time is 2.5 billion, whilst currently there are just 3800 tigers, 7100 cheetahs, 13,000 leopards left in the wild. You say “people aren’t procreating endlessly”, though Africans have the highest birth rate in the world and are often unable to feed all their children.

        • The reason why Africans are having trouble feeding their children is because their governments are putting into place policies that make that inevitable.
          For example, not too many years ago, Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Africa, thanks to government policies that seized farms and gave them to friends and family of those in government, they can no longer even feed themselves.
          As to encroachment, if European do gooders would permit African farms to modernize, then they would need a lot less land to feed their people.

          Finally, as long as wild animals are viewed as a problem and not a resource, locals will seek to get rid of them. In areas that permit hunting of trophy animals, these animals are doing well because the locals can make money off them.

  35. People in different groups see different things.

    Doomsayers are always seeing the end of the world.
    Activists are always trying to save the world.
    Socialists are always trying to impose central planning.
    Rent-seekers want a piece of government spending.
    Governments like to raise taxes and increase control.
    Do-gooders want to justify wealth transfers.
    Journalists live on sensationalism.
    The scientists who define the consensus view play king-of-the-mountain and will defend their positions with ramparts and a moat.

    With all these forces aligned, it’s remarkable we have gone even further down the rabbit hole.

  36. Te great danger is that the neo-Luddites will manage to stop progress and then the population won’t stabilize and we won’t have the means to feed everybody. Poverty and ignorance, as Dickens said are the great risks for the future.

  37. Nigel Lawson: Global warming has turned into religion
    Lawson was Chancellor when Crispin Tickell, then British Ambassador to the UN, convinced Prime Minister Thatcher that man-made global warming was a problem. Despite Tickell lacking any scientific background (he read history at university) Mrs Thatcher took the population campaigner’s views seriously enough to make a landmark speech on global warming. This led to the foundation of a branch of the Met Office, the Hadley Centre at Exeter, to study the issue. It remains one of the three leading climate institutes.
    http://www.thegwpf.com/nigel-lawson-climate-science-has-turned-into-religion/

    The Man Who Invented Global Warming
    So is AGW the most serious threat facing the world today, so far as Tickell is concerned? Well, almost. There is one other threat that he sees as even more urgent than AGW – the human race itself. Specifically, those feckless, irresponsible classes and nations that continue to breed at more than the replacement level of 2.1 children (Tickell, it should be noted, has three children. Considerations of overpopulation do not apply to his class, of course (1)). For him, overpopulation is the driving force behind AGW: we are a cancer on the planet. In language which we would normally expect to come from extremists, Tickell lays out his vision of the rest of the world.
    http://www.freedomforallseasons.org/GlobalWarmingMythsEmail/2011-01-14%20The%20man%20who%20'invented'%20Global%20Warming.mht

    Crispin Tickell is one of the Godfathers of the CAGW agenda (the other principle Godfather was Maurice Strong)

    • Interview with Crispin Tickell by Joan Bakewell for the Belief programme, BBC Radio 3. Broadcast on 7 April 2004.
      Belief
      Now you come from an Anglo-Irish family. Your great, great grandfather was T H Huxley – Aldous Huxley was in your background too. Now this is a legacy of seriously thoughtful, intellectual address, isn’t it?
      Well T H Huxley was in many respects one of my heroes. Aldous was as well. In fact I think if anybody had any influence on me during my adolescence, it was Aldous Huxley. And I remember going to lunch with him and he asked me what essay I was writing that day for my history teacher. And I replied it was about the relations between the Pope and the Emperor. And he sort of took a deep breath, and for about 15 minutes he spoke about the secular versus the spiritual power. And I really sat back, staggered by what I heard, because he illuminated every aspect of this immensely complicated and still continuing problem, and I found it fascinating. When I sat down afterwards to try and write my essay, I was hardly able to write a word.
      Snip
      Well while you were leading this high profile life, you were also already concerned with the planet, and your book ‘Climatic Change and World Affairs’ was published in 1977, and really was seminal in both I think perhaps shaping up everything you’ve done since, and also in shaping up the political responses to climate change both in Britain, Europe, America and the United Nations. So where did this book come from?
      Snip
      You’ve said in various situations, and different contexts, that environment has a relationship to religion, and that religion has a relationship to the environment. Could you elucidate that?
      Snip
      You persuaded Mrs. Thatcher to go to the United Nations and address them about the planet.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20041127063702/http://www.crispintickell.com/page65.html

      Crispin Tickell is a younger cousin of Aldous and Julian Huxley. I wonder why BRAVE NEW CLIMATE comes to mind?
      Julian Huxley was first head of UNESCO

    • To better understand UNESCO, consider a quote from Sir Julian Huxley, brother of the famous Aldous Huxley. Julian Huxley was the founding director-general of UNESCO when he said the following:
      “The general philosophy of UNESCO should be a scientific world humanism, global in extent… It can stress… the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world political organization… Political unification in some sort of world government will be required…to help the emergence of a single world culture.”
      Snip
      From its inception UNESCO has been openly hostile to American values, our Constitution, and our western culture. Why in the world should we send tax dollars to an organization that actively promotes values so contrary to those of most Americans?
      But there’s more. Mr. Huxley goes on to state that perhaps eugenics, the so-called science of creating better people through genetic manipulation, is not so bad after all
      “Even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years…politically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”
      This is the reality of UNESCO, the agency your tax dollars will once again fund. How much more hostility will the American people accept before we realize that the UN represents a very real threat to our freedom, our sovereignty, and our way of life?
      http://ronpaulquotes.com/Texas_Straight_Talk/tst093002.html

      • Julian Huxley
        UNESCO: It’s Purpose and it’s Philosophy
        http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0006/000681/068197eo.pdf

        UNESCO and the (One) World of Julian Huxley
        This article investigates the idea of cosmopolitanism associated with internationalism and the origins of UNESCO at the end of World War II. In the first few years of UNESCO’s operation, delegates and functionaries portrayed “world citizenship” as the path to permanent world peace and as a necessary step in the evolution of human society from tribes to nations, from national consciousness to “one world.” A key figure in that history was Julian Huxley, UNESCO’s first director-general. This article argues that Huxley’s conception of cosmopolitan internationalism provides an important link between the history of postwar international organizations and a long nineteenth-century vision of historical and political progress and of imperial policies and practices.
        https://muse.jhu.edu/article/400867

        The Life and Legacy of Julian Huxley
        “UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy” (1946)
        After becoming the first director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1945, Huxley published “UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy.” This manifesto outlined both the broad goals of this newly established organization and Huxley’s stance on how UNESCO should attempt to address them. More telling, however, was the degree to which Huxley’s publication reflected his views on eugenics.
        http://julianhuxleyeugenics.blogspot.ca/p/huxley-and-eugenics.html

    • The New Divinity
      By Julian Huxley
      I believe that an equally drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary, from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern
      Snip
      Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sence of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
      Though gods and God in any meaningful sence seem destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains. This religious raw material consists of those aspects of nature and those experiences which are usually described as divine. Let me remind my readers that the term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interprete man’s experiences of this quality.
      Some events and some phenomena of outer nature transcend ordinary explanation and ordinary experience. They inspire awe and seem mysterious, explicable only in terms of something beyond or above ordinary nature.
      http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/jh_divin.htm

      Julian Huxley. Religion without Revelation

    • We’ve lost our fear of hellfire, but put climate change in its place

      “Billions will die,” says Lovelock, who tells us that he is not normally a gloomy type. Human civilisation will be reduced to a “broken rabble ruled by brutal warlords”, and the plague-ridden remainder of the species will flee the cracked and broken earth to the Arctic, the last temperate spot, where a few breeding couples will survive.
      Snip
      Humanity has largely lost its fear of hellfire, and yet we still hunger for a structure, a point, an eschatology, a moral counterbalance to our growing prosperity. All that is brilliantly supplied by climate change. Like all the best religions, fear of climate change satisfies our need for guilt, and self-disgust, and that eternal human sense that technological progress must be punished by the gods.
      And the fear of climate change is like a religion in this vital sense, that it is veiled in mystery, and you can never tell whether your acts of propitiation or atonement have been in any way successful. One sect says we must build more windfarms, and these high priests will be displeased with what Lovelock has to say. Another priestly caste curses the Government’s obsession with nuclear power – a programme Lovelock has had the courage to support.
      http://tinyurl.com/y9su4bd

    • Curb your enthusiasm
      High priests, holy writ and excommunications – how did Humanism end up acting like a religion?
      Michael Ruse

      This ‘single world culture’ was what he called ‘Evolutionary Humanism’: the ‘new and permanent religion’ of science and rational planning. Julian Huxley was a star public intellectual and a great populariser of evolutionary theory. You could say he was the Richard Dawkins of his time, and as with Dawkins, some of his fellow scientists were disturbed by his extension of Darwinism into an encompassing world view. Huxley saw evolution as a visionary, almost spiritual, ideal, a progressive force leading to the pinnacle of human morality. He ignored the warnings of David Hume about illicit shifts from matters of fact to matters of morality. Evolution pointed ever upward, according to Huxley, and so our moral obligation was to see that humans were promoted and their decay prevented. As the Christian implores you to love your neighbour as yourself, the Huxleyan Humanist asks you to facilitate the evolutionary process.
      Julian Huxley’s vision of an ascending human evolutionary path could be notably indifferent to individual human beings. Like many intellectuals of his generation, he had been an enthusiast for eugenics in his youth. Unusually, though, he did not abandon eugenical thinking in the wake of the Second World War. Indeed, his proposed world government would have had a mix of eugenics and population control at the core of its responsibilities: no other institution would have sufficient rational, scientific and moral authority to do so, as he wrote in UNESCO: Its Purpose and Philosophy: ‘Political unification in some sort of world government will be required … Even though … any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.’
      The trouble is, there is no simple line from evolutionary biology to the ethical life, and there is no guarantee that an alternative secular religion will lead us there
      Snip
      Let us agree that science itself is not a religion. But Humanism is a different matter, and in its most virulent form, it does try to make science into a religion.
      https://aeon.co/essays/how-humanism-lost-its-way-in-a-charismatic-crusade

      Julian Huxley, E.O. Wilson, New Atheists etc

  38. Religion and the Environment
    Lecture delivered to “The Earth our destiny” conference, Portsmouth Cathedral, 2002-11-30
    Environment is the stuff of religion, and religion is the stuff of the environment. Their relationship once went without saying. Yet we live at a time when they are being prised apart
    Snip
    But however many arguments we can adduce – moral, social, genetic, scientific or other – for religion, we still have to ask ourselves the awkward, inescapable, fundamental question. Is it true? Here I think there is only one answer. We simply do not know. That is not of course to say that it is untrue. As the well known scientist T. H. Huxley once wrote “… I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything.”
    Snip
    This may be enough for some people. It was not enough for T. H. Huxley’s grandson Julian, who embarked on a search for religion without revelation, or E. O. Wilson who has since developed the concepts of scientific materialism and the evolutionary epic as substitutes for religion. Others have made similar efforts in the same direction. But none has reached anywhere near the human core. Some people may not believe in God, but most people want to believe in something.
    The present collectivity of life on earth cannot be distinguished from the present collectivity of its physical surroundings. The animate and the inanimate shade into each other. This is the environment. As I have suggested, it was – and in some cases still is – the stuff of religion. But it has also been the stuff of science. James Hutton, the geologist, recognized it as long ago as 1785. T. H. Huxley did likewise in 1877. Almost a century later James Lovelock developed ideas on the same subject which, on the advice of the novelist William Golding, he called Gaia. In a paper written with Lynn Margulis in 1974, he wrote
    “Gaia theory is about the evolution of a tightly coupled system whose constituents are the biota and their natural environment, which comprises the atmosphere, the oceans and the surface rocks”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160404212811/http://www.crispintickell.com/page18.html

  39. It is sometimes forgotten that we Humans, are a animal. And just like all animals nature built in a means of continuing the species. This is done by ensuring that the act of sex is very strong, and at the moment of coupling it is enjoyable.

    It was only when in mainly the Western countries that the people realised that having say two children and using contraceptives to prevent any more, was a far better way as it meant there was more money from the bread winner to go around.

    Of course some faiths such as the Catholic one using the Old” Testmont Be fruitful and multiply, probably a ploy on the part of the Church to keep the numbers up, which gets back to being all about “Power”, that we had problems in Northern Ireland , where the Catholics could not apparently understand why they were worse off financially than the Protestants..

    Prosperity was and still is a major factor, when the State supplies a pension to the elderly, then we do not need a couple to have up to 12 children, in the hope that enough will survive to look after their Mums and Dads.

    So its the usual power thing, , for example a Chief will want as big a number as possible in his tribe, to be able to defend against any other tribe from taking their land. Its survival, but only wealth via Free enterprise, that dreaded word Capitalism. will change things for the better.

    The likes of the World Bank in not supplying Capital for the digging out and using Fossell Fuel is just a form of racism, keep the black races in their place, that of being very poor , but what to do about the so called refugees from such countries coming to the Western countries.

    MJER 0

  40. “obvious point about population growth [that] must be stated and restated” is that “population increases will only dilute the effectiveness” of achieving “rapid improvements in per capita living standards for the present 4 billion people on earth.”

    Isn’t it wonderful how a person can actually justify keeping hundreds of millions in poverty and early death for the good of the future. Such people make me sick.

  41. This has been a sick dance ever since the publication of the Population Bomb. My father is still in thrall to that damn book. Please tell me where I can find a job in which every prediction I make is wrong over a period of 50 years and I get paid for it with Tenure.

  42. circa 1968. Malthus. Population Bomb. Silent Spring. Vietnam. The Pill. Baby Boom grows up.
    That’s why it is not a coincidence that it is 20 years after WW2. And WW2 and The Bomb made a huge impact on the Baby Boomers even though they were born after that.

    While there was a wild west to expand into, growth was good. After that seemed to fill up, thoughts turned to Spaceship Earth.

    The Population Bomb was the first step, but it was soon seen to be impossible to solve.
    If the population keeps growing, sustainability becomes the big concern.
    Whole generations have been brought up with the pessimistic viewpoint and that man is the scourge of the earth. They may have a point. And they may be right that some regions are overpopulated.

    The optimists are probably right that technology will come to enable larger populations, so there is no bomb. But they may not be right that more is better.

    For example, the National Parks are loved to death. Technology is not creating more national parks.

    AGW is where the environmentalists got duped. Any catastrophe caused by any GW will be preceeded by bigger and worse ones due to social and political issues, i.e. human nature, same as it always was.

    • However technology can create ways for more people to enjoy national parks without over stressing them.
      The problem is that like all things run by government, the national parks are not well run.

  43. What’s so telling about this whole “population reduction” agenda is that none of these advocates will reduce their standard of living. Maurice Strong was a multi millionaire, but once ensconced in wealth and the owner of valuable property, advocated that the “lower” types be prevented from trying to improve their lot in life. This in itself is not surprising, but the herds that are susceptible to this blatant hypocrisy and are oblivious to the agenda to manipulate and subjugate their lives, is fascinating, if I may use that word loosely.

  44. I think a large part of the appeal of neo-Malthusian environmentalism comes from what the comfortable classes observe as they age and move through life: Green fields only ever seem to disappear under new housing estates and shopping malls, often lamented by famous writers.

    But in the West this is often not due to rapid population growth, but due to increasing wealth and larger, sprawling housing as we often prefer lower-density accommodation when given the choice.
    What people don’t notice so much, is the redevelopment of brown-field sites, which are also reclaimed by nature if abandoned. The casual observer also won’t see the mature trees and wildlife corridors that develop over time in new suburbia. Sure, with a little extra effort we could do much much better, but it is not a one way street to environmental degradation. We can also reclaim land from the sea and create habitation for ourselves in locations normally quite unsuitable for human existence. Central heating and air conditioning already means that many North-Americans actually spend very little time exposed to the elements. We also eat increasing amounts of food grown in such conditions dictated by our needs and desires.

    On long-distance flights it becomes more obvious just how empty most of this planet really is. With sufficiently cheap energy we could probably support more than 10 times the world’s current population with ease.

    • Yes, I am also struck by the vast emptiness as I fly over, particularly in the west and across my native Canada. 10 times and more, I would say. What we have to fear is truly fear, itself, a commodity that Ehrlich, Holdren, Gore, and the whole panic-seeding group have been cashing in on for half a century and counting.

  45. I did the math a while ago, but it’s still true…

    If you wanted to live in the density of NYC average (not just Manhattan – the entire city), you could put the entire population of the Earth in Texas.

    If you wanted to provide each of those people with 100 liters of fresh water every day, you’d need just 1/3rd of the water flow of the Columbia River.

    You could feed the entire population with the farmland acreage of the Continental US – outside of Texas.

    End result: you wouldn’t need anything from any of the oceans, 6.5 of the 7 continents. No one in Canada, Mexico, or anywhere other than Texas.

    We don’t have an overpopulation problem, we have a distribution issue – and it’s not with the US. It’s with the recipient countries.

  46. Whilst I do not advocate a ever increasing world population, the coming of on-shore farming of sea creatures, mostly fish, will more than feed the bigger population.

    But human nature being what it is War will with the usual infections will keep the population down.We see this in Africa with the likes of AID’s and Ebola, plus Malaria.

    Water, or rather the lack of it, just look at the Middle East. Turkey with its ever growing population wants more, so Dams are built, but some other country downstream will suffer. Expect a raid to blow up a Dam or two. That’s probably why the Turks a are so anti the Kurds, they live in the Mountains where the Dams will have to be built.

    MJE

    We are no different to any other animal, in the good times we breed up, then in the bad times we die. . The MWP was followed by the Little e Ice Age, and we all know just what happened.

  47. It seems to me that every scare in the UK has always been linked to population. When we had the stories in the 70’s for an ice age coming one solution constantly pushed was to have a lower population and now we have the same thing with global warming/ climate change or whatever the term is now. But this is just part of an overall picture to keep the masses scared and pliable.

  48. Trouble is, if you try to have a discussion about overpopulation, (good, bad, or indifferent) some idiot will tell you to kill yourself.

    • If you are advocating the elimination (IE killing) of surplus population, the idiot isn’t the one telling you to volunteer to be among the surplus being eliminated.

  49. “in which the validity of the belief in the inherent unsustainability of economic growth is challenged more thoroughly”

    Dr Charles Hall.
    “Economics Is Not A Science, Because It Doesn’t Use The Scientific Method”

    Charles A. S. Hall discusses the faults of the “Dismal Science”

    “Economics is not a science because it doesn’t use the scientific method”

    “ Don’t tell me dollars. Tell me energy. Because Dollars are only a lien on energy. That’s all they are”

    “Encourage us not to teach fairytales in Economics classes. We teach a million young people Fairytales in our Economics classes”

    “I had a wonderful talk at our biophysical economics meeting last week. And the speaker was an historian. He said the discovery of the 2nd law of thermodynamics absolutely transformed Chemistry first, then Physics, then all of the.. Geology.. all of the Sciences.. Ecology.. Except one.. Economics. ”
    http://tinyurl.com/mbqowln

  50. Adults do not have problems discussing population limits on earth.

    It is a highly relevant thing to discuss.

    Populations will plateau when escape from grinding poverty is across the globe.

    There is nothing wrong then in reducing populations over four or five generations down to alower plateau. It just means more people have only one child, having more than two requires trading with the childless etc.

    Scaremongering is a typical tactic of those either not wanting to address a problem or to plug an appropriate solution for personal financial gain.

    • And who exactly is going to force those who want more than one child to trade breeding rights with others.

      There is no need for the population to be reduced. However it will do so on it’s own without the totalitarian fantasies of some having to be implemented.

  51. Re Markv, Any big population today is aware that in other parts of the world, others are far better off, so they too want their Share”” of the good life.

    The UK cannot feed itself, its population should therefore not be more than 30 million. That is the basic reason for Brexit, as under the EU its Free movement for all of its member s , and the UK like Australia has a genoures Social security scheme. Only when we here in Oz take the sugar off he table, as S/E Asian countries tell us, will the Boat People no longer want to come here.
    Instead of food aid, we should send them Condoms. And any bleeding heart bible thumper s are very welcome to join them.

    MJE

  52. This article is spot on .
    I often find the default position of global warming worriers
    is actually that many of them seeing over population as the
    big scary .
    Global warming caused by humans connects to their fervent
    belief the world has too many people . And that is their real target .

    The rest are either just con-men who want to make a buck at
    tax payer expense or eco- anarchists who want to fund their socialist one
    world government dreams .

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