Professor Michael Cameron, Associate Professor in Economics, University of Waikato

The Conversation: “the only country to have undertaken … successful … population control is China”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Malthus, Ehrlich and The Club of Rome might have gotten everything wrong, but Waikato Professor Michael Cameron thinks we need to consider their work, and consider imposing curbs on population growth, if we want to prevent a future food crisis caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Curb population growth to tackle climate change: now that’s a tough ask

January 25, 2021 5.50am AEDT

Michael P. Cameron
Associate Professor in Economics, University of Waikato

Population growth plays a role in environmental damage and climate change.

The English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus laid out a compelling argument against overpopulation in his famous 1798 book, An Essay on the Principle of Population

But his essay could not have been timed worse, coming near the beginning of the longest period of sustained global population growth in history. This was driven in part by vast improvements in agricultural productivity over time.

This idea of hard environmental limits to population growth was resurrected in the 20th century in publications such as The Population Bomb, a 1968 book by Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, and The Limits to Growth, a 1972 publication commissioned by the Club of Rome think-tank.

The implication of these treatises on the perils of population growth suggest population control is an important measure to limit carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and global climate change.

That leaves population control, but the issues here are no less challenging. Government-led population control presents serious moral questions for democratic countries.

That’s why the only country to have undertaken a (moderately) successful form of population control is China, through the One Child Policy that ran from 1979 to 2015. Over that period, the total fertility rate in China roughly halved.

Read more:

To be fair the professor goes on to say that prosperity may be enough to limit population growth, though I find it personally repugnant to see China’s disastrous and cruel one child policy described as any kind of success.

Is there a hard limit to population growth? There must be a limit, it is impossible the Earth could support an infinite number of people. But 200 years of failed serial doomsaying suggests those who worry we are approaching a hard limit to global population are almost certainly wrong.

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January 25, 2021 2:09 pm

Planned Population schemes range from The Great Leap (i.e. mass choice) to one-child (i.e. minority choice, Final Solution) to selective-child (i.e. delegated responsibility, Wicked Solution). That said, only the latter, Planned Parent/hood, has been normalized under a State-established quasi-religion (“ethics”), now adopted by the CCP, perhaps after consulation with their Western ideological counterparts. One step forward, two steps backward.

Last edited 2 years ago by n.n
Reply to  n.n
January 25, 2021 4:30 pm

And let us not forget the reports of the ChiComs early efforts to control the coronavirus- families in Wuhan were locked in their apartments if someone was diagnosed with the disease. Many are alleged to have starved to death.

Win-win for the descendants of Mao…

Reply to  Kpar
January 25, 2021 11:28 pm

“many are alleged”
Alleged by whom? The likes of Cameron or maybe Schumer and Pelosi? Trump? That venal, vile, vacant little makeup-plastered couch-audition slut on CNN, Andrew C’mon or sumpfink?
I read a “report” by some “senior Chinese scientist” the other day. He swears to god the Chinese have built special facilities where they quarantine all the covid infected, and they power the whole setup by burning the bodies!
I suspect the only reason he’s not being sued for belittling the suffering of the Sixmillions(TM) is because he works from Tel Aviv (or New York?).

Lurker Pete
Reply to  n.n
January 25, 2021 5:46 pm

Planned Parenthood was birthed in the American Eugenics Society

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Lurker Pete
January 25, 2021 8:16 pm

Micheal Crichton was very much aware of that PP/eugenics historical lineage when he wrote about the parallels between eugenics of the early 20th Century and Climate Change science proponents of the early 21st Century. They are cut from the same ideological cloth.

Reply to  Lurker Pete
January 26, 2021 3:51 am

That was at a time when most ‘intellectuals’ believed in Malthus. By the time I came of age, PP had changed to ‘Every child a wanted child.’

Reply to  Fran
January 26, 2021 11:19 am

In reality it should be “Every child an UNWANTED child”

Reply to  Lurker Pete
January 26, 2021 11:18 am

Yes, and it still has the same ethics and goals!

Reply to  Lurker Pete
January 27, 2021 12:18 am

The past participal of the verb to bear is born, not “birthed”. eg I was born in the 1960s, not I was birthed in the 1960s.

Reply to  n.n
January 26, 2021 3:49 am

May or may not be true, but all our lockdowns are producing hopelessness in enough young people to further depress birth rates already well below replacement in virtually all high income countries, and the knockon effects in the poorest countries have been predicted to produce at least some starvation. Its a good start.

Rory Forbes
January 25, 2021 2:09 pm

You just can’t make this stuff up. I’m expected to believe this guy has an education. I have to wonder if he ever had an original thought, made a direct observation or questioned authority.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Rory Forbes
January 26, 2021 4:58 am

He may have a degree, but it doesn’t seem he has much of an education.

Robert Arvanitis
January 25, 2021 2:11 pm

The one-child policy guarantees China will grow old, before it grows rich.

Reply to  Robert Arvanitis
January 25, 2021 2:57 pm

That’s why they changed it to two (and more under some circumstances).

Reply to  Scissor
January 27, 2021 9:12 am

You can have as many children as you want in China so long as money changes hands.

Reply to  Robert Arvanitis
January 27, 2021 5:40 am

China is on its way down according to Peter Zeihan, they can’t consume what they produce, Geopolitics and Demographic predictions! As someone past the consuming age myself, I see clearly how their low birthrate destroyed their future.

John Tillman
January 25, 2021 2:11 pm

I guess economists aren’t taught how photosynthesis, plant transpiration and weather work, such that more CO2 means more food and fiber, not less. They also must not know anything about dramatically greening regions, such as the Sahel.

Most countries now have stable to declining populations, without China’s forced abortions. A few Muslim majority nations in Asia and most African states still have rapidly growing populations. So draconian reproductive control is now Islamophobic and racist. As of course in the latter case, the eugenic Planned Parenthood was from its inception.

The solution is not totalitarian statism, but economic growth, public health and empowering women, which since Malthus’ time has led to demographic transition in the developed world and much of the developing.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 2:21 pm

Yes, empowering women with four choices: abstinence, prevention, compassion, and responsibility. Men have the same choices. The only time that aborting a human life should be a choice is in self-defense, a common standard for both sexes. Ideally before the first month, when the nervous system (correlated with consciousness) becomes a viable entity.

David Wolcott
Reply to  n.n
January 25, 2021 3:42 pm

The University of Waikato is, of course, in New Zealand, where Ardern shepherded in an Abortion Act in 2020 (under cover of Covid hystera) allowing abortion on demand up to 20 weeks, and abortion with medical consent after that. (I gather Biden is advocating an even later cut-off.) The idea is to give women choice, but surely there is a responsibility to exercise that choice sooner rather than later, otherwise it’s just immoral negligence.

Reply to  David Wolcott
January 25, 2021 4:32 pm

I believe that ChiCom Joe stands for a “post-birth” abortion, if his Donkey compatriots are any guide.

Reply to  Kpar
January 26, 2021 11:23 am

I seriously have to wonder if he even KNOWS what he stands for! He has seldom (ever?) had an original thought. mostly he just parrots what somnone else has said, or done.

Russ R.
Reply to  Kpar
January 28, 2021 12:22 pm

Yes he is. And first on his list is the “smartest man he ever knew”. Just a little forgetfulness on Joe’s part. He and his late wife were going to abort Hunter, but got busy with other pressing matters. No time like now to clean up that little mistake.

Reply to  David Wolcott
January 25, 2021 11:24 pm

Waikato University has been notorious as the epicenter of activism since the 70s. I used to hang out round there back then, that was where I first heard the slogan “All men are rapists”. It offended me enormously then, and continues to do so till this day. Also a hot bed of racial activism

Reply to  Davidf
January 26, 2021 7:31 am

For the most part, the same people who proclaim that “all men are rapists” would be highly offended if you were to make any statement starting with “all women are”.
Apparently ranking all people based solely on gender or skin color was wrong, except when they did it.

Reply to  Davidf
January 26, 2021 11:25 am

Face it, MOST modern day universities are hot beds of liberal ideas!

Reply to  PC_Bob
January 26, 2021 4:05 pm

Classical Liberals should defend the original definition of the word

Reply to  n.n
January 25, 2021 8:38 pm

Science says life begins at conception. Not “consciousness” or “sentience” or “personhood” or “viability” or any other Communist dodge.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
January 25, 2021 10:16 pm

Yes, life evolves from conception to grave. Also, science cannot discern between origin and expression. I couch my criticism in popular convention, only to emphasize the limits of our perception, and the starkness of “Choice”. Some choices are more supportable than others in a scientific and moral frame of reference.

Reply to  n.n
January 26, 2021 11:27 am

The only choice that matters is the one comes just BEFORE conception. AFTER conception, the ‘choice’ has already been made!

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
January 25, 2021 10:37 pm

Science claims that the structure of life evolves from conception. The systems and processes evolve thereafter, and, short of a natural or anthropogenic abortion, evolution is a progressive (i.e. monotonic) process but otherwise constrained. The Judeo-Christian line of faith holds to a similar attribution, where the spirit (“consciousness”) is seated in the shell (e.g. brain). and together with the body becomes a “soul”.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
January 26, 2021 12:34 am

Science says life begins at conception”

Reply to  niceguy
January 26, 2021 1:08 am

Why is it nonesense?

Reply to  Derg
January 27, 2021 9:27 am

It is nonsense that life begins at conception because both the egg and sperm are alive before conception.

The joining of the egg and sperm is not the creation of life. It is an evolutionary adaptation to eliminate parasites, viruses, etc from the host species. The child organism is typically free of the diseases that plague the parents.

Single cell organisms already solved the problem of exchanging DNA long before it was duplicated by sexual reproduction. However asexual reproduction does not eliminate parasites. Nor does it preserve a true copy of the DNA.

Russ R.
Reply to  Ferdberple
January 28, 2021 12:27 pm

It creates a unique individual with unique DNA. That is when my life began. All cells are “alive”. But they are unique to the mother and unique to the father, until conception.

Reply to  niceguy
January 26, 2021 7:32 am

Obviously life begins when politically convenient.

Reply to  MarkW
January 26, 2021 11:28 am

Yes, IF you are a liberal.

Reply to  n.n
January 26, 2021 4:26 am

problem is? it takes at least 6 or more weeks to be sure you didnt just skip a period, not everyone throws up immediately as a hint

Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 2:26 pm

Nigeria’s population of 206 million is growing at a rate that extrapolates to 491 million in 2050. The Nigerians in the USA are notably successful & have a high % well educated – most likely many more will move to the USA.

Reply to  gringojay
January 25, 2021 4:59 pm

Edit: 401 million, not “491” [sorry about late edit]

Reply to  gringojay
January 25, 2021 6:25 pm

Is that 401M at the current rate of growth? Since the rate of growth will in all probability continue to decline.

Reply to  gringojay
January 25, 2021 10:19 pm

If they have credible leaders, and a competent base, then they should pursue emigration reform to mitigate progress of [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] immigration reform and collateral damage at both ends of the bridge and throughout. Through a good neighbor policy, this development can spread and become the manifest destiny of every nation, society, and community.

Reply to  n.n
January 26, 2021 3:49 am

Therein lies the rub.

Yes, Nigerian-Americans are among the most successful immigrant groups in America today. But the reason for that is that many of Nigeria’s best and brightest are fleeing their home country for greater opportunities. It’s a huge brain drain on Nigeria.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  gringojay
January 25, 2021 10:26 pm

Apparently they have a lot of princes that need US money.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  gringojay
January 26, 2021 1:20 am

Wow. Can you imagine that? Twice as many Princes contacting me via email.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 10:24 pm

I guess economists aren’t taught how photosynthesis, plant transpiration and weather work, such that more CO2 means more food and fiber, not less. They also must not know anything about dramatically greening regions, such as the Sahel.”

Some do, like Ross McKitrick.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 11:42 pm

Do you understand why primitive people have many children? Staying alive for them requires hard work, every day. That makes you age very quickly, and by the time people like Tillman kick back and play golf, the guy in the bush still has to drag his ass around just to stay alive. The only option is to get some physically strong help, so you make sure you have enough children to look after you when you get old. They don’t do it just because breeding is fun or because they are too stupid to understand advanced economics theories.
Because things are what they are, many of those children will die young, so the Tillmans go around demanding we give them medicine and aid, and then brag to their cronies how they are “saving the poor chealdriin!” but disregard the demographic disaster that brings. If they try to uplift themselves economically, Tillman sends in the UN troops to “keep the peace” around the mineral-rich hunting grounds the “backwards, corrupt, stupid Africans” had to hand over as collateral for those marvelous loans from the IMF that Tillman insisted they accept under the guise of “development aid”.
Then the Tillmans sit in momma’s cosy basement demanding we “empower women” so Africans can conform to the Bolshevik standard of dysfunctional family units and drugged-up, gender-confused youth unable to find work, because all industry has been outsourced to China, so the backwards third world does not pollute the Warmists graphs and models.
Have some respect for other peoples’ cultures, man! Just because they are poor, does not mean they are stupid, but if you destroy their pride, they start abusing each other, just like white or yellow people do in the cities where the factories all stopped running.
In other words, Tillman, stop stealing their resources, and African women will look after themselves just like they have for millennia before you came with your welfare and gender equality nonsense. Crawl out under your rock, and you’ll find, in traditional African households, the women hold most economic power, men are really just the muscle that protects home and hearth., something Yankee soy-boys know nothing about.

Last edited 2 years ago by paranoid goy
Reply to  paranoid goy
January 26, 2021 11:33 am

VERY well said!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Tillman
January 26, 2021 4:56 pm

“The solution is not totalitarian statism, but economic growth”

That’s right. Even China’s population is declining.

It seems that when a country reaches a certain level of affluence, the population numbers level off and then starts to decline.

It looks like this overpopulation problem will fix itself if we can lift up the economies of these poorer nations, and the first thing to do to accomplish this goal is to provide these nations with cheap electricity.

January 25, 2021 2:18 pm

Good luck with US population control. Biden will soon legalize 22 million illegals. These 22 million will all be entitled to bring in family members so families can be united. Presto, the USA will have 100+ million new residents all with a carbon footprint 10x larger than they had in their homeland.

Reply to  TheMightyQuinn
January 25, 2021 4:33 pm

And a fast track to citizenship- without all that “learning” stuff.

Soronel Haetir
January 25, 2021 2:23 pm

If it were not such an incredible disaster for personal autonomy I would very likely support strict parental licensing requirements. That is, a prospective parent needing to demonstrate both the emotional but more importantly the financial ability to support a child – or another child in the case of someone who already has a child.

Richard Page
Reply to  Soronel Haetir
January 25, 2021 3:04 pm

Not to mention the maturity and mental capacity to understand that a child is a huge responsibility and neither a pet nor a fashion statement.

David A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 25, 2021 9:09 pm

Yes, which is why responsibility to the individual needs to be a part of our legal structure. Unfortunately, in most every possible way, statist government policy encourages childish personal irresponsibility, and the myopic vision of the Government as the solution to care for everybody and everything, as the sole solution.

Last edited 2 years ago by David A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 26, 2021 7:43 am

Yes! Do you think it would also be politically ruthless to reward people for having children, regardless of their means or prospects for supporting them? Some countries actually do this.

Reply to  Soronel Haetir
January 25, 2021 3:26 pm

It astounds and frightens me how so many people are willing to let government control the most intimate aspects of their lives.

Reply to  MarkW
January 26, 2021 11:36 am

It’s always pushed out as letting the government control someone ELSE’S life, ush as ‘the rich’ or the conservatives, etc.

Reply to  Soronel Haetir
January 25, 2021 8:41 pm

Just reduce the extensive government supports for everything, and let humans figure things out as humans had been doing for most of our 6,000 years.

Reply to  Soronel Haetir
January 26, 2021 7:05 am

We no longer demand those “abilities” of our immigrant population. Expecting them in our current native population is completely unreasonable.

Reply to  Soronel Haetir
January 26, 2021 9:29 am

same coin other side … the belief that “I” know better than you is part of human nature but the desire to act on it and control other people is a bad sign in any of us …

Reply to  lackawaxen123
January 26, 2021 11:37 am

Evidently, only elitist’s and politicians seem to have that ability! Or, maybe not?

January 25, 2021 2:27 pm

Going by his double chin he could help prevent a food crisis by eating less.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  mikebartnz
January 25, 2021 6:42 pm

Soylent Green.

January 25, 2021 2:36 pm

Successful how?

China’s current population growth is +0.29, contrast that with Japan at -0.29, that’s a pretty big difference especially since it just happened naturally in Japan, despite the government offering substantial incentives for having kids.

But then again some people would say that the coercion is what makes China’s effort successful, and the fact that Japan’s population decline happened without coercion makes it a much less desirable model to emulate.

Reply to  Kazinski
January 25, 2021 3:28 pm

There are a lot of people who are attracted to the coercion part.
The idea that government having the ability to control every aspect of other people’s lives gets them excited.

Last edited 2 years ago by MarkW
Reply to  Kazinski
January 25, 2021 6:36 pm

Population is declining in Italy also. It would be declining in Germany and Spain were it not for immigration. Anyone concerned about overpopulation (or cleaner environment) should be advocating pro growth policies.

Reply to  Kazinski
January 25, 2021 7:16 pm

China’s population is forecast to crash by 400 million.

Reply to  Art
January 25, 2021 10:41 pm

Citation please, including estimated time frame for this to happen.

Dave Allentown
Reply to  Stevecsd
January 27, 2021 9:25 am

I will weigh in here.

Even that study, which projects a 700 million decline by 2100, likely overstates China’s current population by 100+ million, which would increase and accelerate the projected population decline. Search Yi Fuxian and you will see why in various articles including the NYT and SCMP. Dr. Fuxian teamed up with a Beijing economist and they published an academic study in Chinese (since removed from the internet by Chinese authorities) documenting that over the last decade China’s government has over-reported births and under-reported deaths. They claim China’s population went into decline in 2018, contradicting most projections that the decline would not begin until 2030 or so.

Tom McQuin
January 25, 2021 2:38 pm

Even the UN is acknowledging major population decline in developed nations, and major declines in the fertility rates in India – down to replacement, and even in Africa the fertility rates have pretty much halved! At present rates China will have 600 million people by the end of the century! What is this guy talking about??

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom McQuin
January 25, 2021 2:47 pm

What the CCP’s vaunted population control policy of forced abortions achieved was 55 million “excess infantry”, ie men who can’t afford the few Chinese women available as wives, or even to buy one from North Korea or Vietnam.

This imbalance contributes to the CCP’s present aggression, knowing that its window of dominance will fade rapidly. Average age of Chinese population is about 38; of India 27.

Time is not on the CCP’s side, thanks to its own anti-human policy.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 26, 2021 11:41 am

So, if we all live long enough (I’m 81) we may see the CCP problem correct itself?

January 25, 2021 2:41 pm

I have never understood why people like this hate others so much. Not only does he think the world needs fewer people, I bet he also wants a say in which people are the most expendable. Hint: they are unlikely to be people who think like him.

Reply to  starzmom
January 26, 2021 3:54 am

They never seem to volunteer to do their part to reduce population.

Gaia would have one less mouth to feed if this guy lived his principles and walked off a cliff.

Mike Dubrasich
January 25, 2021 2:44 pm

Yet another white male, probably a white supremacist neo-fasc colorphobe, with zero expertise in agriculture, calling for the extermination of non-whites, especially females, using the Medieval Mathusian Food Shortage argument.

Why hasn’t Google, Facebook, and other Defenders of Diversity censored and cancelled this obviously racist insurrectionist domestic hate speech? What’s the hold up? Is the Biden Admin asleep at the wheel?

Or, most likely they endorse this brand of garbage, and the worms are coming out of the woodwork now that Orange Man is gone.

January 25, 2021 2:45 pm

This “associate professor” should be returned to grade school.

“Out of China’s population of 1.4 billion, there are nearly 34 million more males than females — the equivalent of almost the entire population of California, or Poland, who will never find wives and only rarely have sex. China’s official one-child policy, in effect from 1979 to 2015, was a huge factor in creating this imbalance, as millions of couples were determined that their child should be a son.”

Reply to  Streetcred
January 25, 2021 3:03 pm

Easy to remedy. Just get 17 million Chinese men to put on a dress some lipstick and identify as a women. If they are unwilling, then maybe war with India will do the trick.

Reply to  Streetcred
January 25, 2021 4:20 pm

Tens of millions of dateless men does not sound like a recipe for success.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  PaulH
January 25, 2021 10:32 pm

Sounds like a gamer convention.

Peter W
Reply to  Streetcred
January 25, 2021 4:29 pm

This is a benefit, given their aggressive attitude toward the world. If you can’t have a wife because none are available, then you join the army for excitement and glory.

Reply to  Peter W
January 25, 2021 6:02 pm

Here’s a cutie.

Reply to  Scissor
January 26, 2021 11:44 am

We are all supposed to pretend that what we see is not what we see!

Russ R.
Reply to  Scissor
January 28, 2021 12:51 pm


Mad Mac
Reply to  Streetcred
January 26, 2021 5:20 am

Back in the 80’s we had the pleasure of hosting a young Chinese female pathologist (for a year) at UCLA. She was married but her husband lived in a separate apartment building and they had never consumated their marriage.

January 25, 2021 2:46 pm

I want to understand who hires these people. It has to be some kickbacks, affirmative action (in this case for mentaly deranged people) or some quota.

Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 2:54 pm

Eric, I spent almost 3 years researching this question of human population limits, the results published in ebook Gaia’s Limits (available both iBooks and Kindle). The result is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. Just ‘is’.

Turns out there are probably two limits to Earth’s carrying capacity for humans. The harder limit is energy, the cutting edge being liquid transportation fuels—not just transport per se, but also forestry, mining, construction, and especially ag. That shoe begins to really pinch sometime probably around 2040 despite shale fracking. Problem is fracking releases ~2% of the entrained oil, maybe 4 percent in future, and not all shales are frackable—e.g. California’s Monterey, the source rock for Bakersfield. The decline of conventional oil reservoirs accounting for ~80% of all oil production is presently 5.7% per year. The worlds largest oilfield, Saudi Ghawar (~6% of total world production by itself) will be fully depleted before 2040 per Saudi’s, despite massive secondary water flood recovery.

The other softer limit is adequate food. Very complicated, because depends on diet mix, carbs/proteins, virtual water, irrigation, increases in crop yields thru bioengineering,…But the big picture is that the softer food shoe begins to pinch by around 2050, at a projected population of about 10.3 billion.
Improved Energy (think biofuels and nuclear and vehicle electrification) plus improved food (think GMO crops), results in a projectable sustainable carrying capacity something between 7-8 billion humans. Gaia is there now.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 3:36 pm

Once again formulating theories based on cherry-picked data.

Energy: if we transition to nuclear fission as our primary source of electrical power, uranium extraction from ocean water, which has already been demonstrated to be viable and economical, can power all of humans’ energy needs for 1 billion years. That there is what’s called “sustainable”.

Food: undernutrition has been declining for over a century thanks to continuing improvements in agricultural and food production technology and supply chains. There is no limit to those improvements for the foreseeable future. The only practical limit is political. Democratic, free countries easily produce more than enough food to keep their populations fat and happy. Oppressive regimes don’t.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  stinkerp
January 25, 2021 6:29 pm

Cherry picked data? You obviously did not read my exhaustively documented book.
Uranium extraction from seawater is economic, you say. Now prove it.
No limits to food production: arable land, food per acre, etc. Prove it. Nothing to do with past oppressive regimes. Everything with future arable land and the future food it might produce. You do know the world is not producing more land? And what exists arable depends on irrigation?
Not interested in your opinions. Only in your counter facts. So show them, please.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 9:37 pm

D’oh! “Prove it!” See my corn post above.

Or repeat it for wheat. Anyone can get their own envelope and pencil and follow what I did.

Go ahead.

Assume planet pop of 10 billion. 14 billion. Whatever.

Now, on your next flight out: look out the plane window. What do you see?

90% or more land not yet cultivated.

Now, you need to ask me: do I believe you the warmonger or do I believe my lying eyes?

You cannot tell me that the land is not there.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 26, 2021 12:16 am

I’m not interested in reading exhaustive lists of cherry-picked studies that bolster your demonstrably wrong ideas about energy and food limitations. I don’t have to prove anything. The information is easily found on the internet. So find it yourself. I’ll give you a hint. Search for “uranium extraction from seawater”. And as TheLastDemocrat pointed out, there are vast tracts of arable land not being used, as well as dramatically more efficient crop production methods that use a fraction of the water more traditional methods do that are not widely used yet.

Limited resources aren’t the problem. Limited thinking is.
Even at a population of 10 billion, only 30 percent larger than today and rapidly slowing, we’re nowhere close to hitting resource limits. The only major impediment to sustainable nourishment for every human is political in the form of oppression or instability. Otherwise, humans have an extraordinary capacity for ingenuity. Except for doomsayers.

Reply to  stinkerp
January 26, 2021 1:21 am


David A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 25, 2021 9:23 pm

I have shown this link to Rud before, yet perhaps he did not have a chance to read it. Here is why I think him wrong. ” There is no energy shortage”

and we will never run out of stuff…

Both articles EXTREMELY well linked and thought out!

Last edited 2 years ago by David A
Richard Page
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 3:58 pm

Given the disparity in population density between countries and the absolutely colossal areas of wilderness that exist in some countries I think Gaia has a little more capacity yet. As a joke I once remarked to a friend that every single one of the people who made pessimistic predictions about population probably lived in a densely populated city! It seems like less of a joke now I think of it.

Reply to  Richard Page
January 25, 2021 9:43 pm

Ehrlich’s Population Bomb starts exactly with this issue.

An offensively racist anecdote of overpopulation in Mumbia.

At the same time, India has vast expanses of land not cultivated, and plenty of stunning, unrivaled river supply.

The entire problem is good-government shortage, not food shortage, water shortage, land shortage, or energy shortage.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 5:11 pm

If we stop using food for inefficient energy, we might be able to feed lots more people.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 6:28 pm

Somebody once told me that the ultimate limit was land since they aren’t making any more of it.
I replied that every time we build a multi-story building, we are making more land.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  MarkW
January 25, 2021 8:23 pm

Yes, but those verticals get neither water nor sunlight. Nice fail.

David A
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 9:25 pm

This is not a fail, but a challenge, well linked.

David A
Reply to  David A
January 25, 2021 9:25 pm

January 25, 2021 9:23 pm

David A
Reply to  David A
January 25, 2021 9:27 pm

Just above Rud, sorry the comments do not link as before.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 26, 2021 7:45 am

Living space can be watered via pipes and sufficient sunlight via windows.
As you drive around the country, you will see many places where there are homes built on ridges while the flat land around the ridges are being used for farmland.
The only thing failing here is your imagination.

It seems that you find it impossible to believe that you can be wrong.

Charles E Garner Jr
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 7:57 pm

The solution to overpopulation is education and wealth. Those two factors are the best indicators that the population will decline. Africa on the whole is neither well educated nor wealthy so far. China still has huge swathes of poorly educated people. Many of the Muslim countries withhold education and opportunities from half their population. Those are the main reasons those areas are still in danger of overpopulation.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Charles E Garner Jr
January 25, 2021 10:38 pm

Just put big posters of Larry King in everyone’s bedrooms. No more population growth!

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 9:00 pm

limit #1 energy. Ban fossil fuels, that will fix that.

limit #2 food. Fix #1 will fix that too.

limit #3 intelligence and government to be able to do #1 and #2. Biden has it under control.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 25, 2021 9:29 pm

2050. You are full of misguided nonsense.

I took a pencil and and envelope. Just the back of the envelope.

Take a population of 7 billion. Assume 2000 calories per day for adequate diet. Multiply 7 billion people by 2000 calories per day by 365 days per year. You have calorie requirement for global population per year.

Now, figure out calories in a bushel of corn. Figure out USA annual bushels of corn production.

Multiply calories per bushel by USA bushels per year.

American corn production meets one-third of ENTIRE PLANETARY CALORIE REQUIREMENTS PER YEAR.

That is just corn. No meat, no soybean, rice, oats, etc.

And, it is only USA.

No Russia wheat, etc.

Relax. We got this.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
January 26, 2021 7:47 am

But, but, Rud claims that his work is “extensively researched”, how could it possibly be wrong?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 26, 2021 11:49 am

Thus all the talk about Bill Gates wanting population control, NOW!

January 25, 2021 3:18 pm

Michael Cameron thinks we need to consider their work, and consider imposing curbs on population growth, if we want to prevent a future food crisis caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

China’s “population control” is an abysmal disaster.

Not only did China’s population continue growing by leaps and bounds, the modern generations demographics in China are now profoundly male.

“To be fair the professor goes on to say that prosperity may be enough to limit population growth, though I find it personally repugnant to see China’s disastrous and cruel one child policy described as any kind of success.

Is there a hard limit to population growth? There must be a limit, it is impossible the Earth could support an infinite number of people.”

Prosperity? as in “plenty of food and warmth” for everyone prosperity?

If anything affects population growth, besides famine, disease and war, it is education coupled with free choice.

Humans are right to fear apocalypses. Apocalypses caused by disease, famines, tectonics, asteroids or whatever, the current boom in human populations is poised for disaster.

Tectonics and asteroid strikes are isolated ephemerals compared to weather and climate.

Unlike the alarmist pretend dooms of warmer weather disasters, cold weather is historically proven to directly cause human sufferings and famines.
With humans weakened by famines, disease becomes far more dangerous

January 25, 2021 3:21 pm

Cameron is in good company with all the other Leftists who formulate their bizarre ideas in the special Leftist cone of silence that blocks out any other theories that might challenge them. And when they leave the cone of silence they cover their eyes and ears so as not to be defiled by facts and logic, like the graphs of the long-term decline in undernourishment around the world and especially in Third World countries over the last century at this site:

There is little excuse for blind faith in nonsensical ideas. There is no excuse for ignorance in the age of simple Internet searches.

Last edited 2 years ago by stinkerp
Michael in Dublin
January 25, 2021 3:36 pm

The ignoring by most American and European politicians of the atrocious human rights record of the Chinese regime is scandalous. It seems they have not read accounts of people like Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai 1986. I had read a little of Chinese history and so was disgusted by President Nixon’s visit in 1972. Since then Western leaders have been falling over themselves to get to the front of the queue in contact with China but ignore the suffering of hundreds of millions of Chinese under their repressive government. How any sensible person can want to replicate their actions in Western countries is mind boggling.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
January 26, 2021 1:25 am

“ replicate their actions in Western countries is mind boggling.”

They are of like minds.

Peta of Newark
January 25, 2021 3:36 pm

“”if we want to prevent a future food crisis caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions””

We can want all we like.
CO2 doesn’t cause any food crises.
Soil Erosion does – as has been repeated many times over the course of Human History.

Soil Erosion being a natural process which does in fact, release CO2. – from long-buried plant material being oxidised.
It’s why the stomata on the leaves of most plants are on the underside of the leaves.

Erosion causes the CO2, NOT vice-versa.

Humans in settled societies/civilisations, via the business of Tillage, massively accelerate erosion.
This is because they cease to be nomadic – an absolute pre-cursor for a settled society/civilisation.
One cannot tax nomads.

But therein lies another of our Seeds Of Destruction = monogamy.
We Are Not Monogamous, but, a settled society requires monogamy.
It ties people down, further preventing nomadic behaviour and allowing the collection of ever more tax.
But, polygamy made us what we are. It constantly shuffled and diversified our genetics, making us strong, physically and mentally.
Enforced monogamy weakens us in every way.

Combine that with the settled towns and cities, requiring locally grown food.
That food cannot be what the nomads would have eaten. They were nomadic in order to follow their food as it wandered the land, following the sun and seasons.

Thus our diet inside Settled Civilisation takes an epic dive.
We are required to eat sugar (cooked starch) and alien, irritant, allergenic and flat-out noxious plant proteins, instead of saturated fat (80% of Calories) and animal protein (liver, kidney, blood, brains, bone marrow) making 20% of our Calories.
Like the Big Cats do and contrary to what David Attenborough might/does say, we left the meat/flesh for the scavengers.
Watch carefully next time it comes on TV

No. We Are NOT Carnivores. Like the cats, we are Fat Eaters. We are Lipivores

Thus, the alert reader will see a multiple whammies.
1) Monogamy weakens us
2) A plant based diet further weakens us – it is low nutrient and toxic.
3) Soil erosion (caused by the tillage needed to grow the plants) relentlessly decreases the already very low nutrient content of the plant diet.
4) Even worse, fibre in the plant derived mush we eat, acts as an anti-nutrient
5a) The sugar we eat, while settled, is a potent chemical depressant. It makes us lazy. both physically and mentally.
5b) Thus we cannot be bothered to do even trivial self-survival tasks and thus socialism rears its ugly head
6) Socialism requires ever more tax to support itself and its cronies, further clamping down on any remaining nomadic tendencies/inclinations
Do we see a positive feedback loop starting?

Baby production will plummet.
Not because of perceived richness but because of:
1) The hideous amount of tax demanded by the socialists
2) The girls cannot find suitable mates.
2a) The population is not diverse enough for the girls. Even now and without knowing it, they smell or sniff-out potential mates. They are looking for mates with as different a bacterial fora/flora from themselves as they can find. Inside settled society, that doesn’t happen.
What few babies are produced thus have weakened immune systems. Settled societies become horribly inbred.Sexual dysfunctions and disorders start appearing.
2b) The girls are all looking for a GSOH.
And that is NOT the ability to recount filthy jokes while drunk.
Girls want clear heads, quick wits, good memories, strength of character and not least, empathy in spades.
With a diet based around an epic chemical depressant, those are the very last things they’ll find.
So bang go the babies

Are we any closer? Depressing innit tho.
Not the sort of depression you get from sugar, alcohol or cannabis either.
Emotional depression rather than physical.

Because, what we see and especially via the Government driven demonisation of the very food we are supposed to be eating(fat) and the near perfect suppression of instinctive behaviour (nomadism and polygamy), Government is very perfectly running the population control experiment at full speed ahead.

It is messy.
It involves, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension & heart disease, nearly 200 autoimmune disorders, autism, Alzheimer’s etc etc
Even before a huge and heavy handed police and legal sytem is required to completely stamp out nomadism and enforce taxation

And while out immune systems are so perfectly wasted trying to fend off all the toxic plants proteins we eat, it is left ‘rather overworked’ when something like Covid comes along.
Especially horrible because, if the girls had been allowed to properly sniff out potential mates during the courting/dating process, It Would Never Have Even Registered.
Never have happened.
That it did, tells you everything

The circular shaped and positively fed-back trap we’re in finally slams shut with NO Escape when, the chronic depression brought on by eating sugar, turns into Magical Thinking
And the Magical Thinking tells you, “Everything. Has. Never. Been. Better.”

While Government now says its OK to indulge an even stronger depressant in the shape of cannabis.
If that don’t ‘Throw Away The Keys’, what does?

We’re really rather stuck doncha think.
There’s nowhere left to hide and if you think there is, modern technology will find you and smart meters, electric cars, drones and Sputniks will pull you back in line.
Along with a hefty fine to feed the cronies

What makes it all so gut-wrenchingly sad, is that its happened sooo many times before. But our scientists/Goverment/technology/education/money/intelligence simply brush that wisdom aside by asserting..
‘The Climate Changed’
It wasn’t our fault

But wait, technology is going to save u – technology, science, money and education is what made Everything Better
(Is that what you call Double Edged Sword?)

Will stop now but while on the subject of Smart, get this..

ha ha ha

Last edited 2 years ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 25, 2021 5:07 pm

There are many assertions in this comment that I do not concur with.

Reply to  gringojay
January 25, 2021 6:30 pm

That seems to be the secret of Peta’s style. Throw out so much nonsense that people give up trying to counter it. Heck, most of them give up trying to read it.

John Dilks
Reply to  MarkW
January 25, 2021 6:59 pm

True. Very true. It is exhausting to read his comments.

David A
Reply to  John Dilks
January 25, 2021 9:33 pm

a twisted thought process that somehow drives off of even the decent roads it enters.

Ben Dhyani
January 25, 2021 3:40 pm

“To be fair the professor goes on to say that prosperity may be enough to limit population growth….” Shouldn’t that be “that lack of prosperity”?

John Tillman
Reply to  Ben Dhyani
January 25, 2021 4:08 pm

No. The history of the past 200 years shows that improved economic and health conditions cause people to have fewer kids, because they can trust that two will survive out of two births, instead of having ten in hopes of two living to adulthood. That’s what’s called “demographic transition”.

Ben Dhyani
Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 4:46 pm

In that case, those globalists pushing for the end of coal and other fossil fuels essential for continuing prosperity have an agenda of wanting the world population to grow, and all this time I thought they had an agenda of wanting to limit global population?

John Tillman
Reply to  Ben Dhyani
January 25, 2021 6:14 pm

No. Economic growth and the health and freedom benefits that come with it will naturally lead to demographic transition, in which families have two kids instead of ten, trusting that the two will both survive.

Ben Dhyani
Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 6:50 pm

Do you think transitioning from cheaper carbon based electricity production to higher priced clean energy, will produce greater economic growth for the world?

John Tillman
Reply to  Ben Dhyani
January 25, 2021 7:02 pm


“Renewables” are not “clean”.

Ben Dhyani
Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 7:57 pm

Ok, so we can agree that the transition to renewables does nor lead to higher economic growth.

Therefore the transitioning to renewables as proposed by the climate change folk will lead to lower economic growth and thus higher population growth if I understand your position?

David A
Reply to  Ben Dhyani
January 25, 2021 9:48 pm

Again, I think that is the mistake, in an undeveloped agrarian culture, cheap energy and moderization lead to fewer children. In a modern developed culture, economic collapse and expensive energy lead to fear of marriage and lack of desire for children.

Last edited 2 years ago by David A
David A
Reply to  John Tillman
January 25, 2021 9:44 pm

John, re-read Ben’s 2nd comment, you appear to have misunderstood it.

Ben, while your point is logical, it appears to me that they perhaps know that dense city populations, unlike the rural past, will only see children as an unaffordable burden, especially if the global economy collapsed due to their inane policy.

Also they are still under the illusion that cheap energy ” is like giving a child a machine gun” I think is the quote from one of the statists. And they definitely think of the general citizens as children, unwanted children at that.

Ben Dhyani
Reply to  David A
January 25, 2021 10:37 pm

I agree with both your points David A.

Shoki Kaneda
January 25, 2021 3:59 pm

He must be a big fan of forced Uyghur sterilizations and abortions. And when that’s not enough, they’ll eventually get to genocide.

January 25, 2021 4:22 pm

Send this guy on a speaking tour to Iran, SA, Indonesia, and north Africa. He won’t make it past the first stop.

January 25, 2021 4:25 pm

OMG the social consequences of China’s one child policy are being felt around the world, perhaps the Michael should leave the little village that is Hamilton and travel to the small city 150km to the north to see this.

January 25, 2021 4:35 pm

Does Professor Michael Cameron ever cite anyone who has NOT been proven wrong over and over?

Last edited 2 years ago by Kpar
January 25, 2021 4:44 pm

unpossible. the trust fund class requires growth to maintain their standards of living.

John Sandhofner
January 25, 2021 4:59 pm

Lefites will automatically result in more reduction in population. And as more people world wide become educated the population growth will slow down and possibly reverse. Our technology on food production will continue to improve. These things always seem to work out.

January 25, 2021 6:04 pm

what do we need that for. The Neo Malthusian misanthropes have been wrong on their population estimates for over 50 years. They will miss their latest prediction as well. We will not hit 9 billion partcularly after COVID. World population will decline to about 6 billion by 2100

Reply to  Scott
January 25, 2021 6:34 pm

The last estimate I heard from the UN has 9 billion by 2050, declining after that.
When I was younger, the UN came out with a new population estimate every 10 years. One thing I noticed was that every single time they came out with a new estimate, the top number was smaller, and occurred sooner.
I have no doubt that the peak population will occur prior to 2040, perhaps as early as 2030, and it could be as low as 8 billion.

Reply to  Scott
January 26, 2021 7:55 am

I read an article a few months back that claimed that there was going to be a drop in births in the US due to the COVID19 lockdowns. The article predicted up to 300,000 fewer births.
Birth spikes that occurred after blackouts and other types of disasters that locked people into their homes for a few days are different from the COVID lockdowns. The disasters were short term events and people knew that they would have jobs to go back to as soon as the lights came back.
With the COVID lockdowns, everybody is scared about the future. People who are scared about the future put off having kids.

January 25, 2021 6:05 pm
Serge Wright
January 25, 2021 6:05 pm

Population control has only ever been successfully managed by western countries, where people need to manage the trade-off of their self derived income with the costs of raising children. Any increase in population of western countries in from immigration from non-western countries.

If you examine countries such as China, the population growth was not limited by people’s own income, but instead was driven by the increase in government assistance provided by having a bigger family, which is a function of communism. We see the same situation on smaller scales with social housing and welfare dependent people in western countries, which creates the same reward structure to have more children to receive baby bonuses, more welfare payments and even a larger public house.

The only reason China needed to introduce population control measures was to combat the population driving forces that are inherent to socialism / communism.

Richard (the cynical one)
January 25, 2021 6:29 pm

Germany had ‘successful’ population control program, as did Stalin in the Ukraine, and come to think of it, Pol Pot did pretty well, oh yes, then there was a good program in Uganda.

David A
Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
January 25, 2021 9:51 pm

…the “cynacial one”

Yes indeed!

Joel O'Bryan
January 25, 2021 6:41 pm

The good perfessor is welcome to compete for A Darwin Award.

January 25, 2021 7:13 pm

The limit to population growth is already well known and successful. It’s wealth, which comes from free market capitalism. Countries that have practiced this kind of wealth creation have long since reached the stage where they aren’t reproducing anywhere near replacement level. Replacement reproduction is 2.1 children per woman, but countries like Italy are only at 1.1 per woman which means genetic Italians will be extinct in just a few generations. The rest of the modern world isn’t far behind.

David A
Reply to  Art
January 25, 2021 9:54 pm

Unfortunately it is quite possible that the Statists do not want to”limit population growth” but to substantially reduce it. And you will love it, they will tell you.

Javert Chip
January 25, 2021 7:22 pm

Given current population declines in Greece, Japan, Hungry and Russia, perhaps a more accurate headline would have been “Even ignoring Uighur concentration camps, China uses totalitarian measures to control population”

Charles E Garner Jr
January 25, 2021 7:46 pm

Hello Japan? Anyone still there?

January 25, 2021 10:12 pm

Don’t worry. After all the human provided food reserves are gone, It only takes 30 days for the world to starve to death. It will be quick, ugly and dirty,

January 25, 2021 11:20 pm

Ad hominem comments are not okay, but I look at the photo of Cameron, and I think to myself: Has this guy ever had a leg over he didn’t pay for?
Those with low self esteem just hate braggarts who can walk up straight, don’t they?

January 26, 2021 12:55 am

The basic idea is false as every country that has developed an industrial society and raised the general standard of living significantly and nor interfered too greatly with women’s business has greatly reduced the birth rate – without even trying.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 26, 2021 1:17 am

Give the women an education.

January 26, 2021 6:00 am

Hmmm… population of Germany, Japan and S Korea is falling… birthrate in UK well below replacement rate.

January 26, 2021 6:23 am

Please not this is grounded in complete ignorance of what has been the case for years. There is a bubble caused by infant mortality reduction, and the cause of the bubble has shrunk the population birth rate that followed. When their children stop dying, women stop having them. The women can then contribute to economic life of their country and so things get better faster. Also increasing availability of cheap energy and machines means less manual labour is needed.

This was well described years ago by the late great Hans Rosling. This guy is an opinionated idiot, on the facts he has clearly not studied. Watch an intelligent and much greater man who viewed the world in the round, and on the facts, not what he believed. The World being influenced by self promoting ignoramuses who find a home in grant harvesting Univsities with no academic standards of note, primarily an education industry keeping the children of the middle classes off the streets, as they are unqualified for real work that adds value to their societies. Here is another one………strong on opinion, hard of research.. Hans is better:



Leonard Weinstein
January 26, 2021 7:31 am

Most 1st world countries have negative population growth except for immigration. He is thus suggesting the cutting of immigration to these countries (although that is not what he says), and efforts to raise the wealth of 2nd & third world countries, which leads to decline in population growth.

January 26, 2021 7:38 am

Here’s a fairly easy experiment; Grow some hearty bugs. Perhaps cockroaches, or fruit-flies in a finite, closed environment, with a finite amount of food over time. There will come a time when the population simply stops expanding.

Reply to  Joe
January 26, 2021 6:42 pm

There are so many problems with your thought experiment that it’s hard to know where to begin and it’s impossible to believe that you are putting it forth with honest intentions.

January 26, 2021 10:14 am

I was curious to see what people were saying about this article in its comments. Big surprise, there is no conversation at “The Conversation”

very old white guy
January 26, 2021 11:50 am

That’s why the have like what, a billion 5?

Edward Katz
January 26, 2021 2:27 pm

Haven’t there been attempts to introduce or convince people to adopt population controls in the past, and haven’t most of them failed, especially in regions where populations are growing fastest. I may not have all my details right, but I’m thinking of countries like Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, and Mexico, to name a few. So how are governments going to get people to change their minds and embrace family planning?

January 27, 2021 12:14 am

he only country to have undertaken a (moderately) successful form of population control is China, through the One Child Policy that ran from 1979 to 2015.

Well, if it was even “moderately” successful, why did they abandon it?
Apparently the myopic professor seems to think infanticide and backstreet abortions of female foetuses is “OK” …. to save the planet.

January 27, 2021 6:49 am

I’m still trying to think of right word for what occurred in the Capitol.
It wasn’t an insurrection, nor a riot, it was simply a show of force.

Russ R.
Reply to  u.k.(us)
January 28, 2021 1:20 pm

It was a “Tea Party”. And the royals were not amused.

Nick in Vancouver
January 27, 2021 7:57 am

He could start by “curbing” his own appetite, I would suggest 500 less calories a day would get rid of that double chin in a few months. If a young man like him can’t manage his own consumption, why does he expect us to take him seriously?
Avoiding a food crisis, one burger at a time.

January 27, 2021 9:07 am

The Eugenics Movement was very fashionable in the US until Hilter rebranded it as the “Final Solution”.

After WWII the movement resurfaced as “Population Control”. When that fizzled, the movement morphed into “Global Warming”. When the warming failed, the fashionable elite hit upon “Climate Change’ as the ultimate solution to control populations.

January 29, 2021 12:50 am

Limiting population growth works from two directions.
The first is decreasing births.
The second is increasing deaths.
At the moment, the Sars-CoV-2 virus is helping the second way along.
If you think about it, the second way is the only way that will work. Productivity goes down dramatically as age increases.
Decreasing births leads to a demographic crisis where the young/society can no longer support the elderly.
The “second way” will eventually be chosen. Whether society will survive it is a moot point, as [this] society looks to be approaching its end-point anyway.

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