Humanity existed in a “knowledge bubble” for the last few centuries, having discovered enough to draw dangerously over-broad conclusions, but not enough to see what was actually going on. As more information comes forth, the old theories die, and we rediscover traditional wisdom. Recent archeological evidence affirms the Platonic, Spenglerian and Evolan view of civilization collapse:
Researchers in Guatemala have found evidence of a 1,200-year-old massacre in an ancient city called Cancuén, the capital of one of the richest kingdoms of Maya civilization. The discovery, deep in the jungle of highland Guatemala, provides a snapshot of the Maya civilization as it began to collapse.
…”When they started excavating (the site), the archaeologists started hitting bones, and then more bones, and then more bones, and we then began to realize that the entire bottom half of this swimming pool was filled with human bones,” Demarest says.
Precious adornments found near and on the skeletons — including jade, carved shells and jaguar-fang necklaces — led the team to conclude that the people massacred had been nobles.
Civilization collapse is brought about by success. Civilization is, after all, organization of humanity. Specialization of labor and economies of scale lead to greater efficiency and thus wealth. At that point, many who could not survive without civilization are able to survive, and eventually, they rebel against civilization — because by definition, they do not understand it or that it requires leadership and hierarchy — and in doing so, destroy it.
Another basic question regarding the collapse, decline, or transformation of the lowland cities and kingdoms at the end of the Classic period is why in many areas Maya leadership did not respond with effective corrective measures by the stresses generated by internal, as well as external, factors. Cross-cultural studies of culture change show that “complex societies are problem-solving organizations, in which more parts, different kinds of parts, more social differentiation, more inequality, and more kinds of centralization and control emerge as circumstances require” (Tainter 1988: 37).
Yet the K’uhul Ajaw failed to respond with effective corrections of infrastructural problems. Their ineffectiveness was most likely due to the canons of Maya leadership and its limited range of action. The elites of most Classic Maya kingdoms, in general, did not manage subsistence systems or production or exchange of utilitarian goods. Most Maya polities, while held together by the rituals and authority of the center, were decentralized with local community or family-level management of most aspects of the economy. This decentralized system facilitated adoption of farming systems to the local microenvironment (e.g. Dunning et al 1997; Dunning and Beach in press).
[H]aving their role defined in terms of ritual and inter-elite alliance and warfare, it is not surprising that the K’uhul Ajaw responded through these same mechanisms to problems such as demographic pressure or ecological deterioration. They naturally reacted by intensifying ritual activities, construction, or warfare — the activities within their purview.
Plato points out the same thing: drones are left to manage their own affairs locally, in accord with natural selection. Given help by civilization, they grow in number, and then blame others for the local results of this overpopulation. They want their leaders to fix the problem caused by their own acts, which is classic scapegoating.
We can see in our world today that different types of civilizations have different types of governments. The third world favors kleptocratic strongmen; the “second world” has token political leadership, and local leadership by mafiosi; the first world prefers organized governmental systems which take on attributes of the other two systems based on the degree of decline. In other words, civilization is a spectrum from primitive to complex structures.
The rise of overpopulated drones creates a large audience for third-world style government. They cannot manage themselves, and want government to do it instead, so they depose their leadership and replace it with managerial government. This in turn exhausts the elites, who by taking up their traditional roles in the ensuing government have become slaves to managing unruly and self-destructive children, and they fade away as a result of this existential stress and misery.
Babysitting of this nature is the hallmark of declined or declining civilizations, and represents the root of Leftism, which is an organized form of Crowdism or the collective defense of individualism, which is what everyone who wants to be managed desires. He wants to avoid having to make reality work for him, and instead be told what to do in some things so that he can do whatever he wants everywhere else.
Without being cruel, we might refer to those who need to be managed as incompetents. They cannot take their small local farms and make them work, mainly because as a group, they have reproduced too frequently to sustain themselves. Those who need to be managed desire strong government to be accountable for their welfare, usually through wealth redistribution since they cannot produce wealth locally owing to overpopulation, and their political actions inevitably involve killing off the elites to take their wealth.
Since they are incompetent, and mismanage their own wealth, their seizure of wealth produces a temporary boom — including more population — and then a consequent crash, much like happened after the French and Russian revolutions.
By the time western conquerors arrived, the Mayan civilization was in full decline, which meant that it had a few ceremonial elites of a weakened nature and many peasants. The Spanish were able to overthrow this empire with only 500 men, many of whom were sick with jungle diseases, because the peasants saw an opportunity to further depose the elites. In so doing, they conveyed themselves into slavery, from which they “liberated” themselves in the early 1800s, promptly becoming a third-world society ruled by disease, corruption, unsanitary conditions and crime.
In the first world, we overthrew our elites during the years 1916-1968 by removing their political and economic power. Since that time, we have been ruled by incompetents. In principle and in result, our actions achieved the same end that the Maya did.
From this example, we see that civilization collapse comes about through lack of hierarchy. Leadership does not micromanage its people; it handles the bigger questions of diplomacy, war and cultural direction. As a result, it is always caught by surprise when the incompetents gang up on it and others, in fear of violence, go along with it. Then those others must suffer under rule by tyrants, fools and criminals.
The perpetual rallying cry of the incompetents is “equality.” They realize they are bankrupt, and want to take from others to subsidize themselves, thus become parasitic because civilization depends on hierarchy to exist. As long as one allows the quest for equality to continue, the health of the society will plummet until it reaches third-world status.
The report shows that consumption of Earth’s primary resources (metals, fuels, timber, cereals and so forth) has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by
population growth (increasing at about 1.1% per year),
economic growth (averaging about 3% per year over the same period) and
consumption per person, worldwide.
Notice the order of these sources of consumption: first and foremost is population growth, which never reverses itself in the long-term, and is consistent at about 1.1% per year across all years. On the other hand, economic growth only has an “average,” despite varying widely internally, and no figures are given for consumption per person.
This casually confirms — because saying it outright might cause mass panic — that overpopulation is the driver of all pollution, including the dubious “climate change” which is used as a proxy for the increased demands for consumption caused by rising population.
In fact, climate change is the deflection from the problem of overpopulation. Democracy, which is based on the idea of equality, cannot accept any reduction of population. Population reduction either requires hierarchy, where we rank people by importance and let the good ones breed, or random killing, which would signify a failure of managerial nanny-state government.
Liberal democracy requires constant growth because it is a circular Ponzi scheme: government gives benefits to its citizens, who then spend it, which keeps the value of the economy high enough that the tax-and-spend can continue. For this to work, constant immigration and exploitation is required.
As democracy collapses, it becomes clear that its inability to act on issues like overpopulation, social decay and government over-reach was the cause of the loss of faith experienced by its citizens. The deflection of climate change is just its attempt to hide this collapse for as long as possible.
Based on what I have read on amerika.org thus far, I know that you attribute deforestation to be a primary cause of climate change. So I was wondering what you thought of Donald Trump’s seeming unwillingness to take a stance on the issue. I am aware of the energy plan on his website, yet he always fails to mention any details from it when pressed on the issue in interviews. He always falls back on blaming China which is contradictory as they recently ratified the UN Paris Agreement, of which he plans to somehow revoke any further US involvement. This suggests to me that the majority of Trump’s energy plan is all but an afterthought as it is never really given it’s due attention unless it has to do with creating more jobs. While I would like to give him my vote, this is all very troubling.
This is an interesting question and deserves an in-depth answer which others may appreciate as well. Here is what was sent back to this alert reader:
There are two answers here: practical in terms of the game, and realistic in terms of what must be done.
In the world of the practical, Trump will do his best to avoid this issue because it is entirely a Leftist creation designed to load their solution as an assumption. There is no winning hand for him to tackle this without opening another front, and the answer will be nuanced, so that is bad politics.
In realistic terms, deforestation _caused by overpopulation_ is the problem. One huge solution to this is to destroy immigration entirely and cut all third world aid, both of which Trump has hinted at wanting to do.
This means that his solution is one he cannot admit, but that he has already mentioned, just not in relation to global warming.
Michael Crichton wrote a book named State of Fear in which he attacked the myth of global warming, pointing out that measurements of temperature change were not consistent globally, suggesting that instead local effects were responsible for warming.
The liberal establishment basically crucified him and he died of cancer a few years later.
However, as has happened with every one of his theories in his books dating back to the 1960s, Crichton was right. Check out this entertaining report from China:
Researchers have found evidence that the pollution engulfing China’s cities enhances the warming effect of cityscapes, raising the temperature by one degree Celsius. Writing in Nature Communications, they say it’s not the bigger cities that suffer the most, but those with the worst of a certain type of air pollution.
Cities tend to be hotter than countryside areas because of the Urban Heat Island effect—the density of buildings and the materials they are built out of absorb heat and radiation from the sun extremely well, but don’t readily release it at night, keeping the area warmer for longer.
As written here some years ago, the culprit in cities is most likely the vast amount of concrete used because it holds on to both heat and moisture unpredictably, and covers over natural regulatory mechanisms like earth and forest. Those tend to absorb water during the day and release it just before dawn, creating a natural cooling cycle.
In addition, heavy particulate pollution like that from car exhausts creates a kind of blanket over the city which increases its temperature. For a great example, examine Los Angeles: a flat plain in a large desert valley, it gets hottest when the smog serves as an insulator. After a rain, when smog is visibly reduced, the city is cooler and the air better.
Global warming is a proxy for human effects on the environment. As usual, humans have created a phantom problem that is smaller than the real problem, which is huge. The huge real problem is overpopulation, because on a finite earth, the more people we cram into it the more we exclude nature, including these regulatory mechanisms. People are terrified of that idea, so instead they are campaigning against actually functional appliances and non-electric cars, pretending that this pretentious course of action avoids a problem because it addresses one part of it.
As more evidence comes out which shows that global warming is a local problem, the herd will have a panic attack because then, the big problem will come into view. That problem requires us telling some people they cannot breed or migrate, which violates the Leftist feel-good ideal of equality, and will precipitate the downfall of Leftism as a concept.
The primary goal of the Left is to make you hate yourself. When you hate yourself, and by extension hate the society that produced you, your self-esteem is savaged and you need a salve. That comes in the form of ideology which convinces you that you can become a hero by merely transferring power and wealth to the less fortunate.
Our entire society in the West is in the grip of this mythos because it provides a convenient means of overthrowing those might know better so the lower echelons are granted license to misbehave without consequences. It is no wonder they demanded guaranteed jobs so they could not be fired, casual sex so they could fornicate, and social benefits so even screwing up royalty would not endanger them.
They want to engage in typical lower-caste and third world behaviors, meaning intoxication and fornication in lieu of achieving anything, but them to do that, the hold on power by those who know better needs to be destroyed. From this comes the anti-hierarchy, individualistic nature of the Left: they do not want to be held accountable, and use “equality” to universally legitimize all behaviors so that their pointless and slowly destructive activity is beyond criticism.
To achieve this end, the Leftists have invented a series of myths about how terrible our society is. Through our choice to rise above the third-world level of “everyone do whatever they want,” we have become environmental destroyers, angry, destructive and most of all, bored and miserably self-hating like a Valium-addicted suburban housewife. In contrast, they say, the third world is a place of peace, environmental balance, love and happiness.
This Noble Savage myth exists not for the savages, but so that we feel bad about ourselves and our choice to have standards. Just relax — or chillax — and stop trying so hard, Western Man. Everything is OK; it’s all good, as the hippies say. Stop worrying about hygiene, productivity, social order and culture. Just go with the flow… be the flow. Like those Noble Savages, who are happier than you are.
Unfortunately, like all ideological myths, this one is also not very true. Over at The Spectator, Toby Young writes about the puncturing of a Leftist myth and the retribution that followed:
In her book, Dreger summarises the thought crime that turned him into such a plump target: ‘Chagnon saw and represented in the Yanomamö a somewhat shocking image of evolved “human nature” — one featuring males fighting violently over fertile females, domestic brutality, ritualised drug use and ecological indifference. Not your standard liberal image of the unjustly oppressed, naturally peaceful, environmentally gentle rainforest Indian family.’
Chagnon debunked a sacred myth: that there was something uniquely bad about the West that allowed us to gain power and wealth. Our acts, in the eyes of this myth, went against the way things were before, and so our power is ill-gotten and our wealth, theft. The innocent Indians never had those problems, so we should feel bad about being the source of the world’s destruction and to rectify it, relax our standards and live more like those Indians.
Except that to a student of history or eyes-open observer of the real world, this binary myth — with the good Indians and the evil Westerners — makes no sense. People are people, and societies operate according to their level of integrity and evolution, not some simplistic moral play. The Indians in North America were dispossessed after they attacked colonists, and similar events have happened whenever civilized cultures have contacted the uncivilized.
Much of the “oppression” we read about in history happened when adventurers encountered cannibals who endangered them, and fought back and won. We can always ask Michael Rockefeller about the dangers of cannibals, except that we cannot because he met his end at their hands despite approaching in peace without being a threat. The Noble Savage myth is often stated and always over-stated.
In addition to that, we now know that the peaceful Siberian immigrants in North America may have exterminated many species of large edible mammals. We know this is a likely possibility because these species vanished very quickly, which is a telltale of overhunting more than any other factor, and because we know these tribes hunted them in large numbers. We also know now of the inter-tribal violence not just in North America but Central and South America as well.
The naturalistic fallacy holds that humankind exists in peace and harmony with nature in its primitive state, but the credible evidence shows otherwise. Humans use nature for their own purposes. When a society becomes sufficiently evolved to have leaders who care about such things, humans are restrained from exploiting resources to death, and wildlands are conserved as little-used hunting preserves of the aristocrats.
But in its disorganized state, humanity behaves like yeast, consuming all of the resources available and then dying out or dying back, much like the villagers on Easter Island. The reason for this can be found in the underlying informational order to reality. Each individual has an incentive to exploit resources to the maximum, as Garrett Hardin once wrote in “The Tragedy of the Commons”:
The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.
As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.
1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.
2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.
Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.
In the anarchic order of nature which liberals idealize, humans exist as benefit-maximizing actors in competition with others. If they or their families hunt more, they thrive more; others try to do the same. Extinction occurs not by killing every last animal, but by killing so many that the population drops below safe breeding levels and a coup de grace from disease, drought or famine carries them into the void.
We face a similar state in the world today. Under Western Hegemony, order was established and populations stabilized. With the post-colonial regime, each society is now competing with its neighbors instead of having them as fellow states under a Western empire, and as a result, each is attempting to outbreed and then defeat its neighbors. The result is a new tragedy of the commons which will consume every resource everywhere on earth if allowed to run its course, now made easier by Western technology like repeating rifles.
This state of lawlessness was created by liberal takeover which has made the West hate itself, and the Noble Savages versus hateful Westerners narrative guided that process along. As we look toward the next millennium, we should think harder about not repeating the errors of the past, especially those which we have concealed from ourselves with artful myths in the service of liberal ideology.
I am not asking for five minutes of your time today to preach a gospel of kindness, equality and tolerance. If you’re looking for such a thing, you have plenty of other people to choose from. The whole world, from the Pope in Rome, to the President of Russia, the CEO of Coca Cola anyone you’ve ever heard of claims to stand for these values. These values are universal, they govern our societies, we see them as so self-evident that we never even question them.
As civilized beings, we take over certain values we interpret as self-evident. They are self-evident to us, only because we are genetically programmed to adhere to them. Our brains are smaller than those of our ancestors and our digit ratios reveal our genetically emasculated nature. It is us alone, who eschew violence. It horrifies us to our very core. What happens among chimpanzees on a daily basis hits the news when it occurs among our own specimens.
There is a simple factor here at work. The secret of our success is that we export violence. The industrialized holocaust that happens to the beasts delivered on our plate, or the various organisms killed to make way for our farms and plantations are kept out of the spotlights. To us this is not violence because it affects non-humans. To us this is a way of life. And as our numbers grow, so too grows the violence that we export.
After successful genocides, streets and landmarks are renamed, as new people take up residence, hoping that nothing will remind them of the slaughter that created space for them to live. So too, nothing serves to remind us of the vast forests that covered all of Europe. There exists no monument for the trees that were felled to grow the grain that sustains you. The giant oyster reef that once covered the bottom of the North Sea before its eradication through bottom trawling is memorialized only by a late 19th century British atlas. Nothing serves to remind the world of the violence we have inflicted on the entire non-human world. To us a new normal exists, of a sea composed of desert and a countryside composed of grain.
It’s easy for us to say that some hypothetical future person should not come into existence, especially when we reduce them to a number. Nobody would mourn if he heard today that the projections by the United Nations are wrong, that Nigeria by 2100 will not have 900 million people, but rather, a mere 800 million, because women decided to start using contraception. We don’t mourn those who do not come into existence, even though each and everyone of them is as unique as those of us alive today.
When more people come into existence, we collectively accept that this will be a mistake that we will have to cope with. We convince ourselves that something will show up in the near future that will turn what has been a zero-sum game played between humanity and non-humans since the dawn of civilization into a scenario where both can benefit, even as all evidence shows that the destruction accelerates.
But why should it be a given that only those who might be born in the distant future might be excessive? Could your neighbor’s pregnancy be an excessive one? Could someone you know be the product of a birth that should not have happened? We forget to take contraception, pregnancies happen, then our flexible and irrational minds adapt to reinterpret another burden as a gift. Margaret Sanger declared in 1919 that the world is already overpopulated. Such an observation implies that most of us should never have come into existence.
The question we ought to ponder is what added value the billions of us who now clutter up this planet serve. What is something you would genuinely miss, in a world with half as many people? To you there would be nothing but benefits. There might still be fish in the ocean. You might not have to spend until retirement paying back the debt you had to enter just to call a plot of physical space your own.
The second question to ponder is the inherent mediocrity of most of human existence. We value all human life that exists over non-existence, but why? When children are asked what they wish to do when they are adults, none of them respond that they wish to sit in cubicles and stare at screens. Nobody ever chooses to be born to a mother like June Shannon, who invites a man into her house who sexually abused her daughter. Those of us who are born into such circumstances tell ourselves that we have to cope with it, a price worth paying over non-existence.
When we are born into mediocrity, it is hard to acknowledge that our mediocrity should not exist, but perhaps we are capable of recognizing it when it affects others. If you imagine, that God informs you that by 2050, your nation will be identical to its current state, except for the addition of 50 million people who will live in slums, their existence characterized by illiteracy, open sewage streams and rampant rape, drug addiction and prostitution, would you consider that an enrichment? If not, then why should West Point, Monrovia exist today?
When you take a honest look at the world, how many billions of people live lives that you would not prefer over non-existence? Would you thank the Angel Gabriel, if he informed you that after hard negotiation he had managed to arrange a reincarnation for you as a young Ugandan girl who will have her breasts ironed by her mother to protect her against rape by adult men?
To me it is self-evident, that most people alive today should never have come into existence. Nor am I ashamed in any way to differentiate, to declare that some births were a better decision than others. It’s obvious to me that June Shannon should never have reproduced. If she had abstained from reproduction, some space would have been freed up in another family, where a girl might be born who would not be sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, a girl who might have an enjoyable life worth living.
There is a Dutch expression that soft healers make stinking wounds, meaning that solutions that avoid pain tend to exacerbate the underlying problem. Is it not a soft solution, to implore the teeming masses through soft rhetoric to abstain from suppressing their own misery by bringing more of it into this world, only for us to be ignored time and time again?
Africa will have three and a half billion people by 2100, forced to share a continent that will not grow in size with them. If those people had a say in the matter, most would not choose to be born in Africa, nor would they choose to be born as Muslims. They would make the same choice that most sensible people around the world would make. They would choose to be born in rural Scandinavia, to good looking upper-middle class friendly parents.
To abstain from cruelty, can sometimes be the biggest cruelty. The cruel question that has to be pondered, is whether it is time by now to start over with a clean slate. Most of humanity exists in a state of mediocrity, a mediocrity that has to destroy the lives of elephants, orangutans and other animals for us to be able to sustain it. Most of them will never be great poets or artists, functional literacy is the most they can hope for.
There is no reason to think that anything of genuine value would be lost if most people were to disappear today. The science of biotechnology would allow us to preserve those who are capable of producing societies worth living in, the type of societies that people risk their lives on the Mediterranean sea for to reach. I would say that it is long overdue.
It might seem like a massive cruelty to some of you. I can not help but wonder however, what the opinion on this matter could be of the orangutan mother who escaped with her child from the man-made fires that destroyed the Indonesian rainforest she lived in, only to be physically attacked by people whose village she fled into. Perhaps she is able to judge our species more objectively.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s liberals enjoyed talking about how the personal was the political, or how our lifestyle decisions created political change. They were right as concerned social issues, because personal choices created a wave of change and resistance. But with everything else, the personal simply became a substitute for the political, which was then ignored.
Namely, if you share my desperation and terror about this crisis, the urgent desire to do something, then limiting your personal carbon footprint should be very far from your main concern. Like, it’s great if you can bike to work, and you should keep it up (fresh air and exercise and all). But I’d say the anti-environmentalists are right that such voluntary steps are luxuries of the privileged, and will accordingly never add up to a hill of beans. Let me go further: even to conceptualize this problem in terms of personal virtue and blame seems to me like a tragic mistake, one on which the environmentalists and their opponents colluded. Given the choice, I’d much rather that the readers of this blog flew to all the faraway conferences they wanted, drove gas-guzzling minivans, ate steaks every night, and had ten kids, but then also took some steps that made serious political action to leave most remaining fossil fuels in the ground even ε more likely, ε closer to the middle of our Overton window.
Although this post is based on the ludicrous fiction of global warming, itself a surrogate activity for what is actually needed which is lessening of human population and through that, land use, the article makes a solid point: our personal choices do not matter because we are among the few who are wealthy enough to worry over such choices. What matters instead is policy, and here I disagree with him yet again. In policy terms, the best thing we can do for the environment is to eliminate the social safety net, consign as much land as possible to national parks, end immigration and deport all non-WASPs. The above would reduce USA to a quarter of its current land use and retain the highest performing members and traditional basis of its population.
Overpopulation is the West’s fault. Although controversial like any apocalypse theory, overpopulation occurs when we have too many people to take care of them all. With so many starving and resource wars breaking out on a regular basis, we are clearly above our carrying capacity. This leads to the question of how this condition occurred and what can be done about it. The first part is easy: overpopulation is taking place exclusively in developing countries, and it is the direct result of Western policy toward these countries.
Sometime during the last century, the West out of a misguided white guilt made it a priority to create genetically-engineered crop strains bred to withstand harsh conditions in “developing countries,” which is a shorthand for countries which have always been third world and did not magically hop on the technology bandwagon like whites and Asians. The West gave advanced agriculture to people who could not have developed it for themselves, and not only did not understand it, but had no reference point or ability to understand the type of social, political and economic infrastructure necessary for first-world societies.
Western people saw African babies covered in flies on television, and demanded that a solution be found immediately. Western politicians, always eager for a distraction from our ongoing collapse, quickly leapt at the chance to send everyone off on a new crusade that would keep them from looking at the decay at home. They funded and encouraged the “Green Revolution” which started in the 1960s and resulted in third-world countries being able to feed themselves more efficiently, to which third world countries responded with rapidly increased breeding as the exponential nature of r-theory genetic reproduction revealed itself. Countries that had a few million starving now had tens of millions who would rapidly starve. The West redoubled its efforts in response.
While the West — occupying itself with careers, social status, education and other individualistic traits — not only kept its breeding in check but in fact reversed growth and experienced a population decline, the rest of the planet began breeding like yeast. With the Green Revolution crop strains, the internal combustion engine, and the work of Western medics and aid agencies, these populations bloomed to new levels far beyond what is sustainable for those land areas. Westerners, who devote much of their time to wondering whether their cars and lunchmeat are “sustainable,” never gave much thought to the effect of dropping masses of food into already unstable populations.
This process is reminiscent of another natural phenomenon, the algal bloom. When fertilizer runoff or other raw nutrition makes its way into ponds and lakes, it has the effect of dumping food aid on the local algae, who promptly breed out of control. They then choke the life in the pond, cutting off the food sources they need as well as all other species, leaving behind a dead pond with rotting algae on top. This is similar to how bacteria will expand in a Petri dish to consume all the food and, after limited success consuming each other, die off in near-unison. Similarly humanity has dumped food on itself, causing its population to skyrocket with no end in sight and no mechanism by which it can be checked, which awaits just one tragedy before self-consumption and die-off.
The white race is Prometheus who stole the fire of Mount Olympus to give it to mankind, except while Prometheus was sentenced to be picked apart by vultures for all eternity, we get to sit and watch the whole earth swell, burst and finally rot away in a great Malthusian Holocaust of our own making. We have created populations dependent on us who live hand-to-mouth. They are one crisis away from experiencing a mass population collapse. When that tragedy hits, they will first deplete their own resources, then blame us for not giving them more than we already have. After that, it will get ugly. They have someone to (accurately) blame for their predicament and will turn on that group with larcenous vengeance.
When the food wars hit, then the water wars, and then finally the hordes of starving third worlders are pounding on your gates demanding food, water and shelter that they have no idea how to make for themselves, Western society will finally re-assess this program. The ugly truth is that we caused a world population explosion in the name of pacifying our own TV-watching consumer-oriented voters, who do not understand that just because someone will provide a service for money does not guarantee a lack of consequences of that service. As the third world explodes into the first, cannibalizing families just to fend off starvation for another week, the West will finally see that through our own short sighted foolishness and “good intentions,” we brought this on ourselves.
Manipulating large groups of people requires deception that is plausible enough to take the place of what they should actually be thinking. This leads toward a need to create symbolic issues that conceal complex problems behind simple yes/no style plans. These plans universally revolve around quantity, meaning replacement of one institution with another, instead of qualitative improvement, or taking what exists and improving it (similar to evolution) until it works.
As stated here before, the “climate change” propaganda creates a vast boondoggle bonanza that empowers just about any idiot to do anything and justify it as reducing carbon, raising awareness or any of a dozen other hare-brained justifications that give good cover to larceny and parasitism. Media tells us that climate change is universally accepted and we’d have to be poor, ignorant, and bigoted morons to consider any other truth. Most people want to rise in life, so they’ll never admit to such unfashionable views.
The more likely issue remains the changes humans have wrought to the environment by changing what’s on the surface of Earth. The more people we produce, the more farms we need and the more land we cover in concrete. The result is a radical adjustment in how much land becomes available for vegetation and wildlife. As it turns out, this is crucial, because the amount of vegetation expands with the rise of carbon in the atmosphere, mainly because CO2 is a vital nutrient that plants use in the photosynthetic process.
Each year, land plants and the ocean absorb about half of the 10 billion tonnes of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by human activity.
On average, says Canadell, carbon sinks on land absorb around 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon, but in 2011 this figure spiked to about 4.1 billion, accompanied by a big drop in atmospheric CO2.
“The land had removed more anthropogenic CO2 than ever before recorded,” he says.
The first thing to note here is that this is in fact reason for optimism. The Earth is capable of absorbing CO2 at places where people did not expect it to occur:
“We saw this incredible carbon sink in the southern hemisphere,” says Canadell. “The semi-arid regions were playing the biggest role and particularly the grassy component.”
“We never thought savannahs of the world could potentially have this effect.”
Even more surprising, he says, was that 60 per cent of the extra plant growth was in Australia’s semi-arid areas, north of Alice Springs.
The authors argue that much of the carbon sequestered may soon be emitted again, because of droughts, but that’s not a certainty. Part of the reason to be optimistic is because plants are not just passive recipients of climatic conditions, rather, plants help engineer their own local climate, creating the conditions in which more plants can grow.
If forced to choose between the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of native vegetation, it’s very clear to me personally that the destruction of native vegetation is the worse evil of the two by far. Admittedly, part of that is due to the fact that I am convinced that we will be incapable of maintaining the industrial machine for much longer. Gail Tverberg believes that we simply won’t have enough oil to emit enough CO2 to reach above a two degree temperature increase.
There are large positive feedbacks involved in climate change that nearly everyone is familiar with, but what is very rarely if ever discussed are the significant negative feedbacks produced by plants. Trees respond to an increase in temperatures by producing more biogenic organic volatile compounds, which create a type of fog that reflects light and reduces temperatures. A similar mechanism occurs in the oceans, where plankton produces dimethyl sulfide, which changes albedo by encouraging the formation of clouds. An increase in temperatures produces an increase in plankton, which thus increases the amount of dimethyl sulfide. Life attempts to create the type of conditions suitable for life.
Of course, the important point to take home is that this negative feedback is highly dependent on a functioning biosphere. If there are no forests, there are no biogenic organic volatile compounds. Trying to prevent climate change is a very noble goal, but it increasingly appears doomed. If you tell governments to stop using fossil fuels, you tell them: Be sure to use your fossil fuels now, before a global carbon tax agreement makes them worthless or a successful alternative makes them worthless. Governments are actually now in a race to exploit whatever fossil fuels they still have, before the world agrees not to use any fossil fuels anymore. In addition, with solutions like biofuel, the cure is worse than the disease.
Even more, you supplant a realistic plan — clear spaces for plants — with an unrealistic one, which is to “raise awareness” such that every person is guilted into buying green products, buying cars with expensive and toxic batteries, giving carbon cap subsidies to the third world, and similar symbolic surrogate activities which don’t address the actual problem. Further, this mistaken plan allows destructive practices like subsidizing population growth, importing immigrants and continued building of cities to expand rather than contract.
Population distinguishes this issue. Although a guy in the Democratic Republic of Congo may use a fraction of the fossil fuels you use, the difference between the amount of land required to feed the two of you is much smaller. Nobody wants to touch this problem, as sadly people would rather pretend that a problem of this magnitude will simply be solved by STEM-nerds developing a new techno-fix and a variety of irrelevant politically correct feel-good measures.
By not creating room for other countries to send their excess people abroad, those countries become forced to address their own internal population problem. This type of insanity, where countries that aim to be at the forefront when it comes to preventing climate change continue to let their populations grow despite their low fertility rate is made possible by a technocratic mathematical vision that treats trees not as life-creating participants in their own local climate, but rather as carbon stocks that can be chopped down, as long as you make sure to build hideous wind mills or place solar panels on your roofs to meet your CO2 quota.
No politician will find these issues to be winners at the ballot-box, which people choose easy options and simplistic lies in favor of complex truths and long-term commitments. Thus they invent the surrogates we suffer under to this day, oblivious to the consequences because those in turn create new problems which create new opportunities for popularity at the voting booth. Democracy makes itself into a product and the result is a loss of ability to clear aside the ersatz issues and focus on the actual problem.
Most political issues are “proxies,” or highly visual events which stand for more complex underlying needs. Symbols tend to hide their actual meaning because that to which they refer is bigger than the symbol, and yet people tend to treat the symbols literally. Global warming symbolizes our impact on the environment as a whole, and the anti-carbon agenda represents our hope that we can avoid changing all that needs changing and instead focus on just one aspect.
A more sensible thought is to look at the basic equation of human impact:
D = P x I
Damage (D) is the result of Population (P) times Impact Per Person (I). This simplifies a complex issue to demonstrate a simple fact.
That fact is that population has more effect than changing impact. This equation shows us two scales along which we can slide. We can adjust Impact Per Person, which lowers Damage. Alternately, we can lower Population which also lowers Damage. The glitch is that if we adjust Impact Per Person, and population keeps growing, we end up with the same Damage as we would have had we kept Impact Per Person the same.
Thus, a world of seven billion people living in mud huts, eating vegan diets grown in their own gardens, and walking instead of driving has the same effect as perhaps three billion people living 1960s American-style lifestyles. Trying to reduce impact becomes a losing game once we see how low we would have to make impact in order to accommodate our sprawling population. Even more, that misses out on the real problem brought on by overpopulation, which is land overuse.
The remarkable thing is that the real cause of global warming is rarely mentioned. It is the elephant in the room. Everyone can see it but no one wants to speak about it, presumably because this subject is a contentious one and challenges the core beliefs of many religions.
The undeniable fact is that we, the human race, are the cause of our own difficulties and unless we reduce our numbers, we will self-destruct.
That climate change and its cowardly short-term compromises may gather so much attention while overpopulation remains in the shadows as the elephant in the room is an eternal source of contrived astonishment. Out of all the explanations provided for the increase in carbon dioxide production, overpopulation should figure again and again at the very top. The pressure that overpopulation puts on the planet has become ―to employ a fashionable word― unsustainable; as unsustainable as the collective forgetting that pervades throughout the majority of countries, from decision-makers to social scientists, from educators to laymen. What is most disturbing and enraging is that it has been more than a half-century since the full disastrous consequences of population explosion have been worked out, and that so little progress has been made, so little goodwill displayed, so little awareness raised.
Even our thinking about the environment itself is based in the same denial described above that denies global warming, as another source writes:
The very fact that we debate global warming endlessly while ignoring this ongoing process of decline shows that we, as a species, are in denial about our effects on our natural world. As products of our modern era, we’re accustomed to using a process:
Isolate a factor.
Norm to some iterative constant.
Reduce to cause-effect logic, exploit.
Despite its effectiveness for producing internal combustion engines and digital computers, this process is useless for understanding architectonic systems, or systems where the parts interact to form a self-supporting whole, meaning that no part functions as a pivot but all parts are in some way pivotal. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes, and bluejays eat dragonflies; bluejay excretory waste feeds yeast, which grows enough yeast to break down organic products and attract more advanced creatures, and these return nutrients to the earth to grow plants which in turn feed male and immature mosquitoes. It’s a giant cycle composed of many counter-dependent internal cycles.
People are afraid to face these simple truths, so they invent symbols to use as proxies. If we just each buy a Prius and eat organic local foods, we can prevail. Right? Well, no. Everyone else will go on doing what they’re doing and create the same catastrophe. Even watching wealthy first worlders decide they’re going to avoid having children “for the environment” reeks of this same mentality. This is symbolic, not a look at actual reality.
Actual reality is that Earth is finite and humans, aided by first world modes of living, are seemingly infinite. We will eventually expand to cover every livable space and then tackle the rest. This will happen because we cannot say NO to anyone, since they are all equal. If someone shows up, and “just” wants a place to live, go to school, work, hospitals, roads, food, cars, etc., who are we to say no? — if you want to know why we need arrogant kings, there’s one answer.
Something else to consider is that blaming technology is a dead end. What enabled this growth was not technology per se, but the level of organization common to a first world mode of living. We use soap; we deposit feces away from food; we remove vermin and stop epidemics. This enables us to grow like an unchecked weed. And yet, it also dooms us to the suffocation of overgrowth, which either we will stop or nature will use to stop us.
Like all human problems, the crisis begins within. It is dishonesty (and thus, sin) to take an abstraction from nature and proclaim that the symbol stands for the whole. It is dishonesty to ignore reality in favor of a proxy or symbol because it is easier to understand the symbol and thus to communicate it to others and bring them onboard. As it is outside our heads, inside our heads we are also suffocating from an overgrowth of lies because the simplicity of truth is something we fear.