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The impact of economic cycles is not controversial thus. If a longer (or lower) phase of static population is desirable, why not make a longer and deeper economic crisis as we can?

I thought of writing a diary on Ridley's "The Rational Optimist" some 2 years ago. Now I do not have it by hand. Some of the green moral bashing was there already. His article at WIRED is a summary enough. There is a lot of commentary out there, from Bill Gates to George Monbiot.

Yeah, the population was growing furnished as never, things were improving dramatically (until a few years ago) - thanks to...

It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. It was coal, followed by oil and gas. The meta-trend, the mother narrative, is carbon-fuelled expansion. Our ideologies are mere subplots. Now, with the accessible reserves exhausted, we must ransack the hidden corners of the planet to sustain our impossible proposition [...]

As the philosopher Michael Rowan points out, the inevitabilities of compound growth mean that if last year's predicted global growth rate for 2014 (3.1%) is sustained, even if we miraculously reduced the consumption of raw materials by 90%, we delay the inevitable by just 75 years. Efficiency solves nothing while growth continues.

If we are really concerned about humanity and ecology, there is a necessity to face the planetary challenges freshly, without reliance on upsetting political mechanisms, white swan optimisms, "good for all" wishes. What difference would you really want to make?
by das monde on Fri Nov 7th, 2014 at 09:36:05 AM EST
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Should have qualified, crisis in low birth countries results in lower birth rates during the crisis and often a bump afterwards. In all likelihood this is postponing births within a generation. This pattern can as far as I know not be seen in high birth countries. I tested Gapminder for known disasters in high birth countries and could not find a pattern there, though of course disasters can also affect the record keeping.

To check the theory of continous economic crisis in low birth countries decreasing population, I checked Japan. (Other good candidates for the hypothesis is welcomed.) Birth rates were declining through the 70s and 80s reaching 1.6 before the 90s crisis hit. They then decline even steeper to 1.3 but are now increasing.

I also checked where Italy is going with its famous low birth rates (around 1.2 at the turn of the millenium). Since crisis struck and GDP/capita started going down, birth rates has gone up and are now at 1.5.

Crisis also postpones the generational shift in high birth countries if it increases child mortatlity, as the shift depends heavily on the decrease of child mortality, in particular first child survival.

So as a conspiracy theory, global economic crisis to decrease global population seems rather hamfisted. In particular since the curves were pointing in the right direction before the crisis and there is a significant risk that birth rates in high birth countries will go down slower as a result, giving a higher world population then if there had been no crisis.

Also a real conspiracy has better tools with a proven track record to decrease world population: in high birth countries, decrease child mortality through affordable and good medicine and promote economic opportunities outside the home. In low birth countries give women a lot of economic opportunities if they don't have kids and stick them with most (or all) of the responsibility if they do have kids. This way leads to slower growth in hgih birth countries and decreasing population in low birth countries. And it actually works.

So if there is a conspiracy at work, it is incompetent.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 9th, 2014 at 09:16:25 AM EST
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Italy and other ~1.5 rate countries would not be the focus of global population control. They would be role models even with 0.2 recoveries.

Competency in population control must be a tricky business. A lot depends on how much experience the conspirators would have. If the task group was just formed in the 20th century, more direct and clumsy attempts are expected. If wars, famines are the natural methods of whatever elites, some PR maneuvers are needed to distance the public from the normal civilized peace and prosperity of the post-WWII years.

So I have to assume that the conspirators have a taste for empirical data gathering, trying out various modes of economic crises (and perhaps confusing youngsters about relationship building, etc). All that could be just a starter for some directly competent action. A period of social-political chaos would be much more effective with a majority of population in economic straits already. The next two years should add more clarity.

by das monde on Sun Nov 9th, 2014 at 07:23:24 PM EST
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Italy and other ~1.5 rate countries would not be the focus of global population control. They would be role models even with 0.2 recoveries.

But it is the 1.2-2.1 countries where you get lower birth rates from economic crisis. Or at least I thought so, Italy is a counterexample. In high birth countries wars, famines and economic crisis delays the shift to low birth, thus stretching out the period of increase.

With policies that are effectively working towards a larger population by undermining the decrease in the remaining high birth countries, I don't see any evidence of a conspiracy for lower population. And when it comes to the different calls for lower population you seem prone to read, similar calls when it comes to colored or otherwise underclass populations has been going on for at least a hundred years, ever since birth rats started to go down in Europe. So no evidence there either.

Do you have anything that actually points towards the existence of such a conspiracy?

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by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 10th, 2014 at 08:34:41 AM EST
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The apparent ignorance of the subject in politics, public media looks manufactured for me. As with other (numerous) elephants in political rooms, the ignorance probably means something else than the smart deciders have no notice whatsoever. The strange general silence is already some evidence. As for the Icke-y signaling, I follow only the commotion around the Georgia guidestones.

The overpopulation problem must have been predating Malthus on various local levels. Some elite lines could have developed natural or sophisticated competences hell knows when - though not particularly the Western, I may guess. On the other hand, wild booms and busts could be a viable less dirty way to reset populations for some time. If this economic mess has that deep meaning, something should follow still under Obama.

Let's take it easy:

by das monde on Mon Nov 10th, 2014 at 10:54:25 AM EST
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