Do some thinking, Greens! (Please?)

How do you propose to feed seven billion?

David Davis

Read this chap’s experiment here.

h/t Englishman’s Castle.


  1. The West’s prosperity come about by activities such as mechanised farming. Yes, it does rather take the golden glow off self sufficiency – unless it is a hobby. I think the main problem with the system has been and is the thievery that occurs somewhere in it. The middle men. Farming in South Africa it was the Boards. Milk Board, Tomato Board, Meat Board, Maize Board, etc that soak up the difference between the 10 cents to the farmer and the R10 to the consumer. I have heard oil suffers a similar rip off fate and that is the main cause of the high petrol etc prices .
    It’s conmen.
    I still may find some land in Wales and grow my own, though.

  2. They don’t have any intention of feeding 7 billion. They require the population to be reduced (about tenfold I think). Not sure what techniques they will use to reduce the population.

  3. The ONLY reason for the food/energy/whatever shortages is the gross overpopulation of the world. Everthing else is corollary damage. It always worries me how otherwise perfectly sensible libertarians suddenly lose all sense of proportion when anyone suggests that it might just be sensible to have no more than two children. (Devil’s Kitchen excepted,as he seems to realise the truth of this). That silly little boy, Alex Massey, of the Spectator, totally loses his reason if you suggest this to him as an example.
    My answer to Ray is that no “techniques” are required, simply stop being so bloody selfish and STOP at two children. If you don’t then Malthus will eventually be proved right and it won’t be pretty. I’ll be long gone, and thank heavens, I’ve not left any progeny behind to suffer in the collapse, because collapse it will.

  4. Have read that the minimum number of children to sustain any population/cultural group/civilisation is 2.3 children. Anything less than that is terminal for that group/civilisation. It is not the group as such that counts, of course, but it is the norms, standards, cultural heritage, that are held by the individuals in that group, that are important.

  5. Oh dear, mea culpa, this is what happens when a rush of blood to the head makes the link between brain and typing fingers malfunction.

    How about “collateral damage” instead?

  6. Yes of course John B, but limiting yourself to two children will only see a slow reduction in population. Now the resulting rate of reduction in population may be slower than optimal in terms of limiting the amount of damage to the world around us, but the slow rate will mean there’s not likely to be any concern with your “norms, standards, cultural heritage” worries.
    Being a libertarian doesn’t mean that I can do what I want and sod-off to everyone else. To me it means allowing me to do whatever I want provided it doesn’t impinge upon others being able to do the same. The current UK population of >65 million (yes, really) means that the quality of life for those of us who aren’t millionaires, and don’t wish to be treated like battery chickens is pretty poor really.

  7. It is not suggested that being Libertarian means sod-off to everyone else, so that is a straw man.
    However, yes, if we outgrow the neighbourhood it will get grubby and unpleasant.
    It does strike me, though, that while certain sectors of the population, generally more educated, clearer thinking, creative, libertarian even, are being told how their babies are destroying the planet, no such suggestions are being effectively made to other sectors in which there are less such sensitivities and where there tends to be generally less concern about these things.

    On the subject Selwyn Duke writes:
    ” . . . .Worse still, Greece is no anomaly. Long ago the cradle of Western civilization and more recently one of its backwaters, it’s
    now part of a phalanx of Western demographic failures. In fact, while it may seem counterintuitive to those weaned on the
    stuff of Malthusian nightmares, the West is facing a population implosion of historic proportions. And the statistics are
    staggering. As I wrote when reviewing the documentary Demographic Winter last year:
    . . . the number of children in the world is already declining . . . . Birthrates are now below replacement level . .
    . in approximately 70 countries; in Western Europe, the figure is 1.38, and in northern Italy and parts of Spain it
    is below 1. As a result, Europe’s 65-year-olds now outnumber her 14-year-olds, and one German province had
    to close 220 schools in 2006. Children were present in 80 percent of U.S. households a century ago; that
    number is now 32 percent.”

  8. If we have a declining population, then during the period of the decline (which will flatten out when people realise the quality of life has become good enough to start having more kids), then there will be an imbalance in the population age ratios. Why should this be seen as a problem? The normal wisdom, trotted out by both the Guardian and Mail alike is that “there won’t be enough people working to pay the pensions”. Apart from the fact that if the state didn’t steal far too much off us in taxes, then the vast majority would be able to save enough to get a quite comfortable pension, provided that deluded chancellors continue with interest rates well below the real inflation rate as we have now.
    But this whole business of breeding future taxpayers to pay our state pension when we are in our dotage is indistinguishable from someone being unable to pay off an outstanding loan, so they take out another one to pay off the first. That creates the most vicious of never-ending circles, whether it’s someone’s individual rolling debt or the so-called “pensions crisis”.

  9. Typo correction to the above.

    I meant:
    “provided that deluded chancellors DON’T continue with interest rates well below the real inflation rate as we have now”

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