Population Panic

Michael Shrimpton reports on important new research on population growth, with estimated numbers being dramatically reduced through the use of improved methodologies.


Population panic has been an enduring feature of political debate since the 1950s, fueled by increasingly hysterical estimates, or rather over-estimates, from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the German-controlled UN Secretariat. The issue has come to the fore during the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of those who have grasped that Covid-19 is a Chinese bio-weapon have concluded that it was designed as a method of culling world population.

With respect, they have rather missed the point – Covid-19 is aimed at target countries’ economies, not at their populations. It’s a low-lethality high-dispersal weapon, that is to say it’s aimed at a high ‘R’ rate, with the emphasis on having victims pass on the disease rather than killing them.

In an important paper published in the Lancet in July, Stein Vollset, Emily Goren, Chu-Wei Yuan and others blew the overpopulation argument out of the water. The only thing they get wrong with respect is immigration, emphasising total GDP as opposed to GDP per capita, which is the more important measure.

Even though the paper was funded by the notorious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation there is no sign of editorial interference, indeed Bill ‘von’ Gates is associated if anything with the opposite argument. At the risk of courting controversy, I don’t actually think that Bill Gates is a genocidal maniac. I seriously doubt that he would support a policy of ‘culling’ the human population, culling of course being a euphemism in this context for mass murder.

Talk of overpopulation may be fashionable in the circles in which Bill Gates moves, such as Davos, but that is a different thing from supporting genocidal slaughter. I don’t even think that Microsoft’s policy of launching underdeveloped products which drive users up the wall is designed to reduce the human population by persuading poor, demented Windows users to leap from tall buildings.

Fertility Rates

The authors’ methodology is sound, with respect. Instead of obsessing on Total Fertility Rate (TFR) they have developed statistical models using Completed Cohort Fertility at age 50 (CCF50). They’ve also used autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modelling. Put shortly they are using more sophisticated models than the UN, indeed the UN’s methods are crude in comparison.

Fertility rates are key. In order to sustain a human population a fertility rate of around 2.1 is necessary. That is because both parents have to be replaced and not all children, sadly, will live to maturity or produce offspring if they do. We gays aren’t much help with the latter of course!

As I have repeatedly emphasised on these pages, whilst global population is growing, the rate of increase is slowing and has been for years. Increased access to contraception, growing prosperity and better opportunities for women have all led to decreasing fertility rates. Crackpot policies to reduce populations, like China’s inhuman one-child policy, have also helped.

It rather looks as though Peking have overegged the pudding, as it were, since the forecast population for China in 2100 is only 732 million, way behind strategic competitor India’s 1,090 million and even behind Nigeria’s (791 million). Global population is forecast to peak at 9.73 billion in 2064 and reduce to 8.79 billion by the end of the century. By then of course we will probably be referring to ‘planetary’ population rather than ‘global’, since some of humanity will be living off-planet.

Planetary capacity

One thing neither the authors nor the UN address is planetary capacity – just how many people can the planet sustain? You can forget global warming, which deeply exercises green nutters like George Monbiot, no offense intended (affectionately known as ‘Moonbat’ by my old friend Christopher Booker). Human output of CO2 doesn’t affect the climate – it’s too marginal, and CO2 is a greenhouse gas of marginal importance anyway.

Food production, which another nutter, Thomas Malthus, thought would only grow arithmetically, whilst population grew geometrically, is increasing. With new technologies like GM crops the rate of increase is likely to climb. There will be plenty of food for everyone.

There’s also plenty of space. Increasing urbanisation means increased population density means less space occupied per person housed. You only have to look at Dubai to see how areas previously thought difficult to live in can be turned into thriving cities. Singapore is an example of how innovative land reclamation policies can increase urban living space.

Energy shortages will end when fusion reactors come online. With the UK now out of the EU the German throttling of our fusion research should end. You guys have a fusion program of your own, which I believe uses lasers.

Solar panels are also becoming more efficient, indeed there’s been a recent breakthrough. At some point policy-makers are going to wake up and realise that the best place to store water is underground, in hills or mountains, in pump-storage facilities, making solar energy more useable. (By definition solar only works in daytime but if you can store the energy you can use it night.)

New battery technologies also make storing power in houses using solar systems more feasible. The combination of more efficient panels and batteries means that housing could become energy self-sufficient.

More energy means more water, because it makes desalination more economic. The planet actually has plenty of water, it’s just that most of it is salty. The drier parts of the world tend to be the hotter, that is to say better able to make use of solar energy.

I estimate that the planet could easily accommodate 10 to 12.5 billion people with existing technologies or technologies already in the development phase. As new technologies become available that number could increase to say 15 billion.

There is no need to panic! Since we’re going to be short of people in the 22nd century there’s no need to go around culling people, even liberals. There is certainly no need for policy-makers to rush around behaving like the passengers in the Poseidon Adventure.

Shinzo Abe

Long predicted by my distinguished VT colleague Ben Fulford in Tokyo, the welcome news came this week of Shinzo Abe’s resignation as Japanese Prime Minister. Sadly though, he hasn’t committed hara-kiri, at least not yet anyway, no offense intended. (As readers may know, gutless, when referring to politicians, has a different meaning in Japan.) If that seems a bit harsh one needs to consider the events of Fukushima in 2011 in greater detail. Shinzo is unlikely to be referred to in decades to come as ‘Honest Abe’.

Abe is not the only PM in the departure lounge. Boris cannot be far behind. The first hint in the MSM, from that nice man Dominic Cummings’ father- in-law, who lives in a castle (the father-in-law that is – Dominic lives in North London, where there are more semis than castles and it is rare for a house to have a moat), came this week. It’s not certain whether the resignation, on health grounds (like Abe) will come before or after Ritter Mark ‘von’ Sedwill’s long-awaited departure.

So far as I know there are no plans for either Boris or Sir Mark to commit hara-kiri, although Dominic Cummings might wish to consider the introduction of ritual suicide to the Cabinet Office as part of his Civil Service reforms. IMHO, far too few Cabinet Office officials have been disembowelled.

The Cabinet Office has not altogether lost its teeth. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is already talking of sabotaging the British economy with tax rises, under the guise of ‘paying’ for the Covid-19 recovery. He doesn’t want to sabotage the economy of course, he’s just planning to. That’s because he’s a house-trained idiot, no offense intended, who doesn’t understand the Laffer Curve and has swallowed the advice of his Treasury officials. They’ve convinced him that that the way to increase tax revenues is to increase taxes, whereas, as all y’all will know, the reverse is the case.

For some odd reason the MSM are quoting former Chancellors like Norman Lamont urging tax rises as though they were economically illiterate. Sir Robin Butler would never have appointed Lamont as Chancellor if Norman knew what he was doing. (Nominally the appointment was made by the Queen on John Major’s recommendation, but in practice, with a few exceptions, Cabinet appointments are made by the Cabinet Secretary.)

Presumably the Cabinet Office strategy is to derail the economy, undermine the Tory government further, have Sir Keir ‘von’ Starmer installed as Prime Minister and re-join the EU on the grounds of economic necessity. There are encouraging signs however that Cabinet Office influence is finally waning.

Their plan to force out Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has failed, and with it has gone the Crichel Down doctrine – the idea that ministers can be forced to accept responsibility for unauthorised acts by their officials. Instead the officials in charge of the ‘rogue’ algorithm, designed to wreck school-kids’ life chances and embarrass Williamson, have gone, and rightly so.

Mercy Baguma

Mercy Baguma was an economic migrant from Uganda who very sadly was found dead, next to her crying baby, in her flat in Glasgow this week. It seems that she died of malnutrition.

This is all very sad, but it hardly justified the breast-beating of the liberal media, led by Remainer Matthew D’Ancona in the Evening Standard. Mercy had no business being in the UK. Her leave to remain had expired and she had been ordered to leave by the Home Office. She should have returned home.

The MSM are emphasising that she had applied for asylum and appear to have assumed that she was entitled to do so. She wasn’t. No one has the right to abuse the right to asylum, which is reserved for those genuinely in fear of persecution. So far as is known she was extended passport facilities by the Ugandan government and permitted to leave the country.

Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, is a strong leader and has some funny ideas about gays, with respect, but he’s not a dictator. Indeed he helped overthrow two dictators, the notorious Idi Amin and Milton Obote. Idi Amin was so evil that he was backed by Edward Heath and could have been a European Commissioner.

Mercy was not a lesbian and in any event there does not seem to have been any persecution of lesbians in Uganda. She was not involved in politics and had no conceivable claim to asylum. All the evidence suggests that sadly her asylum claim was lodged in bad faith with a view to extending her stay in the UK. It was a tragedy that she was ever granted entry clearance.

Yoweri Museveni is not a tyrant – he’s the elected President of a Commonwealth country. Apart from the persecution of gays, where he has been careful to obtain the support of Uganda’s legislature, he has not involved himself in persecution. I’m afraid that I have no influence in Kampala, although I did once know a member of the government, Dr George Kanyeihamba, a lovely man who later became a very distinguished judge. (I don’t think we’ve got anybody on the UK Supreme Court to touch him as a jurist.)

My respectful recommendation to Yoweri Museveni would be to abandon the criminalisation of gays, although he’s unlikely to read this and would probably regard me as an impertinent ‘woolly wooftah’ if he did. However he might like to consider with respect that the most intolerant persecutors of gays in history, from that idiot Leviticus onwards, have usually been gay themselves, suppressing their own sexuality as well as that of others.

The way to stop bogus asylum claims, including from economic migrants crossing the Channel in small boats, is to withdraw from the 1951 Convention. It has outlived its usefulness and is costing far more lives, including Mercy’s, than it saves.

It is no answer to say that Mercy was a nice person. I’m sure that she was. However the United Kingdom can’t simply admit anyone just because they’re nice. Most Ugandans are, in my experience, but that doesn’t mean that the entire population of Kampala is entitled to entry clearance for settlement.

Supported by dodgy official statistics, if that is not a tautology, liberals claim that immigrants pay more in taxes than they take in benefits. That may be right, although the official stats probably exclude tax credits. What they don’t do is pay enough in tax to cover the welfare costs of the workers they displace, save in the few cases where they bring in skills we do not have.

Mercy’s decision to come to the UK may well have been in her economic interests. Sadly, it wasn’t in ours. Immigration policy decisions have to be taken in the national interest. This was a tragic but avoidable episode.

Fagan in 1982, before his trip to the funny farm.

Michael Fagan

I was startled to see an interview with Michael Fagan in yesterday’s Sun. He, readers will recall, was the young man who summoned the impertinence to break in to the Queen’s bedchamber in Buckingham Palace in 1982. Sadly he lived to tell the tale.

The good news is that as he wasn’t charged with high treason at the time, as on one view he ought to have been, the double jeopardy rule, which has been relaxed anyway, doesn’t apply. Another piece of good news is that only a single-line change in the law would be needed to make the death penalty available. Since the penalty at the time was death, and rightly so, the principle against increased retrospective punishment wouldn’t apply.

As I have argued before, the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, and the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir David McNee, should have been given a fair trial and executed at the time, nicely of course. They were both in on the plan to break in to the Palace. Each deserved to die, no offense intended, although there was no need for them to die horribly, even if Sir Robert was a Cabinet Secretary.

This week’s movie review: Tenet (2020, dir. Christopher Nolan)

A real blockbuster, Tenet opened this week in UK theaters. It’s been a good week for British cinema, with audiences returning after the lockdown, saddened of course by the news of the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman, a fine actor.

A time-warp/intel thriller, Tenet’s plot is highly confusing, with characters leaping back and forth in time. Time travel is a great device for scriptwriters, but thankfully isn’t feasible. The movie refers to the ‘grandfather paradox’ – what happens if you travel back in time and kill one of your grandfathers before one of your parents was born – but doesn’t attempt to resolve it. An an intelligence historian I have a special interest of course – it would be very irritating to have to keep rewriting my book!

Christopher Nolan, who also wrote the screenplay, has clearly fallen for that idiot Einstein’s (not many people can say that) theory about time and space being linked. They aren’t.

Both parts of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity were published in Imperial Germany, that is to say were approved for publication by the boys at the Wilhelmstrasse. Does Christopher Nolan really think that our community partner the Kaiser went in for free speech? Maybe he thinks that he went in for gay rights as well, and that you could have held a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Berlin in 1905 without getting shot.

There is not the slightest evidence of temporal distortion in the historical record. Once time has passed it’s gone, forever. There’s no going back. If you want a time-warp visit a steam railroad (the Durango and Silverton in Colorado is great) or the Democratic National Convention. The actors don’t let the script get them down however. The lead, John David Washington (Denzel’s son), Elizabeth Debicki and Sir Kenneth Branagh all turn in fine performances. There’s also a delightful cameo from Sir Michael Caine, playing a British spy chief, albeit in the wrong club.

The Durango and Silverton -let’s hope it survives the lockdown!

Don’t let me put you off watching it. It’s a great movie, with a strong cast and wonderful cinematography, but be prepared to be confused.

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  1. The Lancet study is available here: thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext . The Findings paragraph is most interesting!

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