If you are of my school of thought, this is the actual goal of the Greens: mass extermination of humans, based on pure misanthropy. Here is Patrick Moore, former leader of Greenpeace.
Only rising prosperity will guarantee the reduction of the human population. Fertility is dropping everywhere in the world as women become educated. This includes especially Islamic societies, where the birth dearth is taking place in three generations instead of 150 years, as it did here. Women become educated when the societies in which they live pass beyond subsistence, and fossil fuels are the main reason the world has passed beyond subsistence. See Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson’s Empty Planet: the Shock of Global Population Decline.
Scott Adams of Dilbert fame believes we are living in a matrix (see his March 3, 2019 panel below for the wittiest exposition of the idea). The word has come to signify a cosmic structure in which we humans exist, that has the following qualities:
we live in an artificial structure
it is made by a conscious designer
that designer has God-like powers relative to us
we are designed so as not to inquire successfully into the nature of the matrix we live in (quantum indeterminacy and so forth)
The matrix in which we live could be encapsulated with in a larger matrix, and so on ad infinitum, possibly
Ages ago I wrote a piece called “Allah’s holodeck”. It sought to explain the Islamic idea of God, that he was so all-transcendent, so all-powerful, that he could snap his fingers and annihilate the universe. In principle He could delude us into thinking two plus two made five or worse, that the rules of arithmetic could actually change and 2+2 could equal 5.
I think we have seen where the thought of God as an arbitrary sovereign leads us in practice. The profound lack of curiosity in the Islamic world about the nature of reality is predicated in a religious idea, that Inquiry into the ways of God is a form of blasphemy. Inshalah – as God wills. Everything is God’s will. It is a dark thought to imagine oneself powerless, that one does not have moral agency.
The matrix idea may have the opposite effect. It may stimulate research in an entirely different direction, the same direction as Western science has always followed, which is to understand the mind of God. In the case of atheists like Scott Adams, the inquiry will be directed at showing how the Mind of the designer works.
My hunch tells me that the matrix idea is a way for materialists to rationalize to themselves their intellectual curiosity without admitting to a theistic interpretation of the matrix. So that, if we are Sims in the Simulator, no feelings of religious awe are obligatory. The creator was just some Joe or Jane doing what we think is God-work for some metaphorical equivalent of an hourly wage, kind of like a Niebelung slaving away in the factories owned by Fafner which are protected by Wotan.
In the end I am persuaded that the matrix idea is the thin little envelope slipped under the door into the atheist’s bunker, which when opened produces revelations.
I have been listening to Scott Adams, Dilbert’s creator, for some time now. His style is cool and rational. I recommend him. On the downside, he can ramble, and the level of preparation for the show is wanting. Putting it another way, a little editing would improve the show.
For the past few weeks he has been conducting a “deep dive” into anthropogenic global warming. He professes skepticism towards all claims for and against man-caused global warming. He keeps asking the right questions, namely, what fact or facts, if shown, would be decisive to a rational mind that man-caused global warming was both happening and serious.
On the downside – and I confess to having listened to him too much – he needs to do something about his nose. As in blowing it to clear the nasal passages. If that is insufficient, would he please take some claritin or anti-histamine? Thank you, Scott.
His contribution to rational discourse is hugely important.
The Prime Minister this morning maintained in essence that his chief fault in the whole affair was not to make clear to his staff and his ministers that his door was always open for them to come and air their grievances and concerns. Jody Wilson Raybould might have availed herself of the opportunity for an open-hearted chat if only had had been clearer on this point.
No money exchanged hands in the recent Raybould affair. For some people, the absence of an illegal act means there is nothing to the scandal. This was the view of Barbara Yaffe in the Globe a few days ago. As soon as I saw that piece, I recollected that Gerald Butts or someone in the regime said that they could sprinkle op-eds around the system minimizing the damage.
The French press wonders, with some justification, why the English are in one their periodic outbursts of indignation. But they too have noticed that Trudeau has done great damage to the Liberal brand. I am reminded of a great scene in a movie about Queen Elizabeth 1 when she was being courted by the French Duc D’Orleans, successor tot he throne. His problem was that he was actively homosexual. When he failed to show up for a state dinner, Elizabeth and her chief counsellor Lord Burleigh visit the Duke of Orleans state apartments. They find a party going on, with the Duc d’Orleans dressed in the Queen’s clothes being courted by homosexuals. Outraged at this interruption of his good times, the Duc d’Orleans yells “Whaaat?” to Elizabeth, completely unembarrassed. As in, “what are doing here, you bitch, interrupting my private amusements?”.
“Yes I was wearing a dress”, said the Duc d’Orleans. “So what? It is what I do on private with my friends.”
I suddenly thought of Justin Trudeau, saying, in so many words: “What?” What scandal? Who me? You must be kidding!” Then after a few weeks of this, he realizes that maybe he has committed a small boo-boo. The English and their stupid ideas of rectitude.
“It’s way too early to be thinking this, much less saying it, but what the hell: If Donald Trump is able to deliver the sort of performance he gave today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual meeting of right-wingers held near Washington, D.C., his reelection is a foregone conclusion.
“There is simply no potential candidate in the Democratic Party who wouldn’t be absolutely blown off the stage by him. I say this as someone who is neither a Trump fanboy nor a Never Trumper. But he was not simply good, he was Prince-at-the-Super-Bowl great, deftly flinging juvenile taunts at everyone who has ever crossed him, tossing red meat to the Republican faithful, and going sotto voce serious to talk about justice being done for working-class Americans screwed over by global corporations.
All the Usual Suspects supported Smollett the same way they piled on to the poor kids at Covington High School. Hate hoaxes are numerous because they fit into the prejudice that white people are seething with hate against lefties, darkies, and queers, whereas the hate is almost entirely directed by left-wingers at normal people.
The Green New Deal, the plan for destroying the American economy, will continue to undermine the Demented Party’s chances in 2020.
I may be entirely wrong, but I am feeling that this past week marks the beginning of the end for Trudeau Junior, and has provided further evidence that all the enemies of Trump will be confounded. The enemies of Trump are blinded by their hatred. I did not think that blind hatred was a real thing but I see too many well-educated intelligent people who have lost their minds over Trump. Their reason has gone. Their aim is off the mark; they cannot see him, they only see their hatred.
To quote The Donald: “If we don’t go off script, we won’t save the country”.
This is a useful introduction to the next 70 years. The authors Darrell Bricker and John Ibbotson trace the debates about total human population, they side for good reasons with the view that the media UN demographic projections are too high, and they speculate on some of the effects that decreasing population will have on economic growth (bad), global warming (good) , and the extinction of small cultures (ongoing).
The argument is simple: women are becoming less fertile – having fewer babies – under the influence of higher education, moving to cities, greater aspirations, and the decline of social control of their reproductivity. This decline is occurring nearly everywhere, including in non-industrial societies, advanced industrial societies, and regardless of whether the people in question are Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, secular, or Islamic. The fertility decline is occurring with especial speed in Islamic societies, and formerly strongly Catholic ones.
This is counter to what you have been taught in university back in the days of the Club of Rome report (1972) and in the doomist press. Births are below replacement rate (2.1 per woman) in most parts of the world. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Mali are exceptions, though birth rates will fall there shortly, too. The point of demographics is that it correctly predicts the shape of societies for decades to come precisely because people tend to live by statistically valid durations of time. Lifespans are calculable.
Overall, the global average length of life has doubled to 70 years since 1900.
The UN predicts in its medium growth scenario a global population in 2100 (roughly 80 years away) at 11.2 billion, at which point it holds stable and then starts to shrinks. The low variant of UN projections say that the world population will peak at 8.2 billion around 2050 and decline to 7 billion, where we are now, by 2100.
A good portion of the argument of Bricker and Ibbotson is that the low variant will prove to be the correct one. I encourage you to read the argument.
The authors indulge themselves in later chapters with some attacks on nativism and Trump’s policies, which express Toronto-centric Upper Canadian snobbery and fail to address that the issue for the US is illegal immigration. Legal immigration to the United States continues to be high and is socially approved of, at about 1.1 million a year. Undocumented immigration has amounted over the years to more than 10.5 million US residents, and this is what excites the antipathy of the US citizenry.
They do venture to observe that declining world population, coupled with roughly stable energy use per person, will alleviate the global warming crisis (as they would see it). “Urbanization, innovation, and depopulation might be the best solution to halting the march of climate change.” (p.231)
However, the chief merit of this book is to draw attention to the shape of the next 80 years, as population rises until mid-century and begins to drop, in some cases precipitously, by 2100.
The same material is discussed from a deeply religious (meaningful) viewpoint in David Goldman’s How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying too). Both books start with UN statistics on population, but the resemblance ends there. Goldman links fertility, past and future, to the tenacity to which people hold to their religious creeds. This will be an unwelcome thought to the purely secular minds of Ibbotson and Bricker, and many other reasonable people. Yet of the subject of the world’s population interests you, Goldman’s interpretation of the facts evokes much deeper issues than urbanization and female empowerment. Says Goldman:
“Two cultures are contending at the family level throughout the world: secular modernity and renewed faith. Secular families have few children and religious families have many. That means that in each generation, religious families will increase in number and secular families will diminish” (at p 197)
Thus, says Goldman, the path out of secular population decline will necessarily require a change of views regarding family, women’s roles, fatherhood, and the really important issues of life. These are what I mean by the word “religion”. I do not see anything like this happening soon, and maybe it will never happen. By 2050, in a world that is shrinking in population, radical alternatives to population decline may seem more achievable and desirable. Or maybe we will have been assimilated by the Borg by then.
One of the advantages of being a quantitative mind is that the truth eventually dawns on one. If I said the same thing I am held to be a tolerated heretic; if Bill Gates says it, it starts to look like truth.
Published reports show that the US military is shifting its training from desert climates to frosty ones. Though they pretend that the concern is with Korea and Russia, we all know that the closest target of uncertain loyalty is Trudeau’s Ottawa. It is a balmy -2C here today, going down to -14 tonight. Conditions will be ideal next week for winter training at -18C in the Gatineaus.
The snow is deep, the conditions cold, and the commanding view over Ottawa creates a good place to plant artillery. I have a few spots in mind.