The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See
Dr. Bartlett is a good example of what humankind is capable of.
Thanks for posting this Paul!
You’re welcome Aaron,
Thankyou for that,
very thoughtful comment that I couldn’t add any more to…
Since you mention Douglas Adams (one of my serious all time favourites!!) and his view that ‘People Are The Problem’, did you catch Mike’s (DamnTheMatrix) post on Davos’s Digest on the 10th? ‘Adams’ had the full picture of mankind didn’t he… :-
from "The restaurant at the end of the universe" page 176 :
He rose to his feet. "If," he said tersely, "we could for a moment move on to the subject of fiscal policy …" "Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect, "Fiscal policy!" The Management Consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied. "Fiscal policy …" he repeated, "that is what I said." "How can you have money," demanded Ford, "if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn’t grow on trees you know." "If you would allow me to continue …" Ford nodded dejectedly. "Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich." Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed. "But we have also" continued the Management Consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut." Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The Management Consultant waved them down. "So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and … er, burn down all the forests. I think you’ll all agree that’s a sensible move under the circumstances." The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets, whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the Management Consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable Autumn. "You’re all mad," explained Ford Prefect.
…there’s nothing worse than being drugged by abundance…
I don’t share enthusiasm for this…provides intellectual justification for tyranny, eugenics, extermination, rationed healthcare to only those deemed worthy, more war, euthanasia, getting rid of "undesirables." I hate to see people get sucked in by such elitism. These theories have been pushed since Malthus made them famous in the 18th century…professors since then have been showing exponential charts and warning of inevitable destruction. Here were are 300 years later…resources are more available and cheaper than they have been throughout those centuries.
Malthusian theory has always been used by kings and dictators to control, kill, dominate. Such belief in the hands of government killed 150,000,000 people in the 20th century. The biggest example today is China…unbelievable tyranny, killing peasants, killing girls, harvesting organs from live people (killing them in the process), all for the "civilized" purpose of managing limited resources (the exponential function)…it’s really about tyranny and eugenics.
The exponential function isn’t the most important concept to know. The most important is microeconomics / price theory. If Malthusian views were correct, prices of resources would be 100 times what they are today. If peak oil is correct, why is the price 1/4 what it was last year? It should have almost an infinite price. The guy this professor makes fun of, Julian Simon, is an economist who made a bet in the 70’s with Paul Ehrlich (most famous Malthusian/exponentialist at the time) that a basket of commodities would be much cheaper in 10 years rather than more expensive as Malthusian theory would predict. Sure enough, Simon won the bet hands down…commodities were cheaper…as a result of innovation, productivity improvement, new discoveries, new forms of energy, etc. Ehrlich (who also preached global cooling at the time…conveniently shifted in the 80’s to warming once the earth’s cooling trend was over) was sure he would be right. Wrong.
I value your input and opinion – we agree on the matters of individual liberty, but does this make these assertions wrong?
[quote]I don’t share enthusiasm for this…provides intellectual justification for tyranny, eugenics, extermination, rationed healthcare to only those deemed worthy, more war, euthanasia, getting rid of "undesirables." I hate to see people get sucked in by such elitism. These theories have been pushed since Malthus made them famous in the 18th century…professors since then have been showing exponential charts and warning of inevitable destruction. Here were are 300 years later…resources are more available and cheaper than they have been throughout those centuries.[/quote]
How much longer can the emboldened text hold true – given the exponential growth we’re seeing?
I think that what Dr. Bartlett is making the case that intelligent procreation kept within certain confines benefits everyone.
Population is the ultimate problem here – and we can’t continue to grow.
If we don’t limit our growth, nature will do it for us.
Anyway, tell me where you digress. I’m interested to know.
I think the ‘Salad Days’ of this site are thoroughly over, don’t you?
I don’t think that any of the criteria such as tyranny, eugenics or extermination were actually inferred to in this lecture. More, of mans inability to grasp exponential function is taken account. Politically and religiously, human beings may be the greatest inovators in a world of abundance and will no doubt achieve great strides, all be it in much smaller communities in the future as our energy and resources are depleting. Learning to have fewer children should be instilled into every facet of the human ideal of tomorrow.
There is no doubt in my mind that many people are going to suffer greatly in the future, even in western civilisation. Oil prices will rise again and much higher than they have been not too long from now. Lack of finance to gain access to deeper and more complex ways to extract it are being caused by this growing global depression and, the knock on effects will be more than apparent by 2010.
With whatever method you’re using to make your point of view, Albert Bartlett’s point of view is shared by a great many on this site because they’re grounded in reality, no matter that those harsh realities amount to a natural cull if nothing is done to alleviate them.
Rather than finding blame in Dr Bartlett who I feel is the messenger that you’re shooting, what alternatives do you feel you could add here to make this cruel state of affairs work for us?
You’ll be of more value to myself and many other readers here if you moderate your volume just a touch.
I’ve recently needed this again myself and I’m sure you’ll benefit from it :-
I don’t share enthusiasm for this…provides intellectual justification for tyranny, eugenics, extermination, rationed healthcare to only those deemed worthy, more war, euthanasia, getting rid of "undesirables." [/quote]
Not quite getting the point here. Bartlett does not advocate any particular plan except to choose first before nature chooses for us. We can see from the collapse of other populations of species and the demise of other civilizations that regardless of ideology or previous success, when the strategies for energy capture start to fail, adjustments will be made. In the course of natural systems, disease, die-back, extinction are the solutions for overextension. In the case of previous civilizations, the same solutions applied even though it might seem that humans are capable of choosing strategies to ensure their survival. One might assume that inteligence is a survival advantage. When the behavior of humans enmass mimics that of yeast in a vat of grape juice, one wonders.
It’s easy to beat up on Malthus. For starters his analysis is of a pre-industrial system of agriculture and population growth. The industrial revolution was in it’s infancy when he wrote. It’s hard enough to predict the future over a couple of months let alone over a century or two. Then take into account the enormous exosomatic energy subsidy from fossil fuels. How could he have seen that coming? It’s kind of like expecting Darwin to predict DNA’s discovery and vindication of his work. How did the combine harvestor affect the human population? Not a factor in Malthus’ argument.
Now consider that over the last two centuries agriculture didn’t do what Malthus prediced. Agreed? And the population exploded from around 1 billion to 6.7 billion. Agreed? Fossil fuels played a central role in the expansion of the human population. Agreed? Now the fossil fuel subsidy is about to play out. It will be a fundamental constraint on further increases in agricultural production. Period. Now we’re back to a situation Malthus would recognize. Incremental increases in agricultural productivity, at best, and an exponentially increasing population. In many regions soils are being lost at rates far in excess of their replenishment. Salinization is a big factor in taking land out of production. Competition between agriculture and other uses of water is now an issue. Displacing other species from their habitats for agriculture is reaching its limit. Now add to that the coming expense in distributing food globally in both monetary and energy terms. We’ve seen similar situations play out before. Populations that cannot gather enough energy to sustain and reproduce die back. The rules are the same for all species because all species share the same demands for energy capture. This is beyond Malthus. It’s called biology.
Humans can be very inventive in asigning blame. I’ve heard some say that it’s the wrong sort of people having too many children. If they were more like us, there wouldn’t be this problem. At this point in time, anyone who has more children is to blame. Every additional mouth to feed is a drag on the biosphere. People may consider having as many children as they please to be their right, but I doubt nature cares much about such rights we claim for ourselves. As the majority of species are now extinct, it seems as if there is no right to survival, only a chance to survive and reproduce. Nature will launch its own experiment in eugenics as it sorts out who is fit to survive without fossil fuels.
If past behavior is any predictor of future behavior, it appears a massive die-back in human population is inevitable over the next several decades. How fast will it play out? What fraction of the population will perish for want of resourses? What will be the direct causes? No one can say for sure, but we can make some educated guesses. The poorest will starve first. Chronic undernourishment will weaken many and leave them exposed to disease. Energy intensive infrastructures will fail or run at reduced capacity. Public sanitation may reemerge as the problem it was in the 18th century. Infant mortality will almost certainly increase as those who currently have access to modern medicine lose that access. That trend is happening now in the US! Over the last eight years millions have joined the ranks of the uninsured and yet we still have lots of oil. What happens when oil is in shorter supply and the labor markets permanently shed still more workers? I don’t see the political class in the US coming to any agreement over what form healthcare should take. Expect more of the same in many catagories of human endeavor.
In short, fossil fuels will gradually run out. Without the oil that fed the human population to this level, the population must recede. It’s as simple as stacking one block on top of another and then pulling the bottom one out. Robbed of its support, the top one falls. Every human will attempt to use as much fossil energy as it can to stay alive. In the context of industrial agriculture, it has no choice. Those alive at the start of the 22nd century will be the descendents of those who learned to get along without fossil fuels. The mass industrial model will have come to an end by virtue of the lack of power for machine manufacture. Machines powered by other forms of energy will be in use, but it’s likely that they won’t be churning out iPods or LEGO’s. They will be engaged in helping out with the most difficult and labor intensive tasks related directly to humans feeding, clothing, and housing themselves. The age of consumer madness will be over.
Arguing over Malthus misses the point. He didn’t live to see the industrial revolution in its full flower. If he’d been alive in the time of M. King Hubbert, he most certainly would have come to similar conclusions for different proximate causes. But of course we’ll never know for sure.
[quote=vanity]I don’t think that any of the criteria such as tyranny, eugenics or extermination were actually inferred to in this lecture.[/quote]
I never said Bartlett endorsed tyranny, eugenics, etc. I only said, or at least I meant only to say, that these theories are twisted by tyrants to justify their ways. My problem is with tyranny, not Bartlett. For example, Bartlett had a slide saying poor healthcare and war are ways of reducing population. I agree…that’s a simple fact. But we must acknowledge the implications of a politician actually acting on that slide. That’s what the 20th century governments did to justify killing 150,000,000 in war and domestic purges. What do you think motivated Hitler? It was population control, eugenics, and quickening the pace of human evolution to find the more perfect race. Nazi doctors busied themselves torturing and experimenting on Jewish children not for fun, but for biological evidence to further evolution and eliminate "undesirables" who consume extra resources and bog the rest of the people down. What motivated Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, China today? The fallacious economic view that the way to deal with resource constraints is to eliminate demand by eliminating people.
[quote=durango] Every additional mouth to feed is a drag on the biosphere[/quote]
Imagine how a tyrant could twist that line and act on it. And what do folks really think about it? If you actually believe it’s 100% true, then we need to kill every human. And if you only think it’s each additional person given today’s population, what’s your basis for establishing the EQ number? People have said that quote throughout history when the world’s population was 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B. I’m sure people will say it 100 years from now regardless of what the population is.
[quote=aaron]How much longer can the emboldened text hold true – given the exponential growth we’re seeing?[/quote]
But that could’ve been asked 200 years ago as well. Exponential growth rules all the time, not just today. I understand exponential perhaps too well. People giving Bartlett’s lecture 200 years ago showed the same charts, with the same scary growth curve back when the population was 1B (which looks totally flat on today’s growth curve).
Having said that, I’m in agreement with you guys that we have a problem, a huge problem. But see below…I think the problem is way bigger than just natural resources.
[quote=vanity]I’ve recently needed this again myself and I’m sure you’ll benefit from it :- [/quote]
I’m in total agreement with Chris’ stages of awareness. I can’t believe how many people are like cattle, oblivious to what’s happening. But, natural resource constraints is just one aspect of the larger problem. I’m focused on the cause of almost all our problems today–the creation of a system where super-rich bankers control the world through reserve banks which make us all slaves to debt and drive incessant cycles of inflation only to punish us severely with a deflationary cycle (which we’re living in today…though it hasn’t even really begun yet…it’s going to get way worse). Americans have been mindlessly chugging like hamsters on a wheel for 100 years because of this system. The 80 years of inflation we’ve had since the last deflationary cycle has driven the overpopulation, over-consumption, over-resource extraction, the loss of our communities, the destruction of habitat, the growth of empire, the mind-numbed condition of consumers, the slave mentality of selling your life to a W2 in order to payoff banks, etc.
I’m aware of what’s coming…the end of civilization as we know it. So I’m not stuck in the stages of awareness…I’m fully aware. I wish more people were aware of the real problem and join the effort to end banker tyranny and return to a country of real citizens, local communities, relationships, real currency, Sabbath life (rather than a corporatized shell of a life), and real life (rather than fake life through a TV). This will put a limiter on population growth, over consumption, etc. The issues will be addressed from the bottom-up, the natural way.
Focusing only on resource constrains and exponential population growth can be used to further support top-down control, and the banker tyranny that’s behind all our governments. The bankers fund wars, mind-numbed media, sports/rock/TV-star worship, and they’ll even encourage societal breakdown with drugs,violence, free sex to increase populations and dumb them down to make our lives miserable and justify future wars and death. In my view, the real solution is for that system to crumble.
[quote=vanity]I think the ‘Salad Days’ of this site are thoroughly over, don’t you?[/quote]
What’s that mean?
The problem is not the banking system. The problem is that "we" chose to borrow and live beyond our means. If no one borrowed, the bankers would not have a business. And if no one watched them, there would be no mass media or rock stars.
It’s easy and convenient to blame "them". But the hard inconvenient truth is that the problem is "us".
That’s so naive. Sure, the problem is in "us"…the human heart is broken. But "us" includes "them" so it’s no excuse to not understand the "them" controlling things. There hasn’t been freedom in banking/finance since 1913. Some things I highly recommend learning about…without knowledge of this, there’s no hope of fixing our problems:
– The history of the Fed and Bank of London and how they drive the economic cycles via systemic fraud and secrecy, fiat currency, debt (money) created out of nothing, and in fact criminal behavior of the trillionaire families who own their stock. You need to learn how those families bought controlling interests in the primary media companies so their activities wouldn’t be reported on. Without that controlling interest, the Fed never would have been created, more people would know the way the system works, Fed meetings wouldn’t be secret, Fed would need to tell the american people what the hell it’s doing, people would know about the aristocratic families, etc.
– How the Fed system requires 2-3% inflation every year for it to keep chugging and paying the super-bankers trillions in interest payments. During those normal times, this system requires corporations to keep pushing for that 3% improvement…keep pushing for 3% more penetration into the minds of people to addict them to TV, products, etc.
– How the super-bankers drive deflationary cycles like the one we’re in now so the world’s wealth transfers away from borrowers and to their own pockets. I’m not talking about your average Joe Banker on 5th street in your hometown or even your average Joe Investment Banker on Wall St. I’m talking about the Rothschilds, Loebs, Warburgs, Morgans, Rockefellers, and all the other aristocratic banking families that have controlled the world of finance through history.
– How people don’t just "choose to borrow" as you say. Bank loans are assets on bank balance sheets. THEY are responsible for mismanagement of the asset side of their balance sheets. THEY are responsible for marketing ridiculous products (subprime, alt-a, jumbo, 0 down, interest only) that they knew couldn’t be paid. THEY are responsible for eliminating credit checks. THEY are responsible for packaging up the risk through Fannie and selling it to China. The US government is responsible for encouraging all this.
– How psychological programming is deliberately planned through mass media.
– How a true currency (as demanded in the Constitution) eliminates pervasive inflation/deflation cycles, and what real freedom in finance looks like.