Population Doomsayers Always Wrong


Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, yet if you watch his latest film, audiences might assume he alone launched the modern battle against climate change.

An Inconvenient Sequel is a follow-up to the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The original film won an Oscar and is bible-material for adherents of the Green Blob. An Inconvenient Sequel seeks to cement Gore’s legacy, resulting in more Gore-worship than the environmental doomsaying that characterised An Inconvenient truth. Gore enjoys some serious Trump-bashing in the film alongside cameos from Obama, John Kerry and Justin Trudeau and makes himself seem like the US President poor old America missed out on. Surprisingly, there is a lot of fear about global overpopulation in the film – the world is unquestionably full, you see – and the urgency for strong family planning programmes is parroted.

I leave attacking the Green Blob to James Delingpole. James has a talent for exposing the scams and dodgy science behind the climate change lobby and he’s used to taking the abuse received in return. But demography – and undoing the scare story of The Population Bomb – happens to be one of my specialities; I enjoyed three years of demography classes at the London School of Economics in the 1990’s, which were a most welcome break from econometrics and international relations, principally for the wonderful arguments that Marxist professors stimulated.

Let’s be clear: Malthusian doomsayers appear in every generation. They are consistently wrong in their predictions of overpopulation disaster. There is no relationship between disaster, high populations and poverty. The DRC’s population of 75 people per square mile with a per capita income of $300 compared to Hong Kong’s 6,500 people per square mile with a per capita income of $43000 drives a stake through the heart of the population-control theory. If you look at the countries which are economic disasters they most often have really low population densities.

The amusing thing is that the population doomsayers are quite often horrifically wrong in their predictions. I recall reading Professor Ehrlich’s 1968 work “The Population Bomb” which predicted food shortages in the US in the 1970’s which never happened, a decline in the US population to 22 million by 1999 which never happened and – perhaps most ill-beamed of all – England not existing in the year 2000.

Repeatedly, the Malthusian population controllers – like Gore – fail to take into account two things:

First, man’s brilliance at growing increasingly large amounts of food on less and less land, while using less energy to do so (this really upsets their emissions arguments and continues to do so).

Second, the world has rather a lot of land. The whole of the world’s population could fit into the land mass of the US, yielding a density of 1,713 people per square mile – a density far lower than that which exists today in all major US cities. As Walter Williams pointed out, the entire US population could move to Texas, and each family would enjoy more than 2.1 acres of land. In other words, where’s the perspective, doomsayers?

Could it be the doomsayers have an ulterior motive?

Of course, they do. As Stanford economist Paul Baran let slip in 1957, “the establishment of a socialist planned economy is an essential, indeed indispensable, condition for the attainment of economic and social progress in under-developed countries.” Music to Al Gore’s ears. Justin Trudeau loves that kind of nonsense. Unfortunately so did the many (literally green) students from under-developed countries who studied with me at the LSE, who returned home and implemented some of the socialist nonsense they innocently imbibed during demography classes.

Twenty years on, my classmates have achieved nothing with these ideas – their countries are still under-developed, subject often to socialist price controls, clumsy subsidies for farmers are rife, and restrictive licensing does not allow their nations’ food production to ever get off the ground.

Where the likes of Gore could be useful is in countries like Senegal where Muslim families are having over ten kids, who can never find work and go on to waste their days as have-nots at the mosque listening to extremist preachers who radicalise them against the haves. But such stereotyping would not be politically-correct enough for the likes of Gore and Trudeau. They prefer to echo the Hitler-supporting George Bernard Shaw Fabian mantra of eliminating useless people which the likes of charming Maurice Strong advocated until his recent death in 2015. Just they are more careful with their words and more devious with their strategies and propaganda.

I know where I stand. Overpopulation problems directly result from socialistic government practices that create welfare dependencies and diminish the capacity of citizens to educate, house and feed themselves. Anyone telling you anything different has a pessimistic view of mankind’s genius and is seeking to infringe on personal liberties while aiming at the opposite of limited government.

Never trust them. Always see through them.