Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 09, 2023

Troubled Pakistan Arrests Former PM Imran Khan

Today former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was arrested while visiting the Islamabad High Court in an unrelated case. The arrest comes at a critical point for Pakistan's economy. Behind the scene U.S. and China are wrestling for influence.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested as he appeared in a court in the capital, Islamabad, to face corruption allegations, sparking protests across the country.

The arrest on Tuesday is the latest twist in a months-long political crisis and follows several unsuccessful attempts to apprehend the cricketer-turned-politician, including a police raid in March at his residence in the eastern city of Lahore which he had managed to evade.

Last year Imran Khan was ousted from office after a few turncoats in his PTI party decided to vote with the opposition against him. He has alleged that the Pakistani military, and behind it the U.S., were involved in the scheme. Since then he has called for new elections.

Khan continues to be the most popular politician in the country and has a large following. His supporters are now out in the streets to protest against his arrest.

The case that led to this arrest is one of several dubious ones launched against him:

Akbar Nasir Khan, a top police official in Islamabad, told Al Jazeera that Khan was arrested in a case related to the Al-Qadir University Trust. The anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued an arrest warrant against Khan on May 1 in relation to the case, he said.

The accountability body issued a statement saying Khan had been arrested “for the crime of corruption”.

“The former prime minister has not given any adequate response to the summoning notices of NAB. His arrest has been made in accordance with the NAB ordinance and the law,” the statement read.

Since his removal from power last year, Khan has been slapped with dozens of charges, all of which he denies and says are politically motivated.

There is video of the unruly arrest by some 100 paramilitary rangers in riot gear.

Khan had recently accused the head of the Pakistan's military intelligence service ISI of being responsible for two assassination attempts against him:

The military on Monday issued a harshly worded statement, terming the accusations of its involvement in last year’s shooting “highly irresponsible and baseless”.

“We ask the political leader concerned to make a recourse to legal avenues and stop making false allegations,” the statement said.

Khan, however, doubled down on the allegations in a video message he released early on Tuesday, before leaving Lahore for Islamabad to attend a court hearing in a separate case.

“This man [Major General Faisal Naseer] tried to kill me twice and whenever an investigation is carried out, I will prove that it was this man and there is a whole gang with him,” the PTI chief said.

The PTI has called on its supporters to protest against the arrest. There have since been some riotous scenes throughout Pakistan's cities.

Arresting Khan over some dubious issue after his recent spat with the military looks bad. The current unelected government will be seen as illegitimate instrument of the military, a role Khan himself was accused of before he was ousted.

There will now come days of rioting and violent police and probably military response throughout Pakistan. These will continue until Khan is released. In similar cases Pakistan's supreme court eventually ruled that arrests like the one of Khan are illegal:

“In a state like ours, the state’s power to use violence and restrict an individual’s freedom is often used to punish politicians and leaders who have lost the establishment’s favour. Without prejudice to the merits of the case against Imran Khan, his recent arrest can hardly be viewed with a legal lens alone.

“Even when viewed from a legal lens, the arrest appears derogate with the judgment rendered by the supreme court in the Khawaja Salman Rafia’s case, where it held that arrests before conviction are an aberration given the serious erosion of fundamental rights that it entails.

“Additionally, the court in that case had alluded to accountability laws being used for political engineering. While the PTI government had preferred a review against the afore-noted decision in 2020, its leader now appears to have been embroiled in the same web of political engineering, thus showing the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Pakistan's economy is extremely weak with very high inflation, food scarcity and too few currency reserves. It might default soon. An announced but not agreed upon IMF program will impose even more harsh conditions that the country will be unable to fulfill.

It is possible that the U.S. controlled IMF is intentionally trying to push Pakistan into default. Much of the country's debt is to Chinese institutions and the U.S. has for some time tried to involve Chinese belt and roads project related debt into national restructuring attempts. China has rejected that scheme. To then let Pakistan default will only make it more reliant on China.

The U.S. however may still try to do it.

Posted by b on May 9, 2023 at 16:20 UTC | Permalink


I'm amazed he's still alive. I believe the US wants him gone (dead or imprisoned). And for China to get stiffed by Pakistan.

The American Chaosinator 2000 continues shooting...

Posted by: mtw | May 9 2023 16:25 utc | 1

It will get no coverage in the corporate press, but Pakistan is yet another example of the Malthusian catastrophe.

Contrary to current propaganda, Malthus was explicit in NOT predict global apocalyptic famine. Instead he only pointed out that, for countries that no longer have an open frontier, exponential growth is so powerful that if people consistently have the physical maximum number of children they possibly can, eventually the population won't double every 20 years - because it can't! Instead chronic malnutrition and brutal crushing subsistence level poverty will limit population growth. And this is true, and has happened many times, and is happening now in Pakistan.

I mean, if someone could take reasonable care of 1 or 2 or 3 kids, and they have seven and they grow up chronically malnourished to the point of being physically stunted, how does this instantly and automatically create wealth? Nonsense.

Certainly the total fertility rate of Pakistan will soon approach 2, just as India's has, but that's NOT a good thing if it's because people are so miserably poor that they simply cannot have any more than 2 at any level of existence.

But I don't blame the people of Pakistan, I blame global oligarchs like Musk and Soros, and their intellectual whores like Milton Friedman and Julian Simon, screaming and frothing that we simply MUST breed like cattle, or how will the rich get their cheap labor and asset price inflation? How, indeed.

Posted by: TG | May 9 2023 16:29 utc | 2

Which group in Pakistan has control of the nukes?

Posted by: too scents | May 9 2023 16:41 utc | 3

This is big. Protesters enter GHQ Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan Army.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 9 2023 17:03 utc | 4

I think this is a gage as to how the US mafia are operating all round the world.
Back against the wall.
Banks going down the pan.
Countrys choosing the multi-polar option.
US sanctions backfiring.
Ukraine truth and reality.
Sheer desperation is what we now see.

This is the real war we should not be distracted from, and its global.

Geopolitical tectonic plates shifting.

Do I laugh or cry ?

Posted by: Mark2 | May 9 2023 17:23 utc | 5

Posted by: Mark2 | May 9 2023 17:23 utc | 5
"Do I laugh or cry ?"

Party like it's 1999!

Posted by: nathan in WA US | May 9 2023 17:49 utc | 6

Mark2 | May 9 2023 17:23 utc | 5--


Ridding Pakistani compradors will take time because of their layered depths within the Military and elsewhere. Pakistan's one major asset is its people who are clear-eyed about the situation as reflected in several elections since the lawfare coup that ousted Khan. That the puppets have mostly continued Khan's economic policies is a reflection of that People Power.

"General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan less than 60 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly, which is set to dissolve on 13 August 2023 upon completing its five year term, unless dissolved earlier, in which case the election shall be held within 90 days after dissolution according to the constitution. This means that the election must be held no later than 14 October 2023."

That will be a long 5 months. If current trends hold and Khan remains alive, his party will win and he'll become PM again. If he's killed, his party will still win and there'll be hell to pay in the mayhem that his murder will generate. IMO, most compradors will flee to wherever their loot is stashed in either case. One of the reasons why Khan was ousted was the rapid warming of ties with Iran to the benefit of both nations. IMO, the Pakistani military needs to be starved of funds and drastically downsized to accommodate the economy as the South Asian security situation has abated greatly thanks to the SCO, BRI and the Outlaw US Empire's exit from Afghanistan.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 9 2023 17:54 utc | 7

The Chinese isn't against debt restructuring. Its against the west trying to get the Chinese to lose out and get a haircut without the west getting the same.

There's a difference.

Posted by: A.L. | May 9 2023 17:57 utc | 8

Thanks for covering it b. I have been watching it for awhile. The corrupt pro US minority vs the majority.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 9 2023 17:58 utc | 9

"..But I don't blame the people of Pakistan, I blame global oligarchs like Musk and Soros, and their intellectual whores like Milton Friedman and Julian Simon, screaming and frothing that we simply MUST breed like cattle, or how will the rich get their cheap labor and asset price inflation? How, indeed..." TG@2

So your theory is that babies are born in Pakistan because US oligarchs are urging men and women to copulate?
That is idiocy on the grand Malthuusian scale.

It's almost as daft as arguing that working people are poor because there are too many of them, not because their land has been stolen from them, their crops are taxed in half, then rented in half again, their wages are kept low by violence (did you notice the Army in the story?), and between disease and malnutrition life expectancy is so low that kids die in childbirth, infancy and before puberty, while adults are lucky to make it to fifty.
It's not George Soros whispering in the mothers' ears that keeps them reproducing but biological necessity.
They hope that, if they keep their families alive there will be enough survivors to revenge themselves on the capitalists, imperialists compradors and graduates of Quetta Officers Training School by making a peoples republic.

Posted by: bevin | May 9 2023 17:58 utc | 10

Karlof1 @ 7
Thanks for that infomation perfect to add to my understanding.
I need tips from you on time management, your depth and breadth of knowledge is amazingly.
As allways your much appreciated.
Thanks from mark2

Posted by: Mark2 | May 9 2023 18:04 utc | 11

General elections are scheduled to be held ...

@ karlof1 | May 9 2023 17:54 utc | 7


The gambit seems to be to incite the PTI to crimes that will disqualify their party.

Pakistan is lost without judicial reform which is impossible without splintering the controlling families.

I don't see an election resolving the situation in PAK.

Posted by: too scents | May 9 2023 18:09 utc | 12

@ TG | May 9 2023 16:29 utc | 2

On population, the capitalist system requires continues expansion of markets and profits to exist. Because the space and resources of the earth are finite, capitalism cannot continue; something else has to take its place. Capitalists feel ambivalent about population growth; on the one hand, they need it to prosper, but on the other hand the degradation of the earth from too much consumption is plain to see, and that is related to population. No one wants to say we have to cut the population, such as the likes of Klaus Schwab proclaim, because then they become genocidists or would-be genocidists. But because of the rapid decline of the total fertility rate everywhere, it does look like the problem will solve itself.

Pakistan unfortunately is quite a disaster. Certainly, it will be better off with the TFR of 2.1 (the replacement rate) than it is with its current (but falling) TFR estimated at between 3.3 and 3.56 (figures from 2019-2023). This is already way down from 4.0 a few years ago, and far below the historical rate of 8.0 or so that existed 125 years ago. So give it time. However, there may not be time, as it is quite likely that the worldwide economic disaster we may be on the verge of will lead to very heartbreaking mass death in various places.

To use the title of Isaac Asimov's book A Choice of Catastrophes, we may be stuck between the swift threat of nuclear annihilation because of our foolishly aggressive MICIMATT in the US or else slow annihilation through environmental and economic ruin, and the disordering of the system that those will cause.

Posted by: Cabe | May 9 2023 18:14 utc | 13

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in a wider context in relation to the "secret" meetings of the National Security Advisors of India, Saudi Arabian, Emirati, and Jake Sullivan. The big item from these meetings was some railway infrastructure that would supposedly dent the BRI influence in the region.

Ajit Doval in Saudi

Another curiosity between India and Pakistan that is recent:

India/Pakistan at the SCO

The timing of Kahn's arrest now, when he has eluded several attempts to date, and when he was before the courts for other charges seems peculiar to me.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | May 9 2023 18:16 utc | 14


@ Cabe | May 9 2023 18:14 utc | 13


Pakistan's big issue with reproduction is their tendency towards inbreeding to keep wealth and political control within families.

Posted by: too scents | May 9 2023 18:18 utc | 15

too scents | May 9 2023 18:09 utc | 12

I suspect Pakistan has not been a democracy long enough to be dumbed down by dumbocracy. Huge crowds attended any time Khan spoke or whatever.
We have seen the middle east abandon the US as a lost cause. I can envision a number of arab states backing the pakistani's.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 9 2023 18:27 utc | 16

Countries that cannot be controlled must be destroyed. Pakistan will be engulfed in chaos and strife--the goal: social and economic ruin a la Libya. Standard Operating Procedure.

Posted by: Rodrigo | May 9 2023 18:28 utc | 17

Also, whatever happens in Pakistan, no regime there can give up its cosy relations with China, whatever the US may want. Pakistan's big problem is the overhanging presence of much larger India with its anti-Muslim Hindutva nationalism, and whether India is really a threat to Pakistan or not, the Pakistani elite and probably most of the public do think that it is.

Thus Pakistan cannot give up the lifeline that China throws to it, and of course the US, broken as it is economically, would be completely useless as a substitute, apart from being very demanding and interfering in the internal affairs of all of its vassals, a factor which fortunately helps at the same time to keep India away from aligning with the US.

As the future of the human race, in the unlikely event that there is to be a "soft landing," has to be cooperation and not conflict, it would be best if India and Pakistan could make up and be friends. There are people in both countries who would like to promote that, but given everything, it will be a hard sell.

Posted by: Cabe | May 9 2023 18:31 utc | 18

certainly not confined to simple antisemitic traditional paranoid complaints, generic racism powers the prejudgement by witless practitioners of swastika wisdom and drastic measures. These scientists lean on contemporary, perhaps timeless notions of a crowded planet or country. These are the modern hallmarks of NAZI substitutes for reason. Even if they feel apart from the disease.
Brains occluded, mouths wide open. If only the reverse were the case.

Posted by: Not Ewe | May 9 2023 18:47 utc | 19

Cabe | May 9 2023 18:31 utc | 18--

Imran Khan made great strides towards decreasing tensions with India which wreaked havoc on the Outlaw US Empire's longstanding policy to promote discord amidst South Asia. And then there remains the bloody British machinations in the region. IMO, China will use its influence with the Saudis to back Khan's PTI.

too scents | May 9 2023 18:09 utc | 12--

As I stated, it will be a long five months. I recall Filipino People Power as well as Bolivian and other examples. IMO, Pakistan will experience its own version.

Mark2 | May 9 2023 18:04 utc | 11--

Time manages me. For example, it's now noon and time for me to orchestrate lunch for the missus and I. Otherwise, I'd work right through.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 9 2023 19:06 utc | 20

Karlof1 @ 20
Please pass on my best regards to the missus.
'She who must be obade' or 'er in doors'
Ha ha

Posted by: Mark2 | May 9 2023 19:23 utc | 21

Pakistan is a large nation with a population of nearly a quarter billion, larger than Brazil's. If Pakistani economy is destroyed at the hands of IMF, it will be a monumental event in the 3rd World causing the collapse of soft power images of the Empire in the minds of RoW.

China may see its Pakistani B&R investments perform poorly for a long time, but that's only a dozen or so $billion at stake (note that the majority of $40-$50 Billion pledged is over a quarter century), while China still owns $3T+ in foreign reserves, over half of which is in US alone of which China has long written off as strategic weaponry at risk due to the untrustworthiness of the Empire (they knew of the predicaments that Russia, Iran, Syria faced). So, this kind of geopolitical meandering is part of geopolitical game that China has figured to have to face, to start with. Actually, most of the $3T+ reserve fund are for two purposes only: 1) facilitation of China's foreign trade; 2) Expenditure necessary for playing the geopolitical game. In any case, money is just money, paper or digital. A bunch of that money may be worth an ounce of gold or may be worth only the cigarette lighting fire of a cartoon of Camel. Money's real worth is only a mind-thingy of a humanoid. A rouble of the Russia today is worth only 1/3,000th of a rouble of the USSR days, but thank you very much Russia is doing quite okay (after a short decade of economic hardship in the late 90's-early 2,000's).

China accumulated the vast reserve fund only as a consequence of developing its domestic industry/economy. It priced its products cheap as a means of accumulation trade surpluses instead of deficits as it developed its humongous trade profile. Surpluses give it options on utilities, while deficits may tie its hands, as it did Russia, Brazil, Argentina, et al. China knows what it's doing, all along.

So, go ahead Imperialists, go ahead ravaging RoW thinking that China may fear risking its wealth and succumb to your whims. Money matters don't change China's minds. Only long term geopolitical considerations do. In the long term, you'll find yourselves face full of egg yolks as you're finding in the Middle East, in Africa, and soon in your backyard of S. America.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 9 2023 19:46 utc | 22

@ bevin 10

If they gaslight you, it means they have already robbed you and need to distract you from their corruption. This US harassment of Imran Khan is always presented to the outside world as creating a constitutional impediment to him holding high political office. As if. Look who has replaced him.

Thanks for de- trolling the baby distraction. I understand that the US mountains a vast area of Kashmir in Pakistan uninhabited except by the military whose are corrupted by wealth and private schools for their children. That breeds elitist corruption, 24/7 state surveillance and what you could compare with the Enclosure period in England in which most of the land was removed from communal / peasant access.

Boring tho' it might be for non- Muslims to be reminded of the evil of 24/7 state spying my point is that spying provides the facility and means of gaslighting the victims of corruption and institutional
theft. It is totally forbidden in Islam and totally beloved by all political Islam/ Nazism. The septic rottenness of US/UK imperialist capitalism destroys everything in its path. 24/spying is only useful for gaslighting the victims of criminal imperialists snd their proxy minions

Babies are lovely. Not remotely part of the problem in Pakistan.

Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 19:51 utc | 23

" Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 19:51 utc | 23 "

In some of your previous responses to my comments you seemed to have disavowed ISIS. However, you seem to be evasive about other things. So in the interest of public interest do you:

1. Disavow Al-Qaeda ?

2. Disavow enforcement of Sharia law on unwilling populations through force.

3. Disavow Jihad ?

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 20:02 utc | 24

This law fare campaign to conduct a constitutional coup that has USAID/CIA written all over it with the aim of blocking the BRI China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to the Arabian Sea is similar to the constitutional coup that befell Lula Da Silva who is currently co-burrying the U.S. dollar as a world reserve currency.

Some additional interesting (IMHO) info on Imran (Ahmed) Khan (who's name somewhat got tarnished by the convicted British Tory pedophile Imran (Ahmad) Khan who also happens to be the brother of the lead prosecutor Karim Khan on that kangaroo court called the ICC against the Russian president and Maria Lvova-Belova):

All through the Cold War, the US used Pakistan as a tool against India and USSR.

In that process, the US created terrorism, refugee crisis and drug trafficking (all three due to Afghan war, for which Pakistan foolishly agreed to play the middleman).

When the Soviet Union fell, the US switched sides, befriended India, and unceremoniously dumped Pakistan.

After 9/11, the US got interested in Pakistan again, but still superficially.

Only when China started the CPEC project did the US realize Pakistan’s strategic importance.

However, whatever interest the US shows, it’s only to sabotage the Chinese, not to help Pakistan in any meaningful way.

The US thought that Imran Khan will be a good puppet — a sportsman with Westernized background.

However, he turned out to be too shrewd, too independent and too patriotic.

Imran Khan must have really stepped on the American imperialist ego. Like Assad of Syria.

Hence the coup when he was in Russia.

But Mr. Khan is still too popular among Pakistanis.

This is why the US wants to crush him. It’s not business, it’s personal.

Let’s see if he can bowl the Americans over.

Posted by: xor | May 9 2023 20:11 utc | 25

Since we're talking about a population explosion, lets not ignore the obvious culprit: Africa, which is breeding at an rapid pace. Why are indigenous Whites constantly brow beaten about the " evils " of having children when the real population dangers lie in Africa's collective unrestrained copulation ?

" Africa’s urban population is expected to nearly triple by 2050, to 1.34 billion. Coupled with a high rate of urban primacy in African countries (whereby one city is multiple times bigger than the next nearest) and the high number of mega cities, enormous stress is going to be placed on the physical, political, economic and societal infrastructure in these places. "

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 20:14 utc | 26

@TG | May 9 2023 16:29 utc | 2

It is worse than that. As Malthus theorized, and control theory with delayed feedback confirms and has been repeatedly observed, unmanaged populations cannot self organize but will always overshoot on the way up and undershoot once constraints are experienced.

Even worse, the intersection of global warming and aquifer depletion is not treating Pakistan kindly. (Refer e.g. Somani, Rozina. “Global Warming in Pakistan and Its Impact on Public Health as Viewed Through a Health Equity Lens.” International journal of social determinants of health and health services, vol. 53,2 27551938231154467. 2 Feb. 2023, doi:10.1177/27551938231154467 and Somani, Rozina. “Global Warming in Pakistan and Its Impact on Public Health as Viewed Through a Health Equity Lens.” International journal of social determinants of health and health services, vol. 53,2 27551938231154467. 2 Feb. 2023, doi:10.1177/27551938231154467)

Posted by: Hermit | May 9 2023 20:16 utc | 27

@Peter AU1 | May 9 2023 18:27 utc | 16

Saudi Arabia funded and has full access to Pakistans nuclear technology. The US may discover that Pakistan is more of a mouthful than they can swallow.

Posted by: Hermit | May 9 2023 20:20 utc | 28

/ignore Deplorable Commissar

Posted by: Rae | May 9 2023 20:39 utc | 29

@Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 20:14 utc | 26

It will never happen. To produce food and supply phosphorus for that number of humans will require more phosphorus, essential to both plants and animal life, then remains in current known reserves.

Our society is completely unsustainable. This is due to overpopulation.

Overpopulation occurs when a population or populations exceed the carrying capacity of their environment. This can be detected by the degradation to the environment reducing the carrying capacity of the environment. This is definitional, “Carrying Capacity: the number of people, other living organisms, or crops that a region can support without environmental degradation.”

The exponentially degrading environment shows that the last time human populations were sustainable was in the 1500s.

As the large number of crises facing us indicate, we have far exceeded the earth’s carrying capacity for humans as we are currently organized.

Terrestrial primary annual biomass production (the sum of the biomass added each year through the growth of land plants and animals) is some 100 billion tonnes. Each human uses about 9.5 tonnes a year. In primitive societies this is primarily the combination of food and fuel needs. In advanced societies it is primarily the combination of food and construction. The ratios change because advanced societies waste more food and use far more primary production to feed livestock. At 7.7 billion people (Worldometers, retrieved 2019-11-11) [Hermit: That was when I last updated this, now we are tat 8 billion] that translates to a demand of some 73.15 billion tonnes or in excess of 70% of the total terrestrial primary annual biomass production. As about a billion people are food, energy and shelter challenged, the actual amount used is a little less than this, but if availability rose, use would also increase due to existing demand, even if the population remained constant.

In 1500 with a population of 500 million, humans used approximately 4.75 billion tonnes of biomass annually, or less than 5% of the total terrestrial primary annual biomass production.

As significant environmental degradation occurred between 1500 and 1800, we know that the next 500 million people, representing another 5% of annual biomass increase, was critical to the environment. We know we are using 14 times the sustainable level, or, if you prefer, we are currently using the resources of some seventeen pre-industrial earth sized planets, and thanks to degradation through overpopulation, we no longer have even one.

If we count the terrestrial mammals living on Earth, we find that 36% are humans, 60% are our livestock and pets, and 4% are wild animals, and they are struggling to survive, with their number having halved in the last 40 years and expected to halve again in the next 20. We have also eliminated over 50% of the natural vegetation of Earth and use over 70% of the annual terrestrial biomass increase, while biocides used in farming have lead to a thousandfold reduction in insect populations. Eutrophication caused by run-off, sewage, the consequences of global warming that has already killed most of the reefs that housed over 80% of marine life, and massive overharvesting is turning the waters of Earth into anaerobic deserts suited only for jellyfish and toxic algae. Which is why scientists regard us as being in the midst of the worst extinction event the Earth has ever experienced and one increasingly likely to result in a sudden tipping point being reached which will result in the extinction of humans.

Beckoning Crises

Unfortunately, our overpopulation has lead to a cumulation of crises including biodiversity loss, overpopulation crisis, potable water depletion, phosphate depletion crisis, soil loss crisis, arable land availability crisis and the impact of habitat constraints on wildlife particularly pollinators, sea level rise, the wet bulb temperature hyperthermia crisis, the sea stock depletion crisis, the antibiotic effectiveness crisis, the potential infectious disease crisis, the ongoing anthropic extinction event (also known as "the Sixth Extinction"), ocean deoxidization, atmospheric deoxidation the massive threat of runaway methane clathrate sublimation which could make humans extinct by 2026, and the ocean anoxia crisis predicted for 2030, all suggest pressure towards unconstrained migration, social collapse and wars of depopulation.

Particularly as energy use is inescapably tied to population size. Even CNN, doyen of the OMM has produced an introductory segment on the “sixth extinction” and its relationship to human overpopulation which might be helpful to explain this to people who do not understand the concept.

Posted by: Hermit | May 9 2023 21:02 utc | 30

Malthus was a vulgar plagiarist who made a career out of telling the British bourgeoisie what they wanted to hear.

His population theory is a perfect fit for a class which combined its callous indifference to the misery that the policies it pursued produced.Founded in laws that enabled them to steal the resources, most notably the land, of their own and other countries and coupled with the degraded Christianity of Evangelicalism, these were the bases of liberalism and the neo-liberalism.

His fitting reward was to occupy the Chair of Political Economy at the East India Company's Academy at Haileybury.

Hazlitt refuted Malthus, in the pages of Cobbett's Political Register, in about 1807. But the message, that the poor were responsible for their own misery, and given to unrestrained sinfulness to boot, was too good to be allowed to fall out of fashion. Thus it is that our resident fascist leaps upon the opportunity to account for Africa's woes in Malthusian terms.

Posted by: bevin | May 9 2023 21:14 utc | 31

@Cabe | May 9 2023 18:14 utc | 13

All modern economic surpluses are the product of wages not paid to workers for labor provided, but retained as "profits" by capitalists and other rentier income seekers. As Marx predicted in the mid 1800s, the replacement of labor with automation, robotics and AI will result in the bloody collapse of capitalism unless we engage in other strategies of distribution and economics as capitalism continues to become irrelevant. See my Economics Rebooted.

Posted by: Hermit | May 9 2023 21:36 utc | 32

" /ignore Deplorable Commissar

Posted by: Rae | May 9 2023 20:39 utc | 29 "

Thanks, acknowledgment is always appreciated. What triggered you, my post about the coming African population explosion or my questions to Giyane ?

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 21:39 utc | 33

Pakistan is in a truly shocking condition - and more problems than it appears to have the capability to solve.

The Army/ISI, the dominant power, and ruling families/elites only know how to hold on to power - not to govern.

It is a mess.

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 9 2023 21:42 utc | 34

For the poor, children represent a support for their old age. At least this is true in Africa, where children were expected to support family and old parents.

IF there was a greater equality in the use of resources, better education and reasonable incomes, then the desire to have many chidren drops. Specifically, Education of women (the one of the two genders that really count) is known to be the best contraceptive, as women then want jobs, more time and less burdens in life.

In past times the neo-natal death rates were much, much higher. (Autoregulation of the population if I want to sound cynical). High birthrates compensated for this. It also made sure of the survival of the fittest, or the luckiest.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 9 2023 21:49 utc | 35

" Posted by: Hermit | May 9 2023 21:02 utc | 30 "

Fair comment, but what do you think will happen then ? Wont the nations that produce food and phosphors (I.E. Russia ) start keeping all supplies for their own people ?

This also sounds like the Africans will be the first to be killed off by default as they're totally dependent on those imports. Also,why do you think Russia hasnt started hoarding those supplies already and instead is supplying African nations for free ?

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 21:50 utc | 36

bevin | May 9 2023 21:14 utc | 31

In the early 1950s the population of Europe was double that of the whole African continent.Now, the population of Europe, which has remained pretty steady, is now half of the African continent. Africa's population is projected to double again by the end of this century.,_continental,_and_subregional_totals_from_1950_to_2021

When Live Aid was organised in 1989, the population of Ethiopia was about 39 million. Now it's about 126 million - tripled in just over 30 years. Compound interest is a wonderful thing.

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | May 9 2023 21:55 utc | 37

Pakistan is useful for the West as a leverage to break up the BRICS, the uneasy truce between India and China can falter if hostilities with India intensify.

Funny how the Malthusian card always pops up when brown and black people are involved and yet nary a peep about East Asia or Europe.

Posted by: Johnycomelately | May 9 2023 21:56 utc | 38

"For the poor, children represent a support for their old age. At least this is true in Africa, where children were expected to support family and old parents..." Stonebird@35

And not just in Africa. Children were expected to work on the family plot or with the family herd. And, as I pointed out, they were expected to die young too, which was another reason why families refreshed their ranks.

It is almost invariably the case that, as living standards rise, the birthrate falls. Those projecting enormous growth in Africa are also guessing that living standards will not improve, that public health will not become better and that inequality will continue to characterise societies there.

This is most unlikely to happen- as the power of imperialism declines the quality of African government will improve.

Already with the forced retreat of France in West Africa there are signs that politics rather than pursuit of the patronage of imperial power will come to shape the policies of states. Africa has long been an arena in which socialist politics have been massively popular- absent the assassins, NGOs and dictatorships sponsored by NATO powers, it is most likely that Africans will lead the way for humanity forward in the coming decades, setting examples which people in the "west" will be unable to resist following.

Posted by: bevin | May 9 2023 22:07 utc | 39

" Funny how the Malthusian card always pops up when brown and black people are involved and yet nary a peep about East Asia or Europe.

Posted by: Johnycomelately | May 9 2023 21:56 utc | 38 "

China's and India's population is set to peak and then start trending downward. They wont be the problem.

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 22:12 utc | 40

Johnycomelately | May 9 2023 21:56 utc | 38

Well the population of Europe, India, Far East, North America, South America are all pretty stable atm, but you keep looking for racists...

Most countries go through "demographic transition" - Victorian UK had phenomenal birth rates and phenomenal child death rates - but then as infant mortality improves, contraception arrives and you don't NEED to have 13 kids for 4 to reach their teens and work on the farm, children per family drops. Puzzle is why this isn't happening (or if it is, it's very slow) in Africa.

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | May 9 2023 22:14 utc | 41

@ Deplorable Commissar

Yam nosey aincha ?

1/ I have no knowledge of who funds Al Qaida or ISIS, but there is no such thing on this planet as a terrorist group that is not indirectly sponsored and organised by states or weirdos acting for states incognito like Soros or maybe even Wagner?

International Law is continuously smashed and shredded by outsourcing totally illegal acts to proxies.

2/ Enforcement if Shariah Law on unwilling populations. Darlings, exactly the same problem exists with Shariah Law as exists with Internationsl Law, that those who seek power are motivated by selfish interests .
Who will obey Shari'ah Law which is calculated to oppress others totally against the principles of Islam?

In Islam, there is no deceit, but in politics there is only deceit. Our prophet, blessings and peace be upon him said that there would vote Islamic rulers who would oppress the , but the people should be patient and great blessings snd advantages would come from these rulers.
Saddam Hussain, like Putin , cracked down extremely hard on anybody , like Iraqi Kurds , who sought political help from USUKIS. They weren't patient. They lost Iraqi sovereignty to USUKIS through sheer disobedience.

In other words you can totally disagree with something while simultaneously submitting to its existence. I don't disavow many things that I don't think are right.

3/ Jihad. At the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire , Islamism was created by USUKIS into a castrated Islam. USUKIS henceforward were to be the unwritten Caliph/ authority fir Muslims. You need an authority in the form of one man like Putin, to speak on behalf ofa system of values and to act in accordance with those stated values.
Without a declaration of principles publicly broadcast to the world, it us absolutely pointless to fight.

Thousands of times everyday bloggers here say this SMO has lost territory. But Putin said at the outset that he was not interested in territory, but in redressing the stupidity of USUKIS . He also stated that he would never agree to cede the Crimea which had voted to belong to RF in international law. He is perfectly justified by his original statement of intent to secure Crimea by securing adjacent territory which has also voted to join the RF.

Because Putin has acted in so Islamic waybeith his SMO, stated his principles and stuck to them , some Muslims have felt able to make jihad for RF. Does anybody have foggiest idea what principles USUKIS are fighting for in Ukraine? Is it land, or capitalism, or Nazism , or Scandinavian nationalism, or gay rights? Nobody knows , because USUKIS want you to keep guessing until you go bonkers.

You can't struggle for righteousness without stating what your side understands righteousness to be. Even if it's only sex and land, it should be stated, and measured by that statement. USUKIS stands for nothing and prides itself for believing nothing. That is the meaning of root of the word liberal, do whatever you like.
No need to publish a statement of what you want to fight for. I don't disavow jihad.

Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 22:20 utc | 42

Polulations grow and diminish- that of the UK grew enormously between 1760 and 1850. That of Ireland rose to 8 million in 1840 and was half that a couple of decades later. It still has not reached or at least exceeded pre 1840 levels.

The population of Europe as a whole, fell from the mid C14th precipitately, then rose again slowly until a couple of centuries later it was back to 1350 levels.

In France in the C19th the population increased very slowly.

And today, just as was the case in the early forties of the last century there are many (including of course racists) who see the population of Europe falling in such a way as to put the "survival of the 'race'" in question.

As to compound interest, if that had any bearing on demography-as I believe Carlo Cipolla pointed out- the population would have grown to the point that it would cover the planet to the extent that it would be miles deep into the atmosphere.
And then of course, for those who forget, there are pandemics, like the bubonic plague. Or Covid without the minimal public health measures that were taken.

Forgive me for the rough figures I recall, but I'm sure that they will prove real approximations.

Posted by: bevin | May 9 2023 22:23 utc | 43

Giyane | May 9 2023 22:20 utc | 42

Aren't ISIS in Syria sponsored by the USA? I definitely got the impression that as long as they fought Assad, "moderate headchoppers" would go on the payroll.

As someone said elsewhere, the Shi'ite Iranian Revolutionary Guards units who defended Christian villages from them are heroes in my book. "Greater love hath no man..."

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | May 9 2023 22:26 utc | 44

excellent background summary, b

Posted by: sln2002 | May 9 2023 22:50 utc | 45

@ YetAnotherAnon 44

The only person who has stated the purposes of Al Qaida was Usama bin Laden, the wealthy son of one of the richest families in KSA. His stated purpose was NOT to attack the West, but to be allowed to reform, attack, kill Muslims whom he regarded as Non- Muslims, in other words by Takfir, declaring them to be non-Muslims.

I totally disagree with the premise of his argument, because he derived his authority from a background of privelege, while his accusees are victims of centuries of Coniscliffe, British, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Persian , Mughal. Who is Saudi Arabia with its """ Royalty""" to lecture anybody? The amir should be appointed for their knowledge, not their family.

It's like trying to build a Lego car from chess pieces. Totally the wrong person for the job and totally the wrong way to reform anything. Just a disaster from the start back in Yugoslavia. A disaster
that culminated in the destruction of Somalia, Sudan, of Libya, and of Syria, and whose destruction has been mitigated by Messrs Putin and Lavrov. Much to USUKIS ' annoyance and panic.

Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 22:50 utc | 46

How does spell checker change colonialism to Coniscliffe. Apologies to all rabbits living in Coneys' Cliff.

Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 22:54 utc | 47

YetAnotherAnon @ 37, 41:

I have read that in parts of western Africa (especially in parts of Nigeria where Yoruba and Ibo people live), twin births are very common. This may be partly genetic but diet may have an effect as well. Yams are a staple food in people's diets in Nigeria and nearby areas, and there has been some research done in the past on a possible link between eating yams (sometimes three or four times a day) and having twins in some communities.

What’s in a yam? Clues to fertility, a student discovers (Yale Medicine Magazine, 1999 Summer)

... White yams, a staple of the diet of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, may play a role in the society’s high incidence of fraternal twinning, according to a student’s research. “You see families consuming yams three or four times a day,” said Obinwanne Ugwonali, M.D. ’99, whose thesis on the link between yams and fertility was one of five to garner awards this year on Student Research Day. “I think this project will lead us to understanding more about the mechanisms of the human reproductive system, specifically the reason why we are typically monotocous rather than polytocous like other animals,” he said.

Ugwonali’s adviser, Frederick Naftolin, M.D., professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology, said the research is the cornerstone of a group of related studies of yam intake and genetic predisposition to multiple births now under way at Yale and Harvard and in Nigeria. In addition to the biological and anthropological aspects, the study has medical applications, Naftolin said. “We don’t know why normally monotocous women become polytocous, but multiple pregnancy is the most common cause of prematurity, which is the major cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Ugwonali’s interest in yams and fertility started when he worked in Naftolin’s lab the summer before he entered medical school. Naftolin asked him to investigate why humans are monotocous, and a Medline search led Ugwonali to information about the high rate of twinning in Nigeria. Although some Nigerian tribes have rates of fraternal twinning ranging from 20 to 30 pairs per thousand births, it peaks among the Yoruba at 41.6 per thousand. “I’m from Nigeria and I didn’t know this before,” said Ugwonali, who is a member of the Ibo tribe. For African-Americans the rate is 15 per thousand, and for Caucasians in the United States and the United Kingdom it is between 10 and 11 per thousand. Among the Yoruba, twins symbolize a duality of blessings and burdens that is celebrated in hardwood carvings.

In 1996 Ugwonali went to Nigeria on a Downs fellowship to begin his research. After analyzing age, socioeconomic factors and other variables, Ugwonali focused on diet. Demographic and scientific studies conducted in the early 1970s pointed to white yams as the culprit in the mystery of multiple births in southwestern Nigeria. Ugwonali interviewed people about their eating habits and made his own observations. “We suspected environmental factors,” he said. “The only factor that ended up being different from the ones we controlled was yams.” In laboratories at Yale and in Nigeria, he fed rats a diet of yams and saw the average size of their litters double from about four to about nine.

“Our hypothesis is that yams act as anti-estrogens,” he said, noting that he hasn’t investigated the precise chemical link between yams and fertility and has yet to isolate an anti-estrogen from yams. Anti-estrogens fool the brain into thinking there is insufficient estrogen, causing it to release more of a hormone called gonadotrophin and increase the ovulation rate, he said ...

BTW it's easy to cherry-pick countries like Ethiopia and Nigeria (the two most populous African countries) as examples of high population growth in Africa but according to, overall fertility rates in Africa have been falling steadily over the past 20 years.

MoA barflies should bear in mind also that some African countries actually have small populations so even a small increase or decrease in the number of children born from one year to the next may register as a higher or lower percentage change than it would in a country with a large population.

Posted by: Refinnejenna | May 9 2023 23:15 utc | 48

bevin # 17:58 utc | 10

They hope that, if they keep their families alive there will be enough survivors to revenge themselves on the capitalists, imperialists compradors and graduates of Quetta Officers Training School by making a peoples republic.

Thank you for every phrase in that post. Well said.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 9 2023 23:17 utc | 49

Don Firineach # 21:42 utc | 34

The Army/ISI, the dominant power, and ruling families/elites only know how to hold on to power - not to govern.

It is a mess.

Indeed and Pakistan is almost a perfect carbon copy of the USA.

The ISI has been entirely out of Pakistan people and judicial control for decades. This is why the USA has a global network of military bases and a war on terror - to train local militias and security apparatus in each country as their own enforcers. "Close all US bases outside the USA": lets see a US presidential candidate say that - and remain alive.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 9 2023 23:33 utc | 50

Aside from the price/availability of fertilizers, the rate of population growth dictates higher spending percentage on various types of infrastructure, housing, roads, transportation, electricity production and distribution, schools to avoid deterioration in living standards, not to mention, improving living standards. Because internal saving rates are low, one should expect higher (less wretched) living standard in Bangladesh than in Pakistan. Additionally, there may be a competition between importing food, or capital goods for infrastructure and industry etc.

Concerning the current political crisis, perhaps it cannot be resolved without a military coup by younger officers. Mind you, Imran Khan was arrested not by police, but by a military unit. While higher ranks are very involved in comprador games, typically, the lucre does not reach the lower ranks. But the necessity of such a coup is speculative.

Right now, the big question is if Imran's political movement is mature enough to withstand decapitation by arrests of the leadership (if not worse) and penetration by secret services and simple opportunists who can rise when the leadership is arrested.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 10 2023 0:41 utc | 51

@ uncle tungsten #50

'almost a perfect carbon copy' ...

Simply a difference in scale.

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 10 2023 0:47 utc | 52

This has some similarities with the judicial coup in Brazil, based on dubious allegations of corruption against Rousseff and Lula. That also probably had U.S. involvement

Posted by: Edward Q | May 10 2023 1:03 utc | 53

This morning from Rybar English on Telegram

"Escalation in Pakistan

The situation in Pakistan is approaching critical. According to some information, police and army units controlled by Shahbaz Sharif's government started shooting at the protesters.

According to preliminary data, as a result of clashes with security forces, 32 people have already died, dozens were injured. And the number of victims is growing every minute.

More and more people are taking to the streets in different parts of the country. Supporters of the former prime minister chant slogans in defense of Imran Khan. According to them, in the event of the death of the Khan, they will start a war.

According to pro-Pakistani sources, Imran Khan was taken to the Main Intelligence Directorate, and his condition deteriorated sharply due to beatings by law enforcement officers.

🔻Supporters of the former head of the republic set fire to military towns and military units. A significant part of the rank and file of the Pakistani Armed Forces refuses to shoot at civilians.

Curiously, almost all of the country's political and military leadership, including Shahbaz Sharif, is now out of Pakistan on foreign trips.

❗️At the moment , the main events are unfolding in Islamabad, where the protesters are breaking through to the "red zone" - the area of government offices. Establishing control over it would symbolically mean the overthrow of the Sharif administration."

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 10 2023 2:00 utc | 54

The only thing that holds Pakistani provinces together from day one was and is the army, with Anglo assistance. It tried to lay a smoke screen with religion but this has backfired spectacularly in house now. Kashmir was invaded by these military in 1947; Baluchistan stayed independent till 1948 but was then concurred by the Punjabi dominated army:
Bangladesh independence war in 1971 proved that regional culture combined with majority bests religion, even Islam.

The Pakistani army cited Israel as a basis for becoming a separate territory based on religion; as if there were not already many Islamic homelands all around. For this it had to fake Hindu intolerance, even while Gandhi went overboard the other side making India's constitution secular. The Anglo world lapped all this crap up led by the US/UK elites urge to dominate the planet through divide and concur - sacrificing their own liberal soul in the process.

Posted by: Antonym | May 10 2023 4:04 utc | 55

@ Antonym | 55

Kashmir was invaded by these military in 1947...

Kashmir has had a majority of Muslims in its population for centuries. It has been an area of violent contention for centuries, as well: it has been invaded by Afghans, Sikhs, Indians, and the British.

In the case of Pakistan, it was actually invited in by the local population because of the insufferable mis-management and extortion by, first, the Dogra dynasty--who invited India in not as rulers, but as "security forces"--and then by India, which continued the extortion of the Muslim population first initiated by the Dogras.

So to say that Pakistan "invaded" is ignoring the history of the region and the imperial colonization and oppression the population there has suffered under successive occupations by imperialist rule.

With respect to the original topic:

I cannot see this latest move by Pakistan's military/ISI leading to anything short of several steps closer to civil war. The US is fading as an imperialist power; China is right next door; and China's wealth, rejection of colonialist meddling, and tolerance of the Muslim faith must be strongly appealing to certain generals in the Pakistan hierarchy.

I reckon there will emerge, in the next ten years or so (definitely twenty), some sort of Chavez figure who will sweep through Pakistan and purge it of its oligarchs, freeing it from US influence.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 10 2023 4:57 utc | 56

re Antonym | May 10 2023 4:04 utc | 55
What a load of tosh It was Nehru who negotiated with the englanders on behalf of Indians to form the Indian state not Gandhi who was long dead by then. Nehru exploited the fact that he had an englander public school background to ingratiate himself with Louis Mounbatten whilst Nehru did him the service of bonking Mrs Mountbatten cos Louis preferred little boys to 'fish', although some claim Nehru was as bent as a two bob watch as well & bedded Mr & Mrs Mountbatten, though separately. The result of this was that Islam negotiators who were meant to have equal footing were lied to and cut out of the final map leaving Pakistan a state split in two an idiocy exploited by India when they invaded East Pakistan and insisted on creating the corrupt state of Bangladesh.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 10 2023 5:04 utc | 57

@ A.L. | 8

The Chinese isn't against debt restructuring. Its against the west trying to get the Chinese to lose out and get a haircut without the west getting the same.

There's a difference.

This is baseless speculation masquerading as "whataboutism". There is literally no evidence to support this fantasy you have of the Chinese BRI/SCO operating as some sort of neo-colonialist IMF replacement.

The Chinese suffered greatly under western imperialist colonialism. They genuinely have a moral imperative baked into their foreign policy that they shall not exploit other peoples in the same fashion.

That moral imperative is what the imperialist west calls "Communism." While that's not exactly what Marx or Engels meant in their writings, for lack of a better word, i'm content to use that one.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 10 2023 5:10 utc | 58

pakistans military have a lot of power and are almost rusted on usa supporters. the carrot and often stick easily works on them as long as the grift flows and their kids can get educated abroad. nice reading command has fled and nearly all bases have been attacked not by gun toting rebels but angry mobs of all walks of life. seeing them smash those big flat screen tvs was a lighter side of what is tense and could easily turn into a massacre.

Posted by: hankster | May 10 2023 5:12 utc | 59

@ Debsisdead | 57

Bang on. ;-)

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 10 2023 5:14 utc | 60

@ Debsisdead | 57

At the age of 78, Mahatma Gandhi was killed on January 30, 1948. The Indian subcontinent was split up on August 14/15th 1947.

"Nehru was as bent as a two bob watch" : he fell in love with Fabian Socialism too, so yes. Nehru was a 100% secularist, 0% Hindu. Gandhi's mind was half Christian, "turn the other cheek" thanks to his friend Tolstoy.

"India created the corrupt state of Bangladesh" ?? No, the East Pakistanis won the 1970 national elections (they also had more people), but were denied their chance to rule the whole country thanks to Punjabi jealousy. No one with a straight brain can blame India for that.

Posted by: Antonym | May 10 2023 5:30 utc | 61

Look at the ridiculous borders the British left behind: wouldn't pass for any commercial jigsaw puzzle, let alone defendable lines. They messed up their African colonies like wise, no doubt on purpose - divide and concur -.
Radcliffe, the fall guy London had inserted to create 'a' map, destroyed all his papers soon after displaying his spaghetti mess.

Posted by: Antonym | May 10 2023 5:38 utc | 62

# 54
chaos and disorder
western leaders can
go to sleep smug
with ghoulish satisfaction

Posted by: Dingo | May 10 2023 5:49 utc | 63

@Hermit | May 9 2023 21:02 utc | 30
This end-of-life-as-we-know-it scenario suffers from a defect that is in most of them. It assumes a sudden catastrophy with no solution to a slowly evolving economic problem. Phosphorus is extremely common. We have known vast stores of it stored away as waste. Our current production of phosphate produces huge amounts of "waste" phosphogypsum that we just stuff places because it contains too much radioactive isotopes. However, if phosphate were to become in short enough supply, it would become economically profitable to process the phosphogypsum to produce phosphate and gypsum.

That's just one example. We don't use bonemeal for fertilizer in many locations because of the low acidity of the soil. If phosphates became more expensive, we could add the phosphorus as bonemill with an acidifier.

We have many ways of producing phosphorus, including nuclear fission and fusion. They are just not currently economically feasible. We know of other sources of phosphates that are currently not economicly sensable. If the price of phosphate fertalizers increase sufficiently, we will develop other sources. The key is that the lack of effective fertilizer is not a sudden occurence, a single event, that destroys life as we know it. It is a gradual problem that might progress to become an expensive one. It's economical, not existential.

Posted by: barstool | May 10 2023 5:56 utc | 64

@Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 21:50 utc | 36

The problems do not belong to nations, but Earth.

Most people do not understand the problem. A friend of my partner, Prof Al Bartlett, used to explain the problem in his amazing lecture, "The world's greatest video" which begins, "It's a great pleasure to be here, and to have a chance just to share with you some very simple ideas about the problems we're facing. Some of these problems are local, some are national, some are global.

They're all tied together. They're tied together by arithmetic, and the arithmetic isn't very difficult. What I hope to do is, I hope to be able to convince you that the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

In the lecture he mentions this rather illustrative example.

Bacteria grow by doubling. One bacterium divides to become two, the two divide to become 4, the 4 become 8, 16 and so on. Suppose we had bacteria that doubled in number this way every minute. Suppose we put one of these bacteria into an empty bottle at 11:00 in the morning, and then observe that the bottle is full at 12:00 noon. There's our case of just ordinary steady growth: it has a doubling time of one minute, it’s in the finite environment of one bottle.

I want to ask you three questions. Number one: at what time was the bottle half full? Well, would you believe 11:59, one minute before 12:00? Because they double in number every minute.

And the second question: if you were an average bacterium in that bottle, at what time would you first realise you were running of space? Well, let’s just look at the last minutes in the bottle. At 12:00 noon, it’s full; one minute before, it’s half full; 2 minutes before, it’s a quarter full; then an 1?8th; then a 1?16th. Let me ask you, at 5 minutes before 12:00, when the bottle is only 3% full and is 97% open space just yearning for development, how many of you would realise there’s a problem?

Now, in the ongoing controversy over growth in Boulder, someone wrote to the newspaper some years ago and said “Look, there’s no problem with population growth in Boulder, because,” the writer said, “we have fifteen times as much open space as we've already used.” So let me ask you, what time was it in Boulder when the open space was fifteen times the amount of space we’d already used? The answer is, it was four minutes before 12:00 in Boulder Valley. Well, suppose that at 2 minutes before 12:00, some of the bacteria realise they’re running out of space, so they launch a great search for new bottles. They search offshore on the outer continental shelf and in the overthrust belt and in the Arctic, and they find three new bottles. Now that’s an incredible discovery, that’s three times the total amount of resource they ever knew about before. They now have four bottles, before their discovery, there was only one. Now surely this will give them a sustainable society, won’t it?

You know what the third question is: how long can the growth continue as a result of this magnificent discovery? Well, look at the score: at 12:00 noon, one bottle is filled, there are three to go; 12:01, two bottles are filled, there are two to go; and at 12:02, all four are filled and that’s the end of the line.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock informs is that it is 90 seconds to midnight, and we know that the Earth is full and we only have one Earth. We also know that we are in the midst of the worst extinction event in the planet's history, that it has been caused by human activities, and that if it is not reversed, no humans will survive. Some of out oligarchs are convinced that we can have a war of depopulation and that they will then inherit the Earth and all its wealth. They are wrong. As I show on my monograph, they would die with the rest of us. Some think that having fucked Earth, we can just move to Mars. The reality is that if we have the technology to terraform Mars, that we could fix Earth, but even with that, we would need to reduce the population back to the sustainable or we would just have put off the reckoning. Without continuing transfers from Earth's complex ecosystem, no conceivable Martian colony will be able to avoid instability and, eventually, death.

The good newsis that if we can survive for just three to five generations, we could return the population to the sustainable if all of us had half-a-surviving child per parent for that time.

1st generation 8 billion
2nd generation 4 billion
3rd generation 2 billion
4th generation 1 billion
5th generation 0.5 billion

In this process, everyone who wanted one would have a living descendent, and those descendents would all be at least 16 times wealthier than we are today. Even better, a declining population would reduce the pressure on our remaining resources allowing them to supply us until we become sustainable, and a transition to a general equality of outcome would vastly improve the quality of life for almost everyone. Also, if we survive encounters with our spirothetic children*, they will undoubtedly be able to help us reengineer the planet.

PS Some, perhaps far more than one might expect, might well choose to transition to a virtual existence when this option becomes available, if we could ensure the safety of the host system. That alone could massively reduce our resource requirements.

The only real obstacle is that we would need to want humankind to survive, despite all the evidence suggesting that this is not a good idea. Still, I think I could live with that. I know that I can't live without it. Even if it seems that practical immortality will be available in a matter of years, not decades.

*Spirothete: a word coined to describe a living (self-aware) being, initially created as an artifact. From Latin, spiro -are; intransit., to breathe, blow, draw breath; to be alive; to have inspiration; be inspired; transit., to breath out, expire (also L spiro-/equiv Gk Pneuma (πνεῦμα) an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul", the breath of life) and synthetic adj 1: (chemistry) not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially 2: involving or of the nature of synthesis (combining separate elements to form a coherent whole) as opposed to analysis.

Also Spirothetic, adjective, describing something having the attributes of a spirothete.

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 5:59 utc | 65

@ Hermit


The Toba Bottleneck is a genetic record that supports the theory that the totality of the Human Race was winnowed down to ~10'000 individuals in the aftermath of the Toba Volcano explosion ~74'000 years ago.

The idea that the human population has to be billions is a silly one.

Also on the African population everyone overlooks the contribution of the tsetse fly and sleeping sickness keeping the population in balance.

Posted by: too scents | May 10 2023 7:05 utc | 66

Hermit 30
Plants form the primary production ,animals form the ßecondary production.

Posted by: Ross | May 10 2023 7:25 utc | 67

" Posted by: Giyane | May 9 2023 22:20 utc | 42 "

You could have answered with a simple yes or no as those questions were phrased to be answered that way, Instead, you went all verbose. The way I see it, thats an answer in its self, so in my view all your answers are a resounding " yes ". Thats quite telling and disturbing but I sensed from your previous points that you would respond in that way so I'm not shocked. The other barflies can draw their own conclusions about you.

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 10 2023 7:51 utc | 68

" Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 5:59 utc | 65 "

Thats a confusing response and I still dont see an answer to my initial questions.

If the situation is as dire as you state, food and phosphors producing nations would be stockpiling those resources like mad men for their own populations only, Yet, Russia is supplying Africa for free. This obviously is facilitating population growth on the continent which is experiencing, and is projected to have, the greatest increase in people.

Concurrently, Western nations who have collapsing populations, are constantly told to have less or no children, while at the same time also being told that they wont have enough people in the future and to flood their countries with migrants from nations that have exploding populations.

Can you please address those two points in relation to your points about the impending global catastrophe ?

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 10 2023 8:04 utc | 69

Re Antonym | May 10 2023 5:38 utc | 62
Those ridiculous borders were the borders Nehru urged upon Mountbatten. I dunno what gives you the notion that Gandhi had anything to do with them or the state. The only Gandhis involved were the sons and daughters of the easily duped school teacher who Nehru's daughter married to trick idiot Hindus into imagining the sleazy pol they were voting for was related to the mahatma. The mess that is the subcontinent is the net result of hindu & englander plots trying one on at the expense of India's islamic population. Now the chickens are coming home to roost the idiocy continues by hindu indians blaming everyone but themselves.
At every turn the hindu population has done exactly what the englanders wished yet you still blame Pakistanis. That farce of an election you refer to was a set up by india's security services, as we saw when India immediately marched into east pakistan. The irony was that it was sikh officers who led the army in & when the sikhs worked out exactly how screwed up that Gandhi mob was after they tried to take on Sikhs at Amritsar they dealt with it and dealt with it until what is left of the nehru/gandhi mob now couldn't run piss up at a pub.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 10 2023 10:22 utc | 70

Debsisdead | May 10 2023 10:22 utc | 70

Somewhere I have a link to an article by an Indian airforce pilot who fought in that border war of the sixties.

I have so many links now it takes some time to dig them up. India are claiming maximal extent of British claims rather than historical borders, though borders in the old world can best be described as a merging zone. Although China never agreed to some sections of the British denoted border, it has settled on than. Hindutva's which differ little from European Nazism or Islamic extremism claim the maximal extent the British claimed at any time.

That idiot clown you replied to, I guess a little more primitive to the BP clown, but no different to the clowns spruking for the the current proxies of empire, the ukroids.

Look on google maps and towns have the Ukroid names. Look on google maps and parts of what is now India have Chinese names. In resolving a dispute, there must be give and take. China voluntarily gave up those areas that had Chinese names and moved back to the British border.

Hindutva is closely linked to pre and WWII fascism and that is what we get commenting here.

When The US launch their war against China, the hindutva's will launch a border war at the same time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 10 2023 10:52 utc | 71

@bevin | May 9 2023 22:07 utc | 39

It is almost invariably the case that, as living standards rise, the birthrate falls. Those projecting enormous growth in Africa are also guessing that living standards will not improve, that public health will not become better and that inequality will continue to characterise societies there.

And they are right. The fact is that the improvement of living standards in Africa is totally exogenous: they were given medicine, they were given electricity, they were given cheap goods from Chinese factories. African societies are still pre-industrial in structure and, as such, unsuited for sustained growth in an industrial, let alone post-industrial, world. As a matter of fact the problem is even simpler: when population growth outpaces wealth growth you are in big troubles. African and Middle-Eastern countries are therefore in big troubles. Particularly because these socio-economic systems are characterized by sizeable delays: babies are not a big problem until they become adults and need more resources, so, when the problems show themselves, i.e. not enough resources for young adults, it is too late to do something: there will be a surplus of young adults for at least 15-20 years after that!

as the power of imperialism declines the quality of African government will improve.

I'll believe that, when I see that.

That said, Pakistan is not in a critical situation like some African countries, but it still needs a lot of reforms and it won't be easy. This unrest is going to make difficult things more difficult. Also it shows, that the anglosphere still retains a lot of power and connections. In the end this shows that Pakistan is still too weak and corrupt to be truly free: the problem here is that these countries need to change themselves, but they do not want, they hope to improve and stay the same at the same time, which is not possible. Stop playing with tribal factions, stop playing with islamic fundamentalists, stop playing with fake nationalism and build a stronger society. Brazil showed how a fairly strong society reacts to an external meddling, Pakistan is on the road to total chaos.

Posted by: SG | May 10 2023 11:08 utc | 72

Re: overpopulation

Europe produces enough of its own food to feed itself plus export the surplus.

Therefore, the planet can sustain a population density of Europe = maybe 15 billion people

Posted by: Exile | May 10 2023 11:17 utc | 73

too scents @ 3

The answer to your question is American stooges.

You tell me how dumb one would have to be to play stooge for US in Pakistan.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 10 2023 11:33 utc | 74

@ Debsisdead | 70 & Peter AU1 | 71
Thanks both for demonstrating above that you are clueless about the Indian subcontinent and its history; having warped ideas about Hinduism and Islam can do that to a person. Additionally, the CPC cult meme does leave some victims in the West as you both eagerly keep on demonstrating. Mainland Chinese today are losing their faith in that 2nd Mao fast.

Guess who is shaking hands with Hitler here: not an RSS guy:
Guess who was corresponding with Hitler from British India: again not an RSS guy:
Indian SS has as much to do with German SS as with British Stainless Steel.

Posted by: Antonym | May 10 2023 14:06 utc | 75

Here another leader meeting up with Hitler, again not RSS:

Hitler wanted to use local leaders from the British colonies to make life difficult for the British army during WWII and vise versa these leaders wanted the British out from their countries. This particular guy had a religious twist on top of that too.
No picture of any RSS leader meeting Hitler as that never happened.

Hard to keep all those brown people apart, right?

Posted by: Antonym | May 10 2023 14:25 utc | 76

@Exile | May 10 2023 11:17 utc | 73

Your assumptions may be faulty. In 2021, the EU imported almost 138 million tonnes of agricultural products, costing €150 billion. Up by an order of magnitude since 2016. European aquifers are already under pressure, its top soil is depleted, its biodiversity, like its economy, is collapsing, its climate is changing, and it has to import feed protein, fertilizer and fuel, which all need to be paid for. It also shares global threats from pandemics and the antibiotic crisis to global heating and planetary de-oxygenation. So the question becomes one of how long you imagine Europe can produce food for itself, let alone for almost double the current world's population, which already exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet by 6 to 7.5 billion (Refer e.g. Pimental, David (1998-07-28). Will Limits of the Earth’s Resources Control Human Numbers? Environment, Development and Sustainability 1: 19–39, 1999. Kluwer Academic Publishers. and Ehrlich, Paul and Anne (1968). The Population Bomb. Ballantine Books.

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 14:53 utc | 77

@SG | May 10 2023 11:08 utc | 72

You are putting the cart before the horse. From the HANDY Model (Motesharrei, Safa; Rivas, Jorge; Kalnay, Eugenia (2014-02-14). Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies. Ecological Economics, Volume 101, 2014, Pages 90-102. we know that civilizations are dependent on sustainability and equality, and can see this today in the success China has achieved by focusing on these factors, despite having had its civilization destroyed by the West. Africa has not yet recovered from the scourge of Abrahamic religions, the brutality of ongoing Western destabilization, or overthrown the yoke of colonial oppression, and rapacious resource extraction, which temporarily enriched the West that continues to extract a net value of some USD 4 trillion annually from the developing world.

Rather than the "gifts" you assert, as Desmond Tutu put it, "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 15:21 utc | 78

@too scents | May 10 2023 7:05 utc | 66

Agreed. As I mention in my chapter, On Resource Use:

Genetics show us that for thousands of years after recovering from the Toba catastrophe event, when the human population was reduced from about 1 million to 3,000 to 10,000 individuals (the previous such squeeze was at about 1.2 MYBP (million years before present) when proto-human populations were reduced to about 26,000), our population was able to live on natural resources until major droughts combined with disease halved the population in the MWP (Medieval Warm Period), and again in the LIA (Little Ice Age), on each occasion resulting in wars and taking some 200 years to recover. Which establishes a reliable natural base doubling time of about 200 years for the human population. In other words, without catastrophes, numbers would double, and total resource use would increase four times, every 200 years or so.

Unfortunately, we only have one earth, and it is only able to sustain a certain number of humans with a certain ecological footprint using finite resources without major impacts on other species, and eventually on humans themselves. This is known as the carrying capacity.

The last time the Earth supported a sustainable human population below the carrying capacity was in the pre-industrial 1600's with a population of some 600 million. Recovering from the LIA, timber use soared, and when the world experienced a sharp drop in temperatures in the late LIA (1700s and early 1800s), this, combined with resulting resource wars requiring timber for naval vessels, resulted in the the near total deforestation of Europe and the transition to coal as a heat source. To support this we developed canals and railways to distribute coal, and so began the industrial revolution. The ability to move lime and human waste to the country, where they were used to improve formerly barren land, resulted in an agricultural revolution as well, and populations responded by soaring.

In other words, the 600 million or so people in 1650 were able to be supported by the rude plant growth of the time, but the increase to 1 billion by the early 1800s (another doubling) required legacy hydrocarbon use with all the associated biological disasters this brought in its wake. We also know that our ability to improve land and the resulting agricultural explosion caused ecological havoc, with extinction rates soaring across that same period, as we spread across the world, murdering indigenous people, along with introducing massive changes in land-use and social structure as we reshaped the world for the convenience of the most wealthy among us.

Since then our population and inequality have continued to increase, though at a slowing rate.

Knowing about the horrors of parasites and the devastating effect that they have on quality of life, I happen to prefer contraceptives and sterilization (and abortion when they fail) as population management techniques, all of which are preferred by women when they are available. Too often they are not available. If men suffered from pregnancy, you could obtain these drugs from ATMs on every street corner, and practitioners would be available and affordable.

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 15:47 utc | 79

@Ross | May 10 2023 7:25 utc | 67

Yes of course. I have no idea why the parenthesis contains "and animals". It is a legacy from a hapless editor. Unfortunately he has died, so I cannot ask him why he did this or order him shot ;-) I have however corrected it in the proofs:-) Thank-you for the alert.

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 15:59 utc | 80

This hellhole carried out a genocide campaign against Bangladesh for wanting to be free from it's exploitation. Well karma is a b....

Posted by: A.z | May 10 2023 16:38 utc | 81

@debisdead and @pacifica
Ur country is a basketcase whoring itself to the highest bidder every other day. U breed like there r two planet earth, ur military is a parasite that has never won anything. Ur debt has reached astronomical proportion that u cannot pay, u betrayed the taliban and now taliban is paying u back with interest, and u call bangladesh corrupt. Ur entire system is rotten and corrupt. As soon as bangladesh got rid of the parasitic Pakistany entity it started it's slow march towards progress and it's economy is far better of than Pakistan with better far better gdp per capita usd2600 somethingto usd1600 something (according to world bank) and has done better wit regards to human development index.
Bangladesh is a corrupt kleptrocracy but it is going towards something better whereas ur country is going towards oblivion.

Posted by: A.z | May 10 2023 17:39 utc | 82

@Antonym. #62:

You are making sense these days :-). Yesiree, America's early support of Pakistan way back when the nation was formed was pure divide and conquer per the British book of statecraft. It drove India to the USSR.

I don't know if you are Gringo or Briton, but I'm sure as hell you ain't Hindu :-)

@Debsisdead | May 10 2023 5:04 utc | 57:

...bent as a two bob watch....

Buwahahahahaha!!!! You're right about Nehru there.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 10 2023 18:18 utc | 83

@Hermit | May 10 2023 14:53 utc | 77

The EU in 2021 imported agricultural products for €150 billion, and exported agricultural products for €197 billion: a positive balance of €47 billion. The EU import so much agricultural products, because it is an industrial powerhouse, so it imports raw food and exports processed food. For example, Italy imports huge quantities of grains and than exports huge quantities of pasta. That said, the world is not Europe, so its carrying capacity is not that of Europe.


@Hermit | May 10 2023 15:21 utc | 78

Rather than the "gifts" you assert, as Desmond Tutu put it, "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."

I never talked about gifts, but about historical dynamics. It is matter of fact that the African population growth is driven by external factors, and so it is out of control, while the population growth of Europe in the XIX and XX centuries was driven by internal factors, and so always under control.
When missionaries went to Africa, Africans were living in cow dung huts. The so called "theft of resources" is a bit more complicated question than that, and it is actually a cultural shock, like the European expansion in the Central and Southern America. When those missionaries got to Africa it was a reckoning with history for Africans: dugout canoe versus three-masted ships, cow dung huts versus bricks and mortar churches, cattle/wives/glass beads versus paper money. History is not woke, it does not care about feelings.

Posted by: SG | May 10 2023 18:24 utc | 84

@Deplorable Commissar | May 10 2023 8:04 utc | 69

Thats a confusing response and I still dont see an answer to my initial questions.

If your "initial questions" were: Deplorable Commissar | May 9 2023 20:14 utc | 26

Since we're talking about a population explosion, lets not ignore the obvious culprit: Africa, which is breeding at an rapid pace. Why are indigenous Whites constantly brow beaten about the " evils " of having children when the real population dangers lie in Africa's collective unrestrained copulation ?

"Africa’s urban population is expected to nearly triple by 2050, to 1.34 billion. Coupled with a high rate of urban primacy in African countries (whereby one city is multiple times bigger than the next nearest) and the high number of mega cities, enormous stress is going to be placed on the physical, political, economic and societal infrastructure in these places. "

I saw these as racist questions based on a multiplicity of misunderstandings. My reply attempted to address your erroneous preconceptions. I'm sorry you could not understand it.

In my view, Africa is not an"obvious" problem, total population is. Africa, with a population of 1,431,769,749 comprises only 18% or so of humanity, despite being one of the larger continents, which is in line with its geographic area, but not its current carrying capacity, which is reducing due to impacts total population has had on the world. The reality is that nobody, irrespective of ethnicity or melanin levels, is being told that we are on the path to near term extinction because of a human population greatly exceeding carrying capacity which is destroying the ecosphere's ability to sustain extant life forms. Copulation, whether or not it is restrained, is not a problem. Children are. This is not a problem for a single group or place, but for Earth and the humans living on it, all of whom share and are dependent on the same ecosystem. If you guarantee everyone on earth a better than basic income, paid by the minute into their account, and make housing, water, food, education, health-care and family-planning accessible to everyone, licensing them for the most dangerous activity on earth, reproduction, for no more than half-a-surviving child per person, we can solve the problem in under 200 years. Which would be a good idea, because at the current rate the oceans will be boiling before then, which would not be good for many extant life forms.

"If the situation is as dire as you state, food and phosphors producing nations would be stockpiling those resources like mad men for their own populations only, Yet, Russia is supplying Africa for free. This obviously is facilitating population growth on the continent which is experiencing, and is projected to have, the greatest increase in people."

Stockpiling is not a solution. No matter how high your pile is, you will eventually burn through it. Worse than that, if others are deprived of the necessities of life they will fight for them. And as Rand Corp modeled and advised the US government in the 1970s this will destroy resources faster than unsustainable populations alone. Unfortunately their best idea was a war of depopulation when we noticed limits to growth due to restraints on resources. Which may now be happening. Unfortunately, we now know this will result in human extinction. See my Wars of Depopulation. What is needed is to switch to sustainable farming, closing the nutrient loop, and to reduce the population to the sustainable.

Concurrently, Western nations who have collapsing populations, are constantly told to have less or no children, while at the same time also being told that they wont have enough people in the future and to flood their countries with migrants from nations that have exploding populations.

It is no surprise that regions with very high population densities are reducing their populations. We all need to do this in order for any of us to survive. In parallel, automation, robotics and AI are reducing the population needed to "work" in order to sustain and increase production. Which is what allows us to reduce populations over time by reducing breeding, while increasing wealth and standards of living for every-one.

Is this really a hard choice?

On the one hand a plethora of troubles and "global catastrophe" (I don't say "impending" because we are already well into the anthropic extinction event) and on the other everyone is happy, wealthy and can do whatever they like as long as they do not injure others which also means responsible breeding. After all, those others include the future population as long as we don't go extinct first, and the future population always has the potential to outnumber the present population. So managing our breeding is a perfect application of the Platinum Rule, doing the greatest good for the largest number by treating people as they wish to be treated. Even if current systems do not give them a voice.

If you don't feel that I have answered all your "questions", please list the ones that still need to be addressed, and I will try to help.

Posted by: Hermit | May 10 2023 18:40 utc | 85

@ me 42

Has there been a hoover up on this thread?
I just want to apologise for my bad habit of posting quickly without checking the errors created by spellchecker. Mea culpa.
In Islam we stand on the shoulders of giants like Usama bin Laden, who tried to clean up the gargantuan errors that have been introduced into our religion , by USUKIS. It's the IS bit that corrupted the message of Jesus pbuh into veneration of Jesus and Mary peace be upon them both. IS is the neanderthal Anglos saxons' guide to how to corrupt the purity of faith in God. USUK totally misrepresented Bin Laden's project for cleaning up Wrong Ideas in Islam by blaming him for their own inside job 9/11.

Not only do criminals gaslight their victims, they also actively pervert faith.
When I came into Islam 25 years ago I was told NOT to read the Qur'an as I was unable to interpret it correctly. The Christians played that game for 1400 years , until the Bible became available in translations.

USUKIS took the idea of takfir, cancelling the Muslims who followed errors from culture, and created a Zionist army called ISIS, dedicated to persecuting Muslims in the disguise of correcting faith.

The humungous creation of Ukrainian Nazism by Soros out of the remnants of the Bandera Nazis / Nationalism is living proof of the level of deception and evil the IS part of USUKIS is capable of. The current Ukraine thread touches on this, that not only is the Russian SMO turning the tide against the evil of the Dollar, but also turning the tide against the whole spiritual malignancy of the West.

Posted by: Giyane | May 10 2023 23:32 utc | 86

@barstool | May 10 2023 5:56 utc | 64

Economics does not address resources or energy, and is based on the mistaken theory that humans are rational rather than, as neuroscience informs us, emotional and rationalizing. These are fatal flaws, yet most schools of economics remain in denial. This is why David Attenborough said, "We have a finite environment—the planet. Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist." There are other even more fundamental issues with economics, not least the inversion of value and scarcity (See e.g. my Economics Rebooted (explaining problems), Evaluistic Economic Goodness (suggesting a solution) and Evaluism (on which they both are based).

Nevertheless, I tend to agree with you in principle, but as usual, the devil is in the details and the details here are very challenging.

We do not face a single "end-of-life-as-we-know-it scenario" and as risk-managers (even those of us quants who have studied economics for our sins) realize, risks are not additive but multiplicative. Many (but by no means all) of the growing list of risks we currently know about are a consequence of a population grossly exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet, and solutions tend not only to be fiendishly complex to resolve but often horribly interrelated. For example, quality research and prototyping unrelated to war efforts are not typically carried during civilizational collapse. Which is undoubtedly what we are facing, even in the absence of thermonuclear war or other catastrophic disasters (Refer my Why Civil Disturbance (and other catastrophes) might cause Civil Collapse and the Death of 95% of Americans.

Let's take your example of phosphorus. Phosphorus is a very rare element on earth, making up some 0.1% of the earth's crust.

Phosphorus is not common anywhere in the Univere. All the Phosphorus we know of is produced in supernovae as a byproduct of supernova nucleosynthesis.

Our solar system did not contain much phosphorus, so the Earth only received a tiny percentage of phosphorus in the form of comets and meteors impacting the planet after the formation of Sol's accretionary disk.

Phosphorus is water soluble. So what we received mainly ended up in the waters of Earth.

Over hundreds of millions of years, aquatic plants concentrated phosphorus to support growth, and this was consumed by aquatic animals who, after birds evolved, were eaten by birds and deposited on ground where they defecated, slowly building mountains of guano, which eventually became our phosphate reserves, some of it in fossilized form. This was used as fertilizer between the 1700s and late 1930s. As phosphorus leaches from concentrations in fertilized fields, it returned to the waters of the Earth, resulting in an 0.06% concentration in sea water by 1900. We burned through most of this resource before WW II, and now extract practically all phosphorus from rock.

This also originated in the waters of earth, where some phosphorus combined with other elements to form minerals, particularly Iron, Aluminum and Calcium and especially in the presence of clays (fine particulate matter) containing these elements, ultimately resulting in some high phosphate rocks (primary phosphorus minerals including e.g. apatite, strengite, and variscite and secondary phosphorus minerals including calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and aluminum (Al) phosphates. The release of phosphorus from this pool is extremely slow and occurs when the minerals weather and dissolve in soil water. Rocks where it is worth extracting phosphates typically have concentrations exceeding 3.7% (by mass). Such inorganic phosphates in the soil tend to be net sinks in the short-and medium term and buffers and sources in the long term.

While the level in plants is low, around 0.2% of a plant's dry weight, where it is primarily a component of tissue molecules such as nucleic acids, phospholipids, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), plants require higher levels of phosphate in the soil as most phosphorus in the soil is not available to plants (80%), the uptake mechanisms are not very efficient and about 80% of applied phosphorus to prevent soil exhaustion is lost to leaching.

We discovered the importance of phosphorus in the seventeenth century, and its importance to agriculture in the eighteenth century at the very beginning of industrial agriculture, and have been collecting it from increasingly more challenging (and hence expensive) sources since then. We have to apply it to the land at 10 times the rate needed in plants to ensure sufficient phosphorus for growth. We used some 46.4 million metric tons in 2019 and this amount rises by about 3 million tonnes per year, being well correlated to cereal production and population. Realistically, we can expect to reach peak-phosphorus bearing rock by 2030, and see increasingly disruptive shortages and soaring prices after that, with limits being reached within 30 to 70 years (Refer e.g. Lewis, Leo (2008-06-23). Scientists warn of lack of vital phosphorus as biofuels raise demand. The Times. (available by prepending before the preceding link [Hermit: Clumsy kludge to bypass TypePad craziness]). Most of this will leach into precipitation and irrigation water and eventually end up back in the waters of the world. This process has already resulted in average marine concentrations rising from 0.06% in 1900 to 0.07% today as proved reserves are depleted.

The crust contains an average of one gram per kilogram, 1 in a 1000. As it would be highly energy intensive and disruptive of soil structures, it would not be economically or resource viable to extract phosphorus from such sources. It is much easier to recover it from waste water (as e.g. struvite a problematic mineral for sewers, though it would be much easier if we separated fecal materials, urine and waste water at source), but this would only result in a small percentage of the phosphate applied to land. A far better approach would be to move all farming indoors and use hydro-, aqua- or, aero-ponics to recycle nutrients until recapturing them biologically for reuse. We need to do this anyway, but trying to do it for the current population is not viable. And that is the core of the problem. All of the possible solutions (and many more, particularly membrane based) are possible, but anything that requires the separation of small concentrations of solute from mixed solvents are going to be relatively expensive, which will raise costs above what most of the world can currently pay. And when some people are dying of hunger, and others are not, you will have wars of depopulation, and we will be extinct anyway.

PS In the future, if we have one, we are going to build fact breeder reactors to dispose of nuclear waste and produce Helium. It is unlikely that we can form phosphorus through decay as none of the precursors are particularly prevalent (K->Ar. Ar->S|Cl. S|Cl->P and for completeness P->Si). Maybe fusion, but despite 70 years of fusion being "just around the corner", I don't recommend gambling extinction against having functioning and affordable fusion synthesis within the next decade or two.

Posted by: Hermit | May 11 2023 1:39 utc | 87

May 10th: Army deployed in Islamabad, Punjab, KP to restore their law and order

Army personal is split up in loyalties between Imran Khan and the old Establishment, and so is the population.
Never happened in India and will never happen. China? not so sure.

Posted by: Antonym | May 11 2023 2:37 utc | 88

SG | May 10 2023 18:24 utc | 84

The EU import so much agricultural products, because it is an industrial powerhouse

Wrong again. The EU imports maize, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds and rapeseed which would be used for food in the global South to convert into or to add to fuel and to feed to cattle (70% of their imports).

I never talked about gifts, but about historical dynamics.

You kept asserting what Africa had been "given" while ignoring the rapacious looting and enslavement by the West. A process which has not ended. What is "given" is a "gift".

"The fact is that the improvement of living standards in Africa is totally exogenous: they were given medicine, they were given electricity, they were given cheap goods from Chinese factories. African societies are still pre-industrial in structure and, as such, unsuited for sustained growth in an industrial, let alone post-industrial, world." [SG | May 10 2023 11:08 utc | 72]

Maybe it is your memory, and, or, your comprehension of written English that is abysmal, resulting in your incredibly bigoted spewing of what can only be called, in polite society, tendentious bullcrap, which I had previously thought was not so much your fault of as that your primitive schooling and lack of any corrective education. Thank-you for clearing that up.

"It is matter of fact that the African population growth is driven by external factors, and so it is out of control, while the population growth of Europe in the XIX and XX centuries was driven by internal factors, and so always under control."

More tendentious bullcrap. The world population increased from 600 million in 1600 to 1 billion in 1804. It doubled again to 2 billion by 1927. And again to 4 billion in 1974. It doubled again to 8 billion in 2022. Exponential growth. Meanwhile, Africa's growth from 1500 62,000 took until 1900 to a little more than double to 140,000, Had still not doubled again by 1950 when it had a population of just 223,000, and only increased to 819,000 in 2,000. Still under a billion people. Apparently it is not the Africans reproducing like a bacteria in a petri dish, despite your bigoted beliefs.

"When missionaries went to Africa, Africans were living in cow dung huts."

You did not consider that "dung" mixed with clay, might be a great use of resources in cattle owning cultures. Using cellulose (which people cannot digest), and clay which is ubiquitous in many parts of Africa, to form strong and tough fire-proof structures employing complex curvature to resist earthquakes. Americans living in rectangular firetraps constructed of matchsticks and soggy cardboard should be so lucky. Would it break your heart to learn that until the late 1800's a majority of Europeans and Americans lived in mud huts (but less sophisticated and not so long lasting). Maybe they also had reasons.
History is not woke, it does not care about feelings.

I think that the existence of the Kingdom of Mali, Masa Musa, and sophisticated trans-African and circum-African trade networks upend your cultural bigotry showing them to be, oh yes, the lie direct.As does the fact that the West destroyed its cultural heritage, including most of its medical and pharmaceutical knowledge, and had to get snatches of it, often garbled, from the great Islamic states. Science had to wait for religiots to stop burning burning books and people it disagreed with, and evade the ridiculous verbosity of philosophers before it could get going. In most of the world, if you sought to study, you had to pretend to be religious and be careful of what you said until at least the mid nineteenth century. That was because religiots ran the universities. So religiots cannot claim any part in what people did before then, because whether or not they were religiots, they had to pretend to be ones in order to do what they did. For example, we know that while Newton was not at all a nice person, and, probably not unrelated, a religiot, he rejected christinanity and the deity of the so-called "christ", but had he done so publicly he would have lost his positions, his income and quite likely his life.

The idea of Westerners as preservers of knowledge is ludicrous. They spent most of the time from their murky origins reusing (linen was usually reused for bandages), burning or throwing away (e.g. the library of the monastery of Oxyrhynchus) competing and obsolete documents (for example, when the Vulgate became the authorized bible in the early twelfth century), and scraping parchments clean in order to scribble their ridiculous works on them. When the West invaded Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia), they looted and destroyed the vast libraries of hundreds of thousands of books, including that of Al-Hakam II, the Caliph of Cordoba whose library contained at least 400,000 books, the catalogue of which ran to forty-four volumes at the time of Al-Haim II (961-976). In the 10th century there were at least seventy public libraries holding millions of volumes in Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Malaga, and Granada as well as in mosques and private houses (Harris, M. H. (1999). History of libraries in the western world. Lanham: The scarecrow Press. p 81) which were largely destroyed or scattered to the winds by christers. By comparison, contemporaneous christers were proud of the few hundred volumes, mainly religious, held by some of their centers. For example, we know that the Benedictine House of S. Riquier in Abbeville held 250 volumes on divinity, grammar, history, geography, sermons, and service-books in 831 CE, and that they valued western books more as booty for their gilded appearance than as works of literature (De Hamel, C (1986). A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, London: Phaidon Press Ltd.).

Maybe study some geography and history before hyperventilating ignorantly on the topic. In any decent graduate course you will learn there are no "truths" in history (or anything else). Only perspectives. Some perspectives comport better with contemporaneous records than others. I cannot imagine which planet's myths and fables you are repeating, but they sound like novels of Barsoom or Gor, and not related to anything that has happened outside of fervid imaginations on Earth.

Posted by: Hermit | May 11 2023 3:30 utc | 89

Posted by: TG | May 9 2023 16:29 utc | 2

The point is that U.S. imperialist plunder has made it so that the Pakistani people cannot even afford to raise enough children to maintain a constant population.

Even in the United States, this pressure has brought a hysterical impulse: Musk blames the average person for not having children, but refuses to bear the cost of doing so

It seems that "personal choice" and "personal responsibility" are only valid when they are shirked for the ruling class. Not when the proletariat chooses not to be vaccinated, to immigrate, to become whistleblowers, or not to have children.

Posted by: Colin | May 11 2023 11:53 utc | 90

bevin | May 9 2023 17:58 utc | 10

Thanks, once again, to bevin for injecting some common sense and logical argument in response to the illogical, and untrue Malthusian BS expounded by so many in the rich west.

I don’t know where one will find rational thinking if somethings happens to this site. An intellectual oasis in a desert of shit (even allowing for the 77 Brigade trolls and their wannabes).

Posted by: Vragtes | May 11 2023 13:38 utc | 91

@Hermit | May 11 2023 3:30 utc | 89

The EU import so much agricultural products, because it is an industrial powerhouse

Wrong again. The EU imports maize, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds and rapeseed which would be used for food in the global South to convert into or to add to fuel and to feed to cattle (70% of their imports).

First, converting agricultural products into fuel or animal feed is industry, so your wannabe rebuttal would be inconsequential even if your numbers were true. However, to add insult to injury, you totally misrepresented the size and scope of European food industry. The five main agricultural imports of the EU are [Eurostat]:

category.................. | € billion
fish.......................... | 26.3
fruits........................ | 21.1
animal&vegetal fats | 19.8
oilseeds.................. | 19.2
coffee & tea............ | 15.0

And, while the EU is a major producer of biodiesel, which is made of rapeseed and sunflower oil (which are part of the oilseeds category in the table), it is a little player in the ethanol industry, which is based on maize. Major ethanol producers in the world[Statista]:

country.. | million gallons
USA....... | 15400
Brazil..... | 7420
EU......... | 1330
India...... | 1090
China..... | 920

Now it is a fact that around half of the biodiesel production in the EU is based on imported cereals and that the EU imports a large share of its animal feed, but that is because imported cereals and seeds are of low quality. In fact, cereals for human consumption, for animal consumption and for producing biofuel are totally different categories of products and they are grown, stored and shipped with different techniques for each such category. So, exactly as I said before, the EU imports lower quality agricultural products (e.g. cereals for animal consumption) to produce higher quality products (e.g. dairy products, meat), which then exports. In a word: industry. But even then, most of the agricultural imports of the EU are not for animal feed, nor for

It is clear that you do not know most of the things you are talking about, and that part that you know about, you do not understand.

As for the rest of your foul-mouthed post, it is just a coalescence of neo-liberal talking points, the things you could hear in a Joe Biden's speech, or from Nancy Pelosi's ghostwriter, or from the disgraceful Ilhan Omar. And that includes your drivel about the agriculture of the EU: those globalists, rapacious financiers, IMF sockpuppets, that would like to see the (rest of the) world feed on insects and experience a great reset, they despise the meat and dairy products and wine and all the good stuff the EU produces. They can all go to Bandera.

Posted by: SG | May 11 2023 20:48 utc | 92

@SG | May 11 2023 20:48 utc | 92

Once again you misrepresent your own words. Your full sentence was "The EU import so much agricultural products, because it is an industrial powerhouse, so it imports raw food and exports processed food. For example, Italy imports huge quantities of grains and than exports huge quantities of pasta."

The value of European imports per tonne is low. Of exports high. This makes Europe, by far, a net importer of food (and land*). As I noted, food sources used for industrial purposes in Europe, as opposed to for food purposes in the RoW, allows Europe to outbid other purchasers, reducing food availability globally.

For a complete rebuttal of your tendentious bullcrap about ethanol production, see Elafany, Karim (2022-01-04). Commodities 2022: European biofuel mandates to structurally shift ethanol demand higher in the year. SP Global. and for actual production data validating the continued rise, refer Aizarani, Jessica (2023-01-31). Fuel ethanol production in the European Union in 2021, with a forecast for 2022, by key country. Statistica. If 6.3 billion litres a year and rising, with a statutory deficit of another half-a-billion litres makes Europe "a little player in the ethanol industry", what is a "big player" other than the US and Brazil which both waste fertilizer and fuel converting it into lower energy into ethanol to subsidize their farmers?

As for the rest, in the total absence of a rebuttal, if you wave your hands any harder, you will take-off.

*See the report Editors (2011-10). Europe’s land import dependency: New research reveals extent of land imports from outside the EU.

Europe’s land import dependency
New research reveals extent of land imports from outside the EU
New research commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe from Sustainable Europe Research Institute shows the scale of flows of ‘virtual land’ around the world – this is all the land that has been used to produce traded products. The European Commission’s ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ has recently called for Europe to measure and manage its global consumption of land [1].
The report calculates the global land footprint due to agriculture and forestry products for all EU countries, and for other countries including the US, Australia, India and Brazil. The findings demonstrates the value of land footprint as an indicator of
resource use and provide evidence of the scale of Europe’s land consumption and its dependency on land from other parts of the world. The research shows that:

- Europe is the continent most dependent on imported land
- Nearly 60% of the land used to meet Europe’s demand for agricultural and forestry products comes from outside the continent.
- Six of the top 10 land importing countries/regions are European – Germany, UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Spain. Germany and the UK each import almost 80 million hectares a year.
The EU average land consumption is 1.3 hectares per capita, while countries such as China and India use less than 0.4 hectares per capita.
- It can be assumed that the EU’s demand for land has increased since 2004 – the year when the most recent data is available. It can also be assumed that it will continue to increase, especially if Europe starts to use more bio-based energy sources such as
biofuels and biomass.
[Hermit: It has]

In fact, if the rest of the world used land outside their regions for agricultural production as the same rate as Europe does, we would need another two Earth on which to farm. Which again rebuts your tendentious bullcrap.

Posted by: Hermit | May 11 2023 22:07 utc | 93

BBC today: Imran Khan: Pakistan's Supreme Court rules arrest was illegal


10 hours ago

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 12 2023 3:15 utc | 94


Good for you for being on topic.


Once again you misrepresent your own words. Your full sentence was "The EU import so much agricultural products, because it is an industrial powerhouse, so it imports raw food and exports processed food. For example, Italy imports huge quantities of grains and than exports huge quantities of pasta."

The value of European imports per tonne is low. Of exports high. This makes Europe, by far, a net importer of food (and land*). As I noted, food sources used for industrial purposes in Europe, as opposed to for food purposes in the RoW, allows Europe to outbid other purchasers, reducing food availability globally.

First, "the value of European imports per tonne is low [...] of exports high" is the very definition of industry as I stated, then restated, then again I restate here. Europe imports raw food to make processed food.

Second, "this makes Europe a net importer of food (and land*)" is exactly what neoliberal greenscammers, like Bill Gates or George Soros, would say and it is false. Such computation is based on the totally false assumption that agricultural products for human feed, for animal feed and for other industrial uses are one and the same product, which is totally false, as I already wrote.
They look at the quantity of, say, imported maize, then compute the average amount of land, water, pesticides etc. used for the production of such quantity of maize and finally they say the EU consumes those resources to feed cattle or make ethanol. FALSE. Maize for human consumption requires much more care and resources than (much cheaper) maize for animal feed, which in turn requires more resources than (even cheaper) non-edible maize.

Third, "as I noted, food sources used for industrial purposes in Europe, as opposed to for food purposes in the RoW, allows Europe to outbid other purchasers, reducing food availability globally" is not true, since Europe is both a huge net exporter of agricultural products and an importer of low quality, unsuited for human consumption, agricultural products.

Babbling... babbling... ethanol... more babbling

The EU represents the 4% of the world production, down from 5% in the mid 2010s.

See the report Editors (2011-10). Europe’s land import dependency: New research reveals extent of land imports from outside the EU.

Which is both completely outdated, since the U.K., a huge net importer of agricultural products, left the EU, and out the point, since it includes forestry. Yes, the EU, being an industrial powerhouse, see above, imports huge quantites of wood to make furniture and for many other industrial purposes. Have you seen Putin's big table for big talks? That was made in Italy.

But then again the flaw is the fact that the EU is a big exporter and, as such it imports a lot of raw materials.

As for the rest, in the total absence of a rebuttal, if you wave your hands any harder, you will take-off

Are you talking about the plot of Wakanda Forever? Never watched that film.

Posted by: SG | May 12 2023 10:25 utc | 95

It’s quite comical how you and many others have fallen for the IK psy op. I would simply point out that IK was groomed by the goldsmiths in the U.K…he and his party are funded by Zionist and Indian groups. And that during his 3.5 yrs reign as PM…CPEC and all investment projects with China came to a standstill….hmmmm finally its interesting to see how the US is active in their efforts to facilitate the return of IK to power incl IMF doing its best to sabotage all loan processes and increasing the burden of its demands on the poorer class …so as to create more chaos and misery amongst the people and thus foment a revolt agst the current government. The same Khan who claimed to have been toppled by the US has hired 4 US lobby groups to court favour…the same khan is bankrolled by the real estate mafia of the country ….

Posted by: Aamer | May 13 2023 0:29 utc | 96

And for those saying that the SC is upholding the law etc and ruling agst the government because the government is acting illegally …keep in mind the numerous leaked audios showing the corruption and judicial activism of the 3 man bench of the SC. The same 3 judges who have ruled on all political decisions for the past 12 years ignoring a larger bench and the most senior judges on the SC . What you have currently is a judiciary acoup d’etats . And fyi no Muslim country has expressed regret that IK is not in power …nor has China or even Russia. Curiously, the only countries anxious about IK’s demise is the US ….and now India. Hmmmmmmm

Posted by: Aamer | May 13 2023 0:35 utc | 97

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