Murray Grimwood, aka interest.co.nz commenter Power Down Kiwi, pleads with the NZ media to ask the big questions in a changing world with finite resources & a burgeoning population

Murray Grimwood, aka interest.co.nz commenter Power Down Kiwi, pleads with the NZ media to ask the big questions in a changing world with finite resources & a burgeoning population
Photo: Harcourts.

By Murray Grimwood

I have long regarded Kim Hill as our foremost journalist. After her recent interview of Nigel Farage, however, I’m inclined to reallocate the accolade to Colin James. That private ranking-change can be traced to a change in the public discourse, coming journalism's way ready or not. Let’s look at journalism first, then at the breaking wave.

What is Journalism?

 If someone states that the sky is purple and it’s raining carrots, the comment can either be regurgitated unchallenged, or checked for factual accuracy and presented – with reasoning - as inaccurate. In my view the former is reporting, the latter is journalism. The implied difference is ‘investigation’. Factual accuracy has another definition: Truth, as nearly ascertained as possible. Hugo de Burgh (via Wikipedia) states that: ‘An investigative journalist is a man or woman whose profession is to discover the truth and to identify lapses in it’. There should be no other kind.

Truth, of course, is relative to scope. The Titanic Times will serve us as an example: The iceberg has been hit, the bow is lowering, but your report covers the new captain planning to appropriate coinage from first-class pockets, for redistribution amongst steerage children. This is certainly true in a reporting sense; the plan exists. But in a journalistic sense? Given the overriding paradigm (the pending sinking, the lack of lifeboats and the survival chances of steerage children) can it claim to be a ‘truth’? Does it even meet the threshold of ‘balanced’? I’d argue an emphatic ‘No’ to both. Scoping has one rule – the bigger the better. The wider the perspective, the less the chance of reduction to ‘reporter’ status; the less the chance of being wrong.

The paddock analogy

To paint the biggest picture of our societal impasse in as few words as possible (and to avoid convolution via assumptions/beliefs – more on these later) here’s a simple analogy: think of the planet as a paddock. As with all paddocks, it has a maximum sustainable stocking-rate. More accurately, it has a maximum draw-down rate, because on a given acreage you can stock more sheep than cows and even more chickens than sheep; draw-down is the more valid measure. Go beyond that draw-down rate and your paddock degrades, the result being an ever-lower stocking-rate. Reduce it to a dust-bowl and the stocking-rate approaches nil.

If you took over the paddock after it had lain fallow, you could have temporarily stocked it beyond the long-term carrying-capacity. Temporarily, because you would be drawing-down the stored sunlight of prior seasons, manifest as longer grass, better nutrient, higher water-table and deeper topsoil. Biologists have a term for this temporary overstocking: Overshoot. 

The most succinct summation I’ve ever heard, regarding humankind/the planetary paddock/draw-down, was from Professor Ellen Moseley-Thompson. In reply to the question: “How many people can the planet support long-term?” she replied: “That’s not the question. You tell me the level of consumption at which you want to live, and I’ll tell you how many people the planet can support”.

Educated guesses suggest maybe two billion at peasant level, maybe as few as one billion at our current rate of consumption – whatever the true level we are indisputably over-drawing, a problem that will not be solved by continued ignorance. In sunlit paddock terms, the planet was full to skirmish-point by 1800. Europeans – in draw-down mode even then – annexed the remaining acreage, which they saw as empty but which the indigenous locals saw as full. It has been a case of exponential increase in population, grown by exponential increase in paddock draw-down, ever since.

Our cultural narrative has avoided these complementary and overarching truths, with the result that it gets distorted, sometimes to the point of being nonsensical. So too with our media, attempting to communicate within that narrative. ‘Right’ and ‘left’, for example, rather than bookending the whole system, merely delineate a minor difference. (Which cohort will benefit from the draw-down? What does it matter, if neither are sustainable?) And why is a population crisis labelled a housing crisis? (Who else are houses for?) What is a productivity gain? (If not a slide towards slavery or an energy-efficiency?)

Then by way of avoiding the unease-producing fact that others are being divested if their bits of paddock (sometimes by us) we call them communist, terrorist or evil. We blame their malaise on lack of democracy, failure to adopt free-market policies, adoption of the wrong religion/culture – anything but examine ourselves and our embargoes, our price-driving and our divestment-forcing techniques. As a result, we fail to see invasions, retaliations, genocides, and refugee streams for what they are – scraps over dwindling grazing-rights and ever-bigger herds desperately heading for the remaining green pastures.

Some people have been brave (and clear-sighted and truth-seeking) enough to investigate and catalogue both the population/paddock draw-down problem and its potential ramifications. Malthus (much maligned) started the ball rolling: “No man can say that he has seen the largest ear of wheat, or the largest oak that could ever grow; but he might easily, and with perfect certainty, name a point of magnitude at which they would not arrive………..therefore, a careful distinction should be made, between an unlimited progress, and a progress where the limit is merely undefined”. Indeed. Later came Darwin, Hubbert, Meadows et al, Catton, Diamond – we owe them a great deal. This knowledge undeniably exists.

The Hill/Farage interview

The First-World MSM (mainstream media) was generally blindsided by both and Trump and Brexit. Its breathless catch-up has been personality-focused; guaranteed to fail our wide-scoping test. The Kim Hill interview of Nigel Farage, Brexit champion, is an example. We can conjecture as to how much it was influenced by the shortcomings in our false-but-believed narrative.

Farage does not move in my circles, and I would emphatically choose not to move in his. The same goes for two Canadians of recent fame. But Hill did with Farage what we just did to those Canadians and what our chosen narrative has done with Hitler – avoided discussing the potentially guilt-loaded reasons for their risen prominence, by focusing on their persona. We avoided the impossibly-punitive conditions we imposed on Weimar Germany – sequel to the WW1 fight over paddock-access and precursor to the re-match. The question was not who Hitler? The question was why Hitler? Hill did not address the resentment rising through the ex-working-class, rapidly making inroads into the middle. The real question is not who Farage? The question is why Farage? Journalism can never go far wrong asking ‘why’?

Throughout the interview, he quietly put that information in front of her but she stepped over it, increasingly swinging for the head. It’s a fascinating exchange, well worth the re-listen. And the unasked ‘why’? The disenfranchised people of this planet – the Third World and (bottom-up) an increasing cohort of the First – are getting more resentful, more desperate. They need to graze. They see the incumbent leadership as being at fault (correctly in many cases – Monroe Doctrine, Glass-Steagall Act repeal, neo-liberal policies/plundered commons, self-serving rules) and have grabbed the chance to vote with one finger raised. To them, Hillary Clinton represents the arrogant elite rather than a chance to advance the equality of the female sex. They want what they had, but what they had was had due to draw-down – that temporarily-overshot arrangement. It can’t re-happen, which means that journalists who assume it can, risk distancing themselves from the truth.

In a delicious irony, still-employed journalism doesn’t seem to ‘get’ this exponentially-rising desperation, while those who experience it through redundancy have lost their voices….

Even if Hill had got to scoping the malaise, she still had to address the why of the why? And there, we’re back to the Titanic sinking. The big-picture. Overshoot and stocking-rates, eventualities and mitigations. It opens up a Pandora’s Box - can Britain survive, food and energy-wise, with a compromised Chunnel? Can America arrest her infrastructure decay, given its age, its extent and its type? Can China grow further? Can technology help increase the permanent carrying-capacity? At what consumption-level? How do we achieve, as peaceably as possible, that inevitably-reduced stocking-rate? Is our valuation-system (money, GDP) still a valid measure? What will happen to our increasingly-irredeemable forward bets? How do we achieve a steady-state economy? What will happen to/with the refugee-streams? Is the UN prediction of 60 remaining harvests correct? Can renewable energy get anywhere near replacing the compact usefulness of fossilised sunlight (oil, coal, gas)? Can we transition in time? Are global and local targets/goals/aspirations adequate, in light of the above? Is war inevitable? And ultimately: How can we hand on the farm in a way our children’s children will thank us for? All important questions.

Money – the ultimate avoidance

Our societal narrative is all about money. Money is spun into existence as debt, at a keystroke. Someone has to ‘repay’ that debt, by doing something in the future. In paddock terms, that is betting on next season’s grass. Interest-charging, investment expectations and (arguably) profit, are bets on there being even more grass tomorrow than today. If the price of increasingly-scarce grass goes up, but the bets are borrowed against the assumption that there’ll be ever-more grass, what are the betting-chips ‘worth’? They can, after all, only be cashed-in for future grass. Yet endless financial growth is our Holy Grail, it’s priests faithfully believed. Go figure.

Why does journalism give such a good impression of dogged avoidance?

Possible reasons include fear, denial, belief, conditioning, vested -interest and, commercial pressure and –  less likely – cranial incapacity. Commercial pressure (advertising support, circulation) will always be at loggerheads with disproof of growth-potential – a permanent problem for truth-seeking journalism from here on. But belief is perhaps the biggest is impediment to dispassionate investigation. We need look no further that the once-predominant European belief (Christianity) to see the ructions every time an advancement in truth-investigation (Galileo, Lyell, Darwin, Einstein) invalidates dogma. The current dogma is endless growth on a finite planet – it was only a matter of time…….

Through a glass, darkly….

As an example of a truth-investigating journalist frustrated by his dogma-steeped, belief-clinging, small-scoping contemporaries, Douglas Reed’s ‘Insanity Fair’ (Jonathan Cape, 1938) should be compulsory reading for budding scribes.

In terms of New Zealanders and the paddock problem, Sir Edmund Hillary edited ‘Ecology 2000’ in 1984 and Jeanette Fitzsimmons hatched ‘The Economy of Enough’ in 2013. Internationally, Meadows et al, Catton, Diamond, Tainter, Heinberg, Kunstler and Emmott are all accessible. The writing is on the wall for those who bother/choose to become informed.

Two recent NZ books highlight both the problem, and the problems we encounter trying to scope the problem. To date, the Colin James offering is the best (Unquiet Time/Fraser books; the other is The Big Questions/Penguin, comparison is well worthwhile). That book is the reason James tops my ratings, it would put him there even without his back story. A coherent, full-scope questioning of everything, it should be compulsory reading for politicians and academics as well as journalists. It has set the bar, while acknowledging that it needs to go higher. We owe him.

And when someone like Hill interviews someone like Farage, we need to keep the paddock permanently in mind. We need, for instance, to compare the present containment/repression of six million Palestinians, with conditions in the Warsaw ghetto – and to do so without prejudice aforethought. Pasture access is the common denominator. Pasture access is the theme for our new narrative, indeed if we’d been keeping an honest diary, it always was. Plenty of journalistic scope there, plenty for everybody. Do us a favour though, eh? Ask the big questions, write something our grandchildren will want to read, and stamp the current issue ‘Withdrawn’.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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15
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tl;dr version - there are too many people on the planet and no-one is talking about it. Please start.

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Indeed. News in NZ focuses on videos. Analysis notable by absence. WHY not given space or time. 15 mins a night for "sport" - i.e. mindless rugby and its advertising boards backdrop for beer etc. Depth is a concept foreign to journalists. Pilger type is long gone. PC comment, reiteration, folksy dog stories, smiley weather girls, 7 Sharp (ha...) etc. Q &A now demoted to evening slot on Sunday. Parliament debates edited to insult slots. Politicians arguing over 20 or 25% debt as corralling of democratic policy choices.

Add in the showing of cute/funny youtube videos at the end of the news. Do they still do that? I've stopped watching.

The problem is that humans are just another species in a natural world. And the fear (natural instinct, selfish gene, call it what you want) is that if any population were to step back from consuming the paddock, then the resources they forsake will just be grabbed by another population.

Agree. We’re human. Much of the discussion on this site revolves around allocation of resources and more particularly their derivative, price. Few appear to be saying that we should all cut our resource use and then act accordingly e.g. virtue signalling about oil and gas exploration while continuing to consume those products. As an aside, while we have Politicians reproducing far above replacement e.g. English, Fox and Davidson have 21 children in total. I can’t see the political debate shifting to population control any time soon.

Fewer and fewer people have large families. My parents had 10 and 8 siblings, I had 3, my kids have one and they are in a similar position now with their own families. If women have control of their fertility and their lives, they have fewer kids, have them much later or don't have them at all, in that case, there is actually room for the odd larger family.
I am one of the loudest proponents of us reducing our numbers but I would like to see that we do it in an intelligent fashion.
Yes it will be difficult to get politicians to get on board and like many things it will take a large number of the populace insisting that it does get considered before they do, nothing new in that.

Oh and it will take clever thinking and much co-operation for it to happen without more bloodshed

I think what you are describing is sensible western cultured people taking common sense steps to reduce their own overshoot. However the big but....[ Enough. That is blatant racism. This is New Zealand and that sort of comment will not be tolerated on interest.co.nz. Final warning. Ed ]

We have not purposely done that, all we have done is allow women the freedom of choice, it was not to reduce population, far from it, if it was, we would be celebrating it instead of importing people to maintain the illusion of growth, so we are not that smart, after all. In fact we are seeing the rise of conservatism and a retreat from women's rights (see the US and abortion laws, see Lauren Southern on that topic) in order that they get back in line and get breeding again. We still seek growth.

Fair point. But would it not be right to say that because western people have enough common sense that once those freedom opens up and in this case women's choice of birth control they picked a sensible choice? I had observed that sensible women plan their birth as well as carefully pick their husband. It is sad that these women are not making more babies or are delaying them because of the many burdens placed on the younger generation.

Until now, as we see more and more people openly eschewing parenthood, no. It has been, by and large, selfish, in the pursuit of money.
The biggest advantage the west has in this being able to occur is secular government, where you don't have religion writing your laws.
The country that has done the best of systematically and purposely reducing its population, is China, though did not do it in an always humane fashion. They could have achieved much the same result with one small change, an old age pension, along with women having control of their bodies, knowing that you aren't going to spend your dotage in penury if you don't have enough kids to support you is a marvelous birth control method.
This is the one big reason I believe pensions are needed. This is why we need to really be thinking about this as under current systems, fewer people coming through makes pensions unaffordable. I believe we can work this out though, and technology will play a part.

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Thanks Power Down Kiwi, an excellent read which will sadly be received by less than 1% of the population. The other 99% are lost in whatever their I-phones and TVNZ feed them as news - it is delivered rather than sought.
Critical thinking is slowly disappearing around the world and in New Zealand the vested interests have far too big a platform for brainwashing the uninformed. Will a 'viable' alternative appear to challenge the drivel of reporting? I think it's very difficult when only 1% of the population actually care to think critically and for many of those 'thinkers.' exposure of the truth would go against their already vested interests.

and more to the point Nic, when your critical thinking goes against someone else's paradigm, they are often offended to the point of resorting to personal disparagement, character defamation and just plain BS noise. To often are people unwilling to discuss rationally a message. The why could likely fill a book.

The 'paddock' analogy is deeply flawed: a 'paddock' is small, easily searched, and resources catalogued. It's a lovely sound-bite.

If one takes the planet as a whole, then it's 85% ocean. We know next to nothing about probably 85% of that: the search for MH370 in the deeps of the Indian Ocean threw up stuff that will have boffins salivating for years.

Not that I disagree with the notion that there is overpopulation in large pockets. But the usual attrititive agents will see to that. The four horsemen are out of retirement, as the various tribalisms seethe against one another and the new Thirty Years' Wars rage afresh.

This is not something to 'talk' about, nor something that elected politicians will ever campaign on. It will play itself out, far offshore, and at least we can fatten up each side and thus have a bob each way.....

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The ocean is large, sure. But it's not stopping fisheries being over-fished or pollution from damaging species' natural environments.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/02/overfishing...

Indeed, 1/2 the global fish stocks have gone since the 1970s. EU ships now fish off the east coast of Africa and fly the fish back. and the UN report is then somewhat ironic,

“We predict that Africa will have to import fish in the future"

"Globally, the percentage of stocks fished at unsustainable levels increased to 33.1 in 2015, from 31.4 in 2013 and 10 in 1974"

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-fisheries-hunger/worlds-fish-c...

Not only are there more people in the world but they are eating more fish,

"World apparent per capita fish consumption has been increasing steadily, from an average of 9.9 kg in the 1960s to 11.5 kg in the 1970s, 12.5 kg in the 1980s, 14.4 kg in the 1990s and reaching 16.4 kg in 2005. "

https://www.greenfacts.org/en/fisheries/l-2/06-fish-consumption.htm

The destruction of the tuna fisheries off the coast of East Africa, via overfishing from other countries, gave rise to piracy by Somalians now denied their way of life, tuna fishing.

That's not entirely true... Fishing is hard and requires patience and effort... Rocking up next to a boat with 12 people brandishing semi-automatic weapons and a bit of aggression is a far easier way to make big money.. Providing the whole team involved are fed up with fishing anyway and don't really give a .....!

"" there is overpopulation in large pockets "". Either it is a single paddock and we will sink to the lowest common level (tragedy of the commons) or split it into independent chunks. Call it nationalism; then some will succeed and some fail - as do farmers who over-stock or under-stock their farms. It looks promising when we see most educated countries with a below replacement birth rate - even Muslim countries like Iran.
There are two problems with that solution: 1. Immigration except for balanced flows 2. Features that cross national boundaries such as rivers being polluted or damned (ref China/Tibet and most of the remainder of mainland Asia) and carbon emissions - if the Antartic melts all coastlines are threatened.
Despite these serious problems it does give grounds for hope just so long as we don't fall for unthinking globalisation.

No it is spot on, but given your previous libertarian leaning posts I am not surprised you go into denial. So you think the planet has not been searched and catalogued? I recall a (not so funny) discussion of some oil geologists working for different companies wondering where to go look for oil next. It came out as "I might go look there", the reply, "I did that in 1986". This continued for some time and at the end of the discussion they concluded they had surveyed the world (for oil) about 4 times.

Then yet more evidence just look at the various mining industries output per tonne of rock mined it has steadily declined for decades. We can look at copper, gold as 2 big indicators. Of course then the price rises to the point no one can pay for the finished product which is the second kicker, ie there may well be something left just we cannot afford the price (energy) to extract it

Offshore? watching all the rich banksters busily buying lifestyle blocks as bolt holes in NZ I have to wonder the term for you to think on is "swamped lifeboat" and that takes us back to PDKs Titanic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic_Lifeboat_No._1

"over-population in large pockets" was Syria over-populated?

Well I hope that you are not expecting to get much from the ocean floor. Apart from continental crust fringing the continents (which is shallower and much of it has probably been drilled prospected by now), almost all ocean floor is oceanic crust which is basaltic, much like the lava that comes up in Hawaiian volcanoes. Maybe some minerals in there but no organic resource like oil, coal, gas or phosphate if that's what your thinking. You're clutching at straws.

The stuff that is not already overpopulated by us is probably occupied by other species who have just as much a claim on the earth as us.
And oh, if you put a ruddy great fence around each overpopulated area and said, "here, feed yourselves" , they'd soon starve. That analogy holds
The stirrings around the world are more than likely about our population, but are couched in other things, religion, racism etc.
We are part of the world, we cannot pretend we are not.

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I would just like to say thank you to David Chaston for running this piece by Murray. I can't imagine many other business/economy/finance forums would be willing to do so. I don't know David's views on this subject - whether he is sceptical or whether he accepts there is some truth in it - but a number of commenters on here who are very savvy about economics and finance clearly share Murray's views.

Wow,one of the best pieces I have seen in this forum. I listened to the Hill/Farage interview and was deeply frustrated by her ad hominem approach. He is a detestable individual,but just why does he have any voice? that is what we need to try to understand.

The likes of Farage will continue to arise out of this issue unless we are prepared to face it square on and work out how we fix it. His path leads to war. We are intelligent enough not to go down it..........I hope.

I hate to say it but everything is actually all about what was described in the 1930's as 'lebensraum' - Murray has it already on 60 acres of sustainable lifestyle, safety , peace, food and comfort for his family... There are billions who don't, and in the first world there are hundreds of millions who are locked out of it now, either through debt or rent, having geared up for 30 years for an apartment that is not suitable to grow a family in as others can or through an understanding that immigration has reduced the spaces for families to live and replicate what the previous generation (their parents) had and were able to do comfortably on one income from their mid 20's .... was it the banks, individual greed, overpopulation, lack of building, flooding countries with younger labour to prop up the dependency ratio (the spike in NZ's immigration and the last 5-6 years of mass immigration has occurred just as the baby boomers hit retirement) is it the fact that people are living longer? Are relationships breaking down more frequently because of financial stress caused by the previous leading to the formation of more households... It wasn't one of these factors,,,,it was all of them... The UK hasn't built enough houses since the 1970's to keep up with population growth.. NZ probably 15 years but the populous are sensible enough to question the quality of the future for the next generation and challenge the vested interests to change policy, that's why we witnessed the vote we did at the last election.... Murray is bang on in his commentary, but an understanding of 'why' only comes when you haven't lived on a farm in 'paradise'.. but spent time in the trenches with the struggling masses. With friends in their 40's earning very good money but still locked out of UK housing ownership you understand a little more about the 'why' Farage happended.... Add 4,000,000 people to the UK in 10 years (open borders and Europeans went where there was a life and some work, so no one can blame individuals for taking that course of action when youth unemployment was in the 20%'s in many European countries, but without the increase in facilities in the UK right down to parking spaces,, life became more stressed.... eg.schools (22 secondary schools built over the same 10 year period) , roading, hospitals (Closures rather than additions) and you get the picture of 'why'..... That is not to detract from the quality of Murray's post, but it should offer a thought to NZ's ability to cope with large changes in population numbers too quickly.

Why is Farage detestable?

Because he makes about us 'uns and them 'uns, it isn't, it is about all of us. And if you asked him, I would just about stake my life on it, that he would say he was not about general population reduction.

Because PocketAces is fairly far left.. Like most far left-wing people they tend to lose perspective about where they are in the grand scheme of things (ie, mainstream conservatives like Farage will lead to war).

If the price of increasingly-scarce grass goes up, but the bets are borrowed against the assumption that there’ll be ever-more grass, what are the betting-chips ‘worth’?

Half-a-dozen competing space elevators, orbital farming and colonisation of the solar system - seems worth a bet to me.

The current dogma is endless growth on a finite planet – it was only a matter of time…….

The current dogma is endless growth in an infinite universe. It is only a matter of space.

There is a fair chance that if we ever reach other livable worlds they will already be being lived in, by others with more of a claim on them than us.
Oh and on your bet, love to know how you plan to collect, unless you plan to live for hundreds maybe thousands of years.

I plan to collect by continuing to value money, which I think will remain valuable.

?

The article is well written, but the news is not new. We've known for a long time now that Earth has been over-populated. The chemicals keeping the food chain going story was almost 30 years ago.
The point today is that planet Earth's population graph reads like an AMP growth graph of my life insurance policy did in 1979, with one difference. The AMP growth graph was fake news, the earth's population graph is scary.
Locked away in our little containers deep in the southern oceans, we can be forgiven for missing the point made above, especially if you live in Wellington's cultural capital and work in broadcasting. They just can't seem to be able see what's right there in front of them. They are too busy trying to create something 'better' except that it's not. And never will be, but you can't tell them that. They don't hear that. They are far too smart & clever to hear your inane excuses for over-population. 'Of course we can get bigger. And better.' They say. 'And we can all live happily ever after!' they add. Except we can't. For some very basic reason described above & more. I personally can't believe we're nearly at 8 billion, I thought 4 or 5 billion was plenty but then, I've been out of date for a while now.

The shadow/eurodollar banking system has funded a lot of the unsustainable growth.
Great article, thanks Murray, have a beer.

http://www.alhambrapartners.com/2018/08/21/eurodollar-university-the-nec...

As an example of a truth-investigating journalist frustrated by his dogma-steeped, belief-clinging, small-scoping contemporaries, Douglas Reed’s ‘Insanity Fair’ (Jonathan Cape, 1938) should be compulsory reading for budding scribes.

Douglas Reed is an example of something, truth is not it.

I was staying out of the conversation, but that comment needs rebuttal.

Note that there is no justification, no reasoning.

Reed lived, moved and worked in Europe though the late 20's and the 30's. The book traverses almost every relevant nation, explains the domino process and warns Britons 'and this, ultimately, means you'. Published in 1938, that's not 'something other than the truth'.

For more reasonable folk, the book is online and is an easy - if thought-provoking - read

Douglas Reed wrote from Berlin in 1938 that Jews were unmolested within Nazi Germany.

Churchill's speeches from the same period are better, much more truthful and directly relevant. Read those instead.

Ah, I see where you are going. I only cited it as frustrated journalism.

But you raise the whole point of the article - why antisemitism? (Which I suspect is alive and well in Gaza). Nobody goes there.

Paddock - it always comes down to paddock. Funny enough, I was thinking of Animal Farm when I chose the heading, and Orwell didn't like Reed. Churchill wasn't always lily-white, either:

https://jodebloggs.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/winston-churchill-and-the-ri...

"The role played by these ‘international and for the most atheistical Jews’ in the Bolshevik revolution was certainly ‘a very great one’, and ‘probably outweighs all others’, claimed Churchill. At a speech in Sunderland on 3 January 1920, he attacked the English socialists who, he said, ‘believe in the international Soviet of Russian and Polish Jews’. Weeks later he would reinforce these views when challenged by his colleague H. A. L. Fisher, reaffirming in a letter that ‘it is my firm belief that the Jews in this country would be well to admit the facts more openly than they do and to rally the support of those forces in Russia which give some prospect of setting up a strong and impartial government’. He had also remarked to Lloyd George around the same time that Jews were ‘the main instigators of the ruin of the Empire’.

Touche

Well said....that 1920 speech by Churchill was made at a time when he was not so beholding to international finance, who he later thoroughly sold out to when made prime minister....the fact that Churchill is held up on a pedestal is a beautiful example of the extent of the false history that the world continually labours under.

The term "truth-investigating" probably is not used for someone who lived in Berlin 1938 and yet missed that. He then went on to furnish such lengths of denial in his latter works, it speaks to him being much less than competent. Teaching young journalists to aspire to that level would be unhelpful.

Churchill is an altogether fairer read and central.

And the paddock analogy is nice, but why the inherent doom and gloom? Make the "paddock" bigger - expanding off planet would be able to sustain higher numbers. We are probably "under-stocked" in the solar system by orders of magnitude.

u-c....sorry, but you are the one that is unaware of the truth of that time, understandably so as the false dogma about this subject is never ending and obscenely false. It would be helpful for all people to take their blinkers off and start to study history in an honest and unbiased fashion, as without taking this step by the majority of peoples, then the world cannot move forward, as you cannot learn from your mistakes if you don't know what they truly are. The Hollywood version,(and the mainstream academic) dogma about Churchill is the antithesis of truth....Churchill was in fact a drunken war criminal that has the blood of millions on his hands,and was the main perpetrator of disregarding the ongoing peace attempts by the Germans to end the war, (started by the British and French)....Unfortunately , our "known" history is a load of bunkem, when looked at from a purely evidence basis.

The Germans made peace with the Czechs in 1938. The Germans made peace with the Soviets in 1939. The Germans made peace with the Danes in 1939. All of these offerings of peace were accepted.

Then the Germans made peace offerings to the British in 1941. And this was rejected by Churchill. Can you figure out why the British might have been suspicious of the German offer?

Because the first two were scared and the latter still though he headed an Empire?

I think the difference is that you're Last Night at the Proms
and I'm on about the Enigma Variations.
:)

How long do you think it will be before we are even in a position to realistically contemplate that? How long do you think it will take us to get wherever it is we think we might be going? How many of us do you think will make the journey? What of the rest left on earth? What if we reach that somewhere and find others who aren't so keen on us taking the place over? Honestly, to pit this argument against us protecting the only real option we have is just plain daft.
We will probably do it anyway, but there has to be a habitable place for those for the other 99.9999999999999% of the population who don't.
Yours is not a counter argument for us lowering our population, it is just another idea in the myriad of ideas humans tend to have and belongs to another article altogether.

Not talking interstellar travel here, just within the solar system where there do not appear to be large numbers of other life forms. Plus most do not have to go, if we capture enough solar energy to mitigate the destruction of fossil fuels. The paddock is made bigger and the problem goes away.

Lowering the population is hard. How long do you think it will be before we can contemplate that? When the time comes do you think your grandchildren will prefer moving off planet or suicide?

You miss the problem of exponential growth and its big issue doubling time.

Simple, with even only a 2% growth rate the doubling time is 35 years. So after 35years the second planet is full. After 35 years 4 planets are full after another 35 years 8 planets are full.

So in 105 years at only 2% we filled 8 planets, How many planets are in the Solar system again?

What a load of cobblers.
There are no life forms to speak of in other parts of our solar system because the rest of it is uninhabitable, you can't walk out in the sunshine there.
As you say, very few will be moving off this planet, the chance any of them will be my or your grandchildren is pretty much nil, you have offered no choice there at all, the only chance there is is to reduce our population.
Difficult? Ask Japan, ask China, ask us minus immigration. All we have to do is come up with a different economic system that will work with it.

Au contraire....Douglas Reed is a courageous author....and was the darling of 1930's British journalism until he realised the extent of "fake news" back then, and left the msm at that point, to write about actual reality.
Read "The Controversy of Zion" written in the mid 1950's though not published until 1977 if you want a real insight into mankinds recent problems, with a focus on WW2 real history....a great read available as a free download on the net.

There is one example of a country who will survive and that is Israel. Though very basic human insincts, the need to inonvate, to survive, they cannot afford malaise.

Excellent piece. Could not agree with it more. Probably the best article that I have read on Interest.co. Well done. Thank you David for publishing this.

I believe the only way forward for humans is to live on this planet with a population of significantly less than one billion. What a marvellous planet it would be, and the bottom line is that there is no spare planet.
Murray says that humans are not managing the problem. Maybe. But the realisation of the population menace is increasing exponentially every year, and that will make a difference. Not perfect, but it's coming.

Did anybody else stop reading when the author tried to draw parallels between Nigel bloody Farage with Adolf Hitler?

With linguistic skills like that, I'm guessing you're a reporter?

Thank you for making my point, so clearly, in so few words.

Good work Murray, and good you on David for publishing it.

Something I have contemplated for some time as to why this scenario of media foregoing their responsibility to become entertainers is the willingness to of the populace to be led along. Or their unwillingness to face up to facts and change. My own feeling on the matter is that it comes down to a flaw in human psychology, and Jungian theory is the best way I know of explaining. I have contemplated writing an article about it, although I don't know whether doing such would achieve anything. Look to the answer within the dichotomy that is Sensing vs Intuition. 73% of the population are Sensing, Sensing people live with what is in front of them at the time. They are perceptive about the here and now, much better than intuitives. Where intuitives excell is the linking of information, facts if you like, over longer time frames, past and future, to form conclusions. It is the linking that is missing in Sensing types, but you can't tell them that. They mistake perception for intuition. You can't tell a Sensing type, they will have to experience it themselves. This results in decisions of importance being left too late, they won't see it coming.

Then of those that are Intuitive less than half a thinkers and have the ability to be intuitive with matters of technical importance. Those that fall into this small group are still subject to emotions such as greed however, so the group that haven't been perverted is small. The small subset left could be said to be the builders of civilisation. The rest do their best to destroy it.

Ultimately Murray when people make a choice in the behaviour about consumption, it is their decision to own and no one elses. This means their information and/or entertainment also. Our collective consumption behaviour forms the society we live in, and the outcomes for that society.

A lovely word to contemplate in this theme of human behaviour is "inertia". It is going the wrong way. A Sensing person can't see inertia, it has to hit them between the eyes.

Yes, very interesting piece, Murray. I must have a listen to the interview, but this comment of yours struck me as fascinating;

Throughout the interview, he quietly put that information in front of her but she stepped over it, increasingly swinging for the head.

So are you saying he was trying to say to her - "Hey lady - I'm a horrible bigot for good reason"?

Right, just had a listen.

I think you're saying she didn't want to explore with him why he thought populism/populatist politics is gaining traction. Yet, he kept trying to tell her why - but she'd then just cut him off and try and tell him he ought to be embarrassed about the company he keeps :-) ... meaning other populists!

It was a very poor interview - she sounded like some sort of political hack herself. The thing about media generally acting like this (i.e., trying to 'score' one on the person they are interviewing) is that the populist folks, like Farage and Trump, get really good at countering/responding to it.... because no one in the media actually challenges them on an intellectual basis. Rather they just have to learn how to 'have a scrap' well.

Trump's a master at it and Farage sounds pretty good too.

Hill is a lot better than that. Usually.

We wouldn't have had Peak Oil in the public arena, and her wee energy bits a while back were a genuine effort. She does enough heavy lifting. But not this time :)

Yes, she is usually much, much better. And I did wonder why she did so poorly. You could tell toward the end of the interview she was getting frustrated (perhaps because he was sounding rather sensible?)... and her counter was to get (even) worse!

Very unlike her not to want to be a realist.

I am going to have a crack at answering this, because, I too, have a problem with the likes of Farage.
The problem with the likes of Farage is conservatism. Conservatism is the exact opposite of what we are going to need to sort this out. Conservatism represents patriarchy, it represents authoritarianism, it represents a them 'uns and us 'uns mentality (as I said before), I believe it also prefers to have women in the background cooking, cleaning and raising the kids. I believe going down the Farage path to this will actually lead to war, for me it is as plain as day.
Us who tend to be more leftist, think, hope, believe, that the whole world can be in on this, because if it isn't we are condemned to conflict and no amount of stopping immigration or putting up border walls will protect you from it.
The Farage's of the world seem to think the answer is in men getting all hard arse and authoritarian, whereas the actual answer is in women having control of their lives and fertility. We have more chance of success by promoting that than going down the path the Farages seek to forge.

Yes, the UN has been promoting that solution for years. But of course, birth control itself is a touchy subject for many conservatives;

https://www.unfpa.org/about-us

Conservative politics do not include promoting human depopulation, far from it, however I saw an interesting article in one of the larger UK publications where Boris Johnson admits that we are the reason there are fewer and fewer wild animals (he was referring to otters in particular) so there might be a glimmer of hope.

When listing to that interview and then reflecting, I couldn't get the chorus from Rule Britannia out of my head:

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

Well, that didn't work out well, did it? LOL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule,_Britannia!