Ecofascism isn't new: white supremacy and exterminism have always lurked in the environmental movement

The notion that the earth has some fixed carrying capacity for population in hard numbers made a bit more sense prior to the creation of artificial fertilizer - when the natural cycle of fixed nitrogen in the biosphere did indeed place a hard cap on the population that could be sustained by agriculture.

The situation now is more complicated - as a result of the events in the above story, we can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere using available energy sources - solar, nuclear, fossil fuels etc. According to those sources some 80% of human biomass is the result of the Haber process.

I guess I take that story as both a hopeful indicator and a warning about power, intention and consequences. The overall topic sometimes seems like a sort of Rorschach inkblot for individuals emotional attitudes towards existence and humanity.

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Um, it was literally said by Thanos in endgame. But at least he applied it randomly to all species, classes, etc. (Excluding himself, of course)

SEE ALSO:

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Or not.


And even if it is, the social ecologists want to do the things that reduce population growth anyway, for other better reasons.

We have about ten years or so to keep climate catastrophe controllable. How are you going to enact population reduction in that time? The only people I’ve seen with such a plan are the ecofascists, who want to see people like us exterminated.

No thanks.

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I suggest reading Make Rojava Green Again, the authors have made it readable for free. Turkey and Syria aren’t interested in repairing the land north-east of the Euphrates, they just want the oil under it. The DFNES want to make it green, along with the rest of Syria and Turkey.

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The fundamentals of environmental economics in the next hundred years is that global population might increase from the current 7bn to about 11bn by 2100. Whereas per capita emissions can double, or fall below zero.

The latter is the determining factor. Population doesn’t really matter appreciably.

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Social ecologists, as a rule, are social scientists with little or no professional experience in biology, ecology, or other relevant scientific field. I’m sorry. You can wharrr-garble all day about it and cherry pick all you want. Anyone actually working in the field understands the idea that resources are not infinite and that there are limiting factors.

Anyone who studies anything like population, demography, agronomy, agroecology, so on, so forth, ad infinitum understands that we have degraded the capability of the planet to sustain life and that even if we sacrifice the rest of the natural environment - which have almost finished doing - we can’t add infinite people. Infinite growth is not possible except in some Ayn Rand fantasy world. The Green Revolution got us a large bump in food production by spreading petroleum all over the world and breeding shorter grain stalks. We squeezed the last out of that decades ago. We aren’t going to suddenly double the efficiency of photosynthesis…

The one hopeful sign is that the second derivative of world population went negative some time back. If it weren’t for immigration Europe and North America would be at NPG. Most other countries are on a long-term downward path as well. If trends continue the population will naturally decline over time, with a lot of luck to a level that is sustainable without too many civilization-ending catastrophes along the way.

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Maybe phosphorus is now the limiting factor

Or maybe not

But climate change may very well make the whole discussion moot.

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It might be worth reading what Norman Borlaug, the man at the center of the Green Revolution, had to say in his Nobel lecture:


He was quite aware of the problem of population growth but claimed “And yet, I am optimistic for the future of mankind, for in all biological populations there are innate devices to adjust population growth to the carrying capacity of the environment.” This is as far as I understand it wrong, some species limit their growth, but many keep happily reproducing until their environment gets so degraded they have a population crash.

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How does neo-malthusianism solve the problems of climate catastrophe within the deadline of ten years?

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I will restate as simply as I can.

  • There is no single, set number of people that represents the so-called “carrying-capacity” for the planet.
  • The number of people the Earth can support varies dramatically (orders of magnitude even) depending on factors including but not limited to what they eat, what products they use, how they use water, how much energy they use, where they get said energy from, etc.
  • The global fertility rate has been dropping dramatically for generations, while per-capita resource consumption in rich western societies has been growing dramatically for generations.
  • Given all these factors, I believe rich western societies putting so much emphasis on “population control” over other environmental efforts is both misguided and biased.

P.S. call me “Trump-like” again and you get flagged.

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The ONLY viable means of population reduction that isn’t genocide is giving women full autonomy over our bodes. That’s it. That’s not what fascists (eco or otherwise) want. They want men to control the reproduction of women.

11th-doc-this|nullxnull

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My observation is independent of climate change. We need to address that aggressively, immediately, and population growth is not a factor in that. I’m just making a counterpoint to the ecofascist argument that population reduction requires extermination, in general. Actual evidence suggests that raising the standard of living of everyone, globally, will be more effective, long term, in reducing population growth.

ETA: My observation is also independent of whether that’s a good thing. Since I advocate for raising the global standard of living for everyone, and reducing inequality, I think the population thing will settle itself, one way or another.

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I think a parallel idea that needs to be brought up is the whole minimum required population argument that comes in various forms. Whether it’s the assumption that welfare must be furnished by the middle and lower classes even though the majority of wealth is held by a population smaller than most micro-nations. Or whether it’s the assumption that technological civilization requires perpetual growth of the population to provide for everyone. It’s these inverse concepts that should also be criticized for similar reasons as often they’re paired with the same fascist/racist ideologies (how often have you’ve seen folks claim we can’t even have Scandinavian social democracy because of “ethnic” diversity and the like?). Basically, fascists will use any tool they can to kill and murder. The whole ecology issue is just one more tool they’ve perverted.

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As long as that includes the autonomy of women, yes. You can have an educated, upwardly mobile population, and still have a misogynistic culture that assumes the only proper role of women is of mother and wife. Saudi Arabia is a great example. Women don’t just need education, they need the freedom to make choices for themselves, most especially reproductive choices.

Yep. Spot on.

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Linkola is kind of monstrous, but he does pretty much live what he preaches.

Hell, yes! To me, a society that is well-educated but doesn’t include equality for women is a powderkeg sitting next to a space heater.

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I have huge soft spot for him. I saw the documentary/mockumentary Suomi vuonna nolla (Finland in Year Zero) in 1989 or 90 and it had a huge impact on me. And I like The Finnish Nature Heritage Foundation.

What’s messed up is that’s the “better alternative” motive for Thanos’ genocidal actions that the MCU writers came up with.

In the original comic book story arc, Thanos killed off half of all life in the universe just to impress Lady Death.

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The more I think about the comic book version of Infinity Gauntlet the more I think the films were a missed opportunity to give us a story about Thanos being basically one messed up fellow. Like even with some of the retcons done where it seems like Thanos was actually being manipulated by Death all along (from childhood) would’ve been an interesting take on the character for the film since you’d get a sense of how powerful the abstract entities like Death are and how far some will go to get their favor (like how Grandmaster and the other beings being blessed by Death with immortality). I know it’s armchair film making I’m doing here but I think a bit of horror/thriller kind of story telling that would’ve been injected into the over all arc of the MCU would’ve given it something more scary and maybe something to watch other than overwarmed Malthusianism.

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