By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science

I haven’t had time to write a new essay, and I wanted a new post so newcomers don’t assume has shifted its focus to Covid, which is a confusing space populated by crazy people assigning complex global conspiracies to a bunch of incompetent and sometimes corrupt leaders.

Thank you to reader Frank White for providing a good reason for a quick post with a new video by Neil Halloran on climate change.

It’s my first exposure to Halloran and I’m really impressed. He targets people that are skeptical of climate change and does an amazing job of leading them to conclude we are in serious trouble and must act.

I left this comment on his YouTube channel:

Brilliant content and production! This is best video I’ve seen for persuading climate change skeptics that we are in serious trouble. Thank you.

Your next step should be to address the human genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities.

61 thoughts on “By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science”

  1. I bought some more Ivermectin from the local feed & tack shop today. Looks like the word is getting out. I got the last tubes of the product suitable for humans. They had lots of other types with additives that you do not want to take.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Every once in a while Peter Watts writes a really good rant. Today he demolished the catholic church, which is the worst of many bad religions.

    Five days ago, some lunatic in a truck killed four Muslims in London, Ontario. Our glorious leaders lost no time climbing over each other to see who could most loudly denounce the murders as an act of terrorism.

    Back in 2008, Canada declared The World Tamil Movement (an entity previously known mainly for earthquake relief efforts and supporting Tamil immigrants) as a “terrorist organization” because of alleged financial support to the Tamil Tigers—despite the fact that no member of the WTM had even been charged with a crime, much less convicted.

    The Catholic church has killed, raped, and assaulted thousands during its residence within this nation’s borders. It has a history of torture, murder, and inquisition dating back to the third century. The latest revelation—215 dead children hidden away beneath the soil (from a single residential school—there were over 130 off them, most under Catholic jurisdiction) is bound to be only the tip of the latest iceberg. The church—which continues, surrealistically, to tout itself as a Moral Authority to the rest of us—doesn’t even bother to deny these atrocities, even while it refuses to apologise for them.

    An act committed for a political, religious, or ideological purpose, check. Intended to intimidate, check. To compel people to do or refrain, to intentionally cause harm, to cause death or injury check check check. The Vatican’s treatment of Indigenous peoples is a classic example of terrorism as defined by the Canadian government itself.

    Four people dead: terrorism. An organization with no criminal warrants at all: terrorist.

    Thousands of dead kids with more to come, a generations-long legacy of rape, assault, and murder? Tax-free status, private schools, and a vacuous bobble-head of a PM who bleats about making things right while his own government spends $163.5 million (and counting) fighting court decisions favourable to First Nations. A PM who, even now, proclaims his Catholic identity without any apparent shame.

    What could possibly constitute a mitigating factor here? Why have we not banned this odious hate group and thrown its silly-hatted officials into jail? Why haven’t we, at the absolute least, told them to pay some fucking taxes?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tonight I watched the new BBC documentary “Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station”.

    What stood out for me:

    1) They’re spending a gazillion dollars to make it safe from every imaginable threat except the threat that is near certain: insufficient diesel, surplus wealth, and the complex supply chains necessary to maintain it.

    2) The quantity of carbon via concrete, diesel, and steel to build this zero carbon power source is staggering. There must be some denial in the math.

    3) If it opens on schedule and within budget I will recant my disbelief in God.

    4) They claim that private financing shields the UK tax payer from cost overruns. I’m betting the shield melts down.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If you enjoy non-fiction history audiobooks you will love Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. I’ve listened to every one of his 67 episodes.

    His latest episode focuses on the harsh fighting and nuclear bombings that ended WWII in the Pacific.

    I’m very fortunate not to have been a young man during that period. So much of our good fortune is luck.

    When do spirit, tenacity, resilience and bravery cross into madness? When cities are incinerated? When suicide attacks become the norm? When atomic weapons are used? Japan’s leaders test the limits of national endurance in the war’s last year.


    1. So much of our good fortune is luck.

      Not “so much”. Everything depends on luck. Your set of genes, your family environment, country you were born in, time you were born…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The blog run by James has been down for several weeks… Usually, it’s because he neglects to pay his ISP bill. Maybe he’s on a long vacation. I suppose we won’t know unless or until he resurfaces.


  6. Some random observation. Our local BirdLife organization did a tour where you go watch birds in a group and there I had the time to talk to our guide who is a distinguished (retired) veterinarian and honorary head of said association. It struck me how much sense MORT made to him.

    I guess ecology is a good foundation for shedding the illusion of human exceptionalism. My selection is obviously biased but many people who I introduced to MORT who weren’t immediately defensive where of that type.


      1. Have you considered imprisoning them in the basement until they see the light? Feed them old twinkies and expired prepper rations…they’d be like “yes, I was so blind…but it all makes sense now!”

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Lots of smart people think something is broken in the banking system. Steven Van Metre here tries to explain what’s going on and why the Fed is trapped between a rock and a hard place.

    I don’t understand his explanation. The system is too byzantine for my brain to grok.

    What I do understand is that you cannot grow debt faster than the economy forever, and I understand that when debt is used to speculate on rising asset prices you create a bubble that must pop.

    Steve predicts a stock market crash and I agree, even though his reasoning differs from mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Long story short in my view:

      Fed activities are contracting financial conditions for banks, contracting their lending and putting downward pressure on yields. His prediction is that this will put downward pressure on stock prices. I’m not sure about that part – he did not explain it. I would have thought lower bond yields would increase stock prices because high valuations imply low yields. Worth a quick read:

      It would be worth asking him “Why do you think downward pressure on bond rates puts negative pressure on stock prices?”

      Sometimes folks casually misspeak about prices vs. rates vs. yield in the bond world. They also misspeak about stock prices vs valuations vs returns.

      But his thinking is that a selloff in stocks will lead to margin calls, create a need to raise cash, disrupt the money markets, and cause an exponential need for more QE, creating a death spiral.

      My opinion is that as real returns from stocks approach zero, and bond rates approach zero, and companies become zombies, the banking system will struggle with the fact that there is no underlying collateral of any real value to take risks on. i.e. collateral becomes worthless as the system winds down.


      1. Thanks.

        I believe Steve thinks bond prices will increase and stocks prices will fall because he thinks the real economy is weak and contracting due to its debt burden (he is not energy or overshoot aware).

        His logic is that as the economy contracts, interest rates must go down, which will cause bond prices to increase, and investors will shift from stocks to more promising bonds thus causing stock prices to fall.


        1. This is what I don’t understand: Why would increasing bond prices (lower rates) trigger a selloff in stocks? I would think it would lead to more risk taking. Unless large numbers of stock investors conclude that rates are lower for longer they are not going to selloff stocks for bonds.

          Current bondholders would benefit from the higher prices, but that doesn’t mean anybody would be interested in newly printed on-the-run treasuries.

          My prediction had been that if mid-term bond rates rise to compete with the average S&P Dividend would be the tipping point. That’s about 1.6%

          I agree with what he says: Stock selloff into a no-bid market (high leverage, low short interest) leading to margin calls and money market problems. I just am missing this connection. Hmmm….will have to watch again!


          1. My summary of Steve’s beliefs was not gleaned from that specific video but rather from watching him for many months.

            I think he has the classic investment advisor view that bond and stock prices are inversely correlated. In an energy constrained no growth world that old model probably no longer applies. But he’s not energy aware. He does seem to have fresh insights into the consequences of Fed printing. He thinks printing constrains rather than stimulates the economy.


  8. I’ve been thinking about what the end game might look like. My hunch is that there will be very little to buy, regardless of how much money a person has.

    Gail Tverberg today provided some ideas on how this might play out.

    There are different scenarios that could occur:

    1. Top-level governments could fail, and with them the banks that they guarantee. In fact, the problem could occur in many places around the world. World trade would greatly slow down, leading to many fewer goods and service being produced. Local people might put in place some local currency, to help facilitate barter. But unless a person has something to sell/trade, it would be hard to buy anything.

    2. Governments and banks might still be in place, but to try to get control of inflation (because not enough goods are and services are being produced in total), withdrawals from banks might be limited to an amount, such as $300 per week. A person’s bank account might look like it has money in it, but it is impossible to get most of it out. There is also not much to buy.

    3. Governments indefinitely freeze all bank accounts. Instead, they provide the equivalent of ration coupons, through some sort of new digital currency, so that everyone gets a little bit of what little is available.


    1. I posted my thoughts on “the end” at surplus today. Dr. Tim asked “Why won’t share prices go down?”

      @Dr. Tim – “Why haven’t their share prices slumped?”

      I think the answer is one of the ironies of thinking in terms of valuations as compared to thinking in terms of prices. Higher valuations imply lower long term returns. So as real global returns approach zero I’d not be surprised to see prices approach infinity.

      This relates to thinking of money as claims or promises.

      The economy can coast in denial, believing future goods and services will exist to satisfy expanding claims to infinity until such point at which real goods and services are not available in the present. This same point coincides with the realization that money is essentially worthless in the future.

      I think political decisions will determine whether it ends in a whisper or a bang. I’m personally predicting first the former, then the latter, due mainly to ignorance and social collapse preventing cooperation.

      I think surplus energy reaches terminality when there is nothing to produce which is worth more than the cost of the inputs of production. To land, labor and capital we have to add energy. Labor can be shorted a long time in the face of increasing energy costs, but eventually either (a) labor will accept austerity willingly, (b) be forced to accept austerity, or (c) collapse the system through political action which could look like voting for doomed policies, or rebellion – both with the misguided notion of better tomorrows.


      1. Interesting insights, thanks.

        Here is the source discussion:

        Your argument makes perfect sense to me when applied to our collective confidence in the monetary system.

        I’m not sure I agree that confidence that claims will be filled in the future justifies higher stock prices. I could see confidence being an explanation for stock prices remaining stable while returns drop and thus valuations increase. But for prices to rise as returns fall I think you need a classic debt fueled asset bubble. Which always pops. Please tell me why I’m wrong if I’m missing something.

        I like and agree with your energy dependency summary. I explain it as follows:

        Our standard of living (including food) is created by machines. Interest is the cost of buying machines, and energy is the cost of operating machines. As the cost of energy goes up due to depletion, interest must go down for there to be enough profit to buy and operate machines, including the machines that extract energy. When interest reaches zero, the machines will begin turning off.


        1. Hi Rob – I think it is a bubble and do think it will pop. But it’s not a traditional bubble – It’s actually much worse. Sorry if I was obtuse. The valuation similarity is ironic to me, not claiming it’s actually causal.

          There are at least two different types of “justification” in the same way there are at least two ways of looking at security values.

          A stock can be priced at the discounted present value of a future stream of cash flows (in dividends). But most people think and invest in terms of price change, irrespective of traditional valuation (i.e. momentum, or price increase). Even brokers wind up talking in terms of % increase of the market cap or index. But if earnings don’t increase the price isn’t “justified” by valuations, only by speculation, or put more nicely “price movement.”

          These can be looked at as two components of price

          So the price could be
          Pm = Market price
          Pv = Price based on cash flow valuation
          Ps = Price based on speculation

          A traditional bubble happens when Ps becomes much larger than Pv. And the bubble pops when Pm backs down to Pv, or dips below.

          I say our situation is much worse because even bears like Hussman ( expect that Pv (based on earnings/profits) is going to continue at historical trends. You and I probably both expect CocaCola is not going to have the same revenue, earnings or profit 20 years from now. But the “floor” markets expect in corrections is that firms will continue increasing revenues, earnings or profits into the future based on historical trends.

          The markets aren’t over-valued, they are actually worthless, in that they are not going to deliver the stream of cash-flow which even a very conservative valuation would predict.

          We could have another leg down first (Ps correction). That bubble will pop when people are convinced it isn’t growing anymore. The bigger bubble will pop when it is clear that, broadly speaking, most all companies will no longer be able to repay investors with future cash flows. In the same way I think hyperinflation will happen when people are convinced there won’t be more goods and services available in the future. They will only be convinced of that when it happens in the present, I believe.


          1. I should have added: And corporations won’t be able to pay shareholders when it is no longer possible to produce anything which can be sold for a price above the cost of inputs.


          2. Got it. Thanks. I understand and agree with you.

            The permanent end of growth changes everything. I suppose that’s why the majority so aggressively deny energy constraints, including many intellectuals like physicists that should know better.

            Our complete radio silence on energy depletion fascinates me to no end. It’s the most important force in play for the thing everyone cares the most about (wealth) and nobody discusses it except a few fringe blogs.


    1. Great indeed 🙂 .
      I closed my FB account around 2011, two or three years after I opened it.
      I was not even doomer at this time (at least I was not full-scale doomer), just the stupidity and emptiness of it as a whole disguised me already then.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Total sense. I like the WMD 2.0 comparison. Possibly bigger than that. At least only (primarily) Americans were bamboozled by WMD1.0. I think it will take international pressure for this to crack. I wonder if other EU nations might just push this who are less invested in the coverup than U.S?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Rob,

    This was new to me. “The Importance of Understanding the Nonspecific Effects of Vaccines.”

    Exerpt: “Aaby was taken aback by what occurred following mass vaccination against measles: the rate of all-cause mortality among the children dropped by far more than could be explained by the measles decline alone. Children were not only not dying from measles, but they weren’t succumbing to a number of other diseases either. In an interview at the 2019 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID), Aaby pointed out that measles epidemiological models predict a mortality decline of 15 percent in the first 12 months. Instead, Aaby witnessed a reduction in all-cause mortality in children of more than 50 percent. Aaby had stumbled upon the NSE of a vaccine. This discovery prompted the creation of the Bandim Health Project (BHP), a health and demographic surveillance system.”


    1. Interesting, thanks.

      A lot of humility and a lot of testing should be prerequisites for any modifications we make to a hyper complex system that we don’t understand.

      Thank you to the billions of people that volunteered to test the vaccines for the billions of us waiting to review the test results.


      1. My wife and I (both 72 plus) got the first dose very next day it was started and the second dose after 21 days. Since we work in a hospital, though not interacting directly with patients, we are required to take the shot and we also wanted to play safe. We had only mild reaction. It may be due to our health and physical conditioning. One may argue that a healthy person will tolerate the vaccine but also is not likely to be infected. On the other hand, an obese person with high blood pressure and sugar level will have adverse effects from the vaccine, but also face higher probability of catching the virus.
        Whatever the origin of the disease and whoever makes billions of dollars, as a scientist I admire the science behind the development of the vaccine in a short time .


        1. Yes, the technology and speed of bringing these complex vaccine products to market was very impressive.

          I used to manage the design of complex computer hardware and software products and so have some insight into the challenges of developing products destined for high volume manufacturing. Despite best efforts we never launched a new product that did not have defects that needed to be corrected.


        2. What’s your view of the long term studies on auto-immune disorders developing due to the covid vaccines?
          What is your view on the long term studies of the effects on the female reproduction system and full term pregnancies?

          Oh yeah there are none.

          Which side of the debate within MIT are you on that the mRNA could potentially be reverse transcribed into DNA making insertions into our DNA.

          Looking forward to results, we’ll talk in five years.

          Rob, you may find this interesting.


          1. Thank you. Momentum seems to be building for low cost effective prevention and treatment.

            I’m curious how long the WHO and NIH resist and how they try to save face when they fold.

            Our “leaders” that accept WHO/NIH recommendations are a disgraceful bunch of unthinking ass covering administrators.


            1. Well aren’t you generous in your summation of our leaders.
              Maybe you meant a disgusting bunch of ass stinking cowering administrators.


  10. BBC Horizon is almost always good. They just produced a new documentary on the inside story of developing the vaccine.

    Rips are up at the usual torrent sites.

    The extraordinary inside story of the biggest scientific challenge of our age – following a small band of vaccine scientists around the world who took on Covid-19 and ultimately delivered the weapon to beat it.

    As news of the coronavirus broke around the globe, a small group of scientists jumped into action to tackle one of the greatest medical challenges of our time: to create a vaccine against a virus no-one had ever seen before and to do so in record time, all during a deadly, global pandemic.


  11. Today’s interview of Chris Martenson by James Howard Kunstler was a pretty good big picture review of what’s going on the world. Kunstler tried to draw Martenson into his favorite partisan conspiracies but Martenson did a good job of staying on the high unbiased ground.

    I respect Martenson very much but I observe that his need for paying subscribers still makes it difficult to discuss unpopular topics like energy depletion, climate change, and the need for population reduction. It seems to be ok to discuss depleting aquifers and a doomed currency but not ok to discuss a permanently contracting economy and food supply due to diesel depletion.


    1. Thanks Rob,
      I generally avoid most everything that Kunstler does now days as it is soooo partisan. But with your review I listened to the podcast and it was generally good. Your take on Martenson’s need to keep paying “members” is spot on. No discussion of population driving all of our overshoot.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I take part of it back. Martenson is occasionally willing to discuss peak oil, but if you pay attention to the quivers in his voice and the soothing qualifiers like “don’t worry, there’s plenty left after peak oil” you can see he is not comfortable. No mention of not being able to feed 8 billion without diesel for tractors, combines, and trucks, or natural gas for fertilizer.

      We need more adults discussing reality.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I remember a joke about a thrifty cold Polack that unraveled the wool from one end of his blanket so he could lengthen the other end of his blanket.

    Holy Moly, Fed’s Reverse Repos Spike to $756 Billion, Undoing 6 Months of QE. In Opposite Direction, Fed’s QE Pushes Assets Past $8 Trillion

    The Fed sold a record $756 billion in Treasury securities this morning in exchange for cash via overnight “reverse repos.” This was up by a stunning 45% from yesterday’s operations of $521 billion. There were 68 counterparties involved. Yesterday’s overnight reverse repos had matured and unwound this morning, to be more than replaced by today’s tsunami.

    Even as the Fed was busy draining cash from the system, it continued to add cash to the system via QE. The Fed’s total assets on its balance sheet for the week through Wednesday, June 16, jumped by $112 billion from the prior week, to a new mind-bending record of $8.064 trillion.


  13. Apparently China has decided its recent loosening to a 3-child policy is not enough to keep their Ponzi scheme going so they’ve decided to remove all restrictions on family size.

    Lawyers must be replacing the engineers they used to have in their leadership positions.


  14. Sabine Hossenfelder jumped the shark today with an optimistic review of how to get rich by mining asteroids.

    She takes a deep dive into all the issues except the only issue that matters: how will space adventures be possible without plentiful affordable fossil energy?

    A brilliant PhD physicist who ignores thermodynamics and limits to growth can only be explained with Varki’s MORT.


    1. Ugo Bardi (geologist) said something about asteroid mining recently (I can’t seem to find it). To paraphrase him(and probably badly) – only one a biologically and tectoniclly (sp?) active planet are minerals concentrated enough to make them economically viable to mine. Forget asteroids – SciFi delirium.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Better than I feared – as a long time admirer of the Hossenfelder. Decades to achieve-when all we have is -well who knows? I think she has children which naturally just accentuates the optimism bias in those lacking the un-denial gene.


  15. Panopticon today with a worldwide summary of heat waves and drought:

    Here at home on Vancouver Island my government weather service posted this alert today:

    Short-lived heat wave set to arrive the South Coast on Father’s Day.

    Risk: Temperatures 5 to 10 degrees above seasonal.

    Locations: Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island

    Timespan: Sunday and Monday.

    Remarks: After a relatively cool start to the weekend, temperatures will be on the rise again on Father’s Day. The current guidance indicates that the day time temperatures will peak in the low-thirties through Monday at locations away from the immediate coast. The ridge associated with this warm spell will start shifting inland on Tuesday, ushering the hot air into the Interior.

    I don’t remember these hot spells as a kid here.


  16. Carbon dioxide peaks near 420 parts per million at Mauna Loa observatory

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million (ppm), the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, scientists from NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced today.


    1. Another one bites the dust. I think it was his March 2019 blog when he finally held his hands up

      I’m calling the game over. I just cannot see a solution that has humanity going on in any kind of lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to in the 21st century.

      Its all about the trends and relative rates of change. Its all about the momentum. Global warming is baked into the cake at this point. Even if we were to miraculously find a way to extract and sequester CO2 from our atmosphere we still could not prevent catastrophic warming. We waited too late to react.

      I’ve taken as many factors into account as I can. I’ve processed the data as best I can. I hope I am wrong in my conclusions, but so far I haven’t been (except for thinking I would be gone before all of the s**t hit the fan). Go back in the archives of this blog if you don’t believe me. I’ve called it and it is coming to pass. I’m very sorry I could not have been more effective in convincing more and more influential people that these systemic issues were coming to a head.

      My advice is head for the hills.

      Well he tried mightily but here we are. Hopefully James at Megacancer hasn’t gone permanently hors de combat as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s kind of sad watching people like Mac10 flail around and make up stories to explain the insanity because they don’t understand Varki’s MORT, thermodynamics, or overshoot.

    There Is No Safe Space From Reality

    One thing both the far left and far right have in common is an extreme aversion to reality. Since 2008 central banks have sponsored this vacation from reality by consistently bailing people out of their own stupidity, which has encouraged ever greater stupidity. Now this Idiocracy is painted into a corner with no way out. It was inevitable they would come to believe that markets drive the economy, instead of the other way around. Yet, no one wants to question this paradigm of moronism, because they don’t want to look stupid. They believe in the strength of numbers…

    The reason why this society doesn’t see this ending is because they are now fully addicted to cheap money. This latest global housing bubble is exhibit A of a gambling addiction that has far more fear of missing out than of bubbles crashing. This week, global risk markets had a taper tantrum over the prospect of higher Fed interest rates TWO YEARs from now. What a joke. At any other time in history, these interest rates would be considered a disaster from an economic and financial standpoint. Dire emergency measures indicative of ZERO future economic growth. Today these record low rates are considered an opportunity to ignore valuations and bid asset values to infinity. The value of a perpetuity over 0% is theoretically infinite according to Finance 101. Unfortunately, in the real world there is no such thing as a perpetuity. When the cycle ends, the cash flow on insolvent assets turns negative. The value of an insolvent asset at the end of the cycle is ZERO. Today, as the global economy struggles to re-open amid massive amounts of new debt, gamblers are bidding up their own assets like it’s 1929. There is now an entire generation of gamblers who believe that bear markets are a relic of the past. Defeated by free money and infinite leverage.

    This week the Fed monkey hammered the reflation trade by merely suggesting that a rate hike could happen in 2023, almost two years from now. Never before has there been such a long runway given for a planned rate hike and yet it still caused a major market selloff. The question on the table is, did it kick off the final meltdown? Gamblers are now caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of a moribund economy and risk assets bid to record valuations in anticipation of strong economic growth. There are two paths this can take – imminent economic collapse to justify low interest rates, OR sustained growth justifying higher interest rates. These monetary addicts want low interest rates and high growth and now they’re having a temper tantrum because both does not exist in the real world.


    1. Ha! He made the same point I did a few days ago: “Today these record low rates are considered an opportunity to ignore valuations and bid asset values to infinity. The value of a perpetuity over 0% is theoretically infinite according to Finance 101. Unfortunately, in the real world there is no such thing as a perpetuity. When the cycle ends, the cash flow on insolvent assets turns negative. The value of an insolvent asset at the end of the cycle is ZERO.”

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Good (and rare) thread on over population at OFW…

    John R. says:
    June 21, 2021 at 11:38 am
    Gail said: . . . But the fact that it seems like some outside force is paving the way for me to do what I am doing is one of the things that makes me believe that there is a Higher Power, somewhere, pulling the strings on what is happening.
    Why hasn’t the higher power helped out Dennis Meadows in a more viable way, especially since he has reached millions? His work concerning overpopulation is truly on the side of the angels.

    Dennis: “I spent 50 years trying to help people understand their realistic options and choosing a bit more wisely for the long term. I would say by and large I have failed. I don’t think the planet is going to evolve any differently from my having been around than it would have if I had not been conceived.”

    Gail Tverberg says:
    June 21, 2021 at 12:56 pm
    Having children provides a great benefit to parents. In poor countries, children can help in the fields, from an early age. As the parents get older, the children provide a safety net in parents’ older years. If one parent dies, the other parent can often move in with the child and his family. Or perhaps both parents can move in. Some writers talk about intergenerational debt. Parents take care of children while they are young; in return, children are expected to take care of their parents when they are old.

    If there is a “strong” government that wants to get more women in the workforce and limit births, it can implement programs which will supposedly take care of older people in their later years. This takes away much of the supposed benefit of having children.

    Dennis Meadows’ belief that he could somehow change childbearing patterns, based on his model, was simply unrealistic. He needed strong governments around the world that could see a real threat from overpopulation. They would need to implement a one child policy, like China did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, it is possible that leaders in China did learn from what Dennis Meadows and the team said, and it may have influenced their thinking. Of course, any guarantee is only as good as a country’s ability to make their economy function long term, as resources deplete.

    It is possible that what Dennis Meadows said did influence China’s one-child policy, but they never mentioned this connection. Of course, China needed to greatly ramp up its use of coal to allow their economy to be rich enough to sort of provide retirement benefits.

    In a world with limits, it is hard to see how any country can provide retirement benefits, long term. With less energy, pretty much everyone will have to work indefinitely.


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