Friday, September 19, 2014

Thermoelectric Gear for Off-Grid Situations

Ferfal,
Thanks for your blog and book, I really enjoy them and have found lots of fantastic information.
I would like to share these two innovations with you.
I am a European and have no affiliation with the company that makes them.
The first is the Ecofan

Ecofans for Woodstoves  generate their own electricity from the surface heat of your wood stove and circulate warm air throughout the room, increasing your comfort.
It is a fan that turns by the heat that the woodstove produces. Instead of letting the heat go up to the ceiling it directs it in the room and lets you have a feeling of warmth a lot faster.
I got one from a friend to try out, I put it on the stove and directed it to my wife, without her knowing it. Suddenly she felt something was different, looked at the stove and said without hesitation: "What is that, I want it!" My wife couldn't live without one.
If you have a woodstove it is a very good upgrade.
The other item is the Joi light

You can have electric light without using batteries. The Joi Light uses the heat produced by a tea light candle to let several LED shine. The light burns as long as the candle burns. It shines brightest in a room with a cool temperature. If used in a heated room the light is strong enough to read by if used as a desklight.
Please don't use my name and emailadress.
thanks
J-
 .

Hello J,
I’ve seen some of these before and I think its very interesting how they turn heat to electricity.
To be completely honest, I don’t think the Joi light makes much sense at all. To use a candle to get a bit of LED light sounds awfully impractical, even more so at such a high price. For something like that, (small scale) long term off-grid illumination, I’d go for something like the WakaWaka Lamp that uses solar power, has good battery capacity and works nicely as a lantern. All at 1/5 of the cost of the JOI and it doesnt need candles to work. So far, I’ve been using a Waka Waka Power unit and it still works as advertised, which is rare with most of these products.
The fan for the wood stove does look nice. I see how it might help send hot air in a specific direction and help increase the heating radius. That it uses power generated from the same stove is a nice solution for off-grid situations.
These products remind me of the BioLite Wood Burning Campstove.

The Biolite stove uses the same heat of the stove to power a fan for the stove and recharge electronic gadgets. I’m not fully sold on the idea though. Again, a more simple solar panel like the Waka Waka Power seem like a better, more simple and light weight solution but reviews seem to be pretty favorable for the BioLite. Then again, the WWPower is a lanter/charger while the Biolite is a Stove/charger. Two different creatures.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Argentina: Gunpoint robbery caught on Tape





Hey Fer Fal, I wanted to send you this link which shows a robbery attempt captured on a go-pro.  What are your thoughts on how this went down?  Seemed like the robber used a motorbike, just like you warned about. 
One thing that is particularly interesting is that it's in broad daylight and with lots of other people around.  Also the robbers persistence is notable as well.  Does this robber fit the "look" of the typical thief?  Do you think he's killed people before?
- Scott


Hello Scott,
Yes, I’ve seen the video. This happens every day in every city of Argentina, pretty much all day long. Impossible to say if he’s killed before, maybe he did, although in general once they start killing they become like animals and can’t seem to stop themselves from shooting next time they encounter resistance.
As you see it happens on broad daylight, even when surrounded by people. I’ve literally lost count of how many of these similar incidents I’ve seen first-hand, which now that I write it down, sounds pretty depressing. But you would be in a train station, just walking or waiting for a bus and someone pulls a gun out and robs someone or snatches a bag and jumps on a motorcycle and takes off.  One that I remember well took place is a train station, at rush hour, packed with people. The guy just pulled a pistol (I think it was a Hi-Power 9mm) and robbed the guy he as pressing against. The criminal took forever to push his way out of the station, with everyone packed like sardines.

Some interesting things to note:

            1)The victim has NO idea how lucky he is to be alive. These days, you’re very likely to get mugged and shot even when you give them everything. Resisting, like this guy did (seems without knowing) is just begging to get shot.

            2)Nothing is worth getting shot over. At that point, give up the bike and bag. Again, no idea how lucky he is to be alive. I know several people that got shot for a LOT less than that, even after giving up everything.

       3)The robber was asking for his backpack (la mochila! Sacate la mochila!) while the guy kept repeating “amigo! Amigo!. Not knowing the local language can get you killed. Not a good idea to go to dangerous places in general. At one point the criminal asks surprised “ Do you want to get shot?”

       4)Motorcycles. At one time it was estimated that half the bikes driving around with two males on them in down town Buenos Aires were criminals. It came close to get banned by law to have two men drive in one bike in the capital district. It is by far the most common transportation for criminals. Its fast, easy to go on the sidewalk with, easy to escape from police and you naturally wear a helmet that covers your face making you harder to ID.

           5)The criminal didn’t care about people but he didn’t want to have too much attention either, and he wanted to get it over with fast. Daytime doesn’t bother them, nor do nearby witnesses, but time does. It has to be fast. Also, notice how he keeps the gun visible but down and to his side, so as to make it less visible from a distance. You see this done pretty often.

At the end of the day, its good not to be exposed to that on daily basis any more. When crime gets that bad, you have to consider relocating somewhere safer.

FerFAL

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall/Winter Preps: 10 Tips to Get Ready


In spite of being one of the most predictable events you could think of, winter season still catches thousands by surprise each year, including more than a few preppers and survivalists. Winter is just around the corner people, and its again time to sort out our preps so as to be ready for it.

1)Get your house in order. Organize your fuel supply, pump septic tanks, clean chimneys, service boilers, clean up gardens, take a good look at larger, nearby trees that may damage your home if they fall. Insulate pipes and exterior faucets. Several layers of plastic can be used. Remember that leaving a faucet dripping a little can avoid freezing. Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors.

2)Service your vehicle for winter. Check tire pressure and liquid levels. Change your car emergency kit if you have a different loadout for winter.

3)Plan for blizzards and blackouts. Buy a generator before you actually need one. Now is the time, not when people are stealing each other’s generators from their front porches at gunpoint. Yamahas are great but Westinghouse, Champion and Wen do a good job as well while being more affordable. When you buy a generator, but enough generator to cover the initial starting (surge) wattage. Get your generator serviced if you have one already. Check your jerry cans (invest in quality metal ones) and refill those that are empty.

Westinghouse WH7500E Portable Generator, 7500 Running Watts/9000 Starting Watts

4)If you don’t need electricity during blackouts and you can get by with an alternative form of heating, seriously consider getting a kerosene heater. They are more efficient for heating than running a generator, they are affordable, safe and rock solid reliable. People that aren’t comfortable with kero heaters tend to live by Mr. Heaters.
Sengoku CV-23K KeroHeat Convection 23,500-BTU Portable Kerosene Heater
5)Get plenty of batteries, LED flashlights and lanterns. High lumen output flashlights are convenient for carrying around, but for blackouts you want lanterns which flood a room with light. Remember that headlamps are the best way of doing chores around the house when there’s no power. Energyzer headlamps are affordable and they work well. Get a NOAA Weather Radio so as to receive weather warnings and updates. Little Tip: Get a string of Christmas LED lights. The ones that use AA are great for blackouts. They last for days, put out a nice light that floods a room nicely and they even manage to look somewhat cheerful during a blackout.
American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger - Red (ARCFRX3WXR)

6)Check your food supply. You need food that has a long shelf life, requires little fuel and water to cook, and your family (most of all your kids) will eat without much trouble. It is true that even kids will eat pretty much anything when hungry enough, but it can be stressful for everyone to get to that point.

7)Have alternative means of cooking your food. Camping stoves usually work well, but when you don’t need light weight camping equipment the larger models that have a burner and run on small gas bottles are an affordable optionPortable Butane Gas Camp Stove Camping Burner Range

8)Make sure you have enough salt and snow shovels in the areas where they are needed. Remember to take it easy when shoveling snow: Heart attacks while doing so are one of the main causes of death linked to winter hazards every year. Injuries after slipping on black ice are another classic of the season.

9)Don’t forget your water supply. You need to keep at least some of it inside so that it doesn’t freeze. Blackouts and frozen pipes could leave you without water fairly easily and its important to stay hydrated when fighting cold temperatures.

10)Stock up so as to minimize travel or avoid going out entirely if required. Car accidents are one of the main causes of death during winter storms.

FerFAL

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Being careful of Scams, Charlatans and Frauds

 Reply:Why didnt I move to Estancia Cafayate in the Province of Salta
Anonymous said...
This post is a bit out-dated but still applies to those looking to take advantage of the crumbling Argentinian peso to the dollar and be haggled into buying property at "La Estancia de Cafayate." As a previous resident and employee in the resort, I've concluded that what was marketed as a "Libertarian's Paradise" by the Casey Group has been nothing but a sham and all the blind Casey followers are either kicking themselves for a stupid investment or rationalizing all that wasted money as to "how could good old Douggie ever steer us wrong?" At the last Casey Research Event held in Cafayate, Doug had little to say about anything except for "You're all a bunch of chimpanzees!" And now he really does have the last laugh as all of his shares in LEC have been sold over to the ever corrupt Ramiro family. In just my short time living there, I can't put into words how sick and terrible this family really is -- from the aspiring political artist, marriage breaking, cheating on his American spouse son to the smooth talking politicot of the Salta Province father. This family effectively chased out any new businesses in La Estancia and has tried (but failed multiple times) to monopolize all services within the community.

The town of Cafayate is very charming though and can be a nice place to spend a week on your tour of Argentina. The times be a changin' though in the sleepy town due to all of this gringo-lovin corruption though. All Argentines, from the quiet villager to the newly arrived Portenos, love to say the same thing about the town -- safety. Everyone looks out for one another, including your belongings, and this was something I loved so much in the town. However, petty theft crimes are climbing now that Cafayate is on the map as a destination for rich, polo-watching, wine sipping idiots, the people, or its police, or La Estancia de Cafayate employees itself are beginning to take advantage.

So to all of you who heard the call and saw the wolf dressed as a sheep in the pasture, cheers to you.

A-



Thanks for sharing your experience.

I have absolutely nothing against anyone making an honest buck, or a million of them for that matter but I do have a problem with people being lied to or fooled. Even more so, I have a problem with people being tricked into parting ways with their very hard earned money. An important part of a well-rounded modern survival mentality is to learn to identify scams and con artists. I can sleep at night knowing that I did my best to inform people about what life in Argentina is like and even more so what life in a poor Argentine inner province like Salta is really like.
Argentina has already fallen apart, and these last couple years its been even worse than imaginable with the default, even worse crime and further breakdown of society. Its as if after the building crumbled, someone went on to salt the earth and pour gasoline all over the rubble. Today, moving to Argentina is as smart as relocating to Venezuela.
By now, anyone that bothered to do basic online research about Argentina and this man’s investment would have found my writings, which are based on overwhelming facts about the situation in the country and province. If after reading it all you still “invest” in such a place I just don’t know what to tell you.

But the reason I’m posting this isn’t to warn more people about this man yet again. Google “exposed” and this man’s name and you’ll find even more interesting facts. I’m posting this to warn everyone about the hundreds of people like him, that call themselves “investors”, “international man of mystery ”, “libertarians”, “Christians”. Especially in the survival community, I’ve noticed that with rare exceptions, those that boast about how great Christians they are, with a holier-than-thou attitude and bible-thumping narrative, they tend to be the worst. With “libertarians” something similar happens. Some people are true libertarians while others want to liberate you from your money. Same goes for “international rich big shots”, self-claimed billionaires that will let you into their inner circle for $99.95. Folks, these are people that have only one guiding principle which is to make as much money as possible (no problem with that), anyway they can(here we have a problem). There are self-claimed survival experts and gurus that do the exact same thing in USA, simply to make money out of you buying property or land in a way that suits their own best interest. 

I love Americans. Believe me I do. You’re fantastic, generous people and although there’s bad apples just like in any other society Americans are the nicest, good hearted people out there. But in many cases you also trust too much and tend to be naïve, usually giving people the benefit of the doubt if not just downright trusting complete strangers. Times are getting tough folks. Con artists and charlatans abound and there’s more of them every day.  Before parting with your hard earned money do a LOT of research. Read reviews, google information about the product or person you’re about to trust, may that be buying a 30 dollar knife in Amazon but even more so when buying a $200.000 retreat in Argentina or Idaho.
There’s people right now getting tricked out of their life savings and they don’t even know it. Just make sure you’re not one of them.

FerFAL

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Core Concept Behind the Assault on Your Freedom

(Very good contributing article by Jim V. Thanks Jim for sharing!- FerFAL)

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
- Club of Rome, 1993

In 1894, the Times of London estimated that in under 60 years, every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. Similarly, a New York prognosticator in the 1890s predicted by 1930 the citizens of that no-so-fair city would see that selfsame horse excrement rise three stories high if nothing were done. Neither the Times nor the New York diviners had computer models, but undoubtedly, if they had, given their underlying assumptions, the conclusion would have been the same. Garbage in, garbage out, as the programmers say.
Linear predictions such as the above were first formalized by the Rev. Thomas Malthus (1776–1834) who noted that population is not always immediately limited by food and energy, writing in his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population, that "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man" and that “That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by (the mechanisms of) misery and vice.” Malthus’ writings need much more nuance for the scholar reading this, of course, but in short, the crux of the issue was the well-known quote that human population increases geometrically, while food supply is only able to increase arithmetically. Thus, if population is left unchecked, misery, starvation and death will result. And in large part, much of what you see today in the socio-political realm, is built around this one basic presupposition. To illustrate the point, bear with me as I cite a large number of well-known leaders and groups who parrot the exact philosophy of Malthus, only in more modern garb. Scan or skip the quotes as you need, but my purpose in providing the quantity of citations is to illustrate just how well entrenched this philosophy is throughout our culture.

- “The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.” Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 Earth Charter (of course the authors of this are excepted, presumably)

- “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies—often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance of survival.” Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb. Ehrlich is a former 1970s global cooling fanatic, which demanded development and population restrictions, who a few decades later converted to global warming fanatic, which also requires population restrictions. Ehrlich predicted the world would come to a catastrophic denouement from global cooling in the 1970s – but of course he has now converted the mechanism for our destruction to global warming. Whatever fits the narrative.
- “We have to take away from humans in the long run their reproductive autonomy as the only way to guarantee the advancement of mankind.” Francis Crick, discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA
- “One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier (Jacques, of course, with all his globe-trotting, was equivalent a zillion Bangladeshes –though only half as bad as Obama’s regular vacations - but as Orwell warned us, in the socialist paradise, some of us will be “more equal” than the others.)

- “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.” United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment

- “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline would be ideal.” Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major United Nations contributor. (Ted…. are you volunteering to “check out” first?)

- Noted professor Eric Pianka declared that the Earth would be better off if nine out of 10 people were to die. “The Earth’s population is growing,” said Eric Pianka of the University of Texas, who was named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science. “We will see a point when we reach the carrying capacity – there aren’t enough resources.” Pianka believes the planet’s current population of 6.5 billion is much too high, and 700 million would be the ideal number. He says people are turning the Earth into “fat, human biomass” and leaving the planet “parched,” as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons quoted him as saying. According to Pianka, the most likely instrument for killing 90 percent of the Earth’s human population is the Ebola virus, after it evolves the capacity for airborne transmission: “War and famine would not do. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. AIDS is not an efficient killer because it is too slow. My favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. We’ve got airborne diseases with 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that. You know, the bird flu’s good, too. For everyone who survives, he will have to bury nine.” As with Mr. Turner, there are no reports that Dr. Pianka is volunteering to help out the situation by going first.

- Finnish writer Pentti Linkola is the classic uber-greenie, who wants to reduce Earth’s population to 500 million and abandon modern technology (presumably he is getting his message out via smoke signals) who wrote: “What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.” And of course, America is the core of the problem: “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom” Adds Linkola, and “Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy. There cannot be so incompetent a dictator that he would show more stupidity than a majority of the people. The best dictatorship would be one where lots of heads would roll and where government would prevent any economic growth. We will have to learn from the history of revolutionary movements — the national socialists (Nazis), the Finnish Stalinists, from the many stages of the Russian revolution, from the methods of the Red Brigades — and forget our narcissistic selves.” Linkola has also publicly called for climate change deniers be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed, with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state, with people forcibly sterilized, cars confiscated and travel restricted to members of the elite (what? You expected the leftist elite to eat their own cooking?) No word from Linkola as to who will control the controllers, of course. A fellow Finnish environmentalist writer, Martin Kreiggeist, hails Linkola’s call for eco-gulags and oppression as “a solution,” calling for people to “take up the axes” in pursuit of killing off the third world. Kreiggeist wants fellow eco-fascists to “act on” Linkola’s call for mass murder in order to solve overpopulation. Linkola and Kreiggeist come from a long line of those that would just that! The Black Book of Communism, by Courtois, et al, says various flavor of the left murdered 100 million last century, while Dr. RJ Rummel, Univ. of Hawaii, puts the number as high as 160 million (the vast majority murdered by the left). See his web site at http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/PERSONAL.HTM or take the time to review his magnum opus, Death by Government, which provides details on how he came up with his numbers.

- “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Leader of the World Wildlife Fund
“Malthus has been vindicated; reality is finally catching up with Malthus. The Third World is overpopulated, it’s an economic mess, and there’s no way they could get out of it with this fast-growing population. Our philosophy is: back to the village.” Dr. Arne Schiotz, World Wildlife Fund Director of Conservation.
- “There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….” and “Our program in El Salvador didn’t work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people…. To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females….” The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….” Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs. “Too many goddamed people.” I think that expresses your sentiments perfectly, Mr. Ferguson. (“Godammed people” pretty much sums up the whole issue, but again, Mr. Ferguson probably doesn’t consider himself “people” – he is undoubtedly special.)
- “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries”. Dr. Henry Kissinger. Kissinger also noted “The world’s population needs to be reduced by 50%,” and “The elderly are useless eaters” Kissinger is 91 – but no word yet if he plans to “check out” early. Y’know… just to do his part and all
- “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Nope, no word from the leftist media on this racist comment. And never will be, either.
“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.” Obama’s science czar John P. Holdren, cited from Ecoscience. Holdren is a current global warmer cult leader – while in the 1970s, he joined Ehrlich as a fanatic global cooling alarmist. Any mechanism to control the population, you know!
- “It is easier to kill a million people rather than trying to control a million people… people are fighting back…our capacity to impose control over humanity is at an historical low…”
Zbignew Brzezinsi

- As just one final example of hundreds of quotes I could have included, the Club of Rome in 1993 stated in their The First Global Revolution, downloadable at http://www.scribd.com/doc/2297152/Alexander-King-Bertrand-Schneider-The-First-Global-Revolution-Club-of-Rome-1993-Edition that “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is mankind.” “Came up with the idea”… as opposed to “the facts led us to the conclusion.”

The fact of the matter is, as Robert Zubrin observed, to the today’s Malthusians, “… each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated thought or act is menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is the enemy of every other race or nation.” Yes, we are back to the disproved socialist assumption that life and economics are a zero sum game, but this assumption is not up for debate – at least among the powers that be (and for those of you who think of Thomas Kuhn’s famed book The Structure of Scientific Revolution, which deals with how intellectuals become victims of group think just as easily as your local “Yes we can” chanters, you are exactly right). And it is not just your life that is unwelcome, but your financial status as well, until you not-so-mercifully decide - or it is decided for you- to put off this mortal coil. The economic side of the matter is put most clearly by the World Wildlife Fund Living Plant Report of 2012, which Lewis Page summarizes in the May 16, 2012 edition of the Register that “economic growth should be abandoned, (and) citizens of the world’s wealthy nations should prepare for poverty.” Individual rights are verboten, of course, given the Malthusian threat to the earth. As Harvey Ruvin, Vice-chair of International Committee for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), a group that wants to impose the green agenda on everyone has noted, “Individual rights must take a back seat to the collective.” Pol Pot, move over… but please do not concern yourself that Obama and his cronies might have their tee times or uber-luxe vacations impacted.

Perhaps the best known antecedent of the ideas quoted above comes from the National Socialist (Nazi) T4 euthanasia programme, run by Hitler’s doctor, Karl Brandt. As early as 1929 Hitler proposed 700,000 of the weakest Germans be “removed” per year. By Aug. 1939, every doctor and midwife was notified they must register all children born with genetic defects, retroactive to 1936. The doomed were to “give their lives for the greater cause.” Nazis used injections; then later - being the ever-efficient National Socialists they were - used carbon monoxide. They would then send a letter to the parents, telling them that their child was dead (hey, it depends on what the definition of “was” was, right?) from pneumonia, and already cremated.
As you know, those responsible for the T4 programme were condemned and punished at the Nuremburg Trials after World War II. Importantly, ignorance or “just following orders” was not an excuse during these court proceedings. Most interestingly, individuals like Kissinger were with the Allied army as they fought Germany during this time, and should have zero excuse. Yet today, the Nazi wannabes are back at. For example, Drs. Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini just published an article in a respected, academic journal about “after birth abortion” (sic) in the Journal of Medical Ethics (see http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.short ), while Dr. Peter Singer of Yale believes that children should be able to be killed up to two years old (yet all the while he refuses to euthanize his elderly mother, who is horribly incapacitated with Alzheimers). It is, as the philosopher/theologian Os Guinness once noted, that “while all philosophies are arguable; not all are livable.”
You are now aware of the impact of Malthusian philosophy on population and resources, and have a general idea of who and what is behind it – which is pretty much the bulk of Hollywood, academia, the lamestream media, Al Gore and his acolytes, Agenda 21 types, and your Hilary-esque political, social and economic betters. You may have also surmised, correctly, that this Malthusian presupposition is going to directly impact you, your health, your wealth, your family, and your now nasty, short and brutish life.
Here we come to the crux of this article. Is the Malthusian assumption actually valid? Or is it just one of those faux truisms accepted by a culture for generations, such as the thinking that Chinese girls’ feet should always be bound, or the Boston Red Sox could never win the World Series after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Has anyone actually conducted a real life, boots-on-the-ground examination of the Malthusian assumptions?
As a matter of fact, someone has. But before we go there, a few preliminaries. Were you aware that between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced globally, equivalent to two billion tons, is thrown away each year according to a recent report written by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), titled ‘Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not’, found at http://www.imeche.org/Libraries/Reports/IMechE_Global_Food_Report.sflb.ashx? The problem is not with production, it is with distribution. Might I suggest that before we ponder throwing away human lives, as per Dr. Pianka above, we start by making sure food isn’t thrown away? Similarly, were you aware that three times the current population of the world could fit in the state of Oklahoma, which has an area of 69,903 square miles? In this case, one square mile will accommodate 278,784 people if each person were allowed 100 square feet. At that rate the state of Oklahoma could accommodate a 19.49 billion people— almost three times the earth’s current population of 6.4 billion – with the entire acreage of the US left over to farm, hike, populate with office buildings, put solar panels on, etc. The highly quoted scientist, and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming, Bjorn Lomborg, takes the issue of trash under the same microscope, noting that the entire waste produced by the United States in the 21st century could fit into a square 100 feet thick and 28 km along each side, or 0.009% of the total surface of the United States
Lomborg also considers pollution from different angles. He notes that air pollution in wealthy nations has steadily decreased in recent decades, and finds that air pollution levels are highly linked to economic development, with the less developed countries polluting most. Again, Lomborg argues that faster growth in emerging countries would help them reduce their air pollution levels, and suggests that devoting resources to reduce the levels of specific air pollutants would provide the greatest health benefits and save the largest number of lives (per amount of money spent), continuing an already decades-long improvement in air quality in most developed countries. Similarly concerning water pollution, Lomborg notes again that this is connected with economic progress – not bumping off people, as the ignorant Georgia Guidestones imply (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones)
Some will erroneously conflate being profligate, ignorant, wasteful with those who disagree with the Malthusians. That is an utterly gross misunderstanding of the issue. The point is that human life brings with it not just resource consumption, but intelligence, which is the key point in the whole debate. Going back to the horse manure issue in London, human intelligence brought about the invention of the automobile, which solved the manure issue. If the mad doctor Pianka had been around then, perhaps Henry Ford would have been intentionally bumped off by the Spanish flu before he got his auto industry in gear. Ah, but the car has created problems the Malthusian will say. And of course, the simple rejoinder is that the next step to resolve the issues brought about by the car are under way. The catalytic converter has already solved a certain percentage of the smog problem, though obviously more needs to be done. In fact, that “more to be done” is already under way. The very day this article began to be composed, a new paper in Science, reported at www.phys.org, how University of Glasgow scientists have taken a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, using solar powered electrolysis to break the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen, the constituents of water (see article at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-hydrogen-production-breakthrough-herald-cheap.html ). Dr. Dan Nocera of MIT has a similar new product, marketed by SunCatalytix, which he explains at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTtmU2lD97o. The issue is, the Univ. of Glasgow scientists and Dr. Nocera may never have come into existence were it for the Malthusians, and in fact, if the Malthusians had their way, horse poop might well actually be 9 feet high in London now – though of course, they presumably would have killed off much of the population to prevent the problem. The real problem is not the number of people, but rather the corruption of law, politics (yes, Harry Reid, we are looking at you!), distribution processes (which are most efficiently left to Adam Smith-style private initiative, not USSR-style central planning), the slowing of patent granting (of which I have personal experience), socialism-caused poverty, and more. The problem is not population, per se.
We now come to the piece de resistance about the Malthusian misunderstanding, which it is found in the famed Julian Simon/Paul Ehrlich wager - essentially a wager between whether Malthus was right, or if the ingenuity of man is more significant. Simon’s point was that “The most important benefit of population size and growth is the increase it brings to the stock of useful knowledge. Minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths.” Simon bet the then catastrophic global coolers – who are now catastrophic global warmers - Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren in 1980 that the price of chromium, copper, nickel, tin, and tungsten would go down, not up, by Sept. 29, 1990. In fact, all five commodities – which Ehrlich selected - went down by the targeted date. In Oct. 1990, Ehrlich mailed Julian Simon a cheque for $576.07 to settle the wager. No word if current unelected Obama science czar Holdren chipped in any dough or not. But – as the last refuge of scientific (or economic) scoundrels – of course they trot out the old “this time will be different,” and the Malthusians, in the form of Agenda 21ers, etc. still remain in their cult-like trance. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon%E2%80%93Ehrlich_wager for the Wikipedia summary of the Simon/Ehrlich wager.
The key point of this paper, which the Malthusians who deign to run your life based on their faulty assumptions miss, is that scarcity is mitigated by human intelligence and creativity. Horse poop doesn’t grow up to the trees in downtown NY or London, without some brainiac coming up with a novel solution. I will admit, however that horse apples do, apparently, grow up to the trees and beyond in the halls of academia or some bought-and-paid-for politician in Washington or Brussels.
It is true, as Orwell once noted, that “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” Malthusianism is one that is at the top of the list.