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The population question: Toward a plan for global sustainability

Enviroment

Too often, it seems, matters of population are overlooked in discussions of global sustainability. And this is true, despite some rather obvious points: A world of, say, 5 billion people is more likely to be sustainable than one of 10 billion; and a world of 1 billion is likely more sustainable still. All things being equal, a world with fewer people will allow for a more robust planetary ecosystem, and a higher quality of life for humans, than a world with more people. Few seem willing to state things this clearly, but I think few would contest it, if pressed.

by David Skrbina

Currently the Earth is at roughly 7.7 billion, heading to 9.5 billion by 2050, and perhaps to 11 or 12 billion by 2100. Each year about 135 million babies are born; if we subtract the 55 million annual deaths, we get an annual growth rate of 80 million—or around 220,000 more humans every day. Every one of these people needs clothing, shelter, food; they produce waste; they buy things and discard things; and they compete for space on this planet with all other animal and plant life. As we see from mass extinctions and general reductions of animal life in particular, humans are slowly but surely squeezing out all other lifeforms on Earth. This is not a recipe for long-term sustainability.

Human population vs extinctions

But it’s not just human numbers, as we know. It also depends on how much each person produces and consumes—their standard of living, and specifically how much of the Earth’s resources each requires, on an on-going basis, to support their lifestyle.  This aspect has been factored into the ecological footprint: a measure of land-area equivalent, per person, that represents the average resource use of each person in a given nation. Thus, 10 million people with a high footprint are more ecologically damaging, and hence less sustainable, than 10 million with a low footprint. It is well-known that wealthy, ‘first world’ industrial nations have higher footprints, and poorer, ‘third world’ nations much smaller ones. At the low end, we have nations like Haiti, that survive on the equivalent of just 0.7 hectares/person. India consumes a bit more (1.2) and China more still (3.6). European countries are higher still: for example, Spain (4.0), Italy (4.4), Germany (4.8), Finland (6.3), and Sweden (6.5). At the high end of major nations, we have Canada (7.7) and the USA (8.1).[1] There is naturally some variability in such numbers, and their precise calculations can be questioned, but they seem to provide useful directional figures.

From a global standpoint, what matters is the total footprint of each nation, and ultimately, the total footprint of all humans. Calculating national totals is simple: per capita numbers (above) multiplied by current population. The total footprint of Haiti, then, is (0.7 x 11.2 million =) 7.8 million hectares.

fig1
Figure 1. Total ecological footprints in millions of global hectares of all nations listed above

Constructing a Plan

My concern here is to sketch out a nation-by-nation plan by which each country can establish concrete, achievable numbers to get to long-term sustainability, using a common standard. This will allow a nominally “fair and equal” approach, and hopefully will avoid pitting the wealthy north against the poorer south. Thus we need not point fingers at China, for example, and say that they have the largest global footprint, and therefore that “they need to do something.” It’s not that simple. Everyone has a role. Thus, we need a fair and reasonable plan, on a universal standard, that each nation can pursue on its own.

One way to do this is to establish clear and intuitive standards for sustainability. Here is one approach that I have long championed: Compare a nation’s total footprint to the land area that they have. As we might guess, many nations are “overstepping their bounds,” and living on more land area than they actually represent. Take the USA. Discounting Alaska—which is huge, sparsely populated, and mostly mountains or frozen tundra—the US has around 810 million hectares of land. And yet, as we see above, the total footprint of the US is about 2,700 million hectares. Hence they are over-using land by a factor of 3.3; in other words, Americans use more than three times as much land as they have.

How is this possible? Partly by overtaxing their land, and partly via that economic practice known as globalization. On the one hand, America uses its own non-renewable resources (like coal), and uses its renewables at a faster rate than they can be replenished. Additionally, America’s vast international corporations stretch out across the planet, acquire resources, and bring them back for local consumption. Oil, machinery, hardwoods, precious minerals, food, technological devices…all these are purchased abroad and imported into the US for consumer and industrial use. Obviously, this is an unsustainable situation. It is not a global model. Every nation cannot overstep its consumption; there is only one Earth, after all.

How do others fare? Thanks to advanced technology and globalization, America is not alone. India has about 330 million ha of land, and thus overreaches by an even larger factor of 5.2. China has around 950 million ha, and thus overconsumes by a similar factor.

fig2
Figure 2. How many times the countries overconsume their land (overreach factor)? Figures for the nations in question.

For the northern nations (Finland, Sweden, Canada) I have subtracted roughly one-third of their formal land area, being, like Alaska, largely frozen or otherwise unusable land.

Such figures are, of course, very rough numbers, but they do give us valid directional information. All but Canada are overreaching their bounds, and hence are unsustainable on this basis alone. Germany stands out here as being deeply unsustainable, with Italy not far behind. I hasten to note, however, that ecological overreach is not primarily a rich-nation phenomenon. Even impoverished Haiti, with its dense population and mere 2.8 million ha of land, overreaches by a factor of 2.9. This partly explains why, at present, humanity is consuming the equivalent of 1.75 Earths—a situation guaranteed to lead to catastrophe.

A first step toward true sustainability, then, would be to require each nation to live within its own area. Or rather, equivalent land area; clearly there can be mutual trading, where each nation “uses” some amount of land area elsewhere. But ideally it should be net zero—no net imbalance.

But this step alone is insufficient, because it presumes usage of all of a nation’s land area. The US, for example, cannot sustainably use its 810 million ha because soon enough, the land would be exhausted. They cannot farm, pave, develop, harvest, or graze every bit of land they have. Large portions are functionally unusable (desert, mountains, swamps, etc), and much needs to be protected, for the sake of nature. Much less than the 810 million ha can used, sustainably, in the long-run.

So, we arrive at a key question: How much less? In other words, How much for nature? Setting aside the oceans, how much of Earth’s land area does nature ‘need’ to do her work? Large swaths, to be sure. Large carnivores need vast areas of contiguous land with little or no human presence. Migrating animals need the same. Forest ecosystems flourish best in large, undisturbed areas. Wildfires must be allowed to burn on their natural schedules, in vast regions, to restore the vitality of the soil.

So, how much? How much would be fair and yet still get the job done? Here’s one proposal: 50/50. That is, half for humans to use, and half for nature to do what nature does best. On the face of it, this might seem fair, but of course objectively it’s not. That one species among millions should be allowed to dominate half the Earth is, in fact, an outrageous assertion. It speaks to the gravity of our situation that 50/50 should even pretend to be ‘fair.’ For now, though, it will serve our purposes.

I’m not alone in this call, incidentally. Prominent biologist E. O. Wilson has notably defended a similar figure, in his proposal of “half-Earth.” See his 2016 book of the same name, and the organization he established online at www.half-earthproject.org. Again, this is a very rough guideline, but as a concept it is simple and coherent:  half for nature, half for humanity. And it just might work.

Two Core Principles

All this boils down to two essential principles of global sustainability:

  1. Each nation should set aside half of its land area, as wilderness or protected land.

  2. Each nation should adjust its population and consumption to live on the other half.

This is simple, clear, intuitive, easy to convey, and workable. At the very least, it can serve as a vision moving forward—certainly it is far ahead of anything being attempted at present.

So, in rough numbers, what does this actually mean? The principles are straightforward, but for many nations, the challenge would be steep. Take the USA. If America were to be truly sustainable, it would begin to set aside some 400 million ha as wilderness, national park, or protected land. Obviously this cannot happen quickly, but given, say, until the end of the century, it is eminently workable. Setting aside 2 or 3 million ha annually would reach the desired goal relatively quickly, given that several million hectares are already under some form of protection.

Harder would be to reconfigure American society to live on the other 400 million ha. It has three options: (1) reduce population, (2) reduce per capita footprint, or (3) some combination of the two. Let’s say Americans want to continue to live at their luxury level of 8.1 ha per person. No problem—they just need to have less people. A lot less people. The math is straightforward: 400 million ha divided by 8.1 allows just 50 million people. This is a breath-taking 85% reduction from present levels—in a nation that is currently growing by some 4 million people annually.

Impossible, you say? Fine, we have an alternative for them: reduce per capita consumption. Let’s say Americans want to keep all of their current population of 330 million people. No problem—they just need to consume less. A lot less. Again, the math is clear: 400 million ha divided by 330 million people allows an average footprint of 1.2 ha per person. This is roughly the level of present-day India. Such is the math. The numbers are relentless.

Fortunately option #3 is more palatable, especially if implemented over, say, 80 years. If both population and footprint were reduced by a small amount, consistently, every year, America could reach sustainability in 80 years. And easily. For example, if both were reduced by just 1.2% annually, in 80 years—by the year 2100—America would be at a population of 125 million with a footprint of around 3.0 hectares per person.  Its total footprint would then be at 375 million ha, effectively a sustainable figure.  And if the other half of its land were placed into protection by that time, the US would be a model nation for the world.

Similar analysis holds for other countries, with appropriate modifications. Take India. With a land area of 330 million ha, India should set aside half for nature, and then live on the other half—on 165 million ha. On the one hand, an annual reduction of 1.5% over 80 years in both population and footprint would work. But this would yield an unacceptable footprint of 0.36 ha/person—about half of present-day Haiti. Probably something like 1.0 ha/person is the bare minimum to maintain anything close to a civilized existence; less than that, and we are looking at mass poverty and mass starvation. Therefore India’s task is nearly all on the population side of the ledger. Consequently, they would need to get their numbers down to 165 million, roughly, to reach sustainability. Today they are at 1.4 billion. Over 80 years, this requires a 2.75% annual reduction—a challenge, to be sure, but not impossible.

And then consider Finland. If we take its usable land area of 22 million ha (again, neglecting the frozen north), and set aside 11 million for nature, and then use the other 11 million for human sustenance, the numbers are very manageable. A mere 0.7% annual reduction in population and footprint would arrive at figures of 3.2 million people (versus a current figure of 5.5 million) and 3.6 ha/person. Finland, in fact, is already trending downward in population, according to EU estimates. Projections are now officially “bleak,” with a projected loss of some 100,000 by 2050 and another 100,000 by the end of the century. And yet, from a sustainability perspective, this trend is positive and needs to be reinforced, not resisted.

fig3
Figure 3. The full table with the “ideal” populations in the year 2100, along with percentage reductions from present.

Note: Numbers for Haiti and India have been modified to keep their per capita footprints from falling below 1.0 ha. And Canada alone shows no necessary reduction, given that they are already far below their limit—i.e. that their overreach is today below 1.0. But most nations will necessarily have to plan for a significant long-term reduction, albeit at a small (1 – 2%) annual rate.

Next Steps

Clearly there is more to be said, and many details to examine. But I think, directionally, this gives us some important facts to consider in the broader context of sustainability. For example, the need to shrink both footprints and population is naturally compatible with the ‘degrowth’ movement, which certainly needs to look beyond merely economic concepts like per capita GDP and examine population and nature directly. Within the SUCH network, I would be happy to collaborate with others on further discussions along the above lines. I would suggest that we all need to keep in mind population and footprint issues, in our larger fields of work.

From a governmental standpoint, it seems that most talk these days is around climate change and the need to become “carbon neutral.” For example, Finland recently committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035, which makes it one of the most ambitious plans in the world. But there is a danger here: The implication here that carbon neutrality alone will solve the climate crisis, and perhaps even the global ecological crisis as well. Unfortunately such a plan, though welcome, is far from sufficient. First, we have been pumping carbon gases into the air for over 300 years, and neutrality only means no further additions; at some point, we need to start pulling carbon out of the air, and return to a stable condition. We need a “carbon negative” plan, not a carbon neutral one. Second, the implication is that population can continue its unhindered growth—as if a world of 10 billion “carbon neutral” people could be sustainable. It can’t.

But this raises an important question: How many people can the planet sustain? We can do a quick analysis, comparable to what I have done above. The total usable land area on Earth is around 11.2 billion ha. If we set aside half (5.6 bha) for nature and live on the other half, and we assume the current global average footprint of 2.8 ha/person, then the planet can support just (5.6 / 2.8 =) 2 billion people at current living standards. This is a decline of 74% from the current 7.7 billion—a figure that is very much in line with the national reductions I listed above.[2]

Furthermore, this suggests the need to set national and global targets for both population and footprint. Both are currently rising: global footprint at 2.1% per year, and global population at 1.0% per year. Rationally, we should accept the need for halting the growth curves and then implementing long-term reductions. This implies setting a target date for a population peak, and then goals and plans to bring it down. The same idea, incidentally, has recently been proposed with respect to meat-eating—meat being especially destructive, ecologically. Scientists have proposed a “peak meat” date of 2030, after which global (and presumably national) meat consumption would decline. We can do the same here. Let’s propose a “peak population” date of 2030, after which we can map out a decline to sustainable levels. Then we can push national governments to commit to such a target, and begin to implement plans to make it happen.

It goes without saying that there are many potential criticisms of such an approach, and these must be considered and responded to. Given the substantial reductions in both population and standard living that I propose here, I can imagine that they will be harsh indeed. But my general response is this: If we don’t like this road to sustainability, what would be better? That is, what true plan for global sustainability can afford to overlook population reduction? I can’t imagine any realistically sustainable Earth with 5 or 10 billion people; such an idea seems absurd. Population must go down—either voluntarily, slowly, and rationally, or else nature is likely to do the job for us. And she won’t be kind. Thus, if population is inevitably going down, the best case is a slow, fair, and reasonable approach. This was my motivation here.

sustainability

Finally, I must point out that there is one wild card in this whole discussion: technology. Even if, by some miracle, humanity began to move in the above direction and reduced both population and footprint, and expanded wilderness, technology may well continue its relentless advance. There are many scenarios where accelerating advanced technologies pose literally existential risks to humanity and the planet, and in a time frame sooner than the above plans require. In other words, our best efforts on population may be rendered moot by some technological disaster. Hence, we cannot ignore that component. In parallel to the above, I would suggest that we need a comparable scaling-back of industrial technology, slowly but steadily, to minimize the risk of any such technological catastrophe. But that’s a topic for another time.

Meanwhile, I am happy to collaborate with anyone on the issues examined here.

[1] 2016 data, from Global Footprint Network.

[2] Obviously, we could sustain a higher population if we reduced the global average footprint. Theoretically, 5 billion people are sustainable if they all live at the poverty level of 1.0 ha/person. But that’s not a viable goal.

 



46 Comments on "The population question: Toward a plan for global sustainability"

  1. makati1 on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 5:10 pm 

    Another long article for money from someone trying to justify his title. A person who thinks his ideas are important. Probably never held a real job in his life, telling others how to live. LMAO!

    Nothing is going to turn the herd from the extinction cliff. Nothing. All we humans can do is speed up the stampede. Tech can make an almost instant extinction event occur simply by pushing a few buttons. Tech made the population of today possible, while destroying the ecosystem that we require to exist.

    In a few million years, there will be nothing left to show that we ever existed. Human arrogance is our weakness. That and greed. So be it.

  2. JuanP on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 5:14 pm 

    “never held a real job in his life”

    Mak, I never had a real job and look how I turned out

  3. Davy on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 5:38 pm 

    We had us A REAL Job once. But we opted out. It was to much like wurk.

  4. dave thompson on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 6:04 pm 

    DE growth plus capitalism now that is one fine idea. I am sure nothing can stop this idea. Our corporate masters are in the think tanks across the globe hashing this idea out as we speak. Hey what’s the idea?

  5. ANAL REAPER on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 4:26 am 

    JuanP should kill himself as i rape his daughters. Faggot.

  6. REAL Green on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 4:42 am 

    JuanP said he didn’t have any kids Anal Reaper. He was real clear about that. Somethin about the world bein over populated an all.

  7. Davy on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 5:34 am 

    The map in this artical looks a lot like cloggos map. And Kunstlers map to.

    “2020 – A Year Of Living Dangerously”
    https://tinyurl.com/t3nksbs zero hedge

    “The shocking crime being committed during this century under the unscrupulous initiative of a few evil men is ongoing and no longer hidden from those willing to open their eyes and see the truth. As conspiracy theorists have proven to be right through the sacrifice of Snowden, Assange, and other patriots for truth, the Deep State psychopaths have double downed and are blatantly flaunting their power and control over the levers of government, finance and media.”

    “The optimism among the financial class has reached all-time highs. As long as their sugar daddy Powell keeps the candy flowing, all is well on Wall Street. Meanwhile, most economic indicators continue to point downward and our national debt grows by $4 billion per day. Average Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt, as they need their credit cards to survive, student loan delinquencies soar, auto loan debt is going bad at a higher rate than the 2008 crisis, and home prices are now 15% above the previous bubble peak.”

    “The political distress as we entered 2019 was already at looming civil war intensity. If possible, the decibel level has actually risen higher, to 11 on a 1 to 10 scale.”

  8. Davy on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 5:59 am 

    Fair and balanced is always real important to us…

    “World War III Already Happened, America Is A Simulation”
    https://tinyurl.com/qtajdmn zero hedge

    “So, 2020 is off to an exciting start. It’s barely the middle of January, and we’ve already made it through World War III, which was slightly less apocalyptic than expected.”

    “It started in the Middle East, of course, when Donald Trump (a “Russian-asset”) ordered the murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad Airport, presumably after clearing it with Putin, which, given Iran and Russia’s relationship, doesn’t really make much sense.”

    “But whatever. According to the U.S. government and the corporate media, Soleimani was a “terrorist,” who had been working with Assad (another “terrorist”) to destroy ISIS (who are also “terrorists”) and elements of Al-Qaeda (who used to be “terrorists”) with the support of the Russians (who are kind of “terrorists”) and doing all sorts of other unspecified but allegedly imminent “terrorist” things.”

    “Apparently, Soleimani had flown to Baghdad on a secret commercial “terrorist” flight and was on his way to some kind of covert “terrorist” diplomatic meeting to respond to a de-escalation proposal from Saudi Arabia (who are definitely not “terrorists”) when the U.S. military preventatively murdered him with a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Reaper drone.”

    “Iran (officially a “terrorist” country since January 1979, when they overthrew the brutal Western puppet that the CIA and MI6 had installed as their “Shah” in 1953, after they regime-changed the Iranian prime minister, after he nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later to be known as British Petroleum) reacted to the preventative murder of their “terrorist” general like a bunch of “terrorists.””

    “The Ayatollah Khamenei (you guessed it, a “terrorist”) issued a series of “terrorist” threats against the 50,000 U.S. military personnel more or less completely surrounding his country on bases all across the Middle East. Millions of Iranians (currently “terrorists,” except for members of MeK), who, according to the U.S. officials, hated Soleimani, took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to mourn his death, burn American flags, and chant “death to America” and other “terrorist” slogans.”

    “The empire went to DEFCON 1.”

    “Freedom-loving countries throughout the region stood by to be annihilated. Saudi Arabia postponed its previously scheduled weekend edition of public head-chopping. Israel dialed up its non-existent nukes. The Kuwaitis posted armed guards on their incubators. The Qataris, Bahrainians, United Arab Emiratis, and other loyal empire outposts did whatever those folks do when they’re facing nuclear Armageddon.”

    “In the U.S.A., it was mass hysteria. The corporate media starting pumping out stories about Soleimani having “blood on his hands,” and being “the number one terrorist in the world,” and having ruthlessly genocided hundreds of American soldiers, who, back in 2003, had preventatively invaded and destroyed Iraq and were preventatively slaughtering and torturing its people to keep them from attacking America with their non-existent WMDs.”

    “Americans (most of whom had never even heard of Soleimani until their government murdered him, and many of whom can’t find Iran on a map) took to Twitter to call for the immediate nuking of Iran from orbit. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a division of heavily-armed anti-“terror” forces to stand around in New York City with their rifles in the classic “sling-ready” position to prevent the Iranians from swimming the Atlantic (along with their communist killer dolphins), crawling up onto East Hampton Beach, taking the LIRR into town, and committing some devastating “terrorist” atrocity that would be commemorated throughout eternity on key rings, T-shirts, and jumbo coffee mugs.”

    “Nevertheless, retaliate the Iranians did. In a sadistic display of cold-hearted “terrorism,” they launched a firestorm of ballistic “terror” missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, killing no one and injuring no one, but damaging the hell out of some empty buildings, a helicopter, and a couple of tents. First, though, in order to maximize the “terror,” they called the Swiss embassy in Tehran and asked them to warn the U.S. military that they would be launching missiles at their bases shortly.”

    “Trump burst through the doors of the White House Grand Foyer, dramatically backlit, freshly “tanned,” scowling like a WWF wrestler, and announced that, as long as he is president, “Iran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapons” … as if any of the events of the preceding week had had anything to do with nuclear weapons (which the Iranians don’t need and do not want, except in some neoconservative fantasy wherein Iran intends to commit national suicide by nuking Israel off the face of the Earth).”

    “World War III is not going to happen because World War III already happened … and the global capitalist empire won. Take a look at these NATO maps (make sure to explore all the various missions). Then take a look at this Smithsonian map of where the U.S. military is “combating terrorism.” And there are plenty of other maps you can google. What you will be looking at is the global capitalist empire. Not the American empire, the global capitalist empire.”

    “If that sounds like a distinction without a difference … well, it kind of is, and it kind of isn’t. What I mean by that is that it isn’t America (i.e., America the nation-state, which most Americans still believe they live in) that is militarily occupying much of the planet, making a mockery of international law, bombing and invading other countries, and assassinating heads of state and military officers with complete impunity. Or, rather, sure, it is America … but America is not America.”

    “America is a simulation. It is the mask the global capitalist empire wears to conceal the fact that there is no America … that there is only the global capitalist empire.”

    “The whole idea of “World War III,” of powerful nation-states conquering other powerful nation-states, is pure nostalgia. “America” does not want to conquer Iran. The empire wants to restructure Iran, and then absorb Iran into the empire. It doesn’t give a rat’s ass about democracy, or whether Iranian women are allowed to wear mini-skirts, or any other “human rights.” If it did, it would be restructuring Saudi Arabia and applying “maximum pressure” to Israel.”

    “Likewise, the notion that “America” has been making a series of unfortunate “strategic mistakes” in the Middle East is a convenient illusion. Granted, its foreign policy makes no sense from the perspective of a nation-state, but it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the empire. While “America” appears to be mindlessly thrashing around like a bull in a china shop, the empire knows exactly what it’s doing, what it has been doing since the end of the Cold War, opening up formerly inaccessible markets, eliminating internal resistance, aggressively restructuring any and all territories that are not playing ball with global capitalism.”

    “You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars.”

    “That system of systems, that multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars, has us all by the short hairs, folks. All of us. And it won’t be satisfied until the world is transformed into one big, valueless, neo-feudal, privatized market… so maybe we should forget about World War III, and start focusing on World War IV.”

    “You know the war I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s the global capitalist empire versus the “terrorists.””

  9. Davy on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 6:15 am 

    I like to steal other peoples work, spam it here, cuz it makes me looks fair n smurt. I figur if I post as much of it as I can make work on my cell phone, you will all know what a smirt guy I ams.

    I hoped you liked my article. It took me a long time to write it up. like 10 mins.

  10. JuanP confessions on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 6:50 am 

    I could end this shit everyone hates immediately but I am a narcissistic asshole who only cares about my hurt widdle feelings from 3 years ago. If I would ignore Davy he would ignore me. Davy has said this routinely but LOL I ignore him.
    That truce would end the Bullshit ID theft that fills the board up with my low IQ mindless nonsense. I still need to work on my many socks that my multiple personality disorder produces but one step at a time.

  11. Mental Health Advisers on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 6:56 am 

    Well finally the lunatic admits he is crazy and a narcissistic piece of shit. Get help juanPee.

  12. JuanP on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:13 am 

    bi-coastal shit-libs

    WORLD AT WARMSNBC Amplified Fake News That Iranian Attack Had Killed 30 U.S. Soldiers
    During the Iranian missile attack on U.S. air bases in Iraq, MSNBC amplified a fake news claim by Iranian state media that the air assault had killed 30 U.S. troops. Shortly after it was confirmed that Iran had launched the retaliation attack, rumors began circulating on Twitter, having originated with Iranian state media and pro-Iran propaganda accounts, that the attack had killed at least 20 U.S. soldiers. This figure quickly rose to 30, at which point MSNBC’s Ali Arouzi went on air to report the fake number.

  13. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:16 am 

    “Fair and balanced is always real important to us…”

    Empire dave “forgot” to copy this line from the article:

    “Authored (satiricially) by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,”

  14. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:21 am 

    Oops, Davy didn’t post that it was from JuanP. Sorry Davy

    Empire dave “forgot” to copy this line from the article:

    “Authored (satiricially) by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,”

  15. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:46 am 

    “The Donald’s Assassination of General Soleimani—As Stupid As It Gets”

    https://www.unz.com/article/the-donalds-assassination-of-general-soleimani-as-stupid-as-it-gets/

    “Israel’s Fingerprints Are All Over the Assassination of Qasem Soleimani”

    https://www.unz.com/article/israels-fingerprint-are-all-over-the-assassination-of-qasem-soleimani/

    “Did Pompeo Dupe Trump Into the Soleimani Hit??”

    https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/did-pompeo-dupe-trump-into-the-soleimani-hit/

    “The Saker Interviews Michael Hudson”

    https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-saker-interviews-michael-hudson-2/

    “Iran’s Accidental Downing of a Ukrainian Plane Is Already Being Used to Smear MH-17 Skeptics”

    https://www.unz.com/article/irans-accidental-downing-of-a-ukrainian-plane-is-already-being-used-to-smear-mh-17-skeptics/

    “Trump’s Killing of Soleimani: New “Worst Mistake in US History””

    https://www.unz.com/kbarrett/trumps-killing-of-soleimani-new-worst-mistake-in-us-history/

    The above is from a rightwing, white-nationalist-leaning jewish viewpoint. Yes, these people do exist. James Howard Kunstler isn’t that far from that viewpoint either.

  16. Davy (not ID theft JuanP) on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 8:29 am 

    “Yes, these people do exist. James Howard Kunstler isn’t that far from that viewpoint either.”

    Bullshit Cloggo, Kunstler is a Card carrying Democrat. He is just one of the few honest ones left. Also if you were alert months ago it was reported Trump gave the OK for the Soleimani assassination. There is nothing new to this so your sowing circle conspiracies sources are just sensationalizing.

  17. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 9:57 am 

    “Bullshit Cloggo, Kunstler is a Card carrying Democrat.”

    Unless you have been living under a rock in Hillbilly country… oh wait… you would have noticed that these days Kunstler is closer to Trump than his “fellow card carrying Dems”.

    I haven’t seen comments from Kunstler about the Soleimani hit, but you can bet your last bottom dollar that he will denounce that, just like (((Ron Unz))) has done.

    Kunstler is against neocon behavior, against mass immigration from the third world, against invasions. I can even remember him making soft-critical remarks about the potential of black folks, or lack thereof.

    “Also if you were alert months ago it was reported Trump gave the OK for the Soleimani assassination.”

    That is the question:

    https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/did-pompeo-dupe-trump-into-the-soleimani-hit/

  18. Davy on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 10:47 am 

    “Unless you have been living under a rock in Hillbilly country”

    Welllll. I reckon I kinda have bin….

    Looks like you win another debate again cloggo.

    Dang nabbit!

  19. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 11:10 am 

    The above is JuanP obviously. I would appreciate dealing with Davy directly not your ID theft, JuanP. The Board is sick of your childish behavior

  20. REAL Green on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 11:14 am 

    The above is Davy obviously. We would appreciate dealing with Cloggie directly not your ID theft, Davy. The Board is sick of your childish behavior

  21. The REAL Board. on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 12:00 pm 

    The above is dumbass actually. We would really appreciate NOT having to deal with either cloggo nor davyskum and his stupid sock army. The Board is sick of their childish behavior.

  22. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 12:19 pm 

    Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 11:10 am

    Didn’t write that.

  23. More Stupid Davy ID Theft on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 12:39 pm 

    JuanP on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:13 am

    Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 7:21 am

    Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 11:10 am

  24. Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 1:17 pm 

    JuanP please stop you the silliness and let the forum get back to normal.

  25. More Stupid Davy ID Theft on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 1:21 pm 

    Cloggie on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 1:17 pm

  26. supremacist muzzies jerk low english good hi aftar there I was just calling because i live down the street from you and your daughter come to my house today and she kick my dog pardon your daughter come to my house this is kirpal on Tue, 14th Jan 2020 5:02 pm 

    epidemics of muzies behead baby (((supremetard)))
    supertard big muzzie beard reports

  27. Sissyfuss on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 8:57 am 

    Cloggenhoffen, if that was really you, when has this forum ever been normal?

  28. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 9:08 am 

    *** Russian government resigns ***

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/15/europe/russian-government-resigns-vladimir-putin-reforms-intl/index.html

    “Russian government resigns after Putin proposes reforms that would weaken his successor”

    Probably in agreement with Putin, not against him.

    Developing…

    P.S. No it wasn’t me, Siss. I never interfere with juveniles, calls for banning, etc..

  29. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 9:23 am 

    Best countries to raise children:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7890051/Revealed-BEST-countries-world-raise-child-Britain-ranks-11th.html

    “Revealed, the BEST countries in the world to raise a child: Britain ranks 11th while the US comes 18th as Denmark, Sweden and Norway clinch the top spots”

    The usual suspects, yawn:

    Small (population), white, protestant:

    1. Denmark
    2. Sweden
    3. Norway
    4. Canada
    5. Netherlands
    6. Finland
    7. Switzerland
    8. New Zealand
    9. Australia
    10. Austria (Catholic)

  30. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 9:45 am 

    New e-mobility figures:

    https://www.spiegel.de/auto/elektroautos-deutschland-steigert-zulassungen-deutlich-a-6eccee32-c9ad-47c0-905b-65db4563198f

    Germany advancing, US and China receding.

    Market-share e-vehicles:

    Norway 56%
    Holland 15%
    Germany 3%
    USA 1.9% (down from 2.1%)

  31. Davy on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 10:21 am 

    “Germany Records Slowest Economic Growth In Six Years”
    https://tinyurl.com/te6xavk zero hedge

    “Germany’s economic growth rebounded slightly in the fourth quarter but slowed last year to its weakest level in nearly six years as trade tensions escalated, exports plunged, and a steep downturn in the automotive industry led Europe’s largest economy onto the brink of a recession, reported Bloomberg. Official government statics show Wednesday morning that GDP growth rate in the last three months of 2019 was 0.6%, the lowest since 2013’s 0.4% expansion Despite the economy continuing to decelerate, there was a small notable increase in GDP growth at the tail end of the year – with some optimism that the worst of the slump could be over. A synchronized global downturn had plunged Germany into an economic decline since late 2017 when growth printed a high of 2.5% on the year. Then by 2018, growth plunged to 1.5%, and a year later, to 0.6% in 2019. Germany narrowly avoided a recession late last year as GDP contracted in the second quarter and expanded by 0.1% in the third. The economy is powered by industrials and exports, and with a global manufacturing recession still underway with a decelerating China – the hopes of a massive rebound in the European country are limited in 2020. At the center of the global industrial slowdown is the auto manufacturing industry. Germany has yet to diversify from building cars and is still heavily exposed to global crosscurrents that persist. As a countercyclical buffer, the German government deployed increased government spending to counter declines in equipment investment and exports. “After a dynamic start to the year, and a decline in the second quarter, there were signs of a slight recovery in the second half,” said Albert Braakmann, head of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. Bloomberg economist Jamie Rush says the 2020 outlook for Germany is comparable to last year: sluggish. 2019 forecasts are 0.70%, which is barely any growth: “Germany’s economy saw a slight recovery in growth in 4Q, according to the statistics office — that’s consistent with our slightly above-consensus expectation for an expansion of 0.2% to be recorded. Leading indicators have turned up into 2020, and we see the worst as being over for the German economy. Renewed trade tensions are the biggest risk to that view,” Rush said.”

  32. JuanP on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 11:25 am 

    “If I would ignore Davy he would ignore me. Davy has said this routinely but LOL I ignore him.”

    Attn: DavySkum

    Listen up you selfish prick, this is about much more than you and me. You routinely attack and bully other posters anytime someone presents an opinion contrary to your Republican CRAP.

    Consequently, YOU require constant and unrelenting MODERATION and NEUTERING as a means of balancing your vomit.

    I’m here to stay, pal. I’m retired and have all the time in the world to make damn sure you are moderated and neutered.

    Welcome to hell, DavySkum.

  33. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 11:27 am 

    1978 — Iran: Beloved & Respected Comrade Butcher Shah (installed & CIA-supported CIA puppet) flees Peacock Throne, leading to Islamic overthrow.

  34. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 11:55 am 

    Ding-dong!

    Brexit party to be low-key:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7889547/Ding-dong-Brexit-big-bongs-bellringers-bishops-denounce-plan-peal-bells.html

    “Ding dong over Brexit bing bongs: Bellringers and bishops across country REFUSE to sound church bells to mark Britain leaving EU as Boris Johnson pushes for £500,000 crowdfunder to get Big Ben pealing on January 31”

    One party is allowed, in central London:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7890633/Nigel-Farage-given-permission-hold-Brexit-party-Parliament-January-31.html

    “Nigel Farage and Leave Means Leave campaign group are given permission to hold a Brexit party in front of Parliament on January 31 to mark the ‘big moment’ the UK leaves the EU”

    I was in London during the large pro-EU demonstration. London is a majority Remain city. I suspect many will be tempted to disrupt Farage’s little get-together.

    #BeerPopcorn

  35. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:03 pm 

    The Tories venture to celebrate “The Great Escape”… from the “Prison” they volunteered to be “locked up in” in the first place in 1973:

    https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/9b5ce4e4-0001-0004-0000-000000292093_w948_r1.77_fpx53.56_fpy50.jpg

    Reasons:

    – They were only interested in the Common Market, never in a political union (traditional 500 year old “Splendid Isolation” thingy, where the island is seen as a castle and everybody outside as the enemy)
    – In 1973, the beloved US was still the overarching overlord of everybody. In 2020 that’s almost over. America retreats and the UK retreats with them. #Oceania
    – In 2016 there was no talk of CW2 yet. One wonders how the UK would have voted in say 2025?

  36. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:20 pm 

    Bloomberg is not impressed with the “potential of the UK about to be unleashed by Brexit”. They are more impressed with the cost… for Britain:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-10/-170-billion-and-counting-the-cost-of-brexit-for-the-u-k

    “$170 Billion and Counting: The Cost of Brexit for the U.K.”

    “U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to “unleash Britain’s potential.” First the economy has to catch back up with the rest of the world.”

    The same applies to the US itself even more, yet they have the reserve currency, that is a licence to print for a living. Until they don’t.

    The UK is already 3% smaller than they would have been if they had opted to remain in the white world.

    Another 200 billion GBP will have to be paid in 2020, a price that could have been avoided by, you guessed it, staying in the white world. Note, in 2020 the UK will still be in the EU.

    The real fun starts after 2020, when the M20 will be one huge open air warehouse for goods that normally would have been exported to wealthy recipients on “the continent” or “the bloc” and now needs to be peddled to the likes of Congo, Iceland and the US. Good luck with that. I’m sure the US will stand by to absorb a portion of that output with freshly printed dollars with the ink not yet dry.

    By 2022 expect the Leavers to become more and more silent, Farage will know how to put his German passport to good use and BoJo, ah well BoJo, will develop a habit of staring sadly at a Churchill statuette he has placed in his study at #10.

  37. Davy spitting in juanPee eye. lol. on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:52 pm 

    “If I would ignore Davy he would ignore me. Davy has said this routinely but LOL I ignore him.”
    “Attn: DavySkum”

    LOL, this is jucy! JuanPee is very upset and having difficulties controlling his anger. This is definitely saved to my juanPee mental illness notes!!!! LMFAO

    “Listen up you selfish prick, this is about much more than you and me. You routinely attack and bully other posters anytime someone presents an opinion contrary to your Republican CRAP.”
    Nonsense, stupid, that is what you do and you add the ID theft and mindless socks that fill this board up with trash. You and your anti-American buddies started this shit years ago but I am finishing it. You are among the last juanPee and you won’t be here long. You will be gone before long because you are going postal as this email demonstrates.

    “Consequently, YOU require constant and unrelenting MODERATION and NEUTERING as a means of balancing your vomit.”
    You mean you are feverishly trying to moderate but instead you are stalking and trolling with mindless ID theft and weirdo low IQ socks. I have no problem with your shit. I am kicking your ass. It is the others that you are hurting you selfish prick! When ever you try to be normal and debate real issues I lay you on the ground with a knock out!

    “I’m here to stay, pal. I’m retired and have all the time in the world to make damn sure you are moderated and neutered.”
    You won’t last much longer I am seeing your mental illness start to peak. Your life much be horrible spending so much time being mindless and stupid. I am so happy you are suffering. The more the merrier!

    “Welcome to hell, DavySkum.”
    JuanPee, you are in hell and I am passing the popcorn watching you suffer!

    CUNT

  38. JuanP on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:58 pm 

    “TRUMP 2020”

    Trump ‘Broke The Chinese Communist Party’ With Phase One Trade Deal: Bannon
    Former White House strategist Steve Bannon says that President Trump’s hard-line tactics in the US trade war with China has paid off, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that Trump “stood up for the tariffs and he broke the Chinese Communist Party.” “Today you’re what President Trump is going to do. It’s the beginning of the end of the managed decline of the United States. It was [Trump’s] tariffs. He went against all economic orthodox, and was lambasted by the financial press. He stood up for the tariffs, and he broke the Chinese Communist Party.” -Steve Bannon “This is a huge win for @realDonaldTrump,” says Steve Bannon on Phase I trade deal. “Trump has changed the entire center of gravity of the way even the elites have to think about China.” pic.twitter.com/xOIsHJen96 — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 15, 2020 Bannon also warned Apple that Trump may “drop the hammer” if they don’t work with authorities to unlock iPhones belonging to the Pensacola Naval Air Station shooter. “If I were the guys at Apple I would pay attention to President Trump’s tweets,” he said, adding “I would treat his tweets like a papal bull.” “If I were the guys at @Apple I would pay attention to @realDonaldTrump’s tweets,” says Bannon. “I would treat his tweets like a papal bull.” pic.twitter.com/tCwWpODXQU — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 15, 2020 As an aside, one can’t help but speculate that Bannon and Trump are headed towards a reunion at some point…Trump retweets multi segments of a Fox News hit by Steve Bannon today https://t.co/SUrwrSzyMn — Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) January 13, 2020

  39. DavySkum Identity Theft- AGAIN on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:03 pm 

    DavySkum ID THEFT:

    JuanP on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:58 pm

  40. More Stupid Davy Mindless ID Theft on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:06 pm 

    JuanP on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 12:58 pm

  41. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:09 pm 

    the 400 richest Americans have lower tax rates than the bottom 50%…. the ultrawealthy aren’t even paying what they owe…. the top 400 Americans evaded 25 percent of their taxes owed.

    You can see why the support the Fat Boy.

  42. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:37 pm 

    “Congrats to the Lower 48 for only being 0.33°C above the 20th Century average temp and for having their coldest year since 2014. Also, it’s the 23rd consecutive year above the 20th Century average.”

  43. Widdle juan pee on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:56 pm 

    I am so so upset becuase Davy is kicking my widdle ass. This is so much fun.

    CUNT FACE

  44. JuanP on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:58 pm 

    “the 400 richest Americans have lower tax rates than the bottom 50%…. the ultrawealthy aren’t even paying what they owe…. the top 400 Americans evaded 25 percent of their taxes owed.”

    Many of the bottom 50% don’t pay tax Duncan. Grow up

  45. Davy is retarded on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 2:31 pm 

    davy on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 1:58 pm

  46. Cloggie on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 5:35 pm 

    Putin proposes constitutional reform. A few highlights:

    – high office only for those who have lived uninterruptedly in Russia for a long time. No dual passport-holders allowed, a clear jab at those oligarchs whose background can’t be named in polite company.
    – more power for parliament
    – the state council will get a constitutional role. Many suspect that Putin will play a leading role in that body and as such can hold onto a lot of power behind the scenes after 2024.

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