7 Billion

I’ve been avoiding Sarah Hoyt’s blog for multiple reasons but I ended up there looking for something else and came across an idea that I hadn’t seen before:

“As you guys know, I don’t think we’re 7 billion or whatever number the UN claims, and frankly I can’t understand why ANYONE believes the UN on this. They can’t be trusted on anything else, pretty much taking the word of dictators and totalitarians for proven facts, but you trust them on this? Really? And you’re sure that countries that can barely keep commerce going (and sometimes can’t) are really sending out census forms and getting accurate counts? Or do you think such countries are taking to bush and hinterlands and isolated villages in the middle of nowhere and counting “peasants” person by person? If you do you probably also think that Juan Valdez picks coffee bean by bean. Not to mention that it’s just a coincidence, I’m sure, that countries that are net recipients of international aid PER CAPITA have the highest population growth. I’m sure.”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2018/12/10/bad-bad-futures-which-didnt-happen/

The rest of the post is about “overpopulation” and the extent to which it is a scare and to be honest, there is scare mongering about overpopulation mixed in with reasonable concerns about how many people there are.

That the 7 billion figure is substantially exaggerated is not something I’d seen before though. The doubt expressed is consistent with multiple other beliefs about official numbers, so the style of reasoning is familiar (e.g. that we can’t know for sure and therefor it must be smaller – which is a non-sequitur). What I’m not familiar with is any particular group or original source for this idea that 7 billion is an exaggeration.

So I’m just parking this here for the moment so I can find it later.

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28 thoughts on “7 Billion

  1. Sarah Hoyt also believes the following:
    – Climate change isn’t real
    – George Soros collaborated with Nazis to send Jews to concentration camps
    – ACORN helped steal the 2012 election despite not, y’know, *existing*
    – Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are fervent Marxists
    and last but not least
    – You are Foz Meadows’ husband, and have been complicit in child abuse

    Now, the difference is that of course you have an idea where everything mentioned is sourced from, but let’s just say that she’s not exactly grounded in the real world. And the way her rhetoric has been ramping up, it would be completely unsurprising if she posted that she believed in any or all of PizzaGate, the DNC and/or Clintons having Seth Rich murdered, or QAnon.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. She is very, very delusional if she things that oppressive regimes do not know exactly how many people are “out there”, what are those people’s potential for disloyalty or rebellion, how many people are sitting on all that land/resources/minerals they are going to want to steal, etc. All this has been made easier since many of these regions have no landlines and so all are using cell phones for all communication and banking. They know. Of course they know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is it sad that I’m glad people like Hoyt don’t believe in over population, I have a feeling that if they did, they would suggest killing those people who they see as inferior and claiming that theyre actually saving the human race From itself, and also that those people deserve to die for having too many babies.

    I’m also surprised though, I thought lack of belief in over population was more of a catholic idea, the modern right preferring to believe that hordes of third welders are going to invade Europe and North America due to lack of space in their own countries, like in the camp of the saints. I also wonder how right-wingers who don’t believe in over population square this with their idea of Middle Easterners invading and taking over Europe, if there is no overcrowding why would they want to invade in the first place?

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    1. > I also wonder how right-wingers who don’t believe in over population square this with their idea of Middle Easterners invading > and taking over Europe

      They believe in conspiracy by the left and “globalists” to replace the exsiting population and call this “white genocide” (also covers intermarriage). Of course many of them also supported the Iraq invasion which is one of the main reasons for the refugee crisis. (not overpopulation, also climate change doesn’t help in this)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “but I ended up there looking for something else” — Come on, it’s not like you could have dropped the car keys there, or forgotten your phone. They’re sucking you in — get help immediately!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. ‘The Bear thought for a moment then said, “You don’t come here for the hunting, do you?”‘

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  5. The UN does provide the sources for their numbers. It’s interesting to see where they get their figures for countries like Somalia where there hasn’t been a census since 1975 or North Korea who might be less forthcoming with their population data.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is part and parcel of an anti-intellectual trait I’ve noticed among right wingers for years. If they don’t personally understand how a number or result has been arrived at by researchers, they automatically jump to the conclusion that the number or result must therefore must be false/made up/concocted with malevolent intent. They seem to have no knowledge of or respect for any advanced techniques of inquiry.

    I once had a guy actually tell me that, since modern thermometers didn’t exist in the past, that all conclusions about previous global temperatures must have simply been made up by evil leftist climatologists.

    This anti-intellectualism can really get scary. Straight back to the Dark Ages with us all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read this post about Hoyt soon after I read on ESPN today that some of the most famous NBA basketball players don’t believe the Apollo moon landings took place. It didn’t go into why they disbelieve (it focused on NASA’s offer to show them evidence). However, an awareness that data can be manipulated, about “fake news,” and a constant stream of stories exposing fraud or bad behavior, is making “evangelical disbelief” a trend in its own right, a kind of virus able to attach itself to people regardless of their political or cultural background.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. I get that she might have a point on, say, South Sudan, but I have read a little about how smart people try to double check census figures in various ways. I was in the orbit of North Korean studies for a while and seen how every claim of the state is given rigorous vetting at every angle by academics before its tentatively accepted. There are grad students counting rice fields from satellite photos and so forth.

    But the number of people living in dysfunctional states, while horrifyingly large, is a small fraction of the world. To make a big dent in 7 billion you have to claim that, say, China is lying about population figures, or there is a general exaggeration through Africa, etc.

    It seems like she is claiming a lot of functioning states are failed states or dysfunctional dictatorships. And I’m guessing she isn’t thinking of Canada and the European Union.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, she apparently believes that we’re all living in Socialist hellholes, which is made even more ridiculous by the fact that she still has family in Portugal and therefore should know that it’s not in fact a Socialist hellhole and neither are any of the other European states she may have passed through it some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, but her family was tight with the previous Fascist dictatorship, so anything in the vein of democracy or a mild safety net looks like Socialism to her.

        Hell, she thinks the American system is a mite too socialist for her liking.

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  8. Somewhere (maybe in Expanded Universe) Heinlein described a trip to the Soviet Union and his reasons for thinking that their published population estimates were exaggerations. I have no idea if he was right, but it wasn’t “they’re Commies, they must be lying”–it was things like “there isn’t enough traffic on that river to bring in food for the number of people they say live here” and “Mrs. Heinlein chatted up everyone she met and asked about their families, and they’re averaging too few to replace the population, never mind the growth they claim.” He also talked about why the USSR might be lying about that, in that specific direction.

    He may have been wrong–for reasons including that Moscow might not have been typical of the entire USSR–but there’s a difference between “they’re evil, therefore they’re lying, and furthermore they must be consistently over- rather than underestimating their population” and “they might be lying for $reasons, so let’s check the data.” That leads to the sort of checking JohnQPuzzle mentions. Satellite photos may not be good enough to count individuals, but they can count buildings.

    A few years ago I saw a link to before-and-after Google Earth photos of a refugee camp, labeled something like “the fourth largest city in Jordan. This was empty lfields a year ago.”

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    1. Funny thing — that same Heinlein passage came to my mind, too. He was comparing the size of the railroad yards that service Moscow versus some other big city, and inferred that Moscow’s would have to be much bigger if the claimed population was true.

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    2. Yes, it was in Expanded Universe, because I was thinking the same thing. And as you say, he took several pieces of information (such how much trade traffic in and out of the city would be necessary to support a given population) in order to arrive at an estimate, and several completely separate lines of inquiry all led in the same direction. That’s how you do something like this if you don’t trust the official numbers.

      Most of people just don’t realize how much support infrastructure is needed for a city of a given population, and how easily stuff like that can be traced if you know what to look for. Large populations leave a proportionately large ‘shadow’ in the countryside.

      (I remember in Daniel Keys Moran’s The Last Dancer a discussion where one of the main characters had to explain to a bunch of people trying to set off a second American Revolution just how quickly people would start starving if they actually shut down the interstate trucking system like they had planned…)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s a good way of doing this, but with Communist countries, you probably had less trade traffic due to there being less to trade. Shops which are half empty or which have only two kinds of bread or where all the products on view are “for display only” have less trade traffic. And the daily essentials like bread were usually produced locally, though you’d still need traffic to ship in the grain.

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    3. Cities in Communist countries did have the tendency to look like ghost towns during week days and the countryside was even worse. But that was due to both men and women working full time and kids being in full time daycare from a very early age on. Plus, cars were rare and expensive, so less traffic. And since the shops didn’t have a lot to buy (and when they got something in, there inevitably was a long line) there was less reason to go out in general. As a result, you got streets and towns that were curiously deserted for their size, tower blocks which looked like no one was living there, etc…

      Regarding long lines in front of shops in Communist countries, we often visited my great-aunt in East Germany pre-1989. And because I didn’t want to be cooped up in my aunt’s flat (she was retired by then, but hardly ever left the house. Her disabled daughter did all the shopping), I snuck out and explored the town. And once I passed a long line of people queued up in front of a shop. Naturally curious, I asked the nearest person, “What are they selling?”

      And the person said, “I have no idea. But whatever it is, it’s sure to come in useful some day.”

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    4. By 1961 Heinlein was heavily involved in pro-nuke/anti-communist propaganda through his Patrick Henry League, so his observations on the Soviet Union are not necessarily value free. And while I’m sure that scepticism of Soviet publications is generally warranted, the 1959 census seems to be perfectly uncontroversial.

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  9. The consistent pattern I see with nationalists is that they very much want to believe that global solutions are never needed on any topic. If population growth (or climate change) is a real problem, it would only be solvable with a global effort. Therefore, it must be a lie promoted by globalists.

    They engage in this “logic” all the time. It’s depressing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I do recall seeing her post something along the lines that overpopulation is a myth and that she believes the official UN figures are wrong and the global population is actually in decline a few years ago, so this isn’t a new argument for her. And parts of her post – why the population explosion didn’t happen as expected – actually make sense, before she gets to the global warming denial and the Socialist bogeyman again.

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  11. I’ve seen this before. See, if the population figures are overestimated, then it’s easier to depopulate the earth. Which the elites want for what I am sure are perfectly rational reasons.

    I’m sure you can find a 10 hour youtube video explaining it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It turns out that the best way to bring the population down is to teach women about birth control. Countries where this has been done have a lower birthrate than countries where it hasn’t. So this — “Not to mention that it’s just a coincidence, I’m sure, that countries that are net recipients of international aid PER CAPITA have the highest population growth. I’m sure” — is not a coincidence, but it’s not something you can base a conspiracy theory on either. Countries that don’t have the time or resources to teach birth control would also need more aid.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Since the US gov’t has relentlessly forbidden any of its international aid to go to family planning (never abortion, often not even birth control), and the Vatican aid ditto, *of course* the countries in most need don’t get birth control info. Islamic aid the same, IIRC.

      And many of those countries’ leaders have a vested interest in keeping the people poor, uneducated, on the farm, and women “in their place”.

      Can I blame the patriarchy? I think so.

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  13. So, she’s making the claim that all countries do census counts, that this is the only source for population numbers, that they all report them to the U.N. and the U.N. is the only organization/scientists who do the total population count. Wow, that’s astonishingly wrong.

    She also seems to think that “international aid” — aid from the U.S. to other countries? aid from the U.N.? which kinds of financial aid? — is based on population growth. Which is also completely wrong. A country can’t get more aid from the U.N. or anywhere else simply by inflating estimated population figures. If they are just fishing for U.N. dollars, you wouldn’t overestimate your population; you’d fake a war or claim your current war was worse than it is. And much of the foreign aid that the U.N. or various countries send to other countries is not directly to the government but to charities, medical organizations, private development programs, etc. Foreign aid is not simply altruistic either, with a well-off country sending a poorer country cash just because they have lots of mouths to feed. (We don’t feed all the people and kids we have in the U.S., for example.) It usually has specific policy goals and targeted benefits for the country giving the aid.

    I mean, take China. Even if you think China inflates their population numbers by say half (and that we only go by China’s officially given numbers on population which nobody does,) China is still a very large country with a massive population that has slowed a bit on growth but still keeps growing. And yet, foreign aid to China has decreased, particularly from the U.S., as China has become a strong economy, while much tinier countries without a lot of population growth get more aid. Most aid they still get is related to environmental/climate change stuff (which I guess Hoyt feels is the scam,) and relief aid to Tibet, which are not highly populated regions but which are repressed and impoverished by the Chinese government. In turn, China sends a large amount of foreign aid to other countries, particularly African countries, and to countries like the U.S., doing everything from building sports stadiums to medical relief efforts.

    Also, we didn’t get global warming simply because our population increased. It’s much more a factor of some countries expending more carbon into the air through their energy usage and energy sources. Rich, first world countries — the ones that are often not having much population growth unless they take in a lot of immigrants — are the ones causing most of the pollution leading to global warming. It’s true that India and China, the two largest, are two of the biggest offenders, though they got there more recently than the U.S., a large country that is also the high polluter. But Japan and South Korea aren’t that big in population, yet they are in the top levels of carbon emissions.

    But of course, that’s not the main goal of a claim like this. The main goal is to claim that countries full of brown people are stealing money from wealthy white people countries by using a population inflation scam. But as claims about brown people stealing from white people go, this one’s more than average weird.

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