Crossing the 7 billion Mark

madhedgefundtrader's picture

I thought that I would refer you to one of my favorite unconventional research sources, National Geographic Magazine. In their century long coverage of exotic places, cultures, and practices, they inadvertently shed light on broad global trends that deeply affect the rest of us. Plus, the pictures are great. The January, 2011 issue celebrates the approach of the world’s population to 7 billion, and the implications therein.

Long time readers of this letter know that demographic issues will be one of the most important drivers of all asset prices for the rest of our lives (click here for ). The magazine expects that population will reach 9 billion by 2045, the earliest date that I have seen so far. Can the planet take the strain? Early religious leaders often cast Armageddon and Revelations in terms of an exploding population exhausting all resources, leaving the living to envy the dead. They may not be far wrong.

A number of developments have postponed the final day of reckoning, including the development of antibiotics, the green revolution, DDT, and birth control pills. Since 1952, life expectancy in India has expanded from 38 years to 64. In China, it has ratcheted up from 41 years to 73. These miracles of modern science explain how our population has soared from 3 billion in a mere 40 years.

The education of the masses may be our only salvation. Leave a married woman at home, and she has eight kids, as our great grandparents did, half of which lived. Educate her, and she goes out and gets a job to raise her family’s standard of living, limiting her child bearing to one or two. This is known as the “demographic transition.” While it occurred over four generations in the developed world, it is happening today in a single generation in much of Asia and Latin America. As a result, fertility around the world is crashing. The US is hovering at just below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family, thanks to immigration. But China has plummeted to 1.5, Europe is at 1.4, and South Korea has plunged as low as 1.15.

Population pressures are expected to lead to increasing civil strife and resource wars. Some attribute the genocide in Rwanda in 1999, which killed 800,000, as the bloody result of overpopulation. If you want to get a first class foundation in the demographic issue along with a lot of cool graphics and charts, read the story in full by clicking here at . I’ll be the one to tell you which stocks to buy to capitalize on these trends.

To see the data, charts, and graphs that support this research piece, as well as more iconoclastic and out-of-consensus analysis, please visit me at . There, you will find the conventional wisdom mercilessly flailed and tortured daily, and my last two years of research reports available for free. You can also listen to me on Hedge Fund Radio by clicking on “This Week on Hedge Fund Radio” in the upper right corner of my home page.

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falak pema's picture

Limited resources, limited intelligence is normal state of things. Only unlimited source is hot air and man made variety is truly unlimited. Imagine if we were 10 billion and farting all together would send the world into another dreaming about...entropy is time's away...whoever you are behind the great scheme of things.

Zero Govt's picture


i realise talking to people that are as thick as shit (socialists, enviro types) requires a lot of patience to get even simple facts to absorb in their mush-like brains. But my post just above yours states the facts very VERY clearly. Any country can over-produce food on demand whenever they fuking well like, soon as they invest in modern agriculture (food shortage: Game Over). 

This is a FACT. Look around the globe, 95% of countries feed themselves, even the most arid country on the planet, Australia, can do it with modern agricultural methods. If you're not prepared to accept facts, reality and the bleeding obvious there's no help for you. Just slink back to your hysterical belief system and swim (drown) in your ignorant fantasy world 

Xzazael's picture

You're doing a fantastic job of dodging LOP's prompts, Zero Facts.

Zero Govt's picture

for the record sieve-for-brains LoP is actually doing a fantastic job of forgetting facts within a minute of being given them... it's the usual bent incompetent socialist mushy brain that just 'drops' any reality or evidence that contradicts the Marxist wired brain to hate all things about man being productive and progress benefitting society.

Your Marx wired brain is taught not 'how' to think for yourself but how to 'follow' the mass-zombie-mantra like good retarded foot soldiers in lock-step with Marx for a Century.

1984 Big Brother was written as a warning to you gullible dorks not to accept unthinkingly what you're told to believe by Big Bro' but of course that's another message you set to 'Reject'. Keep being completely ignorant and believing in the vacuum of anti-man, anti-capitalist idealism.

It's not like socialism has failed in every country it's practised for over 100 years is it? It's not like every environmental scare/BS story for 60 years has been found to be an ignorant sack of shit is it? You kicked off the enviro scare propaganda with a ban on DDT spraying 60 years ago and promptly murdered 60-100,000,000 poor people. Hey anyone can make a pig-ignorant genocidal mistake right arsehole???

Zombies R U  ...check the mirror sometime retard

BigJim's picture

I get it now. You're a statist troll trying to confirm uninformed people's prejudices that anarcho-capitalists and libertarians are ignorant, wild-eyed, ranting teenagers, who can spout 'facts' but not do any kind of meaningful analysis... and who throw tantrums when anyone questions their 'reasoning.'

It all becomes clear...

Flakmeister's picture

  You are giving him far too much credit....Just a loud mouth asshole trying to be important, really quite sad in a way. Interesting to see how many people with Ag experience crawling out of the woodwork. I wish I had a few acres to fall back on.

Dr. Acula's picture

"We may try to imagine the conditions within a world in which all material factors of production are so fully employed that there is no opportunity to employ all men or to employ all men to the extent that they are ready to work. In such a world labor is abundant; an increase in the supply of labor cannot add any increment whatever to the total amount of production. If we assume that all men have the same capacity and application for work and if we disregard the disutility of labor, labor in such a world would not be an economic good. If this world were a socialist commonwealth, an increase in population figures would be deemed an increase in the number of idle consumers. If it were a market society, wage rates paid would not be enough to prevent starvation. Those seeking employment would be ready to go to work for any wages, however low, even if insufficient for the preservation of their lives. They would be happy to delay  for awhile death by starvation. There is no need to dwell upon the paradoxes of this hypothesis and to discuss the problems of such a world. Our world is different. Labor is more scarce than material factors of production. We are not dealing at this point with the problem of optimum population. We are dealing only with the fact that there are material factors of production which  remain unused because the labor required is needed for the satisfaction of more urgent needs. In our world there is no abundance, but a shortage of manpower, and there are unused material factors of production, i.e. land, mineral deposits, and even plants and equipment." - from Ludwig von Mises's Human Action

LawsofPhysics's picture


Your FACTS prove you wrong.  The U.S. and E.U.  are a minor part of the world population.  Several have pointed this out to you already.  Moreover, these countries are BURNING FOSSIL FUEL in order to PRODUCE this food.  NO FUEL, NO FOOD.

Over 2 BILLION people are starving right now.  Pretty harsh fact of reality itself.   Explain this if you are so correct.  The world health organization says the 2 billion number is probably an underestimate as well.  The 30% and 40% "extra" you mention won't cover 2 billion moron.  You really need to learn how math works.   Keep spouting the propaganda your minister tells you, the starving know you are full of shit.


Zero Govt's picture


No my facts are not wrong. Here they are for the 4th time, see if you can hang onto them for more than a nano-second in your socialist wired-for-ignorance mushy brain;

America, Europe and Australia can all over-produce food by up to 30% (fact)

Any country in the world can produce a food surplus with the same Western modern Agro' techniques (fact)

There is no fucking food shortage problem in the world that cannot be solved by investment in modern farming methods (fact)

Final fact: you are a socialist retard who cannot retain facts (fact). That's because your delusional brain is wired to reject facts that do not agree with your anti-man hating belief system. Your deeply held delusional leftie beliefs wire your brain to forget knowledge and stop thinking. That's why you know jack shit and will always feel a victim.

You are a victim. A victim or your own ignorance. Enjoy your life of going around in ever decreasing socialist circles never wiser, always dumber, and eventually (like all socialist countries) face moral and financial bankruptcy (enter toilet here).

Welcome to your miserable predictable lifestyle as designed by socialists over a Century ago. URA Zombie

Dr. Acula's picture

"Over 2 BILLION people are starving right now... Explain this"

It's self-inflicted suffering caused by humanity's disrespect of property rights, the hampering of the free market and of rational economic calculation, and a kind of Stockholm syndrome - a love of statism despite known proof that it destroys wealth and causes poverty, destroys peace and causes war, destroys life and causes death.

BigJim's picture

Those things are certainly big contributors to our present woes, but that does not mean we can feed an infinite number of people with limited resources.

Well, you might say, nobody is suggesting we can feed an infinite number of people... in which case, how many can we feed, with peak oil encroaching?

Given the appalling state of governance in most developing countries, how many people can the world feed? Statism ain't going away any time soon (sadly).

Zero Govt's picture


There's been Europeans and Americans claiming their lands would run out of food and be over-populated for 300 years. All those deluded ignorant arseholes have been wrong (you're just a genetic production line mistake of those same retarded panicers). Wonderfully man is always able to think outside the box (and beyond leftie idiots) and both Europe and America has proved these shrill hysterical empties wrong to the point of 30% over-production in food. My guess just based on historical evidence is you're also talking total shit. I suggest you suck on that for quite a while 

BigJim's picture

"Historical Evidence" is not an infallible guide to what happens in the future.... particularly if some of the fundamental variables in the equation are changing. Your implicit assumption that the world will continue to see the equivalent of the green revolution every couple of generations is an assertion you'll need to support with evidence, if you wish your eager readers to concur. BTW - Reasoning is considerably more persuasive than personal (and unwarranted) abuse. I'm surprised you haven't noticed this when people punch you on the nose... or are you a little more circumspect in person?

So, I repeat - do you think a world of finite resources can support an infinite number of people? If not, then you have to accept there is a limit to how many people it can support... particularly with dwindling resources. From that point the debate becomes - how many?

Yes, 'investment' in developing countries could up their yields. But what proportion of new investment do you think Africa will take that doesn't disappear into its 'leaders' bank accounts?

Improved governance. That would be a boon, there, too. Do you see that happening anytime soon? Why?

We eagerly await more of your finely-reasoned discourses on this subject.

PS - if someone doesn't agree with you, it doesn't immediately follow they are 'a lefty'.

Just thought you should know.

Shed Boy's picture

Hahaha... again, a junk fest. Can't wait to see the population double and we all get along like we do here. Won't really matter if we have resources or not. It will be all out war 24/7. Oh...look is that a tomatoe..bang.bang. bang. well it's mine now.

gmj's picture

Cost of one bullet:  $100.  Cost of one tomato:  $100.  Just fire once. Bang.

Zero Govt's picture

Hey retards, let me repeat;

US can produce 30% more food than it can consume

EU also capable of 30% over-production of food

Australia (the most arid continent on the planet) also can easily feed itself

The solution is simple: investment in modern agriculture (same as US, same as EU, same as Australia)

Is that simple enough for you shrill green empties to swallow some facts, reality and truth???

LawsofPhysics's picture

Your FACTS prove you wrong.  The U.S. and E.U.  are a minor part of the world population.  Several have pointed this out to you already. Moreover, these countries are BURNING FOSSIL FUEL in order to PRODUCE this food.  NO FUEL, NO FOOD.


over 2 BILLION people are starving right now.  Pretty harsh fact of reality itself.   Explain this if you are so correct.  The world health organization says the 2 billion number is probably an underestimate as well.  The 30% and 40% "extra" you mention won't cover 2 billion moron.  You really need to learn how math works. 

Flakmeister's picture

 It is very clear that you are way in over your head... Learn how to interact in a socially constructive manner, whether your arguments have any merit (which you have yet to demonstrate), you only create the impression of being an unsophisticated boor at best and a ranting lunatic at worst. Grow up...

Zero Govt's picture

You just go on ignoring world food production, keep ignoring reality, keep ignoring the planet... stay in space with your ignorant uninformed fantasy world of peak oil, peak food, peak population, peak hysteria, peak retardation and peak ignorance ...anything but a peak of information and dose of reality

Welcome to Space... the vast empty one between your ears


Flakmeister's picture

  You are clearly a poster boy for peak ignorance... I have been as patient as I can, but the discussion is over. I hope you will find what you seek in life and wish you well. You are beyond hope and any caring.

Zero Govt's picture

yes fuk off.... i was never going to edge any facts or reality into your retarded socialist peanut brained belief system so fuk off like a good zombie and return to Greenpeace boat and suck on some lentils (there's a peak in lentil production you murdering vedge-thug)

LawsofPhysics's picture

Spot on.  Simplicity has its advantages.

Zero Govt's picture favorite unconventional research sources, National Geographic Magazine

you mean that trumpet of ignorant socialist crap and global foghorn of AGW scientific and financial fraud?? ...why don't you bugger off and try to hed-fuk some people that were born yesterday mate

jmc8888's picture

ROFL fascist.

There is no such thing as overpopulation.  People once thought number 1/100th of what we were was 'overpopulated'.

Anybody that believes in overpopulation deserves the federal reserve, the B(L)S, the midget porn freaks, and all their shit.

You could fit the world's population (lots more actually) inside of Texas, COMFORTABLY.

Only idiots don't understand that we have only dug about 5 percent into the crust for resources.  We need LOTS of energy to get to it though.

That's why human ingenuity created nuclear power plants, oh about 50 years ago. It's ancient tech that's still far beyond what we use.

Then we have FUSION and FUSION ARC.


Only idiots, with no plan, no thought, and no ingenuity, believe in such nonsense.

And why would you want to listen to an idiot with no thought and no plan and clearly no ingenuity on this of all subjects.

Got mental sloth? This fucktard does.


Doomer_Marx's picture

1/100th would be 70 million which was reached sometime between 3000 to 1000 B.C. Do you know of anyone from that time who was concerned with world wide overpopulation?

BigJim's picture

I believe the Israelites at the time were most concerned, what with all the Caananites illegally squatting in their promised land.

LawsofPhysics's picture

I have been in Agriculture for 30+ years.  Your use of language says it all regarding your intelligence.  There is a very real carrying potential for the earth with respect to how much food we can produce.  Even if we had the energy to bump up fertilizer production, we would then need to bump up the availability of fresh water, then the sulfur cycle, then the phosphorus cycle, then all the other nutrient cycles that infinite amounts of microorganisms are currently catalyzing.  There are very REAL cycles and system requirements for sustaining life on this planet (at least in its present form).  It takes a tremendous amount of energy to accelerate those cycles (as we did with the invention of the Habor Bosch process and nitrogen fixation).  Go ahead, accelerate them all, break the system (Earth and the atmosphere).  As many others point out, now you are left with tremendous waste and the system resets.  The problem is more complicated that simply putting more fertilizer on the fields moron.  You need the water, the phosphates, the sulfur, the minerals.  All these things cycle through different oxidation states and and only certain oxidation states work.  If you tip any of these cycles to one side the face of life on the planet changes.

COLD FUSION - does not exist, how many reactors are online and generating power?  NONE.  Once they are on-line what do we do with the waste?

RESOURCES IN THR UNIVERSE - Yes, but they are NOT HERE are they.  The earth remains a "closed system" with the exception of the sun's radiation and other low cosmic energy.


While I appreciate the optimism, if you want anyone to take you seriously, you had better turn off the X-box and clean up your language.  The earth remains a closed system and the waste, energy requirements, and general manipulation of all these critical cycles, that would be required for the population numbers that you are talking about would indeed change the face of life on this planet.   But hey, in your case, that might be a good thing.

gmj's picture

If we would just reduce our population and consumption, we would hedge against many negative scenarios.  It would not be that painful, just some birth control.  That way, no matter who is right, we would be covered.  But we won't even do that.  If the US would reduce resource consumption, pollution would decrease, trade deficit would decrease, global warming (if any) would decrease, resource prices would decrease, etc.  All good things.  It wouldn't be that hard.  But we won't do it.  So we will go off the cliff with our foot on the gas pedal.  We're so smart.

Zero Govt's picture

the only "limitation" on agriculture is the limited IQ of the pig ignorant twats saying there is any limitation.

America produces 30% more food than it can consume.

Europe also can produce up to 30% more food than it can consume.

The only 'limitation' on the Third Worlds food production and like the EU and US being able to eat itself silly (to obesity) is lack of investment in like us industrialising agriculture. Even the most arid continent on Earth, Australia, can feed itself with absolute ease.

The only missing link for other countries is investment in modernisation.

Now fuk off and go eat yourself silly 

BigJim's picture

Hey Rudeboy, assuming your figures are correct, and both 'America' (What? North and South America? Or just the US?) and Europe produce 30% more than they consume, what's the population of those continents vs their cultivatable area, compared with the developing world?

And yes, their yields could rise with investment... but where's that investment coming from? With its present standard of governance, could Africa absorb that amount of investment without most of it disappearing and then popping up in Swiss bank accounts?

Do you think the cost of raising crops is going to drop as oil becomes more expensive?

Please elaborate; we, your fans, await more pearly drops of your kindly and softly-spoken wisdom.

LawsofPhysics's picture


Your FACTS prove you wrong.  The U.S. and E.U.  are a minor part of the world population.  Several have pointed this out to you already.  Moreover, these countries are BURNING FOSSIL FUEL in order to PRODUCE this food.  NO FUEL, NO FOOD.

Look around the globe over 2 BILLION people are starving right now (according to the WHO).  Pretty harsh fact of reality itself.   Explain this if you are so correct.  The world health organization says that the 2 billion number is probably an underestimate as well.  The 30% and 40% "extra" you mention won't cover 2 billion moron.  You really need to learn how math works.   Keep spouting the propaganda your minister tells you, the starving know you are full of shit.


LawsofPhysics's picture

He keeps spouting the one bit of propaganda he knows.  Look around the world, is everybody well fed?  The truth is before us all...

Hedge accordingly.

Flakmeister's picture

  Even taking at face value of 30%, the population of Europe and the US is about 800 million, so you claim an excess 30% or the ability to feed about another 250 million....ummm

  Care to comment on Lake Mead? The Hoover Dam will be non-functional in ~10 yrs.. Have you ever heard of the Ogallala aquifer? Might want to read up on it.

And based on your tone, you have already forfeited the challenge... 

LawsofPhysics's picture

Sure, and the world is flat and only 6,000 years old.  Do us all a favor and change your moniker to "zero facts" as you are insulting the intelligence of government haters like myself.

Zero Govt's picture

I've given you facts retard ....US and EU food over-production ....Australia the most arid continent easily feeding itself with modern agriculture... facts, facts, facts and SOLUTION.

Game Over, your arse has been whipped, now F off you hysterical ignoramus 

BigJim's picture

Hey, Rudeboy. Australia is indeed very arid. And... it can easily feed itself!

But its area is 2,967,892 square miles... and its population is around 20 million.

Ring any alarm bells?

Zero Govt's picture

no "alarm bells" mate, i'll leave that to you panicked sheeple of the left

the only thing 3m sq.miles and a 20m population says to me is there's centuries of room for more wheat, sheep, cows, barely for beer and some serious shagging and reproduction amongst the population ....but sorry, no space left for lefties

BigJim's picture

Oooo, I'm a lefty, am I?

Now you're getting nasty!

BTW - just because someone disagrees with you, doesn't make them a lefty... particularly if the issue has nothing to do with the sophomoric left-vs-right way of seeing politics.

LawsofPhysics's picture


Your FACTS prove you wrong.  The U.S. and E.U.  are a minor part of the world population.  Several have pointed this out to you already.  Moreover, these countries are BURNING FOSSIL FUEL in order to PRODUCE this food.  NO FUEL, NO FOOD.

Over 2 BILLION people are starving right now.  Pretty harsh fact of reality itself.   Explain this if you are so correct.  The world health organization says the 2 billion number is probably an underestimate as well.  The 30% and 40% "extra" you mention won't cover 2 billion moron.  You really need to learn how math works.   Keep spouting the propaganda your minister tells you, the starving know you are full of shit.


Zero Govt's picture

the reason for food shortages as explained you deaf-dumb-blind moron is countries under-investment in modern agriculture... they have to sort their own shit out, they have no excuses 

the UN's World Health Organisation has been party to the greatest genocide in human history, the banning of pesticide DDT ..nobody is taking any figures from these murdering fascists cunts except you who give them credibility (good friends you keep arsehole) 

and for the record it's you that keep spouting propaganda from "Ministers"... you're a vedgetable yourself you leftie zombies have been on 'repeat' every since Karl Marx told you retards what to think 100 years ago...

keep up the socialist work: input ignorance >panic > cry "wolf"  ....the story of your miserable life in 6 words eh retard? Your as predictable as the toilet flush mechanism in a communist toilet, always flushing shit through the 'Zombies R Us' system

JimS's picture

Are you involved in agriculture? Are you trying to say that there isn't "modern agriculture" in the USA? Man, you are dumb.

Zero Govt's picture

you're such a fuking retard you can't even read plain English

Flakmeister's picture

   Freebase hopium much? 

"Hot" fusion is a boondoogle, the research is primarily to see if it can be used for extraterrestial purposes. Cold fusion is laboratory curiousity.

Only idiots consider things like water, sewage, and as was succintly pointed out, the various nutrient cycles....

Zero Govt's picture


well said mate... we're undergoing another new hed-fuk from the shrill green empties about "over-population" and "peak resources" to quickly cover after their last sack of steaming shit (AGW) was found to be both a scientific and financial fraud... these ignorant hysterical fukers just don't know when to STFU ....time for a cull of greens and lefties me thinks :)

LawsofPhysics's picture

Come on out to my farm.  I'd be happy to plant some lead in your head.