Something to do with parasitic diseases. Flushing the poop disrupts the life cycle of some truly nasty critters.


Actually I agree that the UK could be considered over populated, specifically England. Birmingham metro area has a population that is more than the entire island of Ireland , as an example.
The roads in the UK are terribly congested compared to much of Ireland.

The cure might be worse than the disease though.
It may be a better strategy to push for internal migration to the North or England and to Scotland and also to redistribute some of the land held onto by the landed gentry.


It does that, but it also disrupts a whole lot of other things. Parasite management for most animals (including humans) just involves keeping them away from parasite eggs, larvae, hosts, etc for long enough to break the cycle, and/or ensuring that the manure is exposed to some system that naturally reduces the parasite or pathogen load (composting, for example).

In fact that’s one reason why ecosystems have a hard limit on their carrying capacity; you need enough spare land for those processes to operate.


Finley … specialized subject sh*t. Here is your starter for ten. :joy:


The concept of carrying capacity is really based on a lot of circular logic though. Its first use was to describe the number of sheep that land can support in Australian rangelands and was assumed to be – surprise surprise – exactly the same as the number of sheep actually on the land.

The other major source of ‘carrying capacity’ is in demography where it is the maximum population value in the logistical growth model, where again it is defined as an observation of the population rather than of the environment.

not that id disagree with the point about opening nutrient cycles and poop.

If referring to carrying capacity in the context of social inequality in England then its really coming home to its Malthusian roost: misery is natural, and therefore is no point in helping the poor. Rees moog probably alreadypreparing to whip that one out after the whole thing is descending into 18th century style shite.


Sometimes. I suppose the problem is that it’s an inherently soft number; you can’t say that at this specific population, everything falls off a cliff. It depends on all sorts of things.

My personal calculation is based on fundamentals: how much biomass can the land yield, and how much waste can it recycle? If you start adding all the layers of modernity, the number falls; how far it falls is a matter of debate.

I don’t think even Malthus made that assertion. His point was similar to mine: the land has a certain maximum output rate (and input rate), and if you exceed it, bad stuff happens. AFAIK he didn’t offer any solutions or suggest any philosophical implications: he was just pointing out the fact and hoping someone would address it. 200 years later, the official position is, “uhhh … it’ll sort itself out somehow”.


His essay on the principal of population is like an extended natural justification for poverty, and its logic cost millions of lives through famine.

Although there are of course limits on human populations, and on the ability of the earth to do x, y and z, what you get there in your calculation depends on what assumptions you are working with.

To highlight just one: what is the carrying capacity of Singapore?


Interesting. I’ve never read the full thing. I’ll look it up. I’m aware that he had some silly ideas about self-sufficiency.

However I don’t really see how that could have led directly to famine. Famine is usually an issue of ecological mismanagement and poor logistics. Jethro Tull’s ideas (about 100 years prior) were incredibly influential and led to excessive stress on the land, which would inevitably have led to crop failures down the line.

The same as any other comparable area in Malaysia. About 5 persons per hectare. Maybe a bit more because of higher insolation near the equator.

They’re just ‘borrowing’ ecosystems from elsewhere to make it look as if the carrying capacity is higher. Singapore would be hell on earth within a week if you blockaded the roads and seaports.


If by poor logisitics you mean all the food being shipped out leading to locals starving to death for lack of food, then yes, poor logistics. Then the people who ship the food out can turn the finger back on the people starving and say something along the lines of, “gosh, there were too many of you, you exceeded carrying capacity so there was no way to avoid that. Its nature.”

That applies to every city on earth. So every city on earth is exceeding carrying capacity and therefore should not exist?


Yes, that sort of thing. And variants upon the theme. Famines are often deliberate, or at least completely predictable.

I didn’t say they shoudn’t exist. They should simply be cognizant of what it is that supports their existence, and plan accordingly. Otherwise, they might find they suddenly don’t exist. It’s happened many times in history.

Singapore continues to be successful in part because they do exactly that. A lot of public policy is centred upon ecological efficiency.


Sure I didn’t mean to imply that you had, more just doing a devils advocate type of statement there.

At the end of the day though I am not very convinced by the carrying capacity argument when it comes to immigration, or major social changes like what Brexit is probably going to bring. Its a cop out if you ask me, or at least too broad a brush. Too many assumptions and ways to be taken up in tricky ways. The Nazis were all over it with Lebensraum too, but that seems to get forgotten.

Much better to have a handle on actual things that can be observed, like the nutrient cycles, diets, age gender descriptions of the population.

Like the way the UK gets most of its greens from Spain, and is hurtling towards blocking its own food supplies


Population (regardless of species) is largely a function of food supply.


Which raises the question: how did this come about?

Interdependency is dependency, and dependency is weakness.

Any why on earth import more low quality people?


Global trade, a system of global exchange in which the British had a huge and leading role in establishing. More local food would obviously be a good thing, but, is that what is going to happen. Instead of importing from the Republic of Ireland and Spain, there is some waffle about trade with north America and the far east.

Economics and demographics same reasons the Celts, Saxons, Normans, and Vikings were imported.


Indeed. I think this all comes back to what @Brianjones was saying earlier: what’s the plan? There really doesn’t seem to be one. If you go into a negotiation where “no deal” is a possibility (as it must be if you want any leverage at all) then you need a proper plan B on the offchance that you get no deal. May’s priority over the past few months, it seems to me, should have been negotiations not with the EU but with every other country on the planet, to see what deals could be thrashed out. IIRC she made a half-hearted effort in that direction, but not much came of it.

It would have also been a smart move to make business leaders and farmers aware of the plan, in detail, so that they could prepare accordingly (and perhaps bring them onside). What they’re most upset about at the moment is uncertainty.

The UK actually has plenty of spare capacity for food production. The problem is, it takes about 3 years to bring that capacity online. If farmers had had fair warning, May could have gone to the negotiating table with a much stronger hand.

Um … they weren’t exactly imported though, were they? It was more a case of “this bit of land is ours now, we’re moving in, you lot can either fuck off or live with it”.


Exactly its like the ‘plan’ is about burning bridges, and then some vague fudge about how to get across the river using magik

That was @rowland’s choice of vocab :wink:


I believe the plan involves the terms 'free trade ', ‘long term’ and 'blue passports ’ . After that things get kind of hazy.

Originally it was supposed to be about 350 million a week for the NHS but that seems to have been mysteriously abandoned. Now it’s all about trade and dirty foreigners.


And then somehow lost control of.

Sort of on purpose. What was that business about giving up the Empire?


Those last three weren’t imported. They invited themselves. They took over and then improved the place.

I’m wondering what your definition of low quality people is.


Vikings didn’t take over, they settled some river mouths And finally integrated or were driven out. Normans did take over but they also became integrated with local population eventyally.
Not that anybody cares I guess…