Category Archives: Population control

The next pandemic and when it will happen

Foot and Mouth Disease of cattle, new global diseases of bees; these are pandemics.  Pandemics in the global human population are part of our history and future;

Date                 Place                       Pandemic Pathogen                             Deaths

BC430                   Athens             Typhus or Smallpox?                          75,000 to 100,000


541 to 542 Europe & Asia             Bubonic Plague                                  25 to 50 million

1347 to 1351 Europe/Asia/Africa  Black Death Bubonic Plague          75 to 200 million

1545 to 1576         Mexico            Smallpox                                               17 million

1665 to 1656         Europe             Bubonic Plague of London               100,000

1817 to 1824         Asia Europe    Cholera                                                100,000

1918 to 1920         World              Spanish flu                                          20 to 50 million

1980 to date          World              HIV                                                     35 million

2013 to 2016         West Africa     Ebola                                                   11,000 plus

Diseases like Ebola are truly awful but are transmitted in body fluids, touch of bodies or contaminated materials.  So, with very careful, detailed isolation these diseases are comparatively easy to contain.  Airborne disease, such as flu viruses, can be transmitted very quickly in high population densities where transfer to others, and mutation to more, or less, virulent strains are more likely to occur.  Cross infection is easier too, particularly in public transport places such as busses and underground railways.  Avian and swine flus, fortunately for us, mutated the right way and became less fatal.  Mutation to be more fatal will, sooner or later, happen. It is difficult to be precise about when the next one will occur but any time now would not be misleading. This year: possible.  Within 5 years; very likely

How to prepare to combat the next pandemic, see the next blog in this series.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd   5th July 18


“From our Own Resources”

We are loosing land, thousands of acres every year. We produce the safest arable products in the world.

We are losing dairy herds at a dramatic rate and importing milk. Less safe milk!

I hear the talk about “environment” and “countryside” on one side, on the other I hear talk of “productivity”.  Farming remains Britain’s biggest industry and farm production remains a fundamental component of the national economy.  If, for the sake of political correctness, the Environment Secretary ignores, or otherwise takes the emphasis off farm production, he does so at the peril of the national economy.  Where is common sense?  Where is the national vision?  Some will remember a White Paper from Peter Walker, Minister of Agriculture; “From our Own Resources”. What on earth has gone wrong with this nation?  Where is the vision of production and growth? Where is the statesman who can drive production up so that we can afford the NHS?  Without productivity, we are nothing.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,  April 18

I can’t be bothered

On 20th February, BBC 1, Points West, reported on Prince Charles visiting the British Army Rapid Reaction Force in which around half the members are soldiers and other service personnel from other countries.  The visitors were about to go home and several were asked what they would miss about Britain.  Several answered with quips such as “the British weather”.  A lady soldier with good english and good humour said, “I will really miss hearing people say “I can’t be bothered”.  We do not have an equivalent expression in Germany”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 21 February 18

Yes! We can

I have previously published in this blog, a graph of population growth and the likely collapse following too much growth and an airborne, multi-virus pandemic.  It is pretty depressing, not because of the collapse itself but because it is avoidable. Firstly, we have to stop people breeding. It defies common sense to allow continued growth.  So far, the claimed logic of decreasing birth rates as wealth increases is more than counter-balanced by medical advance reducing death rates. Secondly, we do need to up our game in food production.  We can increase food production and food security.  We can produce food safely.  We can use urban waste to reclaim the deserts.  We can use composted urban wastes to reduce irrigation need.

We can reduce birth rates and increase food production.  Why don’t we push a bit harder?  Right now!

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 23 January 2018


Northern Forest v Food per Head of Population


If we do not control population, very urgently, nature will do it for us – soon and it will not be pretty.

This morning, the BBC reported the allocation of thousands of acres to a new Northern National Forest.  Well, very laudable and politically correct. However, I do not hear of any politician talking about population control.  A reader of this blog in India reports the same total avoidance of the population issue in that country and, he observes, nowhere in the world. Population control and food supply WILL affect our children if we start now to do something about it.  If we don’t start and seriously, it WILL affect our children catastrophically. It is quite simple. Write to your MP about it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 7 Jan 2018.

Farm land and food security

Not is, when will our children in the UK be short of food?

There is just the beginnings, maybe, of a constructive debate about the balance between “environment” and how that is interpreted in land use, and food production. Both world wars, particularly the second with the advent of U-boats, saw food security being a real issue.  “Food security” is one of those things that politicians will verbally agree is an issue but there is scant evidence that it figures much in their efforts to be elected to power and to keep power when they have got there.  However, we must be grateful for the colour of UK passports.

Yet, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) of the UN, for which some of my students have spent their careers with, are calculating that we will need to double food production globally by 2050. Most thinking people conclude that achieving that, or anywhere near it, would be an inconceivable miracle. It is not going to happen.  So, whether the politicians and “environmentalists” can argue their positions as much as they like but unless we grasp population control and food security for the people, each in our own country, then sooner or later, probably too much later, the politicians will be out of power.  By that time, not just our children, but our own selves, will need a lot of money to buy food off global markets.  Putting land under buildings and into wildlife projects is great but the price in the long run will be greater.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 23 Dec 17

P.S.  May 2018 bring some common sense into our national life.

Land, energy and urban wastes

The USAF cemetry at Maddingly, Cambridge UK. What kind of world are we handing on to our children?

Globally, we are on the edge of a renewable energy revolution. It is not that we did not have the technology, what is different is that the technology, bit by bit, is becoming economic.  This bodes well for the human race.  However, there is a problem in that much of the economically attractive solutions, especially solar panels, need land. There is a problem with land – they have stopped making it. So we need to use alternatives including never making a roof out of tiles or inactive sheet and, instead, making it of solar panels. We need the land to produce food, fibres and timber – but in a different way.  Instead of using mineral Nitrogen which costs at least 21,000 kWh per tonne of N to deliver, we need to feed those crops on urban wastes. It has been done and can be scaled up safely.

Nest discussion on this blog; Farming off-grid

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, December 17