The EU’s working age population will peak next year before tipping into decline for half a century
This will cause a relentless rise in pension and health costs that risk asphyxiating the region’s economy.
A new report by the European Commission said this financial crisis
could turn into a “permanent shock to growth” from which Europe never
fully recovers unless it moves fast to bring its public debts under
The main danger is a “Lost Decade” akin to
Japan’s deflation slump, with economies contracting by 0.9pc into the
middle of the next decade, but there is also a risk of a deeper
Every country in the EU has a fertility rate below 2.1 births per
woman, the minimum to keep the population stable. The average is 1.51,
chiefly caused by women waiting late into their 20s or 30s before
having children. This stretches out the generations.
While the fertility rate is expected to rise over time, demographic
shifts tend to be glacial. An ageing crunch is already baked into the
pie, hitting hardest from 2015 to 2035.
Britain fares relatively well, helped by immigrants and – some say –
by its unwed teenage mothers, who lift the fertility rate at 1.8. The
British working age cohort will be the biggest of any EU country by
mid-century at 45m, followed closely by France.
If demographics is destiny, Britain and France may reclaim their
mid-19th century status as the two dominant powers of Europe, but by
then the Old World will be a much reduced force.
Germany’s working population will shrink by 29pc to just 39m.
Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states will all see drops of
No country will be spared the vaulting costs of ageing, an extra tax
of 5pc on GDP, leaving aside the less visible tax on cultural dynamism
that comes with lost youth.
The EU “dependency ratio” will soar: there will be two workers to
support each person over 65, compared to four today. It will be worse
if Europe fails to attract enough immigrants, all too likely given the
catch-up under way in the developing world.
Faced with this future, Britain and Europe need to slash debt and
salt away investment wealth in the rising East. Instead, public debt is
exploding. Brussels has laid it bare: we will need hair-shirt
discipline once we emerge from this recession. It may be our last
Note from Spenglerblog:
I want to grab Europeans by the lapels and shake them, and shout “It
is not the end of the world! It is the end of you! You are doing to
become extinct! But long before that, your economy is going to
But why bother?
Sub Rosa Note: California fertility rate per childbearing age woman was 2.2 as of 2007, but this is artificially high due to Hispanic immigration and births.
An email from Will Alexander [firstname.lastname@example.org] in South Africa
read all those reports on the solar linkage with climate with a mixture
of amusement and amazement. I was particularly amazed by David
Whitehouse's conclusion that for now all scientists can do, along with
the rest of us, is to watch and wait. This is nonsense. I was amused
because the linkage was first reported in the South African literature
more than a hundred years ago. I also reported it in 1978, again in
1995, and on a number of occasions since then.
Let me take your
readers through the issue in simple steps. The analyses consist of
simple school level arithmetic and standard serial correlation
analyses. The data were not manipulated in any way before, during or
after the analyses.
STEP 1. The following data are from
website information distributed by the World Data Centre for the
Sunspot Index (2005). There were eight complete cycles during the past
century. These commenced with the sunspot minimum that occurred in
June1913, and ended with the sunspot minimum that occurred in March
1996. The lengths of the cycles were 10, 10, 11, 10, 10, 12, 10 and 10
years, with a mean of 10.4 years. These values are within a narrow
range of between 10 (minimum) and 12 (maximum) years. A corresponding
increase in solar activity during the past century is reflected in the
increase in the numbers of sunspots per cycle, commencing with the
cycle that started in 1913. Alternating cycles are identified by
negative values. The sunspot numbers per cycle were +442, -410, +605,
-757, +950, -705, +829 and -785. The maximum was more than twice that
of the minimum that occurred only three cycles earlier.
lengths of the corresponding double sunspot cycles were 20, 21, 22 and
20 years with a mean of 20.8 years, a minimum of 20 years and a maximum
of 22 years. The average numbers of sunspots in the alternating cycles
that made up the double cycles were +706 and -664, demonstrating a
meaningful difference in sunspot activity in the alternating cycles.
2. There are very clear and unambiguous reversals in the South African
hydrometeorological data. The periods commenced with sudden changes
from sequences of drought years that were suddenly broken by floods
that persisted in the following years. The years in which the reversals
occurred in South Africa's major river are as follows with the
corresponding sunspot minima in parentheses. They were 1932/33 (1933),
1941/42 (1944), 1953/54 (1954), 1965/66 (1964), 1972/73 (1975), 1986/87
(1986), 1995/96 (1996), and 2005/06 (2006?).
The annual flows
during the three years preceding the reversals averaged 60% of the
record average annual flows and the subsequent three years averaged
156% of the average annual flows. The average sunspot numbers in the
three years before and after the sunspot minima were 17 and 100
respectively. It is very clear that the sudden changes in river flow
are closely linked with corresponding changes in sunspot numbers, and
are not random events. This relationship exists despite the long and
complex energy path starting at the sun and ending with the potential
energy of the water in the river, which is a function of its elevation
above sea level.
STEP 3. Records were long enough to detect
21-year periodicity in the data at the 95% level of statistical
significance using standard serial correlation analyses. Serial
correlation analyses showed a statistically significant, 95 percent
level, 21-year serial correlation in many records BUT NO 11-YEAR SERIAL
CORRELATIONS. The analyses demonstrated very clearly that the
relationship between solar activity and river flow was synchronously
related to the double sunspot cycles and not the single sunspot cycles.
4. The hydrological analyses showed a clear and unambiguous, slow but
steady increase in open water surface evaporation during the 70 years
of available records. Received solar radiation and not air temperature
controls the evaporation process. This was confirmed by evaporation
STEP 5. There was a similar, steady
increase in rainfall during the past century. This is directly contrary
to claims by climate alarmists that climate change will result in most
of South Africa becoming warmer and drier.
SUMMARY SO FAR
is a clear and unambiguous synchronous relationship between sunspot
activity and river flow in South Africa. The increases in evaporation
and rainfall coincided with increases in sunspot activity during the
past century. Why were these linkages not detected in the milder
climates of the northern hemisphere?
STEP 6. There are two
reasons for this. First, most of the solar energy received in the high
latitudes is transported from the tropics via the atmospheric and
oceanic systems. The subtle signals of variations in received solar
energy are subdued in the process.
STEP 7. Another factor is
that the average annual rainfall in South Africa is only 500 mm
compared with the world average of more than 800 mm. As a consequence
our rainfall and river flows are strongly seasonal. There is very
little carryover from one year to the next. The annual values are
discrete events and the signals are much clearer.
the past four years I have warned that South Africa, and possibly the
rest of the world, are about to enter a drought cycle. There is about a
20% probability that the drought sequences will be as severe as those
of the early 1930s. This was called the Great Depression Drought here
in South Africa as it coincided with the worldwide economic depression.
In the USA it was called the Dustbowl Drought.
concern has increased greatly in recent months. If a severe drought
occurs and it coincides with the present economic recession that seems
to be heading towards a depression, there will be chaos in this country
and elsewhere. I do not know how the prolonged quietness of the Sun
will influence my prediction. The reports in CCNet of 27 April were not
very helpful. Waiting for events to unfold is not an option.
NewGeography.com is out with a rating of small, medium and large cities for job growth potential. The Los Angeles-Glendale area is near the bottom. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale are ranked 279th out of 336 cities. Here are California rankings:
Andrew Klavan Pajamas Media Excerpt: For many years, conservatives have been complaining about the
left-wing bias of both the mainstream media and popular culture. The
two are intimately connected because, over and above commercial
success, the culture and the artists who create it are empowered by
reviews, prestige and awards that the mainstream media bestow,
facilitate and publicize.
But it’s now become clear that conservatives are wrong. The media
are not biased against the right. They are openly hostile towards us.
They are openly attempting to crush one point of view and elevate
another. This is not a conspiracy. It is simply the result of a
poisonous conformity, a climate of opinion which the MSM, populated
almost exclusively by liberals, barely even realize they inhabit.
But in allowing themselves to become immersed in this climate, the
bulk of the American media have now become the toadies of the state and
the enemies of the people.
The MSM support the left-wing ideal of a powerful government run by
elites such as themselves, imposing equality of outcome on everyone but
themselves. Their state will decide how to spend our money for us, how
our labor should be directed and how human nature will be curtailed in
order to get the outcomes the state finds good. The media oppose our
founders’ revolutionary idea of a nation governed by its people, with
the state empowered just enough to protect each individual’s God-given
rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The media are
offended by our founders’ understanding that these rights are
inseparable from the right to private property and their belief that
government attempts to redistribute property equally are wicked (James
Madison’s word, not mine). The media stand in opposition to the belief
in a Creator who endowed us with these rights and whose presence makes
these rights absolute and non-negotiable.
Examples of the media’s hostility to the American ideal abound, but
two have stood out to me in the past several weeks and illustrate the
relationship between the media and the culture. The first example was
the media’s attempt to ignore, then dismiss and ridicule, the tax day
tea party protests that brought hundreds of thousands of ordinary
people out in demonstrations across the country. Compare the media’s
small, low and dishonest coverage of these protests with their
hysterically magnified and hagiographical coverage of Cindy Sheehan’s
minor and largely meaningless anti-war protests a few years before.
When challenged, the media always have excuses for this sort of
hostility toward the right, but they never need excuses for hostility toward the left because they never show any.....
....So all right, now we know. The media are the enemies of the people
and they are protecting the culture for the proponents of the state.
And now that we do know, it’s time for us to fight back. By us, I mean
artists, journalists, thinkers, foundations, investors—anyone who tells
stories, makes music or pictures or reacts to them with criticism,
ideas, money and praise.
We need to build a New American Culture, and turn our backs on the
culture of the state. We need to stop according respect or credence to
reviews and awards that are used as social engineering tools to force
the culture into anti-American state worship. We need to build an
infra-structure of funding, review attention and awards to give praise,
purpose and prestige to those artists who stand outside the MSM’s
climate of opinion.
It would be wrong to say too much about what such a New American
Culture would look like. Individualism is the very essence of both
conservatism and art. But I think we can say that such a culture would
reflect and uplift the values and perspectives that made the west and
America the greatest and freest places on the globe; it would put
forward an image of man as our founders knew him to be, flawed and
sinful yet capable of striving toward dignity and salvation through
self-reliance and sacrifice.
In truth, there is only one essential principle our new culture
needs to remember and embody and it’s this: liberty is better than
slavery. This principle alone implies a moral order and a human
purpose. It makes a small state better than a big one. It makes America
better than, say, Saudi Arabia. It makes a religion based on “love thy
neighbor,” better than one based on submission. This principle alone
will guide us away from mealy-mouthed self-abasement to balanced
self-criticism and praise amidst our search for the dignity, strength
and morality befitting free men and women.
non profit that pretends to be charitable, is actually a political
action committee. The America Lung Society has once again put out a
misleading document. It claims that Riverside, San Bernardino and San
Diego are the three most smoggy counties in the State. Note there are
no numbers involved, no reliance on standards--just a statement.
By definition every State has three smoggiest counties---but compared
to what? This is just another Al Gore scare tactic. I wonder how high
on the list of corrupt organizations we would find the American Lung
Association. Using their methodology, they are on the list--maybe
second or third? More here:
The Pasadena City Council approved an action Monday night to apply "Parks Fees" shaken down mainly from owners and renters of new condos and apartments downtown ($10,977 per dwelling unit) for expansion of Jackie Robinson Park in North West Pasadena.
What was not reported was that the 2.5 acres of land south of the existing Jackie Robinson Park that is planned for park expansion was formerly the home of Highland Plastics which employed 140 employees. Highland Plastics left Pasadena about 1999 reportedly due to too high electricity costs. So as predicted Pasadena is getting poorer and poorer. More park land replaces industries and jobs.
The above actions could have been a fictional scene from the current NBC TV comedy "Parks and Recreation" where the Parks Director decides not to build any new parks near the new housing developments which ponied up the parks fees (@$10,977 per housing unit) and diverted the funds to a "money pit" elsewhere. Pasadena's parks fees can be found here:
And were we blind or what when we reviewed the City Council Agenda online last week - we don't remember this agenda item being posted to give the electorate advance notice. Keep those ficus tree diversions and distractions going - no one will miss any of the real workings of government thanks to the tree huggers. Same with the Federal government - keep the "Swine Flu" and "Statue of Liberty" fly-over going to divert attention from what really is going on.
For those interested in the real life parks and recreation machinations of government on Monday night see here
Re: Mark Traugher, "Peripheral Canal No Drought Lifeline, Contra Costa Water District Finds, Contra Costa Times, April 24, 2009 - Synopsis: A $10 billion plan to build a canal around the Delta would not
deliver significantly more water to cities and farms if it were in place this
year, new data shows.Water agencies and politicians from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on down have
repeatedly stressed that water shortages this year from the Bay Area to San
Diego prove the need for such a canal. It would divert water around the Delta
for delivery to farms and cities. But numbers developed by a state-run planning group seeking to build the
canal show it would not deliver more water in dry years, the Contra Costa Water
District stated this week. Link:
RESPONSE: David O. Powell - Pasadena David Powell, B.S. Civil Engineering, Cal-Tech; former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, formerly California Dept. of Water Resources Chief Engineer of San Diego office; water and hydro-electric engineer with Bechtel Corporation; Assistant Chief Engineer Alameda County Water District; Vice-President and Chief of Planning for Bookman-Edmonston Engineering, Glendale, California; presently retired.
My reaction to the above-cited article is "what utter nonsense!"
the article is by a reporter who apparently doesn't fully understand
what he is talking about. For example. the article refers to
"...numbers developed by a state-run planning group seeking (emphasis
added) to build the canal..." yet the thrust of the article is
opposition to the plan. A later paragraph refers to "...Gary Bobker,
program manager of The Bay Institute, an environmental group, and a
member of the conservation plan's steering committee." Mr. Bobker is
quoted as stating "If you build a very expensive facility and don't
improve water supply much, does that create more incentive for water
agencies to weaken existing environmental and water quality standards?"
The article appears in a Contra Costa County newspaper, and liberally quotes representatives of Contra Costa Water
District. Please bear in mind that Contra Costa Water District's water
supply is dependent on (water) diversions directly from the Delta.
article states "according to water users' estimates, new rules to
protect the threatened fish cost 300,000 acre-feet of water this
year..." Later it says " in dry years the increase is small to
nonexistent..." Three hundred thousand acre-feet per year during
droughts is insignificant?!?!?!
article makes reference to an $8.5 billion cost for the current plan.
I would like to see the cost estimate leading to this figure. I do
not remember the estimated cost of the Peripheral Canal
when it was proposed for construction a quarter century or so ago. But
I would be very surprised if that figure, adjusted for inflation, would
come anywhere near $8.5 billion.
Let me add a few closing remarks outlining my views.
would have to agree that the fact that there is not very much new water
available for capture during drought periods is sort of a no-brainer.
Although 300,000 acre feet a year is not insignificant. The real
function of a Peripheral Canal during periods of drought is to enable
the transfer southerly of supplemental water originating northerly of
the Delta, whether that water is from existing storage, new storage in
the Sacramento Valley, water purchased from farmers or diversions from
North Coast streams.
article indicates that larger supplies originating north of the Delta
are available during wet years. The problem is that with current
restrictions on pumping from the Delta imposed on the State Water
Project and the Federal Central Valley Project, the ability to transfer water during wet periods is severely impaired.
statements in the article suggest that a major function of the proposed
plan will be for the purpose of "... existing environmental and water
quality standards...[and to]... conserve endangered species."
I would suspect that a Peripheral Canal for the purposes of getting
water from the north side of the Delta to the south side of the Delta
(without aggravating environmental conditions tot a state worse than
would exist under natural drought conditions) would cost far less than $8.5 billion.
think that the remarks about the capacity inadequacy and inability to
refill existing storage downstream from the Delta are well taken.
Sub Rosa Note: As best as we have been able to find online the original cost of the Peripheral Canal, not including offsite levees, was $1.5 billion in 1982. Recalculated in today's dollars at a 4% per year monetary inflation rate, would be about $4.3 billion.