Ghostrider Posted July 10, 2011 Report Share Posted July 10, 2011 if I had to predict the future, I'd be very much surprised if in 100 years the population is any more than the 5000-10000 mark, 99.9% residents of Lerwick/Scalloway and the vast majority either transplants or descendants of transplants during the previous 150 years. Interesting prediction. The first point on population size is plausible enough, though really nothing more than a guess. The second point is highly unlikely - as long as the land is suitable for rearing and growing food here people will be using it. Increasingly so in the future I'd say, particularly as oil gets harder to come by and imports become too expensive. The final point is bizarre (quite apart from the weird term 'transplants'). Where do you expect all the 'native' Shetlanders to go exactly? Are you anticipating some kind of ethnic cleansing? Yes, the population is more or less a guess, based on the opinion that I can't see how the isles could sustain a permanent population of greater number by then. I'll disagree with you though of the second point, largely for the self same reasons you cite to support your opinion. Certainly some land probably will still be in production, however don't forget that as well as raising the cost of imports, more expensive fuel will have a knock on affect on all aspects of mechanised agriculture and transport. The local market is finite, if the population drops it will be more finite still, the range of crops which can be successfully grown commercially in Shetland is small, a few large outfits run by a small number of staff could easily cover local market demand for the products they are capable of producing. Fuel costs will curtail if not obliterate the activities of part-timers in agriculture living on the who commute to other jobs eleswhere, and do likewise to part-timers who commute to tend their land. Commercial agriculture is only profitable in Shetland on anything but the largest scale due to subsidised transport to/from the mainland for importing materials and exporting product. Given the more expensive fuel gets the greater than subsidy will have to be to maintain its value in real terms, can we rely on a Govt. to keep dipping in to its pocket and doing that, can we rely on getting any subsidy at all in 100 years for that matter? If not the export market will shrink greatly if not vanish altogether, and it is dubious if even those supplying the local market can be expected to continue, as their margins will take a hit as the real terms value of the subsidy decreases, or vanishes altogether due to the increase in costs of their raw material imports. Already local agriculture finds it difficult to compete with imports produced in a better climate, and benefitting from the cost savings of scale that could never be possible here, there simply isn't that amount of suitable land in one place to be able to have 100+ acre fields of tatties, carrots etc. Granted many variables enter in to the equation, future Govt's may not only maintain the real terms value of shipping subsidies, they could actually increase them. I won't be holding my breath though. Technological advances could make possible sea transportation vessels that utilise ultra-cheap energy, but as no significant advances have been made in that area in the last 100 years, it doesn't much look like they might, and in any case, if they did, it blows your expensive imports argument right out of the water, as the shipping cost of imports would be slashed as well. The climate is continually evolving, always has, and almost certainly always will, but as the "experts" in that field have revised their thinking on that one more times than I care to try and count in the last couple of decades alone, I'm not about to expect the climate here to be all that significantly different, and thus making growing conditions more favourable, than they have been for the last few hundred years. I thought "transplant" was a commonly used and widely known term, it certainly is in the circles in which I move, but maybe its just grumpy old codgers like me that are of an age to know it. Substitute it with "incomer", "relocated" or similar of your choice, the meaning is the same. 'Native' is your choice of term (and one I think that shows you knew what I meant by 'transplant'), I'm not about to use it though, as I would tend to think the only natives of Shetland wear fur or feathers, and either walk on four legs or fly. The distinction I was trying to make was between Shetlanders who can trace their ancestory back for multiple generations in Shetland, and those who only moved her post 1970, or can trace their ancestory in Shetland no further back than that point. Based on a random sample of people which I am aware of their status, approx 50% of couples are currently "mixed", the remaining 50% being approx split 50/50 within their respective groups. If that same division is then projected further it shows that already only approx 25% of babies being born at the moment have long term local ancestory, then if you turn it on to all of those who are currently under 18, and who potentially have the ability to have produced the next 5 generations or so 100 years from now, and the liklihood of the already "mixed" becoming inter bred, plus inevitable further interbreeding of either 25% with the other two groupings, you have a situation where potentially 100 years from now a baby born who can trace their entire ancestory back to pre-1970 Shetland will be a rarity, and even one who can trace 50% of their ancestory that far back will have become uncommon. As those having their entire ancestory in Shetland pre-1970 only amounts to approx 25% of the total of babies currently being born, they already only form a small minority of future Shetlanders, and are a minority that can only continue to shrink quickly as people are still relocating to here, not only that, our local powers that be are all but begging people to come. By the time the next 5 or so generations are up and running in 100 years, the genetic material carried by your average Shetlander which was already here pre-1970 will be negligible. I could cite two much smaller scale actual local examples of why I believe this will be the case, but given the size of Shetland its not really possible to do so publically without the individuals I'm referring to posentially being identifiable, if not by others, then certainly by themselves. Before the lynch mob starts, I'd just like to make it clear that the above is not intended as having a go at or criticising anyone, its simply an acknowledgement of how the present will shape the future as I see it. The Shetlander of 100 years from now will be a very different beast from the one of today, they will find a considerably larger percentage of their heritage and culture is outside the Sooth Mooth rather than in their "homeland", which I expect will feel quite strange. Probably much like many present day Americans, who also as transplants randomly thrown together in a genetic melting pot, cannot find any real roots in their "homeland", have developed an unnatural affection often bordering on the obsession for whichever "old country" they feel they identify with most. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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