Save the earth; destroy humanity

It is the crusade of the 20th century. A holy war to reverse the ‘destruction of the ecological balance caused by self-serving, ego-centric human activities’.

Is this crusade prompted by a concern for humanity, or the opposite? Let’s ask Biology professor Eric Pianka of the University of Texas…

Professor Pianka just received the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist award at the Texas Academy of Science's annual meeting. He also gave a very enlightening talk at the meeting. Most enlightening:


"Every one of you who gets to survive has to bury nine," Eric Pianka cautioned students and guests at St. Edward’s University on Friday. Pianka's words are part of what he calls his "doomsday talk" — a 45-minute presentation outlining humanity's ecological misdeeds and Pianka's predictions about how nature, or perhaps humans themselves, will exterminate all but a fraction of civilization.

Though his statements are admittedly bold, he's not without abundant advocates. But what may set this revered biologist apart from other doomsday soothsayers is this: Humanity's collapse is a notion he embraces.

Indeed, his words deal, very literally, on a life-and-death scale, yet he smiles and jokes candidly throughout the lecture. Disseminating a message many would call morbid, Pianka's warnings are centered upon awareness rather than fear.

"This is really an exciting time," he said Friday amid warnings of apocalypse, destruction and disease. Only minutes earlier he declared, "Death. This is what awaits us all. Death." Reflecting on the so-called Ancient Chinese Curse, "May you live in interesting times," he wore, surprisingly, a smile.

So what's at the heart of Pianka's claim?

6.5 billion humans is too many.

In his estimation, "We've grown fat, apathetic and miserable," all the while leaving the planet parched.

The solution?

A 90 percent reduction.

'UT professor says death is imminent', seguingazette.com

Be-a-u-ti-ful. Pianka is sort of the David Koresh of biologists wouldn't you say? (It warms my heart to find another dedicated and committed academic hard at work teaching our best and brightest the skills they need to compete in the 21st century, it really does. Ward Churchill eat your heart out.)

One Global Branch Davidian Compound

The one thread connecting all of the more strident and alarmist proclamations about global warming is in fact this anti-human undercurrent. This disdain and bitterness against humanity. As if human beings were a plague upon the eternal, perfect, and immaculate virgin earth.

This would be amusing if it were not for the fact that there is a real danger involved-- the danger of deception. And it looks more likely every day that the alarmists are gaining traction.

It reminds me of the fire triangle. Just like there are four elements needed to have fire, there are four things needed to produce a global catastrophe:

1. Enough propaganda to sustain outrageous claims,
2. Enough official support of said propaganda,
3. Critical mass of people actually believing the propaganda, and
4. a power ready to use force to enforce the propaganda.

We already have plenty of David Koresh's, like Prof. Pianka, attempting to sway others to their global-warming 'humanity-is-a-disease' death cult. Many governments are ready to go along with the alarmist agenda. We even have a popular belief in global warming, if not quite a critical mass. All we need now is a Janet Reno to send in the tanks and tear gas, setting off the spark and burning everything down to the ground-- in order to save the earth of course.

Indoctrination or education?

Today's prophets of doom aren't disheveled homeless men, pacing sidewalks, wearing placards proclaiming, "The end is near!" No-- Unfortunately they have positions of prominence and authority and are allowed to teach impressionable and apparently gullible young minds in colleges that the end is near.

Mims worries fertile young minds with a thirst for knowledge may develop into enthusiastic supporters of a deadly disease, advocating the fall of humanity.

"He recommended airborne Ebola as an ideal killing virus," Mims said. "He showed slides of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse and human skulls. He joked about requiring universal sterilization. It reminded me of a futuristic science fiction movie with a crazed scientist planning the death of humanity."

But as confident as Mims is in his assessment, he faces one unarguable fact: Most of Pianka's former students are bursting with praise. Their in-class evaluations celebrate his ideas with words like "the most incredible class I ever had" and "Pianka is a GOD!"

Did you know that David Koresh was supposed to be an incarnation of god to his followers? Pianka too, converts listeners...

Brenna McConnell, a biology senior, said she and others in the audience "had not thought seriously about overpopulation issues and a feasible solution prior to the meeting." But though McConnell arrived at the event with little to say on the issue, she returned to Seguin with a whole new outlook.

An entry to her online blog captures her initial response to what's become a new conviction:

"[Pianka is] a radical thinker, that one!" she wrote. "I mean, he's basically advocating for the death for all but 10 percent of the current population. And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he's right."

Today, she maintains the Earth is in dire straits. And though she's decided Ebola isn't the answer, she's still considering other deadly viruses that might take its place in the equation.

"Maybe I just see the virus as inevitable because it's the easiest answer to this problem of overpopulation," she said.

Is this just one lone nutbag spouting extreme environmentalist rhetoric? One might be tempted to think so if it were not for the standing ovation he received at a meeting of Scientists and college students.

David Koresh would be so lucky to receive a standing ovation from any crowd.

McConnell said the TAS audience, unlike Mims, was in awe of Pianka's words. They offered a standing ovation, and enthusiastically applauded Pianka's position, Mims said.

"There was a good deal of shock and just plain astonishment at what he had to say," the student said. "Not many folk come out and talk about the end of the human population in as candid of a manner as he did. Dr. Pianka received a standing ovation at the end of his talk, if that says anything. What he had to say was radical, no question about it, but that is not to say that at least some of what he had to say is not true."

Though Pianka turned down requests for a sit-down interview, he maintains he is not advocating human death.

Does he believe nature will bring about this promised devastation? Or is humanity's own dissemination of a deadly virus the only answer? And more importantly, is this the motive behind his talks?

Responding to these very questions, Pianka said, "Good terrorists would be taking [Ebola Roaston and Ebola Zaire] so that they had microbes they could let loose on the Earth that would kill 90 percent of people."

'By the time we have proof it will be too late!'

Was there any real reason to believe that the world was flat? Or that the sun revolved around the earth? Or that communism would bring about a utopian society of equality and love? Not really. They were merely consensus beliefs which were not supposed to be questioned.

Every day the stories get more pronounced. More apocolyptic. Decidedly more extreme.

The climate is crashing and global warming is to blame. Why the crisis hit so soon -- and what we can do about it. "No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out."

Climate Change: Countdown to Global Catastrophe
"Report warns point of no return may be reached in 10 years, leading to droughts, agricultural failure and water shortages... The global warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked for the first time in an international report to be published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has nearly reached it already."

'Millions more starving by 2015'
The world will have 100 million extra hungry people by 2015, scientists say. ...Despite great improvements in food availability in the 1960s and 1970s, these trends are reversing in many developing countries, they say.

Weather of mass destruction bigger threat than terrorism
Citing a Pentagon report... "It envisions the need to turn the US and other rich western countries into "fortresses," armed against an angry tide of people displaced by rising sea levels or unable to grow food, and running for their lives."

Solving the Earth's environmental problems means addressing the size of its human population, says the head of the UK's Antarctic research agency.
"A number of studies suggest that humankind is consuming the Earth's resources at an unsustainably fast rate. Even so, the issue of population is hardly ever discussed at environmental summits or raised by green lobby groups. Professor Rapley, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, acknowledges it is a thorny question, invoking the spectre of forced population control and even eugenics.

..."Unless and until this changes," he writes, "summits such as [the recent climate change meeting] in Montreal which address only part of the problem will be limited to at best very modest success, with the welfare and quality of life of future generations the ineluctable casualty."

If you believe these kinds of doomsday warnings are unprecedented, you're wrong.

Anatomy of Supposititious Lupine Declarations

Dr. Paul Ehrlich is still considered 'an expert' even though his every prediction has failed to materialize. The man who cried wolf said, in his Book, The Population Bomb (A Sierra Club Book):

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970's the world will undergo famines-- hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.

(First page of prologue, paragraph 1) Ehrlich, P. (1968). The Population Bomb. New York: 'Sierra Club' -Ballantine Books.

I think part of the problem with doomsday predictions is that we never follow up on them. Maybe if we did, we might be able to achieve some perspective on what kind of predictions should be taken seriously or not. When dire predictions are espoused today about global warming, overpopulation, environmental destruction and doom there is usually a radical remedy espoused along with it. A program of action that share common characteristics.

They key to the whole business, in my opinion, is held by the United States. We are the most influential superpower; we are the richest nation in the world. At the same time we are also just one country on a shrinking planet. (pg. 132, paragraph 1)

...We of course, cannot remain affluent and isolated. At the moment the United States uses well over half of all the raw materials consumed each year. Think of it. Less than 1/15th of the population of the world requires more than all the rest to maintain its inflated position. (pg. 133, paragraph 1)

...The "selfless" actions necessary to aid the rest of the world and stabalize the population are our only hope for survival. The "selfish" ones work only toward our destruction. Ways must be found to bring home to all the American people the reality of the threat to their way of life--indeed to their very lives.

Obviously our first step must be to immediately establish and advertise drastic policies designed to bring our own population size under control. We must define a goal of a stable optimum population size for the United States and display our determination to move rapidly toward that goal. (pg. 135, paragraph 1)

(Chapter 4, 'What needs to be done?' Pages 132-135) Ehrlich, P. (1968). The Population Bomb. New York: Sierra Club-Ballantine Books.

Remember Professors Pianka's glee. His final solution? A 90 percent reduction in population.

Posted by Eric Simonson at April 8, 2006 3:18 PM
Comments
Comment #139130

Well in this post, I don’t think you actually addressed any of the facts he based his opinion on. While I don’t agree with his 90% thing (which he probably doesn’t mean literally), the rest of what he says is true. Our population really is way too high. If we’re living unsustainably, then we’re living unsustainably, simply calling him a doomsday prophet for saying it won’t change the fact.

It would take several earths to support everyone at an american standard of living, and we keep destroying animals and the environment because we can’t stop breeding and crowding anything standing in our way. And while our population increases, human progress and peace doesn’t. He was obviously just making a well-supported point illustrating humanity’s impact. As usual, unlike faux news, abstract ideas to get people thinking are things that go way over neocons’ heads.

Posted by: mark at April 8, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #139131

While I am all for controlling the excess population, the problem is in the criteria used to determine who is excess. The problem with disease as a population control measure is that it leaves alot of orphans who are singularly unable to contribute economically to the new utopia.

Several years ago I argued with a friend’s girlfriend that some animal species were unlikely to survive because they required a large geographical area to hunt and mate. Humans were encroaching on their native territory in Florida and there was no feasible solution. In a passionate plea for animal rights she demanded that the animals should retain the land. When I asked where the people would live, she said that they could live in trees. Having no answer to this, I quit the field.

There are many stupid ideas out there, and many of them are disseminated on college campuses. Hopefully exposure to the real world will enlighten students. If not, well they can sign up for voluntary extermination, thus reducing the excess population.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #139132

Kinda sad that this is the best the Red Column can come up with. A theoretical discussion of a theory by a reputed scientist from a major University of a minor State. You don’t even bother to counter his arguments scientifically. Its like Climate Change… close your eyes and tap your shoes while saying “There’s no place like home.”.

Sheesh!!!


Here is a more rational account:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/04/06/science

“One person who attended the event has already written a full story — which, in turn, has been championed by several opponents of evolution. Forrest Mims, a science writer without a university affiliation, has detailed his version of the speech in an online publication he edits called The Citizen Scientist. In an article titled, “ Meeting Doctor Doom,” Mims makes it appear as though Pianka advocated the addition of airborne Ebola virus into the environment in order to kill 90 percent of the Earth’s population.

Several people who attended the speech and are familiar with Pianka’s ideas say that he intended no such thing. While he said that overpopulation creates serious environmental problems, he didn’t call for the death of anyone, they say.”

““We would like to state … that many of Dr. Pianka’s statements have been severely misconstrued and sensationalized,” David S. Marsh, president of the academy, said in the release. “The purpose of his presentation was to dramatize the precarious plight of the human population. He did nothing more than apply commonly accepted principles of animal population dynamics to humans; an application not unique to this presentation and one that can be surmised by any student of ecology.”

John Hanson, a biology instructor at Texas Tech University who attended the speech, said that at no point was Pianka literally arguing that “humans are bad and we need to go away.” “Rather, he was talking about human impacts on the environment,” said Hanson. “From a nonanthropomorphic point of view, it probably would be best for the planet with less humans.””


Posted by: Aldous at April 8, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #139133

Here is a description of this Mims character:

“Some members of the Texas Academy have united to create a petition expressing their outrage regarding Mims’s actions and their support for Pianka. Dozens had signed as of Wednesday evening.

When asked whether he believed in Darwinian evolution, Mims would not provide an answer. Hanson, for one, found that strange, and said that most scientists he knows are pretty open about being evolutionists — even ones who hold strong religious beliefs.

“I think that the Pianka affair stems from a contingent set of circumstances, and that it is because Forrest Mims happens to be an intelligent design advocate that the intelligent design advocates are so involved in this incident,” said Wesley R. Elsberry, a director with the National Center for Science Eduation. “In this case, he heard Pianka say some things that conflicted with his worldview, and through misunderstanding inferred things that just weren’t part of Pianka’s talk.”

“I would like to make clear that Mims has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements,” said Kathryn E. Perez, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of biology, in the petition of support for Pianka. She personally believes that the Texas Academy should consider sanctioning Mims, who is a member of the organization, for what she calls “misleading propaganda.”

“I’m not entirely sure why intelligent design proponents would find this a good bandwagon to jump on,” she added. “It just seems like they want to teach people not to trust scientists.””

Posted by: Aldous at April 8, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #139137
But as confident as Mims is in his assessment, he faces one unarguable fact: Most of Pianka’s former students are bursting with praise. Their in-class evaluations celebrate his ideas with words like “the most incredible class I ever had” and “Pianka is a GOD!”

Did you know that David Koresh was supposed to be an incarnation of god to his followers? Pianka too, converts listeners…

Come on. You are blowing this WAY out of proportion.

Posted by: Amani at April 8, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #139138

There are environmentalists who believe in making the environment cleaners and better. And there are environmentalists who treat the environment as a religion. You can tell the difference by how they talk about people and nature.

We can have nothing but a human viewpoint of nature. Anything else is impossible. Some humans try to pretend they represent trees, animals or earth itself. They are the religious ones.

Others want humans to live in harmony with nature and wisely use the earth’s resources. They are the smart ones.

Humans cannot destroy nature. Even if we managed to destroy the entire surface of the earth, it wouldn’t make much difference to the vast time-space continuum. What we can do is make it difficult or impossible for US to live here. This is very serious, but it does eliminate the idea that humans can commit crimes against nature. They can only ruin it for themselves and their posterity.

That implies wise use. The religious view implies human hands off. Wise use is smarter.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #139141

Amani:

Eric and Jack have no choice. What else can they write that won’t be a shot in the foot?

Posted by: Aldous at April 8, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #139147

“Kinda sad that this is the best the Red Column can come up with. A theoretical discussion of a theory by a reputed scientist from a major University of a minor State. You don’t even bother to counter his arguments scientifically. Its like Climate Change… close your eyes and tap your shoes while saying “There’s no place like home.”.”

Like I said, things like this go way over their heads. It’s sad this is all they can come up with.

At the same time neocons want their religion to be elevated to science, they want science to be lowered to the status of nothing more than a faith-based ideology. Like when creationists say scientists are in a “church of darwinism” or eric’s irrational global warming post referring to climate scientists as “environment ministers.”

The reason ID proponents probably hate this guy is because his scientific view conflicts with their view of humanity. Fundamentalists believe humanity alone is special (although usually this means only fellow fundamentalists with the rest going to hell) and need to spread out and multiply. You know, the whole “subdue and conquer” the lesser beasts idea. Thus they can’t stand the idea that animals and the environment might need to be protected too, or that we can negatively impact it.

Posted by: mark at April 8, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #139149

What a pile of crap. Global warming is probally happing but it not because of anything humans do. what about the ice age, how did that happen? you don’t know nobody does. You cannot control nature no mater what you do. Sorry libs you better go back to talking about acid rain.

Posted by: w.t.f at April 8, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #139150

Eric-
There are threats to our species’ survival, and to the sustainability of our civilization out there. This guy, though, is a doomsayer, while the rest of us are merely giving folks like you a warning. Ecological collapse is not a blue (or black) sky impossiblity

It’s happened before. What do you think happened to Mesopotamia? Why is the Fertile Crescent now a desert? What happened to the Maya and the Anasazi? Not all environments on this planet are created equal, and not only can human activity alter environments, they already have. Now you can smugly point to some crazy fellow in academia, and say this represents anybody who makes claims about environmental problems, but the truth is, it’s happened before, and if we don’t watch our step, it will happen again.

In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond made a comparison of the societies with the worst environmental problems, and the ones that were failed states. Care to guess how much the correlation matched?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #139160

Also, neocons slander environmentalists as all being doomsayers and incapable of saying nothing more than the planet’s environment becoming destroyed. Legitimate environmentalists haven’t said that. The issue is whether the environment will continue to support us as we’ve been living. Running out of resources like oil won’t destroy humanity, but western civilization would collapse. Global warming might not be the end of humankind, but it still can make life very unconfortable to us.

Also, there are the ethical issues to it that don’t immediately benefit us. Things like considering other species that have been around much longer than we have, preserving natural beauty for future generations, and not blindly destroying ecosystems.

Of course none of that matters to greed-focused conservatives. If they had their way we’d probably pave what natural environment we had left, and open yellowstone to loggers. No, if you discuss environmentalism to conservatives, you have to explain how damaging the environment will eventually harm them. That is, the ones who can reasonm and not the ones who’ve made global warming denial and anti-environmentalism a sort of religion.

Posted by: mark at April 8, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #139162

While Eric’s comparisons of Pianka to Koresh is somewhat overblown, there is a danger to the views that Pianka espouses. Like Erlich (and others) before him, he is in a position within academia to influence countless future scientists, policy makers, and media types with a particularly insidious worldview.

It is a worldview that completely discounts human intelligence, ingenuity, and inventiveness, argues that nothing short of the ceasation of most (if not all) human activity can “save the planet”, and denies that most basic instinct of any species, that of self-preservation. By convincing a significant percentage of their students of this worldview, countless advances in numerous areas of human endeavor will never even be attempted, because any man-made solution involving technological advances will be viewed as “damaging the planet”.

Erlich preditions of the 1970’s failed to come true primarily because he based his theories on the faulty premise that there would be no changes in any of the conditions present at the time of his predictions. Contrary to that belief, huge advances in crop yields (even without the dreaded GMO “franken-foods”) and livestock disease prevention have occured, voiding much of the formulas on which his predictions were based. Similarly, advances in efficient energy production, pollution control, and materials use and recycling have permitted the planet to easily sustain an ever growing human population.

Are there still problems of starvation, over-crowding, extreme pollution, etc., in much of the under-developed world? Certainly, but these are usually the result of local political conditions, not of either the compassion, political will, or either malicious intent or indifference by the developed world. There are potential solutions to all of the problems (which can, and most certainly will, be debated), but solutions such as Erlich, Pianka, and others of their ilk propose (and with which they indoctrinate their students) are about as viable as the eugenics espoused by the social scientists of the 1930’s.

Posted by: Michael Chance at April 8, 2006 6:01 PM
Comment #139164

Human activities can change the climate. For example, we all know cities create rain shadows; it rains a little more on one side of a city than the other. This is not normally something we think of as ‘climate change,’ but it its own small way, it certainly qualifies.

Farmers need to be aware of problems with salinization of the soil. In the past, unwise farming practices caused salinization and desertification. The Fertile Crescent of Iraq is a good example.

Let’s examine this in simple terms:

1. The world climate has changed in the past.

2. Past changes match C02 concentrations in the atmosphere.

3. Human activities produce measureable atmospheric C02.

Aldous,
Devastating rebuttal, one of the best I’ve seen. Why, you absolutely “convert listeners.” Aldous is a GOD!
tee-hee.

Eric,
You’re familiar with Malthus. Population booms and busts occur in nature. Through technology, humanity has engineered an ongoing population boom. Do you believe technology and innovation will enable humanity to continue the boom indefinitely?

Posted by: phx8 at April 8, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #139166

It’s been proven repeatedly that the birth rate declines as economic prosperity increases…instead of hoarding, unfair trade practices, keeping a good part of the world hungry (there’s food enough…the problem is distribution)…reverse those government policies…the world population will stop increasing at such a rapid rate…and more will be healthier and happier…

Posted by: Lynne at April 8, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #139174

Estimates from the fossil record indicate that 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived have gone extinct. And nearly 100 percent of those were gone by the time humans had climbed out of the trees and moved into caves.

And at some point in the future, homo sapien sapiens may also go extinct. That’s just the nature of nature.

For hundreds of millions of years, the climate has fluctuated from hot to cold and back to hot. Ice ages have been coming and going for more than 2 million years. And we’re overdue for another one.

The Earth’s eco-system has been destroyed and regenerated itself many times since life first arose on the planet.

Do we have an impact on the eco-system? Of course we, just as do all other living things. Can we be better stewards of the planet? Of course we can, and should.

But it’s pretty arrogant for human beings to think that they have the power to destroy the planet simply by living on it.

Posted by: slowthinker at April 8, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #139179

To all liberals

Posted by: fjgn at April 8, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #139201

It seems fjgn wants liberals to know she couldn’t enter the site. I wonder if fjgn has that happen a lot. Let’s hope she finds a way around the block she’s been encountering.

Posted by: phx8 at April 8, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #139211

Bush is getting ready to start the destruction of humanity:

U.S. military is seriously considering the use of a tactical nuclear weapon against Iran

If this doesn’t start us on the road, nothing will. I am grateful to see this though:

The Pentagon advisor is quoted as saying some senior officers and officials were considering quitting over the issue.

It appears some folks have their heads on straight.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 8, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #139232

The nuclear option has always been on the table in every conflict the U.S. has been involved in since World War Two.

But just because it’s on the table doesn’t mean we will use it. For example:

In a November 1950 press conference, President Truman said the United State was prepared to use “any weapon” in its arsenal in Korea.

In fact, one of the reasons Truman replaced MacArthur with Ridgeway was that he didn’t trust MacArthur and wanted a reliable field commander if he (Truman) decided to use the nuclear option.

Both MacArthur and Ridgeway requested permission ot use nuclear weapons and a plan for their deployment was drawn up.

In early 1951, Congressman Albert Gore, Sr. (name sound familiar) complained that “Korea has become a meat grinder of American manhood” and suggested “something cataclysmic” to end the war: a radiation belt dividing the Korean peninsula permanently into two countries.

As a matter of fact, nuclear weapons were sent to Okinawa, from where the attack would have been launched. Truman told the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he would approve their use if the Chinese attacked in greater numbers or launched an attack on American troops outside Korea.

Of course as we all know, no nukes were used in the Korean War. But the option was on the table, ss it always is, for both Republican AND Democratic administrations.

Posted by: slowthinker at April 8, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #139239

oh that Albert gore sr democrat the millionare tobacco farmer who poisoned millions of people with his crop of gold? and who voted no on the civil rights act of 1964 and after he retired from the senate and started to receive those huge pension checks from uncle sam. said gosh i dont need this money! now we know why jr was and is still such a dweeb!

Posted by: jim c at April 8, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #139257

Aldous,

How come your rebuttal article doesn’t quote anything Piaka has said? It’s fine to say that what he said has been misconstrued, but it doesn’t sound like you disagree with what he says at all.

Posted by: esimonson at April 8, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #139261

Aldous,

It’s almost as though those who are under the spell of this anti-humanity death cult are willing to do anything to silence those who disagree with them. Like postdoctoral fellow Kathryn E. Perez…

“I would like to make clear that Mims has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements,” said Kathryn E. Perez, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of biology, in the petition of support for Pianka. She personally believes that the Texas Academy should consider sanctioning Mims, who is a member of the organization, for what she calls “misleading propaganda.”

“I’m not entirely sure why intelligent design proponents would find this a good bandwagon to jump on,” she added. “It just seems like they want to teach people not to trust scientists.”

Posted by: esimonson at April 8, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #139264

The real problem here is you people who have decided the environment is a partisan issue.

Posted by: Erika at April 9, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #139266

Prof. Pianka’s views are synomymous with Paul Ehrlich’s. They are both based on bad science and mistaken assumptions.

The malthusian death-cult has made numerous predictions, all of which have failed to come true. Prof. Pianka has a fascination with death. He has published his own obituary on his university web page.

Is there any doubt that the theories of Thomas Malthus should be regarded in the same light as phrenology, eugenics, or theories of racial purity? They are wildly mistaken, utterly discredited, and yet at the same time highly influential with those who have a prediliction for viewing human life as equal to animal and plant life.

Many people believe that Earth and all its resources exist solely for human benefit and consumption, this is anthropocentrism. We should allow the millions of other denizens of this Earth some space to live — they evolved here just as we did and have a right to this planet, too.

I do not bear any ill will toward humanity. However, I am convinced that the world WOULD clearly be much better off without so many of us. Simply stopping the destruction of rainforests would help mediate some current planetary ills, including the release of previously unknown pathogens. The ancient Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” comes to mind — we are living in one of the most interesting times humans have ever experienced. For example, consider the manifold effects of global warming. We need to make a transition to a sustainable world. If we don’t, nature is going to do it for us in ways of her own choosing. By definition, these ways will not be ours and they won’t be much fun. Think about that. Prof. Pianka

Erika,

Actually, the environment is not a partisan issue. I have no quarrel with the environment. What I have a problem with is elevating the earth to sacred status. Environmentalism is less about conserving the environment than it is about worshipping it and degrading the quality of human life.

I am not opposed to making sure that poison is not in our drinking water— and punishing severely those who pollute the water directly. The kind of environmentalism that advocates strict controls on population because of a quasi-religious fervor for genocide must be opposed. It is not science, it’s eugenics.

Posted by: esimonson at April 9, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #139272

Eric,

I don’t get it? Environmentalists are bad? People shouldn’t talk about climate change or they are Koresh’s and charlatans bent on human devestation? All that’s needed for a ‘world catastrophe’ is ‘propaganda’?

Your post, as usual, is too long and filled with so much extranneous information that its really difficult to glean a decent point from. Could you sum it up in one sentence? Or would it just be “I hate liberals, liberals are bad”? or is it this familiar adage: “lets not forget that ‘college students and proffessors (perhaps ALL educators)are “gullible and bad”. “BAD I TELL YOU!”

I guess if you didn’t dress it up in new clothes every once in a while, it would start to wear thin on all the followers.

Posted by: Beijing Rob at April 9, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #139277


As much as it pains me to say this,perhaps over population,depleation of natural resources and degradation of the environment may be necessary to the survival of the human race. We are just one large asteroid or one large (SO2)volcanic eruption away from possible extinction. Humans need to move off this planet to help insure the survival of our species.

And, rather than a never ending debate between the environmentalists and antienvironmentalists, perhaps we could have a debate about quality of life. Is quality of life working 9 to 5, crusing down the interstate 80mph in our SUV and shopping at walmart or could we find a better way.

Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #139291
There are environmentalists who believe in making the environment cleaners and better. And there are environmentalists who treat the environment as a religion. You can tell the difference by how they talk about people and nature.

We can have nothing but a human viewpoint of nature. Anything else is impossible. Some humans try to pretend they represent trees, animals or earth itself. They are the religious ones.

Others want humans to live in harmony with nature and wisely use the earth’s resources. They are the smart ones.

Humans cannot destroy nature. Even if we managed to destroy the entire surface of the earth, it wouldn’t make much difference to the vast time-space continuum. What we can do is make it difficult or impossible for US to live here. This is very serious, but it does eliminate the idea that humans can commit crimes against nature. They can only ruin it for themselves and their posterity.

That implies wise use. The religious view implies human hands off. Wise use is smarter.

Jack, I agree with you that those two types (I have seen both myself) exist but I don’t think it’s always that clear cut, or that attributing a quasi-mystic aspect to nature is necessarily bad, though presuming that you understand and represent it can be. After all, if we didn’t feel some sense of wonder why else would we bother to preserve resource rich national parks? Why would anyone care about the grand canyon or yellowstone? Most people, including scientists, are going to fall somewhere in between in their personal views, despite the demand of their discipline that they be ruthlessly objective. I would even hazard a guess that a mystic fascination is what drives some people to become scientists. Like Einstein.

____________________________________________________________

Also, in the interest of adding fuel to the fire, a link to Pianka’s home page Read “What nobody wants to hear, but everyone needs to know” and “Man and His Gods”

My personal view is that science requires professional objectivity by nature, but that scientists must only retain that restriction on the job. Personal views are a different matter, but they must be clearly seperated from professional science. Did Pianka cross that line? Condsidering he was speaking at a scientific forum, I’d say he came damned close. If I’d been there maybe I could say, but Eric’s second hand arguments seem too obviously overblown to draw conclusions from.

As for what Pianka’s personal views might be: who knows, but he is responsible for them. And he needs to keep them out of his professional work.

Posted by: Amani at April 9, 2006 2:47 AM
Comment #139314

Yep, it was Janet Reno who burned babies in Waco.

At least, now I understand why Eric is a “Waco Wacko.”

A very convincing argument, Eric, choose the wackiest of the wackiest to indict the rest.

If you don’t understand overpopulation, ask an Indian.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 9, 2006 5:29 AM
Comment #139326

Eric,
Is this not the same stance that the Republicans took back in the 60’s? A Limited Resource Envitonment due to Man’s lack of Imagination and inability to have Domain over the Earth. If I am not mistaking it is the same position that OBL’s Sages take about the Earth.

However, a quick look at the technology that is a direct result of Man’s Labor will show that the Unlimited Sustainable Economy only dreamed about 35 years ago is now about to become a reality over the next 20-25 years. The only question facing the Democrats and Republicans in America is will they sale out like the rest of the nations of Humanity’s Civlizations of Law or do they have the Courage and Freewill to do what is known to be Politically Unalienable Correct?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 9, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #139327

Eric-
Actually, Malthus’s theories on population are pretty valid. Populations do tend to increase exponentially as long as there are resources to support them.

Note that last part: as long as there are resources to support them. If there aren’t, then you get these nice, destructive collapses.

Other creatures are capable of doing the same thing as we do. They don’t deserve sainted status. Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, in their book The Collapse of Chaos spoke of Evolution operating not on the principle of the Grim Reaper (Death, of course), but instead on the notion of the Grim Sower.

That is, creatures have more children as a matter of course than their environment can sustain. Most of these children are killed because of predation, starvation, or failure to find the right niche. Evolution happens in response to that as nature selects for those that can avoid those pitfalls in one way or another. That doesn’t mean survival of the strongest, though strength helps. That doesn’t means survival of the vicious, selfish,and amoral, though such creatures can survive and often do. It simply means that if the creature’s overall adaptation to the environment, however imperfect, happens to fit, it will survive more than others. Heredity ensures two things: Separate species remain separate, and advantageous changes persist.

Cohen and Stewart, though, also talk about privilege, using the term in the context of learning, instinct and other adaptations that allow creatures to have less children and still continue the species. Intelligence like ours, they argue, is one of the most complex forms of privilege.

Intelligence is one of Evolution’s masterpieces, but it has its limits. One obvious limit is, intelligence must deal with the situation at hand. Gas starts nice fires, and if you’re stranded on a deserted island, it would be useful in order to make a signal. If you have none, regardless of your intelligence level, it will be impossible to use that strategy.

The chronic problem of population pressure is one where our cleverness and current resources are in a constant race with the limits of our environment to sustain us.

Conservatives today, unfortunately, have a rather short-term, status-quo oriented frame of mind. They want to let the system continue running the way it does, and many people flock to their banner because of the rather narrow special interests this philosophy permits.

We can’t be that rigid, in practice or theory, and expect to outrun the grim sower. The excessive raising of children is sort of an insurance policy built into creatures for times when change in conditions turn natural selection’s favorites into its cast-offs.

That said, something else is true: the need to use that insurance policy only comes, when for one reason or another one has a bad fit with the environment. It happened to many cultures, especially in Polynesia, the Middle East, in Central America with the Mayans, and in the American Southwest.

We are smart enough to alter our environment, to live in places that would by nature alone be inhospitable to us. We can also alter an environment for the worse, both because of intentional activity, and unforeseen side effects of our actions. We have to acknowledge that, because any strategy that fails to acknowledge that is not one that will work.

Just ask the Residents of New Orleans whether the the status quo way of dealing with the Mississippi and Lake Ponchartrain was the right Idea. Nobody intended the city to go under, but nature did not care what people wanted, knew, or understood. Nature merely unfolded like it always has.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #139332

New Orleans is another example of the arrogance of humans as to their regard for the natural forces of the planet.

Who in their right mind would build a city on a coastline with the elevation of the city actually below sea level? That New Orleans has survived as long as it has is the real miracle.

But, man in his stupidity will rebuild it on the same spot, strengthen the levees and dikes, then sit back and thumb their noses at nature.

Until the next hurricane submerges it again.


Posted by: slowthinker at April 9, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #139334

Eric,
I am sooooo glad you put this subject up. Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of junkscience.com, and as a special treat, they put up the top 10 junk science stories in the last ten years.

Here it is. Find your favorite hysterical “THE EARTH IS DOOMED BECAUSE…” junk science story.

Posted by: Jim T at April 9, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #139336

Slowthinker,

Yeah…what kind of idiot would build a city next to a major earthquake fault line? Like, say, San Francisco…or Los Angeles? What kind of idiot would build a city next to an active volcano? Like, say, Pompeii? Or 1/2 of Washington State? Or anyone on the big island of Hawaii? What kind of idiot would build in an area known for hurricanes? Like Miami…or Key West…or even Disney World? Yeah…what kind of idiot would build in an area notorious for tornadoes? Like Oklahoma City, Memphis, Saint Louis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, etc.

You know…I don’t think the people of New Orleans have a lock and key on stupidity. It appears that the whole world has its share of people building cities in really, really dumb places.

Posted by: Jim T at April 9, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #139340

Jim T,
Thanks for repping Exxon in the discussion. Steve Milloy of Junkscience surely thanks you- he needs Exxon’s support to keep it going. And what a postively cute way of repping Exxon. Milloy presents the first 9 examples of junk science, which mostly involve the poorly understood topic of nutrition, topics involving potential toxicity of chemicals & EMF, and outright frauds masquerading as scientists. But number 10, at the bottom of the list, is- guess what- Global Warming.

So once again, on behalf of Exxon, let me thank you for representing Mr Milloy. Exxon spends large amounts of money on Mr Milloy, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and others.

Here’s an idea for junk science. Find out how many scientists accepted Big Tobacco money to promote junk sciece about the addictiveness and health risks of tobacco. A few scientists took the money, & publicly suggested there was no link to cancer. Scientists are sceptical by nature. Supporting tobacco or Exxon is easy, especially when the false criteria is absolute certainty. In the case of tobacco, waiting for that certainty caused many people to die awful deaths.

Posted by: phx8 at April 9, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #139365

Mr. T

Mr. Daugherty did not mention all those other places, so I didn’t feel compelled to give a geography lesson.

To be perfectly frank, it’s none of my business where people choose to live. But when they choose stupidly, and the government reaches into my pocket to help pay for that stupidity, it becomes my business.

FYI, the New Madrid fault is one of the lesser known, but most dangerous fault lines in the U.S. There have been huge earthquakes on this fault in the past and scientists say there will be more in the future.

Even though I live 400 miles from the fault, I have earthquake insurance. I live next to the Mississippi River and, even though my house sits high on the bluff, I have flood insurance.

Memphis, TN sits right on the banks of the Mississippi River, like New Orleans, and right next door to the New Madrid fault. How many of those people do you suppose have earthquake or flood insurance? Probably very few.

Why. They don’t need it. If disaster strikes, their fellow citizens will be required to pay the bill!

But, I guess liberals would see that as part of “promoting the general welfare.”

Posted by: slowthinker at April 9, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #139394
Did Pianka cross that line? Condsidering he was speaking at a scientific forum, I’d say he came damned close.

Just to clarify, I meant the anthropocentrism/ we’re no better than bacteria stuff. The only people who’ve said Pianka is leading some kind of death cult are Eric and company.

Posted by: Amani at April 9, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #139410

No one’s really debunked any of the facts Pianka said. Again, if he’s right, that we’re living unsustainably, then it’s just a fact and it doesn’t matter whether he’s considered a “doomsday prophet” or not.

Even his charge that the earth would be better without so many humans isn’t that unreasonable. That doesn’t mean he thinks we should all commit suicide or stop existing.

It is true, whether we like it or not, that we are using up resources at a rapid rate, destroying thousands of animal species, causing global warming, and wreaking havoc upon natural areas like the rainforests. Again, this is just a fact, not necessarily a judgment.

“…there is a danger to the views that Pianka espouses. Like Erlich (and others) before him, he is in a position within academia to influence countless future scientists …with a particularly insidious worldview.”
“…By convincing a significant percentage of their students of this worldview, countless advances in numerous areas of human endeavor will never even be attempted, because… will be viewed as “damaging the planet”

Remember these aren’t potential cult members, or fundamentalist types. They’re graduate students and professional scientists, who are trained to follow evidence and question accepted theories. Contrary to what some neocons think (and wish), not all americans think being intellectual is treaston and blindly follow whatever they’re told.

Even if this guy does say some outlandish things I’d much rather university professors be free to say things like that and question authority than the opposite. The day the government suppresses dissent and only allows neocon philosophy to be taught is the day america becomes truly fascist.

Posted by: mark at April 9, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #139485

Eric,
Why is it that the Republicans will not speak about the Unlimited Sustainable Economy that was brought up in the 2003 Congress? Would it be that they don’t have an answer for it?

Slowthinker,
Building in areas that get wiped out by Nature is a good thing for our economy. Sure it may displace people for a while, but look at the jobs and taxes created in replacing the things these citizens have lost. The problem that I see is that although the Republicans can borrow money to fight the War on Terror, they have found it almost impossible to raise funds to cover the rebuilding of the Red States who placed them in Washington in hope for a “Better Life.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 10, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #139510

slowthinker:

New Orleans is sited where it is because it developed to serve the needs of the port. While it might be wiser to locate all the ports safely inland, the shipping industry complained that the boats don’t move properly overland.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 4:14 AM
Comment #139513

By the way, Slowthinker:

It came out recently that New Orleans actually had the highest percentage of residents with flood insurance in the nation. I don’t remember the percentage, obviously it was insufficient for this disaster. Unfortunately, in the hardest hit areas, like the 9th ward which had chronic flood problems anyway, the population is overwhemingly poor and many of the homes there were in such a state of disrepair that they were probably uninsurable.

I only had renter’s insurance and I’m sure that some of property owners in my former neighborhood didn’t have flood coverage. But, you should take into account the fact that areas of the city flooded in Katrina that had NEVER flooded before.

I will concede that it is probably not wise to rebuild residential areas that flood in a strong rain. I know that government loan programs like FmHA quit approving loans for structures in flood prone areas many years ago.

The problem is that denying rebuilding assistance to these poor residents will be a political nightmare. Even if the government pays fair market value to the home owners, it won’t be enough to secure alternate housing since the homes had such low average values, $30k to $50k (my estimate). The alternative of paying two to three times the value of the prestorm structure would be a bitter pill for taxpayers (including me) to swallow.

From the property owner’s point of view, they own the property already (usually inherited) and can’t afford to go elsewhere. I agree that it is personally irresponsible to not make some provision for this disaster which was going to happen someday, but it’s not against the law. May be it should be, but that’s another issue.

Pathetic, homeless, indigent people pack a whallop in the press, particularly when they are as politicized as the New Orleans poor. So what are you going to do? It’s a political disaster and any politician that tries to address the problem is going to come away with a black eye or worse.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 4:48 AM
Comment #139516

Ditto Ned

Posted by: Beijing Rob at April 10, 2006 5:19 AM
Comment #139548

Ummm Ned,

New Orleans is ummm below sea level. That there aen’t thousands more dead is attributable to Katrina not striking a few miles west of New Orleans. One only has to drive across Lake Ponchatrain to see the disaster that could have been if the Gulf or the Lake surged into New Orleans

New Orleans is sited where it is because it developed in the 1700’s at the mouth of the Mississippi.

Stupidity is as stupidity does. I live in Houston. While I’m vunerable to flooding like any coastal plain, I’m not stupid enough to live in an area vunerable to storm surge and then stay there when a Hurricane threatens. I am amazed by the number of people who move to the coast for the scenery and then express shock when their home is destroyed. I stayed home during the Rita scare becuase the highways were impassable due to panic traffic and by Thursday morning it was obviously turning North. (It didn’t strike land until Saturday)

I was doing work at a Dow Chemical plant on the coast and it was evacuated Wednesday morning. It’s a 70 mile drive for me. I understand that thousands live down there because it is their livelihood. The Dow plant is sited there because it was developed in the 40’s as a Magnesium producer in WWII and needs access to seawater. Companies like Dow should bear the cost of insuring their employees and the support services needed. It should be a cost of doing business. The Dow brothers got very wealthy off that plant.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 10, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #139567

slowthinker-
Let me give you a geography lesson: there are no perfect places to live. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages, and sometimes these can actually change over time.

Also, people do not found cities or encourage their growth knowing fully every risk or possibility involved. Modern science helps us, but even there, people don’t and can’t know everything.

New Orleans was not built with the intention of sinking it below sea level. The combination of a number of natural and artificial factors both lowered the ground level and encouraged growth in at-risk areas. Subsequent corruption and procrastination by leaders contributed to the ultimate disaster that occured in September of 2005. If not for the path of the storm, Houston could have seen a similar disaster occur, had the storm’s path taken it over the jammed freeways full of motorists.

But another thing contributed: New Orleans’ continued survival over the years, and the fact that for many New Orleans wasn’t a choice, but where they grew up, where they had to call home. Millions call cities home that they made no conscious decision to inhabit.

Calling these people stupid for living there is useless. Calling for NOLA to be abandoned is equally so. Something needs to be rebuilt, for NOLA was an industrial center in additon to everything else, and a gateway for getting U.S. exports out to the world from the landlocked interior states.

If we want to avoid further disasters, we have to admit what went wrong, and admit further that new strategies need to be employed. We need to start thinking long-term about the economic and social realities of the problem, and get to work.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #139610

Beijing Rob,

I don’t get it? Environmentalists are bad? People shouldn’t talk about climate change or they are Koresh’s and charlatans bent on human devestation? All that’s needed for a ‘world catastrophe’ is ‘propaganda’?

Insofar as Environmentalism is not science, yes, the idea that humanity is a disease should be challenged as not being a humane or sane ideology.

Consider Paul Ehrlich’s warning about overpopulation. Should we embark on a radical reorganization of society because of the hyperventilation of someone who can’t even be bothered to prove his theories? No, “we don’t have time” to prove these theories to those who are sceptical, we must believe the hype NOW, before it’s too late!

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970’s the world will undergo famines— hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.

(First page of prologue, paragraph 1) Ehrlich, P. (1968). The Population Bomb. New York: ‘Sierra Club’ -Ballantine Books.

Posted by: esimonson at April 10, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #139612

Henry,

Eric, Why is it that the Republicans will not speak about the Unlimited Sustainable Economy that was brought up in the 2003 Congress? Would it be that they don’t have an answer for it?

You and I both know that the term ‘Sustainable economy’ is just a way for green-party-type neo-socialists to repackage their program of societal control and urban planning so that they can push their agenda under a new name.

It’s a paradigm shift that I don’t subscribe to. We don’t have to guess about what ‘sustainable economy’ policies bring about in practice. Just look at “The Projects” in any major city. High density public housing. Urban planning for a new age of peace and prosperity. Yadda yadda yadda.

So far, all that I see accomplished by ‘sustainable economy’ activists in California is fewer roads, smaller roads, and gridlock. When we should have built more freeways, we built less. When we should have built more power plants we built less. The inevitable outcome of this, we are told, is that we need MORE ‘sustainable economy’ policies passed in order to alleviate these problems. Only the policy proscribes fewer roads, smaller higher density urban areas, limits on new building and growth. Any intelligent person might realize that the policy is meant to exacerbate these problems in order to enact more control over society and where and how we live.

Posted by: esimonson at April 10, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #139618

mark,

No one’s really debunked any of the facts Pianka said. Again, if he’s right, that we’re living unsustainably, then it’s just a fact and it doesn’t matter whether he’s considered a “doomsday prophet” or not.

The debunking is complete. Pianka’s facts are nonexistent. In fact, since Pianka makes extreme claims based on zero evidence means that his proofs must be all the more extremely convincing.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

All I’m saying is that if you claim the end of the world is just around the corner and you want me to believe you, come up with some proof.

Posted by: esimonson at April 10, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #139619

Jim T.

Thanks for the link, I need to blogroll that one.

Posted by: esimonson at April 10, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #139626

esimonson-
What logic dictates that just because a person talks about sustainable economies that they’re neo-socialists repackaging their agenda?

Actually, that’s the name of the game in a Market. You could just think of this in terms of long term public economic policy.

In terms of freeways, let me let you in on a little bit of Gulf Coast Houston Area Wisdom: Building more roads does not necessarily means less traffic problems. It’s the classic tragedy of the commons, bootstrapping its way up in scale: lower travel times bring more people out further who drive more cars going back and forth.

Sustainability is not a linear thing. It’s a matter of figuring out how to support your infrastructure on a permanent basis.

Now there are stupid ways of doing that, but that doesn’t mean the idea itself is bad. In fact, it should be right up your alley. Business can benefit from the value-added aspects of cleaner technology and business methods. Communities can gain in terms of property values, because the area isn’t surrounded by concrete, steel and glass alone.

I know over in California you may pine for the removal of zoning laws and more unrestrained development, but let me tell you something from personal experience: it isn’t as fun as it sounds. People build a bunch of strip malls that mostly remain empty, the nice woods that gave places a natural ambience and freshness get turned into clearcut mudflats.

What’s more, it gets inefficient soon enough. There’s virtue to having some compactness to a city, especially with high gas prices. Now, if you want to keep that sprawl operating efficiently, you could start an initiative, mostly private, to improve gas efficiency in cost effective ways, and eventually eliminate the need for it at all.

That’s the thing: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. When you try to operate things without considering the costs associated with decisions, especially environmental, you end up accruing those costs while being maladapted to dealing with them. You set yourself up to fail.

I advocate sustainability because I know we’re not going to stop trying to grow, but that we’re going to have to try and be efficient anyways if we want to keep that growth from destroying the system.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #139636

Eric,
Typical Republican response to a debate that time is past due to take place in the Public Areana. Blame others for their Lack of Imagination and Limited Outlook/Thought while offering nothing but fear of an every smaller “Limited World Theroy.” Sorry, but thanks to some hard work from a lot of Intelligent Humans who is hell bent of fulfilling The Vision of the Founding Fathers Our New Global Order is about to take a radical change over the next 25 years. Or is the Republican Stance to allow Nations like Brazil to become the World’s next Superpower?

No, America’s Communities and Corporations would be better served by a political party that accepted technology and was able to expand on what is to what can be instead of this wait and allow it to pass us by adittude of some. For example, 100% recycling without hassle can be accomplished through a Commerce Project that would allow R&D to create a “Garbage Rat” that would use MIR tech. to tell what is what and put it in the right container. Benifits to Society would be a cleaner environment; cheaper recycled material cost; higher supplies of recycled material; and high paying jobs to handle this new found Wealth of a Nation. Yes, we may never eliminate the City Dump, but to say that the American People do not have the Spirit to do what is known to be Right is one public statement I want to hear a Republican or Democrat speak at the Public Pulpit.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 10, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #139670

Jack,

Yup. You are right. It’s about wise use. What we are trying to legitimately accomplish is sustainability - Human sustainability, primarily.
That means a lot of things. That means changing the way we use energy and what kind of energy we use. It means MUCH greater care and handling of water resources and awareness of what we are doing to the land we grow crops from.

We need to -
1. Invest in alternative energy technologies.
2. find ways to use water wiser and recycle the water we use more efficiently.
3. invest in alternative growing methods that don’t rely on poisonous pesticides and fertilizers that run off into other water resources creating bigger problems in the long run than they solve in the short term.

…among other things. The entire human race depends on these kinds of solutions. Nature can and will heal itself after we are gone. Whether or not nature can heal itself while we are here is the point.
It’s really US we are trying to preserve.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at April 10, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #139792

Steve D

You make good arguments about sustainability, which I think points to NOLA’s business center needing to me moved north of Lake Pontchartrain. Slidell is in a much more sustainable position, like Houston was after the Galveston 1900 storm.

I liked your use of the freeway overloading as soon as it is built, having been a TexDot employee years ago, as an example of sustainability non- linearity.

It is true that no place is devoid of disaster risk, but I do think tha NOLA is unique in it’s vunerability. I don’t beieve Houston would have suffered the same damage as a direct hit to NOLA would. Sure the coastal areas which are heavily developed would be devastated (which is a mark of stupidity to me), and Houston is a much larger more developed area than NOLA.

NOLA is very similar to the Netherlands and if it is to be occupied and developed, it should be protected like the Netherlands. That is a very expensive venture, something like 9 billion last I’ve heard. Seems we could turn the Quarter into the tourist area, and move the business district North to Slidell more cheaply. I suspect prudent investors may make that happen anyway.


Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 11, 2006 3:49 AM
Comment #139839

Jack Mohammedoff,
During blogging Katrina/Rita, I ran across an article that said Houston would of suffered a lose of about 600,000 homes or more according to the same type of program that was used to create “PAM” for FEMA.

As for future progress in making these areas safer, I propose that “We” find the People who can test, develop, and deploy a “False Shore Line” in the general area before the Hurricane makes landfall. Because while technology can help us build against the Wind and Geo-Landscaping can minimumize the damge done by Driving Winds, the major assualting force of a hurricane is the tidal surge and the wind driven water. By designing something to break the wave about a 1/2 mile off shore than the direct effect of the tidal surge could be protected against as long as we were smart enough as a Society to build to a CAT 5 to begin with.

As far as expense, the Insurance Companies could not object in spending the money up front on technology and development that would protect their investors money. Environmentialist can not object because “We” are protecting the “Homes of the Sea Creatures” and thus ensuring the growth of the Sea Food Indusrty. Besides this same technology could be used to creat Dikes for rivers that overflow their banks and rivers.

Certainly the Democrats and Republicans could agree that prevent the damage created by Nature is better than reacting to every storm has to be in the Inherent Best Interest of All Americans. Besides how else can the Insurance Companies make a profit for their Investors?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 11, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #142530

The following is a suggestion for counteracting global warming.

Almost all of the world’s continents have desert regions. Deserts account for about 7 percent of the earth’s total land surface. The largest desert in the world, the Sahara, has a total area of over 3 million square miles. Much of the world’s deserts are non-arable and uninhabited.
When the sun’s rays shine on bare desert regions, there are no perennial grasses to insulate the rocks and soil from absorbing the heat of the sun, and the top inch of bare soil can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more. The bare rocks and soil absorb the sun’s heat, which in turn heats the air. The desert areas of the world are large contributors of the heat which causes global warming. Cooling of desert areas could be one method of slowing global warming. Even at the lowest projected temperature increases, climate change models predict more frequent and more severe storms, floods, heat waves, and droughts.
Because of the dire world-wide consequences of further global warming, methods of slowing or halting its continuance would be of benefit to nations around the world. One obvious step in this direction would be the cessation of the burning of fossil fuels. However, the global economy seems to be too dependent on fossil fuels for this to occur in the near future.
Desert regions across the globe are largely unproductive and uninhabited. To slow global warming , I suggest that much of the world’s uninhabited desert regions be given a reflective coating. The sun’s warming rays would then be reflected from these surfaces back into space, with a consequent lesser warming of the earth’s surface.
A white paint could be used as the reflective substance. To prevent the sprayed surfaces from being blown away, an adhesive material could be added to the paint to form a top layer crust over sprayed areas. Aircraft such as helicopters, crop dusters, or fire-fighting aerial tankers could be modified to allow for the spraying of the reflective substance over selected desert areas. To counteract global warming to an appreciable extent may require the spraying of thousands of square miles of the world’s desert areas.
Because deserts occur on most continents, and since global warming affects all nations, this method of counteracting global warming should become a project of the United Nations. However, individual nations could take it upon themselves to proceed with the project, with or without UN backing.

Joseph P. Komatz
Huntington Beach, CA
mljpk@aol.com

Posted by: Joseph P. Komatz at April 23, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #151772

Though in many ways I agree, killing people is not the answer, Natural disasters do a good enough job.

We kill the planet, natural disasters kill us, fair deal. Natural Disasters are Earth’s cure to a human plague.

Posted by: Ceta at May 26, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #305353

i do not worry. GOD is in charge. i trust GOD in all things. and one day, i will say, didn’t i tell you so?

Posted by: luther marvin walters at August 6, 2010 7:02 PM
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