Friday, 18 January 2019

"When evening quickens in the street, comes a pause in the day's occupation that is known as the cocktail hour. It marks the lifeward turn. The heart wakens from coma and its dyspnea ends. Its strengthening pulse is to cross over into campground, to believe that the world has not been altogether lost or, if lost, then not altogether in vain." #QotD



"When evening quickens in the street, comes a pause in the day's occupation that is known as the cocktail hour. It marks the lifeward turn. The heart wakens from coma and its dyspnea ends. Its strengthening pulse is to cross over into campground, to believe that the world has not been altogether lost or, if lost, then not altogether in vain."
          ~ Bernard DeVoto, from his manifesto to this civilising ritual, 'The Hour'
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#QotD: "In the basic, crucial sphere of morality and action, it is not your endowments that matter, but what you do with them. It is here that all men are free and equal, regardless of gifts."


"Man may be justly proud of his natural endowments ... such as physical beauty, physical strength, a great mind, good health. But all these are merely his materials or his tools; his self-respect must be based, not on these attributes, but on what he does with them....
    "If a man says: 'But I realise that my natural endowments are mediocre--shall I then suffer, be ashamed, have an inferiority complex?' The answer is: 'In the basic, crucial sphere of morality and action, it is not your endowments that matter, but what you do with them.' It is here that all men are free and equal, regardless of gifts."

          ~ Ayn Rand, from her 1945 notes on 'The Moral Basis of Individualism'

Thursday, 17 January 2019

#QotD: "The things the child sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear."


"The child has a different relation to his environment from ours. Adults admire their environment. They can remember it and think about it, but the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear."
~ Maria Montessori, from her book The Absorbent Mind.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Morality + NeverTrump [Some Links]


** Back in 2016, when world politics and debate began a swallow dive straight into the toilet bowl, Republican Party reptile PJ O'Rourke openly declared himself a Never Trumper -- even with all "her lies and empty promises," a Hillary Clinton presidency he famously declared could only be "the second-worst thing" that could happen to the US: "I mean, she’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

Twenty-eight months later, The Atlantic demonstrates his case with 50 moments that define an improbable presidency, starting with his clutching a glowing orb.
In an October 2016 editorial, The Atlantic wrote of Donald Trump: “He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar.” We argued that Trump “expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself.” Trump, we also noted, “is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”
In retrospect, we may be guilty of understatement.
There was a hope, in the bewildering days following the 2016 election, that the office would temper the man—that Trump, in short, would change.
He has not changed.
This week marks the midway point of Trump’s term. Like many Americans, we sometimes find the velocity of chaos unmanageable. We find it hard to believe, for example, that we are engaged in a serious debate about whether the president of the United States is a Russian-intelligence asset. So we decided to pause for a moment and analyse 50 of the most improbable, norm-bending, and destructive incidents of this presidency to date.
They remain guilty of understatement.

Test your own resilience if you still find yourself in thrall to the orange fool.

** A nice complement  to that record of life outside the norm is Rob Tracinski's interview with Tom Nichols, professor at the Harvard Extension School and author of "The Death of Expertise," about the future of NeverTrump.




The conversation covers the probable truth about Trump's Russian connections, the one good thing about the Trump presidency, the difference between nationalism and patriotism, why principled opponents of big government might so often be heard shouting "not this way," and what the fuck "the right" could do as long as the circus remains in town.

** What they should not do, most importantly, is ignore morality. And not just the amorality of their president, but the moral arguments of their opponents. Because as Yaron Brook demonstrates,  the fact that the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are clueless about numbers is entirely irrelevant when she simply plays the moral card. Because most people at bottom do want to do what's right, it's the numbers and the suit of that card that have real political power, and so desperately need to be challenged. The fact is:
Until capitalists are able and willing to go toe to toe with the Ocasio-Cortezes of the world on morality, she and her kind, whether from the collectivist left or collectivist right, will keep winning, no matter how deadly & disastrous the results.




** A good bookend to all this is Russ Roberts's discussion of the growing loss of civility -- not unrelated to the phenomenon discussed above. [Listen here.]
The current state of political and intellectual conversation is increasingly like the world William Butler Yeats described in his masterpiece, “The Second Coming”: 
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity 
Maybe it’s paranoia but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt the thinness of the veneer of civilisation and our vulnerability to a sequence of events that might threaten not just the policy positions I prefer but the very existence of the American experiment.
What disturbs me is how we talk to each other and our unwillingness to give even a modest hearing to the other side. The Trump phenomenon is just one example...
He's right to raise the point.

He's right to worry about it.

And he may just have a few solutions.
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#QotD "The struggle between church and kings would take centuries to resolve... Today, each is as powerless as the other. As people power emerged, we invented politicians. We're not bright."


"In the Middle Ages, the Church was the most powerful institution in the western world. In England, the struggle between church and kings would take centuries to resolve. Interestingly, in the end, neither institution came out on top. Today, each is as powerless as the other. As people power emerged, we invented politicians. We're not bright."
~ Jodi Taylor, from her novel A Symphony of Echoes .

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

WWII: "When millions of men were slaughtering one another to decide what colour the concentration camps of the future were going to be—brown or red."

  
"I was born [in the Soviet Union] at the very height of [World War II] when millions of men were slaughtering one another to decide what colour the concentration camps of the future were going to be—brown or red." 
~ Vladimir Bukovsky, from his memoir To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter 
 .
[Hat tip Raymond Niles

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Saturday, 22 December 2018

"We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage." #QotD


"We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, ... a truly liberal radicalism. ... The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists [and fellow travellers] is that it was their courage to be Utopian ... which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote."
        ~ Friedrich Hayek, from his Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

"The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: 'Merry Christmas'—not 'Weep and Repent.'" #QotD


"The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.
    "The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: 'Merry Christmas'—not 'Weep and Repent.' And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .
    "The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialised. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colours—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only 'commercial greed' could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle."

        ~ Ayn Rand, in answering the question of whether it is appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Whinlayson clocks back in


Today's bonus Quotes of the Day are observations made by several commenters (mainly at Kiwiblog) on the political retirement of National's Chris Whinlayson, who as former government Treaty Negotiator doled out more millions of dollars than any such minister before him, and as a former (and future) iwi treaty counsel negotiated the receipt of many millions more -- the signing of the Treaty deal for Ngāi Tahu in 1997 was, he has said, "the highlight of his legal career":
"One of the smarter than average swamp creatures that fester under the proportional list system. He was trounced whenever he could be bothered facing the people in a fair election. Along with Palmer, he is a key contributor to destroying the rule of law in this country and replacing it with racial apartheid." 
"Not a single redeeming feature as a politician that I ever observed and as for the settlements -well he never ‘settled’ anything just fueled the greed for more and more money for the iwi elite. What a monument to futility.
A man who was never elected – and indeed couldn’t get elected, has been paid more than handsomely to give away billions and not solve a problem!"
 
"He would do well with settlements, after all he grew in the legal profession because of them. What a wonderful nest egg to return to." 
"Finlayson is a smart man.His ego gets the better of him. Basically conferring a Q.C upon himself detracts from his career achievements." 
"Given the sweetheart settlement deal he negotiated for Ngai Tahu, it was cheaper for NZ to have Finlayson in Parliament than out of it."
He embodies what the great HL Mencken once said about lawyers:
“All the extravagance and incompetence of our ... Government is due, in the main, to lawyers, and, in part at least, to good ones. They are responsible for nine-tenths of the useless and vicious laws that now clutter the statute-books, and for all the evils that go with the vain attempt to enforce them. Every Federal judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizens has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mah jong factory, we’d be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost a half.”

"A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around." #QotD


"A smile starts on the lips. A grin spreads to the eyes. A chuckle comes from the belly. But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around." 
        ~ attrib. Carolyn Birmingham
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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Christmas reading


It's that time of year again: that regular annual ritual of weeding out my book stack to fit into my holiday book sack.


What books are you struggling to fit into your book sack this summer?

Or do you just take a bigger sack?
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"The 'everything bubble' is deflating. The fact that it’s happening relatively slowly shouldn’t blind us to the real threat: The world is dangerously underestimating how hard it’ll be to deal with the fallout once it pops." #QotD


"The 'everything bubble' is deflating. The fact that it’s happening relatively slowly shouldn’t blind us to the real threat: The world is dangerously underestimating how hard it’ll be to deal with the fallout once it pops."
        ~ David Stockman, commenting on the article 'The Bubble’s Losing Air. Get Ready for a Crisis'

Monday, 17 December 2018

“The Kindergarten is the free republic of childhood...” #QotD


“Play is the first means of development  of the human mind, its first effort to make acquaintance with the outward world, to collect original experiences from things and facts, and to exercise the powers of body and mind...
    “The Kindergarten is the free republic of childhood...”
                ~  Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852)
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Saturday, 15 December 2018

"Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts that make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape, -- he is a shaper of the landscape." #QotD


"Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts that make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape, -- he is a shaper of the landscape. In body and mind he is the explorer of nature, the ubiquitous animal, who did not find but at made his home in every environment."  
      ~ Jacob Bronowksi, from his book Ascent of Man .

Friday, 14 December 2018

Cardinal Pell going home


Here's a song for Cardinal George Pell, jailed yesterday in Australia -- even though Australians may not have heard ...


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"'The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is ... a process of induction. The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is ... a process of deduction.' These sentences state not the two fundamental methods of cognition, & the correct roles of induction and deduction in human life." QotD


"'The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is, in essence, a process of induction. The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is, in essence, a process of deduction.'
    "These brief and to the point sentences [from Ayn Rand's 'Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology'] state not just the two fundamental methods of cognition, but more importantly, the correct roles of induction and deduction in human life.
    "And by 'human life,' I mean science as well as everyday life.
    "Induction is the process of generalisation, of forming universal concepts based on our observation of particular objects or events. The definition of a single concept states a principle—all humans possess the capacity to reason, for example—and the combination of several or many concepts and principles builds our knowledge of reality and, in some cases, establishes the physical, biological, and human sciences.
    "Induction is conceptualisation. From an early age, probably before we can assign words to them, we all practice the inductive formation of universal concepts... 
  "[Ayn] Rand’s identification describes in general terms the true nature of induction and makes the biological and human sciences as exact and valid as the physical sciences."
        ~ Jerry Kirkpatrick, from hist post 'On the Correct Roles of Induction and Deduction in Human Life:
           Two Sentences from Ayn Rand’s Theory of Concepts'
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Thursday, 13 December 2018

"I’m increasingly suspicious of claims that we are in a deregulatory environment...Look for the US to continue taking regulatory steps to close itself off from the rest of the world." Bonus #QotD


"One often hears about the Trump administration’s deregulation push. But how real is it? Is the number of regulations rising or falling? One Mercatus Center study found that growth in federal regulations slowed during 2017 ... 
    "Slower growth is a good thing, but it doesn’t represent 'deregulation.' 
    "There are many areas where regulation is still increasing [especially] ... foreign investment, immigration paperwork and mail delivery. Three very different types of regulation, with one thing in common. The US government seems increasingly suspicious of the rest of the world. Look for the US to continue taking regulatory steps to close itself off from the rest of the world. I expect [the US] to remain much more open than places like Cuba and North Korea, but less so than places like Canada and Australia. 
    "Meanwhile, I’m increasingly suspicious of claims that we are in a deregulatory environment..." 
        ~ Scott Sumner, from his post 'Regulation Watch' [Emphasis mine]
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Quote of the Day: On Neo-Puritanism and "Meddlesome Preferences"


"[There may be] an implicit recognition by all parties ... that, although each may have preferences over the others' behaviour, any attempt to impose one person's preferences on the behaviour of another must be predicted to set off reciprocal attempt to have one's own behaviour constrained in a like fashion. An attitude of 'live and let live, ' or mutual tolerance and mutual respect, may be better for all of us, despite the occasional deviance from ordinary standards of common decency. 
    “Such an attitude would seem to be that of anyone who claimed to hold to democratic and individualistic values, in which each person's preferences are held to account equally with those of others. By contrast, the genuine elitist, who somehow thinks that his or her own preferences are ‘superior to,’ ‘better than, ‘ or ‘more correct’ than those of others, will, of course, try to control the behaviour of everyone else, while holding fast to his or her own liberty to do as he or she pleases.” 
        ~ James Buchanan, from his essay on 'Politics & Meddlesome Preferences'

[Hat tip Jim Rose]
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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

"And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle." #QotD


“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” 
         ~ Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
[Hat tip Stephen Hicks]
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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

"We’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults." #QotD


"Social-justice ideology does everything a religion should. It offers an account of the whole: that human life and society and any kind of truth must be seen entirely as a function of social power structures, in which various groups have spent all of human existence oppressing other groups. And it provides a set of practices to resist and reverse this interlocking web of oppression — from regulating the workplace and policing the classroom to checking your own sin and even seeking to control language itself. I think of non-PC gaffes as the equivalent of old swear words. Like the puritans who were agape when someone said “goddamn,” the new faithful are scandalised when someone says something “problematic.” Another commonality of the zealot then and now: humourlessness.
    "And so the young adherents of the Great Awokening exhibit the zeal of the Great Awakening. Like early modern Christians, they punish heresy by banishing sinners from society or coercing them to public demonstrations of shame, and provide an avenue for redemption in the form of a thorough public confession of sin. “Social justice” theory requires the admission of white privilege in ways that are strikingly like the admission of original sin. A Christian is born again; an activist gets woke....
    "[W]e’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults."
        ~ Andrew Sullivan, from his otherwise risible op-ed 'America's New Religions'
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Monday, 10 December 2018

"The world is a closed system in the way that a piano is a closed system. The instrument has only 88 notes, but those notes can be played in a nearly infinite variety of ways. The same applies to our planet." #QotD


"The world is a closed system in the way that a piano is a closed system. The instrument has only 88 notes, but those notes can be played in a nearly infinite variety of ways. The same applies to our planet. 
    "The Earth’s atoms may be fixed, but the possible combinations of those atoms are infinite. What matters, then, is not the physical limits of our planet, but human freedom to experiment and reimagine the use of resources that we have." 
        ~ Marian Tupy, editor of Human Progress, and Professor Gale Pooley from Brigham Young University, quoted in
           Allison Ryan's article 'Introducing the Simon Abundance Index: [How] every additional human being
           born appears to make resources proportionally more plentiful'
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Saturday, 8 December 2018

“Let us live and love, nor give a damn what sour old men say. The sun that sets may rise again, but when our light has sunk into the earth it is gone forever.” #QotD


“Let us live and love, nor give a damn what sour old men say. The sun that sets may rise again, but when our light has sunk into the earth it is gone forever.” 
        ~ Catullus
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Friday, 7 December 2018

"Separating the trading entities into national aggregates allows a variety of fallacious conclusions to be drawn by artful intriguers. Historically such intriguers formed practically an entire 'school' of economic policy now known as mercantilism." #QotD


"Separating the trading entities into national aggregates allows a variety of fallacious conclusions to be drawn by artful intriguers. Historically such intriguers formed practically an entire 'school' of economic policy now known as mercantilism. In his classic work 'The Wealth of Nations' (1776), Adam Smith exposed many of the errors and misconceptions of this school and argued forcefully for freedom of trade as the policy consistent with maximisation of people’s wealth as a whole rather than augmentation of the intriguers’ wealth at the expense of the general public. As Smith concluded, 'Nothing . . . can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade'.”
        ~ Robert Higgs, from hist article 'Against the Whole Concept and Construction of the Balance of International Payments'
[Hat tip Cafe Hayek]
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Thursday, 6 December 2018

David Attenborough: 'The sky is falling'




David Attenborough has been widely lauded in headlines worldwide for his dramatic claim that is"civilisation" is to be saved then "we" have just thirty years in which to "take action" -- that action being in the main, as per his speech, government action to ban private actions. “The world’s people have spoken," claimed Attenborough. "Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now." A strange claim indeed to make in a week in which many of France's people set fire to Paris to protest the decision-makers' new French carbon tax.

Stranger still to hear the great man sound so shrill. In the words of Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore,
It's a real shame, but Sir David has allowed himself to be used as a prophet of doom. Who knows what caused his mind to be sucked into this deviance from his once celebratory view of living creation? The demonisation of CO2 is an evil act against the most important food for life.
Even if the doom-mongers were correct about the science, of course, that would say nothing at all about the action to be taken. Bjorn Lomborg for example warns that "strong global climate action would cause far more hunger and food insecurity than climate change itself.” And civilisation itself demands in any case that we take the doom-mongering cautiously.
Before any implication for action can be present, additional information is required.
    One essential piece of information is the comparative valuation attached to retaining industrial civilisation versus avoiding global warming. If one values the benefits provided by industrial civilisation above the avoidance of the losses alleged to result from global warming, it follows that nothing should be done to stop global warming that destroys or undermines industrial civilisation. That is, it follows that global warming should simply be accepted as a byproduct of economic progress and that life should go on as normal in the face of it.
    Modern, industrial civilisation and its further development are values that we dare not sacrifice if we value our material well-being, our health, and our very lives. It is what has enabled billions more people to survive and to live longer and better. Here in the United States it has enabled the average person to live at a level far surpassing that of kings and emperors of a few generations ago.
    The foundation of this civilisation has been, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be, the use of fossil fuels.
Nevertheless, there is a reason most people sleep far more easily than they should given all the doom-mongering going around -- and there is a very good reason for that: which is the many, many years of  fatuous, fat-headed environmental predictions made by a litany of worry-worts and misanthropic headline-hunting doomsayers.

Predictions like these:





  • Britain's industrial growth will come to a halt because its coal reserves are running out “… it is useless to think of substituting any other kind of fuel for coal... some day our coal seams [may] be found emptied to the bottom, and swept clean like a coal-cellar. Our fires and furnaces ... suddenly extinguished, and cold and darkness ... left to reign over a depopulated country."
    --Economist William Stanley Jevons, writing in 1865
  • Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of IndiaPakistanChina and the Near EastAfrica. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions....By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.
    --Peter Gunter, a professor at 
    North Texas State University. Spring 1970 issue of ‘The Living Wilderness.’
  • Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” 
    --‘Life’ Magazine, January 1970
  • Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.--George Wald, Harvard Biologist, Earth Day, 1970
  • It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.
    --Denis Hayes, chief organiser for Earth Day, 1970
  • …some scientists estimate that the world's known supplies of oil, tin, copper, and aluminium will be used up within your lifetime.
    --1990s school textbook The United States and Its People, quoted by Ronald Bailey in testimony to US House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, 
    Feb 4, 2004
  • The period of global food security is over. As the demand for food continues to press against supply, inevitably real food prices will rise. The question no longer seems to be whether they will rise, but how much.
    --Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown, 1981
  • The world's farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to the world's population.-- Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown, State of the World Report, 1994
  • The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population.
    —Reid Bryson, “Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man”, (1971)
  • The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
    —Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (Ballantine Books 1968)
  • I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
    —Paul Ehrlich in (1969)
  • In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.—Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
  • Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.
    —Paul Ehrlich in (1976)
  • Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.
    --Sen. Gaylord Nelson, 1970
  • There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon… The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologist are hard-pressed to keep up with it… This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.
    --Science writer Peter Gwynne writing in ‘The Cooling World,’ ‘Newsweek’ magazine, April 28, 1975
  • This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000.
    —Lowell Ponte in his book The Cooling, 1976 (which was endorsed by US Senator Claiborne Pell and Bush adviser on global warming Stephen Schneider)
  • At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable... If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. … This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.
    —Kenneth E.F. Watt on air pollution and global cooling, speaking on Earth Day 1970. Watt is Editor in Chief, Encyclopaedia of Human Ecology Advisory Board Member, Center for the Study of CO2 and Climate Change
  • By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’ 
    -- Kenneth Watt, again
  • Indeed, when we wake up 20 years from now and find that the Atlantic Ocean is just outside WashingtonD.C., because the polar icecaps are melting, we may look back at this pivotal election.
    --New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, writing in NY Times, 
    Dec 8, 2000.
  • Frostban -- a harmless bacteria genetically engineered to protect plants from freezing temperatures -- "could irreversibly affect worldwide climate and precipitation patterns over a long, long period of time.
    -- Founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeremy Rifkin, 1986
  • The economic impact of BIV (Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus) on the beef and dairy industries is likely to be devastating in the years to come.
    --Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef 1992
  • Biotech crops will "run amok"; they will create "super bugs"; they will lead to farmers using "greater quantities of herbicides."
    --Jeremy Rifkin, 1999 
    Boston Globe
  • The use of biotechnology might "risk a fatal interruption of millions of years of evolutionary development? Might not the artificial creation of life spell the end of the natural world? ... cause irreversible damage to the biosphere, making genetic pollution an even greater threat to the planet than nuclear or petrochemical pollution?”
    -- Jeremy Rifkin, The Biotech Century 1999
  • Current estimates that a flu pandemic could infect 20% of the world's population and cause 7.5 million deaths are "among the more optimistic predictions of how the next pandemic might unfold.”
    --
    Osterhaus et al. Nature May 2005
  • The next flu pandemic could kill as many as 150 million people.
    --
    Dr. David Nabarro. WHO spokesman Sept 2005.
  • As many as 142 million people around the world could die if bird flu turns into a "worst case" influenza pandemic and global economic losses could run to $4.4 trillion - the equivalent of wiping out the entire Japanese economy for a year.
    --
    Report entitled Global Macroeconomic Consequences of Pandemic Influenza, from the Lowy Institute in Australia. Feb 2006.
  • The seven atmospheric scientists predict a global warming of ''almost unprecedented magnitude'' in the next century. It might even be sufficient to melt and dislodge the ice cover of West Antarctica, they say, eventually leading to a worldwide rise of 15 to 20 feet in the sea level.
    -- New York Times report, 1981
  • If the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit [between now and] the year 2025 to 2050…. The rise in global temperature is predicted to … caus[e] sea levels to rise by one to four feet by the middle of the next century.”
    — Philip Shabecoff, “Global Warming Has Begun.” New York Times, June 24, 1988.
  • We've got to ... try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong ... we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.
    --Senator Timothy Wirth, 1988
  • A “senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.”
    -- S
    enior environmental official, Noel Brown, in 1989
  • We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. ... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
    -- environmentalist and presidential adviser, Stephen Schneider, in an interview with Discover magazine, 1989
  • [Within] as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.
    --environmentalist George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian in 2002
  • On June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified before the House of Representatives that there was a strong "cause and effect relationship" between observed temperatures and human emissions into the atmosphere. At that time, Hansen also produced a model of the future behaviour of the globe’s temperature, which he had turned into a video movie that was heavily shopped in Congress. That model predicted that global temperature between 1988 and 1997 would rise by 0.45°C. Ground-based temperatures from the IPCC show a rise of 0.11°C, or more than four times less than Hansen predicted. The forecast made in 1988 was an astounding failure, and IPCC’s 1990 statement about the realistic nature of these projections was simply wrong.
    --Patrick Michaels testifying before Congress in 2000
  • In a 2007 case on auto emissions, [James Hansen] stated in his deposition that most of Greenland’s ice would soon melt, raising sea levels 23 feet over the course of 100 years. Subsequent research published in Nature magazine on the history of Greenland’s ice cap demonstrated this to be impossible. Much of Greenland’s surface melts every summer, meaning rapid melting might reasonably be expected to occur in a dramatically warming world. But not in the one we live in. The 'Nature' study found only modest ice loss after 6,000 years of much warmer temperatures than human activity could ever sustain. 
  • -- Patrick Michaels summarising another Hansen prediction 
  • We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.
    --James Hansen, scaremongering again in 2007 
  • According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event” … “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
    -- Independent (UK) report, March, 2000
  • Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade...
    -- Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, 2005
  • The Scottish skiing industry has no more than 20 years left.
    -- 
    Adam Watson, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, 2004
  • Unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said. He sees the situation as "a true planetary emergency."
    --Al Gore in 2006, promoting his Oscar-winning film called, without irony, The Inconvenient Truth
  • Some of the most memorable images from Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, are the graphics that show how rising ocean levels will dramatically alter our planet’s coastlines. As Greenland’s ice sheets collapse, Gore predicts that our shores will be flooded and sea-bordering cities will sink beneath the water leaving millions of people homeless. His narration tells the audience that, due to global warming, melting ice could release enough water to cause at 20-foot rise in sea level “in the near future.”
    --
    2008 review of Al Gore's 2006 movie
  • More efforts than ever before must be exerted to enable poor countries to prepare for impacts because it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010.
    -- 
     President of the UN General Assembly Srgjan Kerim, opening the General Assembly debate on global warming, 2008
  • In 2020, the UN has projected that we will have 50 million environmental refugees.
    -- University of California, Los Angeles professor Cristina Tirado said at the 2011 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • The Oceans will begin to boil...
    --James Hansen in 2010, on so-called "runaway" global warming
  • In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Gore publicly and very hysterically warned that the North Pole would be ‘ice-free’ by around 2013 because of alleged ‘man-made global warming.’ Citing ‘climate’ experts, the government-funded BBC hyped the mass hysteria, running a now-embarrassing article under the headline: ‘Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013’.’ Other establishment media outlets did the same.”
  •  A team of international climate scientists and researchers at NASA claims the Arctic summer will be ice-free in 2013.
    -- report in German online national daily Die Welt

                                     
  • “We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path,” [said James] Hansen and his fellow scientists [who] saw a tipping point occurring right before their eyes and that the Arctic was melting exactly the way they said it would.. 
    Hansen added that the Arctic would be ice-free in 5 to 10 years.
    -- report on James Hansen et al, from June 23, 2008
  • "[The Arctic is] melting at a brutal speed ... 
     Already last October I was predicting that the Arctic could be ice-free this summer” and “In August or September we will be seeing people cruising in sailboats up there.
    -- 
    researcher Olav Orheim of the Norwegian Research Council, reported in
    Der Spiegel
    in 2008
  • Sydney's dams could be dry in as little as two years because global warming was drying up the rains, leaving the city "facing extreme difficulties with water."
    --Tim Flannery, 
    Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist; Australia's leading conservationist, explorer, and global warming activist, speaking to ABC in 2005
  • The water problem is so severe for Adelaide that it may run out of water by early 2009.
    --Tim Flannery, speaking to the ABC, 2008
  • Brisbane will never again have dam-filling rains, as global warming has caused "a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas" and made the soil too hot, "so even the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and river systems ... "
    --Flannery again, speaking to the ABC in 2007
  • We only have four years to save the world. If “there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late... What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment,” he said.
    --Rajendra Pachauri, the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reported in 2007
  • We have hours to act to avert a slow-motion tsunami that could destroy civilization as we know it.. Earth has a long time. Humanity does not. We need to act urgently. We no longer have decades; we have hours. We mark that in Earth Hour on Saturday.
    -- 
    Elizabeth May, leader of the Canadian Greens, writing in 2009
  • Brown warned there was only “50 days to save the world from global warming,” the BBC reported. According to Brown there was “no plan B.”
    -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 2009
  • Capitalism and consumerism have brought the world to the brink of economic and environmental collapse, the Prince of Wales has warned in a grandstand speech which set out his concerns for the future of the planet. The heir to the throne told an audience of industrialists and environmentalists at St James's Palace last night that he had calculated that we have just 96 months left to save the world... Delivering the annual Richard Dimbleby lecture, Charles said that without "coherent financial incentives and disincentives" we have just 96 months to avert "irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it."
    -- Prince Charles in 2009, as reported by The Independent (UK)
  •  Obama’s second term is “the last window of opportunity” to impose policies to restrict fossil fuel use. Wirth said it’s “the last chance we have to get anything approaching 2 degrees Centigrade,” adding that if “we don’t do it now, we are committing the world to a drastically different place.”
    -- United Nations Foundation President Tim Wirth speaking to 'Climatewire' in 2012
  • "Over the past 50 years, southern Australia has lost about 20 per cent of its rainfall, and one cause is almost certainly global warming ... In Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months."
    --Flannery yet again, speaking in 2007, the year he was named Australian of the Year
  • "We have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.”
    -- French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius, meeting with John Kerry in 2014

Remember ...
Being a climate hysteric means
never having to say you’re sorry.
.

"Capacity is not the same as generation because intermittent renewables sit around doing nothing so much of the time." - QotD


"Capacity is not the same as generation because intermittent renewables sit around doing nothing so much of the time."        ~ Jo Nova, from her post 'Rampant solar, wind growth: Australia increases unreliable energy by 50% in 2018'
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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest." #QotD


"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest."
        ~ Dylan Thomas
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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

"The great aim of all the governments of the earth: obedience and money. The object of taxation is, as the saying goes, to so pluck the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of squealing" #QotD


"You know, also, as well as I do, what is the great aim of all the governments of the earth: obedience and money. The object [of taxation] is, as the saying goes, to pluck the hen without making it cry out*; but it is the proprietors who cry out, and the government has always preferred to attack them indirectly, because then they do not perceive the harm until after the matter has become law…"
        ~ French economist A.R.J. Turgot, in a 1766 letter to David Hume on the subject of taxation 
* Also translated as: "to so pluck the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of squealing." For reference to what this means, see Paris this week.
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Monday, 3 December 2018

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." #QotD


"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
         ~ George Bernard Shaw
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