Tuesday, 11 April 2006

When scientists go genocidal

Religous zealots aren't the only ones preaching destruction. One award-winning American academic beats even Islamic mullahs for sheer genocidal chutzpah.

Dr Eric Pianka, an environmental ecologist from the University of Texas (pictured left with an apparently adoring audience member) wants ninety percent of the human race exterminated so we can "save the earth." His preferred method? Ebola virus: "HIV is too slow. It's no good... You know, the bird flu's good, too. We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.”

Pianka delivered his delighted obituary to the human race at a Texas Academy of Sciences award function at which he received both a plaque as the 2006 Distinuished Texas Scientist, and a standing ovation for declaring that "We're no better than bacteria," (speak for yourself, Buddy), "spoke glowingly of the police state in China that enforces their one-child policy," and said:
His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola ( Ebola Reston ), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, [as scientist and audience member Forrest M. Mims III reports] Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs...
When Pianka finished his remarks, the audience applauded. It wasn't merely a smattering of polite clapping that audiences diplomatically reserve for poor or boring speakers. It was a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause.
"Bad philosophy, tenure, and your tax dollars at work," says Stephen Hicks, drastically understating the case. Life-hating philosophy, anti-human environmentalism and jobs-for-life tenure have allowed academics to seriously give this toxic stuff house-room. Post-modern nihilism, deep ecology, and vicious anti-humanism give it legs. Why don't they start their project on themselves?

  • If you're wondering if this was a hoax, then rest assured the American media were too. No longer. Keep an eye on the MSM as this story develops, and as Pianka and his supporters spin. A transcript of Pianka's speech is not yet available, but Cathy Young has a transcript of an earlier speech by Pianka, and a brief summary of the state of play with the spin and counter-spin.
  • If you're wondering how people can seriously sit still for this stuff, then rest assured there are those who do, and indeed environmentalists who have been saying this stuff for some time -- I quote many of them in a comment on this post here. Sample: "We are not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem to mankind. They have... more value - to me - than another human body, or a billion of them... Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along." - David M. Graber, US National Park Service biologist.
  • Time to repost or at least link to my earlier post calling for a new environmentalism that puts humans first.
UPDATE: Page with Piankas's earlier speech moved, and link updated.

LINKS: Meeting Doctor Doom - The Citizen Scientist
Pianka's speech - The Y Files
Pianka: Smear victim, eco-fanatic, or neither? - The Y Files
Anti-human environmentalism quotes, included in Comments on 'Eaten by Absurdity' - Peter Cresswell
A new environmentalism: Putting humans first - Peter Cresswell

TAGS: Conservation, Philosophy, Environmentalism, Politics_US


  1. Fortunately, this isn't true - Pianka is a bit of a nutter, but his views are that humanity is due for a severe population crash, and that this will probably be caused by a disease of some kind. He does *not* advocate setting off such a crash, he just thinks that it's going to happen naturally.

    The guy who's running around spreading these stories about him sounds like even more of a loon.


  2. Why do I get the impression that Pianka is about to release a book on population collapse due to a pandemic disease? It seems to me that this is wonderful free publicity for someone looking to sell lots of books on humanity's predilection for panic.

  3. What's bizarre is that the only loud voices raised against Pianka's eco-zealotry so far have been from Creationists -- "loons" as Josh says. That much is true. However, that doesn't discount the assertion or his account of the meeting -- doing so really would be ad hominem, and would ignore earlier and similar statements from other eco-zealots.

    You may be right, Josh, that Pianka "does *not* advocate setting off such a crash," be but he is:
    a) loudly asserting that it needs to happen and will happen;
    b) saying he will be delighted when it does happen; and
    c) teaching young students who are more than capable of joining the dots on his behalf. Says one: "I also fully realize that a human species fall could well include ME. So be it. That doesn't mean I don't, in general, get a feeling of satisfaction from the idea of schadenfreude: humans getting their broad just deserts for thoughtlessness, greed, profligacy, and selfishness. Totally different from advocating actively bringing about such a result, which Pianka is accused (falsely) of. It is objective fact that the environment would do EXTREMELY well should humans fall out of it. There's a silver lining to all storm clouds.:

    Cathy Young summarises: "The conflict between Pianka and his persecutors, most of whom are ID supporters, has been (mis)cast as a war between science and reason on one side, and religious zealotry and superstition on the other. But as I have said before, I think it is in fact a conflict between two different brands of religious zealotry. Commenters at Kos and other left-of-center blogs have gleefully pointed out that the same religious conservatives who voice outrage at Pianka's vision of an agonizing death for 80 to 90% of humanity often embrace the idea of a God who will visit horrific destruction upon the world and punish the disobedient with eternal agony. They are correct, but they miss the point that the irony goes in the other direction, too: the radical environmentalists are as enamored of Armageddon as the more conventional religious extremists. The eco-doomsayers are driven at least as much by their fervent belief that humanity needs to be punished for its sins of greed and luxury as they are by scientifically based concerns. (Note the moralistic, not scientific, language in "Praedor Atrebates'" post above.) Joseph Herzlinger, who has a blog of his own, puts it best in the comments thread at Bad Astronomy Blog:

    "'This looks like crackpot vs. crackpot. It’s a debate between someone ignoring the evidence in favor of Darwin’s theories and someone ignoring the evidence against Malthus’s theories.'

    "The enviro-zealots and the religious zealots are united in their hatred of the human mind, of human freedom and pride; and both long to see humanity crushed under the weight of a superior power, be it God or Nature."

  4. Like I say, he's a nutter, but you can refute his wacky views without turning him into a supervillian, or, y'know, lying blatantly about him as Mr. Mims appears to have done.

  5. You're all getting a bit carried away, he's just a nerd with quite real concerns:
    He certainly doesn't propose any sort of biological terrorism to save the planet, though he does think nature will intervene.

  6. Thanks for the link! just wanted to say that the Pianka speech transcript is now in a new location:


  7. It is nothing unusual amongst these loons,The Greens favorite quoted "expert"on peak oil (whos site is linked on the greens website)Colin Campbell had an intersting op ed piece in the July 2005 issue written by William Stanton some interesting statements...

    To those sentimentalists who cannot understand the need to reduce UK population from 60 million to about 2 million over 150 years, and who are outraged at the proposed replacement of human rights by cold logic, I would say “You have had your day, in which your woolly thinking has messed up not just the Western world but the whole planet, which could, if Homo sapiens had been truly intelligent, have supported a small population enjoying a wonderful quality of life almost for ever. You have thrown away that opportunity.”....

    The scenario is: Immigration is banned. Unauthorised arrives are treated as criminals. Every woman is entitled to raise one healthy child. No religious or cultural exceptions can be made, but entitlements can be traded. Abortion or infanticide is compulsory if the fetus or baby proves to be handicapped (Darwinian selection weeds out the unfit). When, through old age, accident or disease, an individual becomes more of a burden than a benefit to society, his or her life is humanely ended. Voluntary euthanasia is legal and made easy. Imprisonment is rare, replaced by corporal punishment for lesser offences and painless capital punishment for greater.


  8. I notice that he's still eating and breathing! talk about giving comfort to the enemy!!!!!


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