Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Quote of the Day: George Reisman on Emissions Trading Insanity

    “No matter what the assurances of scientists and engineers, based in every detail on the best established laws of physics — about backup systems, fail-safe systems, containment buildings as strong as U-boat pens, defenses in depth, and so on — when it comes to atomic power, the environmental movement is unwilling to gamble on the unborn children of fifty generations hence being exposed to harmful radiation. But on the strength of a weather forecast, it is willing to wreck the economic system of the modern world — to literally throw away industrial civilization…
    “The meaning of this insanity is that industrial civilization is to be abandoned because this is what must be done to avoid bad weather. All right, very bad weather. If we destroy the energy base needed to produce and operate the construction equipment required to build strong, well-made, comfortable houses for hundreds of millions of people, we shall be safer from the wind and rain, the environmental movement alleges, than if we retain and enlarge that energy base. If we destroy our capacity to produce and operate refrigerators and air conditioners, we shall be better protected from hot weather than if we retain and enlarge that capacity, the environmental movement claims. If we destroy our capacity to produce and operate tractors and harvesters, to can and freeze food, to build and operate hospitals and produce medicines, we shall secure our food supply and our health better than if we retain and enlarge that capacity, the environmental movement asserts.
    “There is actually a remarkable new principle implied here, concerning how man can cope with his environment. Instead of our taking action upon nature, as we have always believed we must do, we shall henceforth control the forces of nature more to our advantage by means of our inaction…
………………………………. – George Reisman in ‘The Toxicity of Environmentalism,’ written, ……………………………………remarkably, in 1990.


  1. There was a doco on a few weeks/months back that described how studies have found that low levels of radiation are nowhere near as harmful as we are made to believe. The effect on the body is not linear, therefore a little radiation appears to do you no harm at all. What this means of course is that all the hysteria about possible nuclear accidents and suchlike do not have scientific foundation.

  2. Good quote PC.

  3. Have to give credit to Matt for pulling it out yesterday. (Thanks Matt.)

  4. Last I heard, that babies in CHernobyl are still growing up with feet cming out of their heads.

  5. Feet in their mouthes maybe, but that's a different problem.

    They did a study on the animals at Chernobyl (ie the rats and suchlike that actually live there within the "danger" zone), and they were fine. I can't remember if there were low or no levels of defects, but either way, it means you need a hell of a lot of radiation to do any real damage.

  6. Anyway, I kind of disagree with myself anyway. Because since chernobyl safety has drastically improved.

    I am not against nuclear generation.

    I also think our no-nuclear ban on US ships is also a bit childish.

  7. Yeah, but just imagine seeing a Greenpeace boat try to board a visiting US nuclear warship...

  8. I read that meeting Kyoto targets would reduce world GDP by a few percentage points. How does this in any way imply destruction of industrialised society.

    Sounds like Mr Reisman has no idea about economics. Did he even attend any school? I mean since he was like 5?

    It's like he is talking about a marble as if it were the size ofthe moon just for the purposes of sensationalising an article.

    Makes the rest of what he wrote not worth reading. He obviously has no handle on his hyperbolating tendencies.

  9. THe children are still growing up retarded and with extra limbs Twr. It is a fact. It has nothing to do with rats. People are not rats.

  10. Can you cite an example of a child with extra limbs? A link to a website with photos and an accurate history would suffice.

    World GDP of a few percentage points is still trillions of dollars, to achieve something that using their own figures wouldn't change the average temperature of the earth by a single degree.

  11. Barry

    Prof. George Reisman is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Pepperdine Unversity. He was the author of the textbook, "Capitalism." He has contributed fundamental and significant work to the field of economics. Among other qualifications he holds a Doctorate in Economics.

    Prof Reisman would know more about economics then the likes of you- a lot more. On the other hand, you are not in a position to judge anyone's knowledge of economics since your own is clearly meagre. Still you made a statement about the Professor and, as is readily appreciated, you are completely wrong- wrong through ignorance.

    Barry, your flatulent ravings are getting past the point of providing amusement and are now becoming tiresome. The bulk of what you write amounts to random feelings with little of substance and nothing of value. Your approach and assertions are plain wrong. Pull your head in, read and try to learn.


  12. TWR

    He can't cite such a thing as he made it up. It was an exaggeration. In other words he's a bullshit artist.


  13. LGM, your flatulent ravings are getting past the point of providing amusement and are now becoming tiresome. The bulk of what you write amounts to random feelings with little of substance and nothing of value. Your approach and assertions are plain wrong. Pull your head in, read and try to learn.

    If you also think think that putting caps on carbon would destroy industrial society as we know it then you have been reading too much Harry Potter/Reismann. A reduction in GDP and a change of energy production methods is hardly the end of anything.


    Quoting from the WHO Report in 2005:

    "Childhood thyroid cancer caused by radioactive iodine fallout is one of the main health
    accident were particularly high in those who were children at the time and drank milk
    with high levels of radioactive iodine. By 2002, more than 4000 thyroid cancer cases
    had been diagnosed in this group, and it is most likely that a large fraction of these
    thyroid cancers is attributable to radioiodine intake.
    Apart from the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer incidence among those exposed at
    a young age, there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the incidence of solid cancers
    or leukaemia due to radiation in the most affected populations."

    No-one fortunately had feet growing out of their heads but cancer isn't something to laugh about either.

  14. Barry, check out this link and the comments.

    In particular, :
    "For the 1,152 thyroid cancer cases diagnosed among children in Belarus during 1986-2002 and treated, the survival rate was 98.8%. Eight patients (0.7%) died due to progression of the thyroid cancer”

    On the very same subject, we have the following two quotes:

    Dr Mike Repacholi at WHO says:

    “Ultrasound screening units were sent out into the field to check children for thyroid cancer. […] What happens is that the screening will detect cancers that never progress to a clinical [malignant] cancer.”

    Professor Antone L. Brooks at Washington State University agrees:

    “Whenever physicians are very diligient in looking for something, they tend to find more of it. So to me, that figure of 4000 […] is something of an overestimate”

  15. TwR: I have to agree with you there. From what I read there was no strong evidence of health problems. I saw a documentary on Prime TV 2 years ago showing the babies and their health problems so it made me believe there was a link.

  16. Barry

    You were wrong about Prof Reisman's knowledge of economics. He has a much better idea about the topic than do you. Come on, have the honesty to admit it. We both know that had you even passing familiarity with the subject you'd not have made such a simple the error. Still, perhaps it is possible to help you clear up at least one of your confusions. Harry Potter books are not economics texts. You need to put such material aside for the moment and read a serious economics book. If you want to understand economics try "Capitalism", by Prof Reisman.


  17. TWR

    Being charitable it was exaggeration after all.



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