October 9, 2015

The birth of other-loathing

Perhaps it's a re-birth, I'm not sure. Has there been another period in history when an anti-humanity movement was so large and so popular? The Dark Ages perhaps.

Yesterday I was asked by a colleague, "Why don't we use more nuclear power?"

"Honestly" said I, "I think it is because there is such a powerful movement to limit the available resources in order to limit the growth and prosperity of the human race."

That movement is called "global environmentalism" and, according to its Amazon summary, the book that launched the movement is called 'Limits to Growth' - Donella H. Meadows, October 1, 1972.

The headline-making report on the imminent global disaster facing humanity - and what we can do about it before time runs out. The book that launched the environmental movement globally.

First on the list of prescriptions, as explained in an editorial review of "The 30-Year Update" version, is fewer people, doing less.

The authors demonstrate that the most critical areas needing immediate attention are: population; wasteful, inefficient growth; and pollution. They show how attention to all three simultaneously can result in returning the human footprint on the environment to manageable, sustainable size, while sharply reducing the disparity between human well-being and fostering a generous quality-of-life worldwide. Absent this, the prospects are grim indeed.

How grim? RCP's William Tucker explains in 'Dealing With Abundance.'

In fact we're doing quite well as far as resources are concerned. Nobody talks about "running out of anything" anymore. The one place where doomsayers would argue that we have overshot is in the creation of carbon dioxide byproducts in the atmosphere that are going to lead to global warming.

(...)

While this is a matter of concern, once again it is not out of the reach of our technology. Glenn Seaborg, one of the pioneers of nuclear energy, used to say that "nuclear power has come along at exactly the right time because we were beginning to reach the limits of fossil fuels." He was talking both about the problem of supplies and the pollution effects of these technologies but he could have been talking about global warming as well.

So the choice is apparent: Is the path to "a generous quality of life worldwide" in the direction of science, technology, and safe, non-polluting and nearly limitless nuclear power, or through "disfiguring the entire face of the earth with low-density energy collectors such as windmills and solar panels?"

The answer depends on your bias. Do you want to limit the population, or make it prosperous? Do you love and respect yourself, and therefore others, or do you loathe successful people because, deep inside, your self-image is that of a dirty little beast?

Are you a man, or a mediocrity?


Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe Dirty Hippies Egalitarian Socialism Environment From the other side Recycling Posted by JohnGalt at October 9, 2015 2:21 PM

I was just a pup in '72, but I really remember Fitzpatrick Sale's Human Scale. Everybody I knew bought into that. Most still do.

Posted by: Jk at October 9, 2015 4:18 PM

Solutions are extant. (Ht insty)

Posted by: Jk at October 9, 2015 4:22 PM

I wasn't alive back before the roaring 20's, but I'll nominate the eugenics movement that peaked (in America) with the bankrolling (by Carnegie, Rockefeller and Harriman) of Sanger's American Birth Control League in 1921 which was supported by AG Bell, POTUS/28 (Wilson), and by a supreme court justice I can't find (Holmes?).

Three acts are cited by Wiki:
1. Sterilization in Indiana (1907)
2. "AN ACT to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives" (NJ, 1911; signed by Gov. W. Wilson and overturned in 1913)
3. Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (VA)

Fitter Family and Better Baby contests were held by the Red Cross. By the mid-30's Nazi Germany were sterilizing 5000/month. California led the US in forced sterilization....

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of "mental defectives", 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 10, 2015 2:28 AM

Justice Holmes famously said "Three generations of imbeciles are enough" in Buck v Bell.

Yet, Buck v Bell never seems to find its way into teh infamous list as frequently as Dred Scott, Plessy, or Korematsu.

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2015 7:25 PM | What do you think? [4]