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Scientists: Repent Now or Be Doomed

James Joyner tells us that "Scientists have issued a report that life on this planet will cease to exist unless we change our evil ways."

Report on Global Ecosystems Calls for Radical Changes (WaPo)

Many of the world's ecosystems are in danger and might not support future generations unless radical measures are implemented to protect and revive them, according to the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of how the world's oceans, dry lands, forests and species interact and depend on one another. The new report collates research from many specific locales to create the first global snapshot of ecosystems. More than 1,300 authors from 95 countries participated in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, whose results are being made public today by the United Nations and by several private and public organizations. "Only by understanding the environment and how it works, can we make the necessary decisions to protect it," said U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in a statement marking the report's release. "Only by valuing all our precious natural and human resources, can we hope to build a sustainable future."

The effort brought together governments, civil society groups, industry and indigenous people over a four-year period to examine the social, economic and environmental aspects of ecosystems. The report was assembled by the U.N. Environment Program and included scientists from many universities and organizations, including the World Bank. Jonathan Lash, president of the nonprofit World Resources Institute, which helped put together the report, said it "created for the first time a set of leading ecosystem indicators."

Although food production is up, the report said, many other benefits that humans obtain from ecosystems are threatened, and some environmental changes can produce sudden, unexpected deteriorations in water quality, climate and health. "Human actions are depleting Earth's natural capital, putting such strain on the environment that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted," the authors said. The report cites widespread and growing problems such as the collapse of fisheries in some parts of the world because of over-exploitation, the creation of "dead zones" around the mouths of some rivers because of nitrogen runoff from farms, and environmental degradation in some dry-land ecosystems.

Within countries, said Harold Mooney, a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, separate government agencies were often assigned to protect forests, regulate water pollution and oversee economic development -- even though changes in any one of those systems affected the others. "When you enhance one service, like food production, you can detract from another," said Mooney, who co-chaired the panel that examined scientific data.

I believe every word... Don't you?

Update

Two-thirds of world's resources 'used up'

The human race is living beyond its means. A report backed by 1,360 scientists from 95 countries - some of them world leaders in their fields - today warns that the almost two-thirds of the natural machinery that supports life on Earth is being degraded by human pressure. ...

Like I always say, 1,360 scientists can't be wrong.


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Comments (68)

So... there's a possibility... (Below threshold)

So... there's a possibility that there might be unspecified problems at some unknown point in the future, and we MUST take specific actions right now to prevent them?

[rolls eyes]

If this were a business plan, it'd be laughed out of every bank in the country.

"Many of the world's ecosys... (Below threshold)
Bucky Katt:

"Many of the world's ecosystems are in danger and might not support future generations unless radical measures are implemented to protect and revive them, according to the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of how the world's oceans, dry lands, forests and species interact and depend on one another."

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.
What I really want to know is- when can I get my
own T-Rex?

Paul:I have a feel... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

I have a feeling that the actual report that is being discussed might be a little more specific than what this Washington Post reporter has written.

I think its funny when people, aka the above posters, just dismiss something like this without even reading the original report. Great idea, just read the watered down Washington Post article, and decide that its all worthless bullshit.

Paul, you're a little confusing. You have said repeatedly that you dont think that scientists are stupid, but then you make posts like this. Are you saying that you think that these environmental biologists all full of shit? Are you saying that you dont think that human activities are having adverse affects on ecosystems, etc? What are you saying? I would be interested to hear what parts you disagree with.

I understand that the article was written by a WaPo writer, therefor I dont put alot of stock in his interpretation of the report, since often times reporters really miss alot.

Harvey:If this ... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Harvey:

If this were a business plan, it'd be laughed out of every bank in the country.

This is a recap of the report by a Washington Post reporter. But then, I'm sure you read through all of the actual report before making your brilliant assessment.

Sounds like the last gasp f... (Below threshold)

Sounds like the last gasp for air in the Environmental Movement. They know it's dying so why not get an article out to cause more panic. Gotta love the victim mentality - especially when it's the earth.

jiggity:Do you thi... (Below threshold)
areaman:

jiggity:

Do you think that human activities arent causing any negative impacts on our enviroments?

You do understand that we require a healthy environment in order to live, right? Its not some wishy washy hippy shit, its pretty basic. Clean water, clean air...thats good to promote you know. Its in our interest to keep things healthy, since thats what sustains us. Food doesnt originate in Costco you know...

Areaman asks:>'Wha... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Areaman asks:

>'What are you saying?"

Area, with all due respect I've written thousands of words on the topic(s) and Michael has come behind me and (within a tight margin for error) restated my arguments with both accuracy and precision.

If you still don't know what I'm saying, it is clear at this point you are either unable to comprehend it or unwilling to comprehend it.

Either way the implications are the same. My trying to explain it is pointless.

Guys and gals,Noti... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Guys and gals,

Notice the post's title, the conclusion drawn, the author of said conclusion, and the context of posts during the last couple of weeks re "oozers" and "thumpers". This is the equivalent of Pavlov shaking a juicy rib in front of furry friends.

Debate the study itself but act like Paul isn't there. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but this reads like one extended practical joke. Remember, I'm an oozer. Perhaps my analytical skills are slipping or there has been too much ether in the lab.

If you still don't know ... (Below threshold)
areaman:

If you still don't know what I'm saying, it is clear at this point you are either unable to comprehend it or unwilling to comprehend it.

Ya Paul, you're right, I just cant understand your posts. No need to act like that dude.

Your point is that scientists are fallible. Big deal, do you have anything else to say?

I was asking you questions that were specific to this article/report, however you didnt answer any of them. I'm not asking you about what you wrote yesterday, I'm asking you about this report:

Are you saying that you think that these environmental biologists all full of shit? Are you saying that you dont think that human activities are having adverse affects on ecosystems, etc? What are you saying? I would be interested to hear what parts you disagree with.

Obviously you think that some parts of this report are bullshit, and I'm just wondering which ones specifically. Can you answer that directly without a lame attempt at discounting my intelligence? I'll bet you can...

AnonymousD:Deba... (Below threshold)
areaman:

AnonymousD:

Debate the study itself but act like Paul isn't there. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but this reads like one extended practical joke. Remember, I'm an oozer. Perhaps my analytical skills are slipping or there has been too much ether in the lab.

With all due respect, this isnt a scientific report, this is some WaPo's diluted analysis of it. I havent read the report, so I dont feel that I can really say one way or another whether its bullshit or not.

Area, it was not an attempt... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Area, it was not an attempt to insult you in any way... sorry if that is how it sounded.

But after I say something 100 times and others manage to figure it out but you can't only 2 logical conclusions can be drawn:

You are unable or unwilling.

That's not an insult. It is a mere statement of obvious fact. (unless you can come up with a 3rd alternative I missed)

P

Ah..areaman,You mi... (Below threshold)
Bucky Katt:

Ah..areaman,

You might think that Dr. Robert Watson and Walter V. Reid are "icons" of truth, but until I've seen a through, balanced, scientific peer-review, and verification/validation of their environmental models (which has never been done), then there *may* be a point. Till then it's all scare-mongering to get funding. $21 mil was wasted so far on this effort alone. They are almost as bad as World Watch Institute and it's 15 year history of bad predictions. Jean Dixon has a better track record.

AnonD:Notice th... (Below threshold)
areaman:

AnonD:

Notice the post's title, the conclusion drawn, the author of said conclusion, and the context of posts during the last couple of weeks re "oozers" and "thumpers". This is the equivalent of Pavlov shaking a juicy rib in front of furry friends.

Ya Ya. I know what the guy is trying to do. He goes and gets something "scientific" then posts it with a title and a couple lines that make insinuations, then sits back and waits for people to get all pissed off. How exciting.

Same thing with his post yesterday where he made the big accusation that scientists arent always right, like thats news. So on this one he posts a lame WaPo article, and makes another insinuation about "science" without reading the actual report being discussed.

BTW- For the record Areaman... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW- For the record Areaman, my money is on unwilling.

As opposed to andy where the smart money is on unable.

Same thing with his post... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Same thing with his post yesterday where he made the big accusation that scientists arent always right

Yo area, if two "scientists" disagree, which one do you believe?

The article about the repor... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

The article about the report says the report claims that 24% of tillable land is currently being used ...
I'll call BS on that one ... fly over the US and instead of sleeping look out your window ... While the US is farming a large % of our land we aren't even close to 24%, and what about the rest of the world, Africa, China, even the Middle East ... Of course if we listen to the Greens we would be getting about half the current yield from the land we do farm (ban all chemicals etc.) ...
Of course man has negative effects on the planet, but the same man has cleaned up the air and water over the last 40 years. Our air and water is cleaner now that 40 years ago and that is a result of moving forward not wallowing in the past as the Greens would have us do.

Bucky Katt:Actuall... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Bucky Katt:

Actually I dont think that either Watson or Reid are paragons of truth. Environmental types are concerned with funding, and findings need to be scrutinzed carefully. I agree with you there.

I just dont assess reports based on what a WaPo reporter writes...thats my issue here. I havent read alot about this particular project, so I cant really say one way or another whether its bullshit or not. I'm not realy into dismissing things like this without reading the material, along with any counter evidence.

Yo area, if two "scienti... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Yo area, if two "scientists" disagree, which one do you believe?

Well, that depends Paul.

Sometimes they might both be full of shit. Sometimes one's ideas may make more sense to me. I have to read their work, and assess it for myself.

Example: Richard Leakey and Donald Johanssen disagreed all the time about human origins...and often I think that both of them just needed to get over themselves.

RE: areaman's post (March 3... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: areaman's post (March 30, 2005 01:13 PM)
With all due respect, this isnt a scientific report, this is some WaPo's diluted analysis of it. I havent read the report, so I dont feel that I can really say one way or another whether its bullshit or not.

I admit it. I read the post's title (that sounded suspicious right off the bat), the first post's line (knew where this post was going), the concluding statement (confirmed my previous observations), and noted the author (recall of previous data :)).

The quoted article could have said "Run for your lives... a tsunami is heading for your house now!" and I'd have missed it. By now you've correctly concluded that I did not read this report. I'll trust your initial synopsis of content and agree that skipping the source document and trusting WaPo would be a mistake. Mmm, steak.

>and often I think that bot... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

>and often I think that both of them just needed to get over themselves.

no mirrors in your house huh?

Great idea, just read th... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Great idea, just read the watered down Washington Post article, and decide that its all worthless bullshit.

why even do that? I can read the headline and the first paragraph and know its worthless bullshit!!

Now where are the keys to my Hummer, I have to go club a baby seal and drill for some oil!!

(Checking my watch...) It h... (Below threshold)

(Checking my watch...) It has not been almost three hours since Paul posted this piece, and there's not hide nor hair from Andy and the Oozers (good name for a punk band)...

jeff:The articl... (Below threshold)
areaman:

jeff:

The article about the report says the report claims that 24% of tillable land is currently being used ...
I'll call BS on that one ... fly over the US and instead of sleeping look out your window ... While the US is farming a large % of our land we aren't even close to 24%

Remember thats TILLABLE land Jeff, not all land.

from the update:Li... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

from the update:

Like I always say, 1,360 scientists can't be wrong.

roflmao

"Some Guy":no m... (Below threshold)
areaman:

"Some Guy":

no mirrors in your house huh?

Do you always answer for Paul?

Now where are the keys t... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Now where are the keys to my Hummer, I have to go club a baby seal and drill for some oil!!

Wow...thats so funny. I've never heard that before. Its so offensive. Wow, you are really rebellious.

"Notice the post's title... (Below threshold)
Michael:

"Notice the post's title, the conclusion drawn, the author of said conclusion, and the context of posts during the last couple of weeks re "oozers" and "thumpers". This is the equivalent of Pavlov shaking a juicy rib in front of furry friends."

Exactly. Also notice that Paul has again categorized his post as Humor.

What? Truth hurt?... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

What? Truth hurt?

sssshhhhh... (Below threshold)
Paul:

sssshhhhh

And Paul said I was boring.... (Below threshold)

And Paul said I was boring.

I have a computer program (Closetthumper version 0.001) that searches the GoogleNews Science section, adds a snarky headline saying "Scientists and Oozers are wrong," a posts it to a weblog.

It also searches the Comments for any one that uses a three syllable word, calls the author a "moron," excerpts a random bit of the comments, quotes it with "You didn't read what I said, you Oozer," and posts that as a new Comment.

All the user has to do is delete the really awkward comments and questions.

Some Guy:To answer... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Some Guy:

To answer your question, I have no compunction about admitting that there is alot I have to learn. I dont delude myself into believing that I have all the answers, because I surely dont.

So?

wavemaker you can set your ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

wavemaker you can set your watch now

Some Guy:What? ... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Some Guy:

What? Truth hurt?

Oh ya, you really got to me that time.

Paul:

Wow, you're so clever.

If I can put words into Pau... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

If I can put words into Paul's mouth, I think his point for days was that the "zealots" as he called them needed to get over themselves. or that's how I took it.

Your not seeing that trait in yourself prompted the mirror comment.

RE: wavemaker's post (March... (Below threshold)
Anonymous"DIsForDigginIt"Drivel:

RE: wavemaker's post (March 30, 2005 01:45 PM)
Andy and the Oozers (good name for a punk band)...

Hey, I've got a couple that will fill in.

If I want retro pop:
"Anony and the Oozers"

If I want rap:
"AnonymousD and his Oozies"

If I want Christian:
"A.D. and the Ooze"

If I want Brittany-lite:
"ADoozy"


These names for sale at the counter out back - heavy discounts to potential artists.

> I think his point for day... (Below threshold)
Paul:

> I think his point for days was that the "zealots" as he called them needed to get over themselves.

There were several points but that, I guess, describes one of them.

Area- I calls um like I sees um

Welcome back Commissar! Th... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Welcome back Commissar! This thread just wouldn't be complete without you. I feel like we're becoming a family. Somewhat dysfunctional, but what family isn't?

Will somebody please wake up Andy?

> Will somebody please wake... (Below threshold)
Paul:

> Will somebody please wake up Andy?

oh please no

Area may go out of his way to be annoying but he has a brain.. (same for AD) Andy is dumber than the Commissar...

Just his presence lowers the average IQ in the room by 10 points.

Some Guy:Your n... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Some Guy:

Your not seeing that trait in yourself prompted the mirror comment.

Consider me over myself. lol

Now what?

Paul:Area may g... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

Area may go out of his way to be annoying but he has a brain..

Its true, I do go out of my way to be difficult sometimes.

Basically I agree with you Paul, and some of my simplistic replies on here were intentional. I agree with you that the science zealots need to get over themselves, and that in fact they are detrimental to the process of scientific inquiry. But then I also think that IDists and Creationists need to get over themselves as well. And I need to get over myself and make lunch. lol.


For a fun story about the f... (Below threshold)
areaman:

For a fun story about the fallibility of scientists, read about "Piltdown Man." Thats a doosey. Gotta love a little academic forgery.

skybird:wow... (Below threshold)
areaman:

skybird:

wow

RE: Paul's post (March 30, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Paul's post (March 30, 2005 02:23 PM)
...annoying but he has a brain.. (same for AD)...

The annoying bit or the brain bit? I can tone down either, especially the second one. In fact, it might reduce some of my splitting headaches. [Can't...think... senses dulling... strain rising... oh, the pain... argh!]

I agree with you that th... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I agree with you that the science zealots need to get over themselves, and that in fact they are detrimental to the process of scientific inquiry. But then I also think that IDists and Creationists need to get over themselves as well. And I need to get over myself and make lunch

Then we agree 100%.... Well 99%, I already ate.

P


AD - Yes.... (Below threshold)
Paul:

AD - Yes.

Area re:pitdown ma... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Area

re:pitdown man, one of the reasons I love Apple Computer. Read the comments here.

Paul:re:pitdown... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

re:pitdown man, one of the reasons I love Apple Computer. Read the comments here.

Thats really funny.

Skybird:

Your right areaman PILTDOWN MAN was fruad and a hoax of monumental preportions is was a lie and its uncovering must have been devestating to the evolutionists

It was a big fraud, and just goes to show what can happen when someone is more concerned about their own ego, at the expense of truth.

Uncovering the Piltdown forgery wasnt really devastating to "evolutionists" per se, but more devastating to those involved, and mostly embarrassing to the scientific community. But you have to remember that it was other paleontologists who finally exposed the fraud, in the 1950s.

It's pretty interesting stuff to read about actually:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/piltdown.html

<a href="http://www.victori... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

This man is where most of these Gaia eco-nuts get their ideas from. Note the parts about engineering death and disease for the poor.

It's not a coincidence that Darwin loved his work, too.

Sue:You should fol... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Sue:

You should follow the little "ironic" link on that page so you can figure out what Malthus was really talking about. Ever heard of satire?

And what made you link Thomas Malthus to "Gaia eco-nuts"?

Before you try making a point, try reading your links fully.

Paul writes: I've... (Below threshold)
s9:

Paul writes: I've written thousands of words on the topic(s) and Michael has come behind me and (within a tight margin for error) restated my arguments with both accuracy and precision.

Shorter Paul: "I have nothing new to add to this topic but mockery and derision for scientists."

The amusing thing is that Paul considers himself to be a scientist.

Paul:Technicality:... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

Technicality:

Regarding your update. The title says resources "used up" while the text says "being degraded". There's quite a difference there. Was the title yours?

The amusing thing is tha... (Below threshold)
areaman:

The amusing thing is that Paul considers himself to be a scientist.

Really? Is that true? What's your field Paul?

"The amusing thing is th... (Below threshold)
Michael:

"The amusing thing is that Paul considers himself to be a scientist."

Caught me off guard too. First time anyone has accused Paul of being a scientist. When did you make this assertion, Paul? I thought I was paying attention. Your graph certainly did not enhance your reputation as a scientist. The many comments on the graph have irrefutably proven that your graph is not a proper application of the scientific method. Sorry, but it's true. Please don't be offended.

Equally inexplicable are the repeated claims that he's a (closet) Thumper. I know Thumpers (being one myself), and Paul is not a Thumper. If memory serves, at the beginning of this fracas he noted that he is a Catholic. In my entire life, I never met a Catholic who knew dick about how to properly thump a Bible. Not a criticism, just an observation. Bible-thumping is an art form which is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.

Paul seems to be the blank slate upon which everyone else feels free to write their pre-conceived notions. And he keeps dodging. What the heck are you up to, Paul? You must be some kind of masochist. How can you endure the mockery, the condesencion, the pain? What's wrong with you, Paul?

Paul, Paul, WHAT DO YOU BELEEEEEEEEEEEEEIVE?

Sorry, "condesencion' shoul... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Sorry, "condesencion' should be "condescension". Guess I need to start proofreading.

A meeting in London in the ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

A meeting in London in the late Sixties made the same pronouncements but also included the grim conclusion that even if human activities drastically subsisted, particularly as to consumption of natural resources, it was (by the Sixties) "already too late" to effect any species saving changes.

Umm, not saying I agree with that omnireportage, or appearance of such, just saying...

I think that there's much to learn about the Earth's orbit and position in space over time and in relationship to our Sun that can explain a lot of extinction, near extinction and future extinction level events. Just saying, there's more to heaven and earth than meets our eye. That includes "scientists."

These alarmists never figur... (Below threshold)
John S.:

These alarmists never figure out that all these problems are self-limiting. Human population outgrows its food supply? Impossible. Mass-starvation will cull the numbers to a manageable level. If we make the air unbreathable? No problem. Plants don’t even need oxygen. We’d have a planet covered with 200 foot trees. A couple of centuries of rain and they’ll be plenty of clean air. We manage a nuclear holocaust? Won’t effect insects. It’ll be a world full of 3 foot tall cockroaches. They’d be happy. So what’s the fuss?

And, yes, Michael, Thumping... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, yes, Michael, Thumping is counter to Catholic doctrine but it's not like there's a doctrine that actually discourages or disallows Thumping. I think the Thumping characterisation is, um, a unique one.

On the other hand, Catholicism itself appears to, simply by mentioning the word, make a certain impact upon *some people* and what I think it is is that the very suggestion that Thumping might occur afterward sends some into a state.

You can even SAY, much less suggest, that water is blessed and it'll still burn some people. Same principle, I believe, as is Thumping.

What JohnS. wrote because I... (Below threshold)
-S-:

What JohnS. wrote because I always marvel that some people suggest harms to our human species because "we'll run out of foood."

If we start running out of food, habitat and survivable conditions, we begin to reduce our population (d'oh). Meaning, by the time food becomes available for one hundred people, there'lll be one hundred people surviving. It's so obvious as to be laughable...that these 'scientists' issue these reports that DEPEND UPON THE ACTUAL CONDITIONS BE MAINTAINED THAT THEY DECRY inorder to prove/explain their reports.

No species exists in a continuum. Population numbers increase and decrease depending upon conditiions and do so all the time. This report and others like it actually require that the same conditions present today, that they decry as being unacceptable, won't continue unless we change! I mean, please, try making sense of that.

If you read Al Gore's book ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

If you read Al Gore's book Earth in the Balance you'll get a really good laugh, he made the same predictions years ago and said we'd all be dead by now if we didn't outlaw cars. I never figured out how he had the time to write that book and invent the internet at the same time. He's awsome!

areaman asked:Rega... (Below threshold)
Paul:

areaman asked:

Regarding your update. The title says resources "used up" while the text says "being degraded". There's quite a difference there. Was the title yours?

-----------

Do I have to point out that this is why we have hyperlinks?

Yes, I could answer your question but I refuse to answer a question when the answer is so obvious. (A lesson the Commissar never quite figured out) Go click the link.

We now have to fund these g... (Below threshold)
Neo:

We now have to fund these guys to help us out of this mess. Maybe 10, 20 50, 100, 200 or 500 billion for reseach.

... Oooopps .. I forgot the 2/3 of all the resiurces are already used up. Cut 'em all off.

areaman wrote:... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

areaman wrote:

You should follow the little "ironic" link on that page so you can figure out what Malthus was really talking about. Ever heard of satire?

Before you try making a point, try reading your links fully.

I didn't follow the link before, my mistake. Good admonition.

However, the entire essay is not satire, as the second page astutely notes.

The other thing is, which alludes to my earlier point, that other people like Darwin did take the essay seriously. Very seriously.

And what made you link Thomas Malthus to "Gaia eco-nuts"?

Now here's where I should be brusque to you by telling you to read and think before you post. Instead, I'll lay it out for you and others who can't seem to "connect the dots."

Eco-nut philosophy: "Humans ruining planet. Need less humans." (see also bullwinkle's excellent post above)

Malthus: "Poor people ruining society. Need less humans, especially poor."

Darwin: "Barbarians ruining civilization. Need less barbarians."

Of course, this is very simplified paraphrasing. I have to include this disclaimer to head off pedantic childishness that I see time and time again in these exchanges.

Dearest Sue,Thanks... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Dearest Sue,

Thanks for your wonderful reply. As you have mentioned, that second page astutely notes that the entire essay is indeed, not satire. However, read this:

For example, the first paragraph of Book IV, Chapter V, of the 1826 edition of "An Essay on the Principle of Population" is sometimes quoted to show that Malthus wished genuine harm to the poor. But read within context of the entire "Essay," that paragraph turns out to be ironic, and he really did not believe what he said in that passage.

It is true that Malthus had some fairly harsh views, but to read the quotes you supplied as if he actually wished to kill all poor people...well, thats a little off base. Those 19th century writers and their irony you know. Malthus, in the link that you provided and took offense at, was responding sarcastically to people who were advocates of early marriage, and his response was completely ironic and over the top.

I think its funny when people like you get so pissed off about "eco-nuts". I do understand that there are plenty of environmental groups that are over the top. Like anything in life one has to be discerning. What strikes me on sites like this one is the number of people that completely freak out when there is any mention whatsoever of environmentalism, etc. Whats the deal?

As far as Malthus and Darwin goes...you're right, they did have some ideas that were less than admirable. It happens. Darwin had alot of good ideas, IMO, but he wasnt perfect, and he had some shitty ideas as well.

Answer me this: In your opinion, who are "eco-nuts"? Define what you mean by that. And dont get all pissed off at me for asking you to clarify.

Paul:Hmmm...that l... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

Hmmm...that link wasnt going anywhere yesterday, thats why I asked you.

You could have just answered my question, but instead you chose the less tactful way, for some reason.

The title contradicts what the text says, insinuating that 2/3 of the earths resources are already gone. The text goes on to say that they are 'being degraded', which is very different.

I'm not saying it was your fault...I just saw the discrepancy and asked.

You never answered...are you really a scientist?


Answer me this: In your ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Answer me this: In your opinion, who are "eco-nuts"? Define what you mean by that. And dont get all pissed off at me for asking you to clarify.

I won't get pissed off if you don't get pissy. I like civility as much as the next lady does.

My particular definition of an eco-nut would be someone who agrees with the philosophy I summarized before:

Eco-nut philosophy: "Humans bad. Humans ruining planet. Need less humans."

Just off the top of my head, I can sort eco-nuts into four basic categories:

Category 1 - Grant-hungry scientist (Chicken Little)

May or may not actually believe the eco-nut philosophy, since main motivator is money. Will ignore any conflicting scientific work and publish "sky is falling" studies and articles to get fame, prizes, and grants.

Category 2 - Socialist journalist (Henny Penny)

Usually, but not always, believes Chicken Little scientist's claims, but irrelevant because main motivation is money from column inches and TV face time. Believes Chicken Little mainly because they're both from same coop on Marx's Chicken Farm.

Category 3 - Tree-hugging lefty (Turkey Lurkey)

Believes anything Chicken Little scientist and Henny Penny journalist says, because Turkey Lurkey A) looks upon chickens as superior because of their really nice feathers, and B) is too dumb to really question the science behind Chicken Little's claims anyway. Constantly reminded by Henny Penny not to look up during rainstorms to prevent Turkey Lurkey's drowning.

Category 4 - Power-hungry politician (Foxy Loxy)

Doesn't really care about the sky falling, as long as his belly stays full from chicken and turkey.

Sue:I promise I wo... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Sue:

I promise I wont get pissy. For some reasons after reading your post I am hungy...lol

Let me be honest...I know quite a few ecologists and biologists, and others whose main work is involved with the environment. What I am wondering is who you include in your catagory of eco-nut...is it anyone who works in such a field? Alot of people just fly off the handle whenever they hear see a press release about the environment, without even reading what the scientists are actually saying.

And taking the press release writers word for everything isnt the best way of going about things, as press releases are at best over simplified and at worst grossly inaccurate.

I agree with you that scientists who are more concerned about fame or funding are huge problems, and that journalists who regurgitate everything they say uncritically are also a problem. Uneducated "tree hugger" types who dont know shit about science and just want to be in a protest are also problematic, and misguided. Of course the politicians who capitalize on all of it suck as well.

In my opinion, gaining a better understanding of how human activities impact the environment is NOT a waste of time, and is in our best interest. Do you disagree with that?

In my opinion, gaining a... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

In my opinion, gaining a better understanding of how human activities impact the environment is NOT a waste of time, and is in our best interest. Do you disagree with that?

I don't disagree with that. That's perfectly reasonable.

What's not reasonable is hysterics (I know, that's funny coming from a woman) that have nothing to do with scientific understanding.

I can't speak for Paul, but the reason I put on my skeptic's bonnet everytime I read one of these things is because A) these "falling sky" predictions have been made for decades upon decades now without any part of it coming true, and B) the major players have dubious motives, mainly money.

Here's someone's blog entry that sums up a lot of feelings I have about the subject, in a much more articulate way. I found it while trying to google examples of unfulfilled ecological catastrophe predictions.

Sue:What's not ... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Sue:

What's not reasonable is hysterics (I know, that's funny coming from a woman) that have nothing to do with scientific understanding.

Agreed.

I can't speak for Paul, but the reason I put on my skeptic's bonnet everytime I read one of these things is because A) these "falling sky" predictions have been made for decades upon decades now without any part of it coming true, and B) the major players have dubious motives, mainly money.

Its always good to question things that are put forth as fact. And deifinitely some of the major players have questionable motives, but not all of them...the problem is it gets hard to tell who's who. I grew up with all the El Nino disaster stuff, etc...so I know what you are talking about. Alot of predictions have been wrong. So that makes it important to look into things carefully.

I just wanted to make sure that you didnt lump all environmental biologists and ecologists, etc into one catagory because of what some "eco-nuts" do. You know?

Thanks for the link. I'm late for class. I'll read it later on.




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