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We’re doomed!

And in other news: we’re doomed:

15 Responses to “Tonight It’s Time to Party Like it’s 2099”

  1. Harry says:

    We are ever grateful for the energizerwintercow to bring these matters to our attention. Before our certain doom, we hope Wintercow and his herd will graze in green pastures.

  2. Trey says:

    Many of these dire forecasts are based on the species-area relation. Here’s a good introduction to what it is and how it is used (and abused):


  3. Trey says:

    Op-Ed in today’s WSJ entitled The Ideology of Catastrophe

    “Sir Martin Rees, a British astrophysicist and former president of the Royal Society, gives humanity a 50% chance of surviving beyond the 21st century. Oncologists and toxicologists predict that the end of mankind should arrive even earlier, around 2060, thanks to a general sterilization of sperm”


  4. Harry says:

    Trey, we are doomed. But if we are doomed, and we have 500 years of coal, not to mention who knows how much natural gas and oil in our country alone to last until well beyond your great grandchildren are dead, what’s this sustainability thing all about? Assuming one is anti- nuke and wants us all to heat our homes with Franklin stoves burning switchgrass pellets. As WC often points out, one cannot have both ways.

  5. Harry says:

    Have IT both ways. All grammar and punctuation errors are Steve Jobs’ fault, RIP.

  6. Steve says:

    The video reminds me of Martha Stewart’s tangle with the law, she wasn’t sent up the river for insider trading, but for “lying” to government officials. Seems like ordinary people are now being treated like Al Capone now.

  7. Steve says:

    And yes, we are doomed!

  8. Trey says:

    Harry, I think we’re in agreement. As WC points out, sustainability has more to do with symbolism than anything substantial. It’s a code word that says you’re part of the “E” community.

    It’s also an excuse used by political types and crony crapitalists to get special favors. Any idea why we have so many wind turbines here in Texas? They are here in part thanks to Rick Perry and Enron:


  9. Trey says:

    WC, one last comment before sleep.

    Here is a less-than-doomsday report by a surprising source, the chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, Peter Kareiva. It’s really wonderful reading. Heretical stuff. Had I read this a few years ago, I might not have pulled back so hard from the Environmental way of thinking.


    Here’s a quote relevant to your original link:

    “In his 2005 book, Collapse, the geographer Jared Diamond famously claimed that Easter Island’s inhabitants devolved into cannibalism after they mindlessly cut down the last trees — a parable for humankind’s shortsighted overuse of natural resources. But Diamond got the history wrong. It was the combined effect of a nonnative species — the Polynesian rat, which ate tree seeds — and European slavery raids that destroyed Easter Island’s people, not their shortsighted management of nature.”

    And another:

    “The trouble for conservation is that the data simply do not support the idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse.”

  10. sherlock says:

    Heber Rizzo? I sense a relation to wintercrow.

  11. Brent says:

    Trey- I read that book- I certainly like the above mentioned explanation better than the thought of some shortsighted individual with an ax thinking, “Well,…” And as for our collective intelligence- it reminds me of the jet plane with only one of four engines working, and hearing the pilot explain that it gives us just enough airspeed to arrive at the scene of the crash, shortly before the ambulances and firetrucks show. I once told an individual half of all people are below average- he said, “Oh no, it’s got to be more than that…”

  12. Harry says:

    Well, all, thanks for the great conversation! Maybe we are not all doomed, at least not until January 1, 2020, and not even then if you live fifteen air miles from the solar picnic table.

  13. Michael says:

    There ought to be a book, if one doesn’t exist already, of wrong examples. Since college, I have come to understand that the Nova was actually a relatively popular car in South America, and Trey just enlightened me about Polynesian rats. I know there’s been a few others, just can’t remember all the other “classic” examples that end up being fiction.

  14. Harry says:

    Wintercow has many books in hand, as long as he gets moving.

    He needs to write two books first. The first is a textbook, a cash cow, maybe with Landsburg or by himself to replace conventional old economics textbooks. The second one will be aimed at the nonfiction crowd who wasted their money on Freakonomics.

    The third book will be a book for children without a heavy communist or supply-side message, maybe with input (limited) from Rizzo’s smart wife Rachel, picking up perhaps about growing up around clear lakes.

    The fourth will be Rizzo’s tour de force, an Addison Wesley text for high-school students, explaining in clear terms how the world works, published just in time for his kids, who will need the royalties to afford the million dollars to go to Amherst.

    That’s four books.

  15. Harry says:

    Rizzo will become famous and rich as an expert in social studies.

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