October 25, 2006

BEING A MALTHUSIAN MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY:

Humans Living Far Beyond Planet's Means (Ben Blanchard, 25 October, 2006, Reuters)

Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday.

How did Julian Simon find someone stupid enough to bet real money on this idiocy?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2006 11:59 AM
Comments

That guy is so last century. He still livea in the 60's when the world was threatened by the "Population Bomb".

"Fertility rates have dropped by half since 1972, To reproduce itself, a society's women must each bear 2.1 children. Europe's fertility rates fall far short of that. Italy and Spain, at 1.2. Germany's fertility rate of 1.4 is exactly Europe's average. Germany could shed nearly a fifth of its 82.5 million people over the next 40 years—roughly the equivalent of all of east Germany."

The US is the only industrialized country that has a replacement birth rate even without immigration. So the statement ia actually against us. The rest of the world will either depopulate, or revert to Islamist medievalism.

Posted by: ic at October 25, 2006 12:26 PM

So, 30 years ago we had a 45 year supply left of everything, according to the "Limits to Growth" people, and now we still have a 45 year supply left.

Posted by: John Thacker at October 25, 2006 12:48 PM

Repeat after me: "Next year, we will have a 45 year supply of everything."

Repeat annually.

Posted by: Jay at October 25, 2006 12:53 PM

It's all arrant nonsense.

If it were not, what should we do about it?

Really, should the creators and bearers of advanced culture step aside to make living space for the all-too-many? Seriously, who whould gain and who would lose thereby? Ponder the future of humanity when the cargo stops arriving out of the clear air.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 25, 2006 1:38 PM

Never been a cowboy that couldn't be thrown.

In 1995 Simon also began a wager with David South, professor of the Auburn University School of Forestry. The Simon/South wager concerned timber prices. Consistent with his cornucopian analysis of this issue in The Ultimate Resource, Simon wagered that at the end of a five-year term the consumer price of pine timber would have decreased; South wagered that it would increase. Before five years had elapsed, Simon saw that market and extra-market forces were driving up the price of timber, and he paid Professor South $1,000. Simon died before the agreed-upon date of the end of the bet, by which time timber prices had risen further.

Posted by: h-man at October 25, 2006 1:44 PM

He should have stuck it out. He paid off at a peak and then it came back down. Sadly, he was dead though.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 2:06 PM

Cornucopians should give at least a decade for a bet. Commodity price spikes can last almost that long.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at October 25, 2006 4:03 PM

Two planet's worth of resources? Sure, Earth and Pluto. Oops.

As with BDS syndrome, it's hard not to notice the increasingly frantic and irrational claims being made by the eco-freaks and their broadly-based supporters among the brights, most of whom wouldn't recognize a scientific argument if it hit them in the face. What is really worrisome is the deference and support they seem to command so easily from even sensible politicians. Blair is one. Perhaps they secretly feel it is all such peripheral nonsense that they can pay nominal hommage to it without repurcussions. Huge, scary mistake. These guys are the heirs of Lenin and have all the potential to contribute all he did to our kids' future.

I used to worry horribly about society becoming increasingly left, but now I worry more about it's becoming terminally insane.

Lou:

Really, should the creators and bearers of advanced culture step aside to make living space for the all-too-many?

Yes.

Posted by: Peter B at October 25, 2006 6:25 PM

Perer: You bit. The cargoes don't really come out of the sky--the creative cultures produce them. When the creative lose the will to surpass, shrink from their burden to be rulers and teachers, the whole world becomes Darfur, forever.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 25, 2006 6:55 PM

Lou:

When the creative lose the will to surpass, shrink from their burden to be rulers and teachers, the whole world becomes Darfur, forever.

No.

Posted by: Peter B at October 25, 2006 7:17 PM

Lou Gots:

Can you elaborate on what you mean by that? It sounds suspiciously like nonsense but I'd like to make sure.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 25, 2006 7:30 PM

Sounds like Burke to me - about good men doing nothing. Or even the NT, about much being expected.

Posted by: ratbert at October 25, 2006 9:11 PM

I'm sure the foregoing line is foolishness and a stumbling block to many.

The nations of Europe benefitted by the "cultural genocide" of their pagan ways of thinking and acting. The inhabitants of the western hemisphere were likewise liberated and advanced.

Now when the Boxerist psychopathology kicks against the goad* of cultural diffusion there are many unpleasant and unnecessary consequences. These do not negate the advantages which flow from cultural progress.
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*Quick, count the Chriatianist code-words in this comment alone. Ratbert is on the right track. It is NT, and Kipling, too.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 25, 2006 9:52 PM
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