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Comment Dated Aug 1, 2009


I've long maintained that the real agenda behind the environmentalists' opposition to rational energy use and any technology that brings real comfort and benefit to humans is population reduction and control. But you can't openly acknowledge the aims of measures that imply the elimination of three or four billion people. Like environmentalists, I accept that unchecked, exponential growth would soon result in an unlivable planet. Unlike them, I believe that changes in behavior and life styles cause sufficiently advanced populations to become self-limiting in numbers in ways that simplistically applying models derived from freely breeding animal populations to humans don't address--see for example an earlier Comment on nuclear energy. The way to a better future in which human, not animal, values determine the quality of life requires leaders with the knowledge, vision, and courage to press on to the far side of the bridge, instead of retreating back from the halfway point to conditions reminiscent of the Black Death or the Thirty Years War, after which the bridge would only have to be crossed again later.

Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT, who has consistently stood for solid, observation-based science and challenged the official line on global warming, wrote back in 1996:

Also, although ideally science is independent of moral fashions, in practice there is undoubtedly an influence. Under the circumstances, it is reasonable to consider whether moral fashions are robust. In the case of eugenics, it is evident that the progressive moral fashion of one era later came to be regarded as morally repugnant. Whether the same fate awaits today's environmental ethos is impossible to predict, if only because of the ambiguities of the environmental ethos. However, to the extent that the current environmental ethos calls for restricting the economic prospects of the world's poorer countries, it is by no means inconceivable that it too will come to be regarded as repugnant by future generations.

Science and Politics: Global Warming and Eugenics, in: Risks, Costs, and Lives Saved, R.W. Hahn, editor, Oxford University Press, New York, 1996

Well put, Dick

(The eugenicists deplored that too many of the "wrong" kinds of people--i.e. people unlike themselves--were reproducing, and sought state-enforced measures to rectify the situation. The irony of this, which would be funny if the consequences wern't so dire, is that by the eugenicists' own Darwinian definition, whoever are the most successful reproductively automatically constitute the most "fit". Period.)