Monday, August 28, 2006

Good article on Pianka

Controversial UT professor warns of Earth's end:

He says he tries to reduce his imprint on the Earth, but not as much as some of his friends, who've replaced their cars with bikes. In the end, Pianka said, it doesn't really matter.
Good article.

C. Herb Ward, who teaches in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice University, said there is widespread agreement in the scientific community that humans have placed great stress on the natural environment.

"Man hasn't helped the ecology," he said. "I think most ecologists would say the world is overpopulated."

But the conclusions one draws from that assessment — whether and how to reduce population growth, who's to blame for the current state of affairs — are value judgments, Ward said.

Who am I to argue with any professor, but no, they are no more value judgements than for one to observe that the car will be better off with regular maintenance, and that without regular maintenance it is the owner's fault when the car deteriorates.

Too bad the HTML page title sucks. Pianka doesn't say anything about the Earth's end. In fact, he talks about it going on to an improved state once humanity's numbers have been reduced by its walk over the cliff.
"I think we're going to be cavemen again because we're too stupid to head it off," he said.
Well, my own sense doesn't have us going back quite that far, but as he says, it doesn't really matter.


jj mollo said...

He is right, of course, but he's not the best salesman. I admire his willingness to speak his mind, and continue to speak his mind in spite of the vast wave of negative publicity. We are not going to start solving these problems until people like Pianka start stripping off the varnish to show what's underneath.

jj mollo said...

The good thing about Pianka's notoriety is that he has now established a direct feed into the memeflow. If he ever comes up with something useful to say, he can probably get prime coverage in the MSM.