Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Morals and Ethics...

300 Million Reasons to Vote Republican by James P. Kelly:
This March, the Texas Institute of Science named American scientist Dr. Eric Pianka, a world renowned ecologist, its “Distinguished Scientist of 2006” for offering a creative solution to Man’s ecological woes -- the killing of 90% of mankind with the Ebola Virus.
Morals and ethics represent our only protection...
Unlike those who see killing mankind as its only hope, I believe that far more practical solutions exist. ... When I first read of professor Pianka’s proposal -- and more importantly of its enthusiastic acceptance by his peers ...
Morals and ethics, one on each fork of the tongue.

This author did not read any proposal by Pianka to kill mankind, nor did Pianka's peers enthusiastically accept any such proposal, nor did Pianka receive the award for making any such proposal.

There was no such proposal.

Morals and ethics. Sure.


jj mollo said...

Do you think the mistake was deliberate? The man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Does he really think that are biggest problem is lack of imagination. If I imagine the resources are going to be their for the Humvee culture of tomorrow, does that make it so? If we all clap for Tinkerbelle, will she be able to fly?

The interesting thing to me is that the man most responsible for falsifying the forecast of the Club of Rome was Norman Borlaug, who believed every word of it. The next Norman Borlaug will not be produced by James P. Kelly or the scientific world that he imagines. The next Norman Borlaug will not be a friend of James P. Kelly. And the next Norman Borlaug will repudiate the ideals and worldview of James P. Kelly, if there is a next one.

Steve said...

I'm not up on Borlaug's position on limits to growth, but if, as I understand you to mean, he thinks the Club of Rome was right, it would not surprise me.

The Green Revolution would tend to falsify the Club of Rome's outlook in the eyes the "productivity trumps reproductivity" crowd, but it seems to me that such an outlook is faith-based and reflects a near-term vision.

But what do I know? I hope the "productivity trumps reproductivity" crowd is right, but it just doesn't seem likely to me.

Now you have me wondering about Borlaug on Hardin.

jj mollo said...

I may have overstated the case. I really don't know what Norman Borlaug's position on the Club of Rome is. My only evidence is his Nobel Prize speech which contains strong concerns about population growth.

According to Borlaug, "Africa, the former Soviet republics, and the cerrado are the last frontiers. After they are in use, the world will have no additional sizable blocks of arable land left to put into production, unless you are willing to level whole forests, which you should not do. So, future food-production increases will have to come from higher yields. And though I have no doubt yields will keep going up, whether they can go up enough to feed the population monster is another matter. Unless progress with agricultural yields remains very strong, the next century will experience sheer human misery that, on a numerical scale, will exceed the worst of everything that has come before".[17]

Besides increasing the worldwide food supply, Borlaug has repeatedly stated that taking steps to decrease the rate of population growth will also be necessary to prevent food shortages. In his Nobel Lecture of 1970, Borlaug stated, "Most people still fail to comprehend the magnitude and menace of the 'Population Monster'...If it continues to increase at the estimated present rate of two percent a year, the world population will reach 6.5 billion by the year 2000. Currently, with each second, or tick of the clock, about 2.2 additional people are added to the world population. The rhythm of increase will accelerate to 2.7, 3.3, and 4.0 for each tick of the clock by 1980, 1990, and 2000, respectively, unless man becomes more realistic and preoccupied about this impending doom. The tick-tock of the clock will continually grow louder and more menacing each decade. Where will it all end?"[18]

One of the rationales he puts forward for efforts to improve productive capacity in agriculture is the "Borlaug Hypothesis" which suggests that growing more food on the best agricultural land will prevent deforestation.

Borlaug is not fond of environmental "elitists" who are not willing to address poverty and hunger, but he stands for a philosophy of facing problems with open eyes. James P. Kelly is a member of a denialist culture.

jj mollo said...

Here is an Opinion Journal piece on Borlaug from last month.