Ed Hudgins

Light Up the World for Humans

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Light Up the World for Humans
By Edward Hudgins

March 27, 2009 -- Environmentalists worldwide are urging people to turn off all their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30pm local time. "Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming," declares the "Earth Hour" website.

Much has been written about the questionable science behind the fear of global warming. Some, but not enough, has been written about the immediate and terrible harm to human beings that the policies to combat warming would produce, compared to the highly speculative harm attributed to the warming itself.

Earth Hour in fact demonstrates how evil ideas, wrapped in soft symbolism, can kill. And it demonstrates how only a morality of rational self-interest can sustain life on earth.

Earth vs. humans

Consider the stated purpose of Earth Hour. It's not to offer us the sensible suggestion that we turn our lights off when we're not in a room in order to lower our electric bills. That's an appeal for individual human beings to act in their own self-interest. A "vote for Earth" assumes that the Earth has an intrinsic "Mother-Nature" value of its own, apart and distinct from its value to we human beings.

It's not that forests are of value to us because we humans can take pleasant walks in them or use them for lumber to build our houses. It's that forests have rights; icebergs have rights; swamps have rights; mosquitoes have rights; dirt has rights.

Ideas have a logic of their own that implies actions, for good or ill, sometimes contrary to the stated intentions of those who hold those ideas. Believe that there is a "superior" Aryan race and that another group-Jews-is responsible for the world's misery, and to the extent that this idea dominates individuals and cultures, you get a Holocaust.

Believe that the Earth has intrinsic value and what do you get?

You get a new asceticism, a new Puritanism. You get individuals and a culture obsessed with the need to do without. You get guilt for all those "consumer goods" that allow us to enhance our own lives because those goods require us to cut trees, extract minerals, burn fuel, and generally use the Earth for our own pleasure.

It leads individuals to see their own lives as a burden on the Earth. And what's the logic of this line of thinking? Suicide!

Selling Suicide

Think this is an exaggeration?

Jonathon Porritt, an environmental adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, argues that his country should aim to cut its population in half, by 30 million, in order to build a "sustainable" society.

To begin with, the concept of "sustainable" as used by most environmentalists is a ludicrous non-sequitur. There is no limit to how many humans can be "sustained" because there are unimaginable amounts of energy and resources in this universe and no limit to how human minds can discover new ways to exploit them.

But consider the implications of Porritt's morally-obscene suggestion. Perhaps 30 million Brits should "vote for Earth" not by turning off a light switch but, rather, by putting guns in their mouths, taking themselves out of the population pool, and becoming fertilizer for Gaia.

Of course, they don't approve of guns. But there is a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement-check them out; they do have a website. They want to do away with their own species over time, but perhaps they can dream up more Earth-friendly ways for those individuals who want to act immediately to off themselves.

Over two centuries ago Goethe's Sturm-und-Drang novel The Sorrows of Young Werther sparked copy-cat suicides among the impressionable, elite youth. Perhaps in the near future parents will shed tears of grief at the self-destruction of their own children whose heads are filled by their schools, media, and governments with a moral poison that equates their value with that of frozen mud.

Coming after you

And don't think the slow or even swift death that many environmentalist ideas imply will be a matter of personal choice. They're coming after you. The public is starting to realize that President Obama's "cap and trade" energy tax will lower everyone's living standard and take thousands of dollars from the pockets of every family, as a sop to extreme eco-cultists. I guess this is part of Obama's policy to force us all to sacrifice for some cause beyond ourselves-whether we want to or not!

Look at the obsession that so many now have with recycling. It's become a holy sacrament. Jurisdictions are now making mandatory what was once voluntary, that we waste our time sorting through our waste. (I myself am personally sacrilegious and mix up my garbage just to screw 'em!)

One British jurisdiction is using spy planeswith thermal imaging devices to target homes that are using too much energy. It is right out of Orwell's 1984! The police states that are developing in the United States and the West won't even have the pretense of the old communist ones that claimed to be working for the good of the people.

Shine a light

Two years ago, the first Earth Hour saw lights out in a limited number of cities. I wrote at that time that this was part of a growing "new cult of darkness." Now the malignant virus has spread to the minds and thus practices of many others.

No doubt most individuals who turn off their lights will not see their actions as a choice of death over life. And the logic of bad ideas often is offset by other ideas, habits, and traditions. After all, few environmentalists actually live according to their own creed. Not many people actually try to surrender civilization with its jet travel, iPhones, Starbucks, and Whole Foods.

The only way to counter extreme environmentalist ideas about the intrinsic value of the Earth is with a morality of rational self-interest that recognizes human life and wellbeing as the foundation and measure of all values. Proud and happy individuals would never surrender their lives on this Earth to this Earth.

Rather than turning off your lights for Earth Hour, turn them on; turn them all on. Let the creation of human beings shine out proudly!
------------

Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society, the Center for Objectivism.


For further information:

Ayn Rand, "The Anti-Industrial Revolution." In The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution," 1971.

*Edward Hudgins, "New Cult of Darkness." April 2, 2007.

*Edward Hudgins, "Extracting Ourselves from the Wetlands Quagmire." August 4, 2003.

*Robert Bidinotto, "Green Cathedrals: Environmentalism's Mythological Appeal." The New Individualist, September 2007.

*Michelle Minton, "Human Achievement Hour to Counter Earth Hour." Competitve Enterprise Institute, March 19, 2009.

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Ed; I will turn on all my lights at 8:30 tonight.

I must note that environmentalists always get upset with me when I accuse them of wanting humans to freeze in the dark.

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This is a generalization:

"Believe that the Earth has intrinsic value and what do you get?

You get a new asceticism, a new Puritanism. You get individuals and a culture obsessed with the need to do without. You get guilt for all those "consumer goods" that allow us to enhance our own lives because those goods require us to cut trees, extract minerals, burn fuel, and generally use the Earth for our own pleasure.

It leads individuals to see their own lives as a burden on the Earth. And what's the logic of this line of thinking? Suicide!"

I know sensible, earthy types that don't fit this model. What do you get when you think Earth has intrinsic value? What, we're supposed to then debate the meaning of "intrinsic?" Apparently so, in this case.

I am so sick of the sweeping under the carpet. This is a problem. There are ways and means we have developed to use the Earth more productively, efficiently. Because, if we do, that way there will be more of it down the road, and I call that just good business sense. But no, in O-world you have to strike a party line and, in effect, run to the tune of something like "We can do whatever we want to it, it is our raw material to shape and sculpt." Well, fine, unless you've taken a good look at how that shit has been going in recent history. What, do you want big, thrusting buildings, surrounded by stink and smoke and rundown? It neglects, conveniently, the possibility that some people just want their comfort now, and are willing to mortgage the future generations, so long as they can go to their grave saying "See? I was right!" Yeah, but for the mess you contributed to, the mess the rest of us now have to live in and fucking clean up.

Nope, don't buy it, never will: it is ineffecient and impractical. It is a knee-jerk that needs to be purged.

Edited by Rich Engle

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Rich:

I would enjoy that discussion or debate. Resolved that: A limited government should be empowered to preserve the environment by statute. Yea or Nay - this one screams for a negative counter plan which was one of my favorite stratagems. The downside is that you abandon the status quo as a defense.

This could be a very productive debate because it involves competing high value issues. Would there be public lands "owned" by the government as exists today?

Personally, I would prefer to never see a smokestack. One looks beautiful on a crisp autumn morning as you achieve the crest in the mountain and you see a pretty Pennsylvania town in the valley downriver. Walk in that town on an August day with 102% humidity and the temperature approaching 100 degrees and as Clarence Darrow said in the Scopes trial, "Sir, of course you can fly, but the clouds will smell of gasoline and the birds will lose their beauty.(this quote is close but not guaranteed)" [Yes Spencer Tracey in the movie Inherit the Wind - as it turns out, I read the transcript of the trial and the movie had the testimony close to word for word as it was in the courtroom.] You also will possibly have a great deal of trouble breathing comfortably.

However, the smokestack is needed for the factory process that keeps 75 % of the town employed directly and another 25% peripherally.

There are real issues that would be important to talk through so that if we can all get on the same anti statist road and turn back the hordes at the gates of free thought and free trade, the enemies of freedom cannot use that issue to continue to divide us.

Adam

Edited by Selene

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This is a generalization:

"Believe that the Earth has intrinsic value and what do you get?

You get a new asceticism, a new Puritanism. You get individuals and a culture obsessed with the need to do without. You get guilt for all those "consumer goods" that allow us to enhance our own lives because those goods require us to cut trees, extract minerals, burn fuel, and generally use the Earth for our own pleasure.

.

Our own pleasure? The world is our means of survival. Without it we would be dead. Therefore it behooves us to take care of it, for our own sakes and that of our children and children to be (assuming we care about that -- I do).

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Yes, there needs to be a middle of the road solution. There is nothing wrong with utilization of natural resources but there is something wrong with making a wasteland of our environment in the process. The bottom line is that things will be more expensive because we will have to factor in the increased cost of producing things in a more environmentally friendly way.

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GS:

This is a perfect example of a positive discussion. First of all, you made a boatload of internal assumptions in the prior post in terms of "cost".

"...increased cost of producing things..." - define cost. Additionally, cost over what period of time? If you cost out over 100 years, is it more "expensive"?

The key point, in my opinion, is that we, at best, make percentage choices in "public policy" areas based on a great deal of piss poor data.

It was either Brant or Rich I think that brought up the massive amounts of deaths globally due to the stupidity of a blanket ban on DDT. I made a great speech at my school board meeting which had almost 1000 people crammed into an auditorium that held 700 or so because one of the 29 schools in my district was on the to be closed list.

Newsday was there and I made a complex comparison between DDT use and the destruction of eggs which had eliminated the Bald Eagle from my Pennsylvania Delaware River valley town and the consequences a mere 20 years from now if the public school was closed to the local community. We won and the school was not closed because of that speech. The Newsday reporter in the column about the speech opened by stating, "The most impactfull speaker was hard to follow at first because he spoke about eagles, but it was worth waiting for him to bring us to home plate..." [grrrr I hate mixed metaphors].

I pointed out that with the burgeoning oriental population of downtown Flushing, we would have an overcrowding problem within 20 years. Sure enough I was correct almost to the year. They did close a JHS in the District and sold it to the local college. Sure enough, they had to build a new JHS some 25 years later.

Making current public policy has immense long term effects.

Adam

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Thomas Friedman in his book "Hot, Flat and Crowded" refers to how dark Africa is because of the lack of electricity there. I do not understand people who want us all to go back to that level.

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I support a position similar to Rich's, as stated in the quotation copied below from "The Objective Morality of Environmentalism." However, what really irks me is that personal values are so often made into public policy. I think the "cap and trade" energy tax would be an anathema to the economy.

Radical anti-environmentalism is not consistent with the ethics of Objecctivism, but when environmentalism is taken into public policy, who won't become furious and shout down the source? The source is not environmentalism of course, the source is political. However, since public policy and personal values are one-in-the-same for so many Americans, could this be why the automatic reaction to attack the value itself?

Christopher

Link to quote below -> http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...ost&p=63245

I recently read an article by ARI slamming environmental policies and liberalism. It was fairly narrow in conceptual structure, and I was forced to disagree that environmentalism contradicts the edicts of Objectivism.

For one, we know that certain business practices actually harm the environment, such as polluting the Hudson River or nuclear waste leakage. We are also unclear of the future impact current business practices will have on the environment, such as from the release of large amounts of CO2, etc. into the atmosphere. Additionally, most people I meet appear to take subjective pleasure in natural environments such as state parks.

Following a simple train of Objectivist reasoning in relation to the economy: it is recognized that when the government implements deficit spending, it steals from future generations for use by people today. Therefore, deficit spending is generally not condoned (as far as I understand it). When discussing the environment, this future-oriented perspective is generally forgotten.

It is inevitable that someone argues against environmentalism for the sake of productivity and efficiency. However, strictly speaking productivity and efficiency are not premises of Objectivism, self-responsibililty and the life of man are premises. Therefore, if certain economic practices increase efficiency and productivity today at cost to the future, those practices are not consistent with the philosophy of Objectivism. If future generations inherit a more polluted environment, an environment into which their money must be used to unwind environmental damage, or simply an environment in which there is no nature, then we are not being self-responsible today. We are stealing from the future for our immediate benefit.

Sure, there are degrees of environmentalism. I'm not a radical environmentalist However, to argue only for efficiency and productivity in the debate on environmentalism is to miss the big picture.

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GS:

This is a perfect example of a positive discussion. First of all, you made a boatload of internal assumptions in the prior post in terms of "cost".

"...increased cost of producing things..." - define cost. Additionally, cost over what period of time? If you cost out over 100 years, is it more "expensive"?

Yes very true, the additional cost may be negligible over a long period of time. In the past they would build a pulp mill beside a river and bring in tons of fresh water and put polluted water back into the river. Now the mills are operating at such low profit margins that they say if they are forced to clean up their act they will shut down. Of course this is a political and economic nightmare and so not much is done. I think the paradigm of a sustainable economy is useful in this respect. An economy based on polluting the environment is not sustainable because eventually we cannot live in it. Burning coal without creating tons of pollution is much more expensive than burning natural gas, for example, even in the long term. I can't imagine any scenario in the future that does not include much higher energy costs and so higher costs of living period, if we don't want to ruin the planet.

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Chris and G.S.:

You both raise some good questions even when you are making statements. For example, "...the release of large amounts of CO2..." How big is large? Is CO2 a pollutant? Could man actually "...ruin the planet?"

Does this remarkable ecosystem that we inhabit have its own methodology to maintain a stasis within certain ranges? I think yes.

Last year I believe, just North of Antarctica, a "global thermostat" was "discovered". However, we know for a fact that man can effect smaller ecosystems like Lake Erie which I understand has re-emerged as a fishable viable body of water.

Adam

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Chris and G.S.:

You both raise some good questions even when you are making statements. For example, "...the release of large amounts of CO2..." How big is large? Is CO2 a pollutant? Could man actually "...ruin the planet?"

Does this remarkable ecosystem that we inhabit have its own methodology to maintain a stasis within certain ranges? I think yes.

Well, it depends what one means by 'ruin' . I meant 'ruin for human use'. We could in the process make it very pleasant for other lifeforms. :)

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Agreed.

However, it brings up the vicious militaristic moves by Canada, virtually declaring was on our Soviet brothers. You better watch out or O'Biwan the MAGNIFICENT will make a pack with our marxist brothers and divey up the Canadian pie!

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CN...;show_article=1

LOL

Adam

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Ed,

I was watching TV and just now realized that this is the time for this silly thing to go around again. I wish I could say that I will turn on all my lights, but I literally forgot. I get bored with these folks and I simply went about living my life without giving them a second thought. My lights are on, but not in protest. I need them on right now. If I didn't, they would probably be off. ("I don't think of you" comes to mind to express my fundamental attitude towards these misguided souls, but I am aware of this by reflecting on it in this post, not by trying to think of not thinking of them.)

I do appreciate the humor, though. The following is hilarious.

... there is a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement-check them out; they do have a website. They want to do away with their own species over time, but perhaps they can dream up more Earth-friendly ways for those individuals who want to act immediately to off themselves.

What's weird about these people is that they don't even expect human extinction to counteract the destruction of the earth. Look at the following quote from there:

Q: Will human extinction solve all of Earth's problems?

Sounds like paradise, doesn't it? Gaia completely cured of pox humanus. Without us meddlesome humans, all other species would get their fair chance at survival.

Naturally, it's not that simple, but just for fun, let's envision an impossible dream: all human sperm suddenly and permanently loses viability - no impregnated human egg begins meiosis to form a zygote - none transforms from embryo into the sacred fetus, is carried to term and sentenced to life. Zero conceptions, wanted nor un.

A wonderful fantasy. Phones in crisis pregnancy centers would fall mysteriously silent. Sperm banks would go bankrupt after fraudulently milking the infertile. Adoption agencies would fruitlessly increase baby bounties, and charge an arm and a leg for whoever's in stock, damaged or not. Needless panic would be hilarious. Like people frantically searching for their oars after the boat has beached.

Benefits would begin immediately for both biosphere and humanity. Resources wasted on redundant breeding could be redirected to existing members of the human family in need. Loving care and nurturing now expended raising superfluous heirs could be given over to stopping the killing and beginning the healing. A sweet dream.

However, an alternative birthless future is also possible. One where people see no need to preserve Earth's biosphere since none of our kind will be around to enjoy cartoons of it. Nature's destruction could just as easily continue unabated as we pass into extinction. It doesn't take billions of humans to destroy massive ecosystems, as shown by the exploits of empires from ancient times through the present.

No, human extinction alone won't stop destruction of Earth's biosphere. Our collective consciousness must evolve from homocentric to ecocentric: to where Earth has first priority. Then, finally, our efforts will shift from desperate, often futile, damage control to a hopeful restoration of natural balance in Earth's ecosystems.

I wonder what these dudes are waiting for. They should lead by example.

:)

(I can't help but think of the Darwin Awards.)

Michael

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People who advocate lots fewer humans all want the lessor of our species to be the ones to leave. They never want to go themselves.

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Does this remarkable ecosystem that we inhabit have its own methodology to maintain a stasis within certain ranges? I think yes.

Maybe. Maybe not. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth

Whatever negative feedback processes there are, once the interior of the planet cools it is all over. The magnetic field disappears completely. The oceans and atmosphere are ablated by solar radiation and earth ends up like Mars. A thermostat is of no use when the furnace goes down for good.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Ba'al:

Good point and lots of excellent information. Thanks.

Adam

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Ba'al:

Good point and lots of excellent information. Thanks.

Adam

By the way, the key element of "the thermostat" is water in its liquid and gaseous states. The evaporation of water is a cooling process, as latent heat is absorbed when liquid water turns into a gas. The condensation of water is a heating process when water vapor condenses to liquid and releases its latent heat. Once the liquid water is gone, either through solar ablation or just plain evaporation by a hot sun (the sun is getting hotter as its hydrogen fuel is exhaust) it is all over for life on this planet. The oceans, lakes and seas our our air conditioner and heat pump. The is a secondary thermostat -calcium- which chemically bonds with CO2 and of course, the plants (which require liquid water to live) which sequesters CO2.

The physicist Carl Sagan (he of billyuns and billyuns) was one of the discoverers of the calcium process for sequestering CO2.

Ba'la Chatzaf

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Just on the topic of carbon dioxide, here's an interesting find from Wikipedia on the extinction of dinosaurs:

(look under dinosaurs)

At the peak of the Mesozoic, there were no polar ice caps, and sea levels are estimated to have been from 100 to 250 meters (300 to 800 ft) higher than they are today. The planet's temperature was also much more uniform, with only 25 °C (45 °F) separating average polar temperatures from those at the equator. On average, atmospheric temperatures were also much warmer; the poles, for example, were 50 °C (90 °F) warmer than today.[115][116]

The atmosphere's composition during the Mesozoic was vastly different as well. Carbon dioxide levels were up to 12 times higher than today's levels, and oxygen formed 32 to 35% of the atmosphere, as compared to 21% today. However, by the late Cretaceous, the environment was changing dramatically. Volcanic activity was decreasing, which led to a cooling trend as levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide dropped. Oxygen levels in the atmosphere also started to fluctuate and would ultimately fall considerably. Some scientists hypothesize that climate change, combined with lower oxygen levels, might have led directly to the demise of many species. If the dinosaurs had respiratory systems similar to those commonly found in modern birds, it may have been particularly difficult for them to cope with reduced respiratory efficiency, given the enormous oxygen demands of their very large bodies.[16]

So a hot earth without polar caps is not a historic anomaly, and was a great period for serving dinosaur for dinner (or being dinner for dinosaur).

On the heating side, just taking the hottest I could find in a 10-minute search of Earth's history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene-Eoc...Thermal_Maximum

The Paleocene/Eocene boundary, 55.8 million years ago, was marked by the most rapid and significant climatic disturbance of the Cenozoic Era. A sudden global warming event, leading to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, alternatively "Eocene thermal maximum 1" (ETM1), and formerly known as the "Initial Eocene" or "Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum",[1] (IETM/LPTM)), is associated with changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera, and a major turnover in mammalian life on land which is coincident with the emergence of many of today's major mammalian orders.

The event saw global temperatures rise by around 6 °C over 20,000 years ... In order to balance the mass of carbon and produce the observed δ13C value, at least 1,500 Gt of carbon would have to be degassed from the mantle via volcanoes over the course of the two 1,000 year steps.

I calculated 1,500 Gt divided by current annual rate of carbon production from 2003 (1.6 Gt - http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/archive/g...pt/carbon.html), and found that it would take ~900 years to accomplish this heat wave not counting for exponential growth. With exponential growth, it will happen much earlier. However, note that humans have already survived a major environmental catastrophe (Lake Toba - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Toba)

Lake Toba (Indonesian: Danau Toba) is a lake and supervolcano, 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 m (3,000 ft), the lake stretches from 2°53′N 98°31′E / 2.88°N 98.52°E / 2.88; 98.52 to 2°21′N 99°06′E / 2.35°N 99.1°E / 2.35; 99.1. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world.[1] In addition, it is the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred 75,000 years before the present, a massive climate-changing event. The eruption is believed to have a VEI intensity of 8. This eruption, believed to have been the largest anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years, may have had global catastrophic consequences; some scientists believe that this eruption may have wiped out much of humanity and may have created a population bottleneck that affected the genetic inheritance of all human survivors.

So it's not that heat is going to destroy the human race. It might not even be that heat will be directly responsible for the deaths of many humans. I think what historical observations suggest is that rapid changes to the climate (which appear feasible) would lead to destabilization of the ecosystem. This destabilization could cause consequences... but what are those consequences? Food shortages? To understand ecosystem destabilization effects on food, we'd have to look at cases such as overfishing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overfishing#Consequences).

Just some thoughts,

Christopher

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So it's not that heat is going to destroy the human race. It might not even be that heat will be directly responsible for the deaths of many humans. I think what historical observations suggest is that rapid changes to the climate (which appear feasible) would lead to destabilization of the ecosystem. This destabilization could cause consequences... but what are those consequences? Food shortages? To understand ecosystem destabilization effects on food, we'd have to look at cases such as overfishing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overfishing#Consequences).

Just some thoughts,

Christopher

The bottom line is the no man made climatic changes are going to transform this planet into another Venus.

Even so, we should treat our atmosphere with some respect since we breath it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Rich –

I wrote that if one sees the Earth having intrinsic value, as opposed to value to humans (e.g. forests are of value because we “can take pleasant walks in them or use them for lumber to build our houses”), then this thinking “leads individuals to see their own lives as a burden on the Earth. And what's the logic of this line of thinking? Suicide!"

You comment that “I know sensible, earthy types that don't fit this model.”

Of course, as you’ll see near the end of my piece, I say that:

“No doubt most individuals who turn off their lights will not see their actions as a choice of death over life. And the logic of bad ideas often is offset by other ideas, habits, and traditions. After all, few environmentalists actually live according to their own creed. Not many people actually try to surrender civilization with its jet travel, iPhones, Starbucks, and Whole Foods.”

I personally like going out into the country to enjoy nature and especially like being on the top of a mountain with my telescopes at night away from city lights. That’s why I’ve bought a small piece of property out in rural West Virginia. The issue is not liking exclusively cities and smokestacks.

My broader point is with the logical consequences of intrinsicism. In this case, the more people take seriously the notion that the Earth has a value above and beyond its value to humans, the more we will see of the pathologies I highlight in the piece: a self-torturing asceticism; calls for population reduction, government thugs enforcing environmental dictates.

Further, these threats are not in the future. They’re happening now.

Further still, those threats are based on taking seriously wrong ideas such as the intrinsic value of the environment. By the time these ideas are ingrained in a large part of the population—with young people who’ve been brainwashed becoming adult voters, politicians, journalists, teachers—it will be too late to stop the threat for a generation.

So we need to make clear the implications of these bad ideas now, to rub people’s noses in them. It’s not a choice between a filthy, destroyed world with people saying “I was right” vs. a clean environment. It’s between humanity self-destroyed by taking seriously its wrong ideas about the environment vs. a world that we do rationally shape and sculpt for our needs and pleasures, which doesn’t imply cutting down all the forests or choking to death on pollutants.

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"leads individuals to see their own lives as a burden on the Earth."

Well, maybe the way you set it up as an if-then, I guess. I think this is more of a matter of symantics we're working with in the dialogue, and your parameters are referring to how some, not all people turn out.

Of course, a thing is always worth what it is worth. That is intrinsic value. Meaning, whether there were humans here or not the world would be worth something to someone.

I know the people you are talking about. To me, they usually end up not being worth considering end-sum-net, because largely, their actions are ill-informed and ineffective, if any informed actions occur at all. I get that.

What bothers me is this kind of thing is old school, it is a rhetoric, and it has a tendency to make people pre-judge, assume that's who they will meet. It makes them have difficulty with issues like tolerance, patientce in explaining. In the end it's just another one of Ayn's general condemnations; they are understandable given what she had seen/knew, but they were harsh, and cut broad paths. We lose our ability to mentor/endorse if we put these concepts out without being mindful of purpose.

It feels like pigeonholing.

"So we need to make clear the implications of these bad ideas now, to rub people’s noses in them."

Branden 101: "No one ever reaches the heights of glory by being told he or she is rotten."

best,

r

Edited by Rich Engle

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Rich – I very much agree that when dealing with real, flesh-and-blood individuals, we need to judge where they’re coming from, what their context is and, based on that evaluation, to decide how to approach an issue or whether to approach it at all, that is, choose our battles. The goal is to be effective, not to simply vent to make ourselves feel good.

But sometimes—in this case certainly—we need to paint a stark picture. Think of all the evils that are being foisted on us by politicians that would have been unthinkable 20-30 years ago. It’s over time that ideas and values are changed, for better or worse, preparing the ground for what’s to come politically. Several decades ago a $2 trillion “cap-and-trade” tax would have been laughed at by Democrats as well as Republicans. Now, because of the fuzzy thinking and propaganda on global warming, it could well become law.

I do say that sometimes—perhaps I should add that qualifying word—we need to “rub peoples’ noses in it.” By that doesn’t mean only denouncing the real human-haters out there, though we should do that too. I mean saying to our friends, family members, fellow citizens, etc. “Don’t you see what’s happening here? Don’t you see where this way of thinking and the resulting policies are taking us? You don’t want your kids growing up in a world choking on smoke but you don’t want them growing up in world literally moving backwards, with built-in reductions of living standards and with a philosophy that makes them feel guilty for being a productive human.”

We need to fight the battle with many audiences, on many fronts, with many different tactics!

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This satellite night photo of the South and North Korea most graphically illustrates the implications of those anti-human environmentalists. The caption should read:

“North Korea celebrates ‘Earth Hour’ every hour every night.”

Korea-night.jpg

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This satellite night photo of the South and North Korea most graphically illustrates the implications of those anti-human environmentalists. The caption should read:

“North Korea celebrates ‘Earth Hour’ every hour every night.”

Korea-night.jpg

The only light showing in N.K. is Dear Leader's House.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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