Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Despise Earth Day

Like many people, I, too, have been paying attention to the Sewol Disaster but I have decided not to write anything about it. The emotions are too raw and the facts are not yet fully clear. I think it will be a while before the facts are revealed. So for the time being, seeing how today is Earth Day, I decided to write a post about Earth Day instead.

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When I was growing up as a kid, I wanted to be Batman. Hell, I still want to be Batman. Why would any man not want to be Batman? During the day, Bruce Wayne is a multi-billionaire who drives Lamborghinis and dates the most beautiful women in the world. The whole relationship he had with Robin back in the 1960s was a little weird but I'm going to ignore that. But at night, he drives the Batmobile and beats criminals to a pulp with his bare fists and, as Jack Nicholson put it so well, his wonderful toys. But that's the (not-so-grown-up) adult in me talking. When I was a kid, there was only one reason I wanted to be Batman. He was a hero and who doesn't want to be the hero who gets to save the day and get the girl?

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And he gets Catwoman.  I mean, c'mon!

Unfortunately, however, being a real life hero is nowhere near as sexy as Batman makes it out to be in the comic books but that's because being a hero and feeling like one are two completely different things. A real life hero is someone like the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, a man who worked quietly in a lab to figure out how to feed the world's billions of people, who by the way, was the man who started the Green Revolution. In the past several millenia that human civilization has been around, the world has seen many great men and women. But in my opinion, Dr. Norman Borlaug is the greatest good man the world has ever seen.

Today, many people in the world are celebrating Earth Day. Many of these people want to save the planet. Like everyone else in the world, they too want to be heroes. But are they really saving the world or are they just being herded around by politicos who have their own sets of agenda? I sincerely believe that the latter holds true.

The fact of the matter is that this pro-environmental hysteria that so many people have fallen victim to is really a secular religion and like most other religions in the world, this is a religion that is based entirely on fear. Listen to whatever many of these environmental leaders have to say and I can guarantee that whatever they're saying, they're saying it with an alarmist tone, one full of fear.

This is in no way to suggest that environmental issues are of no concern. There are certainly environmental problems that have to be dealt with. However, the pro-environmental hysteria that I am referring to is not the environmental issues that are brought up by learned scientists but rather by the masses whose knowledge of economics, politics, or climatology is next to nil.

Every year on Earth Day, young people march in large cities while beating drums, chanting meaningless slogans of one sort or another, spreading alarmist propaganda about how the world is coming to an end, talking about how Mother Nature will retaliate against the evil humans, and declaring that capitalism and corporate greed are the bane of humanity.

In church, people would be playing guitars, saying amen to whatever the preacher has to say, the preacher would talk about the Rapture, and people talk about how people's sin is making God angry with us. The parallels are uncanny.

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Because the word "rape" is so conducive to talking reasonably

If you look at many of people in these so-called environmental movements, it won't take you long to realize that they aren't so much pro-environment as they are anti-corporations. They'll say something along the lines of “Corporate greed is destroying the world because corporations don't care about the environment. The only thing they care about is the bottom line – which is maximizing profits. Unchecked capitalism is destroying everything in its path and we have to educate the people so that we can change the system.”

What that translates to is this: We hate corporations because we don't understand capitalism or how this economic system came into being and we need to send more people to college to pursue liberal arts degrees so that liberal professors can use their various social engineering tools to brainwash everyone so that they will think just like us.

By the way, these are the same people who argue that globalization is evil and that is hurting the world's most vulnerable people. For some reason, however, they don't seem to have any problem whatsoever in using cell phones or the Internet. Hypocrisy at its finest.

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Now with the Internet, they can raise start-up capital for their anti-globalization movement

While we're looking into the environmental movement, why don't we also take a look at the demographic of the people who are part of the movement? The vast majority of these live in the First World. These are the same people who want to prevent new nuclear power plants from being built despite the fact that they will provide cheap energy to entire regions of a country.

They want to cease logging despite the fact that timber is needed to build homes for people – rich, middle class and poor alike. They want grocery stores to only carry organic food and not carry anything that has been genetically modified (thus giving a huge middle finger to Dr. Borlaug) despite the fact that genetically modified food is needed to feed the world's billions. They also claim that there are too many people in the world and talk about how there needs to be fewer people in the world without ever talking about who needs to die and how billions of people ought to be killed.

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Can anyone argue with any level of seriousness that the environmental movement is not an elitist movement? A movement that clearly does not understand the needs of the struggling poor? And I don't mean elitist to mean a person with an education – I mean people who are filled with unearned self-righteousness.

Most people in the environmental movement appear to be people who have for years been guilt tripped into believing that the very fact they are alive is causing the world to be destroyed.

Patrick Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace. However, when he realized that Greenpeace had lost its pro-environment roots and had been hijacked by anti-corporation/capitalism politicos who have no understanding of reality, he left the movement. The following YouTube clip is one whereby Patrick Moore talks about the mindset of present-day environmental leaders in the documentary “Not Evil, Just Wrong.”



It's not wrong to want to save the planet. After all, who wants to live in a dirty home? And yes, Earth is the only home that we have and if we want to preserve humanity, or at the very least make sure to leave behind a habitable world for future generations, that's all well and good. But current day environmental movements are false religions and the salvation that they are promising people is nothing more than snake oil.

10 comments:

  1. I don't even want to address this rant really because you are starting to sound way to cliched yourself, with the anti corporate butthurt whine. Although I will make one observation. There are people who care about the environment at a grass roots level. Mainly because these people are living close to the destruction. Their stories don't make into the mainstream media you have to look for them if you're interested. They would be the folks living on land inherited from their families being destroyed by mountain top mining, the people who's ground water has been polluted by fracking, and of course recently the families of the 350,000 people in West Virginia who's water was poisoned by leaking tanks. It's also not very good press for the nuclear power industry that Fukishima is still leaking.

    Most rational people don't have a problem with industry or even cheap energy but radiation poisoning scares the shit out of people and it should. I don't know if the green movement has turned anti corporate I haven't paid that much attention but I can't blame anyone for not trusting industry to do the right thing. There are just to many examples of industry not policing themselves and correcting their own mistakes willingly or even after government intervention. If you can give me examples of any industry that has spent more time, money and energy ensuring public safety and protecting the environment than they have trying to evade responsibility then I'll reevaluate my thoughts.

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    1. Firstly, no business is obligated to spend more to protect the environment any more than it believes that it will adversely affect is profit margins. If it decides to do so, it will be because it will be good PR, or if it is somehow related to a new way of doing business because of a change in technology, but either way, it cannot outweigh their earnings.

      Any business whose primary function is not environmental protection (of which I can think of none) that does not stick to that script will not stay in business for very long.

      Lastly, what do you mean by "evade responsibility?" Legal costs denying responsibility? Are you then implying that any and all charges levied against businesses for environmental damages are fair and not punitive? Is there an objectively quantifiable way of calculating environmental damages?

      Are you also claiming that, if a business was honest, the amount of money that it would spend on public safety and legal costs to amend the law or hiring lawyers to defend themselves from lawsuits, be they legitimate or not, ought to be equal? The legal system is hardly fair (for anyone) or efficient and saying how much money is too much to be spent on legal defense is a purely normative statement.

      There really is no way to answer your question. Not in any way that makes sense anyway. It's probably a great phrase that a politician can use to get a rise out of potential voters. But that's not saying very much for its validity.

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  2. You're right about no business is required to spend more to protect the environment than it believes will effect it's profit margin, but they should. Much of the debate over environmental damage could be mitigated or eliminated all together through bonding. Back during the Clinton administration plans were in place to require industries to pay bonding fees to be held in abeyance for clean up of potential environmental damage. Unfortunately the subsequent administration scrapped those plans for obvious political reasons. Then the total cost for environmental damage is not completely shifted to the tax payer. Environmental damage often does have to be cleaned up and is it fair that citizens who enjoyed none of the profits from these companies pay to clean up their mess? If you rent an apartment you pay a security deposit. It works the same way.

    What's wrong with punitive damages? I looked it up since you decided to throw legalize at me so I'd be sure I was clear on what it means. Punitive damages are indeed fair when compensatory damages are inadequate. We also know that most states put caps on punitive damages and many punitive damage awards stand as a deterrent to future behavior in the absence of criminal statutes.

    As for me sounding like a politician I think that's funny coming from someone who sounds like they work for talk radio. Perhaps it's an impossible task to find an industry that actually paid their damages in full without further litigation or even publicly volunteered to clean up their own mess. I shouldn't expect you to be able to find one.

    How are you BTW. It had been so long since you posted I was thinking you might have decided you didn't have time anymore. Virginia and South Korea are looking a lot alike these days with the blooming trees and azaleas. Of course the pollen is killing everyone, every morning everything is covered in yellow. You can't sleep late because the birds are so noisy making whoopee in the mornings that they wake you up. Oh well at least somebody is getting some....life goes on...lol

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    1. The Bush administration did do away with the Clinton administration's plan to force businesses to pay more for environmental cleanup. And it would be foolish to believe that there weren't political motivations behind that decision. However, to assume that it was purely political is a mistake.

      One of the main non-political reasons behind scrapping the plan was precisely there is no real practical way to calculate the financial costs of environmental damage. For example, when an oil tanker spills crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, how do we calculate the environmental damage? Though not entirely accurate, there is a way to calculate how much it might cost the fishing industry or the local companies that rely on tourism or how much manpower that it might cost to repair the damage done. But what is the dollar value of a coral reef? What is the dollar value of biodiversity? What is the dollar value of a pristine view, which very few people ever got to see to begin with, ruined by an oil spill?

      The typical answer is that it is priceless. However, for good or for ill, environmental damages cannot be paid for with hugs. The only real practical way of calculating costs is via dollars and cents. However, as there is no real dollar value that can be applied to non-economic commodities, the only other alternative is political punitive damages.

      You got the legal definition of punitive damages. However, punitive damages are also very political and oftentimes have no bearing to reality. And even with caps, because punitive damages is any dollar value that people usually conjure out of thin air, it becomes almost obligatory to challenge the charges, which in turn leads to an almost never-ending legal battle.

      I have been terribly busy. Work has been piling on and on. I do enjoy the workload. I get a sense of accomplishment and the paycheck (though it could be better) is decent enough. But I do miss writing. So I try to sneak one in every once in a while, which is not nearly often enough.

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    2. Even though we never agree and are polar opposites in our thinking, me being the silly little socialist that I am...I do miss seeing your posts. I pay little or no attention to politics these days because I'm just so discouraged and tired of it all. Plus all the conservatives on Facebook have "unfriended" me. I have no one left to challenge anymore...lol They also used to get personal and attack my character. They called me names John, it hurt my feelings. Do you think I'm a demon, the anti-christ, a feminazi, a liberal goon....lol I don't mind commenting or even being wrong when someone is patient and remains civilized. Looking forward to your next post.

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    3. Well, I do not believe in the supernatural, so "demon" and "Antichrist" are out. I try to adhere to Godwin's Law as much as possible so "feminazi" is out, too. I prefer to use the word "liberal" as it was originally intended, as in "classical liberal." So I'd call you a "progressive" before I called you a "liberal." But "goon" sounds far too early 20th century for my tastes. I've never particularly been a fan of early 20th century American lingo. So there's that.

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  3. I am a liberal and if you want to be more modern a progressive. But if I must have a label then I much prefer liberal since I do fit the category of "classic" liberal...plus it pisses off all the conservatives on facebook more than progressive....I don't think they understand there isn't much difference. I was really only kidding about the name calling since I'm like you and don't believe in supernatural things either. Being called a demon and the anti Christ doesn't bother me much really. I do know they aren't paying me a compliment. I've had to point out to people recently that using the word "evil" to describe anyone that does something you don't like is pretty damned subjective as well.

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  4. Why in the world do you believe that genetic modification is necessary to feed people? Statistically speaking, output for heritage strains versus modified strains is roughly on par... and most genetic modifications make seeds non-reuseable and patented.

    I have to say I'm becoming frustrated reading your blog. While I agree that quite a few pseudo-environmentalists are operating under a certain set of delusional/hypocritical thoughts, I'm concerned that you are submitting to things you are told to believe because you lack the background to look into them on a scientific or sociological-cum-anthropological level. Naivete doesn't get canceled out by a different form of naivete.

    Another example: Nuclear power shouldn't be in all countries. I'm not sure it should be in any country, but it certainly shouldn't be in countries that cannot properly maintain it (arguably this includes most countries, if not all countries, since they're hardly being run on a day to day basis by nuclear physicists; too much can go wrong, and you cannot truly trust technology not to malfunction, even if it WERE being run by people who actually understood what they were doing while operating the machinery to keep things going).

    As an exercise, I like to ask what happens with a technology if it cannot be tended to by mankind (or fully and properly shut down (nuclear fuel rods, cooling, water? nope)). Wind farms, for instance, would bring no harm to anybody (maybe flying animals, bats, birds, the occasional insect) if there were a pandemic, but a nuclear power plant? Let's apply this to the genetic modification example I first pointed out a problem with: If seeds must be replanted every year, who does this benefit? And if this cannot be performed for some reason? Cui bono, etc etc.

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    1. FWIW, if you do have any interest in further research on the seed matter, I'd also say to take a careful look at the dangers of genetic homogenisation, of engineered seed migration, and the original, healthier form of genetic selection, which is to say purposeful breeding with plenty of heterogeneity; humans aren't the only creatures susceptible to disease... And that's just for starters. Famine's no fun.

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    2. Seeds being non-reusable and genetic homogenization are certainly things that people should be concerned over (though I don't think patenting seeds are as bad as you seem to think). But to claim that it is unnecessary, as you seem to be implying, is a step too far. And I say this strictly from lessons learned from history. Dr. Norman Borlaug's work helped to save millions from hunger. And his legacy continues. Genetic modification of plants was so 1970s. Now we're talking about in vitro meat. I don't know about you but GM food is looking very attractive to me.

      But as for your point about the dangers of nuclear power; specifically the fact that too much can go wrong and that we cannot truly trust technology not to malfunction, then what is the alternative? If worrying about malfunctions and what could go wrong is enough not to do anything, then should be all become Luddites? Now, admittedly, nuclear energy has had some scares. There was Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. But if we compare the number of accidents and the number of deaths that have occurred due to nuclear disasters and those that have occurred in other energy sectors from their own respective accidents, the former is quiet minuscule.

      You will notice that I never said that I oppose wind farms. I say bring them on. Geothermal energy, hydrothermal energy, solar energy, wind energy, graphene-based nanotechnology, photovoltaic cells, etc. I love them all. If any one of those technologies can be developed sufficiently and be made economical so that all previous (and dirty) industries can be made obsolete, I'm all for that.

      What I am not for is energy companies (nuclear, wind, or solar or otherwise) lobbying the government for subsidies at the expense of taxpayers or lobbying the government for trade protections at the expense of emerging businesses. I say let them all duke it out in the marketplace; the ones who provide the most energy for the lowest price and harms the environment the least win.

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