Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are Humans a Plague on Earth?

David Attenborough thinks so.

21 comments:

Dr. Evangelicus said...

Another science populiser who thinks he's an expert on other subjects.

David B Marshall said...

Silly old left-wing planet-worshipping hysterics are a plague. It creates the kind of mentality exemplified by a building I saw yesterday in the toniest part of downtown Vancouver, that bragged about itself being "as green as they come," or something like that, because they had planted thick, unkept grass on their roof. Never mind that you could feed small African cities on the price of that roof. Never mind that you can grow grass anywhere. Never mind that British Columbia is mostly tens of millions of trees that no one planted, and you could plant the same amount of riceland in Cambodia for a pittance. Get out of our light, we're preening.

This guy is preening, too. Population in most advanced countries is now WELL below replacement. Some countries its 1.2 or lower. Russia is empty, and getting emptier. Even Muslim countries birth rate is falling precipitously. Some people need emergencies, to give their life meaning, and to give their friends political power.

Ilíon said...

"Some people need emergencies, to give their life meaning, and to give their friends political power."

And power over the lives of others is always what it's always about.

(yes, I know what I wrote)

Bilbo said...

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5)

Did God agree with Attenborough?

Steve Lovell said...

I realise the following will not be a popular opinion (especially on the left of the pond), but while I don't especially approve of the use of the word "plague", I think Attenborough is right in other respects here. I say this with some chagrin, since Attenborough is almost as bad as Dawkins in "Evolutionary vs Theism" stance.

We humans are doing a terrible job as stewards, to the extent that the rest of Earth's inhabitants probably would be better off without us.

I don't have any political axe to grind here. I'd just like to see us looking after God's creation rather better than we are at the moment. I'm sure there's plenty more I personally could be doing too.

It's way too easy for me to bury my head in the sand on these issues, which is what I do most of the time. Of course those who wish to defend their own current lifestyles will naturally tend to minimize such issues, so I'd emplore everyone (on both sides of the debate) to check their own motives.

Ilíon said...

"We humans are doing a terrible job as stewards, to the extent that the rest of Earth's inhabitants probably would be better off without us."

Other than the fact that it's false, that a good (leftist talking)-point.

"I don't have any political axe to grind here."

Sure you do -- you just don't want to admit it to yourself. You've swallowed much of the eco-lies the leftists have been pushing for the past 50 years.

Steve Lovell said...

Ah Ilion, raising the quality of the discussion as always!

Do you have any particular "lies" in mind? In what way are they leftist?

I'm dimly aware that the American left has tended to be more bothered about such things. Over here in the UK, discussion about the environment is pretty much orthogonal to other debates between left and right ... though all our main parties are to the left of both of yours, so perhaps that isn't surprising.

But if you think that I'm using the point to try to persuade people to vote in a particular direction you are completely mistaken.

B. Prokop said...

Steve,

When dealing with Ilion, 99 times out of 100, you need only your final comment: "you are completely mistaken." That generally covers all the bases.

And as for the 100th occurrence, well... even a stopped clock is right twice a day - which makes it far more accurate than Ilion!

Ilíon said...

"But if you think that I'm using the point to try to persuade people to vote in a particular direction you are completely mistaken."

So, not only do you refuse to free you mind of leftist propaganda concerning the non-existent environmental crisis and/or overpopulation crisis, but you also can’t be bothered to read_with_comprehension?

======
"When dealing with Ilion, 99 times out of 100, you need only your final comment: "you are completely mistaken." That generally covers all the bases."

Asserts the man of whom his own assertion applies 100 times out of 100 attempts.

David Marshall said...

Steve: My own impression is that the British Isles have gone a bit nuts about environmenalism. Comes maybe of having chopped down your own primeval forests long ago, perhaps? Survivalists' guilt?

I remember a sermon from the former head of social sciences at Oxford on Global Warming. He botched all kinds of facts, and I called him on it on the site for the forum in which he spoke. There were a Brit or two who told me quietly, "I'm glad you said that."

I also remember walking by the British consulate in Shanghai, and seeing the outside was given over to propaganda for AGW fears. The consulate seemed to think it would influence Chinese public opinion by all that stuff. In a city like Shanghai, it seemed rather forlorn.

Ilíon said...

"Ah Ilion, raising the quality of the discussion as always!"

Cry me a river!

You people want to have "discussions" in which truth is always the first casualty. And I -- in much the same manner as the one guy whom you (plural) claim is your lord and master -- keep demanding truth and honesty.

You people really have never read the Gospels, have you?

Ilíon said...

"Steve: My own impression is that the British Isles have gone a bit nuts about environmenalism. Comes maybe of having chopped down your own primeval forests long ago, perhaps? Survivalists' guilt?"

It goes deeper into the English psyche than the 50-year reign of environmentalism.

A century or more ago, the leftists despaired of The Revolution (TM) ever making headway in Britain after the leftist activists understood the reaction of the English to one of their suggested tactics to use in engineered confrontations with the authorities. The tactic was to spread ball bearings over paved surfaces, so as to encourage the mounts of the police to lose their footing. The English “revolutionaries” were aghast: “But that would hurt the horses!

David B Marshall said...

Anyway, the point here is demographic, and on demographics this character is myopic.

There ARE parts of the world where the environment has been terribly and sadly degraded by human activity. We've kept our corner fairly intact. Newly developed countries made a mess of things, but are now starting to clean up. The biggest problems are probably in African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries, along with China -- not all of them, not all places -- but where the economy improves, over time people start cleaning up the mess. Neither England nor the US is, at present moment, wiping out nature at a brisk rate in their home territories. The critters are thriving here in the West, even wolves are coming back to Washington State now, following the grizzly bears and (in strength) the bald eagles.

Sure, the animal kingdom has had generally to move aside to accomodate humanity. The West has for some time been trying to fix the mess, at some expense. And population in the West and much of the rest of the world is in precipitous decline now, as I pointed out. So as I said, Attenborough is preening. The "we" in particular, is cant.

Ilíon said...

"There ARE parts of the world where the environment has been terribly and sadly degraded by human activity."

You mean like Soviet Russia? the People Republic of China? the German Democratic Republic? places like that?

A few years ago, I had (note the word) to fly to NYC for some seminar type thing. We landed at the Newark airport -- I could see the Statue of Liberty, I could see the skyscrapers of Manhattan ... but, other than that, all I saw were tree, in one of the most densely populated areas of the nation.

Ilíon said...

"Neither England nor the US is, at present moment, wiping out nature at a brisk rate in their home territories. The critters are thriving here in the West, ..."

I live in Ohio (which is not the West), in the middle, literally, of a city of 50K. There are deer living in my neighborhood (in fact, they live on my property, for the most part).

Victor Reppert said...

I think that the association between environmentalism and the left is an American, not a worldwide phenomenon. As I understand it, British conservatives are not anti-environmentalist.

David Marshall said...

Victor: "Environmentalism" is a very fungible concept. Strictly speaking, a vat of radioactive waste is an environment. And again strictly speaking, I'm quite happy to hug trees.

Ilíon said...

V.Reppert: "I think that the association between environmentalism and the left is an American, not a worldwide phenomenon."

Well, no. No matter where you go, the -ism is a tool in the leftist arsenal. And everywhere, it is a tool used for the purpose of growing The State at the expense and liberty of actual humans.

"As I understand it, British conservatives are not anti-environmentalist."

I think you’re doing a little fudging here, in the manner that “liberals” (being soft-leftists) like to do. I think that even though you used the word “anti-environmentalist”, what you mean to get across is “anti-environment” … you know, that belovéd and false (and thus all the more belovéd) “liberal” refrain that “conservatives hate the environment”.

Conservatives don’t “hate the environment”; but we do hate the idolatry of it, and we do hate the false claims and scare-mongering about “the environment” that “liberals” and more explicit leftists use a means to The State and shrink liberty of actual human beings.

Steve Lovell said...

Ilion,

You've hurled quite a few insults in my direction here. From straw-manning to ad-hominem attacks, you've got most of the bases covered. Did you read the stuff on the MGonz test that Victor linked?

You seem to think I'm involved in some kind of wilful self-deception. But in fact the will is on the other side (in my case, at least) and I'm entirely ready to be persuaded that Attenborough is wrong. So persuade me. "Free [my] mind of leftist propaganda."

Now I'll happily admit that I'm a very long way from being an expert in this area. I haven't done much reading on the matter. In fact, I'm not sure I've done anything I'd normally refer to as "reading" on this. And perhaps my agreement with Attenborough is evidence of ignorance. Over here in the UK the debate, such as it is, is very one sided. I've never seen a documentary that takes, say climate change scepticism, very seriously. Now there are at least two possible explanations of this fact, one is that given the evidential situation climate change scepticism shouldn't be taken seriously, another is that the media is controlled by those with a vested interest in defending what you call a "left-ist" position.

The latter is a form of conspiracy theory, and it'll take more than insults to persuade me that it's right. I'm happy to do some reading, but I'd like references to material of a rather better quality than your comments in this thread.

B. Prokop said...

"So persuade me"

Steve, that's the one thing you're never going to get from Ilion. All he ever does on this website is spout off about how everybody in the world (except him, of course) is "intellectually dishonest" and not worthy of his attention. He has yet to back up a single one of his pronouncements by anything even remotely resembling an argument. He thinks you're not worth his time. Why he ever bothers to post anything at all to begin with remains a mystery.

So take my advice and do not attempt to engage Ilion in a discussion. Madness awaits along that road!

Steve Lovell said...

Cheers Bob,

I know what you mean. I was in two minds ... weighing Proverbs 26v4 against 26v5.