I am not exaggerating.
This is Finnish writer Pentti Linkola — a man who demands that the human population reduce its size to around 500 million and abandon modern technology and the pursuit of economic growth — in his own words. He likens Earth today to an overflowing lifeboat:
What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.
He sees America as the root of the problem:
The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom.
He unapologetically advocates bloodthirsty dictatorship:
Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy. There cannot be so incompetent a dictator that he would show more stupidity than a majority of the people. The best dictatorship would be one where lots of heads would roll and where government would prevent any economical growth.
We will have to learn from the history of revolutionary movements — the national socialists, the Finnish Stalinists, from the many stages of the Russian revolution, from the methods of the Red Brigades — and forget our narcissistic selves.
A fundamental, devastating error is to set up a political system based on desire. Society and life have been organized on the basis of what an individual wants, not on what is good for him or her.
As is often the way with extremist central planners Linkola believes he knows what is best for each and every individual, as well as society as a whole:
Just as only one out of 100,000 has the talent to be an engineer or an acrobat, only a few are those truly capable of managing the matters of a nation or mankind as a whole. In this time and this part of the World we are headlessly hanging on democracy and the parliamentary system, even though these are the most mindless and desperate experiments of mankind. In democratic coutries the destruction of nature and sum of ecological disasters has accumulated most. Our only hope lies in strong central government and uncompromising control of the individual citizen.
In that sense, Linkola’s agenda is really nothing new; it is as old as humans. And I am barely scratching the surface; Linkola has called for “some trans-national body like the UN” to reduce the population “via nuclear weapons” or with “bacteriological and chemical attacks”.
But really he is just another freedom-hating authoritarian — like the Nazis and Stalinists he so admires — who desires control over his fellow humans. Ecology, I think, is window-dressing. Certainly, he seems to have no real admiration or even concept of nature as a self-sustaining, self-organising mechanism, or faith that nature will be able to overcome whatever humanity throws at it. Nor does he seem to have any appreciation for the concept that humans are a product of and part of nature; if nature did not want us doing what we do nature would never have produced us. Nature is greater and smarter than we will probably ever be. I trust nature; Linkola seems to think he knows better. As George Carlin noted:
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now. Save the trees. Save the bees. Save the whales. Save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all, save the planet. What? Are these f*cking people kidding me? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the f*cking planet?
There is nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are f*cked. Difference. The planet is fine.
Linkola and similar thinkers seem to have no real interest in meeting the challenges of life on Earth. Their platform seems less about the environment and more about exerting control over the rest of humanity. Linkola glories in brutality, suffering and mass-murder.
Now Linkola is just one fringe voice. But he embodies the key characteristic of the environmental movement today: the belief that human beings are a threat to their environment, and in order for that threat to be neutralised, governments must take away our rights to make our own decisions and implement some form of central planning. Linkola, of course, advocates an extreme and vile form of Malthusianism including genocide, forced abortion and eugenics.
But all forms of central planning are a dead end and lead inexorably toward breakdown; as Hayek demonstrated conclusively in the 1930s central planners have always had a horrible track record in decision making, because their decisions lack the dynamic feedback mechanism present in the market. This means that capital and labour are misallocated, and anyone who has studied even a cursory history of the USSR or Maoist China knows the kinds of outcomes that this has lead to: at best the rotting ghost cities of China today, and at worst the mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward resulting in millions of deaths and untold misery.
Environmentalists should instead pursue ideas that respect individual liberty and markets. There is more potential in developing technical solutions to environmental challenges than there is in implementing central planning.
If we are emitting excessive quantities of CO2 we don’t have to resort to authoritarian solutions. It’s far easier to develop and market technologies (that already exist today) like carbon scrubbing trees that can literally strip CO2 out of the air than it is to try and develop and enforce top-down controlling rules and regulations on individual carbon output. Or (even more simply), plant lots of trees and other such foliage (e.g. algae).
If the dangers of non-biodegradable plastic threaten our oceans, then develop and market processes (that already exist today) to clean up these plastics.
Worried about resource depletion? Asteroid mining can give us access to thousands of tonnes of metals, water, and even hydrocarbons (methane, etc). For more bountiful energy, synthetic oil technology exists today. And of course, more capturable solar energy hits the Earth in sunlight in a single day than we use in a year.
The real problem with centrally-planned Malthusian population reduction programs is that they greatly underestimate the value of human beings.
More people means more potential output — both in economic terms, as well as in terms of ideas. Simply, the more people on the planet, the more hours and brainpower we have to create technical solutions to these challenges. After all, the expansion of human capacity through technical development was precisely how humanity overcame the short-sighted and foolish apocalypticism of Thomas Malthus who wrongly predicted an imminent population crash in the 19th century.
My suggestion for all such thinkers is that if they want to reduce the global population they should measure up to their words and go first.
Obama wants it to be a lot more expensive to go Green (!)
Whose side is he on?
The Obama administration called Thursday for hefty tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels and cells, arguing China has been illegally "dumping" under-priced products on the U.S. market.
The preliminary ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce seeks tariffs ranging from 31% to 250% on solar products imported from China. A final decision is expected later this year.
The trade case has divided the U.S. solar industry. Some manufacturers say China's subsidies have made it difficult for them to compete, causing several bankruptcies such as Solyndra's. Other U.S. solar companies say tariffs could hike solar panel prices, inflame trade tensions and stunt the industry's growth.
Commerce's ruling "is a bellwether decision," Steve Ostrenga, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Helios Solar Works, said in a statement. "It underscores the importance of domestic manufacturing to the U.S. economy and will help determine whether the country will be a global competitor in clean technologies or outsource them China. It is also critically important for thousands of U.S. workers."
Other U.S. solar companies said they would push for much lower tariffs,. They argue most solar-industry jobs are in sales, marketing, design, installation, engineering and maintenance of solar projects and higher solar prices could result in layoffs.
"This decision will increase solar electricity prices in the U.S. precisely at the moment solar power is becoming competitive with fossil fuel generated electricity," Jigar Shah, the president of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, which opposes the tariffs, said in a statement.
In October, Helios, N.J.-based MX Solar USA joined Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America in filing a petition with the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission. They alleged Chinese manufacturers were illegally dumping solar cells and panels in the U.S. market and receiving billions in illegal subsidies.
In a preliminary decision in March, Commerce agreed that China had provided subsidies deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization and imposed tariffs of 2.9% to 4.7%, which were significantly lower than what the petitioners sought.
Commerce's ruling Thursday said Wuxi Suntech and Trina Solar will face tariffs of 31.22 and 31.14%, respectively, and 59 other solar panel exporters will be hit with a 31.18% tariff. The rest of the Chinese export market will face a 249.96% tariff. The tariffs apply to crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and will be retroactive for 90 days.
The department is expected to make its final decision this fall and will begin collecting the tariffs if the International Trade Commission determines in November that the under-priced panels are injuring the solar industry.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry's trade group, called on China and the United States to work together to resolve the issue. Since it represents a wide range of solar companies, it has not taken an official position on the trade case.
Oil Production: United States Is Capable of Out-Producing World
President Obama has repeatedly asserted that the United States cannot drill its way to energy independence. This claim has been used as justification for extensive and costly efforts to develop renewable energy sources, says Investor's Business Daily.
However, a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) undermines the president's assumption. Focusing on the Green River Formation in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, GAO Director of Natural Resources and Environment Anu Mittal told Congress recently that just one small part of the United States is capable of out-producing the rest of the planet.
* The Green River Formation has been dubbed America's Persia on the Plains -- an area with recoverable oil in an amount estimated at four times the proven resources of Saudi Arabia.
* Given the current U.S. daily oil consumption of 19.5 million barrels, the staggering amount of Green River reserves would by itself supply domestic oil consumption for more than 200 years.
* The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil.
* The Rand Corporation estimates that 30 percent to 60 percent of this oil can be recovered.
This discovery undermines the president's oft-repeated claim that the United States contains only 2 percent of the world's proven reserves. Simultaneously, it begs the question as to why the federal government is doing its best to restrict the development of this government resource and create an artificial choke on fossil fuels.
Indeed, actions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Environmental Protection Agency and President Obama himself seem bent on making domestic oil production as difficult as possible.
* Seventy-two percent of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by BLM, meaning that the government holds the reins to the oil's extraction.
* Ninety-four percent of federal onshore lands and 97 percent of federal offshore lands are off-limits to oil and gas drilling.
* In fact, the Obama administration recently rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah.
CBO "Energy Security" Report Exemplifies Washington's Failures
It’s no wonder most Americans don’t trust politicians and government agencies in Washington, D.C. Too often the city’s power brokers offer talking points that seem to fly in the face of logic. Now, a report from the Congressional Budget Office on U.S. energy security serves as the most recent example as to why American’s take information from Washington, D.C. with a hearty grain of salt.
In their report “Energy Security in the United States” the agency makes many errors that one would hope the analytical arm of Congress might avoid. Among these, the report dismisses entirely the idea that increased domestic oil production can have even a modest impact on U.S. energy security. It makes this determination by accepting the premise, without question, that increased U.S. oil production will be offset by decreased production elsewhere. Such a one-for-one assumption is overly simplistic, denies the most basic principles of the marketplace, and makes the report look more like a collection of election year talking points than an effort to provide clarity to U.S. energy policy.
One of the most egregious oversights is the fact the report never even mentions the enormity of North America’s newly found resource base. New technologies have caused resource estimates in the western hemisphere to skyrocket. One example, the discovery of technology to economically produce the Canadian Oil Sands increased that nation’s reserves to approximately 175 billion barrels of oil. Similar developments have increased our resource potential as well. For example, the Energy Information Administration indicates the U.S. now contains more than 198 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. Taken together, these resources total approximately 373 billion barrels of oil, more than the reserves of Iraq and Iran combined. For this reason, recent studies and news articles have highlighted the U.S. can gain energy independence – or at the very least self-sufficiency- within the next few decades. This seems to be a pretty large omission for a report focused on our nation’s energy security.
However, what’s more important than the size of these newly available resources is the stability of the governments overlaying them. Adding a resource base that exceeds two of the top five OPEC nations not only increases the global supply of oil, it makes that supply more politically stable. It does so by reducing the leverage, and influence, of producing nations prone to political instability- a key determinant in global price stability.
The report’s errors don’t end in failing to recognize our enormous resource potential. Even if one accepts the premise that increased U.S. production will automatically be offset by decreased production elsewhere the report still misses the mark on its U.S. energy security predictions. The reason for this is simple. This view completely ignores the additional capacities that will rise as new resources are discovered or as production from older resources is curtailed. The mere presence of these additional resources, and the ability to produce them, serves as a downward force on global oil prices. After all, when additional capacities increase there is reduced risk that an unexpected disruption will cause serious shortages given the increased diversity of supply. Further, there is a tremendous price spread between North American crude oil supplies and the supplies that we are buying from overseas markets – as much as $30 per barrel according to one recent report.
Simply put, increasing our reliance on friendly nations and our own supplies serves our best interest by increasing the reliability of those supplies, reducing demand from unstable sources, and reducing the importance of any one nation in the global energy picture by expanding the overall resource pie.
Unfortunately, CBO has either missed these fundamental points and has provided Congress with a faulty analysis.
Now, more than at any point in our history, our nation requires, and is equally able to achieve, a bold “all of the above” energy policy focused on strengthening our national self-sufficiency. This can only be accomplished through the application of market based principles and the diversification of our conventional and renewable domestic energy resources. Failing to recognize these key facts serves no one and only detracts from developing a responsible national energy policy that will benefit the American economy and consumer.
The EPA Is Annexing Alaska
Need more proof that the Environmental Protection Agency is out of control? Friday they released a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed and its natural resources, conducted solely to form the basis for preemptively vetoing the Pebble Mine in Alaska. The group that is developing Pebble Mine hasn’t even formally submitted a proposal for permitting. Here’s are some details from the AP on this massive overstep of EPA power:
JUNEAU, Alaska — The possible failure of a dam holding waste from a large-scale mine near the headwaters of one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries in Alaska could wipe out or degrade rivers and streams in the region for decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a draft watershed assessment released Friday.
EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said there was a fairly low risk of that occurring, however, and the more likely impact would be direct loss of habitat from the mining activity itself.
The report responded to concerns about a large copper-and-gold prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay. It is a draft, with a final report that could affect permitting decisions perhaps due by the end of the year after public comment and peer review.
So what does the EPA say about the report?
Under the Clean Water Act, EPA has the authority and responsibility to protect the nation’s water and perform scientific studies that enhance the agency’s and the public’s knowledge of water resources. EPA’s focus in the assessment is scientific and technical; the agency has made no judgments about the use of its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act and the draft study in no way prejudges future consideration of proposed mining activities.
You mean the authority that the Supreme Court just bitch-slapped you for abusing? Yep, the same…
The groundwork they’re laying implies that any building or project that could potentially impact water can be killed by the EPA without the project ever going through the permitting process, and without input from state, local, or other federal agencies. This in itself is a jobs and economy killer.
An article from Inside the EPA (subscription required) shows that environmentalists couldn’t be happier, and want the EPA to use this plan to kill other projects…
“Environmentalists are now calling on the agency to conduct a similar assessment of mining activity in the Great Lakes region. The Bristol Bay study “is comparable to what we’d like to see” in the Great Lakes, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) attorney Michelle Halley said on a May 10 conference call.”
It’s no coincidence that this is happening now, as President Obama is looking for massive bucks from the enviromentalist crowd to get re-elected.
An interesting side note from the report is that the Pebble Mine operation would have no impact on subsistence salmon fishing for the native population.
The Bristol Bay region’s salmon populations also support significant subsistence and recreational sport fisheries. For example, from 1990 to 2010, annual subsistence harvest averaged 140,767 salmon across all species, 78% of which were sockeye (Dye and Schwanke 2009, Salomone et al. 2011).
No subsistence salmon fisheries are documented in the mine footprint.
In summary, it is unlikely that there would be significant loss of salmon subsistence resources related to the mine footprint. Habitat modification in areas downstream of the mine site (Section 5.2) would have related impacts on downstream subsistence users. Some changes to salmon subsistence activities likely would result from development of the transportation corridor. In addition to the actual changes in subsistence resources, based on interviews with Tribal Elders, subsistence use could decrease downstream of the mine footprint, based solely on the perception that the salmon are being affected by the mine operation. Subsistence use could also decrease if fluctuations in downstream water levels reduce access for subsistence activities. Although this assessment is focused on salmon, the non-salmon-related impacts on Alaska Native cultures from routine mine operation are likely to be more significant, including cultural changes resulting from a shift to a market economy, increased access to the area, and direct effects on non-salmon subsistence resources.
The most important sentance of the 339 page report is highlighted above, “this assessment is focused on salmon.” It’s not the assessment of watershed, the effects of the overall ecosystem of the region, it’s simply a report on commercial salmon fishing in the area. Given that, this section is telling…
The effects of mining on fish populations could not be quantified because of the lack of quantitative information concerning salmon, char, and trout populations and their responses. The occurrence of salmonid species in rivers and major streams is generally known, but not their abundances, productivities, or limiting factors. Estimating changes in populations would require population modeling, which requires knowledge of life-stage-specific survival and production as well as knowledge of limiting factors and processes that were not available for this case.
Which is bureaucratic speak for “try as we might we could find or invent a quantifiable effect.”
Australia: Cockatoos come before people
The irony is that these birds are worth thousands of dollars overseas -- but it is forbidden to export them. Trapping and exporting them would be to everybody's benefit but bone-headed regulations stand in the way
WHITE cockatoos - not bats - are in plague proportions in Atherton, south of Cairns, and locals want the Queensland Government to consider a kill permit. The far north rural hub is under siege from thousands of protected sulphur-crested white cockatoos and locals want some shot or poisoned.
Huge flocks roost in the trees next to the Atherton Hospital directly in the flight path of the rescue helicopter, make a racket, strip and kill old gum trees, and ravage corn and peanut crops.
Council staff have started blasting the air with special blank cartridges called Bird Frite to try to scare away the birds.
Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the kill permit for bats, revealed by The Courier-Mail last week, was only a last-resort option for farmers, with no intent to deploy it in urban areas.
"The intent is to still look at relocating bats," Mr Powell said. He said there was no plan to extend it to the cockatoos.
Tablelands Mayor Rosa Lee Long said she hoped Bird Frite would not shift the problem to another part of town. "They are lovely birds, very pretty to look at, but they are a noisy nuisance and make a terrible mess," she said.
"The only other option is a cull. "It is a bit like the bats, if they are in plague proportions, they may need a cull to bring back a balance."
She urged the Government to consider extending lethal Damage Mitigation Permits to bats, dingoes, wild dogs, crocodiles and parrots.
"Like bats, dingoes, and crocodiles, the cockatoos are protected species. No one likes to kill anything, but our priority must be to protect the health, life and limb of people over wild creatures."
Pensioner Gaye Webster, in her 80s, lives under some of the favoured roosting trees of the vast flocks. She wants a cull.
"Shoot them," Mrs Webster said. "Kill off a few cockys. The mess they make is absolutely disgusting. "Bushies reckon it only takes a couple of dead cockatoos to scare the whole lot off. "It is like these bats and the Hendra virus. Give me the poison, I'll dish it up to them. "People against a cull are the ones who don't have to live with them."
Alex Adoberg, who owns the Atherton Hinterland Motel, said he was opposed to killing the parrots. But the Bird Frite program, trialled last year, did not seem very effective, he said. "They seem to lift off and then come back and land again. I'd prefer to keep trying to scare them off, I don't like the idea of a cull."
He said the biggest threat - other than farmers losing entire crops in a day - was the risk posed to incoming helicopter pilots. "They lift off out of the trees straight into the helicopter flight path. That is the scariest part."
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