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It's capitalism or a habitable planet - you can't have both
GuardianUnlimited ^ | 2/2/6 | Robert Newman

Posted on 02/02/2006 7:40:25 AM PST by ZGuy

Our economic system is unsustainable by its very nature. The only response to climate chaos and peak oil is major social change.

There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change. We cannot sustain earth's life-support systems within the present economic system.

Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.

Power concentrates around wealth. Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis.

Supermarkets are over. We cannot have such long supply lines between us and our food. Not any more. The very model of the supermarket is unsustainable.

We are caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of climate change and peak oil. Once we pass the planetary oil production spike (when oil begins rapidly to deplete and demand outstrips supply), there will be less and less net energy available to humankind. Petroleum geologists reckon we will pass the world oil spike sometime between 2006 and 2010. It will take, argues peak-oil expert Richard Heinberg, a second world war effort if many of us are to come through this epoch.

Catch-22, of course, is that the very worst fate that could befall our species is the discovery of huge new reserves of oil, because the climate chaos that would unleash would make the mere collapse of industrial society a sideshow bagatelle.

You can either have capitalism or a habitable planet. One or the other, not both.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: ecoping
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Same planet. Different worlds.
1 posted on 02/02/2006 7:40:26 AM PST by ZGuy
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To: ZGuy
Take a look at the poisoned and radioactive areas of the ex-Soviet Union and tell me again how socialism is better for the environment than capitalism.
2 posted on 02/02/2006 7:42:29 AM PST by KarlInOhio (During wartime, some whistles should not be blown. - Orson Scott Card)
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To: ZGuy

He should start a party and run on that platform...Wait, the democrats already exist.


3 posted on 02/02/2006 7:42:45 AM PST by pissant
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To: ZGuy

Blah blah blah blah.

Blah.


4 posted on 02/02/2006 7:43:15 AM PST by Thrusher ("...there is no peace without victory.")
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To: ZGuy

Gee, if Capitalists are such environment-wrecking pigs, how come the USSR and China were/are some of the worst polluters the world has ever known?


5 posted on 02/02/2006 7:43:32 AM PST by bikepacker67
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To: ZGuy
What an idiot. I'm speechless. Thousands of years of societal development passed him by, and he apparently thinks we should go back to hunting and gathering. The 4+ billion that would have to die of to make it practical--where do they fit into his little plans?
6 posted on 02/02/2006 7:44:18 AM PST by Shalom Israel (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.)
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To: ZGuy

A Green Economy. It's the new Marxism.


7 posted on 02/02/2006 7:44:54 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Moderates do not make history)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: ZGuy
Yeah, the environment was SO much cleaner under Communism:

Idiots.

[Click HERE for hi-res image]

9 posted on 02/02/2006 7:45:23 AM PST by SquirrelKing
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To: ZGuy

That is the scariest damn thing I've ever read.


10 posted on 02/02/2006 7:45:26 AM PST by bahblahbah
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To: ZGuy

11 posted on 02/02/2006 7:45:39 AM PST by Borges
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To: SquirrelKing

It's pretty obvious that the more industrialized and capitalized an economy is, the cleaner it is. These people are too blinded by ideaology to see their noses.


12 posted on 02/02/2006 7:46:35 AM PST by conservatrice
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To: bikepacker67

China has the worst environmental record now, and they work hand in hand with 'capitalists'.

The free enterprise system is the best for protection of invidividual rights and the 'environment'.


13 posted on 02/02/2006 7:46:45 AM PST by hedgetrimmer ("I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: ZGuy

Fine then. We'll take Earth, and you can have Mars. It's already "Red" and its got no pollution, no supermarkets, and no SUV's.


14 posted on 02/02/2006 7:46:54 AM PST by RockinRight (Attention RNC...we're the party of Reagan, not FDR...)
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To: Cyclopean Squid

"A Green Economy. It's the new Marxism."

Yep. The same old tired communist are trying to do indirectly what they tried to do directly.

You can see this is you look at the funding of most of this junk.


15 posted on 02/02/2006 7:47:17 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: ZGuy

Man, oh, man. What a maroon! Everyday and for all his life, this goober has gone to work in a capitalist system and bought food at a market. Yet, somehow he comes to the conclusion the two are incompatible and unsustainable. It's like denying sunrise or the seasons. Betcha he's a born and reared urbanite. He's also Captain Oblivious.


16 posted on 02/02/2006 7:47:21 AM PST by JeeperFreeper
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To: ZGuy
OK,Comrade...you set the example.Move from whatever luxurious house you have in some chic,wealthy city/suburb into a cave....get rid of your Land Rover (or is it a Porche SUV) and buy a bike....grow *all* of your own food...

If you do it,pal,you can be sure that the Kerrys,Kennedys and Clintons will follow your lead.

17 posted on 02/02/2006 7:47:40 AM PST by Gay State Conservative
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To: ZGuy
Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.

Methinks this gentleman doesn't understand capitalism very well. Capitalism rewards those who provide a good or service that the consumers want. I *guarantee* that if a majority (or hell, even a plurality) of consumers began demanding environment-friendly goods and services, the providers *will* begin providing them. The hybrid car is a perfect example.

The beauty of capitalism is that it is a feedback loop. The consumer creates demand for a good or service, the provider provides it. As demand shifts, so must the provider change the good or service provided to meet the new demand. It's an endlessly self-refining cycle.

18 posted on 02/02/2006 7:47:50 AM PST by Terabitten (The only time you can have too much ammunition is when you're swimming.)
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To: ZGuy
It's capitalism or a habitable planet - you can't have both

Yeah, and we all know that the Soviet Union and Red China were paragons of environmentalism.

What a pantload.

19 posted on 02/02/2006 7:47:58 AM PST by dirtboy (My new years resolution is to quit using taglines...)
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To: ZGuy

· rnewman@dircon.co.uk

Email this moron.


20 posted on 02/02/2006 7:48:17 AM PST by bahblahbah
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To: ZGuy

Capitalism is not the issue, freedom is the issue. Capitalism is just the economic side of freedom.


21 posted on 02/02/2006 7:48:28 AM PST by El Gato (The Second Amendment is the Reset Button of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: ZGuy

My response in his language.
Blah blah blaaaaahhhhhh!

And a couple yada yada yadas.

vaudine


22 posted on 02/02/2006 7:48:52 AM PST by vaudine
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To: ZGuy

This guy needs to read Michael Crichton's article on the complexity of world systems or some Julian Simon and educate himself. He's clinging to the outdated and discredited Paul Erlich philosophy.


23 posted on 02/02/2006 7:49:23 AM PST by jpl ("We don't negotiate with terrorists, we put them out of business." - Scott McClellan)
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To: conservatrice
It's pretty obvious that the more industrialized and capitalized an economy is, the cleaner it is. These people are too blinded by ideaology to see their noses.

Even National Geographic had several glossy spreads in the early 90's about the enviromental catastrophe in Eastern Europe. It didnt spring up within 6 months of the wall going down.

24 posted on 02/02/2006 7:49:51 AM PST by SquirrelKing ("I am certian there is too much certainty in the world." - Michael Crichton)
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To: ZGuy

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


Historical background
During the 1950s, the Chinese had carried out a program of land distribution coupled with industrialization under state ownership with grudging technical assistance from the Soviet Union. By the mid-1950s the situation in Mainland China had somewhat stabilized, and the immediate threat from the wars in Korea against the United States and in Vietnam against France had receded. The property of people perceived as capitalists by the new leadership had been expropriated in 1952-1953, members of the left-wing opposition imprisoned at the same time, and the remaining Kuomintang on the mainland had been eliminated. For the first time in generations, China seemed to have a strong and stable national government.

However, Mao Zedong had become alarmed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's term since the Twentieth Congress. He perceived that far from "catching up and overtaking" the West, the Soviet economy was being allowed to fall behind. Uprisings had taken place in East Germany, Poland and Hungary, and the USSR was seeking "Peaceful coexistence" with what the Chinese regarded as imperialist Western powers. These policies meant for Mao that the PRC had to be prepared to "go it alone".

[edit]
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward borrowed elements from the history of the USSR in a uniquely Chinese combination. Collectivization from the USSR's "Third Period;" Stakhanovism from the early 1930s; the "people's guards" Khrushchev had created in 1959; and the uniquely Chinese policy of establishing People's communes as relatively self-sufficient economic units, incorporating light industry and construction projects.

It was thought that through collectivization and mass labor, China's steel production would surpass that of the United Kingdom only 15 years after the start of the "leap."

An experimental commune was established in Henan early in 1958, and soon spread throughout the country. Tens of millions were mobilized to produce one commodity, symbolic of industrialization—steel. Approximately 25,000 communes were set-up, each with around 5,000 households.

The hope was to industrialize by making use of the massive supply of cheap labor and avoid having to import heavy machinery. Small backyard steel furnaces were built in every commune while peasants produced "turds" of cast iron made out of scrap. Sometimes even factories, schools, and hospitals abandoned their work to smelt iron. The majority of this home produced iron was of extremely low quality and completely useless for any purposes. Simultaneously, the peasants were collectivized.

[edit]
Outcome
The Great Leap Forward is now widely seen both within China and outside as a major economic disaster. As inflated statistics reached planning authorities, orders were given to divert human resources into industry rather than agriculture. Various sources now put the death toll somewhere between 25 and 60 million people, with the majority of the deaths owed to starvation. The three years between 1959 and 1962 were known as the "Three Bitter Years," the Three Years of Natural Disasters (although this name is now rarely used in China), and the Great Leap Famine, as the Chinese people suffered from extreme shortages of food. It is believed by some to have been the greatest famine in history.

Droughts, floods, and general bad weather caught China completely by surprise. In July of 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China. According to the Disaster Center[1], it directly killed, either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 30 million people, while other areas were affected in other ways as well. It is ranked as the seventh deadliest natural disaster in the 20th century.

In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land while an estimated 60 percent of agricultural land received no rain at all [2].

The Encyclopaedia Britannica Yearbooks for 1958 to 1962 speak of abnormal weather, droughts followed by floods. This includes 30 inches of rain at Hong Kong in five days in June 1959, part of a pattern that hit all of South China.

According to Jasper Becker - a journalist with long experience in China - in his book Hungry Ghosts: China's Secret Famine, most of the critics of the Great Leap outside China "watched China from Hong Kong." Thus, the conflict in the 1950s and 1960s over the Great Leap shaped up roughly along the lines of those who had experience living in Mao-governed China and those who did not.

Starting in the early 1980s, critics of the Great Leap added quantitative muscle to their arsenal. U.S. Government employee Judith Banister published what became an influential article in the China Quarterly and since then estimates as high as 30 million deaths in the Great Leap became common in the U.S. press. Critics point to birth rate assumptions used in the most widely cited projections of famine deaths.

However, estimations vary largely because of inaccurate data.

Today there is a growing exchange of ideas between China and the West. Discussion of population projection and statistical issues of the Great Leap is becoming more frequent.

During the Great Leap, the Chinese economy initially grew, and iron production increased 45% in 1958 and a combined 30% over the next two years, but plummeted in 1961, and would not reach the level it was at in 1958 until 1964. Despite the risks to their careers, some Communist Party members openly laid blame for the disaster at the feet of the Party leadership and took it as proof that China must rely more on education, acquiring technical expertise and applying bourgeois methods in developing the economy. It was principally to crush this opposition that Mao launched his Cultural Revolution in early 1966.

Mao stepped down as State Chairman (President) of the PRC in 1959, predicting he would take most of the blame for the failure of the Great Leap Forward, though he did retain his position as Chairman of the CCP. Liu Shaoqi (the new PRC Chairman) and Deng Xiaoping (CCP General Secretary) were left in charge to execute measures to achieve economic recovery. Additionally, this failure in Mao's regime meant that he became a "dead ancestor" as he labeled himself, a person who was respected but never consulted, occupying the political background of the Party. Furthermore, he also stopped appearing in public. All of this was later regretted by Mao, as he relaunched his Cult of Personality with the Great Yangtze Swim.


25 posted on 02/02/2006 7:50:04 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: ZGuy
Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis.

Insanity is defined as doing things over in the same way, and expecting different results. When will these maroons get Socialism out of their system?

26 posted on 02/02/2006 7:50:14 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: ZGuy
Hey, Robbert Newman, you socialist/marxist...

MOLAN LABE!

27 posted on 02/02/2006 7:50:25 AM PST by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: RockinRight
"Fine then. We'll take Earth, and you can have Mars. It's already "Red" and its got no pollution, no supermarkets, and no SUV's." Not so fast....

-Eric

28 posted on 02/02/2006 7:51:25 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: El Gato

May I reccomend suicide for him and all his followers...its obvious its the humans fault..so we need less humans...take the lead..and take yourself out....


29 posted on 02/02/2006 7:51:30 AM PST by Youngman442002
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To: ZGuy
Look at history and tell me what government has protected the environment and in some cases improved on the environment, there is only one and it is the prime Capitalist government in the world.

Socialist dictators, left-wing dictators and radical environmentalist have proven to be the most destructive force that human kind can muster.

But then nature is the most destructive, causing at least three life eliminations and maybe four or five. The earth will continue its cycles no matter what the radical left wingers do or think they can do to change nature.

Ice ages and warming will continue in their natural cycles, as was intended, and there is nothing that someone who thinks they can play god can do about it.
30 posted on 02/02/2006 7:51:51 AM PST by YOUGOTIT
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To: ZGuy

Suffer now or suffer later; seems like an easy choice to me.


31 posted on 02/02/2006 7:52:44 AM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: ZGuy
Forget comments. There's nothing we can say that hasn't been said better by Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, critic of Greenpeace's current anti-human agenda, and champion of sustainable development -- capitalism and environmentalism working together.

Check him out at Greenspirit. And check out his article, How Sick Is That? Environmental Movement Has Lost Its Way.

32 posted on 02/02/2006 7:52:47 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: All
Sing along with Robert Newman.
33 posted on 02/02/2006 7:52:49 AM PST by dighton
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To: ZGuy

And if aliens invade with biological weapons that leave us defenceless, we will be wiped out. Or if a giant meteor hits the earth. Or if it rained for 300 daya and 300 nights all over the world. Or if an indestructable pest ate all the grain. Or if bird flu became a pandemic. Or if guys like this got into elected office ...

Good grief, this guy is completely stupid.


34 posted on 02/02/2006 7:52:52 AM PST by bjc (Check the data!!)
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To: ZGuy
On one hand, you have this bonehead ranting thusly: "It's capitalism or a habitable planet - you can't have both"

Yet, on the other hand, I see headlines like this: Global environment improving, report says

So which is it?

35 posted on 02/02/2006 7:52:56 AM PST by Lazamataz (I have a Chinese family renting an apartment from me. They are lo mein tenants.)
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To: ZGuy
An awful lot of elliptical declarations of "fact" from someone who seems to lack the background to intelligently support any of them. More "Folk Marxism", masquerading as science.
36 posted on 02/02/2006 7:54:55 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: ZGuy
The most polluted nation on Earth was the Soviet Union. Many lakes were devoid of life and polluted, human health quality dropped so far, it still hasnt recovered. Totalitariansm leads to exploitation, which you dont have in the West.

This author is an ideologue and a moron.

37 posted on 02/02/2006 7:57:03 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: Shalom Israel
The 4+ billion that would have to die of to make it practical--where do they fit into his little plans?

Have you ever read "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy? Wouldn't be surprised if the author of this piece wasn't of the same mindset as the enviro-wackos in that book.

38 posted on 02/02/2006 7:59:21 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: ZGuy

I would ask this neo-hippy one question (and it's the one question I pose to all neo-hippies): And how many children, i.e. "planet killers", do you have?


39 posted on 02/02/2006 8:02:07 AM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: SuziQ

Ding Chavez rules!


40 posted on 02/02/2006 8:02:46 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: ZGuy

I just sent the author this email:
Dear Sir;
You are indeed a salted nut ball. After watching the fall of the anti-capitalist, communist eastern bloc, and witnessing the terrible environmental devastation wrought by those systems, how can you call for the elimination of mankinds only hope for survival, capitalism?

If you want to see true environmental disaster, schedule a holiday with your partner to the Black Sea. Witness, if you dare , the filth and pollution of the communities and villages of that area. Environmental devastation on an unthinkable scale. Villages that will remain uninhabitable for generations yet to come. Then travel to the "Rust Belt" of America and witness how capitalism has given the Americans there clean, healthful communities, with nary a trace of their big smokestack past.

Please do not think you fool us with your "green" stance. Your communist sympathies and goals are evident. ... And they are either a sign of your hopeless ignorance or a total inability on your part to take note of the real-life world around you.


41 posted on 02/02/2006 8:03:57 AM PST by BrotherJoseph
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To: randog
There is a line from Ayn Rand's novel Anthem. Whereas, if you feel this way, then why do you continue to burden the Earth with your existence?
42 posted on 02/02/2006 8:04:34 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: ZGuy
Utterly moronic. Looking at the most Ecologically trashed areas in the worlds they are all former, or current, commie states. Russia, Eastern Europe and China are the worst ecological disaster zones. It real simple to understand too.

When the individual has to conform to the wishes of some bureaucrat far away there is no pressure to maintain the local environment. ONLY when the individual has say in the matter, i.e. Capitalism. Does eviromentalism exist.

43 posted on 02/02/2006 8:04:43 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Good men don't wait for the polls. They stand on principle and fight."-Soul Seeker)
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To: BrotherJoseph

Nailed it. Well said!


44 posted on 02/02/2006 8:05:32 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Good men don't wait for the polls. They stand on principle and fight."-Soul Seeker)
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To: ZGuy
The Guardian pimping for socialism?

Who would have thought.

45 posted on 02/02/2006 8:06:42 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: ZGuy
If I had written the SOTU I would have included the following:

"My Space initiative is proceeding and a return to the Moon will occur by 2019, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Today, I challenge the nations of the world to join my in a great challenge for humanity's sake. By 2050 all heavy industry will have been moved off planet with the attendant improvement in the living conditions within the biosphere."

46 posted on 02/02/2006 8:06:44 AM PST by Young Werther
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To: ZGuy
Supermarkets are over. We cannot have such long supply lines between us and our food. Not any more. The very model of the supermarket is unsustainable.

That's a new one I hadn't heard before. Gee, I hope the good folks down at Whole Foods don't get wind of this. They're expending like crazy in my area, and seem to be doing quite well, selling consumers what they seem to want. The author of the article probably hates them for that, the dirty capitalists...

47 posted on 02/02/2006 8:07:22 AM PST by chimera
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To: SuziQ
Have you ever read "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy?

No, but I have read "STATE OF FEAR" by Michael Crichton. He just rips the enviro-whackos multiple openings. The best part is when the pompous Hollyweird celebrity "who plays the President on TV" gets eaten by cannibals.

48 posted on 02/02/2006 8:07:38 AM PST by Alouette (Please pray for Israel! Psalms of the Day: 23-28)
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To: massgopguy
Ding Chavez rules!

Yeah, he does!

49 posted on 02/02/2006 8:08:21 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: ZGuy
Suspicions confirmed:

environmentalism = socialism

50 posted on 02/02/2006 8:08:37 AM PST by Cracker Jack (Conservatives love their country. Liberals love the government.)
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