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PAT Answers - It's time to stop taking the likes of Paul Erlich seriously.
Wall St. Journal ^ | April 17, 2002 | BY PETE DU PONT

Posted on 04/17/2002 7:23:34 AM PDT by grundle

Edited on 04/23/2004 12:04:23 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

It's time to stop taking the likes of Paul Erlich seriously.

On April 22 we will be celebrating three decades of environmental progress since the first Earth Day in 1970.Our air and water are cleaner, forest growth and food production are increasing, world hunger is decreasing, and the predicted population apocalypse never came. And all this good environmental news has come about because of an increasing economic prosperity that was supposed to doom us to death, disease and environmental destruction.


(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: clubofrome; doomsayers; ehrlich; enviralists; environmentalists; overpopulation; paulehrlich

1 posted on 04/17/2002 7:23:35 AM PDT by grundle
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To: grundle
Anyone ever DARES to wonder how this world would look like if China, India and the rest of the 3d World achieved the same level of consumption we currently enjoy?
2 posted on 04/17/2002 7:32:09 AM PDT by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: grundle
I have pointed out time and time again how Paul Erlich's work should be thrown in the trash. This book was taken oh so seriously by the left in the 70's and not one, NOT A SINGLE PREDICTION of his even came close to becoming true.
3 posted on 04/17/2002 7:32:15 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: grundle
--I've been wondering why anyone pays any attention to Paul Ehrlich for the last twenty years since (if I remember correctly) he has never been right in any prediction. In the meantime, I have a few pesky Chinaberry trees growing up in the wrong places which I am going to kill on Earth Day--
4 posted on 04/17/2002 7:35:31 AM PDT by rellimpank
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To: KC_Conspirator
Julian Simon bump - we're all poorer without him.
5 posted on 04/17/2002 7:38:00 AM PDT by general_re
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To: general_re, nopardons, A.Pole, jadimov, WaterDragon
Bump
6 posted on 04/17/2002 7:40:33 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: grundle
"So how did the leading environmentalists get it so wrong in the 1970s?"

It's easy, they didn't have computers to make their predictions. If they had computers they most likely would have been wrong-er.

7 posted on 04/17/2002 7:58:39 AM PDT by B.O. Plenty
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To: grundle
bump to read later
8 posted on 04/17/2002 8:03:28 AM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Anyone ever DARES to wonder how this world would look like if China, India and the rest of the 3d World achieved the same level of consumption we currently enjoy?

I have wondered about that on occasion. I alway envision a place where they too get to enjoy a great standard of living like we do.

9 posted on 04/17/2002 8:10:44 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: grundle
Conservatives often make the mistake of granting the other side's "good intentions" or arguing from their frame of reference. Pete DuPont makes this mistake in his very first sentence: "On April 22 we will be celebrating three decades of environmental progress since the first Earth Day in 1970."

DuPont dates progress on the environment from the first Earth Day. The Environment gets cleaner as we get wealthier and more technologically adept. That started way before Earth Day and has nothing to do with a bunch of enviroweenies marching around in Barney suits.

10 posted on 04/17/2002 8:11:29 AM PDT by Kermit
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Anyone ever DARES to wonder how this world would look like if China, India and the rest of the 3d World achieved the same level of consumption we currently enjoy?

That much better.

The assumption that you get to drive a corvette only because someone, somewhere is living in a mud hut eating grubs is and always has been nonsense.

While some resources are reasonably finite enough that we can imagine an end to them (oil), many others are practically infinite. And when you consider the finite ones (oil) the problem with running out of them is not that we will all have to live in mud huts, but that currently economically unfeasible options will become economically viable to take up the slack.

11 posted on 04/17/2002 8:16:45 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: B.O. Plenty
The reason for bad predictions from the environmental crowd is most likely corruption and a political agenda. For a scholarly treatment of these issues, suggest you look into "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg. Its a phone book size book with several thousand footnoted references. He uses the actual data used by the environmentalists and shows how they skew it with worst case assumptions when worst case assumptions are not justified. Well worth the $25.
12 posted on 04/17/2002 8:34:11 AM PDT by KC_for_Freedom
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To: hopespringseternal
I don't know.

I moved to PA to escape the overcrowding in NJ and I was able to secure enough land around my house as to not be bothered by my neighbors' cooking or domestic disputes. Sadly, I still have to drive to NJ 3-4 times per week and the traffic is NOT getting any better. PA is not exactly rain-forest-quality as far as the air is concerned but it's okay where we live. I do get itches and skin rashes simply by taking a walk in the NJ's 'nature'. This is not getting any better either. Can anyone forecast a future with no traffic jams with no overcrowded towns and where people can live individually rather than as part of some crowds subjected to our ever-caring gov't crowd control techniques?

Would telecomuting be the answer? I'm doing it 1-2 days per week and I love it.

13 posted on 04/17/2002 8:35:12 AM PDT by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
As far as overcrowding is concerned, first world status seems to be a pretty effective cure for it on a global scale.

For us, our problem is that the rest of the world is such a mess that everyone wants to be here and we do nothing to stem the tide. If even Mexico could be dragged out of the dark ages, our immigration problem would get much better.

Telecommuting should be encouraged. The other side of that coin is that the people in charge of our roads should be dragged into the middle of them and shot. They consistently shoot behind a moving target, so you have constant construction and capacity is never enough. Throw in the political weenies pusing HOV lanes and the like (in Houston, the HOV system take 25 percent of lane capacity and uses it for 4 percent of the traffic) exacerbating the problem.

We don't have insurmountable problems, we have incompetent ideologues who are just making things worse.

14 posted on 04/17/2002 9:03:17 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: hopespringseternal; A Vast RightWing Conspirator; hopespringseternal
13...Can anyone forecast a future with no traffic jams with no overcrowded towns...

13...Would telecomuting be the answer?...

14...in Houston, the HOV system take 25 percent of lane capacity and uses it for 4 percent of the traffic...

Telecommuting will help, but the answer lies beyond that. We need a private system of passenger trains and buses. They have a public system in Germany that is great. I know that one is public funded, but I'm sure a private one can work.

The roads should be semi-privatized. Imagine a parallel highway system in the urban areas, where the HOV in Houston is now. A private company pays the county for right-of-way, maintains the road, and then charges the customers for use. Anyone could pay a toll to use the road. There is a public high speed tollway running through the middle of Okinawa Japan that is like that. You pay according to the number of exits you pass. It's great to drive on and you avoid all traffic.

16 posted on 04/17/2002 3:53:22 PM PDT by jadimov
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To: KC_Conspirator; grundle
...Paul Ehrlich, perhaps the most famous doomsayer, predicted that four billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish from famine in the 1980s in what he called "The Great Die-Off." Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown worried about the environmental consequences of trying to feed the seven billion people the world would have in 2000. We now have but six billion people, food production is increasing (up 60% between 1980 and 1997 alone), food prices are decreasing, and global hunger is receding...

He was wrong only because America the Beautiful exists. We feed the world through private and public donations. We develop new medicines and create ways to make old ones more cheaply and we give those away too. Even so, outside of the West, the world predictions of Erlich are largely true. Disease, Famine, and War ride the streets of the world. They do not understand that it is not capitalism or democracy that has brought us here but a blend of the two with liberty. As long as we keep and nurture the three, we will continue to prosper. Not because of or at the expense of the rest of the world, but in spite of it.

17 posted on 04/17/2002 4:02:37 PM PDT by jadimov
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To: jadimov
I agree about the areas that are experiencing famine and decay are doing so because they lack of freedom, capitalism, and democracy. But Erlich's prescription for remedy in his book is precisely the reason they are in the condition they are in - socialism and powerful centralized government, bordering on world governance by a few "annointed" Club of Rome people.
18 posted on 04/17/2002 10:22:55 PM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: jadimov
They have a public system in Germany that is great. I know that one is public funded, but I'm sure a private one can work.

Traveling is dangerous, and we are an extremely litigious society. I have spoken to folks who wanted to start private systems around Houston. They could not get insurance coverage that would allow them to be economically viable.

While public transportation may work for many cities, it is pretty marginal in Houston. Houston has no zoning so you can have skyscraper or a factory in the middle of a neighborhood. The number of stops needed is huge. I could only use Houston's pathetic public transportation if I wanted to spend 16 hours a day away from home.

I have visited other cities and found their public transportation to be quite useful.

19 posted on 04/18/2002 4:59:48 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Anyone ever DARES to wonder how this world would look like if China, India and the rest of the 3d World achieved the same level of consumption we currently enjoy?

In other words, Erlich was right, just haven't waited long enough?
Sort of like Communism? The "right" combination simply hasn't been found?

Right.
I think a name change here might be appropriate. May I suggest Deepmole?
Some people simply will not see...

20 posted on 04/18/2002 5:08:08 AM PDT by Publius6961
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To: grundle
What is fascinating is to watch who is viciously attacking Bjorn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, the book that has exposed the environmentalist movement as phony socialist liars. Scientific Magazine in particular comes to mind. Have you read what they did?
21 posted on 04/18/2002 8:51:31 AM PDT by WaterDragon
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