The View From 1776
Obama As Successor To Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, And Mao
These leaders, with the best of intentions (by liberal-progressive standards), destroyed (or are in process of destroying) their societies.
- Ben Stein says that he is not accusing Obama of being the equivalent to Mao or Pol Pot, but he is concerned that Obama is "needlessly scaring people into believing that climate change is real."
The polar ice caps are melting, the glaciers are retreating, the permafrost is melting, the oceans are rising, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is at an all time high, species are going extinct at accelerated rates, the eight hottest years on record occurred in the last decade, and yet Stein sees no problems.
He admits his view of science is warped when he snidely tosses out that scientists "make up data to support their preconceived opinions," so I guess we should not be surprised that he does not understand science.
You wonder whether his lack of faith in science extends only to areas that pose political difficulties for him or if he holds similar skepticism for his doctors when he goes in for surgery.
- "Climate change" is a rather meaningless term-- In New England we have always said that "If you are unhappy with the weather, wait an hour," for it changes constantly and has for billions of years.
Mankind has survived major changes in climate for millions of years. Many people look forward to some global warming and its beneficial impact on agriculture in many parts of the world. I applaud the evironmental clean up that has been ongoing for 50 years, but note that has been accomplished primarily by well considered corporate behavior. But, "Climate change" is here to stay. Let's banish the term!
The questions are : are humans causing disastrous changes in the climate, what will be the future impact of possible changes; how significant will changes be, and, can we do anything about controlling the climate?
Unless the probable changes are significantly harmful and we can prevent them in a reasonable way, there is no point in pursuing the subject.
But, none of these four questions have been answered. Extreme measures designed "to end climate change for all time" remind me of Woodrow Wilson's war to end all wars, and Johnson's crusade to end poverty for all time.
Ben Stein may have a point--most of the liberal Democrats' well intentioned (?) programs throughout history have failed to achieve their objectives, caused great societal disruption, and left us with vast debts. How can we expect more from this environmental lunacy?Posted by bill greene on 05/01 at 09:06 PM
You raise some good points about whether humanity is capable of doing anything substantial to change its behavior. Unfortunately, I think you are probably correct that because of religious fundamentalism and a lack of political will, it will probably be Mother Nature who ultimately makes the required adjustments.
Because the fundamental problem is simply too many people on a limited planet, the "solution" that Mother Nature imposes will come in the form of famine, drought, starvation, wars, pestilence a whatever kinds of massive human misery it takes to bring down the population to a sustainable level.
- Jay, The Malthusian dilemma is interesting. I believe that man can find ways, as they always have, to overcome the needs of a growing population. But the price we pay for leaving behind our former pastoral setting, and entering a congested urban environment despoiled by the needs of multutudes, is one I fear-- because it sucks the wonder out of our natural environment.
But today's environmentalists do not have the solution: clamping down on industry and auto exhaust is not going to change the nature of the problem. Today's people throughout the world want more and more "goods" and goodies. That excessive and capricious demand creates the exuberant supply of goods causing the problem. Unless there is a widespread cultural movement back to thrift and frugality by everyone, the current escalation of consumerism and mass production will continue.
I recently had an intersting exchange with an "environmentalist" who was commenting on my Amazon review of "Liars, Lovers, etc." We were discussing man's destruction of the planet and free will, which he did not seem to believe in. I copy a bit below:
Simon, you have an excellent point about how the modern demand for a multitude of "goods" could despoil the planet. Guy R. Nickerson"s "Killing the Natives" (Whitmore Publ.) presents a very scary and clear picture of our future if the human race actually does overflow mother earth's abundance. Being a child of the Great Depression, a time when the major religions in America (just about all of them) preached a simple Puritannical lifestyle, I deplore the consumerism of today.
But the solution lies, not in condemning mankind and its corporations, or blaming God for creating an imperfect machine, but by asking more from each and every person. Human history reveals just how creative we are, how it has been possible to reach for our full potential, and that we have the power to be better than our genes might indicate. And it is abundantly clear that parents must be responsible for raising their children and demanding a reinforcing community so future generations are equipped to make the reforms you suggest are necessary. Human history is a testament to free will--all the great accomplishments did not happen by chance, and our future solutions can only be uncovered by the application of free will.
Since politicians are unable to exert "tough love," the essential tool to restrain human desires and excess, they only aid and abet the hysterical search for more money and more goods--to hand out to the so-called victims of society. This populist "solution" leads to a spiralling economic catastrophe where half the people are working overtime to feed the other half. The solution may have to be a new form of religious fervor, a Great Awakening, to motivate a more conservative and equitable lifestyle. If we could do that, Calvin Coolidge, the fierce advocate of frugality and humility, will be smiling in his grave!
In reply to my post on May 4, 2014 11:14:23 AM
Simon Barrett says:
Well parried, sir. I can tell which side of the political spectrum you're on! My heart's on the left (most literary types' hearts are) but my brain's in a fix. Actually, no, my brain believes in very tough love for malefactors, but we're stuck in a more 'caring' (civilised/decadent?) world and along with our innate selfishness it will be our undoing. My best wishes to you and yours, Bill (if I may so call you)
From this exchange, I now hypothesize, that overly compassionate welfare cannot co-exist with significant environmental solutions. If 50% of the population are going to live off the economic system, without contributing to it, there can be no real reduction in consumption, production, and the despoiling of the planet. Any solution requires everyone to produce something of value and ask for as little as possible.
How can I live simply, inexpensively, when half my income is taken to give to others? How can we reduce the size of the population when welfare programs support a large portion of the country and increases benefits for each additional child procreated? How can we raise responsible adults when almost half the children born are illegitimate and are never trained and brought to maturity by self-reliant parents? How can our schools teach anything of value when half the kids arrive hungry and poorly clothed from disfunctional familiies? Until those problems are solved, the environment cannot be dealt with.
The initial post here was about authoritarian leaders, and we may conclude that socialist dictators, and populist presidents destroy their nations by elininating the incentive for citizens to be self-reliant. Dictators like those in Singapore, Chile, and Hong Kong have created affluent countries by enforcing tough love on everyone. America's success was built in a better way by the voluntary thrift and work ethic of Puritans, Calvinists, Quakers, etc. who lived a life of simple wants and needs. But America has wandered away from its roots, abandoned the austere religions, and now worships the excesses of Hollywood and Vegas. Our environmental problems can be traced to the unrestrained morality and disdain for self-reliance that has been encouraged by the Liberal Left. It will only be by the deferment of gratification and glorification of work and thrift that the environment can be saved; and today's liberals jeer at such notions. Celebrities are in the White House, Goldman Sachs runs the Treasury, billionnaires fund the politicians, and prudent savers and investors are laughed at! America is in DECLINE! Because of the liberal leftist intelligentsias who have foisted a failed ideology to infect our once great culture.
Posted by bill greene on 05/04 at 10:50 PM
- As you so correctly suggest, JJ, government will not solve our problems. And it is not just in Florida, but throughout all our governmental bodies.
Posted by bill greene on 05/08 at 05:07 PM
- We, the people, constitute the government. It is a shame when we, the people, get so bogged down in political squabbles that we cannot join together to address the large issues that face humanity.