Sustainability Teaching: “lack of ethical dimension”

Michigan State  University | News

Michael Nelson

Michael NelsonMSU's Michael Nelson is co-author of a paper published in the journal Bioscience that says ethical issues are ignored in the teaching and research of sustainabilty. Nelson is an associate professor in the Lyman Briggs College, as well as the departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Philosophy.

Ethical issues ignored in sustainability education, research

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Just about everyone agrees that sustainability – cutting energy use, reducing carbon emissions and, in general, keeping the Earth green – is a good thing. But why do we think that? Do we support sustainability for the right reasons?

These are among the questions that Michigan State University’s Michael Nelson addresses in a paper published this month in the journal Bioscience titled “Sustainability: Virtuous or Vulgar?”

Specifically, Nelson and co-author John Vucetich of Michigan Technological University argue that the issue of ethics is a vital component in the teaching and research of sustainability, but one that is sorely lacking.

“This debate,” they write, “has almost entirely neglected a fundamental dimension of sustainability – the ethical dimension. Lack of attention to the ethical dimension of sustainability is stifling progress toward sustainability.”

Or, as Nelson puts it: “If we don’t know where we’re going, we won’t know when we get there.”

Nelson said that from the educational perspective, it’s important that all aspects of sustainability are covered.

“Everything we do sends messages to our students,” he said. “We see our students as people who will go out and do important things in this world. It’s important how we nurture that.”

The ultimate question, the authors say, is this: “Do we care about ecosystem health because ecosystems are intrinsically valuable, or do we care about ecosystem health because it serves human interests?”

While a question such as this is difficult to answer, Nelson said that “we are unlikely to achieve sustainability without knowing what it means.”

In their paper, Nelson and Vucetich consider the most widely appreciated definitions of sustainability, which indicate at least roughly that sustainability is “meeting human needs in a socially just manner without depriving ecosystems of their health.”

While the definition seems quite specific, it could mean anything from “exploit as much as desired without infringing on the future ability to exploit as much as desired” to “exploit as little as necessary to maintain a meaningful life.”

“From a single definition rises two wildly disparate views of a sustainable world,” said Vucetich. “Handling these disparate views is the inescapable ethical crisis of sustainability.”

“The crisis results from not knowing what we mean by value-laden terms like ‘ecosystem health’ and ‘human needs,’” Nelson said. “In other words, is ecosystem health defined by its ability to meet human needs only, or does ecosystem health define the limits of human need?”

Nelson is an associate professor with appointments in MSU’s Lyman Briggs College and the departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Philosophy. Vucetich is an assistant professor in MTU’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

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123 thoughts on “Sustainability Teaching: “lack of ethical dimension”

  1. Plants and animals don’t have rights. We’ll know when to give them rights when they start showing up at protests demanding their rights.

  2. Hopefully, ethics will truly be on the table, including questioning the consensus that sustainability is “good”, questioning that carbon emissions should be reduced and questioning whether most extinctions really reduce “ecosystem health”.

    How do we get this type of balance into existing educational systems without significant retraining and reassignment of teachers. The teachers naturally attracted to these subject fields seem to come with a built in bias, perhaps they helped form the “consensus”.

  3. “Sustainable” is a matter of definition – both from the ethical point of view “why is it holy?” and from the practical, “what really does it mean?”

    This evening I was talking to a friend about the use of water, its harvesting and the “morality” of its use. I live in Sydney – much discussed here currently, where the the average annual rainfall – 48″ often comes in fits and starts. The pre PC approach was to build a dam wherever it was possible – and there were a lot of possibilities – and effectively average out the “fits and starts”. With the ascendance of the Green (heresy), this became an immoral approach and almost everthing became “unsustainable” – really up to and particularly, the humans themselves. (I’m stll trying to work out who Gaia is there for. The 3 eared, banded, red-green frog?)

    But we in Sydney, had an approaching emergency, because the believers stopped building dams and mostly because the population soared (only the immigrant refugees are sustainable of course – the natural growth is immoral and profiligate!), and we went and bought a desalination plant and then the heavens (are we allowed to use that word?) opened up and we have (more expensive – but not overpriced) water coming “out of our ears”. So gardens are in, sprinklers are ok – (all right we won’t use them at midday) and so on.

    So practicality – an abundance of fresh water, must create a dilemma for those miserable, mean-spirited (invariably AGWers) who think that it is immoral to live in comfort surrounded by beauty.- “Unsustainability!”

    I actually believe that if we can afford it, we should live as comfortably as possible. It is immoral NOT to! It is pleasant for us to use – and pay for, water . There is no shortage of water on Earth (not Gaia) and if we can afford to separate the H2O from its accompanying salts we should.

  4. Sustainability has become just another form of accounting. Carbon dioxide measurement and analysis is something humans are familiar with, and enables us to continue with business as usual while avoiding the other questions of sustainability.

    It was the realisation that the Sustainable Development agenda – meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – had been compromised by the carbon dioxide agenda that first made me sceptical of this movement.

    “In other words, is ecosystem health defined by its ability to meet human needs only, or does ecosystem health define the limits of human need?”

    … simple answer is, human needs cannot be met if ecosystems are unhealthy. But his question fails to encompass a number of things; what are human needs? Are these homogeneous across peoples and countries? Does a tribal agriculturalist need as much as a quantum physicist? How much are their needs defined by what they do, and how much does what they do offset the damage they may cause to ecosystems? Etc…

  5. “Just about everyone agrees that sustainability – cutting energy use, reducing carbon emissions and, in general, keeping the Earth green – is a good thing. But why do we think that? Do we support sustainability for the right reasons?”

    “Sustainability” seems to be the new favorite buzzword of the CAGW/CC greenie whackos. There was a time not too long ago that I would have said that of course we should support “sustainability”. But I now see it for what it really is; an all-encompassing feel-good term, meant to lull the masses into buying in to the greenie religion, which actually has very little to do with old-fashioned concern for, and caring about the environment. It is all part and parcel of the Big Lie, a Goebellian campaign to turn people into sheeple, using fear, guilt, and propaganda.
    The only reason people buy in to greenie religion is because it makes them feel good about themselves; they, after all, are helping to “save the planet”. Or so they think.
    What they are actually doing though is involving themselves in social engineering.
    I pity the students who are exposed to the type of claptrap indoctrination Nelson and Vucetich dish out.

  6. We stink at looking into the past and what the planet was doing before man.
    Our errogance gives us the right to trap water and change the evaporation system. We remake the individual plant and animal life systems to meet our existance more pretty and comfortable.

    The next evolutional change will be altered by man as before all continents were separate and the species grew with boarders to keep the evolving species apart.
    We are just a small part of the PLANET’S EVOLUTIONAL CHANGE, not man’s.
    Man is the only species to worry about time and climate.

  7. All life exploits it’s surroundings as much as it possibly can, and pays no attention to the needs of its neighbors. Symbiotic relationships result from a struggle for survival and supremacy, not from any concern for the rights or health of the other. Ants couldn’t care less about aphids except as a source of food production, and so on. Plants constantly wage territorial battles. People are no different. We evolved in this violent environment (until proven otherwise ), not in some idyllic fantasy world. Everything has it’s time and everything dies.

  8. “Sustainability” is just a feel good word to cover over the issue of saving our own arses from the potential extinction level event we have chosen to unleash on our planet.

  9. Uugghhhhh!

    Really, sustainaboility is a lie.

    The solar system is not “sustainable”; life itself is not “sustainable” (we all die, at present); it’s not even clear that the universe itself is “sustainable”.

    Based upon observation we can say that life expands to fill the space available; life forms grow and develop and propagate to maximize their own space. To not do this is to deny life.

  10. Michael Lewis says:
    July 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

    “Sustainable” is a matter of definition – both from the ethical point of view “why is it holy?” and from the practical, “what really does it mean?”
    ______________________________________________________________
    “Sustainability” is the code word for UN Agenda 21. As Wayne Hage stated: “If you can’t own (and use) property, you are property.” – that is the goal of the UN and “global Governance.

    “Private ownership of land is not compatible with global governance.. as described by the United Nations….

    The land policy of the United Nations was first officially articulated at the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I), held in Vancouver, May 31 – June 11, 1976. Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report sets forth the UN’s official policy on land. The Preamble says:

    “Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….” “ http://sovereignty.net/p/land/unproprts.htm

    For those who think this is a “conspiracy theory” I suggest you look into the “Wildlands Project” MAP The green areas are reserved for human use.

    “The Wildlands Project would set up to one-half of America into core wilderness reserves and interconnecting corridors (red), all surrounded by interconnecting buffer zones (yellow). No human activity would be permitted in the red, and only highly regulated activity would be permitted in the yellow areas. Four concerned conservative activists who now make up the board of Sovereignty International were able to find UN documentation that proved the Wildlands Project concept was to provide the basis for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. They used this information and this map produced by Dr. Michael Coffman, editor of Discerning the Times Digest and NewsBytes and CEO of Sovereignty International, to stop the ratification of the treaty an hour before its scheduled cloture and ratification vote. (See Congressional Record S13790 ) ” http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/articles2/wildlands_project_and_un_convent.htm

    NOTE: The original link to the “Wildlands Project” organization with its “controversial” information is no longer available. I have substituted the more recent link with its watered down sugar coated message.

    You will notice the mineral and oil reserves and prime farmland would be removed from the control of individuals. In the state of Massachusetts, just before I left in 1994, (and the reason I left) a proposal to place over half the state into the new “Conte Wildlife Refuge” was on the table. The original proposal, I have the hard copy in the attic some where, required:
    All farmers and home owners to place before the board all their plans for the next growing season and receive permission to plant crops, put in fence posts, irrigate fields, spray insecticides and herbicides, build buildings….

    Luckily it looks like cooler heads prevailed and the original proposal got watered down. And yes this is why I started looking into what was actually going on.

  11. F. A. Hayek would have had something to say about this topic. I may consider it completely moral and fair to go to my KFC and get a bucket of chicken, but I think the chicken would regard it in another manner. Ethics is a slippery slope when applied by governmental edict.

  12. The authors of this paper ignore the past 20 years of ecological science, because it gave up on the notion of ‘nature’s balance’ and therefore ecosystem ‘health’ in about 1990. Only those who adhere for ideological reasons to the notion of climax communities abandoned by ecological science still employ this kind of discourse. ‘Sustainability’ has a particular social and political meaning. It has meaning only when applied to human society. Nature is about change, perturbation and chaos — interspersed with occasional periods of stability that we interpret as the status quo, but are but a moment in the history of the earth. For those interested, I discussed this in a symposium at the Australian Academy of Science some years ago:

    http://www.science.org.au/events/sats/sats2002/kellow.htm

  13. The ugly truth about sustainability is that it is, for all intents and purposes, a ‘static’ system.

    Why? Because if you’re honest about the various models being trotted out, their scalability for growth is minuscule when compared to the systems currently in use.

    Sustainability only works if ‘means’ and ‘needs’ remain in balance. That means that the ‘needs’ side of the equation has to become very bit as ‘undynamic’ as the [new] ‘means’.

    And no, the sustainability crowd aren’t exactly jumping out of their chairs to fully explain the implications of that bit ‘new reality’ that they would inflict on humanity.

    That faction of the Green Movement is being ‘hidden in the attic’.

    For the moment.

  14. Just about everyone agrees that motherhood…is a good thing. But why do we think that? Do we support motherhood for the right reasons?

    …the issue of ethics is a vital component in the teaching and research of motherhood, but one that is sorely lacking.

    [This motherhood debate] has almost entirely neglected a fundamental dimension of motherhood – the ethical dimension….

  15. Looking at their pie-chart (Fig. 2), I find it difficult not to conclude that the Establishment has already decided on maximum sustainable exploitation.

  16. “Just about everyone agrees that sustainability – cutting energy use, reducing carbon emissions and, in general, keeping the Earth green – is a good thing”

    Well, not me.

    I think “sustauinability” is a load of hogwash.

  17. “Do we care about ecosystem health because ecosystems are intrinsically valuable, or do we care about ecosystem health because it serves human interests?”

    The answer surely is that it serves human interests. When the word “valuable” is used, we have to ask: to whom? To Nature? “Nature” is an abstraction, unless you factor in some sort of deity who might take a personal interest in the death of a sparrow, a golden toad, a bacterium, etc. Without the postulation of a deity, all you have is an equally abstract idea – “Nature” – meaning the totality of all living/non-living things, and this abstraction obviously does not care what happens to ecosystems – a supervolcano eruption or asteroid strike this century could play instant havoc with ecosystems all over the planet, triggering extinctions on a massive scale. Nature won’t care – it will just fill the gap eventually with whatever life forms will have been able to survive and adapt.

    The answer is that humans ascribe value to ecosystems. Most often we give them value when they serve our interests directly – they provide food to eat, clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, monetary value, etc. But we also value ecosystems for aesthetic or sentimental or spiritual reasons. If the last giant panda died tomorrow, we would not be impacted materially, but many of us would feel the loss in a different way, as we would be greatly saddened and dismayed. Often there is a clash of values, and a choice to be made – unspoilt forest or farmland, for instance?

    But the idea of “intrinsic value” is a nonsense, to my mind. Always ask: exactly what kind of “value” are we talking about? And “valuable” – to whom?

  18. I was a bit mystified by the phrase “ecosystem health” since some of the most publicized and contentious issues have been about spotted owls and snail darters. Was ecosystem health at stake if these species were lost? Since those same ecosystems had already lost grizzly bears, wolves, bison and mammoths over most of their range, I was left wondering whether there was any ecosystem health left to lose. Searching for some clarification, I found this definition:

    “Ecosystem health is a transdisciplinary concept that bridges the natural, social, and health sciences. It can incorporate the human values and perceptions that are inseparable parts of management. A healthy ecosystem is defined as a social-ecological unit that is stable and sustainable, maintaining its characteristic composition,
    organization, and function over time while remaining economically viable and sustaining human communities (Costanza 1992, Rapport 1998). The breadth of this definition indicates that ecosystem health is an integrative notion that acknowledges societal values in defining future desired conditions while relying on scientific criteria (Steedman 1994).”

    http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss2/art6/ES-2007-2092.pdf

    Based upon this definition, perhaps the way to evaluate the impact of an extinction or reduction in range, is whether the overall composition of the ecosystem is changed in a way that can’t be stable for long periods of time.

    Are ecosystems that are temporarily unhealthy, such as the Gulf where fisheries had to be suspended due to the oil leak lacking in “ecosystem health”, or are they robust and healthy since in all likelyhood they will weather the oil leak well and be fully recovered in a decade or so. It is conceivable that fish, shrimp and other stocks will boom in the next year or two due to the suspension of the fisheries, despite not yet being “safe” for human consumption. If the ecosystem is that robust and only modern developed nation adversity to risk prevents the usual consumption of the biomass is the ecosystem really “unhealthy”?

    Given the complexity of the issues and the subjectivity of values, I doubt teachers are in a particularly qualified position to address the issues. Perhaps the teaching of ethics should be left to the parents since their values are as subjective as the teachers and the children are more naturally part of the parents ecosystem or studied at the graduate degree level where the most scholarly distinctions can be fully investigated.

  19. I had an experience a few years ago that illustrates both the confusion and extreme thinking that underlies much public thinking about “sustainability.” My family and I had finished a wonderful tour of Jewel Cave in South Dakota’s Black Hills, one of the world’s largest and most magnificent caves. The park ranger who had guided our tour invited us to respond on the guest register to the questiom that was currently being asked of guests to the cave. “Only a small fraction of Jewel Cave has been explored,” the question read: “do you believe that the rest of it should be explored, or should it be left alone in a natural, virgin state?”

    The question, I thought, was an excellent one. I answered that yes, Jewel Cave should be fully explored. My thinking was that nothing lives deep within the cave, so exploring poses no threat to wildlife. Since the cave is utterly dark, there is no real concern about marring its beauty, unless human beings are at some point to explore and observe the cave. I was satisfied that spelunkers are careful not to damage delicate cave formations, and don’t leave a trail of garbage where they explore. I wrote that “yes, the cave should be explored, as long as there are cavers who are willing to put forth the effort.”

    After writing down my answer, I leafed through the responses of previous guests. I was a little surprised to find that about half of them indicated that they did not want the cave to be explored. They wrote things like “leave it the way God made it” or “respect the magnificence of this wonderful natural formation and leave the rest of it alone.”

    Based upon what I have learned over the years, I now believe these responses reflect an increasingly common view of the natural world. It is a view based in a mystical reverence for untouched nature apart from not only human use, but apart from human presence and even observation. When considering the topic of “sustainability,” it is important to recognize the presence, if not the prominence, of such extreme opinions about the natural world.

    Ken Smith
    Ellendale ND

  20. In the UK the fine for not sorting your rubbish for recycling is higher than the on the spot fine for shop-lifting !!!!

  21. This article captures, almost perfectly, the reason(s) I “left” the environmental movement. (The left as well) And if these profs. think they need to start teaching morality now, then they have a long and hard slog ahead of them. I would posit that the time for instilling a sense of morality has long since passed. There is an old sage that goes something like; you know you are old when you start complaining about “those rotten kids!” Well, I guess I am getting very, very old! I am yet to encounter more than a handful of under thirty’s that aren’t completely self absorbed and borderline sociopaths! They didn’t get that way by eating too much mickey D’s! The education mill has been churning out nothing but vapid narcissists for decades now, thanks to all the hippies taking over academe. It’s Lord of the Flies +30 years.

    I will say it over and over: We live in a very dark age indeed.

  22. “Sustainability” is a pet word of the current chattering classes, along with “ecosystem”, “robust”, “unprecedented”, “footprint”, “conservation”……. fill in your own extras. Discussion of its place in ethics is an example of diminishing returns. “Ethics” needs clarification of meaning,not obfuscation. It also needs practical demonstraion y those able to show it, that is, bold leadership from the front and not obscure backroom weasel wording.

    Australia has had a Cabinet reshuffle in Parliament. We now have a “Minister for Sustainable Population”, Tony Burke. He sits near Minister Simon Crean, Minister of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. What a job for a guy who spent most of his life in the Union movement, telling people how to make others behave ethically (that is, according to the ethics of union thuggery).

  23. Joe Lalonde says: July 6, 2010 at 4:04 am
    . . . Our errogance gives us the right to trap water and change the evaporation system. We remake the individual plant and animal life systems to meet our existance more pretty and comfortable.

    Sounds like the man has a plan. ‘Errogance’ is a good word, too. I’ll add it to my spellcheck. Rant follows. <skip to next reply>

    Bruce Cobb is right on about sustainability’s feel-good buzzword status. My own view of the concept is broad. I do agree that we ought to leave the world in a little better shape than we found it. We ought not to waste energy on useless things (thinking of govt paperwork pushers and govt picking winners like certain dinosaur car companies and things that require subsidies to survive).

    How to accomplish? Not by mandating that we flood our environment with mercury from curly light bulbs from red China. Not by mandating water-saving toilets that take two flushes. Water isn’t destroyed by use (crops excepted). The only water that needs saving is that from aquifers, and there we should take no more than the recharge rate. That isn’t in the plan. Instead we save water in towns that are on the Mississippi river. No shortage there, oh, but we’re saving energy used in treatment plants. Wonderful. I had a clean, green nuke plant just up the road.

    Should we wish, for some ethereal reason, to sequester carbon, let us sequester it in landfills, not pump it at unsustainable expense into underground storage. Let us chop down trees and sequester their carbon in houses and books and cellulose insulation for our attics. Let us not fear to leave a legacy of landfills and nuclear waste storage sites to posterity, for should the unlikely future of scarcity occur, those sites will have valuable mineable concentrations of resources.

    Reduce energy use? Okay if done by increasing efficiency, not okay if done by reducing work output. Take away energy, you have the noble savage living in a hut and walking wherever he wants to go, which is probably to his half acre farm where his wife is pulling the plow. Low energy life sucks, but at least it is short. Quality of life has a direct correlation with energy use.

    The current US regime has take fancy to telling everyone how they should live. It’s an uncomfortable change for Americans. We aren’t Amazon Indians who need to be protected from civilization (aluminum pots, t-shirts, bug repellent) whether they want protection or not. Nor are we Brits (with all respect), living shoehorned into antique rowhouses, who would like to build a nice house of their own, but are protected from this by the local council, which won’t issue a permit, and a national government that has placed millions of buildable hectares off limits. Preserves the character, good for tourists, bad for natives, coming soon to America. </rant>

    Sorry for all that. Should have posted on RealClimate.

  24. My question is this: What, exactly, is to be “sustained”? Is the present status–whatever it might be–the ideal, from which to depart in any detail is a disaster? I think the answer is obvious: We don’t know what the current status is exactly; it is probably far from ideal in many ways; the earth and its weather and climate are changing all the time, with or without humanity’s help. If we don’t know what status we want to maintain, it is very hard to maintain it.

    The strategies of conserving, not wasting, using carefully, not messing things up–those strategies are good, so long as they do not interfere with the economy, jobs, and necessities of (human) life. My wife and I have been recycling since the 1960s, and we still do; we drive high-mpg cars (my 1991 Geo Metro still gets 54 mpg); we compost vegetable cuttings and peelings, etc. However, the “green” agenda that seeks to impose on us draconian controls and high taxes is simply wrong and un-American.

  25. Sustainability seems to be the 21st century form of Western Colonialism. You have the high minded academy telling the “savages” of our day what is appropriate. If these ideas are not heeded, then there needs to be intervention, but before they do that, some local natives will be brought on board to teach the other locals in the ways of sustainability. However, the goal is the same as 200 years ago, get control of the local resources so that the indigenous people don’t mismanage them. For some reason this form of colonialism is good because their is a nobler reasoning behind it…preserving a definition-less “intrinsic value”.

  26. P.J. O’Rourke (probably borrowing from somewhere else) pinned it when he said that the problem is that many people don’t pose environmental questions as cost/benefit tradeoffs, but instead view it as sin versus virtue. No amount of sin is acceptable, of course, at any price. This makes them all hypocrites, except for the Unibomber.

  27. I love this paper, esp the quote on page 4 – “The value of equating “goodness” with “sustainability”. This is the situation, we have countless people who simply want to be good, who have turned into useful idiots. The hate evil capitalists, yet it is evil capitalists who are controlling them because of their wish to be “good”. Young people are especially prone to this mind control because most of them were raised by their parents to be “good”. So when the evil green capitalists come along with the new paradigm that sustainability = goodness, they fall right for it. And certainly there is some truth to the wish to be sustainable, it makes complete sense that that is what we should be shooting for, but only if it is “true”. What a mind job they have done, they have convinced people whom just a few years ago were against constructing a shopping mall on a reclaimed junk property, that they should destroy and desecrate their beautiful mountain ridges, just for a few megawatts of electricity. It is utterly amazing what has happened in just a few short years.
    One of the reasons this has happened so easily is because so many lost faith in the Conservative movement after the war in Iraq. They believe that was so wrong, that anyone coming from a different direction has to be right. And then I read on the blogs that the warmers and greens and loosing traction, I don’t think so, they are only getting started.

  28. I remember when our educational system was not supposed to teach values. Wait, it’s traditional values we can’t teach. New Age values we can teach.

  29. Sustainability is Malthusianism dressed up in moral and scientific jargon. It assumes that modes of future production in economics are fixed and do not change overtime so we are constantly running out of “natural resources” or “good soil” so therefore a control grid must be imposed by the State make sure “resources” are only used by approval of the State. It is the essence of tyranny.

    The reality is that only thing that isn’t sustainable is the concept of “Sustainability” because it is a natural law that human societies change and improve their mode of work.

    Human beings will revolt from technology suppression when it results in declining conditions of life that must result from using inferior mode of production simple because they are deemed by the State as as the only acceptable.

    The reality is that the theory is of sustainability is an anti-science prison for the mind because it denies the fact that the “Ultimate Resource” in human economy is human creative reason which is essentially free energy for the negentrophic system that is the defining characteristic of human economy.

    The issue goes the philosophy of Aristotle’s dead universe of fixed things because God had created everything that could be created already was created and therefore anything that human did to change the already perfect world was evil so therefore if a slave wanted to be free than that was evil because it violated the “natural order” of “Royals”, “Nobles,” “Commoners”, and “Slaves.”

    On other hand, real science reveals that this is a universe of becoming and of evolution not of fixed perfect circular orbits.

    The powers of human cognition are a higher order of change the drives and bends the biosphere to isn’t faster order of relative time just as biosphere uses and changes the abiotic for it’s evolution.

    Since we know that cognition is the highest form of evolution in the universe we know the sustainability is essentially “Biological” geocentrism is trying to subject a higher power process of evolution to a lower orders and it will work no better than trying to say a polygon is a circle or pounding a square peg into a circular hole.

  30. ‘… as Nelson puts it: “If we don’t know where we’re going, we won’t know when we get there.”’

    That statement is partially correct. If we don’t know where we are going, that is because we got lost, don’t know where we are and how far we deviated from the best way to get there. To have gotten lost means that we have no sense of where or when we started, whether we are moving into the right direction and how far along the way we got.

    If we are lost, it is quite possible that with every step we take we are moving farther away from the intended destination.

    The last part of Michael Nelson’s statement should therefore be: “…, we will not only lack the knowledge of when we will get there, we don’t even know whether we will ever make it there.”

  31. While the definition seems quite specific, it could mean anything from “exploit as much as desired without infringing on the future ability to exploit as much as desired” to “exploit as little as necessary to maintain a meaningful life.”

    I’ve read a few articles recently where the author talks about our hunter-gatherer ways, about changing the meaning of standard of living to inclcude things such as leisure time (no jobs) and time to walk in the woods… I’ve also read that it would take over 5 earths to provide the resources for every human on earth to live like we do.
    My guess is that developed countries are going to have their standards of living reduced significantly over this century until all nations have a similar standard of living (contraction and convergence?).

    Other options are leaving things as are or population reductions.

  32. “Sustainability”, especially when coming from the realms of academia, is a code word for hitching the cart of socialism to the horse of the environmental movement. It’s a strategy for advancing a progressive agenda under the guise of helping the environment. It’s the same strategy recently employed when such efforts fell under the label of “social justice”. What reasonable person could object to advancing “social justice”?? Similarly, what sort of person would ever object to helping build a “sustainable” future?? These people are genius when it comes to naming thier efforts to hide the true nature.

    The National Association of Scholars has written numerous articles on “sustainability” within academia. Might be worth checking out:

    http://www.nas.org

  33. Ken Smith: July 6, 2010 at 5:09 am
    I was a little surprised to find that about half of them indicated that they did not want the cave to be explored. They wrote things like “leave it the way God made it” or “respect the magnificence of this wonderful natural formation and leave the rest of it alone.”

    Completely disregarding the fact that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to view the part of the cave that they *did* see unless it had been explored. I’d trust a spelunker to leave a cave as he found it sooner than I’d trust one of those visitors to walk ten feet to a trash can to toss a gum wrapper rather than dropping it in place.

  34. The word ‘sustainability’ hides a multitude of sins, it is a modern word but the aims behind it are well used and well worn. The freedom to act and think and do as you please is anathama to some people, control and order and direction from a governing elite in order to create an obedient mass looking to a central point of authority for their behaviour patterns. Who decides what is sustainable and what isnt? What are the dangers of allowing a certain group of people to dictate to others what is acceptable behaviour and what is anti social behaviour?
    The idea that the masses must subject themselves to a guiding will is a key element of faith with leftist/marxist/socialist/green/cult religious groups, they always try to build an authoritarian structure where the individual will is submerged beneath the will of the masses as led of course by a small group of ‘leaders’, a leader class that dictates and guides the masses using certain key ‘enabling’ narratives.
    The vehicle of ‘sustainability’ has got little to do with actual sustainability however that term has actual meaning, the term is simply an ‘authority enabler’ a tool to place limits on an individuals behaviour rather like handcuffs in fact, these limits must be ‘self imposed’ by means of moral blackmail and appeals to an individuals guilt and fear and sense of social conscience. In other words the chains of limitation can only be applied with popular support enabled by the masses themselves, those who choose not to have pressure applied by turning the masses against those ‘anti social elements’ using a planned attack and smear campaign.
    When the authoritarian groups wish to take over a group of free individuals they never use frontal force, they use well tried methods of enslaving a population by stealth. Its obvious at this moment in our history that there is a concerted effort to create a central authoritarian state, it is being created by stealth using the supposed destruction of the earth as a cover and vehicle. This would be authoritarian state is using well tried and tested and very predictable methods, trying to invite populations to place the chains of slavery on themselves and many are on the verge of doing just that, invited by to do so by falsehoods and silky lies and misrepresentation.
    As old as civilisation, the art of stripping a free people of that freedom by stealth and yet again we see it happening and yet again many still fall for the oh so obvious fraud, it makes you wonder if we will ever learn the simple reality of humanity, wherever free people live in freedom there will always be a minority planning to steal that freedom, from the streets of Babylon to the streets of Rome to the streets of Washington, the people change but the methods do not.
    Remember this, your freedom once given away is always a great struggle to regain and the regaining of that freedom exacts the greatest cost, giving away your freedom is easy, getting it back again is a different matter altogether.

  35. Sustainable Development is Agenda 21 until you understand that it is not about the environment but a cover for totalitarian control of people you miss the whole point.

    No I am not a “conspiracy theorists” I am one very frighten individual because I have been following the progress of this disease for over ten years. I actually started out as a member of Greenpeace and WWF.

    The idea of conserving the environment and “sustainablity’ is just a cover story. It is just like CAGW, a hoax used to blind the masses as they are bound up in regulations and fleeced of their wealth and freedom. I am very much afraid we are at the brink of the next Dark Ages if we as a people do not wake up and figure out the lies we are being spoon fed especially those fed to our children. http://www.newswithviews.com/Shaw/michael17.htm

    “You Americans are so gullible! We don’t have to invade you! We will destroy you from within without firing a shot! We will bury you by the billions! We spoon feed you socialism until your Communists and don’t even know it! We assist your elected leaders in giving you small doses of Socialism until you suddenly awake to find you have Communism. the day will come when your grandchildren will live under communism!” – Nikita Khrushchev

    Sustainable Development is part of the diet we are being giving in small doses by our elected leaders. This site has put together a lot of the information gathered from official sources. Please, please at least skim through it. I have a lot of references to this subject but this article pulls most of them together. Green Global Dictatorship: Regional Governance, UN Agenda 21, Sustainable Development, and the Wildlands Project by Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom, Professor of Geography

    (Ignore the religious quotes at the beginning, the research is still good and has a lot of references.)

  36. …”Specifically, Nelson and co-author John Vucetich of Michigan Technological University argue that the issue of ethics is a vital component in the teaching and research of sustainability, but one that is sorely lacking.”… (per above news release)
    __________________________
    Several good observations, here’s another:
    Humans have always and consistantly used the “ethical” delemia argument when the issue of change was being called for and/or when changes being implemented began to be questioned. It was, is, and will always be, used in human arguments. The authors in this case are begging the question now for their own agenda. To say that it has not been adequately applied in the past is untrue; what happened happened. To claim that it is not being appropriately applied now is likewise untrue; what’s happening is happening. To say that it might not be applied in future is a joke, for what will be will be.

    PS: People tend to split into two groups about any issue; those who are for it, and those who are against it. The ‘ethical’ appeal can and, usually, is used by both sides to further their argument and convince the undecided.

  37. Good someone from academia is addressing this ethical dimension of climate science.

    As several different people have pointed out, the underlying conflict about climate science is the conflict between “naturalists” and “humanists”. The former believe that nature and its ecosystems, unchanged by humanity, are inherently good and valuable, while the latter consider the maintenance of natural ecosystems valuable only to the extent that this insures the quality of human life. It is a philosophical difference which is not going to disappear. It seems to me that most climate scientists, at least those who are publicly outspoken, are “naturalists” rather than “humanists”, and assign a high priority to protecting natural ecosystems from change/disruption by human activity, while most skeptics are “humanists” who assign higher priority to improving the lives of humans, especially the poorest.

    The tendency of outspoken climate scientists to paint a certain and frightening picture of future warming is in part motivated by their personal valuation of unchanged natural systems. For a “naturalist”, substantial changes in Earth’s climate are inherently ‘catastrophic’ and hugely ‘expensive’, regardless of the consequences of those changes to humanity; any significant risk of substantial change is unacceptable, so large public expenditure to reduce the chance of substantial environmental change is a moral imperative. It is interesting to note that outspoken climate scientists consider those who question the size and certainty of future warming and its consequences as either wholly ignorant of “the science” (and incapable of understanding it!) or simply immoral and evil. This analysis says much more about outspoken climate scientists themselves than it does about the technical competence and morals of skeptics.

    This is not a new conflict, and not one which will be easily resolved. But it is at least constructive to examine the conflict for what it really is, rather than waste time arguing about technical issues (polar ice melt, projected temperatures, uncertainty ranges, etc.) that are poor surrogates for the fundamental disagreement. Continuing to frame the question of global warming in terms of “what the science says”, while ignoring underlying disagreements about personal values and priorities (AKA politics), will only do science a disservice and delay a political consensus.

  38. Sustainability, if one thinks about it properly, references man and his ability to exploit resources available, while ensuring future generations have the same ability. The earth is fine and isn’t going anywhere.(At least anytime soon.) Anyone who thinks the present flora and fauna of this earth are to be some permanent fixture of nature sadly delude themselves. Yes, I know they are among us, they’re just wrong. Species adapt or become extinct and new ones arrive. This is true for both plants and animals.

    ““Do we care about ecosystem health because ecosystems are intrinsically valuable..?”

    If there is no benefit to mankind, then how could it possibly be regarded as having value, intrinsic or otherwise? If it is a benefit to mankind, then it is because of mankind’s ability to exploit nature’s resources.

  39. For these people it’s alway a zero sum game, they don’t ever seem to see a future that will be better as we learn and then develop new technologies. Allowing human creativity and ingenuity to make life better for all of us just doesn’t seem to be a possibility for the environmentalist, it’s all doom and gloom. Of course this very socialist outlook has been instilled from kindergarten on for the last 30 years, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.
    Part of what worries me is with this outlook where do we look for innovators and real scientists who are interested in bettering human life rather keeping things sustainable.

  40. My concern, as a deeply committed environmentalist, can best be illustrated by the majority of the comments in this thread. Since AGW is a scam and is identified as being an environmentalist movement, all environmental activism is likewise called into question. At one time I too bought into the whole global warming alarmism. A surprizing little time doing a dispassionate analysis convinced me this was a non-issue. That does not mean that there aren’t a host of other very legitimate environmental issues we can, and should, address. But now that nearly all “green” issues are becoming tainted with the AGW scam brush we run the risk of turning our backs on some very real problems. And environmentalists will have no one to blame but themselves. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” parable comes to mind.

  41. ‘Sustainability’ is perhaps the dirtiest word in the English language. Its advocates would have us give up on progress, on the growth of civilization, and the eventual journey of mankind to the rest of the Solar System and to the stars. It is anti-growth, anti-freedom, anti-prosperity, and anti-human; it is therefore profoundly unethical.

    ‘Sustainability’ is of course based on the myth that there are ‘limits to growth’ (sound familiar?). That myth and its promulgators must be roundly and decisively fought and defeated. We are in a war that will determine the future of humanity.

    E. M. Smith has very aptly given the lie to the myth of ‘sustainability’: there is no shortage of ‘stuff’, and there never will be, unless we impose it upon ourselves:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    /Mr Lynn

  42. I’m not terribly impressed by any of the comments.

    Humankind is facing the question of how to handle it’s growing population and what version of a future Earth it wants to have. “Sustainability” is the question of how much of the recent state of the natural ecosystem can be maintained with a peaking population. It is not that the world has existed in a pristine, unchanging state, it is that the pace of change related to human intervention is increasing. This increasing pace drives the insecurity of “greenies”, and it does represent a real problem.

    Morality is an appropriate paradigm to use in discussing “sustainability”, because it is a question of what we want as a future state of the Earth insofar as we can form that future state.

  43. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Bang on. And I probably met you at a march or two… What a senseless waste of time! “I could have been a somebody! I could have been a contender. But i’m just a bum…with a one way ticket to palookaville….”

  44. Is it ethical for someone else to decide if I live or die. Maybe if you live or die. The consideration moves to my dog or car. Artificial ethics take the form of taxes and social laws, they can reach deep determining if I drive my car or feed my dog or consider procreation. The alternative is the market solution.

  45. drams1 says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am
    I’m not terribly impressed by any of the comments.

    Humankind is facing the question of how to handle it’s growing population and what version of a future Earth it wants to have. “Sustainability” is the question of how much of the recent state of the natural ecosystem can be maintained with a peaking population. It is not that the world has existed in a pristine, unchanging state, it is that the pace of change related to human intervention is increasing. This increasing pace drives the insecurity of “greenies”, and it does represent a real problem.

    Morality is an appropriate paradigm to use in discussing “sustainability”, because it is a question of what we want as a future state of the Earth insofar as we can form that future state.

    I’m not particularly impressed with redefining morality to suit the latest left-wing agenda that comes down the pike, either.

  46. Walter Schneider says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:36 am

    ‘… as Nelson puts it: “If we don’t know where we’re going, we won’t know when we get there.”’

    That statement is partially correct….

    The last part of Michael Nelson’s statement should therefore be: “…, we will not only lack the knowledge of when we will get there, we don’t even know whether we will ever make it there.”
    ________________________________________________________________
    Oh it is known where we are “going” and how we are going to get there.

    It is no coincidence that Big Oil Mogul, Maurice Strong was chairman of the UN’s First Earth Summit in 1972, where he ushered in environmental activism and global warming and UN controlled NGOs. Later he was Chairman at Kyoto. But perhaps the most significant information is his membership on the U.N.-funded Commission on Global Governance.

    “On July 14, Kofi Annan released Maurice Strong’s initial plan..The 95-page document, entitled Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform, is a step-by-step program to implement many of the recommendations advanced by the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance in its 1995 report entitled Our Global Neighborhood. The reform plan comes as no surprise. Maurice Strong was a member of the Commission on Global Governance and a lead author of its report.” http://www.iahf.com/world/un-refm.html

    Despite all the evidence this is all considered a “Conspiracy Theory” with citations to our beloved Steve Connor and George Monbiot in Wiki. I can not think of a better reason to take a good hard look at the stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_conspiracy_theory

  47. They are not talking about ethics nor sustainability. They are talking about maintainability in the sense of maintaining the status quo. No more humans, no more land freed up for humans, total control by the intelligentia lefties.

  48. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    “Sustainable Development is Agenda 21 until you understand that it is not about the environment but a cover for totalitarian control of people you miss the whole point.

    No I am not a “conspiracy theorists” I am one very frighten individual because I have been following the progress of this disease for over ten years….”

    Gail, one does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to be a very frightened individual. You are absolute correct with respect to what “sustainability” and Agenda 21 stand for.

    I wonder what proportion of individuals discussing and worrying about sustainability ever read Agenda 21. Here is the link to the full text of it: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml

    It is a detailed prescription for the goals and objectives of a global, totalitarian system. It is all out in the open and always was. It has nothing to do with a conspiracy. Those with the potential for absolute, total power to control have no need to conspire. They just do.

    Just like you, I too am a very frightened individual, but, as frightening as Agenda 21 and other UN objectives and resolutions are, what frightens me most of all is how very few frightened individuals there are.

    By the way, it appears that Orwell’s ’1984′ no longer is required reading in Canadian schools. I asked many young people about the book. Extremely few know it or have even heard about it. It does not surprise me that even fewer ever heard of Agenda 21, let alone have read it.

    However, how can anyone comprehend the implications and consequences of the drive to attain sustainability in all its various manifestations unless he understands its foundation, Agenda 21?

  49. drams1 says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    “I’m not terribly impressed by any of the comments.”

    That’s the beauty of subjective interpretation. I thought some many were spot on! I sat out to copy some prior thoughts presented in earlier posts, but quickly realized I’d be referencing about half the posts of this thread. Yes, the perspectives offered differ, but correct, nonetheless.

  50. Bill Tuttle says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Ken Smith: July 6, 2010 at 5:09 am
    I was a little surprised to find that about half of them indicated that they did not want the cave to be explored. They wrote things like “leave it the way God made it” or “respect the magnificence of this wonderful natural formation and leave the rest of it alone.”
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Bill Tuttle says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:50 am
    Completely disregarding the fact that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to view the part of the cave that they *did* see unless it had been explored. I’d trust a spelunker to leave a cave as he found it sooner than I’d trust one of those visitors to walk ten feet to a trash can to toss a gum wrapper rather than dropping it in place.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    You are correct. Our (National Speleological Society) motto is “take nothing but photos, leave nothing but foot prints” and that is from before 1968. The climbers at my university were about to be banned from the local state recreation area because we supposedly left so much trash. Luckily one of the Profs who sometimes came with us was able to tell the committee we toted away carfuls of trash every time we visited!

  51. The world didnt buy Marxist socialism, it was a failed model however that did not mean that the Marxist socialist model died, its adherents simply changed some terminology and changed the ‘marketing strategy’ and are now selling this new ‘product’ under a new name.
    New name, old product.
    Central planning and central authoritarian control using the cover of sustainability, the aim is to build a Marxist state using Marxist principles but using different words. A centrally planned economy using rationing, each according to his needs so the dogma goes and the result is the same, the state provides direction to economic activity and models are used to provide this economic model with production goals and targets. Models are used to calculate the needs of the population and statistics are used to supply products that the models suggest a unit of population requires to sustain them.
    Hey presto!
    A Marxist socialist state appears, rationing and queues and shortages and five year plans and state farms and an authoritarian state where corruption thrives, its back to the future and the USSR is reborn again. The USSR failed, its failure was absolute and tragic and yet the aim is to recreate that failed economic model again. The obvious end result of ‘sustainability’ is a Marxist central planned economy basing production on the ‘needs of the individual’ as dictated by the ‘needs of the state’. The very last thing humanity needs right now is rationing and central planning and yet that is what many desire, it didnt work for the USSR and it wont work for us.
    Like it or not humanity is a dynamic species, we have the means to thrive and develop and evolve using technology and the desire to better ourselves and like it or not we simply must use all the resources at our disposal to grow beyond the confines of this planet or we will fail as a species. We are using a tiny fraction of the planets resources and we need to use much more to spread our species out to the stars because only that is our ultimate salvation, if we stay in the crib of earth we have no future. We must use up the gift that humanity has been given and spread our seed as quickly as we can and if that means the earth becomes one giant city then so be it.
    Our ultimate home is not an eco friendly mud hut it is the whole universe and to get there we have to use up all the resources we come across.Those who are trying to hold us back are in effect trying to kill us off as a species, we either grow as fast as we can and develop the technology to get us off this tiny suffocating tenuous rock or we die. Our destiny is not to de evolve into grazing animals living as one wth nature, our destiny is to master our surroundings and spread our kind into the universe at large using technology and science and industry and based on free market capitalism.
    If we stay on this little rock at the arse end of nowhere then we will go nowhere and become nothing, the only way we will leave a lasting mark on the universe is to spread out as fast as we can using all the resourses we can wrestle from wherever we can find them using whatever means we can devise. We are not sedantary plodding herbivores content to atrophy we are wolves and dynamic predators by nature and could be a stunning success if we only trusted our instincts and let go of our childish fears and fantasies. Some say our population is too high, I believe our population is far too low to sustain and breed the kind of expansion our species needs.

  52. Just an added obvious thought, can you imagine far back in time when the first brave souls made simple boats and set for shores unknown with only hope to guide them?
    Can you imagine those who stayed behind and even tried to persuede others not to risk all but to stay and rot in safety?
    Who are we and who have we become and who do we wish to become given the chance? Our destiny is not to pander to our childish fancies and fears it is to grow and mature and follow our ancient mariner forebears to islands as yet undiscovered. We are at our best when reaching for the stars and at our worst when trying to hide away from reality.

  53. Steve Fitzpatrick says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Good someone from academia is addressing this ethical dimension of climate science.

    As several different people have pointed out, the underlying conflict about climate science is the conflict between “naturalists” and “humanists”. The former believe that nature and its ecosystems, unchanged by humanity, are inherently good and valuable, while the latter consider the maintenance of natural ecosystems valuable only to the extent that this insures the quality of human life. It is a philosophical difference which is not going to disappear….
    ____________________________________________________________________
    That is just the first layer. It is what these people WANT us to think is the issue. As Cassandra and I have tried to point out the deeper issue is freedom vs serfdom.

    In the middle ages the control mechanism was religion. The first son inherited the title, the second went into the military and the third went into the Church. What were the teachings?

    “And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s…” Mark 12:17

    or as this song put it.

    Chorus:
    We are the worms of the earth,
    Against the lions of might.
    All of our days we are tied to the land,
    While they hunt and they feast and they fight.
    We give our crops and our homes and our lives,
    The clerics tell us this is right.

    “Green” is the new religion used to enslave our minds.

  54. Who defines “ethics” and why?

    Properly, ethics is the study of the moral interaction among human beings, and is derived from man’s unique ability to adapt the world for his survival. Our ability in conceptual thinking is something lacking among plants, rocks and other animals. A system of objective ethics can be established. It should allow for property rights. (As Gail Combs quoted from somebody, if you can’t own property, you ARE property.) Conversely, a system of non-objective ethics, perhaps devised by the whims of the current ruling clique, can be established instead.

    Regardless, in any society there will always be something called ethics. Its source will be reason, faith, or force. Historically, faith and force have dominated, and reason has labored to maintain any existence at all.

    Now we see science, supposedly the province of reason, being used to destroy objective ethics, to destroy dissent, to destroy reason.

    The anti-concept of “sustainability” subverts or prevents objective ethics, handing the moral high ground to the supreme will of the clique of the moment, to their religion of world government, and to their sacrifice of the individual to the masses.

    Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to rescue objective ethics before it is again lost.

  55. Errr…you mean this “ethics”?:

    http://www.green-agenda.com/agenda21.html

  56. drams1 says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I’m not terribly impressed by any of the comments.

    Humankind is facing the question of how to handle it’s growing population and what version of a future Earth it wants to have. “Sustainability” is the question of how much of the recent state of the natural ecosystem can be maintained with a peaking population. It is not that the world has existed in a pristine, unchanging state, it is that the pace of change related to human intervention is increasing. This increasing pace drives the insecurity of “greenies”, and it does represent a real problem.

    That’s some pretty impressive spin. You say “sustainability” has to do with “maintaining” the ecosystem against a rising population and an increasing rate of change. So, what exactly is it that we are changing that is so “bad”? Is it the fact we are adding some amount of life-giving C02 to the atmosphere, causing “dangerous” runaway plant growth? Or maybe, just maybe, that the additional C02 is adding a very slight amount of warming, which is of course beneficial to life?
    What drives the insecurities of greenies in fact has nothing to do with “sustainability”, or “change”; what’s driving them is the fact that their game is being exposed now, and that’s driving them bonkers.

  57. When I first read this, I thought to myself, “It’s not just in that field, they should teach ethics to everybody at the grade-school level.” Then I thought about it some more, and recanted. The real issue with teaching ethics is, whose ethics do you teach? A stereotypical left-wing granola-munching hippie and a stereotypical right-wing cigar-chomping business tycoon will have very different views on ethics – even down to the relative worth of the other. We can claim there are universal truths and universal ethics, but they are actually far and few between.

  58. drams1 says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I’m not terribly impressed by any of the comments.

    Humankind is facing the question of how to handle it’s growing population and what version of a future Earth it wants to have. “Sustainability” is the question of how much of the recent state of the natural ecosystem can be maintained with a peaking population….
    ________________________________________________________________________
    This is another fallacy used to sway opinions. The population increases for two reasons.

    1. Politicians, at least in the USA, pay lazy teenagers to have babies. It is called welfare. One of my friends actually had his 12 year old daughter removed by Social Services and placed in an apartment occupied by an unwed mother. The judge then gave free access to the male adult on trial for statutory rape of the girl because “they were in love.” The father then found out this dude’s brother was “doing” the girl’s 10 year old sister! So much for the government suppressing population growth.

    The second overlooked link to population growth is poverty. The higher the standard of living the lower the population growth. Discounting immigration the EU and the USA have lower population growth than China with its mandatory one child system. Actually the populations of the EU and the USA are shrinking that is why there is so much immigration.

    The second reason is Third world countries stuck in poverty have a bulk of their population occupied in subsidence agriculture. You need children as slave labor on the farm because you do not have modern farming tools.

    Therefore raising the standard of living over all, not regulation is the solution to the “population explosion”

    (I have links for all this but I do not have time to dig them out)

  59. Pops says:
    July 6, 2010 at 8:00 am
    Well, I guess there’s always the The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    Everyone is admitted, specially if qualified as “progressive bedwetters”. But, the fact is that THEY want us all to disappear, with the exception, of course, of some XXX massagists.

  60. Reading through some of the postings it appears that many see sustainability as some kind of conspiracy theory.
    This is pretty deluded. Fact: we live on one planet which we are pretty much stuck on. Fact: Much of what occurs on that planet is bound within Laws of Nature (e.g the laws of thermodynamics (try and argue that these don’t matter- difficult huh?), Fact: unless we seek to align ourselves with such Laws of Nature, we will increasingly see the results of behaving unsustainably (bio-accumulation of toxins (such as within humans), marine acidification, climate change (yes this is happening unless you prefer to believe a tiny number of sceptics many without climate science professional qualifications or robust and peer reviewed reposts to peer reviewed climate science) etc etc. Added to this biodiversity loss (in almost all ecosystems) and importantly how we undermine fundamental human needs then things will get worse not better. Fact: its time we collaborated (no this isn’t a socialist plot) to create the systems that will enable us to live comfortably within natural constraints so that not just us but future generations too can enjoy what we have enjoyed. Seems pretty clear, fair, just and ethical to me? What do you think?

  61. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:24 am
    …The second reason is Third world countries stuck in poverty have a bulk of their population occupied in subsidence agriculture. You need children as slave labor on the farm because you do not have modern farming tools

    Hpwever there are some exceptions to this. In Peru, south america, the 48% of the GDP is produced by small and medium enterprises, which were formed by the once “poor people”, which in the 50′s and 60′s lived in shanty towns which have become now the driving force of the economy (those shanty towns now have turned into concrete and brick three floors houses, built by themselves). Back in the 50′s and 60′ s these people were critizied by progressives for their high rate of reproduction (more that 5 children per couple), nevertheless now they are the rich ones.
    The psychological difference is the following: If you lose your job in the “first world”, you go to your house and sit in your couch waiting for someone to solve your problem, be it the government or a corporation; here, you can’t just imagine that, you gotto go out and make any business. It worked! and, believe me, private initiative, capitalism works!. Of course, it is always easier the “RETURN TO YOUR MOTHER’S WOMB” but, IT IS NOT, it is a WOLF which will swallow you up!
    It tells you tales, nice tales, nice and “ethical” lies, as “be good, be green”, etc. Don’t believe it!, run and get your shotgun!

  62. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Well, that’s your plan. We don’t take it, it does not work, it has never worked and it won’t work. You know it, all goldsmiths knew it ☺

  63. Thanks Enneagram for your comment.
    Do you not agree with the laws of science? Are there other laws out there only you know of that determine how we can live in a sustainable way? – If so then please let us know and if they work then a Nobel prize will, i’m sure be awarded ;-)
    The truth is that we have exceeded may of the limits the Earth has, however, we are able to adapt by using our intelligence to create more sustainable ways of creating wealth, improving wellbeing and enabling survival of not just our species but of many others which we should also seek to protect.
    If you have a clear plan please tell us!

  64. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:54 am
    “[...]
    Reading through some of the postings it appears that many see sustainability as some kind of conspiracy theory.
    This is pretty deluded. Fact: [...] on. Fact: Much [...]huh?), Fact: unless [...] Fact: its time [...] Seems pretty clear, fair, just and ethical to me? What do you think?”

    You sound like Al Gore.

  65. TomB says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:14 am

    My concern, as a deeply committed environmentalist, can best be illustrated by the majority of the comments in this thread. Since AGW is a scam and is identified as being an environmentalist movement, all environmental activism is likewise called into question….
    __________________________________________________________________________
    And given the origin of the Environmental Movement, the UN Earth Summit 1972 and Maurice Strong, it should come under scrutiny.

    However do not make the mistake many make. A healthy distrust for those who are using concern for the environment for a power grab does not automatically mean those opposed to the power grab are in favor of wholesale pillaging of the planet. Actually those using the environment for a power grab are the ones most likely to do the pillaging!

    I strongly suggest a day reading up on Maurice Strong, his AZL Resources Lawsuit (arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi) his the Molten Metal Inc Swindle (Al Gore) and the UN Oil for food scam.

    Where is Strong now? He is in China acting as advisor to Beijing and working for CH2M Hill, a “an employee-owned, multinational firm providing engineering, construction, operations and related services”

    Can you say Hypocrite? The @#$# is selling out western culture and getting positioned to make a killing industrializing China… with our taxes!

  66. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:24 am
    …The second reason is Third world countries stuck in poverty have a bulk of their population occupied in subsidence agriculture. You need children as slave labor on the farm because you do not have modern farming tools…
    ______________________________________________________
    Enneagram says:
    July 6, 2010 at 10:03 am
    Hpwever there are some exceptions to this. In Peru, South America, the 48% of the GDP is produced by small and medium enterprises, which were formed by the once “poor people”, which in the 50′s and 60′s lived in shanty towns… Back in the 50′s and 60′ s these people were critizied by progressives for their high rate of reproduction (more that 5 children per couple), nevertheless now they are the rich ones.
    ______________________________________________________
    The US as it was growing into prosperity also had a high rate of reproduction. This mindset does not turn around in just one generation. However as the cost of raising kids rises with your life style and with the desire to give them a good start in life (education) the number of kids per couple falls. On a farm an extra mouth that may die by the age of ten is not the burden especially when the child is bringing in net income to the family.

  67. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:54 am
    “[...]
    Reading through some of the postings it appears that many see sustainability as some kind of conspiracy theory.
    This is pretty deluded. Fact: [...] on. Fact: Much [...]huh?), Fact: unless [...] Fact: its time [...] Seems pretty clear, fair, just and ethical to me? What do you think?”
    _________________________________________________________________
    You swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker. Ready for your slave collar? If not perhaps you should READ the links or is your mind too closed?

  68. DirkH,
    I don’t care who I sound like – it is more important that what I say is correct – these facts I state cannot be challenged as untrue. Would you prefer me to because this is more convenient to the unsustainable ways we have developed our economies and how we live our lives.
    Lets get away from petty squabbles and begin to face the facts and build a better world, otherwise we are doomed – no argument!

  69. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    No, No, he is at the side where baits are thrown into the river. Don’t be confused!

  70. One day I was downtown waiting for a bus transfer and saw a guy kick a pigeon really hard, stunning it. He laughed and walked off. I know there is no shortage of pigeons, but I felt bad for the bird. Events like this make me realize I consider life to have intrinsic value. To destroy something just to enjoy a feeling of power over nature seems wrong. It seems right to feed the pigeons until I give it more thought and realize it only results in more hungry pigeons. So, I guess I’d just rather leave them alone.

    But what about humans? Is there a shortage of humans? No. I could have run around impregnating as many women as possible and fueled the growth of the population, then said “oh no, we need to transform more forests and prairies into farms and pastures to feed my descendants”. So on one hand it seems right to keep the poor children from starving, but on the other it seems negligent to bring so many into the world when there is no shortage of humans. So I think there is great value in taking care of the population but no value in expanding it. You just end up with more hungry people. If some pandemic wiped out 6 billion people, then there would be great value in expanding the small population left behind. I’m glad we don’t have that problem. So anyways, I chose to only have 2 kids, and help raise some that aren’t biologically mine as well.

    So it gets down to people looking around and doing what they believe is right, and if they need an ethics professor to figure that out, then fine. But if they have some intelligence, I’d rather people be free to figure it out for themselves, because we’re not going to agree and to force everyone into 1 standard is futile anyway… look at how effective the war on drugs turned out (it wasn’t).

  71. For all the talk of sustainability I never hear the answer to my question “how sustainable is a trillion dollar a year arms race?”.

    One of the greatest economic booms was in the 1990′s when there was a 10% reduction in arms spending globally.

    For all the talk if they want a sustainable world you need to free up some of the money we spend to kill each other. Sustainability is just a code phrase for population control. How long before “the experts” decide on how many people on the planet is “sustainable”?

    The only sane way to reduce the population, unless you are volunteering to remove yourself from the planet, is to raise the standard of living.

  72. Dear Ms Combs & Enneagram,
    Fortunately I don’t suffer a kind of paranoia that assumes that anything for the collective good such as sustainability is part of a socialist conspiracy of world domination and wealth control.
    Rather I am fortunate to have an open mind that recognises that our actions are seriously undermining the life supporting natural systems upon which we all depend – you and me, rich and poor, capitalist and communist, straight and gay, christian and atheist. I have an open mind that ensures that unless we understand the underlying science and then act upon this then we will have problems (indeed we already suffer by ignoring such scientific facts and natural and social impacts).
    I challenge you to show me how we are to live in a finite world with an increasing population seeking higher consumption levels within whilst natural resources continue to swindle. If you can then I would love to hear them.

  73. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    “DirkH,
    I don’t care who I sound like”

    Your decision.

    ” – it is more important that what I say is correct – these facts”

    correct: 1 fact: 1

    ” I state cannot be challenged as untrue.”

    infallibility: 1

    ” Would you prefer me to because this is more convenient to the unsustainable ways we have developed our economies and how we live our lives.”

    cannot parse.

    “Lets get away from petty squabbles”

    Let’s-sentence: 1

    ” and begin to face the facts and build a better world,”

    fact: 2
    “otherwise we are doomed – no argument!”?

    infallibility: 2

    You really have a funny way to bring across your opinion. Maybe you should try that in an election… i suggest the papal election.

  74. Gail Combs: July 6, 2010 at 7:50 am
    Despite all the evidence this is all considered a “Conspiracy Theory”…

    The reason conspiracy theories are so prevalent is that there actually *are* conspiracies.

    “…the degree to which individuals are physiologically responsive to threat appears to indicate the degree to which they advocate policies that protect the existing social structure from both external (outgroup) and internal (norm-violator) threats.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/321/5896/1667

    Bottom line of the study: Liberals are much less likely than Conservatives to correctly recognize a genuine threat.

  75. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    There are a lot of people, especially outside of climate science (Joe Romm and the like), who use AGW as a means to advance an extreme left-of-center political viewpoint. Large scale government control of how individuals and businesses conduct themselves, and very high marginal tax rates (whether explicit or as a result of ‘regulations’) fit this extreme-left political point of view perfectly. I have zero time for these folks; they want nothing but ‘social justice’ (AKA socialism) by any possible means.

    Still, I think there are people of good will who just worry a great deal about damaging Earth’s ecosystems. I think it is not fair to combine only those who are politically motivated with those sincerely concerned about Earth’s ecosystems.

  76. S. Goldsmith: July 6, 2010 at 10:33 am
    The truth is that we have exceeded may of the limits the Earth has…

    Some of those limits being — what?

  77. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    DirkH,
    I don’t care who I sound like – it is more important that what I say is correct – these facts I state cannot be challenged as untrue. Would you prefer me to because this is more convenient to the unsustainable ways we have developed our economies and how we live our lives.
    Lets get away from petty squabbles and begin to face the facts and build a better world, otherwise we are doomed – no argument!

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means — especially if you believe in post-normal science.

  78. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    “[...] I challenge you to show me how we are to live in a finite world with an increasing population seeking higher consumption levels within whilst natural resources continue to swindle. If you can then I would love to hear them.”

    People like you are called Malthusians. Recommended reading would be Julian Simon’s “The Ultimate Resource”. The wikipedia has links to some of his writing online:

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

  79. Enneagram says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    No, No, he is at the side where baits are thrown into the river. Don’t be confused!
    ___________________________________________________________
    I am not confused.

    He thinks he is on the winning side, but will find after the dust is settled it is slave collar time just like the intellectuals supporting the Bolsheviks did in the USSR. Once the “revolution” is over they were not be needed and were in fact considered dangerous so the Bolsheviks took measures to prevent challenges to their new regime. History has a tendency to repeat its self so all he has to do is read a bit of history to understand what his fate will be.

    Soviet Attacks on Intelligentsia: http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/attack.html

  80. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Yes, Gail, glad you posted that.

    And those words by Khrushchev, I remember watching on our first black and white television as he pounded his shoe on the podium at the United Nations. That was when I was but some six and of course I didn’t understand at all what was going on at that time but I will never forget it. Wasn’t that date in about 1958? Never have heard a leader withdraw that threat and think you are right on what’s currently happening.

  81. Consider the causes and issues for which liberals (er, “progressives”) most often pine for and scold the rest of us over the issue of “sustainability”. And then consider the issues where there is no concern for being “sustainable”. Where you find the frequent use of “sustainable”, you will find issues that can be spun and molded to fit the desired policy goals. This is because “sustainability”, like every other reason liberals dream up, is not the real issue. The real issue is something else. Being sustainable is just a great reason to be for or against something until some better reason comes along.

    Sorry if this appears to be cynical, but for years the left has scolded us about solar energy. But the instant that solar power plants are announced for some totally barren California desert, the advocates of “sustainable” power suddenly decide that power lines would disrupt “critical habitat”. It must really suck to be a person who doesn’t even know why they are for or against a issue.

  82. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t care who I sound like – it is more important that what I say is correct – these facts I state cannot be challenged as untrue. Would you prefer me to because this is more convenient to the unsustainable ways we have developed our economies and how we live our lives.
    Lets get away from petty squabbles and begin to face the facts and build a better world, otherwise we are doomed – no argument!

    Greenie Leftists always say and think they know how to “build a better world”, if only the rest of us would let them. In actuality, though, they don’t have a clue, and their “solutions” are always far worse than the problems (real or fantasized) they are trying to fix. And by the way, climate change happens, always has, and always will. Get over it.

  83. Nuke:
    Thank you for your comment.
    Its not clear what you are referring to – if its my belief that we should accept and work with regard to how the laws of thermodynamics work then I don’t believe this is what is known as post-normal science (a new term for me so thank you). Though using PNS – I would always prefer to take more notice of the vast majority of scientists and take actions accordingly than ignore them in case the tiny minority may be correct, such a precautionary principle does ensure that we move forward taking appropriate care. This is incredibly important when we are working within systems that are extremely complex – such as the environment – or even working within challenging environments – such as seen with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

  84. Steve Fitzpatrick says:
    July 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    There are a lot of people, especially outside of climate science (Joe Romm and the like), who use AGW as a means to advance an extreme left-of-center political viewpoint..

    Still, I think there are people of good will who just worry a great deal about damaging Earth’s ecosystems. I think it is not fair to combine only those who are politically motivated with those sincerely concerned about Earth’s ecosystems.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    I agree. I spend a lot of time with these people at an organic farmers market.

    I normally try to open their eyes to the huge swindle called the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the food safety fraud and bills that would kill organic farming. It is the first step in opening their eyes and they are fairly neutral topics.

    It is fairly easy to separate the innocent dupes from those who are dedicated traitors to their nations. For example:

    The response from Organic Consumers and La Vida Locavore to the Food Safety Bill Hr 875 was a real shocker. We even spoke to Jill ( La Vida Locavore) personally but they were one hundred percent for the bill and fought the rest of us tooth and nail. This was despite the fact the bills would drive all organic farmers out of business leaving corporate monoculture farms as the only farms left.

    Then I did a bit of online research and found out Jill was the UC San Diego Sustainability Coordinator and most likely works with Raymond Clemencon another facultiy member, who was one of the negotiators on the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21.

    Maude Barlow a “no dog in this fight” Canadian, is director of both
    Organic Consumers Assoc and Food & Water Watch. Barlow has been handsomely rewarded with an appointment as New Senior Advisor to the UN president on October 21, 2008.

    After the last decade in the FOOD WARS, I have no illusions, unlike S. Goldsmith. People who support factory farming monoculture and the death of farmers by pesticide poisoning in India are hypocrites with a hidden agenda. It is what you DO not the rhetoric that counts.

    Mods: Sorry for the use of the word traitors but I can not think of any other word that fits those aligned with the UN and against their countrymen.

  85. Gail Combs:
    Thanks for your time. We are all on the same side regardless of what out backgrounds are. I am happy to be precautious especially when we are dealing with the complexity of the planet. This doesn’t mean that I am a socialist and I am pretty sure that the countries that agree that sustainability is a key issue for their futures aren’t socialist or communists which you seem to directly associate (for the record the UK has a ‘socialist’ government for 13 years and I can’t recall any real changes to the way people lived there or how businesses behaved).

  86. Dirk H:
    On a finite planet finite resources run out and environmental systems, unless protected, will deteriorate, undermining our ability to live decent lives (do you agree with this or not). If you don’t agree with this then maybe you could then work out how we will be able to replace phosphorous (an essential element in our industrial agricultural systems) which is expected to reach its global peak in the next 30 years?

  87. Mr Goldsmith claims to have an “open mind”, a clear sign that he does not have an open mind. Then he says we must face certain “facts” or we are “doomed”. What on Earth (pun intended) does he mean?

    Life expectancies and wealth have been steadily increasing, across the globe, except for socialist and communist societies. The air is cleaner, the water more drinkable, infant mortality is lower throughout the free enterprise Western Civilization than they were one hundred years ago. There is abundant energy, with reserves of hundreds of years of coal, uranium, and to a lesser extent, natural gas and oil. There is an agricultural revolution underway in genetically modified crops resistant to diseases and pests, with ever higher yields per acre. Hunger and widespread diseases such as TB, Malaria, HIV are mostly limited to socialist and corrupt societies. All of the so-called Third World countries that have embraced free enterprise have advanced into near-developed status or better over the last 50 years.

    “Sustainability”, like AGW, is BS, a term used by elitists who imagine they ought to be chosen to run centrally-planned societies to protect the foolish masses. But that experiment has been run, over and over, in utopian socialist societies, one after the other. The result: universal failure of these elites; poverty and squalor in servitude to inhumane government bureaucracies for the masses.

  88. Bruce Cobb et al,
    I’m still awaiting what your “better world” will look like. How will it deal with the limits of a finite planet, how will it respond to issues such as ocean acidification and toxic bioaccumulation within humans? How will it ensure that all the 9 billion people that will live on this planet will be able to live to the same standards, presumably using the same amounts of resource and creating similar amounts of pollution by 2050.
    If you have got a list of goals to achieve then please can you post them.
    Thank you.

  89. Nothing is or ever has been sustainable. Nothing. Nothing that humans can or could do is or can be sustainable.

    The sustainable issue is all about power and control, nothing more. As to the definition or meaning of sustainable, I will make reference to Lewis Carroll:

    When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

    What is ethical is determined by whoever has control.

    Arrogant lot, we humans are. Planet Earth can’t be run as a zoo is run.

  90. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    Dirk H:
    “[...]If you don’t agree with this then maybe you could then work out how we will be able to replace phosphorous (an essential element in our industrial agricultural systems)[...]”

    Read Julian Simon. Think about it a little. Maybe you will find the answer. I know it because Simon spells it out clearly. Read him just like you read everything Al Gore writes.

  91. S. Goldsmith,
    I have done a lot of reading and corresponding with a lot of people.
    It is not the socialists I am worried about it is the Central Bankers and large multinational corporations behind the socialists that have me really worried. (It is called Corporatism) the Socialists vs Capitalists is really a “lets you and he fight” while the bankers make of with everyone’s wealth sort of thing.

    For example Central banker Paul Warburg left Germany and essentially wrote and directed the campaign to get the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 passed in the USA. This Act has drained the wealth of the USA directly into the pockets of the bankers. His brother Max Warburg, helped finance Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

    Maurice Strong who I mentioned before was a Senior Advisor to the World Bank. It is rather telling that the deal breaker at Copenhagen was the leaked Danish text that would leave the World Bank in control of Carbon trading.

    Check out:

    History, HACCP and the Food Safety Con Job for a good overall view of who is in control, what is happening and not just in farming: http://farmwars.info/?p=1565

    The Pew Report on Corporate Farming (very long) also shows the transition from family farm to corporate farm creates poverty in rural areas. http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Industrial_Agriculture/PCIFAP_FINAL.pdf

    The WTO and the Politics of GMO. By F. William Engdahl http://www.publiceyeonscience.ch/images/the_wto_and_the_politics_of_gmo.doc

    Where US taxes actually go: http://www.uhuh.com/taxstuff/gracecom.htm

    What actually happens when theWorld Bank/IMF takes control of a third world country: http://www.whirledbank.org/development/sap.html

    The Federal Reserve scam:
    An easy read: http://www.bigeye.com/griffin.htm

    A PRIMER ON MONEY: by US House Committee on Banking and Currency: http://www.devvy.com/pdf/2006_October/Patman_Primer_on_Money.pdf

  92. One more clue, S. Goldsmith: The answer is hidden in your sentence
    “If you don’t agree with this then maybe you could then work out how we will be able to replace phosphorous (an essential element in our industrial agricultural systems)”.

  93. @Gail Combs: “the bills would drive all organic farmers out of business leaving corporate monoculture farms as the only farms left”

    I recently saw “The Botany of Desire” (available via netflix instant for those who have it). I thought it did a good job of explaining the demand for and dangers of monoculture.

  94. Gail, Walter, et. al. I don’t know why this Climategate email has gotten so little play, but it should have opened up more eyes as to the agenda:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=54&filename=889554019.txt

    They even use the term “global governance.” The good old B1 Sustainable Development scenario has the alarmists frothing about the possibilities. My favorite line from the final report they were drafting in the email:

    “Massive income redistribution and presumably high taxation levels may adversely affect the economic efficiency and functioning of world markets.”

    You don’t say! The final report (minus references to global governance) can be found here:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/emission/index.php?idp=94#1

    I have had alarmists come back at me on other sites (most notable MMfA) with charges of black helicopters and tin foil hats, but my answer is always the same: how can it be a conspiracy if it is so blatantly and openly advertised?

    If you give those a read, do some number crunching and compare A1 Golden Economic Age to B1 Sustainable Development. The bottom line is if the alarmists have their B1 way, wealth worldwide will have been cut in half by 2100 (vs. A1). The numbers are even more dramatic for the world’s poor, so anyone who claims that B1 will help to eradicate poverty is either a dreamer or an outright liar.

    In parting, be afraid. Fear is good. Hopefully it will get you and many others to rise up against the tide that threatens us. I have a 4-year-old son and, to borrow a phrase, I have not yet begun to fight!

  95. S. Goldsmith, re running out of resources.

    I have a serious question for you. Exactly where do you believe the dwindling resources disappeared to? By my reckoning, each atom is still here on the Earth, with the sole exceptions of those few tons of materials that Man has rocketed into space and out of Earth’s gravitational well, and the few that are transmuted in nuclear reactions.

    No elements in or on the Earth are “lost” or in short supply. The only thing separating Man from an abundance of everything is ingenuity and energy. Including Phosphorus.

  96. PNeilson says:
    July 6, 2010 at 9:07 am

    “Who defines “ethics” and why? ….

    …. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to rescue objective ethics before it is again lost.”

    There never was such a thing as objective ethics. It did not exist when the Catholic Church operated its Index Librorum Prohibitorum (“List of Prohibited Books”), nor when the Church finally abolished the Index. It did not exist in any of the nations engaged in the pursuit of the principles of socialism, most definitely not in Nazi Germany. I remember the latter well, because that is where and when I began my schooling. All of them had their own individual, peculiar, national, ideology-driven brands of allegedly objective standards of ethics; and we know where all of that got us.

    The new liberalism of the sort promoted by the UN is no different, those on this list that suffer the consequences of not toeing the party line of politically-correct thought in the pursuit of science should know.

    Virtually all of the UN’s unelected bureaucracy exists for only one reason, to cater to the need to constantly define and modify its expressions and diktat comprised of various specification for the ethical standards it wishes to impose on the world. The ethical standards imposed by the UN are neither objective nor fixed. They are being adjusted more and more to make them fit the goals of the UN in its program for the creation of socialist totalitarianism.

    S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    “Dear Ms Combs & Enneagram,
    Fortunately I don’t suffer a kind of paranoia that assumes that anything for the collective good such as sustainability is part of a socialist conspiracy of world domination and wealth control.
    Rather I am fortunate to have an open mind…

    I challenge you to show me how we are to live in a finite world with an increasing population seeking higher consumption levels within whilst natural resources continue to swindle. If you can then I would love to hear them.”

    Some suggestions for reading that will help to debunk fears instilled by ‘The Limits of Growth’ were already mentioned in subsequent posts. I would like to add: “The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World,” by Bjørn Lomborg.
    Link to amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dus-stripbooks-tree&field-keywords=The+skeptical+environmentalist&x=11&y=17

    Link to a list of a few commentaries on Bjørn Lomborg that you may find helpful: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Lomborg+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.john-daly.com&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    This commentary by Bjørn Lomborg is a good one, as it specifically addresses the subject of sustainability and politically-correct misconceptions that allegedly exist to limit sustainability, that is, an 11-page critique by the Scientific American to which Bjørn Lomborg responds: http://fathersforlife.org/doc/Lomborg_vs_Siam.pdf

  97. S. Goldsmith says:
    If you have got a list of goals to achieve then please can you post them.
    Goals? You mean like “world peace”? This isn’t the Miss America pageant.
    The key to all of humanity’s ills lies in economic hardship. Raise people’s standards of living and you automatically increase their health, welfare, and productivity. Easier said than done though, right? Economic activity has to be as free and as unfettered by government as possible. Yes, of course pollution is a concern. It is wealthier societies who have the wherewithal to deal with that. Here’s a little clue for you: raising the cost of energy based on nothing but a much-hyped but groundless fear is going to do nothing but destroy wealth; the exact opposite thing that is needed to protect the environment and raise standards of living. Another thing: what humanity needs, and needs desperately is true science, not government-run pal-reviewed grant-seeking job-maintaining pseudo-science. And make no mistake, the concept of “sustainability” is just that.

  98. SUSTAINABILITY = AGENDA 21 = GENOCIDE = POPULATION REDUCTION of 93%…


    AGENDA 21 FOR DUMMIES

    NWO / CLUB OF ROME DEPOPULATION & AGENDA 21

  99. DirkH says:
    July 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Oh NO! S. Goldsmith is RIGHT! We’re running out of PHOSPHORUS:

    http://energybulletin.net/node/33164

    We’re DOOMED.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Time to start raising bats. Bat guano is rich in PHOSPHORUS: that is why they used to mine it to make gun powder.

    VIVA Der Fledermaus!

  100. Observations -
    1. “We” would like to have “so and so”, “they” would like to have “such and such”, we and they have to communicate our so and so’s and such and such’s with words. The problem is the words.

    2. There’s not much disagreement here, really there isn’t. The problem is the words.

    3. English is a terrible language, but for many it’s all we have.

  101. #
    #
    galileonardo says:
    July 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Gail, Walter, et. al. I don’t know why this Climategate email has gotten so little play, but it should have opened up more eyes as to the agenda:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=54&filename=889554019.txt

    They even use the term “global governance….
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Thanks for the reference. I knew Agenda 21 and CAGW were connected and now here is the proof. Next is to connect in the Financial Stability Board. The WTO agreement on Ag is already connected in through the WTO/UN join projects like the guide to good farming practices.

    Kissinger’s control oil, food and money formula.

  102. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    “Bruce Cobb et al,
    I’m still awaiting what your “better world” will look like. How will it deal with the limits of a finite planet, how will it respond to issues such as ocean acidification and toxic bioaccumulation within humans? How will it ensure that all the 9 billion people that will live on this planet will be able to live to the same standards, presumably using the same amounts of resource and creating similar amounts of pollution by 2050.
    If you have got a list of goals to achieve then please can you post them.
    Thank you.”

    Is this a game of “king of the castle”?

    The game of social control, domination and military conquest for achieving ideological goals was a failure for communist national socialism as well as for national socialism of the Hitler kind. That is as true for regional applications as it is for global ones. The major differences are the scale and the fact that when the playing field expands to incorporate all of the globe, no escape is possible and neither is rescue by outside forces. We will then have a water empire in which the religion of environmentalism and its priesthood rule with an iron hand.

    Check: http://www.bing.com/reference/semhtml/?title=Hydraulic_empire&qpvt=water+empire&src=abop&fwd=1&q=water+empire

    I prefer economic freedom and freedom of choice.

    “A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.” (Milton and Rose Friedman
    in “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement”)

    About “toxic bioaccumulation within humans”, on average it must be quite good for humans, at least in North America and in all of the developed nations, where average life expectancies increased from about 47 years to more than 70 years during the past 110 years.

    As to “ocean acidification,” that is not a problem, at least not according to the many posts here I read on that during the past little while. It is not a problem anyone needs to deal with or even worry about. If you don’t believe that, then search this blog. I don’t believe that you wish anyone else to go through all of the postings on non-existent ocean acidification and to fail to find anything that proves the unprovable, something that was thoroughly debunked.

  103. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Gail Combs:
    …..I am pretty sure that the countries that agree that sustainability is a key issue for their futures aren’t socialist or communists which you seem to directly associate (for the record the UK has a ‘socialist’ government for 13 years and I can’t recall any real changes to the way people lived there or how businesses behaved).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    HMMMmmm You do realize that sustainability is NOT organic farming don’t you? The regs are all about regulating the small farmers and businesses into bankruptcy to leave a clear field for the transnational cartels. The UN may SAY it is about sustainability, but that is just to placate the masses. It is about control and a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

    You said I can’t recall any real changes to the way people lived there or how businesses behaved However there have been very big changes in the UK. Unfortunately the connect the dots never gets in the news so most people do not notice.

    Here is the first example:
    1. World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture is passed in 1995
    2. The EU implements the WTO “traceability” and the UN OIE rules
    3. Many UK slaughter houses are shut down because they can not meet the new rules. (HACCP???)
    4. New rules on livestock keeping are implemented
    5. Pirbright laboratory releases Foot and Mouth disease

    That was the set up.

    In the past a case of foot & mouth would be treated by the local vet. The animal slaughtered and buried in caustic lime and the rest of the herd sent to slaughter (it does not hurt the meat) Surrounding farms would vaccinate for FMD – END OF PROBLEM

    The “Global Governance – sustainable” method:
    This time (2001) the EU, OIE and the UK government got involved thanks to the WTO agreements. It was a major disaster, 16 farmers suicided, carcasses piled high and left to rot instead of slaughtered or buried, no vaccination allowed by the government, and an entire industry, including rare breeds decimated. For the whole story see: http://www.warmwell.com/footmoutheye.html

    Another example is the removal of 60% of the farmers in Portugal and the EU’s stated intention to remove a million farmers in Poland.
    The Battle to Save the Polish Countryside

    Julian Rose exposes the scandal of EU’s deliberate policy to get rid of family farms for the benefit of the corporations and gives a personal account of his battle with the GMO dragon that threatens to devastate rural Poland…” http://www.i-sis.org.uk/savePolishCountryside.php

  104. unless you live on the leading edge of modern civilization, utilizing all it generates there will be stagnation. Imagine living at the apex of modern life style fifty years ago. Today its much less expensive for a much better product for many more people. I guess you could subsist on a lot less, but who is to say that had progress proceeded you wouldn’t have found a less environment impacting method while at the same time increasing the life standards of the worlds population.
    Choosing the direction of evolution, like choosing the path of development, like choosing tomorrows weather is fraught with unseen pitfalls. Better to let the evolution of development proceed than risk the stagnation of humankind.

  105. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    . . . I challenge you to show me how we are to live in a finite world with an increasing population seeking higher consumption levels within whilst natural resources continue to swindle. If you can then I would love to hear them.

    Perhaps you missed my earlier links to the seminal contributions by E. M. Smith, so I’ll repeat them:

    “THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF STUFF, AND THERE NEVER WILL BE”—E. M. Smith

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    Read those two articles, and also the works of Julian Simon others have referenced, and then the terrific comments above by Cassandra King, and learn what the true, unlimited potential of mankind is. There are no limits to human progress, except those we foolishly impose upon ourselves.

    /Mr Lynn

  106. Gail Combs says:
    July 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    ========================

    Gail….as always….you are RIGHT ON.

    Grrrrrrrrr.

    Your friend one state to the north,

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  107. galileonardo says:
    July 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    =====================

    Well said.

    And I will gladly FIGHT along with you.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  108. S. Goldsmith
    Here is what happen to your “model society” (power and GREED)

    bruce says:
    July 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    unless you live on the leading edge of modern civilization, utilizing all it generates there will be stagnation….

    Choosing the direction of evolution, like choosing the path of development, like choosing tomorrows weather is fraught with unseen pitfalls….
    _________________________________________________________________________
    The direction of evolution of the US society was guided by a few people over a long period directly into that stagnation you warn of.

    Here is a couple of examples for you:

    Energy
    Strong, as I stated before was Chair of the first Earth Summit in 1972, he was also trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. Strong invited Greenpeace and others to the First Earth Summit and had the Canadian gov’t pay their way. At the Summit he asked them to “go home and raise hell” Greenpeace receives funds from the Rockefeller foundations. Remember that Strong and the Rockefeller are big oil Moguls.

    What do you think the position was of the big oil and energy companies towards Nuclear a major competitor in the sixties and seventies? When I lived near a nuclear plant in New York my electric bill was $10/month when I moved to New Hampshire (no nuclear) it shot up to $300/month!

    I found it interesting that the Boston Globe had Employment Want Ads – $10/hr paid for protesting at the Seabrook Nuclear site in the eighties. So who was actually paying to have the nuclear industry shut down in the USA??? – remember who was funding Greenpeace? The various Rockefeller Foundations owners of various oil companies.

    What would have happen if instead of France, using a US design, the United States was the one to built enough Nuclear plants to provide 90% of our electric power? Do you think all our manufacturing would have left the county for foreign countries with cheap electric available???

    How about poverty and the population increase?

    What would happen in the USA if we left the 1950′s solutions in place? Doctors and dentists could give free medical care, churches and communities could provide aid, vagrants could be picked up and place in the county home, a mental institution or jail as the situation called for, individuals were free to work as baby sitters, maids, gardeners, mechanics and handimen all without the hassle of government regs or the IRS and lots of paperwork to stifle them. And welfare payments would not compete with the job hunting/entrepreneur initiatives. So what if welfare did NOT pay teenagers to have babies as their life’s work? Think we would have less third generation welfare babies around?

    (Note to socialists: poverty, free medical care, and child abuse was handled locally in the fifties. I can give examples from my own childhood as an abused child living in a relatively poor farming area.)

    More important what if the business and banking leaders who formed a “..group, called the Committee for Economic Development, was officially established in 1942…. CED has influenced US domestic policies in much the same way that the CFR has influenced the nation’s foreign policies.” So what if the CED had not “…determined that the problem with American agriculture was that there were too many farmers. But the CED had a “solution”: millions of farmers would just have to be eliminated….

    In its 1945 report “Agriculture in an Expanding Economy,” CED complained that “the excess of human resources engaged in agriculture is probably the most important single factor in the “farm problem’” and describes how agricultural production can be better organized to fit to business needs.[2] A report published in 1962 entitled “An Adaptive Program for Agriculture”[3] is even more blunt in its objectives, leading Time Magazine to remark that CED had a plan for fixing the identified problem: “The essential fact to be faced, argues CED, is that with present high levels farm productivity, more labor is involved in agriculture production that the market demands ” in short, there are too may farmers. To solve that problem, CED offers a program with three main prongs.””

    Why would CED member corporations want to destroy farms? Easy – for corporations, unemployed farmers and farm workers provided an excess of cheap labor to choose from. Why would bankers want to destroy farms? Easy – all of the personal income tax the IRS collects goes into the bankers pockets as interest on government loans. It is easier to get those tax dollars from corporations BEFORE wages are paid than from independent entrepreneurs AFTER the money is in their hands. Bankers are also very eager to support expensive socialist bureaucracies because the government borrows nonexistent money from them and then pays them back with real wealth plus interest. Corporations want more regulations to stifle start up and smaller competitors.

    So what happen to the well integrated society of the fifties?

    ” CED’s plans resulted in widespread social upheaval throughout rural America, ripping apart the fabric of its society destroying its local economies. They also resulted in a massive migration to larger cities. The loss of a farm also means the loss of identity, and many farmers’ lives ended in suicide [6], not unlike farmers in India today who have been tricked into debt and desperation and can see no other way out.”

    Source: http://www.opednews.com/articles/History-HACCP-and-the-Foo-by-Nicole-Johnson-090906-229.html

    Minimal government and local solutions if at all possible are the best government. The larger the governing body, the more area covered, the less responsive to local conditions and the more expensive.

  109. S. Goldsmith says:
    July 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    Nuke:
    Thank you for your comment.
    Its not clear what you are referring to – if its my belief that we should accept and work with regard to how the laws of thermodynamics work then I don’t believe this is what is known as post-normal science (a new term for me so thank you). Though using PNS – I would always prefer to take more notice of the vast majority of scientists and take actions accordingly than ignore them in case the tiny minority may be correct, such a precautionary principle does ensure that we move forward taking appropriate care. This is incredibly important when we are working within systems that are extremely complex – such as the environment – or even working within challenging environments – such as seen with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

    Forgive me with the obtuseness of my quote, it’s from The Princess Bride and in reference to your use of the word “fact” to describe things that are your opinion.

  110. @Aynsley Kellow
    @Gail Combs
    @most others

    The sustainability topic is the essential flaw and main catastrophe of the AGW movement.

    It is arduous and unreliable to predict a future for climate given the current state of understanding. However when one uses sustainability as a focus of consideration the evolution of events is apparent.

    Sustainability and the confusion surrounding it’s dynamic relates directly to climax communities Malthusianism globalism sociology and economics as mentioned in the posts above. Yet sustainability also directly relates to k-selection biological evolution and holistic process.

    K-selection biological evolution and holistic processes are not understood. It is unavoidably easy to be captured and recruited into a local subjective basin of purview.

    If one cannot predict the climate, if one cannot avoid subjective entrapment is there anything that can be expected? Yes …

    It can be assumed that sustainability will be exploited as an inflationary bubble.

    By monetising valuing ethicalising or constraining presumed sources of AGW, we encourage hording exploiting hiding misrepresenting virtualizing offsetting or in general inflating the AGW source.

    The AGW debate accelerates the involvement of it’s anticipated causal precursors.

    Rumors of famine stimulate hoarding consumption and the search for unexploited alternatives. Those recruited alternatives can be cryptic inflationary virtualizations of the same limited fundamental resource.

    We only fool ourselves.

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