Humans Are the Superior Species with Every Right to Be on Earth. We are Not ‘Unnatural’ as Environmentalists Claim and the IPCC Assumes.

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Environmentalists are destroying environmentalism. As a subset of that destruction, creators of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) falsified science to claim that humans are causing global warming (AGW). That false science wasted trillions of dollars and disrupted millions of lives. That is enough money to provide clean drinking water and basic sewage for every country in the world.

Environmentalists changed a necessary and better way of living in the world into a destructive, controlling, political weapon. AGW proponents took climatology, a generalist discipline working to understand the atmosphere, and turned it into a political vehicle to establish control over all human behavior. COP 24 in Poland is the most recent attempt to control people using this false climate science. Two false assumptions, underpinned the conference. These are that the science is settled, and the human production of CO2 is unnatural. The latter is part of the larger anti-human notion of environmentalism. The question is, why are humans not allowed to produce CO2 unlike all other species?

The truth is we needed environmentalism, but not as a political weapon. Power-grabbing environmentalists took the moral high ground to claim that only they cared about the Earth. The guilt trip they used was the charge that everyone else was a dissolute polluter, destroying the Earth. It became a religion with all the superiority that allows, and the blind faith it demands. Those who question, regardless of the question, are automatically heretics. The real tragedy is it defies logic, contradicts the evidence, and precludes discovery and implementation of practical actions. As with so much of what is going on in today’s world, the simple charge of wrong-doing is sufficient to destroy individuals, communities, businesses, and industry. Frighteningly, these destructions occur even if people adopt the solutions recommended to pay for their transgressions.

Central to the claim of environmentalists and climate alarmists is the belief that the quickest and simplest solution is to reduce the number of people dramatically. They succeeded in convincing even sensible people that the biggest problem is overpopulation. Paul Ehrlich began the false doctrine in his 1968 book The Population Bomb. He reinforced it in a 1970 Earth Day statement that mass starvation was impending and inevitable. We know it is a false doctrine because in a surprisingly short time almost all his predictions proved incorrect. In a classic circular argument typical of the environmentalists and the IPCC, they created the strawman of overpopulation and human-caused global warming. Then, with speculation, they identified the problems it created and offered all the solutions that would create the world they wanted.

The assumption that humans are a blight and to blame for every change that occurs is central to their position. The Club of Rome (COR), which supported and promoted Ehrlich and others, set the foundation to this false ideology when they wrote in The First Global Revolution,

The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

They believe in Darwin’s views and yet their position, as stated, contradicts and confounds him. If they accept, as Darwin claims, that humans are animals like all the other species, then who we are and everything we do is normal and natural. However, that is not what they think. A classic example occurred early in the climate change debate. In the 1990 Greenpeace Report on global warming edited by Dr. Jeremy Leggett, it says, “Carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere naturally and unnaturally. The statement is meaningless unless you are saying that the unnatural portion is from humans. Then it becomes more meaningless unless you assume that humans are unnatural.

It is illogical to say, or even imply, that humans are natural but what we do is unnatural. Nonetheless, this is the absolute contradiction created by the use of environmentalism and climate for a political agenda. Why isn’t everything humans do part of evolution? Why aren’t development, industry, economy, or anything else we do, part of the natural order?

The answer effectively began in 1859 when Darwin published the first edition of On the Origin of Species. It went through several editions as he received feedback. Herbert Spencer made many comments, but one of them Darwin thought summarized his thesis so well that he included it in the 1869 Fifth Edition. The more extensive quote from Spencer says,


The law is the survival of the fittest…. The law is not the survival of the ‘better’ or the ‘stronger,’ if we give to those words anything like their ordinary meanings. It is the survival of those which are constitutionally fittest to thrive under the conditions in which they are placed; and very often that which, humanly speaking, is inferiority, causes the survival.


The part that Darwin liked, and so it persists, is the phrase “the survival of the fittest.”

Darwin’s inclusion of this phrase is also likely due to the influence of Alfred Russel Wallace. Before Darwin published in 1859, Wallace sent him an essay reporting on his work in Asia. It reached the same conclusions as Darwin. The difference was Darwin, as Wallace later pointed out, made no mention of humans in his First edition. Wallace said that any theory which omitted humans and did not explain how they were so markedly different than all the other species, failed.

The difference is so significant that science has avoided the implications of the answer ever since. Ironically, Darwin, unknowingly, created the situation that science and society avoided when his theory became the weapon used to eliminate religion and God. Removing God removed the explanation for the difference and made it a challenge to science. Wallace tried, like many since, to offer a compromise. He didn’t use the phrase, ‘intelligent being’ but implied that such an entity might provide an answer.

The ‘difference’ problem remains unanswered. Environmentalists don’t address it but in avoiding it create the paradox, that we are animals like all the rest, but behaving inappropriately. Of course, they decide what is appropriate. Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) provides an excellent example of this thinking because it is extreme. No behavior is appropriate.

“Mankind is a cancer; we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”

Newkirk doesn’t realize that the Earth only exists because of human superiority. No other species is aware that the Earth exists. Eliminate Homo Sapiens as Newkirk proposes, then no other “Earth-dwelling species” would know if “every problem on earth” was solved.

Newkirk’s ‘phase out’ suggestion implies a gradual elimination of people. I agree, as long as we begin with Newkirk and all environmentalists and the IPCC. Once we get rid of them, then, as free-thinking humans, we can reassess the situation and determine that the problem no longer exists, and we can get on with evolving. Part of that will include explaining how humans are so radically different and superior to all other species, with every right to exist.

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rhoda klapp
December 23, 2018 10:05 am

The problem varies as the years go by. The solution never does.

Reply to  rhoda klapp
December 23, 2018 2:50 pm

In school in the 60’s we were taught overpopulation was THE problem. When that turned out to be wrong, academia switched over to global warming. When that turned out to be wrong they switched to climate change.

Back in the 60’s it was impossible to convince anyone that overpopulation was not a problem. You would be considered crazy or worse. People would think you dangerous and shout you down. Absolutely no different than climate change today.

Climate change will turn out to be just as much a problem as overpopulation. A belief driven madness of the crowd that drowns out all other voices.

Reply to  Ferdberple
December 25, 2018 6:17 am

Dr. Ball’s post is accurate an the idea used by National Lampoon in the early ‘70’s in the first line of one of their songs below.

National Lampoon – Deteriorata Lyrics
You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here…
Deteriorata! Deteriorata!

Reply to  rhoda klapp
December 23, 2018 6:51 pm

I would suggest that all True Believers in voluntary human extinction GO FIRST–NOW. Show us how well this all works out, because (gasp!) DA PLANET, y’know?

One can visualize these poor nihilists, educated beyond their intelligence, as a coterie of incels and cat-ladies who right about now are figuring out the goose-egg that life has dealt their “moral high ground.”
And they’re out of antidepressants . . .

old white guy
Reply to  rhoda klapp
December 24, 2018 4:44 am

If one believes in evolution and that humans are evolutionary beings then everything we do is evolutionary and natural.

Big T
Reply to  old white guy
December 24, 2018 9:45 am

well said

December 23, 2018 10:17 am

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and babies are delivered by Stork. Or so a democratically significant minority of people believe.

Reply to  n.n
December 23, 2018 11:46 am

What has margarine got to do with this?

Reply to  brianrlcatt
December 23, 2018 1:52 pm

A coating of margarine makes babies slip out easier – hence “babies are delivered by Stork”

Reply to  brianrlcatt
December 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Stork is the entity that delivers a baby when she passes the threshold of viability. The so-called “big bang” or spontaneous conception of human evolution and life.

Reply to  n.n
December 23, 2018 12:39 pm

And a big bunch believe govrrnment should run everything. As if they have such a good record. USSR, Hitler’s Reich, Venezuela, VA hospitals, deficits, etc etc.

Reply to  Jimb
December 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Well, we can discuss the role of mortal gods, representatives, and managers. We should also discuss the value of public (e.g. welfare) and private (e.g. charity) smoothing functions. As well as the performance of managed and dynamic economic systems to a well-defined fitness function.

Reply to  n.n
December 23, 2018 12:39 pm

And a big bunch believe govrrnment should run everything. As if they have such a good record. USSR, Hitler’s Reich, Venezuela, VA hospitals, deficits, etc etc.

Jon Jewett
Reply to  n.n
December 23, 2018 12:43 pm

…… and the other 29 genders identified by the city of New York are from Pluto.

Or so a democratically significant minority of people believe.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
December 23, 2018 5:52 pm

Binary sex determined by genetics: male and female. Binary gender (phenotype and choice), physical and mental (e.g. sexual orientation) attributes, closely correlated with sex: masculine and feminine, respectively.

#OneLabel that identifies significant deviations from normal: transgender spectrum.

Dionysius John
Reply to  n.n
December 24, 2018 10:29 am

OneLabel that identifies significate deviations from the normal: Psychopathy.
These persons requiring an identity not associated with previously established male and female categories such as, but not exclusive to: male, female, man, woman, him, her, his, hers, are entitled to invent them if they wish. They are also entitled to use them amongst themselves. They are NOT, however, entitled to compel me to use them, or otherwise participate in their psychotic breaks with reality. I have no fear of, nor hatred for, such perverse individuals, insofar as their delusions to not progress into actually doing others harm.

Reply to  Dionysius John
December 25, 2018 5:42 am

And of course the big problem is that they are completely unwilling to simply be left alone to do as they please, and to let others ignore them.

Reply to  n.n
December 23, 2018 1:56 pm

The Collectivists have always been the problem. Individualism is the only thing which can free us from the poisonous group-think that defies rationality. Whether the Devine Right of Kings or the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, group-think kills repeatedly and massively, in the 20th Century Collectivist Governments killed 200 Million of their own citizens. The record is continuing in this Century.

michael j allison
Reply to  Wsbriggs
December 23, 2018 5:56 pm

You are correct.

Reply to  Wsbriggs
December 24, 2018 7:40 am

Diversity is not sustainable without the individual. Celebrate Individualism!

Reply to  n.n
December 25, 2018 6:19 am

You are a bit, right?

December 23, 2018 10:23 am

Not all of them.
Humans are far superior to any other species in killing their own kind. In decades or two we might find that women are superior to men, when they start reproducing their own kind by genetic DNA editing without necessity for existence of the males. Soon after the male section of the human species will decline rapidly. At best for a while the men might be turned to a slave subsection of the humanity, eventually disappearing as totally useless and unnecessary creatures.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 11:29 am

Science-fiction authors have covered this concept, repeatedly.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2018 12:01 pm

Yes, and when Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock ran into the Planet Run By Women, they fitted Zappers on the men so that they could push a button anytime they wanted to make them act right. (and it gave Shatner a wonderful opportunity to act like he’d been sucker punched in his happy sack)

Pop Piasa
Reply to  wws
December 23, 2018 12:23 pm

I liked Harry Mudd’s women better.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 23, 2018 12:34 pm

For those who don’t remember

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 24, 2018 5:00 pm

The gal in pink is Karen Steele. She had a few more serious acting assignments, such as Ernest Borgnine’s cousin’s spouse in “Marty” (1955, Best Picture).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 11:32 am

“In decades or two we might find that women are superior to men”

They’ll still need us around to kill spider, and take out the garbage, and mow the lawn, and change the oil, and…

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 23, 2018 4:22 pm

“No fire… resulting in sleeping wet at night… under a flat roof with open sides exposing everyone to crosswind… what could go wrong!? Female empowerment!”

Reply to  amirlach
December 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Some women, certainly. But, please, no diversity or color judgments, which are often influenced by low information (e.g. skin color). Character, principles, first. Sex and gender, in context, where appropriate (e.g. our Posterity).

Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 12:41 pm

“Humans are far superior to any other species in killing their own kind”

Uh, no, we’re not. We’re far superior to most other predator species in living in high population densities WITHOUT killing each other.

As for the future, you should be far more concerned about women dying out after men produce sex-bots with artificial wombs. Which are maybe 20 years away.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  MarkG
December 23, 2018 3:32 pm

I spent a summer in the Arctic studying snow goose populations. With considerable anthropomorphism (its lonely up there), it was interesting to see human-like parallels in behaviour. Pairs that mated for life with seemingly loving relationships, caring for their young and altruistically saving family by putting themselves in danger. And then that other darker side of goose behaviour, the equivalents of battery, infidelity, rape and even murder.
Humans may be the worst of beings but they are also the best of beings and this would not be a particularly notable planet but for our abilities to experience it, comprehend it and change it.

John Tillman
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 1:05 pm


Not sure about that, having seen what opposing ant colonies of the same species do to each other. Or chimp bands, for that matter.

Human numbers are still growing, though at a slower rate than in the previous two centuries, so we don’t seem to be doing a very good job at wiping each other out. Nor for want of trying, however.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 25, 2018 5:40 am

Just saw a show about wolves in Yellowstone, and the point was made that the live on average about five years, and the most common way they die is being killed by other wolves.
I think they are capable of living several times that lifespan.
And these wolves are all interrelated. They began as about 40 individuals and have now spread to several states and there are thousands, but in Yellowstone the population is stable at around 100, MOL.
The idea that only humans kill their own kind is nonsense, as you rightly point out.
Examples abound.
And one could easily make the point that, with several billions of us now, we are the most likely to be altruistic and to also be cooperative and to share ideas and survival abilities widely.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Menicholas
December 25, 2018 8:59 am

“The idea that only humans kill their own kind is nonsense”

That wasn’t the premise.

“Humans are far superior to any other species in killing their own kind.”

That was the premise.

tom t
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 2:20 pm

I don’t know many humans who eat their young like guppies or eat their mate like black widow spiders, or praying mantis.

Reply to  tom t
December 23, 2018 6:22 pm

In the West we have selective-child. Other civilizations have a one, now two-child, policy. Human can be equally weird, some may say wicked, for purely personal or social causes.

Reply to  tom t
December 24, 2018 8:15 am

Obviously, you haven’t read the New York Post lately. 😉

Patrick MJD
Reply to  vukcevic
December 26, 2018 5:04 am

Strictly speaking, we are all female at conception, just men are mutants. That’s why we have breasts too.

December 23, 2018 10:32 am

There is a theory, based upon laboratory proven quantum mechanics, that without an observer nothing would exist.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 11:25 am

More precisely, all states would be possible, a superposition defined by probabilities. The observation collapses the quantum uncertainty in the macroworld. At the quantum level, uncertainty of position and momentum still exist.

Which is where the climate models are. Their outputs are a superpositon of of all possible states defined by probability, but in this case, their probabilities come not from nature, but from the imagination of humans. Not much different from imagining unicorns exist somewhere in the universe of the infinite — just not on Earth. Much like imaginary climate catastrophism from adding additional amounts of The Magic Molecule of Life.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 23, 2018 11:51 am

I was trying to keep it simple. More accurately, nothing “solid” would exist only probability distributions of what could be.

Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 12:05 pm

on a purely philosophical basis, you realize that proposition can be reversed, leading to the conclusion that since the Universe DOES exist as a coherent whole, (and not just the parts that insignificant humans can see) then logically there must be an Observer that was able to witness all of it, right from the beginning.

it’s simply a matter of logic, if you accept the proposition.

Reply to  wws
December 24, 2018 1:40 am

Or possibly, out of the mysterious isness – let’s call it GodTheFather…there rises, like a stirring of the waters, a division and Lo, it splits into That which is observed, Let’s call it GodTheSon and that which observes it, Consciousness .Let’s call it GodTheHoly Ghost.

And thus the phenomenal world of space time and causality is born out if the splitting of Isness by Consciousness, and act of Divinaty, into that which is observed, and that which observes.

And consciousness becomes aware of itself in a world. Let’s call that OriginalSin.

Or you could say that the impact of consciousness on a quantum soup collapses the probability matrix down to events in space time in the classical material world of which the analysis is called Science. and where the point of the origin of consciousness is mapped in that world into the prime event at the beginning of the axis created that we call Time, as the BigBang, an act so beyond the laws of Nature that then are created as to be given the label Supernatural.

Those Hebrew shamans back in what we call the bronze age may of lacked the sophisticated language that we possess today, but they were not stupid.

That came later, with The Roman Catholic Church. An instrument of what we would call today, colonial oppression. That legitimized masers and slaves. A solution that allowed complex civilizations to be built.

I love imagination. The whole world and indeed Man himself, is created in God’s (consciousnesses) Image (ination)…

The Tao, they say, is that which exists through itself. The isness of everything. The emergence of the phenomenal word out of that isness, is the causeless cause of everything .The virgin birth of the child of consciousness that we celebrate tomorrow.

And what of the rest of that set of fables?As a Jewess once remarked to me. “Pah! Child psychology!”

Perhaps also those died in the wool atheists might reflect that the concept of the holy ghost, and the Imagination that is so spiritual is what you would call the principle of the Detached Observer. And the process of observation.

We think, like it or not. in terms created by the early mystics shamans and prophets, Neolithic philosophers.

How cute is that?

Having upset those who both are Believers and the atheists, may I now wish you all …

Happy Christmas !

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  wws
December 25, 2018 9:03 am

“then logically there must be an Observer that was able to witness all of it, right from the beginning.

it’s simply a matter of logic, if you accept the proposition.”

In what way is that logical?

old white guy
Reply to  JimG1
December 24, 2018 4:55 am

when I die it will all cease to exist for me.

Reply to  old white guy
December 25, 2018 5:49 am

You do not know that.
You may believe it, but you do not, because you cannot, know.
Unless you have been there and come back.

Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 11:57 am

The Copenhagen Interpretation, your “observer theory”, is bunkum. See J.S.Bell Speakable and Unspeakable in Q.Mechanics. This nuttiness comes from Niels Bohr, whose family crest is a Yin-Jang. Nothing to do with science.

Reply to  bonbon
December 25, 2018 5:53 am

Well, there are people who think that science has proven that the Universe had no creator, and inanimate matter can spontaneously transform into life.
In fact no such proof, or even evidence approaching any sort of reasonable standard of doubt, exists.
The implication of such a belief, is that the Universe and life and our consciousness invented themselves.
For no particular reason and all of a sudden like.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Menicholas
December 25, 2018 9:04 am

“Well, there are people who think that science has proven that the Universe had no creator, and inanimate matter can spontaneously transform into life.
In fact no such proof, or even evidence approaching any sort of reasonable standard of doubt, exists.
The implication of such a belief, is that the Universe and life and our consciousness invented themselves.
For no particular reason and all of a sudden like.”

There is no evidence a creator existed or exists, for that matter.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 25, 2018 1:30 pm

I understand that no one can prove through physical evidence that the Universe did not create itself for no reason and from no where.
Or that life did not just arise from inanimate rocks and mud on the surface of a rock being baked by the radiation from a million mile wide thermonuclear device.
And there is not way prove why or how it is that we here talking about all of this with minds that have no necessity to exist in a random world with no reason behind it.
I think I implied all of that with what I said.
That is why it is called faith.
But some of us have something more than that.
Perhaps you will have that something more one day.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 25, 2018 1:34 pm

Science proved that spontaneous generation of life is impossible, although it now is believe by some that science has proven that it does happen, but only in places where no life exists already and only happened once that we know of so far, and it was a long time ago.

Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 10:33 am

Environmentalism is not a political system, because it is not concerned with human beings. It comes from a religion, the faux pagan worship of Gaia, the earth goddess. She is angry and must be propitiated by the sacrifice of human babies. The white liberals who are votaries of this religion have chosen brown and black babies to be the victims of the rituals of “population control”, “zero population growth” and “reproductive choice”.

Why has this bizarre cult arisen among what are supposed to be our most intelligent and skeptical class?

First we must observe the collapse of Christian belief in this class.

They are all Marxists now, not industrial grade Stalinists, but cultural Marxists theorized by Adorno, and Gramisci, and the French lumpen-philosopes such as Foucault and Derrida. But, even those variants of Marxism demands atheism.

Also atheism, especially, the nasty anti-intellectual atheism of Dawkins et. al., allows them to indulge their favorite passion — Contempt for the unwashed masses of Americans — the obese bitter clingers who inhabit fly-over country and cling to their guns and religion.

Having chosen atheism does not mean that they believe nothing. As Umberto Eco wrote:

“G K Chesterton is often credited with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.

“The “death of God”, or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church …”

The failure of prophecies of the Apocalypse will not destroy the religion of Gaia anymore than the the failure of the Apocalypse to occur in the 1st Century C.E. (1 Thessalonians) invalidated Christianity. Such failures often cause the faithful to double down, not to give up.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 10:48 am

Perhaps it is God Who is the primary observer causing all of the waveform properties of physical matter to collapse into solid objects?

Reply to  JimG1
December 24, 2018 1:47 am

Flip that, perhaps primitive peoples understood the role of Mind in creating a phenomenal world out of raw experience and for want of a better word called it God.

They were not stupid enough to worship it though, although they regarded it as the deepest mystery.

That idiocy came later as an allegory between man and the forces of raw nature, as similar to that between a small child and its father. And the propensity of stupid people to take it literally,

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 11:59 am

Oh dear. Chesterton’s ‘observation’ could only be made by a true believer. In this case in the Trinity. But replace Trinity by Gaia or Wotan or Ra and it would still be the same. And therefore utterly invalid, that is without value.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 23, 2018 12:14 pm

I think you don’t understand Chesterton’s point. People who have an organized belief system, especially one as well developed as Christianity, are not prone to fall for every half baked, credulous idea that comes along. But people with NO organized philosophical belief system are in fact desperate for one, and tend to jump into any feel-good nonsense that drifts their way – including the nonsense about how all people are wicked and the human race should go extinct.

Even for those who despise Christianity, you have to admit that there is value to a system that teaches that all human beings are valuable and are worthy of respect and forgiveness.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  wws
December 23, 2018 1:22 pm

You are correct. No one believes nothing.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 3:08 pm

Maybe, but don’t make assumptions about what makes an atheist tick.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 5:20 pm

Considering how most atheists are quite eager to make proclamations regarding how Christians think and believe …

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 24, 2018 2:00 am

Then I am, as I suspected, no one!

I don’t believe in anything. It’s all notions, ideas, elements of the mapping if the world as it really is into the world as we can understand it. Models. All the way down.

Faith is handy in the absence of certainty, but faith is merely a pragmatism. If you didn’t have faith that the experience of getting out of bed led to the experience of being out of bed, why would you engage in it?

You don’t need to BELIEVE in it though. Just USE it.

Belief fixes the world view into a concrete immutable set of certainties.Faith however is merely the expressions of its ultimately ad hoc nature, the humility that comes from realizing in the end we know jack-shit for sure about anything, and it behoves us therefore to proceed with wary confidence. That condition that we call faith.

The man of belief proceeds because he is sure.
The man of faith proceeds as if he were sure, but retains the doubt.
The man with neither stays in bed.

Reply to  wws
December 23, 2018 2:16 pm

It all boils down to how comfortable we are with uncertainty. Most of us will never be scientists, but we should be taught the principles of the scentific method and how to apply them to our everyday lives, as an essential life skill. It is harder to manipulate people when we are armed with this method of reasoning and the lack of benign scepticism in people is the greatest weapon to the charlatan.

We all have the right to believe whatever we wish to believe, but if you cannot measure, verify and cross check it, it stays in the ‘unproven’ inbox. There is no other valid method of logical, reasoned thought.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  wws
December 23, 2018 3:06 pm

Quite contrary, I fully understand Chesterton’s point, probably more so than you do. I disagree with your totally unsupported assertion that I as non-believer are prone ‘to fall for every half-baked idea that comes along’ or, even more ridiculously ‘are desperate for one (a belief)’. Only a believer can have such a ridiculous idea about what makes a non-believer tick. I grew up in the catholic tradition and know that creed inside-out. Following the advise by Paul of Tarsus to ‘investigate everything and keep what is good’ I have ditched most of it, have found the exercise liberating and never looked back (and certainly not in anger).

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 23, 2018 5:58 pm

Environmentalism and its grip on the coastal elite prove my point. Gender theory is another proof.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  wws
December 25, 2018 9:06 am

“Even for those who despise Christianity, you have to admit that there is value to a system that teaches that all human beings are valuable and are worthy of respect and forgiveness.”

Even for priests who rape children whilst wearing the mantle of “god”. Yay!

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 23, 2018 1:21 pm

“Also atheism, … allows them to indulge their favorite passion — Contempt for the unwashed masses”

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 3:09 pm

You don’t know many atheists do you?

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Quite a few, actually.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 23, 2018 5:59 pm

Too many, sadly.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 25, 2018 6:01 am

” “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.””
Encapsulated into the more pithy observation that, “If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything”.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 5:18 pm

Yeah I’ve also heard that it was “atheists” responsible for the purges of Christians from Uncle Jo and Adolphs little paradises rather than it being Authoritarians fearing sharing ground with another authority – the church (I was going to write ‘left wing’ but that’s redundant).

As an individual who identifies as atheist I can tell you I know folf from baptist ministers to catholic priests to the head of Oz’s Buddhist Society and enjoy their conversations and on more than a few occasions, defended religions and followers from mindless assaults by the left classifying followers as ‘right wing religious nuts who need to be eradicated’ – defended them from scientismists who in turn call *me* a religious nutbag .. as I tried to explain that for many religion takes care of the “why” of the universe, science the “how”.. and that people should be free to have whatever thoughts and beliefs they damned well choose and it’s no one’s business but their own.

I feel strongly about this, I have books from Mandyism to Jainism to Judaism and I find the system of beliefs fascinating as an academic exercise and despite all this, I hold no belief in any deity whatsoever.

I am as I said an individual, I can’t say how or what others think – I never comprehended religion as a kid, and 2 particular near fatal accidents – a severe electrocution and an envenomation from one of Australia’s most poisonous reptiles which left me permanently damaged had me reflecting on how something – how less than a milliliter of venom could alter me so dramatically, could take me so close to the edge of death, or how in the case of the electrocution how electrons swizzling through me can leave me so incapable and again so close to death. What the heck will death do to my mind, hypoxia, excess of metabolites, a thyroid storm or a diabetic coma – how would one pass into this proposed afterlife – as an addled damaged entity or would the clock be rolled back, and if so, why?

I asked my Buddhist friend how he reconciles the Buddhist spirituality of kharma with say the unjust world fallacy.. and wouldn’t a social power structure that says “I don’t have to help this man, he is lower than I for misdeeds in a past life.. I am elevated from him because I must have been better so it is his duty to provide for me – penance if you will” be any different from a religion that views the world the same way.. and how could one tell if the teachings are the product of one or the other. I ask Hindus the same, does a cast system which says he is lower than me allow me to ever assist this man, or does a just wold fallacy entitle the superiors to ignore the suffering of the inferiors.

For challenge those who argue the best bet is to believe in god even if he doesn’t exist because the odds are better than risking eternal damnation, how do they know which deity to follow, and by their logic shouldn’t they dedicate their lives to all of them?

I want to understand why the Mandians, the Gnostics, the Yazidi and a handful of other religions from East to West see the ‘creator’ as a psychopathic madman, a cruel puppetmaster who derives pleasure from pitting human babies against brain consuming parasitic worms, drought, famine of disease how they wrestle to make this world better to spite the deity and what is their hope in the long run.

Just as I ask gang green what their long term plan is for their idyllic human free world, how (if they mean The Planet), how a rock floating in space will benefit or even care whether a percentage of the self replicating DNA on it’s periphery is here or not.. and if they mean ‘Life’, then with the inevitable destruction of life via successive reductions in our magnetosphere leading to depletion and eventual removal of our atmosphere .. or an exploding sun .. or a meteoric impact .. or plants running the CO2 down to below livable levels – how will this Life Force Entity be saved?

Wouldn’t humans with their ingenuity be the best hope for preserving life and spreading it far from this rock.. preserving all our art, knowledge, the treasures of society, making ALL our lives truly have meaning? If it’s wiped out and we turn to dust here in some archane regression to the stone age to Save The World then aren’t we essentially guilty of dooming it and life?

These are things I ponder as an atheist, but I don’t spare a moment wondering if their is a deity – I see what I see and it’s complex and a lot is inexplicable, but I see no place a deity could hide, why they’d want to or what possible reason they’d have for us being here whatsoever. I find no comfort in this, but I’ve never sought comfort at the expense of truth or dispelling of myths. I DO understand why some folk want or need their beliefs though and sometimes I think maybe my wiring is faulty.

But I didn’t design my wiring..

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Karlos51
December 25, 2018 9:09 am

“but I see no place a deity could hide, why they’d want to or what possible reason they’d have for us being here whatsoever.”

Why, to worship, of course. And to sacrifice unblemished male rams because of their “sweet savour” (god likes a good barbecue?)

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 24, 2018 2:34 am

The obnoxiousness of e,g. Dawkins is that he has replaced the utter certainty that God exists with the utter certainty that He does Not!

But he is still mired, philosophically, in a search for utter certainty, the OneTrueStick of my dog loving friend…

To progress further Dawkins and the Believers both, needs to progress beyond this childlike need to be sure, and understand that its all models, and models do not represent certainty, just more or less functional effectiveness.

If belief in some Moral Authority allows the tribe to live long and prosper and some shaman carves the rules he dreamed up on tablets of stone, because he understands the psychology of his tribe, and tells them God gave them to him, would you blame him? Or would you applaud the functional effectiveness of his solution?

When I became man I put away childish things, like the need for certainty, and entered the world of ‘models all the way down’, in some of which truth is congruent with functional effectiveness and in others in which truth is simply irrelevant – it only matters what people believe.

In some science fiction story a man achieves near immortality and wanders the universe looking for its Creator, whom he finally tracks down in a dirty little bar in some forgotten outpost of the known universe. Possibly in Mexico.

“Are you the Creator of the Universe”?

The man puts down his drink and says “So what if I am?”

“I have spent a thousand millennia searching the Universe for you, I have a Question, and I demand an Answer”

“Oh, you have, have you? And you do, do you?”

“Yes, Why are we all born to suffer and to die?”

The Creator takes a long pull at his drink and studies the dust patterns in the bar top…

…and turns to look at the man square in the eye and says softly.

“Well, why not>/i>?”

..and smiles…

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2018 6:06 am

The most logical belief for those lacking faith is agnosticism.
No one can know that that for which they see no evidence, does not or cannot exist.
It is incredibly illogical in my view.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2018 9:11 am

“The most logical belief for those lacking faith is agnosticism.
No one can know that that for which they see no evidence, does not or cannot exist.”

No, the most logical view is to not believe in things for which there is no evidence. If you want me to believe, provide some evidence. If you want me to believe something outrageous, it had better be REALLY good evidence.

Agnosticism is simply fence-sitting.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2018 1:37 pm

I am not sure how you define atheism, as it has been watered down by many proponents of this view over the years.
Are we talking about the accepted definition, that atheism is the belief that no God exists?

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2018 1:42 pm

“If you want me to believe…”
Straw man.
I never said that, nor is it my aim, nor my “want”, that you believe anything in particular.
It is a point of logic.
You seem to be saying that it is logical to be sure that if you have no evidence of something, it cannot or does not exist.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 24, 2018 2:09 am

you never arrived at the notion that all those deities were not believed in in the way we see modern religious people do, but were in fact rather poor ways to attempt to describe an Order that seems to exist in our experience that is forever outside of us?

I feel privileged that my upbringing never featured either strong religion or strong atheism. To me it is just collections of ideas that are useful memorable emotive and colorful but not of course accurate maps of WhatEverIsTheCase.

And, having received probably the best science education in the world at that time, I finally understood that neither is Science, either.

Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
December 23, 2018 10:51 am

“We don’t live in equilibrium with nature. We die in equilibrium with nature”

A great one liner from the late Hans Rosling’s “Don’t Panic” talk on population growth that exposed the nonsense of Paul Erlich and others, creating mindless fear in the ignorant for their own power and reward, based on actual deceit. Not at all scientific.

Brian RL Catt
Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
December 23, 2018 11:49 am

nb: “Their” refers to the charlatan Erlichs, a live example of Feyman’s pseudo scientists. “Experts”, “with an opinion and a typewriter”

Reply to  Brian RL Catt
December 24, 2018 5:46 pm

Aka “storytellers”.

Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
December 23, 2018 10:54 am

If you could put all the environmentalist in the world onto the head of a pin, that would be a really good idea.

Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
December 24, 2018 2:35 am

If you could put all the environmentalists in the world onto the head of a pin, you could flush it down the toilet.

Andy Pattullo
December 23, 2018 10:55 am

A very nice discussion and demonstration of the hypocrisy and complete lack of logic in the radical, antihumanistic environementalism driving the current climate change/global warming scam. As always a very thoughtful article from Dr. Ball.

December 23, 2018 11:03 am

Can’t recall right now where I read it, but a recent article about climate change brought up a new perspective on evolution. Basically “survival of the fittest” favors mutations that enhance survival. But humans don’t have any really obvious features that could explain their amazing fecundity. No large teeth or strong muscles or venom or claws. So how did we get to be top predator?

We developed language, the vocal organs and the brain structure that allows us to use words to impart information. This speeds up evolution by many orders of magnitude. Instead of waiting for random successful mutations, we can try new ideas and pass them on using language instead of DNA.

This seemingly also explains the ridiculously long maturing time of our species. Long “adolescence” periods, during which the immature humans try things their parents would avoid, leads to innovation. Of course, Darwin’s law still applies and many failures also result.

Seems like over-population is a problem that can be solved by humans without death camps or nukes. The societies that are most reliant on fossil fuels today are the ones that have the lowest birth rates. Must be a correlation between fossil fuel use and population growth. Instead of distributing condoms we should build coal plants in the developing world. Make sure they have scrubbers and proper fly ash disposal too.

Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
December 23, 2018 11:56 am

In case that it my help you with your question.

We humanos are no top predators… we are one more too higher up, we happened too be
the “Great Hunter”… far far higher than top predator.

We were borne in this great life thingy as beasts of wild, but not as animals anyhow, as a species of man beast, bearing the signature of 666, beholders of the most powerful and beautiful force, as per only means of our survival and making it as the fittest top notch to be as the very result of the Life’s meaning, as beholders of the most extraordinary force, that of mass destruction, where we as beast man could burn down entire forests or savanas, just to get rid of the nuisance of a top predator or whatever that consisted as a disturbing enough threat at any time to us then, to the the man beast.

So again, we are no much of a predator, or a top predator by nature, we simple the best ever hunter in existence as far as could be told, in consideration of this world of ours…regardless of the size of fangs…

(should not have posted this comment… too silly)


Ian Johnson
Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
December 23, 2018 12:20 pm

Also, making weapons is a useful survival development.

Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
December 24, 2018 2:46 am

Survival of the fittest is of course an incorrect corollary of Darwin’s theory.

Elimination of those too unlucky or dysfunctional to survive, before they get a chance to shag, is really the better meme.

That leaves plenty of room for really stupid people. Produced by a single act of incomprehension and 9 months of completely unskilled labour.

The other myth is Occam’s Razor, widely quoted as being the principle that the simplest theory is the true answer.

Of course there is no true answer, just lots of ones that are not yet known to be false, and William of Occam was merely observing that to select out if these all probably false (but useful ones) a more complicated one than was necessary was – well – nuts.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2018 6:16 am

I have read that fire is also one of the key’s that unlocked our rapid leap in brainpower…it allowed us to digest meat, which is otherwise very difficult for us to consume in large quantity.
Plus it seems very useful for holding the wolves at bay…and fending off the darkness.
Standing upright freed our hands.
As close to telepathy as one might imagine without direct thought transference.
We vibrate the air with a muscle in our throat and change the thoughts of other people, and allow us to insert what we are thinking right into the mind of others around us.
And also to lie, and manipulate, and…and…

Then came writing…and, oh my!

Each of these allowed quantum leaps in our survival ability and dominance over our environment.

Reply to  Menicholas
December 25, 2018 6:25 am

Writing allowed people to do what speaking can do, but to people who are not even in our presence, or living in our time.

But being able to talk must have been incredibly important in terms of the transformation from ape to human.
Wondering…how long after the first words were spoken and understood, was the first lie told?
And how long after the first lie was told did someone figure out they had been lied to, and skepticism was born?

December 23, 2018 11:04 am

I think you bring up some very interest points that should make people think differently about our role in the world. According to Darwin’s theory we are dominant because we are the fittest. They should not find fault with that but do. Why? From a believers perspective the special nature of mankind is intentional and a good thing for all the earth. We are here as benevolent managers of all God’s creation. When we take our role seriously we promote the best for all creation including ourselves.

John Tillman
Reply to  jbutzi
December 23, 2018 1:16 pm

Darwin did not say that humans are superior thanks to being the “fittest”.

I don’t know why people who’ve never read scientists’ works feel qualified to comment upon them.

“Man in his arrogance thinks of himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble and I think truer to consider him created from animals.” (Charles Darwin, Notebooks, 1838)

As noted, the young Darwin was far from unique in holding this view.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  John Tillman
December 23, 2018 2:52 pm

I guess it depends on how you define “fittest.”

Darwin, The Descent of Man (1874):
“Man in the rudest state in which he now exists is the most dominant animal that has ever appeared on this earth. He has spread more widely than any other highly organized form: and all others have yielded before him. He manifestly owes this immense superiority to his intellectual faculties, to his social habits, which lead him to aid and defend his fellows, and to his corporal structure.”

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 23, 2018 3:44 pm

Indeed. And those societies where the ability to cooperate does not anymore depend on blood-relationship, that is: have moved beyond tribalism, are the most successful.

John Tillman
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Fitness is defined as relative reproductive success.

Humans have had reproductive success, and we’re a dominant land animal, but we also would be so whether our population were one billion or ten billion.

Cultural evolution has made us dominant. Our reproductive success results from culture, whether stone tools and fire, agriculture or high-powered rifles, antibiotics and petroleum fuel and feedstock.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 25, 2018 6:59 am

Reproductive success is a dead end iffen our offspring do not survive, and the best way to increase the odds of that are to have many of them, and to take care of them and teach them what they need to know.
So survival of the individual for as long as possible, at least for people, is not meaningless in terms of reproductive success.
It has been questioned why men can reproduce as long as they live, but for women the age of reproduction ends at around 50 or so, give or take a few years.
For some time this was supposed to be because a woman simply ran out of eggs, but this has been found not to be the case.
So…why menopause?
Speculation is that grandmothering must have been very advantageous for survival of offspring, or at least more important than being able to have some more children at that point in life.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 24, 2018 11:44 am

The most arrogant or ignorant position for man to take, is when man thinks or considers that the man is an animal, as same as any other animal out there in wilderness!

The very means, for man to depart clearly from his main nature..and clearly departing from the beauty of the man’s spirit or the soul of what consist as Man…
which at some point may be considered as the denial of the most high…that of one’s self denial !

Again sorry for being a little too harsh or pedantic …can’t really help it. 🙂


Ken Irwin
December 23, 2018 11:14 am

Newkirk also does not appreciate that the universe without him in it is meaningless and therefore serves no further existential purpose.

December 23, 2018 11:15 am

Humans Are the Superior Species

Wrong and anthropocentric. We are only superior if we get to choose the measurement criterion to our advantage. Any idea of superiority hides behind the idea of being better and having more rights and is the root cause of evil.

The law is the survival of the fittest

Not really. A careful reading of “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” shows otherwise. Nature doesn’t care about the survival of individuals, but about their reproduction. Selection only acts through reproduction, so it is irrelevant how fit an individual is or how long it survives, but how well it has reproduced. We could say that the law is the reproduction of the fittest. The survival of the fittest is a bastardization of Natural Selection that fits our social prejudices.

Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 11:46 am


I’d vote for dogs as the most superior species as not only are they better reproduces but they can eat about anything they can chew. Plus, most dogs are nicer than most people.

Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 11:56 am


Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 12:16 pm

The man’s best friend… 🙂


John Tillman
Reply to  JimG1
December 23, 2018 12:41 pm

Dogs are one of the many lifeforms which have benefitted from the explosion of human population.

The defective wolves, kicked out of their packs and forced to become hang around the human camp scroungers, have had the last laugh. Their descendants are many; the superior wolves’ not so much.

Coyotes too have gained greatly from having hundreds of millions rather than tens of millions of people in North America. Ditto some rat and mouse (or vole) species. Not to mention their nemeses house cats.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 25, 2018 6:45 am

Yeah, but also the cockroach and the bedbug.
And fleas…
I wonder if it was not wolf puppies that were the first to live with us?
As we see with cats, if they are not imprinted with people before they are weaned, or very shortly thereafter, they are never fully domesticated.

John Tillman
Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 11:58 am



Biologists today use the concept of “fitness” to measure reproductive success, not mere survival. If you survive to the longest possible life span of your species, but don’t reproduce, your evolutionary fitness is zero.

Natural selection is the proper biological term, not “survival of the fittest”.

Scientist recognized that humans are animals long before Darwin. In the 10th edition of Linnaeus’ “Systema Naturae”, over a century before “On the Origin”, he placed humans not only in Kingdom Animalia, but Class Mammalia, Order Primates and Genus Homo. Linnaeus would have assigned people and chimps to the same genus, but didn’t for religious, not scientific reasons.

And still well before 1859, science already recognized that humans are catarhines (Geoffroy, 1812), ie in the same parvorder with apes and Old World Monkeys. The terms “anthropoid” and “simian” to include both New World monkeys (platyrrhines) and catarhine primates appear to have originated in the mid-19th century, after Darwin in the case of Infraorder Simiiformes (Haeckel, 1866).

The common words “monkey” and “ape” in English are unusual, if not unique, among major European languages. Other Germanic languages use terms cognate with “ape” to refer both the monkeys and apes. German distinguishes what we call “apes” by combining its word for “anthropoid”, ie “Affe”, with “Mensch”, ie Man, as opposed to “Mann”, ie man. The Romance languages, OTOH, use words cognate with “monkey” to refer to all simians, such as “mono” in Spanish.

As used in English, however “monkey” is paraphyletic*, so invalid as a scientific taxon under cladistic phylogenetic nomenclature, since Old World monkeys are a lot more closely related to apes than are New World monkeys.

Some have suggested that apes are monkeys, since the only way to make objective reality coincide with common English terminology is to consider all simian (anthropoid) primates “monkeys”. But that would add a third word to describe the same natural clade of primates.

The old term “prosimian” was also discovered to be paraphyletic, since tarsiers were haplorines, the clade containing them and the simians. Thus, its a cladistic crime to lump them in with the strepsirrhines, ie lemurs, lorises and bush babies. Taxonomists were tipped off when tarsiers were observed to suffer from the same defective vitamin C gene as monkeys and apes, making them, like us, vulnerable to scurvy. Sequencing the rest of their genomes showed them indubitably to be haplorhines.

*A clade (natural group of organisms) descended from a common evolutionary ancestor, but not including all its descendant clades.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 23, 2018 12:24 pm

“Scientist” should be plural before “recognized”.

Maybe unnecessary to point out that referring to “apes” separately from humans is also paraphyletic. Proper usage in that case would be “non-human apes”.

Apes (Superfamily Hominoidea, sister clade to Superfamily Cercopithecoidea in Parvorder Catarhini) include Family Hylobates, the acrobatic lesser apes, like gibbons, and Family Hominoidea, the great apes, including African apes (gorillas, chimps and humans) and our Asian cousins the orang-utans.

The two modern crown catarhine superfamilies diverged in the early Miocene Epoch or late Oligocene when some stem catarhines took to swinging from limb to limb in dense forest rather than going on all fours along limbs, then leaping. Hence, we apes have shoulder blades on our backs, among other adaptations for brachiating, while our close kin Old World monkeys still have theirs on their sides.

Gibbons still move through SE Asia jungle by brachiating, as did our first ape ancestors. But the spread of grasslands between woods encouraged African apes, and to a lesser extent orang-utans, to come down out of the trees at least for part of the time.

Of course many Old World monkey groups also adapted to the new more open savannah environments, like ground-dwelling baboons. Some OWMs even lost their tails, like us apes before them.

The still arboreal New World monkeys however followed a different path, which led some to evolve prehensile tails.

Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 12:22 pm

Javier December 23, 2018 at 11:15 am

… Wrong and anthropocentric.

It is easy to conclude that humans are superior by any number of objective criteria. Only humans are capable of understand that their superiority might also involve a duty to the rest of creation.

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 12:34 pm


From a biological and physical standpoint however, “superiority” can be measured only by biomass. In this key regard, we’re inferior to Antarctic krill.

Which by the way have been shown resilient toward the dreaded “ocean acidification”, which of course actually isn’t acidification.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 23, 2018 12:39 pm

So, would you rather be a krill?

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 12:55 pm

No, but what I want isn’t the point.

All that matters to nature is whether I reproduce or not, and whether the net effect of the traits I pass on increases or decreases the odds of their being transmitted to subsequent generations.

Yet I agree with commenters who suggest that distinctive human abilities could affect the evolution of life on earth and maybe in the galaxy as well.

Our species has already affected evolutionary history by wiping out both many megafauna and some microbes, with other organisms of intermediary size.

But then some other organisms have had even more profound an impact on the history of life on our planet. If such impact be the measure of superiority, then we aren’t a pimple on the posterior of the first cyanobacteria. If they can be said to have posteriors or pimples.

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:07 pm

John Tillman December 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm

… All that matters to nature is whether I reproduce or not, …

Some folks who don’t breed have a profound effect on the world. Isaac Newton comes to mind. Are you saying that he didn’t matter?

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:22 pm

Some folks who don’t breed have a profound effect on the world. Isaac Newton comes to mind. Are you saying that he didn’t matter

Not really. If Isaac Newton hadn’t existed, his discoveries would have been made by some other guy some time later. Or do you really think that we would have a hole in our knowledge for the things he discovered?

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:26 pm


No. I’m referring to biology, not civilization. Now some people, possibly Newton among them, might have influenced cultural evolution enough to have had an impact on the history of life on earth, but IMO there is no definite instance of one person having achieved something of such significance that it wouldn’t have occurred anyway. That is surely true in Newton’s case.

A number of his contemporaries, or near contemporaries, would have made the same contributions, although perhaps not all of them by the same person. And they might have had kids as well, although Leibniz also never married.

But you raise a good point, in that humans have cultural as well as biological evolution. Still within nature, however.

My point is, OTOH, that the natural world doesn’t care about our survival, lack thereof or enjoyment of our time alive. Except to whatever extent longer survival and enjoyment thereof might affect our biological contribution to subsequent generations.

I don’t see how my preference for being human as opposed to krill or cockroach makes any difference to the universe, however.

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:34 pm

PS: Newton’s adversary Robert Hooke also never married, but, like Voltaire, he had sexual relations with the niece, Grace, whom he took into his house, and with various housekeepers, at least one of whom gave birth to a daughter, parentage unknown.

John Tillman
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:59 pm

And of course, Newton also famously lived with his brilliant half-niece Catherine, but without the sexual relations. She allegedly left his house to live with the 1st Earl of Halifax, then returned, married and had a daughter.

So at least some of his genes got passed to a subsequent generation.

Reply to  commieBob
December 24, 2018 2:49 am

dunno. What’s the salary?

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 12:40 pm

Different, not superior. Cockroaches will have the last laugh.

Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 1:12 pm

Same question I asked John: Would you rather be a cockroach?

Most people would agree that it’s better to be human.

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:24 pm

You should ask a cockroach if it prefers to be a human.

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 1:30 pm

What is so great about being a human? Most humans live deeply miserable lives. You don’t just want to be a human, you want to be one of the fortunate ones that enjoy comfortable lives, never hungry, and with internet access.

Reply to  commieBob
December 24, 2018 11:07 am

Javier December 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm

What is so great about being a human? Most humans live deeply miserable lives.

So why do you continue living?

You have had the great good luck to be born human. Don’t squander the opportunity.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 2:57 pm

“…We are only superior if we get to choose the measurement criterion to our advantage…”

Ok, so let’s hear of some alternative but common-sense criterion where we are not superior.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Javier
December 23, 2018 3:07 pm

“…Nature doesn’t care about the survival of individuals, but about their reproduction. Selection only acts through reproduction, so it is irrelevant how fit an individual is or how long it survives, but how well it has reproduced…”

In all animals that I know of, survival to a certain age is required for reproduction. Therefore survival is certainly not “irrelevant”…reproduction DEPENDS on it.

Steven C Lohr
December 23, 2018 11:19 am

Fantastic, thank you Dr. Ball. Well said!!!

December 23, 2018 11:23 am

” … The truth is we needed environmentalism, but not as a political weapon. Power-grabbing environmentalists took the moral high ground to claim that only they cared about the Earth. …”

Conservationists were the original environmentalists. Then the extreme and power hungry hijacked the whole concept. They have created a political movement of extreme conservation tactics that have given conservation a bad name in the sense that conservation is now considered environmentalism. They have been corrupted by power and politics and power and politics have been corrupted by them. It has become a circular feeding frenzy. Unfortunately true conservation will suffer.

Reply to  eyesonu
December 24, 2018 11:50 am

David Hawkins on ‘Crowdsource the Truth’ with Jason Goodman is doing a fascinating job of ‘reverse engineering’ the global warming/climate change Malthusian agenda. I think David would agree with your statement.

December 23, 2018 11:25 am

Seeing ourselves as part of nature is the key to responsible interactions with the environment. So called environmentalists see everything humans do as being contrary to nature. This disconnect is the opposite of what is required for using scarce resources in their highest utility for protecting the environment. Economic prosperity is what provides more resources for those efforts. Anti-human exclusionist’s are against solutions because their funding depends on exaggerated problems.

The increase in biomass attributed to our emissions means we are expanding life with CO2.

Survival of the fittest has been taken way out of context. The natural world functions mostly through symbiosis. Species that don’t play well with others don’t survive. Predators eat the weak and diseased to strengthen those species.

Humans mess up a lot but tend to learn from our mistakes. Our understanding of the natural world is protecting species that might not survive on their own. Our stewardship of the environment has gotten steadily better as knowledge increases.

Hocus Locus
December 23, 2018 11:32 am

And if humans can deal with the asteroid problem we can save the whole Erth [biosphere].

John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2018 11:34 am

The law is the survival of the fittest….

Can there be more than one “fittest”?

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2018 1:22 pm

With the right accent yes! Don’t roll yer R’s.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 25, 2018 9:21 am

“There can be only one.”

-Connor MacLeod

December 23, 2018 11:37 am

Would love to see a comprehensive, in depth, analysis examining ALL aspects and future consequences, of the damage done by humans in trying to maintain the local environment (land, creeks – rivers, etc.) around the cities they live in. This analysis should include dams, flood control, sea-walls, river dredging, and other actions made to prevent changes that Nature wants to make.
It is my belief that these preservation actions cause irreparable harm. Hundreds of years ago, heavy rains filled a river which then flooded its shallow bank and spread nutrients across the land. The water would also soak into this flooded land replenishing the ground of the water taken out by the plants growing above. Today we channel the water down a restricted river causing it to flow faster, causing more erosion and preventing the beneficial use of the nutrients and absorption of the water into a larger area of the land. Then a one hundred year flood comes along and wipes out buildings that never should have been that close to the river in the first place. Just does not seem right to me.

Reply to  Usurbrain
December 23, 2018 1:08 pm

“Today we channel the water down a restricted river causing it to flow faster …”
That wasn’t today, that was yesterday. Today we have the capacity to model the entire topography of the area, and start introducing adjustments such as retention basins. If we find that the difference between 50 year and 100 years events is small enough, then adjusting the required construction levels may be irksome but is do-able. 200 – 500 year probabilities? Not cost-effective. Problems arise when the utterly fanciful RCP 8.5 is introduced as a yardstick by the utterly ignorant.

December 23, 2018 11:44 am

While I agree that the “Club of Rome ” not get it all correct, the basic fact that contrary to the Old Testmont “Be fruitful and multiply” simple does not work in todays world.

It is perfectly understandable that in most of the real Third World the desire of the man and women is to have enough children so that they in their old age are supported by those children.

So we come back to how did the West get over this problem of a ever growing number of people in a given amount of land.

We in the West demanded over the last l100 years that the State help out in looking after those who are now because of their age, are having difficulty in surviving.

Even so government are finding that its a major financial burden, and I fully expect that in the near future that the presently unthinkable acceptance of Euthinenasia will become acceptable, that we humans will no longer have to hope that God in his or her infinite mercy, will look after us.

So until we can via the use of fosaell fuel make the Third World wealthy enough to have their State look after the people in their old age, we will continue to have them producing far more than can live in their own country.

The alternative as always is migration, presently into mainly Europe , or as right now the USA, then the alternative of , war, desease will occur as it does right now in many parts of Africa.

Those same four horsemen will again ride , and this time the West will either refuse to help, or will not be able to help. If as the ” Real “scientists tell us that ther e is a far greater chance that the worlds climate will cool rather than warm, then the production of food will decrease and nature will as it does with all of the other species do what it always does, the surplus will die.

In that respect Dr. Matias was right.

“A species will expand to the limits of its food supply, then it will die”.


Brian RL Catt
Reply to  Michael
December 23, 2018 12:54 pm

Not quite. In fact quite wrong, as with most of the sustainability nonsenses, it assumed an invariate food supply, methods of cultivation, ignored synthetic foods, etc. Yet another partial assertion to scare people. In history before technology we lived in equilibrium with nature – and died in equilibrium with it.

Now we don’t have to. We changed the rules. As we learnt to manage hygeine and our health better, then applied energy to replace labour, and modern agriculture to better feed ourselves, we change the rules. The greens hate that because human intelligence overtly denies their beliefs with innovative progress these retards can’t imagine, because it denies their simple beliefs.

Fact is that we can securely and sustainably produce enough food for the 11 Billion people that a reduction to 2.4 children per couple will stabilise global population at once the infant mortality problem is dealt with everywhere. More or less. Africa is the only place left where this is not the case, and even there Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa are close to the target. Hans Rosling explained this years ago, but delusional population catastrophists who prefer to believe didn’t want to know the facts, as usual. May be the greatest presentation of statistical reality that you will ever see, from a master. RIP.

Health Warning: Contains facts. May damage your beliefs.

December 23, 2018 11:51 am

Human cell number is estimated to be 3 x 10^13 & we host from 3 to 4 x 10^13 bacterial cells. If we humans disappear many of those bacteria will suffer – it’s bad enough already for our bacterial guests every time we evacuate our colon.

Besides, without the human swimmers’ contribution of shed skin cells into the ocean there might no longer be the estimated 10^7 virus/ml in the surface water. The consequences might not be so bad, but once factor in the lost human climate influences there’s no telling how seawater viruses might fare – it’s a virtual crisis of “might” if we humans don’t stay around.

((Note: “10^…” formation used above is meant to express the equation written in words as: “10 to the …th power”.))

John Tillman
Reply to  gringojay
December 23, 2018 12:04 pm

Only recently has been the long-standing estimate of ten times as many bacterial cells as human in our bodies cut down to closer to one-one.

Even allowing for a wide range of differences, the ratio isn’t close to even.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 23, 2018 12:30 pm

Sorry. I mean not close to 10:1.

Missing the edit feature, plus other once great functions now gone with the cyberwind.

December 23, 2018 11:53 am

Thank you Dr Ball.

Meanwhile this thing is doing it’s own thing.

‘Ultimate no-notice event’: Indonesian tsunami strikes without warning, killing at least 222 people

steve case
December 23, 2018 12:07 pm

“May we live long and die out”
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement VHEMT

December 23, 2018 12:23 pm

I look down my nose at the environmental movement, but at the same time I don’t agree that we are part of nature anymore. The fact is we have evolved to a point where we can observe nature and make decisions that either mitigate or negate nature’s effects. We’re no longer evolving, we’re devolving because of this.

Babies that are born with serious defects would die in a natural environment, removing their DNA from the gene pool. Today we save many of them, the frequently have happy, productive lives, and reproduce. Let us also examine species that try to kill us. Smallpox for example, left to nature, would have rid the human population of people who didn’t have some sort of resistance and we would have emerged as a species immune to smallpox (either that or we would have been wiped out). Instead, we took steps to NOT evolve by wiping out smallpox. We’ve pretty much wiped out polio and malaria, plagues no longer ravage the population in waves. No other species is capable of this. Nor are diseases the only example of this. In a “natural” environment, individuals born with poor eye sight for example, would die long before they could reproduce. When other species encroach on our welfare, we systematically wipe them out (at least on a local level). We tleate predators like cougars and bears in proximity to our settlements. As soon as they encroach enough to threaten human lives, we exterminate them. No other species can do this, the most they can do is run away. Or we trap them and relocate them. Again, no other species is capable of this.

We live almost everywhere on the planet, not because we have adapted to those areas, but because we are capable of adapting those areas to ourselves. We live in buildings with climate control. The temperature and humidity in which we live the majority of our lives is defined by us, not nature. With the exception of edge cases like the odd hurricane or tsunami that overwhelms our defenses on a local scale, we are immune to the vagaries of both weather and climate. The few vulnerabilities that we do have are frequently do to poor planning that can be corrected.

Sure beavers build dams in order to change their environment. However, they don’t study the downstream effects on their actions and make decisions on that basis. You can find other species that alter their environments, ants or bees for example. But they cannot contemplate the effects of their actions on the area they live in, or even on other bees and ants in the area (yes I know, ant populations sometimes go to war with each other, poor example, that’s just two populations encroaching on each other, not contemplating effects of actions. They don’t decide to expand east because they’d be interfering with another colony if they expand west instead).

We are not, and haven’t been, part of nature for a long time. Oh yes, we interact with nature. I’ve got a cold right now, thanks mother nature. Somewhere in the world there are people with horrid diseases like ebola. They probably don’t have much sympathy for me and my cold. The difference being that we are putting a lot of resources into wiping out ebola, and we will win. If the common cold threatened lives the way ebola does, we’d figure out how to wipe it out too.

I’m happy to NOT be part of nature. Without going into personal details, that b*tch very nearly killed me several times. I survived because my species is no longer part of nature as Darwin defined it. We now preserve our entire gene pool at all costs, we do not allow the “less than fit” to die. We preserve the bad genes as well as the good ones. No other species can make this claim.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 23, 2018 1:51 pm

I forgot one item.

We are the only species that can go through the motions of reproduction, while ensuring we do not reproduce. No other species is capable of that.

We have removed the human species from nature, and absent a sudden and catastrophic event like a major meteor impact, we will survive. The fact is we are at war with nature every day, and we are winning. That we should feel guilty about this in some way is nonsense. Protect the environment and species at risk (provided they don’t impose a world wide threat like smallpox does) absolutely.

Feel guilty about it? Not for one nanosecond.

John Tillman
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 23, 2018 3:00 pm

Humans are still evolving, despite our ability to keep less well adapted members of our species alive to reproduce.

Natural selection still operates, but it isn’t the only evolutionary process.

In fact, given our (recently) rapid population increase, we’re actually evolving fairly rapidly. Our teeth are getting smaller, and our rear molars were on their way out until dentists started preemptively removing them. We still are losing them, but at a slower rate than would have happened in a prior state of “nature”, without antibiotics and dental surgery.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 25, 2018 7:59 am

Oh, Heavens to Betsy, no, we are still evolving, and faster than ever!
How do I know?
Obama told me, and than it was confirmed by 1/3 of the country, at least.
And it happens in a matter of days, maybe hours.
It is only those that refuse to evolve along with the Demorats that are devolving…directly back to Neanderthal, and that happens fast as well.
Evolve or you are sub-human, do not pass go, do not collect $200…
Me, I am Cro-Magnon, so no worries.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 25, 2018 9:24 am

“I look down my nose at the environmental movement, but at the same time I don’t agree that we are part of nature anymore. The fact is we have evolved to a point where we can observe nature and make decisions that either mitigate or negate nature’s effects. We’re no longer evolving, we’re devolving because of this.”

That’s pretty much how I see it.

Robin Pittwood
December 23, 2018 12:29 pm

“That is enough money to provide clean drinking water and basic sewage for every country in the world.“ Every country in the world? Or Every country that doessn’t presently have sufficient of these facilities?

Reply to  Robin Pittwood
December 23, 2018 1:43 pm

There are no countries with sufficient water and sewage facilities for everyone. There are some with more people served than others, but that is a different issue.

You can expand the problem by noting that in any country the first thing that happens when any disaster hits, even if it is flooding, is that the water and sewer systems fail. So even those countries with more coverage, the systems are very precarious and vulnerable.

Brian RL Catt
December 23, 2018 12:59 pm

I am an idiot, sorry. Here is the link I promoted so carefully and then forgot to post, to Hans Roslings population reality talk “Don’t Panic”.
May be the greatest presentation of statistical reality that you will ever see, from a master. RIP. End child infant mortality and you cut birth rate very fast, leaving a bubble to pass through to stability.

Tasfay Martinov
December 23, 2018 1:07 pm

“Superior” is really not the right word to use.
Equal is OK.
Humans are part of the “natural” world the same as all other life.
And as such are equally subject to Gaia’s law.
Our activities will make the world more, not less, habitable and life-supporting.
Naturally and inevitably.

Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 23, 2018 2:05 pm

Good point. We are part of nature and a creation of natural processes but often treated in envitonmentalism as extraterrestrials and a “plague upon the earth”.

Bruce Cobb
December 23, 2018 1:15 pm

Back in the early 70’s, my brother and I lived in a teepee, and drove a tandem bicycle. It was on some land our Mother owned. We had no electricity. We used fire for cooking (and yes, you can bake bread that way), and we had access to a spring, about 100 yards downhill. But that was in late-Spring, Summer, and through Fall. We tried to build a cabin, but ran out of time, and the resources were somewhat lacking. We had lumber, from a neighbor’s land, who wanted it cleared. All he wanted in exchange was a couple of oak sills installed (his were rotting). There was a small sawmill nearby, and we would work for the owners occasionally. But it needed seasoning. And that put us to Spring or Summer the next year. My point is, that our way of living was the environmentalists’ dream. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We bathed in a nearby pond, spring-fed (very cold). But as winter arrived, we had to move to an unheated, small cabin, actually a skate house, being by a pond. The wood stove put off quite a bit of heat, but the space was an unisulated one. And we had to continually replace the wood. Rough life. I moved out, to Cape Cod. My brother stayed in NH, bless him.
The point is that yes, you can live on lower resources, and in fact thrive on them. Especially when young. You may even build some character that way. I believe I did. But not once did I think I was “saving the world”. I was surviving mainly, and making my way. And I made my way into an industry, or lifestyle, without planning to. Energy made that possible. As you get older, you begin to understand. It’s about survival. And unicorn energy doesn’t cut it.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 25, 2018 9:29 am

” I was surviving mainly, and making my way. And I made my way into an industry, or lifestyle, without planning to. Energy made that possible. As you get older, you begin to understand. It’s about survival. And unicorn energy doesn’t cut it.”

You spend all your time and energy foraging and trying to stave off the cold.

December 23, 2018 1:17 pm

Mods, why is my post on Vernadsky blocked?

[?? It’s displayed. We are just not sure why. .mod]

Al miller
December 23, 2018 1:19 pm

As usual spot on. Thanks Dr. Ball for being a voice of reason in the sea of insanity that is warmism.
The complete lack of logic in Newmans’ statement is apparent. I think people of this ilk need to voluntarily accept Darwin awards by removing themselves from the gene pool so we can get on with useful matters.

December 23, 2018 1:23 pm

Colonial racism anyone :
“On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.
But never mind, onward to science.
It is Vernadsky who showed the definitive superiority of the Noosphere, our spacetime, to the biosphere, without ever denigrating the latter. We are of the biosphere, yet a qualitative upward change, scientifically measurable. The biosphere went through such upward changes often, oxygen being just one. Lawfully the Noosphere, which really took off around 1945, coincidently.
Never mind that a 1930’s Jesuit Chardin tried to hijack that science.
And what is the Noosphere? How can an idea, without mass, extension, actually totally change the landscape, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority , to transform the poorest USA region in less than 10 years? How is it that China’s Confucianism can bring 730 million out of abject poverty in 10 years? For us it is the Noosphere, for China a Mandate from Heaven, Li. No wonder Trump can work with Xi !
The Noosphere has characteristics, well touched upon on in Vernadsky’s great works such as :
The Study of Life and the New Physics – get it on Amazon.
This translation overrides earlier French, English, Russian efforts of censorship.

The Noosphere is part of the solution, not part of the problem, Dr. Ball.

[??? .mod]

Reply to  bonbon
December 24, 2018 7:46 pm

Aka “storytellers”.

Reply to  bonbon
December 24, 2018 7:51 pm

What?????? Unintelligible

Reply to  bonbon
December 25, 2018 8:02 am

Bonbon…step away from the eggnog…and the chalupa!

December 23, 2018 1:46 pm

“(IPCC) falsified science to claim that humans are causing global warming”

Yes sir. And got away with the statistical falsehoods needed to make that connection. Please see

Reply to  Chaamjamal
December 23, 2018 1:57 pm
December 23, 2018 1:47 pm

The Genisis Eden ideal, that we are most fully human and living out the image of the divine when we are stewards of that garden is why ” what we do” lies outside what we simply are. Trying to cheat our way to realizing the image of the divine ( by eating the iconic apple) is behavior guided by the self- serving ideas encased in ‘ survival of the fittest’ or in today’s terms ‘ unrestricted free-market capitalism’ .

All ancient wisdom suggests a very bad end for people and societies that embrace such ideas – regardless of the huge achievements or goods they produce

Gunga Din
December 23, 2018 1:56 pm

It’s always bugged me a bit when those who claim that whatever effect Man has on the Earth is somehow “unnatural” yet, in the same breath, will deny there is such a thing as a spiritual realm.
Either what Man does is “Natural” or it is not.
If it is not, then there is something greater than the natural man can perceive.
If there isn’t something greater (God?) then, why should Man sacrifice man’s welfare for the sake of frogs or smelt or polar bears or penguins or coral or (fill in the blank).
Anyway you look at it, the changes proposed to combat “CAGW” (or should that be C-Perfectly Natural-GW?) is not in Man’s best interest.

John Tillman
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 23, 2018 2:50 pm


An ecologist would say because it’s in our own interest to preserve diversity in ecosystems, unless the organisms being wiped out are harmful to humans, like the smallpox virus or disease vector insects.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Tillman
December 25, 2018 9:32 am

Environmentalists would argue that since Smallpox is harmful to humans, it is good for the planet. A natural population control mechanism.

December 23, 2018 2:27 pm

Not the version wanted. This will have to do.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 23, 2018 2:29 pm

That false science wasted trillions of dollars and disrupted millions of lives. That is enough money to provide clean drinking water and basic sewage for every country in the world.

Most countries, especially third world countries, have plenty of sewage of their own without needing any more provided for them.

Perhaps ‘sewers’ would be more welcome… 🙂

December 23, 2018 2:38 pm


Many a folk talk of doom causing harm, to the world, and to nature, and all of her charms.
We clear all the land, and kill off all the “pests”, dam up all the water, and don’t care for the rest.

The heat and the storms, our lifestyle the cause. Our greed and obsess wreaking havoc because,
of our use and abuse of a gas we exhale, is the substance of life from amoeba to whale.

Self loathing of sins from the first and then since. Paying penance for crimes, not hard to convince,
of our fault on this earth, with destruction and death, at our hand year on year, every bit of MacBeth.

Yet of nature we are born, intrinsic so designed, in this world not apart, but indisputably entwined.
The stuff in all life, is the same as our core, on this planet full of Carbon, we should really adore.

The sense that we are blessed, and far above all the rest. The cause of all ills, with only brief stints of love,
is arrogance supreme, and the realm of the gods. To have power on that scale, not likely, those odds.

I hear quite often, from some who should know, that all of earth’s ills, are our fault and we owe,
a penance, a toll, a pound of flesh from our bones. Our tribute to Gaia, with the elite left alone.

The Greens so declare we are evil and despair, at our senseless ego, and lack of due care.
I say to you, and all that still live, we are born of this earth, part of nature intrinsic, one of God’s greatest gifts.

To say we are bad, is to admit nature’s fault. Or God in his wisdom “got it wrong”, God forbid.
You are unique don’t you know, what you have deep inside. Some knowledge and or truth, that should fill you with pride.

To be shared with the world, for the benefit of all, to bring peace and prosperity on our precious blue ball.
So share it at will, and join in with those, who are sceptics at heart, and seek truth to expose.


December 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Re. Brian Catts reply to my comments about Africa and overpopulation. Perhaps I misunderstood his rely, but the impression I got was that he thinks that I am a Greenie.

No way, I thinks CO2 is a wonder thing, the more the better and energy , lots and lots is good. But lets look at the right now as regards Africa.

How do we change the present overpopulation in a lot of it, to the Wests ideal of 2 and a 1/2 children per family.
Well lots of energy, via Fossell fuel, or of course Nuclear is needed, but first we have to fix the major problem of Tribilism, with each tribe hating the others.

Itsa the “Right Now”that I am talking about, ,not the far future, which I fear is he probable situation.

And I still say that the Rev. , Matias got it right, “When a species exceeds its food supply, it will die. Not what the West eating their breakfast want to see on their TV, but we live in the real world, not a future world. That’s Green dreaming.


December 23, 2018 3:09 pm

we can get on with evolving

You mean devolving, as the worldwide welfare state causes a dysgenic decline in intelligence and character.

December 23, 2018 3:16 pm

Thank you Dr Ball, a thoughtful piece.

There is something fundamental evil about this wanton destruction of man.

December 23, 2018 3:52 pm

I must be the first to use the word describing this phenomenon.

Androido (Man Hating)

Peter Morris
December 23, 2018 3:57 pm

This is why I’m a proud member of the other PETA.

People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

David Burrows
December 23, 2018 4:39 pm

Certainly Earth is a very interesting planet. Whether that is because it is observed by intelligent beings or maybe interesting worlds produce interesting species. I believe there is no limit to our numbers as we will soon be mining the asteroids and can produce food by industrial methods. However I think we would be wise to assign a portion of the earth to wild.

December 23, 2018 4:50 pm

O/T …a large warm region at 10 hPa has erupted over eastern Siberia. The size and warmth is surprising. The pattern started on the 20th causing temps to shift 100 F in those 3 days. Is this is what is known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming? …,65.15,407/loc=107.304,66.554

December 23, 2018 5:28 pm

Humans are nature. We are here to advance nature, that is our only purpose. Turtles advanced nature from pond to pond. Birds advanced nature much quicker. Humans need fossil fuel in order to increase our intelligence and wealth to advance nature to other planets. One day, if humans don’t drop the ball, we will be taking our nature beyond earth.

At this point environmentalist are anti-nature and blind to the real reasons humans are here. I can only imagine how many other planets have been in the same situation over the billions of years. They never past there own neighborhood and then perished. Lots of dead-ender’s out there, lets not be one of them.

Ronald Ginzler
December 23, 2018 6:01 pm

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us” as you quote from the Club of Rome, is a classic case of paranoid thinking. Why do we need enemies? Why not try to be friends?

Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 6:05 pm

What a piece of work is man,
How noble in reason,
How infinite in faculty,
In form and moving how express and admirable,
In action how like an Angel,
In apprehension how like a god,
The beauty of the world,
The paragon of animals.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Act II Scene 2.

Walter Sobchak
December 23, 2018 6:08 pm

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 24, 2018 5:07 pm

Take the Airplane and the Dead, mix them up well, and use them for fertilizer on your tomatoes. Lifelong musician here who never quite “got” the attraction. Grace Slick was easy on the eyes, however, if not on the ears.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  brians356
December 25, 2018 9:34 am

Yeah, most of the Airplane stuff was unlistenable for me. Never got into the Dead.

December 24, 2018 6:12 am

Consider this…. of all the species on the planet, which one has entered into more symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationships with other species than man? Think of all the animals and plants that thrive because they have a use to man, and we in return cultivate, protect, strengthen, and expand their ranges. From livestock to pets, from crops to flowers, even grasses and fungi… Man is the mechanism that makes them all thrive. We are the key component to many of the other successful species on Earth. We’re also the only species that makes an effort to protect and preserve the least successful species.

Without Man, there wouldn’t be 19 billion chickens on Earth. In return for meat, eggs, and feathers, we protect them from other predators, disease, the elements, assist in reproducing them, and have expanded their range on a global scale, making them one of the most successful bird species on the planet. And when Man goes into space and begins to colonize, you bet your arse the chicken and a lot of other species will go with us.

THAT is our true environmental niche. Man is the facilitator, the catalyst, the carrier.

Ronald G. Havelock, Ph.D.
December 24, 2018 3:11 pm

Perhaps the best piece I have ever read on WUWT.
Thank you Dr Ball.

Linda Goodman
December 24, 2018 4:00 pm

Thank you, Dr. Ball. You always go to the heart of the matter. And with Julian Simon silenced forever I’m all the more grateful for your courageous voice.

The environment is going to hell, and human life is doomed to only get worse, right? Wrong. Conventional wisdom, meet Julian Simon, the Doomslayer.

The world is getting progressively poorer, and it’s all because of population, or more precisely, overpopulation. There’s a finite store of resources on our pale blue dot, spaceship Earth, our small and fragile tiny planet, and we’re fast approaching its ultimate carrying capacity….Time is short, and we have to act now….There’s just one problem with The Litany, just one slight little wee imperfection: every item in that dim and dreary recitation, each and every last claim, is false. Incorrect. At variance with the truth. Not the way it is, folks.” [end excerpt]

Kyle in Upstate NY
December 24, 2018 8:19 pm

This concept comes from an old environmentalist canard that tool use is un-natural. That other animals survive using their claws and paws and mouths and teeth, while humans use tools and technology for everything, which is seen as un-natural. I once saw on a forum debate on the issue of eating meat, where a woman commented, “Unless you can run the animal down while naked and kill it with your bare hands, you are not meant to eat it!” This totally ignores, or shows a lack of understanding of, what humans are.

Humans are a bipedal ape. We are evolved to do three things very well: run distance, throw projectiles, and make and use tools and other things we find helpful. We do these things better than pretty much any other animal (no other ape can do an overhand throw like a human). Other animals use tools we know now too, and some, such as chimpanzees (our closest relative), even make tools. But none can make tools like humans. Humans are evolved to use and make tools and other things (clothing, shelters, etc…) and so doing so is completely natural. The human brain evolved to allow highly complex, very precision movements: the human tongue and throat to allow for highly-complex verbal communication, i.e. speech (requires complex, sophisticated movements of the tonque). The human eye and hand coordination to allow for the ability to accurately throw projectiles, and the human brain’s development to allow for complex tool making and use. Also the ability to think abstractly and thus use symbols.

Other animals also routinely manipulate nature in various ways, for example beaver dams and bee hives. Beavers in particular do not cut down trees and build dams with any concern about how it will affect the local environment. To the contrary, they are known to completely screw up the water systems of the local ecosystem.

John Tillman
Reply to  Kyle in Upstate NY
December 30, 2018 8:48 am

Other animals besides humans and chimps also make and use tools, to include not just mammals, but birds, fish, molluscs and insects:

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2018 8:56 am

Note that the highest insect intelligences observed are all among the Hymenoptera, ie ants, wasps and bees.

Small ants have far and away the highest ratio of brain to body mass, ie ~1:7, v. ~1:50 in humans. This ratio is obviously a crude measure of mental function, but suggestive. Overall size matters, too.

December 25, 2018 8:24 am

The spectral GHG paradigm has been the most destructive falsehood in post Newtonian science .

It literally denies Newton’s Law of Gravity .

It is trivial to understand :

. Particles moving “up” in a gravitational field slow down , ie: cool ;
. Those moving down speed up , ie: heat .

Newton’s Law of Gravity which explains how much faster satellites go in lower orbit also explains how much faster molecules go at the bottoms of atmospheres and thus quantitatively explain the temperature profiles of all planets whatever their atmosphere including the ~ 33c warmer the bottom of our atmosphere is than our radiative balance with the Sun .

The GHG paradigm , excluding the Law of Gravity in violation even of conservation of energy , being false , has thus never presented a testable equation quantifying their asserted spectral “trapping” nor an experimental demonstration of it .

See Hansen et al , 1981 , , for the equationless bait ‘n switch which implicitly uses the gravitation lapse rate for why more CO2 will emit from higher where it’s colder then ascribes the entire gradient below to some spectral GHG effect with 0 , because it’s false , derivation .

And the field has been disconnected from the quantitative analytical testable method of physics ever since .

Reply to  Bob Armstrong
December 25, 2018 1:51 pm

You had me at “falsehood”.

Phil Cartier
January 2, 2019 3:36 pm

“The law is the survival of the fittest….” Darwin, Spencer, PETA, and all the others got it backwards. It’s not survival of the fittest, but the death of those least fit that promotes changes. Of course the fittest are likely to survive, although that is not a given. The weakest or least fit are much more likely not to survive and remove their genes from the pool.

When a species, or group of related subspecies and other species change their environment they survive better. The Sarengeti plane in Africa is a good example. Ungulates, predators, birds, scavengers, insects of many kinds, have all developed together to fit an environment that they create which is more productive for them all.

People have done the same thing. Developing big brains and ways to work together along with society and culture have allowed the development of much, much better ways to use energy resulting in a huge expansion of humankind- probably the fittest species on the earth. We are now at the point that we can conserve the genes of even not so fit individuals that have genes we don’t know about that could be useful in the future.

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