Exact words looked at

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Last updated on August 5th, 2017 at 03:59 pm

John Berlau exposes Tim Lambert:

Lambert, for instance, argues that I have mischaracterized “overpopulation” guru Paul Ehrlich’s preference for forced sterilization of men in India after they have produced their third child. Lambert, with no citation, insists that Ehrlich merely described a proposal being discussed in India and “went on to say that such a plan was not a good idea.”

Oh, really? Why don’t we look at Ehrlich’s exact words from the bestseller that launched his doomsaying career, The Population Bomb. On pages 165-166 of 1968 edition of his book (and 151-52 of the 1971 edition), here are Ehrlich’s own words in recommending the actions the U.S. should have taken in response to the Indian official’s sterilization proposal:

“When he suggested sterilizing all Indian males with three or more children, we should have applied pressure on the Indian government to go ahead with the plan.”

Lambert apparently owns a copy of Ehrlich’s book, so must have known Ehrlich supported the sterilization proposal … but he bet the farm on nobody else seeking out a copy and checking the text. A risky strategy, that, in the case of a bestseller. J.F. Beck was way ahead of the curve on this joker.

UPDATE. Following 1506 words in reply, Lambert admits:

I was wrong.

Then he blames Ehrlich:

I don’t why, after deciding that the plan was unworkable, he said that the US should support it anyway, but he did.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/05/2007 at 02:21 PM
    1. Lambert ought to “take a page” (pun intended) and buy up all copies of Ehrlich’s book like the Democratic Party allegedly did with John Kerry’s The New Soldier.

      Posted by JDB on 2007 05 05 at 02:46 PM • permalink


    1. What? The government interfering in someones reproductive rights? Get your laws off my body!!!Oh…this is about MEN. I guess thats alright then.

      //sarcasm off

      Posted by debi L. on 2007 05 05 at 03:15 PM • permalink


    1. I remember the population bomb. Wasn’t it supposed to do us in after the nuclear bomb didn’t?  Now we have the carbon bomb ticking away like a can of overheated cola. Eevil stuff, that.

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 05 05 at 03:18 PM • permalink


    1. How many times does Erlich have to be wrong before people stop paying any attention to him?

      Or perhaps he should be used as a “reverse Oracle”. Whatever he predicts, count on the opposite becoming true.

      Posted by Billy Hollis on 2007 05 05 at 03:19 PM • permalink


    1. How many times does Ehrlich have to be wrong before people stop paying any attention to him?

      The idiocy of Marx has been around longer than Ehrlich’s lame attempt at scientific misanthropy and dumbasses still want to give Marx’s bullcrap undeserved respect.

      When it comes to idiots and their ideas, nothing is too old, too tired, too discredited. That’s why they are idiots.

      Speaking of idiots, anyone else noticing a similarity between today’s enviro warmingist “scientists” and the anthropologists and archaeologists of the 3rd Reich?

      Facts? They don’t need no stinking facts! They got dogma!

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 05 05 at 03:35 PM • permalink


    1. Beck has had so many opportunities for pistol-whipping Lambert with the truth gun that I bet the serial number’s worn off by now. Incidentally, he runs a fine blog (Beck, that is).

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 05 at 04:44 PM • permalink


    1. A few predictions by green guru Paul Ehrlich:

      .“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…”—The Population Bomb, 1968

      . “By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.” (1969)

      .  “By 1980 the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 because of pesticides, and by 1999 its population would drop to 22.6 million.” (1969)

      . “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” (1969)

      . “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”—Earth Day (1970)

      . “Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity. . . in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.” (1976) Ehrlich made a bet with economist Julian Simon. Ehrlish lost; the price of all key minerals in the bet declined between 1980 and 1990.

      Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 2007 05 05 at 05:02 PM • permalink


    1. The idiocy of Marx has been around longer than Ehrlich’s lame attempt at scientific misanthropy and dumbasses still want to give Marx’s bullcrap undeserved respect.

      Yes, but the Marxists cling to the claim that the only problem with Marxism is that we haven’t been doing it right and so must keep trying. Poor Paul has no such claim to fall back on. (Curious as to what he’s up to these days, I checked Wikipedia and find he’s currently the Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University . Good grief, Stanford.)

      OT—it’s nearly time for the Run for the Roses up here. The track looks better than I thought it would. Hope HRH, looking fetching in one of her signature ensembles, is having a jolly good time.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 05 05 at 05:27 PM • permalink


    1. but he bet the farm on nobody else seeking out a copy and checking the text

      Yes, I see it often. Someone makes a public assertion, forgetting or ignoring, that the public now has incredibly fast search capabilities. And that, also, a small percentage of the public actually reads and takes stuff seriously.

      I must say that, since the internet and blogs, I am reading more now than ever; and not schlock. For example, Frollickingmole suggested an excellent series on Byzantium I was not aware of, and am now reading them.

      Not as well written as Gibbons, but more concise :^) and also, it must be said, more up-to-date.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 05 05 at 06:17 PM • permalink


    1. It says so much about the enviro-left that they feel the need to defend someone who has been consistently wrong as Erlich.

      And hs hasn’t been just wrong – he has been massively off the mark and his reasoning shown to be so simplistic as to embarrass a primary schooler. His predictions have been no better than the cults that predict the end of the world or that thought a spaceship was coming to take the faithful off the earth.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 05 05 at 06:20 PM • permalink


    1. #5 Grimmy, and what is even more amazing about the Marx worshippers is that Marxism pays lip-service to history, although historical facts demosntrate the wrongness of Marxism.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 05 05 at 06:20 PM • permalink


    1. Winston Churchill, I think, said that a lie can circle the earth before the truth gets out of bed.

      Sadly, with the decline of Christian belief in the West, there is also a decline in personal public honour and truthtelling.
      A classic turning point was the refusal of the Democrats to impeach Bill Clinton on the grounds that a self-serving, blatant lie even in court was OK as long as it wasn’t ‘about something important’.

      In Australia tenured academics are always getting found out fudging the truth in their career-making, footnoted books, but it never seems to stop the media lionising them if it suits them. Latest example is Tim Flummery.

      The result is that the whole culture becomes either cynical or credulous about everything and everybody
      Look at how GWB has been treated since 2001 for telling the truth about the war on terror.

      Posted by Barrie on 2007 05 05 at 07:15 PM • permalink


    1. I’m with you, Wimpy. In response to the crap being fed to us by the msm, I had given up in despair until I became aware of the enormous resource offered by the Internet.
      The fact that the likes of Fisk and Lane continue to ignore that resource is all that needs to be said about such ignoramuses.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 05 05 at 07:20 PM • permalink


    1. #2,

      debi L.

      My sentiments, exactly.

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 05 05 at 07:24 PM • permalink


    1. For a textbook example of congitive dissonance, read (as painful as that may be) the comments for Lambert’s post linked above. Never have more letters been so visciously butchered in order to say so little.

      Posted by TomB on 2007 05 05 at 07:50 PM • permalink


    1. I read a good part of “New World, New Mind: Changing the Way We Think to Save Our Future” by Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich something like 15 years ago.  Ornstein was lead author and I for some reason didn’t pick up on Ehrlich’s name.  There was some interesting stuff, some questionable stuff, then they got to solutions.  That’s where I woke up and remembered who the hell this Ehrlich clown was.  They were strongly recommending a very scaled back level of population kept in technological and social stasis.  This could only be accomplished by government, and the governmental model they admired most was—get this—the Tokagawa Shogunate of Japan.  Stifling conformity, complete stasis and grinding poverty enforced by death, tiny elite ruling it all.  I think they’d have used North Korea as an example except that would’ve been too obvious.  Of course, they think they’d be one of the ruling elite and not one of the peasants or among the vast masses needing to be sacrificed.

      Posted by Larry on 2007 05 05 at 08:35 PM • permalink


    1. The final part of Ehrlich’s rubbish says: “Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion for a good cause.”

      Lefty mentality in a nutshell, folks.

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 05 05 at 08:52 PM • permalink


    1. I think a little “coercion” of the left would be in a good cause.

      Every time they want to use the state to rob people we redistribute their body parts.

      Posted by Rob Read on 2007 05 05 at 08:58 PM • permalink


    1. China’s one-child policy is the pinnacle of this wrong-headed stupid anxiety about “too many people”. The Chinese have yet to pay the price for that folly.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 05 05 at 10:19 PM • permalink


    1. sorry for the OT but this was too funny to pass up:

      Whore Hoare Statement

      It’s been reported that Kelly Hoare allegedly asked a government car driver for sex, whilst being chauffeured to her Sydney home.

      check out the picture, it’s gold. lol!

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 2007 05 05 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t [know] why, after deciding that the plan was unworkable, he said that the US should support it anyway . . .

      Now, why is it that the above statement seems to remind me of people like Harry “The Realtor” Reid, “Abscam” Jack Murtha and “Scarf-face” Nancy Pelosi? Hmmm. It’ll come to me, eventually.

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 05 at 11:19 PM • permalink


    1. #20: Great link, BSAL! The story deserves its own post. I imagine that the driver’s response to the “alleged” question was something like, “Crikey, mum! Do you think they’d have issued me a license if I was legally blind?”

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 05 at 11:27 PM • permalink


    1. Also off topic: calling Andy Canuck and Wimpy Canadian. Boys, I’ve got a little job for you.

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 05 at 11:35 PM • permalink


    1. #20 – The horror, the horror!

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2007 05 05 at 11:44 PM • permalink


    1. #23 paco!? …but that coin is worth… you’re not seriously considering… oh my word!

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 05 05 at 11:48 PM • permalink


    1. #20 I can’t respect the driver for telling everyone about it and destroying her career. So what if she made a pass at a chauffeur late one night.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 05 05 at 11:52 PM • permalink


    1. #25: You guessed it, DaddyDave! I’m going to put Andy and Wimpy in charge of negotiating the security contract for guarding this unique item. Professional Au Cops Organization has the experience and know-how to make the thing theft-proof.

      Andy, Wimpy, contact me off-line. I don’t want this thing turning into Kelly’s Heroes; you know: too many splits.

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 06 at 12:13 AM • permalink


    1. Paco—Here’s the plan: first we build an ENORMOUS gumball machine…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 05 06 at 12:19 AM • permalink


    1. found this while reading about the coins…tried to link to it but Yahoo wouldn’t let me. So:

      STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A soccer game between Muslim imams and Christian priests at the end of a conference to promote interfaith dialogue was canceled Saturday because the teams could not agree on whether women priests should take part.
      Church of Norway spokesman Olav Fykse Tveit said the imams refused to play against a mixed-gender team of priests because it would have gone against their beliefs in avoiding close physical contact with strange women.

      The church decided to drop its female players and the priests’ team captain walked out in protest.

      Hours before the game was to end the daylong “Shoulder to Shoulder” conference in Oslo, the church released a statement saying it had called off the match because it was sending the wrong signal.

      “Because we thought it would be a nice conclusion of the conference we didn’t want to call it off, so we decided to stage an all-mens team game instead,” Tveit said. “We realize now that it will be wrong to have a priest team without women.”

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 05 06 at 12:57 AM • permalink


    1. I remember the population bomb. Wasn’t it supposed to do us in after the nuclear bomb didn’t?

      here’s more proof that lefties don’t think things through.  A booming population would have left us something to eat after either the New Ice Age or the Nuclear Winter everyone who was anyone was convinced we were heading for in the 80’s…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 05 06 at 12:59 AM • permalink


    1. #28 Andy, Wimpy: See?

      Ok, Richard, ok; you’re in, but only because that’s the best idea anybody’s had, yet. Except let’s make it a ginormous parking meter. We plant it by the guy’s car when he’s parked downtown. When he returns to it, Wimpy goes up to it in his meter-maid outfit making like he’s writing a ticket. Then Bigshot runs up, sees the fee on the meter(”$1MM First Ten Minutes”), drops in the two-hundred pound gold piece, and drives off. I drive the truck around with a wench in back. She gets out – dressed in hot pants and tank-top – sidles over to the nearest construction site and asks the four biggest guys, in a plaintive voice, “can you all do little old me a favor?”, they come over, load the thing in the truck, and we all take off for the secret warehouse. We pack up the coin, mark the crate “Bibles”, and ship it to the Pentacostal Apostolic Church (Orthodox) in Fairfax. Then we meet at my place and divide the coin up (Andy, you bring the jackhammer). Piece. Of. Cake.

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 06 at 01:02 AM • permalink


    1. Kyda—

      Marx didn’t just lay out a program for economic organization.  He made extensive predictions about the future, of how capitalism would fail, of how the petit bourgeoisie would be declassed back into the proletariat.  That these predictions were not coming true was obvious enough back in the early 1920s that two groups of Marxist socialists realized something was wrong.

      Group one, in the newborn Soviet Union, explained that Marx’s predictions weren’t coming true because imperialism allowed capitalist societies to steal money from other peoples to prop up their systems.  This explanation allowed them to remain believing Marxists despite the failures of Marx’s predictions.

      Group two disagreed, and instead had the guts to say Marx’s theories were bunk.  These now-former Marxists were, however, unwavering in their rejection of “liberalism”, the mixture of equality, democracy, and free markets which was formulated in the late 18th Century and gained ground throughout the 19th.  They accordingly turned to a mixture of nationalism and absolutism in politics, with economics guided by syndicalism and class collaboration.  These former Marxists were Italian, and called their new idea Fascism.

      In light of the last seventy-five years of history, at least some of the people in the West who bought into the Soviet explanation for the failure of Marx have noticed that there isn’t actually enough wealth in the Third World for it to actually make sense.  However, they, too, refuse to accept 19th Century liberalism, at least in the economic sphere, and instead, like the disillusioned Italian Marxists in the 1920s, seek a “third way”, mixing private ownership with state control.  They call their proposal the “social market economy”.

      Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2007 05 06 at 01:48 AM • permalink


    1. #7 – Ehrlich made a classic beginners mistake with his forecasting – he made a prediction and included a date.  Clever economists will always give you one or the other, but not both.

      If you are going to give a date, make it totally ridiculous, but say it in a credible tone.

      Here are some examples from the Prediction And Castration Operation:

      “We will definitely have a recession in the next hundred years”.

      “There will be 21,614 lesbians in NSW.  14 will be good looking.  37 will weigh under 127kg”.

      “One day, a fish will be trained to ride a bicycle”.

      “Your house will be worth $2 million”.

      “Julia Gillard will fondle a stoat”.

      “Peter Garrett will be able to stop shaving his head”.

      Posted by mr creosote on 2007 05 06 at 01:56 AM • permalink


    1. O/T – If you were building a few nuclear reactors on the sly, how would you go about getting some help with it?

      Iran turned to the International Herald-Tribute: link

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2007 05 06 at 02:13 AM • permalink


    1. A friend of mine said that Lambert is a bit like Noam Chomsky. In order to pin down his dishonesty it is neccessary to hopscotch through multiple references, often to previous works by Lambert himself, before finding an out of context quotation or some such. This is a painful and thankless task which only a few individuals (such as JF Beck) have been willing to do.

      Posted by niobium2000 on 2007 05 06 at 02:32 AM • permalink


    1. #33 mr creosote

      “There will be 21,614 lesbians in NSW.  14 will be good looking.  37 will weigh under 127kg”.

      Reminds me of this: Lesbians twice as likely to be obese. Do academics really need public funds to research something so obvious?

      Posted by flying pigs over mecca on 2007 05 06 at 02:39 AM • permalink


    1. #31,

      can I be the wench in the back of the truck?

      I look like Anna Nicole during her decline.

      The guys at the building sites still whistle at me!!!

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 05 06 at 05:23 AM • permalink


    1. Paul R. Ehrlich is a left wing biologist who is known more for his political rather than his scientific views on butterfly populations (a bit like Chomsky and linguistics). Like many of his ilk (academics who’ve leveraged expertise in narrow fields into a widespread belief that they know everything), Ehrlich comes across as a shrill nutjob when he steps out from behind rigorous scientific language and procedures. This clever little sleight of hand, where scientists attempt to delude the public into believing that the rigour of a hard discipline is also the foundation of their political believes and policy prescriptions, is thankfully unravelling. The real question that confronts us is why so many on the Left in particular are willing to dispense with the scepticism they bring to discussions on issues like Christianity or truth when it comes to issues such as the environment.

      There is no reason to believe that a man who started life as a Field Officer for the Northern Insect Survey in the early 1950s won’t have intelligent things to say about issues such as the war in Iraq. But nor is there any reason to assume that his view carries more weight because he can count insects. (Ehrlich’s CV – and his first job of survey insect populations – is available here.)

      What is clear, however, is that he leaves all rigour associated with the biological sciences behind when it comes to political analysis. For instance, in the December 2003 issue of BioScience, Ehrlich makes this claim (see here):

      The Bush administration started a regional war in Iraq primarily, I submit, to establish control over huge oil supplies as Saudi Arabia became increasingly unstable and to gain leverage over other nations, especially China.

      And why am I not surprised to see towards the end of his essay this little gem?

      Today, as an unprovoked war waged by the United States against a poor country with a population already battered by embargoes and a grim dictatorship—waged while civil rights in the United States were being rapidly confiscated—seems like it may never truly end, we must remember what happened in Nazi Germany.

      What differentiates this comment from any whackjob’s “it’s all about oil” or that Bush is Hitler? Nothing, but it carries more weight because he’s the President of the Centre for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford. And as we know, Ehrlich doesn’t confine himself to outlandish statements but tends to then proceed to policy advice. So we have this in the same article:

      Wouldn’t a policy of striving to ease Americans out of that lifestyle, reducing its manifest temptations (and inconveniences, such as long-distance commuting), be much more ethical?

      The tricky bit, as with “overpopulation”, is how to “ease” Americans out of their earth eating lifestyles (which is self evident and thus in no need of supporting argument). Ehrlich has clearly learned his lesson from the criticism his forced sterilisation argument received, and so he doesn’t indicate that what this will take will be the “lifestyle adjustment” equivalent to cutting off Americans’ balls.

      I can’t recommend this article, but it is worth reading (especially the short section on what he refers to as the notorious Lomborg affair) if you want to understand Ehrlich (and others like Lambert) who truly believe they are God.

      Posted by Hanyu on 2007 05 06 at 05:35 AM • permalink


    1. “Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford”
      Look, there s no reason to be concerned.  If you take careful note, the word “studies” appears in the faculty title.  In other words. it’s a joke appointment.

      I have yet to come across any graduate, or even someone with a couple of years experience, that went through tertiary eduction doing “studies” that
      a) made me regret the weak moment when I hired them; and
      b) given me a deep contempt for Dawkin’s Universities, of which Griffith in Brisbane is a typical, if not worst example.

      Posted by entropy on 2007 05 06 at 06:12 AM • permalink


    1. make that : “did NOT make me regret etc. etc.” and “gave me” etc.

      Posted by entropy on 2007 05 06 at 06:13 AM • permalink


    1. entropy:

      The indicator of concern is Bing Professor.

      Stanford in Washington programs place students in departments of government all over the Washington DC area.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 05 06 at 06:23 AM • permalink


    1. John Berlau is certainly incorrect in one detail. He describes Lambert as “Australian blogger Tim Lambert, a computer science professor “.

      No, the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of NSW has 13 Professors, 16 Associate Professors and 27 Senior Lecturers. Lambert’s name does not appear in that list, he is in fact one of the humble 26 Lecturers. Most recent recorded scientific publication in 2005. Two years ago. What a busy little scientific beaver

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2007 05 06 at 08:13 AM • permalink


    1. #36 – thanks Muzzie.  That gives me a whole new perspective on people that say, “I dig fat chicks”.

      Posted by mr creosote on 2007 05 06 at 08:53 AM • permalink


    1. given me a deep contempt for Dawkin’s Universities, of which Griffith in Brisbane is a typical, if not worst example.

      As a graduate of Griffith, I’d like to point out that, hippies and weird leftists non-withstanding, GU is NOT a “Dawkins” university. It was founded in 1971, when John Gorton was Prime Minister and Nigel Bowen was education minister. By the time of the Dawkins reforms, Griffith had been a university for 17 years.

      Posted by Quentin George on 2007 05 06 at 09:42 AM • permalink


    1. Furthermore, I’d like to point out that it was “prestigious” UNSW which Lambert hails from …

      Posted by Quentin George on 2007 05 06 at 09:45 AM • permalink


    1. #42 – Lambert has indeed been busy… blogging.

      Go to the UNSW home page and do a search for “Tim Lambert”; the number one result links to his home page. He last updated his “research projects” page in 1999 – one of the programs his students worked on was written for Windows 95. The “Computer Graphics” link goes to a page cryptically reading “xyzzy”. The “Computational Geometry” link comes up “Not Found”. And the “Computer Science Program Director” link comes up “File Not Found”.

      Now what makes this funny is this comment over at Dulltard:

      Besides the fact that Berlau gets everything wrong and Lambert works hard to do the opposite, there is one other notable difference between the two. Berlau’s opinions on environmentalism regularly appear in the national media, in publications such as Investor’s Business Daily and TV programs hosted by CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News.

      So one would expect that Berlau would be well prepared to deal with the subject matter. That is, after all, his purported profession.

      Meanwhile, Lambert researches these issues in his spare time, and then writes about them on a blog. But he pays the mortgage through his job as a computer scientist.

      So how does it feel, Mr. Berlau, to be proven wrong by a hobbyist?

      If anything, Berlau has been proved right by a person whose hobby is teaching.

      Posted by J F Beck on 2007 05 06 at 11:05 AM • permalink


    1. “I don’t why, after deciding that the plan was unworkable, he said that the US should support it anyway, but he did.”

      Couldn’t possibly be because Indians aren’t white, could it?  Ehrlich couldn’t possibly be a bigot as well as an idiot, could he?

      Inquiring minds etc. ….

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2007 05 06 at 11:05 AM • permalink


    1. The Chinese have yet to pay the price for that folly.

      Yes, well, the bill is coming due. The generation coming of age in China as we speak is about 15 per cent light on females. Civilization can prevail, even thrive, with its spinster aunts, but men without women? Trouble with a capital “T”.

      Thank you, Warmongering Lunatic and Hanyu. Very informative.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 05 06 at 11:28 AM • permalink


    1. Re #36:

      “The results of these studies indicate that lesbian women have a better body image than do heterosexual women,” they wrote.

      Oh, nice try, fellas. More like most men don’t like fat women and lesbian women don’t care what most men don’t like. (I learned, or perhaps re-learned, a new word, though: adipose—animal fat found in connective tissue)

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 05 06 at 11:39 AM • permalink


    1. #38—I can’t recommend this article, but it is worth reading (especially the short section on what he refers to as the notorious Lomborg affair) if you want to understand Ehrlich (and others like Lambert) who truly believe they are God.

      It indeed is worth reading.

      But, you may be tempted to say, things are now so dismal that we might as well relax and enjoy the decline of civilization. After all, as the old saying goes, “If you’ve booked passage on the Titanic, there’s no point in going steerage.” Human affairs are moving in the wrong direction. George W. Bush is winning in his campaign to roll back protections for the environment, the rights of women to control their reproduction safely, and civil rights in general—and, perhaps unknowingly, working hard to destabilize the world political system and increasing the chance of political chaos, economic collapse, and even World War III. Why struggle to create a sustainable world for our descendants when the chances of success seem so small? My first answer is that, for me, it would be worth the effort even if humanity’s chances were only one in a thousand. I would consider it my ethical duty to my grandchildren’s generation to try to increase those chances to two in a thousand.

      But I have an even more personal reason. I agree with one of the common threads of philosophical thought that stretches at least 2500 years from Plato through the existentialists to Singer. A human life has only the value acquired by the way that life is lived, and especially by its impacts on other members of our highly social species.

      And I might ask, “How then is the value of other living creatures determined?” Of course Ehrlich has an answer for that: My own view is that we should foster a quasi-religious concern for our only known living companions in the universe. I believe that is the best way of maintaining their instrumental value. So, the lives of animals have intrinsic value, but the value of a man’s life is thoroughly dependent on how his fellows (or, more like it, his betters) judge his impact on them.

      As God might answer his pretenders, “A man’s life has intrinsic value because I, his Creator, say so. And you who would have it otherwise will one day have to deal with Me. It’s good to be God.”

      What will these people do when they no longer have Bush, Cheney, Rove and the rest of the evil neo-cons to blame for all the world’s ills?

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 05 06 at 01:19 PM • permalink


    1. My own view is that we should foster a quasi-religious concern for our only known living companions in the universe. I believe that is the best way of maintaining their instrumental value

      The original nazi party was real big into neo-paganism too.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 05 06 at 01:27 PM • permalink


    1. #49 I saw that paragraph too. I wondered how being a lard arse means you have a better body image.

      Posted by flying pigs over mecca on 2007 05 06 at 01:45 PM • permalink


    1. #50 Fascinating, Kyda : “So, the lives of animals have intrinsic value, but the value of a man’s life is thoroughly dependent on how his fellows (or, more like it, his betters) judge his impact on them.”

      These bozos don’t realise that they are destroying any basis for valuing themselves too!
      No wonder Singer argues that grown dogs have more value [therefore ‘rights’] than a newborn baby human.  Even then he is contradicting the view that animals have ‘intrinsic value’, because he is a relativist and a radical utilitarian.

      Do they fail to see that any animal’s life is only as important as ANOTHER creature puts any value on it -including as food?

      Unless God is real, we are ALL simply biomass or food.

      How do these people get to teach others moral lessons?

      Posted by Barrie on 2007 05 06 at 08:43 PM • permalink


    1. “I don’t [know[ why, after deciding that the plan was unworkable, he said that the US should support it anyway, but he did. “

      Because Ehrlich is a twit.  Why can’t Lambert figure that out when presented with the evidence of it?  I suppose it’s because he is a twit too.

      It’s very probable that Ehrlich is a racist too.  He was brought to his epiphany about overpopulation in Calcutta, where he and his family were surrounded by the crush of dark-skinned people.  As someone pointed out, nobody ever complained about the crush at the Metropolitan Opera’s bar during intermission.

      The traditional solution to the problem of a dearth of females, real or perceived, is to start a war and steal them.  Among the Afghans the tradition loot of war consisted of gold, land, and women.  They were hardly alone in this practice.

      Mark Steyn suggested that, unless China aspired to be the first gay superppwer since Sparta, Chinese men should hook up with Russian women.  Russian men are dying off (average age at death 52).  The deprived Chinese men would get wives (albeit a bit long in the tooth on average) and the Russian women would get husbands would wouldn’t die on them a quarter century before the women do.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 2007 05 06 at 08:57 PM • permalink


    1. #20 That link is broken, but Tim’s newspaper has covered the story: see Rudd MP asked driver for sex.

      Actually, the story strongly suggests she’s having a nervous breakdown of some kind, which is not at all funny.

      Posted by Chris Chittleborough on 2007 05 07 at 12:01 AM • permalink


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