> The dogma that Mankind is a blight upon Earth.
> (America especially).
The history of biology is replete with examples of species that destroyed their own environments and rendered themselves extinct. That's not "dogma," it's science. If you are going to argue that humans are exempt from that pattern, you'll need to explain why.
Since the burden is on you to produce evidence for why humans are not like other organic species, the question arises where you got the notion in the first place that people will not irrevocably foul their petri dish. Could it be that you once read a book saying that humans were unique and that some superhuman force would save the earth from their destruction?
Because, Kiddo, that's neither science nor reason. It's faith.
> Re: Malthus' summary, "The power of population is
> indefinitely greater than the power in the earth
> to produce subsistence for man."
What should follow here is an explanation for why Malthus was wrong. But rather than address him and his theory, you immediately shift to an attack on random people who were NOT Malthus.
Do you not think that bait-and-switch gambit rather obvious?
> Economist Julian
> Simon bet against biologist Paul Ehrlich who was
> predicting imminent commodities shortages. The
> prices, adjusted for inflation, continue to fall.
> You remember "peak oil," don't you--the fear that
> we'd exhaust Earth's oil deposits before Y2K?
Although he was wrong in the dating of his prognostication, Ehrlich may well prove correct in the long run. But that's neither here nor there.
The point remains that you manifestly want to challenge lesser thinkers than Malthus. Moreover, you aren't comfortable staying with that man's explicit warning. Instead, you stick in a word--"imminent"--that he never used. So not only have you switched opponents, you've also switched targets.
The fallacy in your economics is equally conspicuous. There are lots of civilizations that overtaxed their agricultural resources and then collapsed. Within that overall pattern, however, there were periods of feast and famine. So rising and falling commodity prices were superimposed on a longer-term Malthusian dynamic. And your focus on oil is inapposite. The constraint, as anyone who knows energy markets could tell you, is not the volume of hydrocarbons that exist around the world but rather the effect of that form of energy on the overall environment.
> "Simon...thought like an economist...Instead of
> the quantity of resources, he looked at the prices
> of resources. He saw resource scarcity as a
> temporary challenge that can be solved through
> greater efficiency, increased supply, development
> of substitutes, and so on. The relationship
> between prices and innovation...is dynamic.
> Relative scarcity leads to higher prices, higher
> prices create incentives for innovations, and
> innovations lead to abundance."
That only works if governments eliminate externalities. In this case, the environmental costs of burning fossil fuels are not captured in the price of gas at the pump. That depresses the price and reduces the incentive to innovate and shift from oil to other sources of energy. Am I correct in believing you oppose carbon taxes and other means of raising the price of fuel to one that accounts for its full costs? Because any economic textbook will tell you that inaction in such a situation will result in overconsumption and environmental destruction.
You thus insist on vitiating market forces and then assure us that market forces will save the day. Inconsistent, that.
> A few vintage "the sky is falling" predictions for
> your nostalgic enjoyment. More important is that
> the narrative has changed:
Ah yes, a smorgasboard of mistaken prognostications, most of which I have never heard of and hence do not care about. Have your heroes, political and religious, ever made any false predictions? I venture that they have.
What I'm hoping that you can articulate, again, is a reasonable explanation for why humans are inherently incapable of ruining their own environment. Can you provide that?
> I stand by my thesis that "fear sells," and add
> that it will be ideologically and politically
> exploited. Or (horse, meet cart) originated
> Religious doomsayers target their suckers; the
> secularists, theirs. What they share is the
> pursuit of power, prestige, and profit.
I didn't question your assertion that "fear sells." I asked if you could explain why Malthus must be wrong.
> CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky MD confessed to a
> "sense of impending doom." Oh, wait--that's a
> different crisis.
That, Kiddo, is another bright shiny object.