This is what I found interesting, so it’s today’s broadsheet from the FM website pressroom, with several sections of hot news. Lot’s happening in the world today, mostly either overlooked or misinterpreted by the mainstream media.
- “Threats and Degradation“, Tucson Weekly, 10 December 2009 — “A congressman uncovers two buried studies showing the impacts of illegal immigration, smuggling”
- “U.S. personnel in Iraq could face court-martial for getting pregnant“, Stars and Stripes, 19 December 2009
- “A Climatology Conspiracy?“, David H. Douglass and John R. Christy, American Thinker, 20 December 2009 — People are putting the liberated CRU emails into a larger context; the result is not pretty.
- Price graphs of various commodities adjusted for inflation (aka, in terms of gold), Nathan Lewis, New World Economics, 20 December 2009 — Food is the cheapest it’s ever been in the history of humanity. Most commodities are at or near their lows.
- More woes for geothermal: “Geothermal Project in California Is Shut Down“, New York Times, 12 December 2009 — Bad news for AltaRock.
- But it could be worse, so the executives of AltaRock should not complain: “Head of Geopower Basel faces jail for causing earthquakes“, The Times, 17 December 2009
- “How Changes in Oil Prices Affect the Macroeconomy, Bank of Canada, Brian DePratto, Carlos de Resende, and Philipp Maier, December 2009 — It’s consensus thinking, but well-researched.
Book recommendation: Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery, Seymour Drescher (2009) — See this excellent review in the New York Review of Books (subscription-only).
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(2) About the future, as seen from the past
Looking to kill an hour, fun and fast? I recommend reading Tales of Future Past, a website showing what the future of today (and beyond) as it was imagined in the 20th century. Looks of magazine illustrations.
Drawing on the material of the Tales of the Future website, Nathan Lewis at New World Economics gives a satiric look ourselves. Thank God the future (today) is not what was foreseen in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
One example from his article: Food
In the future food is a chemical concoction made by scientists. One uniform, scientific, factory-made product that provides everything your body needs. How simple! How clean! How convenient!
In The Future, humans eat dogfood.
Let’s see, chemical food that comes from a factory, made by scientists, that doesn’t involve any real cooking but merely pressing a button on the machine. That doesn’t describe the situation today at all.
(3) Quote of the day: an expert prescribes doom, followed by savagery
From an article by Daniel Wood in the May 1990 issue of West Magazine (published by the San Jose Mercury News). It’s widely misquoted on the Internet, touched up for effect. I cannot verify it; the following looks more or less right (sources here and here). It’s still a great quote.
Maurice Strong is (per Wikipedia) been active in business, civil service, international development, environment, energy and finance. He is a Canadian expatriate, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and one of the world’s leading proponents of the United Nations’s involvement in world affairs. Wood related a conversation he had with Maurice Strong regarding a novel Strong wanted to write.
Strong explains as background to the telling of the novel’s plot, the World Economic Forum convenes in Davos, Switzerland. Hundreds of CEO’s, prime ministers, finance ministers, and leading academics gather each February to attend meetings and set the economic agendas for the year ahead. What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principle risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment? Will they do it? Will the rich countries agree to reduce their impact on the environment? Will they agree to save the earth?
The group’s conclusions is ‘no.’ The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?
Such sentiments become increasingly common as the Greens’ minds become increasingly dominated with fantasies of doom — estcatalogical nightmares. Perhaps that’s all for the best, nature’s way of marginalizing them from the mainstream of political and social life.
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