How can we convince rightwingers to accept climate science …

… persuade them to stop being rightwingers[1]

I have a piece in Inside Story arguing that the various efforts to “frame” the evidence on climate change, and the policy implications, in a way that will appeal to those on the political right are all doomed. Whether or not it was historically inevitable, anti-science denialism is now a core component of rightwing tribal identity in both Australia and the US. The only hope for sustained progress on climate policy is a combination of demography and defection that will create a pro-science majority.

With my characteristic optimism, I extract a bright side from all of this. This has three components
(a) The intellectual collapse of the right has already proved politically costly, and these costs will increase over time
(b) The cost of climate stabilization has turned out to be so low that even a delay of 5-10 years won’t render it unmanageable.
(c) The benefits in terms of the possibility of implementing progressive policies such as redistribution away from the 1 per cent will more than offset the extra costs of the delay in dealing with climate change.

I expect lots of commenters here will disagree with one or more of these, so feel free to have your say. Please avoid personal attacks (or me or each other), suggestions that only a stupid person would advance the position you want to criticise and so on.

fn1. Or, in the case of young people, not to start.

436 thoughts on “How can we convince rightwingers to accept climate science …

  1. @BilB

    I think that what is missing in our understanding of Jack and his fellow great men is the role of emotion. Emotion comes before cognition and unless a child learns something about controlling their emotions they will never learn to be fully rational.

    The Jack’s are the alpha males – or the wannabe alpha’s because it seems to me that there can only be one alpha and all the others must be beta’s aspiring to be alpha’s but whatever.

    Alpha males are bred not born; almost any genes can be properly socialised and if society does not approve of selfish and greedy people we won’t have so many of these great men who believe in themselves as the manifestation of God. We are made in God’s image you know.

    Or if the alpha is an atheist, he believes in himself as being God-like because of his superior intelligence and because his faith in himself as a superior being means he is never wrong and never loses even when he does.

    All of the aspiring alpha’s that I have met have been ‘spoiled’ little boys who never learned that other people are valuable and to be respected. The lack of empathy that libertarians show is for sure based on the initial genetic inheritance but the real problem is the way they were raised to believe they were superior to other people and other people do not deserve any respect or admiration.

    They are not suppressing their empathy, they were not raised in a family or a society that valued empathy so they never learned to feel empathy and never learned that it is an essential part of the decent society that we all want.

    They learned from their environment, their nurture, to feel disdain for the ‘lesser’ people and to feel good about being a better person. They rely on feelings to direct their thinking.

    Their emotions direct their thinking. The truth doesn’t matter as long as Jack can see himself as a winner. Winning is all that matters.

    Possibly he sees himself as Jack Sparrow fighting off any number of pirates with style and witty repartee and is unable to see himself through our eyes and judgements.

  2. @Jack King

    World-class scientists are fallible, just like everybody else. The merits (or lack of them) of Desmond Morris’s statements depend on their contents, not on their source. I notice that you offer no defence of the specific opinion of his that you quoted. I take it that you quoted it because you think it’s true, and obviously you don’t think that just because Desmond Morris is a world-class scientist, since you evidently don’t accept that every statement made by a world-class scientist is true. So why do you think it’s true?

  3. It’s time to call a spade a spade. The denialist club that Jack King and Heartland belong to is a busted flush.

  4. @Julie Thomas

    You write cogently Julie, and your substantive point is very plausible, but I do wish we could consign this ‘alpha’ male (and ‘alpha’ female) thing to the waste bin. It has no application at all in humans other than as an aggregation of behaviours and attitudes that are the result of nurture and experience and adaptation.

    Its legitimacy in the study of animals such as dogs and wolves is also scientifically suspect at best. It’s a reasonable thesis that notion of dominant and submissive dogs were anthropomorphism by humans which had the happy consequence of naturalising power inequalities in human societies.

  5. @ZM

    except he realised he would like to create some phyla

    He had to have created DNA long before this. First evidence goes back some 3.8 billion years ago where we find remains in the Isua series in southwest Greenland, and the Pilbara Block of Western Australia….primitive anaerobic bacteria with DNA to eat, grow, expel, and reproduce. Sounds like a pretty simple creature, but still amazingly complex. And it popped up almost immediately after the intense meteor bombardment of the planet which would be continuous extinction events to anything living.

  6. @Fran Barlow

    “an aggregation of behaviours and attitudes that are the result of nurture and experience and adaptation.”

    Yes exactly and you are so right about the “anthropomorphism” some humans like to do, but this alpha male meme or phenomena we are having at the moment is something that needs to be rationally understood, I think.

    Where did the idea come from that humans can be understood by looking at dominance behaviour in primates and other animals?

    What motivates or leads some men and women – but not others – to see themselves as natural actors in such a ‘non-human’ – even sub-human if one thinks that way – organisational system?

    I think this particular characterisation of human personality types is a consequence of the system we have at the moment and explicating the developmental and social processes that underpin it will add to our understanding of human nature and how to nurture ‘good’ – rational – men and women.

    I think that Prajwal Kulkarni is on the right track when he says to Kahan that the thing that needs to be explained is why some people are rational, not why most people are not.

    “I wonder if the problem is that Kahan thinks such people need to be explained in the first place. But why should people be consistent? Why even have that expectation? As Kahan himself notes, even scientists sometimes exhibit cognitive dissonance.

    Perhaps we should start from the premise that everyone is intellectually inconsistent at times. Knowing disbelievers should no more need a “satisfying understanding” than amazing basketball players who can’t shoot free-throws. In sports we accept that athletic ability is complicated and can manifest itself in all sorts of unpredictable ways. No one feels the need to explain it because that just the way it is. Why don’t we do the same for intellectual ability?

    If we did, we might then conduct research to account for the handful of people who are consistent all the time. Because that’s the behavior that needs explaining.”

  7. Jack King ,
    Well He seems to be very fickle about being a non-interventionist Deity but then deciding to be interventionist every now and again after meteors or when trees were turning into coal. Has He intervened since deciding He had would like to create some phyla – or been taking a vow of quietide having been satisfied with everything once the phyla were added to the world?

    What if He fears phyla were threatened by climate change? If He is so particular about them perhaps He would not be thinking well of people threatening phyla with climate change and the 6th extinction?

  8. @ZM

    I would think that the question you should be asking is how could complex genetic code have appeared so quickly in the early earth.

  9. are you saying god put the complex code there? suddenly? are you saying evolutionary theory is wrong because the “cambrian explosion” is not explained to everyone’s satisfaction? are you saying nuclear physics doesn’t add up because there isn’t a unified field theory? are you saying for things we don’t understand we invoke god and stop inquiring? -a.v.

  10. Jack King,
    Well I am generally not all that interested in genetics, except I think we better not do any genetic engineering. I read once it was quite a strike of luck that even though eyes are so complex the bit that led to eyes began very early on. But I am more interested now in the character of your Deity and His unpredictable love of phyla. And given this – how can you know he won’t be (to you) unpredictably cross at people not caring for causing climate change?

  11. yeah. forget my questions, ZM’s is better. so, is god going to smite climate wastrels for squandering the bounteous creation he appointed them stewards of? -a.v.

  12. @ZM

    But I am more interested now in the character of your Deity

    You can either go to the holy books which I have determined are flawed, or you could study science. Back to the latter. Scientists who have studied the early earth know quite well that DNA containing creatures could not have evolved that quickly from inorganic matter when there was as yet not even water present for ponds to mix in. Ergo, they’ve come up with all kinds of cockamamy explanations. One amusing one is panspermia….basically aliens planted life here “In the beginning”.

  13. Well I still think maybe you are a joke commenter. Someone real would not be able to come to these sort of conclusions.

    1. you think scientists are making up explanations
    2. you think holy books are wrong
    3. you think their is a non-interventionist Deity
    4. you think this deity did decide to intervene to create phyla
    5. you won’t say if the phyla intervention was the last intervention of your Deity

    … and somehow all of this has something to do with your not wanting to reduce GHG emissions to prevent climate change even though I’m sure phyla would not appreciate it – they would be all like ‘our ancestors got us through all of that climate change, and now here we are thanks to these humans having to go through it all again, these new species that evolved instead of being created are so ….”

  14. @ZM

    and somehow all of this has something to do with your not wanting to reduce GHG emissions to prevent climate change even though I’m sure phyla would not appreciate it

    Now, Now, ZM…..is your tongue planted firmly in your cheek? Evolution and climate change are unrelated. A poster was scoffing how stupid right wingers are to reject settled science like climate change AND evolution. BINGO…that’s what started this tangent.

  15. Here is a bit of a clue to the “how it all got started” jibe from Jack king at #9.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_self-assembly

    It is not the big mystery that Jack would like to believe. It is certainly complex but the primary steps towards life did not yield complex life forms in one go.

    Then there is the prospect (less likely, but certainly more plausible than a deity) that life arrived on earth frozen in a comet from an exploded solar system some where else.

    Converting Right wingers? I’m not sure that it is important for much longer. Here in Australia there has been a minor setback for carbon reduction action, but Australia is in fact a bit part player. The real story is the immense technological revolution that is under way developing the machinery of the low carbon and low resource consumption future world. There is just so much going on that it is difficult to spot where the key nodes of this future are occurring.

    Here is one potentially vital node for energy storage

    http://blog.cafefoundation.org/eas-viii-avetik-haryutunyan-lithium-storage-capacity-large-nanostructures/

    Solid state storage that doubles the current best energy to weight ratio is a massive step forward should it consolidate. There any number of such teams working on this storage problem, and progress is being made. Solar energy conversion is now well above 50% in compound systems so more than sufficient energy for living is available to every person on earth once the economics have been optimised and consolidated.

    Frankly in removing the RET and all carbon mechanisms in Australia, I believe, will do the fossil fuel industry more harm than good, and rapidly so. I think that they have horribly misunderstood people’s feelings on climate change action, on the one hand, and in removing the carbon pricing with no visible improvement to standard of living, the lie is exposed. Also removing what ever subsidies there are for solar panels will highlight the property improvement value of distributed solar and in the process increase appreciation for such free energy access. I believe that the greed of the grid energy sector has been the best driver of distributed energy and will continue to be so as I do not see the energy distributors giving up their golden egg.

    Growth of the distributed energy sector has to move away from utility installation deals to a standalone financial model and become a driving force in its own right. Once this transition has been made, real permanent climate change action will be underway in Australia.

    The future is about living better on far less, consuming less while achieving more, communicating and interacting more fluently and harmoniously. The model for growth will be nothing like the present and will require a brave new class of politician, we need people who can create a symphony of cooperation to replace our present cacophony of political disharmony. My gut feeling is that wave of self interest generated by the baby boomers will deliver the leaders we need from their resource dislocated grandchildren. The generation gap has widened to allow a new driving generation sufficiently separated from their “elders” to not be “managed” by the current control generation.

    Nominations are open.

    No doubt that all sounds hairy fairy and worthy of a dumping, but while you do that think about what you imagine will happen over the next thirty years. Look at what is going on and make some insightful predictions.

  16. @Jack King

    That’s an interesting question. I don’t know the answer to it. I don’t know whether anybody knows the answer to it. But even if nobody knows the answer to it, that’s not a flaw in the theory of evolution. I wonder a little whether the reason you don’t recognise this is that you don’t understand what the theory of evolution is.

  17. @J-D

    But even if nobody knows the answer to it, that’s not a flaw in the theory of evolution.

    When I want to know how a fish can become a man, I am not enlightened by being told that organisms that leave the most offspring are the ones that leave the most offspring.

    The sudden appearance of complex creatures with no transitions is more than a flaw. It is a revolution, not an evolution. The sudden appearance of DNA in the VERY early earth is more than a flaw, it requires a plethora of faith to stick to lock-step doctrines.

  18. @Jack King

    You want to know how a fish can become a man? The answer to that is very simple: it is not possible for a fish to become a man. If you think that the theory of evolution is supposed to explain how a fish can become a man, that tends to confirm my suspicion that you don’t understand what the theory of evolution is, which means that your views about flaws in it are worthless.

  19. Scientists think they may have found the fish fossil which is the direct ancestor of humans
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik
    Think of a genealogical tree going back 20 million generations. From watching the Eddie Izzard show on SBS about modern human evolution I gather people find it hard to think of a family tree just thousands of years old. For example the first blue eyed human may have lived less than 10,000 years ago.

  20. @J-D

    Well his views are worthless in terms of understanding evolution or any flaws in the theory of evolution or even what Darwin may or may not have thought or meant, but they are very useful for understanding what is going on in their minds.

    Have you come across John Wilkins and his Evolving thoughts blog? He has some wonderfully interesting thoughts on lots of things but especially evolution and human behaviour.

  21. @J-D

    If you think that the theory of evolution is supposed to explain how a fish can become a man, that tends to confirm my suspicion that you don’t understand what the theory of evolution

    I agree that a fish will not evolve into a man, but since both are Chordates, scientists certainly do. Of course I believe you are implying that I was saying they were direct descendants which even a fifth grader knows isn’t the case. Stop playing silly games.

    But speaking of fish evolving into something, scientists have often wondered how mammals ended up in the ocean….specifically whales. Many years ago in an evolutionary bio class, the prof gave us the current thinking on this. It starts with lob fin fish. Then over time the lob fin evolves into a tetrapod (4 limbs). The tetrapod would dwell near the shore line, and after a few 1000 years got board and decided it would be more fun to live on land. Out he went and eventually morphed into a mesonychid….a dog-like mammal with hoofs (the prof never explained how it when from a taxa class fish to taxa class mammal). But he really had the sea in his blood, and eventually started taking dips in the ocean. Eventually he morphed into an 80 foot bohemouth of the deep. I was incredulous….but there was no way I was going to challenge a phd…..besides I had my grade to consider.

    So what do you think Mr. J-D…should I have challenged the prof? I mean a mesonychid has about as much in common with a whale as a Chevy has with a submarine.

  22. @Julie Thomas

    Well his views are worthless in terms of understanding evolution or any flaws in the theory of evolution or even what Darwin may or may not have thought or meant, but they are very useful for understanding what is going on in their minds.

    Oh goodie….finally someone who may have some scientific background. So what’s going on with the problems raised by the Cambrian Explosion and the sudden appearance of DNA? I’m all ears.

  23. @Jack King
    The mainstream theory seems plausible to me. We have intermediate types of marine mammals such as seals, walri and dugong with varying degrees of land mobility. The question now is whether h. sapiens has outsmarted itself with 7 billion who want to eat steak and fly in planes. Millions of years after we implode I guess evolved insects will look through the WordPress servers and try and work out why h. saps didn’t make it.

  24. @Jack King

    No you are not all ears; lol you are all feelings Jack, and possibly the term ‘re-sentiment’ is an appropriate explanation for your irrational outbursts? What do you think about that.

    I suggest that you go to John Wilkins’ site and ask him about the Cambrian Explosion. I know very little about science but I think I have learned a lot about my ‘self’ and this gives me some insight into others.

  25. @Julie Thomas

    No you are not all ears; lol you are all feelings Jack, and possibly the term ‘re-sentiment’ is an appropriate explanation for your irrational outbursts?

    Resentment? Of what? And can you site some examples where I am being irrational? Is it because I challenge people who tell me to shut up and go away because it is “settled science”??? So far I have yet to dialog with anyone who has even a modicum of scientific knowledge…..nonetheless they remain true believers.

  26. Jack King,

    You are arguing these things with so little knowledge and imagination that it is almost sad. Mammals live between the land and the sea routinely. According to google…

    “Mammals have returned to the water in at least nine separate evolutionary lineages (Cetacea, Sirenia, Desmostylia, Pinnipedia, Ursus maritimus (polar bear), Kolponomos (marine bear), Thalassocnus (aquatic sloth), Enhydra lutris (sea otter) and Lontra feline (marine otter)). Three of these lineages are extinct (Desmostylia; Kolponomos; Thalassocnus).[1] Despite the diversity in morphology seen between groups, improving foraging efficiency has been the main driver in the evolution in these lineages.[5] Today, marine mammals belong to one of three orders; Cetacea, Sirenia, or Carnivora. Within the Order Carnivora are the pinnipeds (sealions, walruses and seals), the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), and two otters (Enhydra lutris and Lontra feline.[2]”

    If the idea of large mammals becoming aquatic seems too bizarre to be believable I would point to hippopotamuses to see nature flirting between the realms. Otherwise sea lions, manatees, sea otters, polar bears, seals, and others.

    The real problem you are going to have is coming to grips with

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/07/the-survivors-new-theories-about-the-chicxulub-asteroid-impact-65-million-years-ago.html

    from which the only mammal survivor was

    orycteropus afer, …… the line that the aardvarks descended from directly, and every other mammal including whales indirectly. This all took place over 65.5 million years. Not billions of years. Building up that successful genetic code prior to the MK event took hundreds of millions of years, and there were a number of other prior extinctions that thinned out the genetic diversity. Evolution takes place much faster than you can (obviously) imagine.

    We tend to look at the fully developed creature and find it incredulous that one creature could transform into another. To understand how the process works and to where the changes really take place look at the zygote. Compare the zygote of a human with that of a shark. There is very little visual difference. It is at this level that the chemistry takes place. Minor changes at this stage of development have immense changes in the fully developed creature. There are a number of good documentaries that show how chemicals can dramatically alter the development of a creature leading to wildly different body plans.

    Look around.

  27. Jack: can you tell me about a time you made a mistake and came to a conclusion you later realised was false?

  28. @BilB

    f the idea of large mammals becoming aquatic seems too bizarre to be believable I would point to hippopotamuses to see nature flirting between the realms.

    The mystery has always been with whales….not polar bears, etc. Did you pay attention to the so-called sequence that resulted in whales? Let me restate it…lob fin FISH….Tetropod…..mesonychid (land mammal)…..whale. Does this sound believable to you?!

    By the way, long cut and pastes are virtually useless. Site your case in your own words.

  29. @BilB

    Sorry, I should have commented on this also:

    To understand how the process works and to where the changes really take place look at the zygote. Compare the zygote of a human with that of a shark.

    Why should this be a surprise? A zygote is unexpressed genes. It is obvious that you are trying to push the theory of recapitulation which has been largely rejected by the scientific community.

  30. Jack King,

    I am wondering now if you think there is a mix – some creatures evolving and some creatures being created – , or if you think there is no evidence for any sort of evolution ever taking place at all and all the different creatures were created by the non-interventionist intervening deity?

  31. Yes it does sound believable Jack King

    The connection was 400 million years ago in the Devonian and there have been a number of mass extinctions since. All mammals have arrived via that path including us. Somewhere along this path the 2 bones that make the hammer and anvil in our ears was formed and that forms part of the evidence trail to confirm this connection. Whales are mammals just like us. Their blowhole is their nose which if you examine it closely you will find all of the same structures that a dogs nose has. If you poke the right gene in a whale it will grow hair just like a woolly mammoth. There is no mystery here.

    It has been annoyingly interesting educating you Jack, but if you are too lazy to follow the links to broaden your knowledge then you are just wasting everyone’s time.

    ZM, Jack is in the game with more than half the cards missing. To not see that Whales and Polar Bears are related, and then press the point having been corrected, says that he should be back at high school night classes.

  32. @Jack King

    The word that I wrote was “re – sent – i -ment” and not “resentment”.

    Is that example of your irrational behaviour enough?

  33. @BilB
    “The Ancestor’s Tale” by Dawkins explains these sorts of connections exquisitely well, if at great length. I found it most enlightening.

  34. Jack King,

    Departing from the issues of deities and phyla, I would now like to return to the previous disagreement about the Limits to Growth business as usual scenario.

    According to Graham Turner’s article in The Guardian today the LtG business as usual scenario predicted a collapse occurring sometime before 2070 – not your claim about early 21st c collapse.

    Turner has just published a new sustainability research paper for MSSI on The Limits to Growth
    Turner, G. (2014) ‘Is Global Collapse Imminent?’, MSSI Research Paper No. 4, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute,The University of Melbourne.

    Click to access MSSI-ResearchPaper-4_Turner_2014.pdf

    It concludes

    “Unfortunately, scientific evidence of severe environmental or natural resource problems has been met with considerable resistance from powerful societal forces, as the long history of the LTG and international UN initiatives on environmental/climate-change issues clearly demonstrate. Somewhat ironically, the apparent corroboration here of the LTG BAU implies that the scientific and public attention given to climate change, whilst tremendously important in its own right, may have del- eteriously distracted from the issue of resource constraints, particularly that of oil supply. Indeed,
    if global collapse occurs as in this LTG scenario then pollution impacts will naturally be resolved— though not in any ideal sense! A challenging lesson from the LTG scenarios is that global environ- mental issues are typically intertwined and should not be treated as isolated problems.Another lesson is the importance of taking pre-emptive action well ahead of problems becoming entrenched. Regrettably, the alignment of data trends with the LTG dynamics indicates that the early stages of collapse could occur within a decade, or might even be underway.This suggests, from a rational risk- based perspective, that we have squandered the past decades, and that preparing for a collapsing global system could be even more important than trying to avoid collapse.”

  35. @BilB

    Yes it does sound believable Jack King

    It has been annoyingly interesting educating you Jack

    GONG! Gotcha….that preposterous theory that a phd fed our classroom years ago has been thrown out. I’m not sure what the current theory is, but I can guarantee it is wrong. What is amazing is that it didn’t pass the sniff test of a greenhorn student (me), but a highly educated specialist in his field walked lock-step to the music. And, of course, you likewise follow meekly along with the doctrines of (as Julian Huxley says) the new religion.

  36. @zoot

    Zoot….Dawkins is also one of the scientists who pushes the ridiculous “panspermia” thesis because he can’t figure out how DNA showed up so early in the history of the earth.

  37. @ZM

    I am referring to the 1972 book and the various outcomes predicted by their modeling. There were computer runs that DID predict overshoot by the mid-21st century, but those where only predicted if policymakers followed their recommendations….which they haven’t. There was also a “20 years after” book, and the most recent “30 year after” book. Naturally, after the fact, their models are different. Why did I even bring up “Limits To Growth” in the first place? Simply to show how unreliable they are. If you think they are a crystal ball, throw that by John Quiggin and see what he says about them.

  38. Jack King,

    I have already mentioned this on John Quiggin’s blog several times, plus Ikonoclast regularly mentions it as well, and Newtownian mentions steady state economics. Hopefully he will get convinced by all our evidences and citations and consider steady state economics or ecological economics instead.

    About collapse – it occurs around 2070 in the business as usual standard run model , not at the start of the 21st c. You are either misreprepresting the Limits to Growth book on purpose or have accidentally misremembered it or confused it wth the book by that other fellow you kept mentioning before. I asked you for citations earlier to back up your claims and you didn’t provide them.

    I will very kindly provide you with citations so you can tell I am not just stating nonsense when I tell you you’ve got it wrong.

    “The “standard” world model run assumes no major change in the physical, economic, or social relationships that have historically governed the de- velopment of the world system. All variables plotted here follow historical values from 1900 to 1970. Food, industrial output, and population grow exponentially until the rapidly diminishing resource base forces a slowdown in industrial growth. Because of natural delays in the system, both popu- lation and pollution continue to increase for some time after the peak of industrialization. Population growth is finally halted by a rise in the death rate due to decreased food and medical services” p. 124

    There is a figure with curves for the various things like resources, population etc on that page too. It shows a convergence to collapse a bit before 2100 on the axis. you can download a pdf of the 1972 book from the internet and check the graph on that page yourself.

    “The behavior mode of the system shown in figure 35 is clearly that of overshoot and collapse. In this run the collapse occurs because of nonrenewable resource depletion. The indus- trial capital stock grows to a level that requires an enormous input of resources. In the very process of that growth it depletes a large fraction of the resource reserves available. As resource prices rise and mines are depleted, more and more capital must be used for obtaining resources, leaving less to be invested for future growth. Finally investment cannot keep up with depre- ciation, and the industrial base collapses, taking with it the service and agricultural systems, which have become dependent on ind-qstrial inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hospital laboratories, computers, and especially energy for mechaniza- tion). For a short time the situation is especially serious because population, with the delays inherent in the age structure and the process of social adjustment, keeps rising. Population finally decreases when the death rate is driven upward by lack of food and health services.” p. 125

    “The behavior mode of the system shown in figure 35 is clearly that of overshoot and collapse. In this run the collapse occurs because of nonrenewable resource depletion. The indus- trial capital stock grows to a level that requires an enormous input of resources. In the very process of that growth it depletes a large fraction of the resource reserves available. As resource prices rise and mines are depleted, more and more capital must be used for obtaining resources, leaving less to be invested for future growth. Finally investment cannot keep up with depre- ciation, and the industrial base collapses, taking with it the service and agricultural systems, which have become dependent on ind-qstrial inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hospital laboratories, computers, and especially energy for mechaniza- tion). For a short time the situation is especially serious because population, with the delays inherent in the age structure and the process of social adjustment, keeps rising. Population finally decreases when the death rate is driven upward by lack of food and health services.” p. 126

  39. @ZM

    you can download a pdf of the 1972 book from the internet and check the graph on that page yourself.

    I just went on Amazon and ordered the 1972 book with rapid shipping (no pdf’s available). I used to have the book but lost it in moves along the way. Admittedly I will be shocked if you are correct, since I even took a computer modeling course in a class called Economics Dynamics which was heavily weighted with Jay Forrester’s computer runs (which Meadows used in the book). The runs were showing global collapses by now, and there isn’t even a hint of that. But I will keep an open mind until I have the documentation to confirm it.

  40. @Jack King

    If the professor actually said what you report him as saying, then it was a carelessly clumsy distortion of the truth. Given your record, though, it seems more likely to me that your recollection of what he said is inexact.

    I have never heard of any scientist who believes that it is possible for a fish to evolve into a man. If you can produce any examples of scientists saying that, I would regard those also as carelessly clumsy distortions of the truth, but again I suspect that your recollections are inexact.

    Precision is important to me. It should also be important to scientists, and generally is. But perhaps it’s not important to you? If not, there’s not much chance of your understanding anything scientific.

  41. J-D, a Cambrian “fish” was nothing like today’s fish. Rather they were fish like. Jack King is looking at a whale and thinking sardines which for his limited understanding does not compute. Then having floundered in that mental confusion of his own making (sniff test) he leaps off into an attack on DNA. But here again scienctific research prevails over ignorance

    http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report-primitive-cells-created-to-show-how-first-life-forms-originated-on-earth-1752602

  42. Interesting. This J King fellow seems strangely familiar. Ah yes! The inviolable Daggett from the thread of doom at LP. He was a 911 truther, all assertions and bait and switch. Looks like he saw god in them thar slowed down videos …

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