Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day with Bjorn Lomberg

SWNIDish favorite Bjorn Lomberg is today featured in McNewspaper as a contrarian voice on Earth Day (motto: a Hallmark holiday for which Hallmark sells no cards). The piece is vintage Lomberg and includes some brief autobiographical notes explaining the circumstances that led to his leveraged dissent from the ecological mainstream.

For those who don't read enough of this blog or have short memories, the essence of Dr. Lomberg's thinking is that (a) the facts are that in many ways the environment is better off now than in recent history; (b) the environmental dangers that actually shorten people's lives are not on the environmentalist agenda; (c) economic development leads to generally better care of the environment.

So the obvious conclusion is that rich nations ought to focus their environmental efforts on improving the lot of people in poor nations so that all nations can be better stewards of this comfortable azure sphere. In the details, that actually means allowing growth in use of fossil fuel and agricultural chemicals and such.

Happy Earth Day, Bjorn! We think we'll fertilize our lawn tonight in your honor.


Bryan D said...

Today I saw a man celebrate eatrth day by wadding up a bag of crisps he had just finished and launching it as he could into a garden of tulips and daffodils.

I would have liked to confront him but int he split second I had to decide if I was going to or not determined that I probably was incapable of doing so whilst also following the teachings of Jesus. I had no bullwhip, see.

Q said...

In the past year I have taken up vegetable gardening. I have done this for a plethora of reasons which I will not detail here.

The greatest lessons this hobby has taught me are lessons in economics. One such lesson is this; if I were to sell my delicious veggies for profit it would cost 2 to 3 times what a person can get veggies for at the local Kroger. Why? Because I am grossly inefficient. Fruits and veggies costs equal efficiency in production. I have quickly found that veggies in the grocery are much "greener" than those in the kitchen garden.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Q, we warmly commend your lesson to all. We are routinely irritated these days by folks who, lacking the skill to do simple arithmetic, think that division of labor is a bad thing. Thanks for doing the math.

As someone has said, there are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't.

But we commend your hobby of vegetable gardening, one that we have pursued irregularly as well. It brings peace, satisfaction, frustration, contempt for herbivorous wildlife, and seasonal tastiness. Home gardeners pursue their passion for a multitude of blessedly noneconomic reasons, reminding us that we humans are gardeners in our essence.

PS, we tell people much the same when, enjoying our signature homemade ice cream, they gratefully urge us to go commercial with it.