December 24, 2014

‘not just climate denialists who are anti-science’

This letter in the Dec. 21 New York Times Magazine, in response to Rebecca Solnit’s Dec. 7 essay “Are We Missing the Big Picture on Climate Change?”, deserves its own post:

‘The climate-change angle we usually ignore is the apocalyptic side of the human “success story” — our phenomenal growth in population to seven billion from one billion in little more than two centuries. But our cleverness in transforming fossil-fuel energy into labor-saving technology and high-yield agriculture has gone to our heads. It’s not just the climate denialists who are anti-science; it’s also those renewable-energy optimists who ignore basic laws of thermodynamics and entertain the fantasy that it will be possible for seven billion to live in the style of the American middle class. The new story we need to tell is “managed degrowth” — gradually but significantly paring down our demands for resources and learning to live within the ecological budget of the earth.’ —Ando Arike