The Great Cull, or the Long Boom?

When people look back on world history one hundred years from now, what will they see? It is reasonable to suggest they will see a global civilization, back in 2020, that was facing unprecedented challenges and transformations.

The primary challenge, arguably, is a global population that has quintupled between 1900 and 2020. The most transformative factor, an explosion of technology that has taken us from steel and steam in 1900 to quantum mechanics and genetic engineering in 2020.

An optimist would look the last few decades and conclude that, despite the challenges, humanity is on a relentless march towards a better quality of life for everyone. An article published by the BBC earlier this year lists several reasons “why the world is improving,” including rising life expectancy, falling infant mortality, falling rates of fertility, ongoing GDP growth, less income inequality, the spread of democracy, and fewer armed conflicts.

This argument for what Wired Magazine once called the “Long Boom” is embodied in the philosophy of “New Optimism,” with its principal proponent the Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg. According to Lomborg, “air and water are getting cleaner, endangered species and forests are holding their own, and the risks associated with global warming are exaggerated.” He contends that “more people than ever before, living in all parts of the globe, are becoming healthier, richer, and better educated; that the human race is living longer and more peaceably; that we’re considerably freer to pursue our happiness.” Lomborg predicts that in […] Read More

Attack of the Watermelon People

Supposedly, the “Green New Deal” is “green” because it would help the environment. But a close reading of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed resolution reveals a deal that looks more red than green.

The freshman congresswoman from New York released more specifics of her sweeping idea this week. In simpler times, we called extreme environmentalists “watermelons,” because they were green (environmentalists) on the outside, but red (socialist or communist) on the inside. Ocasio-Cortez, her Green New Deal, and all her fellow travelers, are watermelons through and through.

Almost everything about Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is wrong. The premises, the priorities, and the “solutions.” It’s easy, and necessary, to criticize the priorities and the solutions proposed by this very red, outwardly green plan. But to have a completely honest debate, you also have to challenge the premises.

In the preamble, the resolution claims that sea levels are rising, wildfires are increasing, and extreme weather “threatens human life, healthy communities and critical infrastructure.” It claims humans are to blame. These are flawed premises.

Flawed Scientific Premises

The most threatening of these claims is sea level rise, but even mainstream publications that have completely embraced climate change hysteria are backing off of the most catastrophic forecasts. One of the most credible climate “lukewarmists” (a somewhat derisive term that alarmists attribute begrudgingly to skeptics they haven’t yet managed to silence or discredit) is Dr. Judith Curry, who is frequently called upon for congressional testimony. She recently completed an 18-month study on […] Read More