Jewish World Review July 3, 2013/ 25 Tamuz, 5773
Inhospitable Earth --- compared to what?
By Jonah Goldberg
You just can't out-gloom an environmentalist. The Atlantic invited some luminaries to answer the question "How and when will the world end?" Some contributions were funny. Others simply plausible -- a volcanic eruption from underneath
The environmental activist and writer declares the question moot: "In a sense, the world as we knew it is already over. We have heated the Earth, melted
It's difficult to imagine a more absurd overstatement. I'm not referring to the exaggerated claim
What's truly ludicrous is McKibben's use of the word "inhospitable."
For something like 99 percent of human history, the world was really inhospitable. Strangers everywhere were greeted with bloodshed and attacked with cruelty. Dying from premature violence was more commonplace than dying from heart disease or cancer is today. In his classic, "War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage,"
In "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,"
Of course, McKibben is speaking of the physical environment. But by any conceivable measure -- save, arguably, outdoor temperatures -- the Earth is a vastly more hospitable place for humanity thanks to the hard work of humanity. When Pilgrims came to
Ironically, as global warming fears have risen, America and the Earth have gotten more, not less, hospitable. Since 1990, global poverty has been cut in half, and since 1970, extreme poverty has dropped 80 percent.
Rich and poor alike are eating better, despite global population growth. According to
OK, things have gotten a wee bit warmer outside. But economic growth and innovation have made the world vastly more hospitable. We live longer, eat better, have more leisure time and have fewer deadly occupations. The environment in the developed world has gotten vastly cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable since the 1970s because rich countries can afford to make things more hospitable. We can only hope poor countries get similarly wealthy as quickly as possible.
Well, most of us can hope for such things. Others seem to think such gains come at too high a price.
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
© 2006 TMS