Tuesday, August 07, 2012 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Earth 2100: a review

Sorry, I won't proofread the text below because I found the program extraordinarily stupid and decided that I have already wasted way too much time with it. Apologies for all the mistakes in the text below that remain uncorrected.

An hour ago, the History channel (now called just "History") aired the 2009 catastrophic movie called Earth 2100. (Hat tip: Popular Technology.) If you have 84 spare minutes, you may watch it below.

You will be amazed to find out that ABC wasn't discouraged by the fact that one of the crazy folks that predict the civilization to be doomed by 2100 is a convicted criminal and liar and a proven asshole. Indeed, go e.g. to 54:39 to enjoy Peter Gleick.

Other "stars" of the show include Heidi Cullen, E.O. Wilson, Jared Diamond, Thomas Friedmann, and many much less well-known folks. The official guide through the 21st century is Lucy, a fictitious girl (represented by a puppet) who was born in 2009 (when the movie was shot).

Fine. So we're going to see the looming jumps in food prices, energy prices, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, new Dust Bowl, pests overaking the Midwest, full quarantine in the New York City, spraying sulphur dioxide from aircraft that is ultimately stopped, and many other more or less usual things.

The folks who made this film can't hide that hardcore Marxism and unlimited Ludditism is the *actual* main driver as well as the raison d'être of the TV program. At the very beginning, we're told that when food prices rise in a few years and other things happen, it will be "very difficult for the governments to cope" (3:30).

WTF? Why do they talk about governments? Governments don't eat (or at least they have enough money if they need to eat) so they're among the least affected by a hypothetical rise of food prices. They just play with a fraction of what the people earn. Why do they talk about governments when it's always – unless we're talking about another Communist-style arrangement of the society – the individual people who are the only ones who will cope? Food prices change exactly in the way that is needed for people to consume as much food as the food that is produced. If the prices are high, then it's because they should be high given the real conditions.

Let me admit I can't stand these dirty commies. The alarmism isn't the primary disease crippling their brains; it's just a manifestation of a much more severe political pathology these people share, a tip of an iceberg.

Off-topic: William Pozniak and Jeff Lewis were named the best U.S. counterfeiters of the Pilsner Urquell. They will win a trip to my hometown later this year, a tour in the brewery and the right to brew together with Mr Václav Berka, the brewmaster-in-chief. Yay. ;-)

In June 2009, Thomas Fuller wrote for Examiner.com:

... when people realize (as they are realizing now) that temperatures are not going to climb every year, they are not going to remember what sober scientists say. They are going to think of Earth 2100 and other scare stories about catastrophe, and realize that they were lies. They will then completely tune out science and it will be impossible to even do the sensible things we can and should do.
This is a very sensible and realistic worry.

Most of the dumb dystopian claims on the show are just the rehash of things you have heard a million of times. But whenever they offer something new, you may explode in laughter just like your humble correspondent did. For example, Lucy starts her life like that:
I was born on June 2nd, 2009. The civilization was at crossroads. We were in a race for our future.
LOL. It's just three years ago but this portrayal of the year 2009 is already unbelievably comical; that's not a good starting point for a movie that tries to predict the year 2100.

The year 2009 was a year almost just like any other year – with our civilization's being more populous and wealthier than it was at pretty much any year before that (a trend we've been following for many centuries or millenniums in the past and one that will continue for a very, very long time in the future, too) – and if there were something special about it, it was nothing about those planetary emergencies that those Gleicks, Cullens, and Diamonds are trying to sell. It was about a recession that got started in the previous Fall. It took about a year and it was superseded by other stories most of which had nothing to do with the "finiteness of resources", "climate", or other would-be "important topics" that these crackpots apparently consider to be the deciding factors in our civilization.

After we learn that Lucy's year of birth 2009 was at "crossroads", we are told other jokes. For example, the humans are criticized for daring to realize that they are not just parts of a uniform environment but their existence is independent of the environment. What a sin. It's one of the essential processes of life that organisms dump waste to their environment; or reduce their entropy while they increase the entropy of the environment, and so on. It's the very essence of life to treat oneself as an entity whose well-being is more important than the environment around it. Abandoning this principle means to commit suicide.

We hear that Lucy's parents must have known they were killing the planet. So you expect Lucy's parents to be at least some CEOs of companies that are cutting the whole Amazon forest or something like that. But you will learn that her parents had a hybrid and recycled everything and they were generally green fanatics (well, less so than Lucy and her future husband, but let's wait). It was still not enough for the loons who shot the show.

Long tirades on widespread crackpot theories about rising oil prices (did you know that the proven gas reserves jumped by 50% between 2005 and 2010? Or 1980 to 2010?) and the inability of agriculture to feed an increasing population follow. A line in front of a gas station stops completely. The man has a banner saying "no gas left" and the drivers assault him. LOL. So America solves all the problems by switching to coal because even these crackpots happened to realize that we can't run out of coal anytime soon. Of course, coal isn't good enough for them, either: it will cause a huge global warming, we're told. And it's an ideal point, 11:50, for Peter Gleick to appear for the first time.

Fine. In 2015, we get another category 5 hurricane, Linda, which will apparently be labeled a sign of the end of the world again. I can't believe what kind of trash these people are able to recycle even after all those scandals that have erupted and whose implications have been understood by pretty much everyone who cares about this topic.

In 2005, Al Gore did exactly the same thing with the unusually numerous and strong hurricanes of that year. His claims that the existence of a category 5 hurricane proves that it would occur every year were shown to be scientifically indefensible lies designed for him to profiteer, something he should have been arrested for many years ago. Al Gore remains at large.

Those people are telling us in advance that once there will be another category 5 hurricane, and be sure that such a hurricane is guaranteed to arrive again at one moment or another because it's a law of Nature, they will be hyping it again. They will take the stinkiest shits from Al Gore's ass, push it into your (and their) mouth again, and loudly smack their lips. I can't believe how completely unable of gaining a hindsight these folks are. Everyone, including the least educated people, already knows that category 5 hurricanes sometimes occur and on most years, they don't. This fact about the natural behavior of the climate system has nothing to do with the human activity or the way how we organize our societies.

Why are you still assuming that you may get away with this incredibly idiotic demagogy, fearmongers?

This 2015 hurricane unluckily hit Miami. That's unfortunate but much like with New Orleans, it's bad luck and it's neither evidence for its man-made origin, nor evidence that hurricanes would be hitting big cities in the future. Those people are not only unable to make sensible predictions about the future. They are completely unable to evaluate the present situation even if you tell them (or if you allow them to invent) what the situation is: they are unable to understand the present. They don't understand the world in which they live.

To "improve" those insane proclamations, John Holdren, a crackpot currently harbored by the U.S. president, says that if we're "dragging our feet" in 2015, then the civilization is lost because of climate change. Great. Will you promise us that if you're not executed by 2015, will you kindly stop, dear crackpot Holdren, bothering the mankind once this "final deadline" is breached, and be sure that it will be breached?

Meanwhile, E.O. Wilson dreams about a catastrophe of epic proportions in 2015. We learn that in 2015, an Obama science adviser hijacks the whole United Nations and declares himself a General Secretary for the transition of the world. No kidding! ;-) The new world leader demands 30% CO2 reductions in 10 years. ;-) India and China would agree but they must get technology for free – which would be sensible if there were such demands. Europe and the U.S. refuse because the technology is privately owned – also sensible – so they offer the compensation to buy the technologies (the West can't really afford it but OK). Not sure why they don't agree but they don't agree about any deal of this sort, at the end.

Around 19:30, the crackpots on the show also spread the myth about the boiling frog. According to this misconception emulating the Zeno's paradoxes, if you heat the water gradually, the frog never realizes it's getting warmer and it will be boiled even though it could have jumped out. However, this is known from direct experiments to be rubbish. The frog will jump out at some moment and so would the humans if they were in a similar situation. The desired conclusion that "we should jump out even if we don't feel a reason" is therefore totally unjustifiable. Scientifically, it is rubbish. People, much like frogs, are able to detect a dangerous situation whether or not the danger is coming quickly or slowly. In fact, if the processes are changing slowly, they're more able or skillful to adapt and/or react.

There are lots of anonymous, boring, discredited types of alarm but every now and then, there is something new that just makes you explode in laughter. Around 20:00, a Gentleman informs you that "the adaptability is the main threat to our existence today". Wow. ;-) By definition, adaptability is the ability to adapt so it is something that prolongs the existence of the entity that is adaptable; the proposition is just preposterous.

By 2020, the planet will be 1 °F warmer than in 2009 – it almost surely won't – which will dramatically disrupt the weather everywhere – it surely wouldn't even if the temperature change were 1 °F.

The program even uses the "Glaciergate scandal" quote around 22:15: by 2030, 80 percent of the Himalayan glacier will be gone! Just to be sure, the IPCC itself, with all the Pachauri-like hardcore crooks at the steering wheel, admitted that the right year should have been 2350, not 2030 or 2035, and it will almost certainly not happen even in 2350 because this speculation was based on an informal interview with an unknown random alarmist, not on any science.

Peter Gleick is already on his way to an electric chair but I find it incredible e.g. for John Holdren, after having been a demonstrable part of this scandalous TV program, may still be employed by the public sector – even in the White House.

Meanwhile, some big U.S. city also runs out of water. Lucy attends a hardcore Marxist rally demanding lower water prices (they love to mess up with the free markets all the time) and she fells in love with a hippie named Josh. Similar young people in the 2030s would build solar plants and superefficient cars in their garages, aside from futuristic cool cities on their PCs. It was a cool time to be young, they admit. ;-) Did/will the 2030s people fail to realize that everything had been lost since 2015 or 2009? ;-) Why did they bother to try to save the world that will/has been lost for decades? You see that the story and interpretation that the movie tries to defend is internally inconsistent.

In 2040, when the population is 9 billion, millions of refugees from the South start to infiltrate Europe and the U.S. That's great but if that illegal activity happened and if it threatened the survival of our civilized society, we would simply exterminate those illegals. What's the big problem here? Thank God, they later – around 27:40 – realized that this could be done, too.

Species extinction by 2050 will terminate albatrosses and lions, too. Give me a break.

There are much more plausible scenarios how the civilization as we know it could end. For example, an EMP attack against the West (or, more optimistically, against Iran). One may think about such events and some people should think about them because the changes would be fast. But trying to design a catastrophe boiling down to the increase of temperature by less than 0.01 °C per year is just preposterous.

Around 31;00, Jared Diamond offers us his bizarre theories that we're just like the old defunct civilizations and they collapsed because they had grown too much. We're offered a nonsensical explanation about the decline of the Roman Empire that was said to be in a permanent financial crisis because it couldn't generate enough "food energy". We're told that they had hit the wall of what the agriculture could produce.

Holy cow.

The maximum population of the Roman empire occurred in the 2nd century before Christ, about 65-88 million citizens, somewhere between the current population of Italy and Germany (only one of them). The idea that the big parts of three continents underneath the Roman Empire couldn't generate enough "food energy" for the population of 65-88 million people has been falsified rather dramatically. These days, the same area feeds a billion of people.

Their hypothesis that the Earth can't feed much more than 7 billion people will surely be proven analogously comical in the future. But what I am amazed by is that those people are unable to see how preposterous certain claims are even after the proof becomes available. So they still tell you the nonsensical thing that the territory of the Roman Empire was physically unable to feed 65-88 million people – they tell it to you, a person who lives in a world where the same area demonstrably feeds 15 times more people than that. Diamond and similar cranks live in a complete denial of reality. The leftwingers aren't necessarily evil or ignorant; the problem is just that almost everything they know is wrong.

The demise of the Roman Empire or any other similar empire had nothing to do with "physical limits" imposed by the Earth that are de facto infinite (i.e. vacuous) for all practical purposes.

Instead, the demise of the Roman Empire had complex reasons but they were indeed analogous to the reasons we see today (because the Roman Empire was indeed analogous to the West in many respects) – the main pathological processes underlying the demise were the culture of dependency and entitlement (people expecting too many things for free), overbloated bureaucracy (the public sector) with too many layers of parasites hired to "centrally solve problems" whose income is disconnected from their actual contributions to their countrymates, insufficient protection against immigration, suicidal unrealistic social-engineering projects to incorporate and "elevate" new underdeveloped ethnic groups (no, Roman folks, your success wasn't just about your system: some other ethnic groups simply didn't have the potential to live in your Western lifestyle and you should have allowed those savages to remain savages), unrealistic yet intrusive "planning" by the central government in general, and so on. Hard natural limits played no role and they are playing no role today. It's always the growth of the tumor of the left-wing thinking – the denial of the fact that things cost something (or must cost something) and life is ultimately a competition – that kills civilizations such as the Roman Empire or maybe ours in the future.

OK, back to Lucy. Sometimes around 2050, her parents die of an infectious disease – a reasonable age to die, I would say – and she together with her hippie husband move from San Diego to New York where he gets a new job. As you may expect, it's again a project funded by the government, the construction of some huge levees around the New York City or whatever. Those commies would never do something with an actual value that may be quantified by the free markets. Their whole lives depend on the government and its propaganda needed to grow and they don't even try to hide that. Screw you, Lucy and your fcked-up commie husband.

It's the 2050s. Desert, abandoned suburbs, shortages of water, blah blah blah. They drive through Arizona when they see something wonderful – lots of solar panels. LOL. Their cousins were not built in time to save Las Vegas, however. ROTFL. Strangers are hostile, Texas is mess. I suppose they drive from the West Coast to the East Coast because airplanes will have already been banned and children are taught at school that they had never existed. ;-) Pests flourish and overtake all fields; I suppose that pesticides will have been banned, too. ;-)

They arrive to another paradise, a Kansas town destroyed by a tornado in 2007. A real Obama is babbling about green energy and Lucy is adding that it was a wonderful place because it was "completely self-sustaining". LOL. At any rate, at least the East Coast looked great in the 2050s. The New York City creates an "urban paradise" by forcing the skyscrapers to grow their own food. ROTFL. ;-)

By 2060, the New York City is renamed the Big Green Apple. LOL. :-) At 51 years of age, Lucy has the best years of her life. Their daughter is employed as the gardener inside a skyscraper. LOL. This whole concept that every town – and perhaps every building – has to be self-sufficient is just so incredibly dumb (and yes, it is one of the pillars of the environmentalist utopia, too). It's based on the assumption that trade – something that moves products or resources from the place where there is production or excess of them to the place where there is a deficit of them – shouldn't exist at all. Why? What's your problem with trade, what's your problem with the free markets, you fcking commies?

Our societies depend on trade and we're exchanging lots of things with each other and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Natural resources, good soil, sunshine, wind, and traditions aren't distributed uniformly but the well-being of the people doesn't depend on everything's being uniform. Things and products may be (and routinely are) exchanged, transported. Labor may be divided between different people who live at different places, in a non-uniform way. People may trade with each other. It's a part of our prosperity. As the trade is getting even more far-reaching and complex, it's helping to make us even richer. (The non-uniformity of the matter in the Universe was even more important; galaxies, stars, planets, and organisms would never be born without such non-uniformity as everyone familiar with basic cosmology knows very well.) Your worshiping of "no trade" i.e. self-sufficiency is a call to return before the Stone Age because even in the Stone Age, they already knew that trade was a great thing.

It's completely stupid to demand that cities (or even individual buildings) are self-sufficient. There are damn good reasons why farmers live in the countryside while the industrial production, finances, and research are concentrated in small urban centers, the cities. Concentration of skills, capital, and a reduced distance between different layers of industrial production are good, economically beneficial (the short distance makes the transport of semi-finished products, components, and ideas faster and cheaper; concentration of the capital and other things is needed to build "big things" that are often crucial for the well-being of everyone, including the "small ones"), and to some extent essential, things for a working civilization.

I understood those reasons when I was 4 years old (and even our crazy communists – while trying to suggest that the concentration of the capital wasn't a good thing – knew those things, to a large extent: for example, in their struggle for egalitarianism, they were never thinking about forcing cities to produce all their food in order to remove differences between the countryside and cities). Why can't the fcking commies in this program get this simple kindergarten point even when they're 50? Or 83 as E.O. Wilson? As native speakers, they may have mastered English more satisfactorily than Alexander Ač – or myself, for that matter. But when it comes to the beef, they're exactly as bug nutty, bat shït crazy as Alexander Ač. They're complete lunatics who don't understand the very basic things about the way how our world works.

While they demonize trade as a concept, they also warn against the fragmentation of the societies into the separate communities. Holy crap, that is quite an inconsistency. Trade – and therefore the spatial inhomogeneity of the products and needs – is the main thing in the whole world that keeps nations and societies in peace, that keeps them bound together; watch e.g. Milton Friedman's famous monologue about the pencil (he would celebrate his 100th birthday a few days ago).

Let me return to the next events in the program. The New York City has electric cars only and includes a "train for cars". No problem with that. Their daughter fell in love with a botanist, married, and had a son.

Lucy is hyping the employer of her husband who is building the levees around New York. This is exactly the kind of unchecked government spending that leads to the collapse of nations and civilizations; Greece is a recent example of that. Can it be really shown that the levees have the value that matches or surpasses the expenses if the "users" aren't really paying the full price? Are the disadvantages of the project – and the possibility that it will turn out to be useless – properly incorporated into the planning? Wouldn't it be better to abandon New York in the case of a significant sea level rise (which won't happen anytime soon)? Those people never ask such questions. The government isn't forced to ask them because it has undisputed and almost unlimited access to the taxpayer money regardless of the high rate at which it wastes the money. They just mindlessly propose government projects and expect everyone else to mindlessly fund them. But mindless civilizations ultimately become lifeless, too. If the people of the New York City can't fund the project from the money they are currently earning or from loans they may repay from their own funds according to the sane rating agencies (or sane people in general), they shouldn't build such levees.

The glorification of the Big Government in the Big Green Apple was thankfully interrupted by the tropical diseases spreading into the city. ;-) Fevers and blisters. Everyone recovered from that flu. Lots of remarkable world events in the 2060s – a few people had a new form of flu but they recovered :-) – and we can continue to 2070.

At that time, cities are already being devastated and Lucy's husband just happens to be one of the main saviors of the world. LOL. After 30 years of construction of the New York levees, this engineer called Josh unfortunately realized that the project was flawed. As critics such as myself have been pointing out at least since the 2040s and probably many, many decades before that, this unfortunate outcome is not too surprising for a government project hiring green hippies such as Josh, LOL. Nevertheless, the reason why it was flawed is presented incorrectly: they expected the sea level rise to be gradual but it turned out to be discontinuous. Tipping points. Huge fast warming. Permafrost maybe. Blah blah blah. At any rate, we see trillions of wasted taxpayer dollars.

Around 2071, citizens are demanding that the temperature doesn't change. LOL. ;-) The U.S. president decides to stop the Greenland from melting by spraying it with sulfur oxides. Jets start spraying in 2074. Heidi Cullen says that this is your solution of the last resort. Sunsets were spectacular. Peter Gleick tells us that there are immediately bad side effects except that his prediction of the bad side effects are patently false: too much cooling and other things.

Heidi Cullen offers a would-be "general wisdom". She says that we learn that any engineering has unintended consequences. Well, we may be much more general. Every process in the history of the Universe has unintended consequences. In fact, the events in the Universe are never intended at all. They don't have a purpose; religious readers will surely forgive me this proposition. Is that news for you, stupid girl called Heidi? But those clichés are not presented as what they are, namely vacuous meaningless tautologies. They are presented as a general assault against engineering, general assaults against any decision of humans to do anything, against human inventions and ingenuity itself. These people are full-fledged Luddites. Even if something has side effects, it doesn't mean that it can't be a damn useful thing.

It turned out the oxides hysterically sprayed by the Big U.S. Government de facto controlled by the most idiotic demonstrators on the street were destroying ozone, bringing massive amounts of UV rays to the surface. Well, that's totally plausible. And it's even plausible that the government wouldn't like to learn about those things in advance. The governments are stupid and they distort and cover inconvenient information in order to push their predetermined agenda. The U.S. president who started the spraying wanted to earn a cheap political capital – the voters who screamed that the government should regulate temperature. Those violent alarmists and savages should have been shot in their head but they were instead listened to – and some (millions of) innocent people paid with their lives for that mistake.

Fine, so the carcinogenic Big Government project of spraying was finally stopped and the sea level rise accelerated. They're painting the end of the civilization again. Let me just tell you that the lowest point in the Czech Republic is over 100 meters above the sea level. And it's true for many other countries and regions. So please feel free to melt the Greenland as well as the Antarctica (and cause 100 times greater sea level rise than what we will actually get by 2100); we don't need to care. Even if these crackpot theories about the rapid sea level rise were justifiable, and they're not, it would still be incorrect to view such changes as a threat for the world civilization. Some people would just move away from the coastal areas, usually by half a mile only. What's the big problem? Do you really think that such irrelevant events are the most important thing that people will remember about the 2070s? Moreover, they won't even happen.

At 56:12, convicted criminal Peter Gleick claims that the "society is not setup to deal with rapid sea level rise". It actually is. If the sea level began to rise by a meter per year, it would just make the price of real estate in coastal areas to plummet and people would simply move by half a mile per year which is not such a terribly fast pace even if you're walking or moving on a wheelchair. 99.9% of the land mass of Earth would be unaffected.

A pompous guy tells us that the Universe won't tolerate the American way of life and will negotiate a different way for you which he names the reality. LOL. The Universe is manifestly compatible with the American way of life, otherwise the latter couldn't exist. What is actually in tension with the American organization of the society and the American lifestyle is not the Universe but your fcked-up communist brains, dear comrades. Why are you confusing this rotting jellyfish inside your skulls with the Universe? Well, it's because you have a rotting jellyfish in your skulls.

We learn that Lucy's idiotic fairy-tale may sound like science-fiction but it is the result of research by some of the world's best scientists. LOL. ;-)

In 2075, one of the levees gets stuck and the government apparatchiks seem unable to close it. Josh is going to move a big 1,000,000-ton barrier that he sloppily built in front of New York "manually" in a boat, LOL. So of course this suicidal hippie is said to "have died as a hero". He must have won the Darwin's award, too. Water in the Big Green Apple. Lucy is sad that her crazy husband is gone. Although Lucy knows that New York is flooded, she decided to stay in the putrefying city and refused her daughter's offer to live with her and the botanist in a smaller town. Quite a decision for a woman who has been intensely interested in natural catastrophes for 60 years. ;-) I think that the program does a rather fair job in showing how incredibly stupid the environmentalists are and always will be.

In 2081, the sea level is 6 feet above the current level. LOL. Infections again. People wear masks. The "Caspian Fever" kills, anyway. It goes global. Starvation. In 2084, the world population drops to 4.2 billion and soon to 4.0 billion. Finally, at least one big dream of the environmentalists is becoming a reality. Note that there's really no good reason to think that this pandemics could be attributed to climate change. Even today, tropical diseases may emerge from poor countries which have bad water and lots of people and they may spread with the help of heavily communicating population centers anywhere. But it's just not happening at a mass scale. The idea that a flooded New York would be essential for the emergence and growth of global pandemics overestimates the relative size and importance of New York which is still just a fraction of a percent of the world population.

Services are disappearing in the 2080s. Finally, the electricity stops completely. No one knows the reason. At least no one is certain. Plausible. But again, the interpretation they gave is incorrect. They say that a collapse is something that must be accumulating over a long time and then a last shot breaks it. This is bullshit. A powerful enough shot doesn't have to depend on any prehistory. Attributing a single, localized event to some previous acts is just a propaganda, a way to a posteriori spin and "frame" the events, a way to rewrite the history.

Looting occurs, police deserts, mayor hides, president doesn't arrive. Finally, the government breaks down; no one takes it seriously anymore. That's good news. After the horrible sequence (decades) of climate change hysterical proclamations and, even more importantly, the flawed policies that the government orchestrated while using the climate change hysteria as an excuse, such a government deserves to die and people should be happy they may start from scratch.

Around 2085, 3 billion people and dropping quickly. Lucy walks the Washington Bridge. The 75-year-old woman finally adopts a dog. ;-) She walks somewhere, not sure whether her daughter or grandson are still alive. She could have left the screwed city already 10 years earlier. Nature takes over the Big Green Apple quickly as it always has. E. O. Wilson claims that the 21st century will be viewed as the beginning of the Dark Ages. ;-)

But it's good. Molly is fine and Lucy found her. The grandson, Daniel, is alive. Only his father has been killed. The United 50 States become the Divided Million Chards. The widows cope with their hard situation.

Now, they completely misrepresent what was dark about the Dark Ages. Again, they say that feudal nations were fighting against each other for the remaining water and resources. This is complete rubbish again. There was no shortage of such resources in the Dark Ages. What was dark about the ages was the non-existent capitalism we knew in the Roman Empire and the replacement of rationality by fanatical religions and other cults. But otherwise, there was a lot of normal life of people in symbiosis with Nature. The Medieval Dark Ages were pretty much exactly what the environmentalists dream about; watch e.g. the romantic U.S. movie, The Pagan Queen, about the old Czech prophet Libuše [trailer], which presents some of the most famous characters from the Czech National Legends to be hippies, environmentalists, and lesbians. A modern movie. :-) This is why they were dark ages.

Lucy and her daughter built their own small power plant and radio wave communication system, LOL. The grandson was apparently not too useful in that, it was not a job for men. ;-) The most breathtaking stupidities and misconceptions are being combined with the most kitschy expressions of the political correctness. A few minutes later, they say that Daniel is this useless not because he's male but because he's never heard a symphony or seen a whale. Most of the science and technology is gone because it was stored electronically and that infrastructure had been destroyed. Needless to say, this is completely inconsistent with the previous history told by the program: Daniel was born around 2060 somewhere in New England at the time when the Self-Sufficient New York City was at the civilization peak and everything was great about it (and about its gardens inside each skyscraper). It's totally implausible that the son of one of the most important politically correct engineers in that thriving world wouldn't ever hear classical music.

It's 2090 or so and Lucy is now the world's oldest woman, good for her, and she is finally teaching kindergarten verses to her near-30-year-old grandson Daniel. ;-) She also starts to teach him to love Gaia – you must be surprised that she only starts in 2090 if she has been one of the world's most fanatical environmentalist bigots for about a century. Finally, she wants her grandson to listen to the final 7 minutes of the program or so in which the Marxists demand that the world is radically changed. People have to sacrifice, too. Thomas Friedman is dreaming about the repetition of the World War II which energized the ideas of a Big Government and self-sacrifice by the individuals. What does it say about these left-wing assholes if the symbol of the ideal world for them is the World War II?

Around 1:19:00, the narrator claims that the "turning point of all the bad events was the failed 2015 conference". That's interesting. I've seen all the important events in their 21st century world and the empirical data make it absolutely obvious that there was nothing special about the 2015 conference. Just like Bali 2007, Poznań 2008, Copenhagen 2009, Cancún 2010, Durban 2011, Qatar 2012, and so on and so on, it was just another meaningless gathering of tons of delusional parasites who have a swim in a fancy hotel's swimming pool for the taxpayer money, an event that is pretty much indistinguishable from hundreds of similar parasitic conferences before 2015 and probably many conferences after that, just another conference at which loons present their unrealistic plans to screw the world and these plans clash against the reality and against the fact that no real politician actually dreams about screwing the world. Why do they claim that the particular irrelevant conference in 2015 was the key if their own fictitious history makes it obvious that it wasn't? In their world, as presented in this very program, many more events that were vastly more important than the 2015 conference took place a long time after 2015.

Heidi Cullen tells us that if you tackle climate change, you tackle food, energy, and everything else. Sure, assuming that the second "tackling" means "crippling". Aside from the jihad against fossil fuels, they also want everyone to "save water", to restrict the amount of water that every plant can access during its life, and so on. Holy cow. The amount of water on the Earth is almost infinite for practical applications: the world ocean has a whopping fifth of a cubic kilometer for each person who lives on Earth (this is a rather typical example of the actual "physical limits to growth": there aren't any). In the future as I imagine it, people will be dealing with much larger amounts of water than we do today (even on the per-capita basis), much like we are using much more water than people did in the past (and the richer society you have, the more water they use). There will be large reserves of it everywhere and it will be easy and cheap to move it from one place to another. My nightmare scenario is pretty much exactly what they propose as the "rosy solution". Rationing water is their ideal world: WTF? Why don't they move to Kenya which already lives in that ideal world?

In the last minute, this June 2009 program suggests that the November 2009 Copenhagen summit could have been the deciding Lucy 2015 summit. Fine. It has completely failed. As your program tells us, this guarantees that the civilization is already doomed. So could you please finally shut up and jump to the Atlantic Ocean to manually move 1,000,000-ton levees just like Lucy's idiotic hippie husband? Here in this "dying" world, you have become a redundant, annoying, excessive garbage that will no longer affect the fate of the world. Thank you very much.

At the end, I see that the movie was directed by Rudy Bednář. I am even ashamed of the director's having a Czech name. It's so incredibly embarrassing for my nation.

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reader Rod said...


Only a century ago, "Environmentalism" was a "conservative" ideology (and so was eugenics). The fact that you now attribute it to "Marxism" represents an interesting change of affairs.

Environmentalism was hijacked by power-hungry propagandists, and environmentalists have adopted witch-hunt tactics that remind me of the Inquisition. In my humble opinion, the problem is that Environmentalism has been coupled to Universalism, rather than Nationalism. Instead of focusing on solving local problems, the masses are calling for a world government to solve the problem globally. Putting all that power in the hands of a few is a recipe for disaster.

However, the fact that today's Environmentalism is rotten at the core does not mean that the whole of Environmentalism is nonsense. Humans need food, water, fuel. If we think too much in the short term, we may have food shortages in a few generations. The oceans and the soil can be depleted of fish and nutrients, respectively, if one abstains from thinking in the long term. Why shouldn't ecology apply to human beings if, after all, we are animals and part of an ecosystem? Have you read anything that Garrett Hardin wrote? I think the man had interesting ideas, but I am part of a tiny minority.

reader Gene said...

According to British Petroleum, the past ten years have seen India's coal consumption more than double, its oil consumption increase by 52 percent and its natural gas consumption increase by 131 percent. The numbers for China are 155 percent, 101 percent and 376 percent. These increases have clearly been insufficient, at least in India. The future will see more rapid increases in both countries but especially in India. Increasing urbanization and an economic growth rate of 7 to 8 percent in both countries will force a rapid acceleration in the rate of CO2 production. This is completely inevitable and anyone who thinks otherwise is a complete fool. The increase in CO2 production in Asia will swamp anything the West can do, even the most draconian measures. The only alternative is a human catastrophe on an unimaginable scale.

Fortunately, all this is a good thing. Food production per capita will continue to increase and our planet will become a friendlier and happier place.

reader Shannon said...

Lol ! I'm standing right beside Lubos making boohoo faces at Lucy and her husband.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Shannon! Believe me, I am a sensitive man. Even if I am watching a Hollywood catastrophic movie, I root for the heroes and cry when they're having hard time, even if they were designed to promote a politically correct point (at least in many cases of this kind).

But I felt kind of happy when I learned that the idiotic Marxist husband of Lucy killed himself by manually fighting with the ill-designed New York sea barrier he had been building for 30 years for the taxpayer money. That was just too much stupidity and too many misappropriate resources at the same moment. He just badly deserved to die. ;-)

reader Ann said...

The resources expended on this ridiculous viewpoint (catastrophic AGW) disgust me. There are real problems these jerks could go after if they honestly cared -- clean drinking water for many parts of the world, for one. And the hurricane season this year: we are only up to 'E' for Ernesto in August.

reader Quentin Mann said...

I'm tiring with the whole global warming debate. I think we should continue to study the climate, as it's a fascinating subject, but the blame games and propaganda (on both sides) is just getting tiresome.

As Rod says, we should just look after the planet anyway. It shouldn't take meetings and debates to figure that out! The climate will do what it will do - and with future technology, I expect we'll be able to have a reasonable amount of control of local weather (at least) - we should just concentrate on being clean and green and keeping the planet as best we can for future generations.

reader papertiger0 said...

Only a century ago, "Environmentalism" was a "conservative white Democrat" ideology (and so was eugenics). The fact that you now attribute it to "Marxism" represents an interesting change accurate state of affairs.

Tried to fix that for you. Not sure it's exactly correct. For instance "conservative" as it is defined in relation to Democrats doesn't mean the same thing as it does in relation to normal people, but it's too convoluted for me to untangle in the space of one post, so I'm going to let it go.

reader David McMahon said...

Are you sure this wasn't the comedy channel? I didn't know you could make money being a professional moron - but Heidi Cullen and Glieck are doing quite well.

reader David McMahon said...

The comment by the bald man about "American way of life is non-negotiable" is very telling. This isn't really about the environment its a crusade by a bunch of loonies that can't stand western economic success.

reader Shannon said...

:-D it is harmless to feel that way against fictitious characters and situations... Lubos I think we're just being a very participative noisy audience lol ;-)
Now, back to handball (France against Montenegro), tight tight ;-)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Exactly. Those monologues that get in show the actual drivers of similar crusades – and the drivers are neither science nor climate nor environment. As our president often repeats, the real goal is to change the human society.

reader Gene said...


I have taken a closer look at the sea level issues and now believe that thermal expansion plays a bit larger role than melting land ice. My conclusion is that the current rise rate is about 1.7 mm/year as indicated by tidal gauge data and supported by water temperature measurements and GRACE satellite measurements of melting land ice (ice resting on land). The direct satellite ranging measurements of rising water levels are based on unreliable models supplemented by a whole lot of wishful thinking. There is also clear evidence that any effect of CO2 is negligible.

In the year 2100 our seas will be about six inches deeper than they are now. Any effect of CO2 will be a small fraction of this if it exists at all. The heating rate of ocean water is greater than I expected but it is not related to CO2.

Interestingly, about 10,000 years ago the rise rate of the seas was quite large, around 60 mm/year but it has greatly slowed because most of the ice in the northern hemisphere has already melted and the remainder is so far north that it is melting only slowly. Greenland's ice is good for another 15,000 to 20,000 years.

Predictions of New York being inundated do to climate change are total garbage. It is remotely possible that considerable flooding of its subway system could result from a huge storm surge even at current sea levels but that danger has nothing to do with CO2 or other anthropogenic effects.

reader Michael Gersh said...

Lubos - I watched the film and thought it was funny, but then I read this review. It is some of the best comedy writing I have ever read in a review. We may not agree on String Theory, but you and I see the watermelons for exactly what they are - a new, stupider, less educated, communist hippie movement.

reader Meridian Seward said...

Oh man this was hilarious. Best movie commentary in the history of civilization.

reader woodnfish said...

No Rod, a century ago some people were conservationists, but they are and were nothing like the eco-fascists you call environmentalists. Conservationists are actually sane.

reader woodnfish said...

"I found the program extraordinarily stupid and decided that I have already wasted way too much time with it."

You have nothing to apologize for Lubos. You are a great screen so I don't have to listen to their BS, and I really appreciate you doing that. I know many others appreciate it as well.

reader Werdna said...

"Only a century ago, "Environmentalism" was a "conservative" ideology (and so was eugenics)."

Breathtaking ignorance of history on your part, Rod. Neither statement is even remotely accurate. I suppose your reasoning is that their were "progressives"-the people who advocated "environmentalism" and eugenics-in the Republican party, and the Republicans today are more conservative than the Democrats. This is really stupid thinking. There was nothing "conservative" about the Theodore Roosevelts or the Adolf Hitlers or Benito Mussolinis of the world that advocated environmentalism back in the day. Those fascists called environmentalists were the exact same kind of nutcases as they are today, except that they are now international socialists rather than national socialists. We can be extremely thankful if nowadays this dangerous ideology is restricted to the Democrats except for a few of Teddy's admirers like the very moderate John McCain. I know what you are thinking WHAT? John McCain must be conservative, the GOP is so far right conservative nobody who isn't conservative could ever be nominated! Let me blow your mind: Mitt Romney ain't conservative either. In fact, I guess we can't be thankful. The nutcases of the Teddy Roosevelt-Benito Mussolini type are the leaders of both parties and they care a lot about the goddamn "environment" alright. These people will couple socialism and environmentalism to Nationalism to "conservativize" it and it will have the same results as socialism always does.

reader woodnfish said...

I think your prediction of what sea level rise will be in 2100 is no more than a big guess, Gene. There is just no way to predict that. Too many things can change. Who knows, we may go back into a mini ice age before then, and honestly, it just doesn't matter because none of us will be alive by then.

reader Smoking Frog said...

LOL, funniest line in the essay:

Heidi Cullen tells us that if you tackle climate change, you tackle
food, energy, and everything else. Sure, assuming that the second
"tackling" (and even the first one) means "crippling".

but I think it would be more effective as humor without "(and even the first one),"

reader Smoking Frog said...

I root for the heroes and cry when they're having hard time, even if
they were designed to promote a politically correct point (at least in many cases of this kind).

If you want to cry for a non-PC hero, go see "The Dark Knight Rises" (Batman movie); you'll cry at the ending. This movie is actually conservative - the bad guys are like Marxist-Leninists or Jacobins. I saw it a couple nights ago, and tears came to my eyes at the end.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Fixed. ;-)

reader Shannon said...

I'm going to see it this week-end. French critics say it is near to a master piece...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Great motivation and recommendations to see it, too. ;-)

reader Gordon Wilson said...

E.O. Wilson isn't an enemy. His main concern is with loss of diversity of species since diversity seems to be required for an ecosystem's stability and long term survival. Any comments of his about climate change imo are aimed to support his efforts at promoting species diversity rather than climate change hysteria.
Richard Dawkins wrote a rather nasty review of Wilson's latest book. EO supports multilevel evolution including group selection ---Dawkins, evolution at the gene level.
Now they are both attacking each other. Wilson, at 83, is a gentle, cultured, thoughtful man who writes well and poetically. Dawkins strikes me as arrogant and prickly
(*I deleted the article "a" and changed the e to a y in the last word of the above sentence*) Since they are both atheists, the "intelligent design" moron community is delighted.

reader Gordon Wilson said...

oops, not a prickle, meant to say deleted the ly, forget the change to an e----brain not in gear yet :)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Gordon, I understand, I should be enthusiastic about this guy and his decency, probably having met him a few times at Harvard. But it just seems impossible to separate him from the grey average of the alarmist movement.

Go to 15:00 of the movie. You immediately get E. O. Wilson talking about the whole planet going through crisis in unprecedented epical proportions, either in 2009 or 2015, it doesn't really matter to me. There's lot of his bizarre comments in the movie. He clearly has absolutely no problem with a single outrageous goal that this movement wants to achieve.

Your comments about multilevel evolution haven't improved it for me, either. I agree with Dawkins - and Pinker - that multilevel evolution is wrong. Well, I've written about that here:


It's OK if someone writes poetically but I prefer to care about the content. E. O. Wilson is wrong about biology, wrong about the human societies' future and their impact on Nature, and his attitudes support some of the most dangerous social movements in the history of the mankind.

reader Luke Lea said...

Neolithic tools provide clues for managing climate change: http://tinyurl.com/96k4mos

Not sure why but the headline made me laugh.

reader Gordon Wilson said...

Too black and white, Lubos. I agree with you and Dawkins mostly about evolution and not with EO. I was pointing out that his main concern is with preserving reasonable species diversity. Yes, he says propagandistic things about climate catastrophe etc. He likely is doing this because of his many projects to encourage diversity....and he is wrong to do this, ethically and practically.
I think his views on sociobiology have been largely misunderstood and are not unusual from a myrmecologist. I think you should have said "In some ways he is wrong about biology..." BTW, he has called Stephen J Gould a fraud, and Stephen was a Marxist.
I do view Creationists as an enemy in the same way I view people promoting falsehoods and delusional ideas as enemies, but again it is not black and white---eg EO is in the enemy camp for hyping climate alarmism, the ally camp for promoting the Encyclopedia of Life and for supporting non-crazy NGOs to protect diversity.

reader Gordon Wilson said...

A point I was making about Dawkins is that I have modified my views of him somewhat from "crusading atheist hero" which was apparent from old TRF posts, to slightly arrogant prick...still correct about religion, too dogmatic about the "selfish gene" being the only driver of evolution (mostly correct), becoming annoying.
I am having similar feelings about PZ Meyers, but Dawkins gets the publicity. BTW, he is married to Lala Ward, who was Dr. Who's female helper when Tom Baker was the Doctor.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Gordon, I appreciate that your feelings towards Dawkins have been evolving but he just hasn't played too important a role in my life so it's hard for me to "live" through your emotions as well. I think he's always been right about many things on biology etc. and he's been always translating them to too philosophical/religious/personal dimensions. His assertivity is a double-edged sword etc.

Concerning biodiversity, believe me I am no insensitive. When I was 6, I would have a notebook with a list of project and it contained my plan to guarantee that not a single additional human or animal would die again. ;-)

Now, I've changed my opinions about whether such things (death or even extinction) are purely negative. I no longer think so. Such things occur. It's a part of evolution. It seems bizarre to me when a passionate defender of evolution almost wants to outlaw extinctions. It's an inconsistent attitude.

Moreover, I don't think that humans are the only or dominant determinants of extinction of species. The comments about preserving biodiversity as a policy seems to be a part of the same movement as AGW. Unlike AGW, the extinction of some species is surely a real thing, much like the human contribution to it. But it's still flawed to demand that the society changes in certain ways to improve biodiversity unless the effect is demonstrable and direct. It's just wrong to try to cripple someone's freedom because of some convoluted and sometimes hypothetical consequences, even if those consequences are a loss of biodiversity.

So we may disagree about a real issue here, not just about some nuances concerning E. O. Wilson. I don't think that there exists a "biodiversity justification" for policies that would affect the life of average people. In my opinion, all such claims and proposals are a similar Marxist conspiracy as AGW.

reader Luke Lea said...

Being a Southerner and author of Sociobiology, hence a suspected racist, Wilson had a powerful motive for getting out front on a PC issue like AGW. Sort of like GW Bush on No Child Left Behind.

reader Gordon Wilson said...

Well, I agree with what you say here, but a biodiverse ecosystem is robust and a mono-culture system is unstable to changes.
For example, when, say, all the corn crops in the US are one strain, say sold and controlled by Monsanto and modified so that it doesn't re-seed itself, a single virus or fungus can wipe out virtually all of them. This is the reason that seed banks of wild varieties and cultivars are so important.
Believing in biodiversity by no means is a belief in preserving all species. That is the same as AGW alarmists somehow wanting to absolutely halt all climate change. Biodiversity is maintained by having an ecosystem with lots of species interactions which stabilizes homeostasis to a large degree if there is a perturbation.
I don't think we do disagree about a real issue here at all. For example, halting a hydroelectric dam project because someone found 2 snail darters in a feeder creek and halting the project because of this is eco-insanity. IMO the darters would be history.

reader Luke Lea said...

Dear Lubos, you mention EMP as a more plausible scenario for ending civilization as we know it. Is that really true? The article you linked to stated the vulnerability could be fixed for a nominal amount of money but Congress refuses to act. What gives?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Luke, I am no expert. Note that lots of information about EMP are partly classified, confused by lots of public information that is bound to be very inaccurate, and so on. It seems plausible to me that an explosion at the right altitude might be capable of burning all/most electrical circuits on a large territory and something should be done to reduce the damages in the case of such an attack.

I am convinced that if such an event managed to destroy memories of computers etc., there should be some ways to restore e.g. banking accounts and similar things to some realistic state. I am sure that making rich people broke at one moment - stripping companies of their assets or anything of the sort - would lead to the end of civilization for long years. A country that would be able to minimize these changes would hugely benefit.

reader Rod said...

So what? Conservationists were preservationists. And politically "conservative". Conservatism today is what, exactly? Low taxes? Environmentalism is what? Blaming corporations for everything?

If someone wanted to conserve the environment, that person was an environmentalist. Just because 99,9% of environmentalists today are insane, stupid, or both, it does not mean that environmentalism is not sane.

reader woodnfish said...

Conservationists are not preservationists. Conservationists think natural resources should be wisely exploited. Taxes and corporations have nothing to do with it, and environmentalists are not sane. Environmentalism is a religion and environmentalists are religious zealots.

reader woodnfish said...

McCain is no conservative Werdna, and I'd argue the GOP is not either, at least it is not fiscally conservative. And environmentalism is nothing like conservationism. Environmentalism is all-encompassing except it leaves out us, the humans. It is anti-human or misanthropic. That is why misanthropes, socialists, and doom-dayers gravitate toward it.

reader Honza said...

I think that the movie would "sell" much better (at least in US) if they have named it "Apocalypse reloaded" rather then Earth 2100. It got everything it should have - Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death, Hell fire, global flood. Revelation of St. John was up for update for quite a while and this is it.

Nice motive appearing throughout the movie is "Citizens are demanding somebody else to do something about their problems, preferably for free." I loved what had to be a slip of the tongue "wealthy people hired the private companies to pick up the trash" [62 minutes]. Beauty of unintended.

I love the idea of famine and flood in progress, while power and internet are still on, and shut down much later. Personally, in case of famine I would get up and start building pontoons or do some farming. Those who would keep browsing the web until the last moment kind of deserve to starve to death. ;-)

"...Gentleman informs you that "the adaptability is the main threat to our existence today"..." Perhaps he is talking about adaptability of people towards AGW alarmist horror movies. As people start to ignore alarmists more and more, it will severely threaten alarmists existence indeed.;-)

".. Pests overtake the fields..." that can happen only once, right? As people starve and, being dead, do not grow any crops next year, the pests starve to death, too. Nice thing about parasites is, that their population goes down as soon as the host population hits 0. ;-) I think that it is the biggest problem Commies (being parasites themselves) see coming.

"Trade is the main thing in the whole world that keeps nations and societies in peace." I like the old wording: "Killing your customers is bad for business."

And I have one question - P. Gleick being convicted criminal - how, when, did he got even indicted?

reader Honza said...

Gordon, if indeed "a biodiverse ecosystem is robust and a mono-culture system is unstable to changes" why would you need to help the biodiversity at all. You cannot claim that mono-culture is unstable and bio-diverse system is stable, and require to help push system to the more stable position. It is going there on its own. Biodiversity is maintaining itself. You do not have to do it.

reader Gordon Wilson said...

Honza--did I say I had to do it? No.
But if too many species are eradicated through stupid human policies, then the ecosystem may go to a stable system like a desert. Biodiverse systems aren't the only stable ones. Sterile, nonliving ones can have a robust stability. One
mutant virus could wipe out the entire US corn crop. We don't need to be stupid about preserving all species, but we also don't want to maraude around like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wiping out species or artificially promoting monocultures.
I was suggesting, for example, that the various seed banks like the Svalbard in Norway, is simple prudence.

reader Honza said...

Fair enough. But you have not spent too much time in the desert, did you? ;-) I highly commander it. You will find dozens of plant species and quite a lot of animals, too (look at night). The fact that you cannot survive there does not mean that nobody can.
My point was, that the virus could wipe out one species (like US corn), but ten others will take its place immediately.