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Holiday Bummer! Neo-Malthusianism (consumption, climate-free conversation decried)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 4, 2014

Life must be melancholy at best the neo-Malthusian closed-minded pessimists at such anti-liberty/pro-state organizations as Sierra Club, NRDC, 350.org, and Center for American Progress. No Julian Simon or Bjorn Lomborg or Judith Curry or Alex Epstein or Matt Ridley allowed at these shops!

Thankfully, most people–and certainly voters through demonstrated preference–are pessimistic about government and optimistic about life in a free society. And so it must be hard for the chronically discontent to interact on a personal, family level, particularly during the holiday season.

Consider the following quotations of Messing With The Holidays.

Heed the Warnings: Why We’re on the Brink of Mass Extinction (The Daily Beast, November 30, 2014)

“Evolutionary biologist Sean B. Carroll, executive producer of the doc Mass Extinction: Life At the Brink, on why mankind’s days are numbered….”

“Fifty years ago, we were just beginning to learn some important lessons from natural disasters, epidemics, and manmade tragedies. As we gather this holiday season to take stock of all that we have to be grateful for, at the top of our list should be those who have had the foresight and resolve to make our world safer.

Mass extinction resulted from large and rapid environmental change on a global scale…. The great concern of scientists today is that the potential global temperature changes projected over the next century approach those that took place 252 million years ago.

There are now a lot of scientists with tense stomachs.”

How to Talk About Climate Change at Thanksgiving (The Union of Concerned Scientists, November 24, 2014)

“So if you care about climate issues, should you march into Thanksgiving dinner with some graphs, charts, and talking points? I sure hope not. For one thing, those aren’t edible (except pie charts, which are delicious). But even if you’re not trying to talk about climate change, it can and does come up.”

“It’s easy to have a normal, friendly conversation about climate issues with most people. But if you have a friend or relative who has very strong opinions about climate science or policy, the discussion can get more heated than the atmosphere. In those cases, you should think a little differently about how you approach the conversation.”

“How to Talk to Your Denier Uncle This Thanksgiving” (Climate Progress, November 26, 2014)

“Obstreperous, argumentative, conservative relatives are often expected to be uncles, but climate denial can peep out of aunts, grandparents, children, or spouses.”

“Teenagers today have not seen a colder-than-average month in their entire lives. And at the rate humans are spewing carbon emissions into the atmosphere, they are locked into 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the time they are in their 80s, according to a recent report from the World Bank. Two degrees of warming is the level most scientists have set as the limit we can adapt to without suffering truly catastrophic consequences.”

“And just look around the dinner table for examples. Climate impacts are already threatening turkey, corn, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, wine, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.”

‘A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap’: Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth” by Joe Romm (Climate Progress, November 28, 2014)

“Black Friday is a sort of reverse ‘Hunger Games,’ an annual ritualized competition, but one built around overabundance, rather than scarcity. It is perhaps the inevitable outcome of a country whose citizens are commonly referred to as ‘consumers’.”

“So what better time to think about how the global economic system is a Ponzi scheme, an utterly unsustainable system that effectively takes wealth from our children and future generations — wealth in the form of ground water, arable land, fisheries, a livable climate — to prop up our carbon-intensive lifestyles?”

“We cannot stop catastrophic climate change — in the long term and possibly even the medium-term — without a pretty dramatic change to our overconsumption-based economic system. We have already overshot the Earth’s biocapacity — and the overshoot gets worse every year.”

“Also, the end to hyper-consumerism is not something amenable to legislation. It is most likely to come when we are desperate — when the reality that we are destroying a livable climate is so painful that we give it up voluntarily, albeit reluctantly, like a smoker diagnosed with early-stage emphysema. Bill Clinton didn’t become vegan until after he experienced serious heart trouble — twice.”

“The tragic irony is that much of this holiday shopping is supposedly for our kids — and yet this overconsumption is a core part of our climate inaction, which, as President Obama has said, is a betrayal of our children!”

“We aren’t all Madoffs in the sense of people who have knowingly created a fraudulent Ponzi scheme for humanity. But given all of the warnings from scientists and international governments and independent energy organizations over the past quarter-century — it has gotten harder and harder for any of us to pretend that we are innocent victims, that we aren’t just hoping we can maintain our own personal wealth and well-being for a few more decades before the day of reckoning. Après nous le déluge.”

Leave the holidays alone, mal thinkers. And just consider this thought: government intervention in the name of ‘sustainability’–the fatal conceit in place of human ingenuity–is the threat that citizens and voters must confront and defeat.

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