A catastrophic vision

In: Uncategorized

8 Apr 2008

It is sad that New Scientist magazine seems to have swallowed environmentalist prejudices whole. The editorial in the latest issue (5 April) is a defence of The Limits to Growth, a key 1972 report arguing that there are natural limits to economic growth. It describes the report as warning that with growing population and an expanding economy “resources would eventually run out”. In fact the report argued that many key resources would run out within a few years. It proved spectacularly wrong.

The cover story is on “the collapse of civilisation”. It builds on the work of Jared Diamond: best-selling environmentalist author and purveyor of the idea that the agricultural revolution was the worst mistake in human history. The basic argument is that that more complex society becomes the worse things could get if it breaks down.

Perhaps we should all be living in mud huts isolated from the rest of humanity? That way if our neighbours encountered problems we could be immune!

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