Dark Green Ideas

Here are some dark green ideas.

Human communities should be maintained in small population enclaves within linked wilderness ecosystems. No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas. Communication systems can link the communities.[…]

We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. […]

All consumption should be local. No food products need to be transported over hundreds of miles to market. All commercial fishing should be abolished. If local communities need to fish the fish should be caught individually by hand.[…]

Who should have children? Those who are responsible and completely dedicated to the responsibility which is actually a very small percentage of humans. Being a parent should be a career. Whereas some people are engineers, musicians, or lawyers, others with the desire and the skills can be fathers and mothers. Schools can be eliminated if the professional parent is also the educator of the child.

This approach to parenting is radical but it is preferable to a system where everyone is expected to have children in order to keep the population of consumers up to keep the wheels of production moving. An economic and political system dependent on continuous growth cannot survive the ecological law of finite resources.

There is, of course, a complexity of problems in adjusting to a new design that will simply allow us to survive the consequences of our past ecological folly.

Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach.

This vision belongs to Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (HT Tim Worstall).

Other quotes from Paul Watson,

If you don’t know an answer, a fact, a statistic, then … make it up on the spot(in Earthforce: An Earth Warrior’s Guide to Strategy).

The fact is that we live in an extremely violent culture, and we all justify violence if it’s for what we believe in” (at the Animal Rights 2002 convention).

There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history (at the Animal Rights 2002 convention).

“We’re not a protest organization, we’re a policing organization” (on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society).

Source of quotes here.


Islamists in Somalia

If you lived in Mogadishu in recent years before the Islamic Courts took over, your daughters and your property weren’t save. If you complained about your daughters being taken away by gunmen, you would get shot in front of them. People got fed up, and rallied around the Islamic Courts, who got rid of the warlords and reestablished law and order.

The judges of the Islamic Courts and their supporters are the good guys, so far. Continue reading

Green Religion

Tragedy or farce? History repeats itself; the environmental movement is divided into tendencies that match age old religious currents.

The Dark Greens are the Prophets of Doom, telling us to repent our wasteful ways because the End is Nigh. The End turns to be strangely familiar, either a Deluge (rising sea levels), or as James Lovelock said about global warming, “We will burn”. The Dark Greens genuinely think that the planet would be better off with fewer people.

The Light Greens think we have to change, but not too much. We must improve our individual behavior, pay tithe to environmental organizations (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth), and possibly buy indulgences (also known as “carbon offsets”). Buying carbon offsets from an organization that charges transaction fees of 40% makes even less sense than buying indulgences from the Church. At least the Church used to issue handsome parchment certificates, suitable for framing.

The Bright Greens are the techno-optimistic readers of Wired magazine and the WorldChanging blog. They are the modern Benedictines. In the Middle Ages, the Benedictines, especially the Cistercians, turned their religious devotion to the useful arts into the medieval industrial revolution, pioneering the use of windmills, watermills, and new agricultural methods. Their vision was one of recovering mankind’s original perfection through technology, using technology to elevate man above nature.

Unfortunately, the Bright Greens are not in the same class as the Benedictines. Some of their ideas are truly harebrained, like supplying one laptop per child to African schoolchildren who don’t have books, paper, and pencils.

Reading the writings in any of these green tendencies is like reading science fiction, complete with doomsday scenarios and salvation through technology. Science fiction is usually disappointing. If you have read any anthropology, you realize that people on our planet behave in stranger ways than any science fiction writer has ever imagined. I myself don’t read science fiction. If I want to visit a weird, parallel universe, I read the editorial pages in the Wall Street Journal.

What we really, really want

Brad Allenby writes,

…consider two of the primary dialogs of our times that, while superficially quite different, are in fact disconcertingly similar in intent and tone. One is the current U.S. Administration’s insistence on a continuing and constant threat of ubiquitous and unpredictable terrorism, a campaign which appears designed to (and does) create continuing fear and insecurity in the population…

The second is the significant acceleration in stories and publicity regarding predictions of planetary disaster as a result of human activities, especially global warming…

…it is striking how such visions are being generated by the elites on the right and left to advance their idea of an appropriate society…

Behind these goals lie quite different teleologies: in the first case, a Golden Age that seems to include in somewhat jumbled order components of American exceptionalism, a relatively unsophisticated Christianity, and a medieval reintegration of religion into all aspects of life. In the second case, the teleology appears to be Edenic, a return to a Golden Age in a much simpler world strongly resembling Rousseau’s idyllic state of nature…

There is nothing idyllic about Rousseau. We may or may not agree with Isaiah Berlin that he is “the most sinister and most formidable enemy of liberty in the whole history of modern thought”. But doomsayers do at times sound as if only they know and express the General Will. They are quite prepared to tell us what we really, really want, even if we don’t know it. From there it is only a small step to want to force us to to agree with the General Will for our own good.

The Economics of Religion


Source: Lawrence R. Iannaccone, Roger Finke, and Rodney Stark: Deregulating Religion: The Economics of Church and State.

This paper reviews the effects of government actions that alter religious supply. Our paper demonstrates that simple deregulation lies at the root of major religious trends and that the vitality of religious markets critically depends upon its competitiveness.

USA is the most deregulated and competitive market with an abundant supply of different churches. In the most monopolistic markets, Scandinavia, with Lutheran state churches, very few people go to church regularly.

We have previously mentioned the very interesting work done by Larry Iannaccone. Now he is giving a talk on EconTalk discussing these and other matters. It is a very useful introduction to his fascinating work.