The Anti-Industrial Revolution

I stole this post title from Ayn Rand, but it seems appropriate to this story by James Delingpole.  Apparently James Hansen, leader of NASA's GISS, which does most of its climate research, wants to turn back the clock on industrialized civilization.    A new book by Keith Farnish writes:

The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization.

And continues:

I'm rarely afraid of stating the truth, but some truths are far harder to give than others; one of them is that people will die in huge numbers when civilization collapses. Step outside of civilization and you stand a pretty good chance of surviving the inevitable; stay inside and when the crash happens there may be nothing at all you can do to save yourself. The speed and intensity of the crash will depend an awful lot on the number of people who are caught up in it: greater numbers of people have more structural needs "“ such as food production, power generation and healthcare "“ which need to be provided by the collapsing civilization; greater numbers of people create more social tension and more opportunity for extremism and violence; greater numbers of people create more sewage, more waste, more bodies "“ all of which cause further illness and death.

I wonder what Mr. Farnish thinks the average life expectancy was before the industrial revolution, or even "civilization?"  But my intention here is not to shoot fish in Mr. Farnish's barrel.  What is interesting is who approached Farnish and offered, unsolicited, to blurb his book:  James Hansen.  Here is Hansen's endorsement:

Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the 'system' is the problem. Governments are under the thumb of fossil fuel special interests "“ they will not look after our and the planet's well-being until we force them to do so, and that is going to require enormous effort.

Does anyone believe that a person who believes this wouldn't misrepresent the science or fudge his temperature metrics to support his cause.  If he expects civilization to crash, why do we expect him to operate by the rules of civilized society?

  • Bill

    As always, I am most struck by the absolute lack of faith these purported intellectuals consistently display in the power of the human mind to solve problems. It is never, "how can we advance?" It is always, "the sky is falling, turn back!"

  • MIchael Smith

    To answer your questions, NOTHING Hansen does surprises me and NO, I wouldn't trust him any more than I'd trust a rabid dog. He's already demonstrated his willingness to assist in the criminal destruction of other people's property if said destruction furthers his goal of destroying modern civilization. What's fudging a little data compared to aiding and abetting felons?

  • the other coyote

    I am not being facetious here, I really want to know the answer. How does Hansen keep his government / taxpayer-funded job when he takes such political stands? How is it that his bosses don't get called out for their subordinate's grandstanding?

    I worked for the government briefly in the '90s, and trust me, you didn't get away with ANYTHING that embarrassed your boss.

  • Link

    Speaking of Hansen, I thought this worth repeating:

    The "NASA-Goddard Institute" which makes the AGW predictions has an affiliation with NASA and with Columbia University, but may be accountable to neither. The common link is James Hansen, who heads the Institute. If you had to pick one person as the most influential in developing AGW theory it'd be James Hansen.

    Once upon a time, Hansen did work for NASA on the atmosphere of Venus -- which is 96.5% CO2. Hansen then fell to Earth. He claims affiliation with NASA, and to be an adjunct professor at Columbia, but it looks like he's operated independently. As I understand it, along with the East Anglia gang in England, Hansen's "Institute" is the other keeper of the global climate data bank.

    Hansen seems hung up on CO2 because of his Venus experience, even though CO2 is a trace gas in Earth's atmosphere -- less than 400 parts per billion, instead of 965,000,000 parts per billion. There are several basic differences between Earth and Venus which can readily explain why its atmosphere is so different than ours -- and thus probably irrelevant to ours -- including that its day is longer than its year and that it lacks a magnetic field, so that gases which are lighter than CO2 have tended to float away over millions and billions of years.

    This is not a small point as Hansen was a pioneer in creating computer models of Earth's atmosphere. He literally adapted his Venusian models to do this. This led to his hook-up with Al Gore and to Hansen's warning Congress about global warming back in 1988.

    From 2005 until 2008, Hansen was in a PR fight with various parts of the federal government about his statements about AGW. In 2006, he went on 60 Minutes to say that his views were being suppressed.

    In 2008, Hansen went on ABC TV and elsewhere to say that fossil fuel company executives should be put on trial for "high crimes against humanity and nature", because they have actively spread doubt and misinformation about global warming.

    In 2009, Hansen became a proponent of civil disobedience and a harsh critic of Copenhagen as being too little too late. He now believes that unless we shut down all the coal plants in the world within the next 20 years that the Earth will boil over. With this in mind, he managed to get arrested with Daryl Hannah and thirty others at a protest in West Virginia in June 2009.

    The "NASA-Goddard Institute" is based at 112th Street and Broadway near Columbia University in NYC, and is literally above the Seinfeld Diner. Like in "Get Smart" you enter through the telephone booth at the back of the diner. They share space and a receptionist with the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, which has its own separate entrance through Del Floria's Tailor Shop around the corner .... OK, only the Seinfeld Diner part is true. See here: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/about/

  • Link

    Now here's the kicker. Hansen has recently put out a paper "The Temperature of Science." In it, Hansen says he's being bombarded with FOIA requests and nasty e-mails. There's a lot of startling admissions between the lines, but here's the best:

    "Indeed, it is likely that the sun is an important factor in climate variability. ... We are presently in the deepest most prolonged solar minimum in the period of satellite data. It is uncertain whether the solar irradiance will rebound soon into a more-or-less normal solar cycle – or whether it might remain at a low level for decades, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, a period of few sunspots that may have been a principal cause of the Little Ice Age."

    Thus, even Hansen is now saying that it may be getting real cold ... and real soon. This is a Holy Shit Headline -- Hansen is starting to sound like a Denier.

    Source: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20091216_TemperatureOfScience.pdf

    How could Hansen act so independently of NASA while running his own shop above the Seinfeld Diner? George Soros funded Hansen, apparently. You can't make this up. Source: just google Hansen and Soros -- there's some stuff from 2007, which means it's probably true. If I was a real reporter, I'd run it down.

    Ironically, I agree with Hansen that "Cap and Trade" won't reduce emissions. That was my starting point with AGW. I thought the supposed solution and the related politics were bent. This led me to go down the rabbit hole. The more I revisit this rabbit hole, the curioser it gets.

  • Rick C

    Don't have time right this second to read the other comments, forgive if this is a duplicate.

    "The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization" is basically EXACTLY the Unabomber's manifesto. The primary difference I can see is the justification: Ted K's rationale was that human happiness incompatible with industrial civilization & technology, not ecological continuity.

  • Dr. T

    This supports my views on active environmentalists:

    50% are neoLuddites who want to live in 1880 AD.

    40% are antitechnology and want to live in 4000 BC.

    10% are nihilists and misanthropes who want to eradicate Homo sapiens.

    Mr. Farnish obviously belongs in the middle group.

  • Ted Rado

    How does Hansen et al propose to feed, house, and clothe over six billion people without modern agriculture and industry? If we went back to the 1870's level of energy use, the bulk of mankind would starve. Does Hansen and his cohorts want to volunteer for the gas chamber to save others from starvation?

    It would be refreshing if those proposing draconian changes would follow up and describe how they would cope with the consequences.

  • Not Sure

    As far as I can tell, nothing is stopping James Hansen and Keith Farnish from stepping outside of civilization themselves anytime they like.

    Care to make a guess as to when *that* might happen?

  • Gil

    So the eff what? I am supposed to judge all Christians who protest homosexuality with signs like "God hate fags!" and "Fags deserve to burn in Hell!" or those who bombs abortion clinics? Besides how many environmentalists are of the "Star Trek" in that they believe technological progress can solve current problems?

    BTW: Most Conservatives seem to get romantic about the 1800s whereas Libertarians seem to get romantic about the 1700s.

  • roger the shrubber

    it's apocalypse porn, is what it is. it's every hardcore environmentalists' wet dream: a world finally freed of the virus of humanity. (well, except for the good, kind, caring humans respectful of mother gaia and her bounty. people like....well..."them".) plus, as an added bonus, with everybody dead and out of the way, they wouldn't have to work: they could just scavenge from the deserted stores and wear rolexes and drive bentleys and ferraris - since there are so few humans left, such a small carbon footprint won't matter, right? - and play video games all day and cuddle up with the (unfortunate) surviving women - who all mysteriously look like models and are size 4's - and set about repopulating earth with...wait for it...with *better* people. people more like *them*.

    hence the recent spate of movies bringing the goal/fantasy to life: 'i am legend', 'the road', 'the book of eli', '2012', '12 monkeys', 'children of men', 'wall-e', the 'terminator' flicks, '28 days later'....

    maybe i'm overreacting. maybe i'm cherry-picking. maybe it's just because it's late, but try as i might, i can't think of a *single* recent movie showing us an optimistic, idyllic, happy & prosperous vision of the future. once upon a time, optimism was seen as the quintessential american quality. seems hollywood's doing their best to drive that quality out, no? i wonder why that is....

  • tehag

    Hmm.... Nazis condenmed 'syphilization,' celebrated barbarism, and wish to bring about the end of civilization. Communists hated Capitalism and wish to bring about its end. Both willed and executed the deaths of tens of millions. Now Greens hate both civilization and capitalism and openly celebrated the expected deaths of billions. Is there any chance that optimism and humanity can survive the triumph of these twin intellectual giants?

  • IgotBupkis

    > But my intention here is not to shoot fish in Mr. Farnish’s barrel.

    Be a lot more effective if you just shoot Mr. Farnish.

  • IgotBupkis

    > How does Hansen et al propose to feed, house, and clothe over six billion people without modern agriculture and industry?

    Ted -- he doesn't.

    Most of these people are radical antihumanists and true misanthropes who hate humanity, hate civilization, and want to create a genocide that would make the Holocaust look like a coming out party (emphasis mine):

    Today (via Drudge) we get a clear example of what radical environmentalists are about: University of Texas professor Dr. Eric Pianka -- who has just been named a "distinguished scientist" by the Texas Academy of Science -- has called for the elimination of 90 percent of the human population, preferably via disease. Here's just a small taste of his distinguished views:

    Yet this man is hardly atypical -- These people need to be exposed for what they are, which is people who think Mao, with his "Cultural Revolution", was a chiseling two-bit piker.

    Greens in specific and liberals in general have a goal which is nothing less than the total destruction of Western Civilization.

  • Vindlebutz

    > recent movie showing us an optimistic, idyllic, happy & prosperous vision of the future.

    LOL -- you mean other than the one Gil listed -- Star Trek -- and its ideological cohort, Star Wars (it's not our future, but it is a working interstellar tech civ)??

    Modern apocalypse porn (appropriate name) has been prevalent since the 60s and the worthless Club of Rome crap. The fact that Paul Ehrlich has yet to be correct on ANYTHING, with a record notably worse than Jeane Dixon ever managed, has not stopped the people around him from pushing his lunatic ideas over and over again through each pessimistic iteration.

    Meanwhile, Julian Simon gets short shrift from the media -- "Hey, things are going to be OK!!!" doesn't sell newspapers and newsmagazines anywhere near as effectively as Apocoporn.

  • Gil

    Gee, don't forget Greenies/Lefties are helping to bring about the end by buying organic produce - i.e. making an outdated, inefficient form of farming profitable over modern farming which is the type that feeds billions. Think of how much quality farmland is lost to organic farming.

  • ADiff

    It's just the logical ends of 'Deep Ecology' as many foresaw years ago. And those logical ends would be about 6 feet deep....if there were enough people left to bury their dead, that is.

    It's simply the culmination of Ness-Foucaultism. It ends as pure nihilism, nothing more.

    "There is no such thing as 'meaning' in nature." - Fridtjof Nansen