Science in action


From the New York Times today, reporting on the Climate Summit in Copenhagen:

Still, speakers at the opening plenary which began with a slickly-produced video appeal from children across the world to save them from what looked like an apocalyptic future of deserts and rising seas aimed to spur negotiators forward.

Well, the apocalypse is always nigh.  Sample this, if you will:

…in the probing monograph, “Towards an Interpretation of the Drainage,” in which the author, Hilton Korngold, describes with disturbing calm the widespread deterioration of urban drainage systems in the Western World. In this work, Korngold writes:

We must arm ourselves with all the material and spiritual forces at our disposal to ensure that this crucial epoch is one of the transcendence into unity of Drainage and Drained or else our culture is doomed to destruction. Extrapolation from our present condition along the lines of Revelation yields a vision of Busting sewer mains and all waters of the world made as wormwood, unfit to drink. Mankind would be reduced to a primitive state of disunity, neighbor isolated from neighbor by vast surging cataracts of fluid, while the monument of our era’s accomplishments would gradually be submerged beneath festering pools of stagnant runoff. In this hell on earth all laws of sense will be overturned, men will go mad for lack of water to drink, sinks and cisterns will back up onto your floor instead of efficiently disposing of your wastes, and the Power of the Plumber will be null. Men in their frenzy of despair and disbelief will turn the evil upon themselves, building houses at the bottom of hills, in marshes, and along oozing gullys, while the Few Who Know will be the object of arrogant derision. And it is the folly of human inaction which will bring down on us this recapitulation of the Flood.*

More here and here.

8 Responses to Science in action

  1. troutsky says:

    A direct comparison of the ICC and Hilton Korngold? Couldn’t you have used the text of Revelation itself? Rather than clinging ever more desperately now is the time to loosen the tether. No one will think the worse of you.

  2. Man of Roma says:

    Wondered if you posted this ironically.

  3. lichanos says:

    Well, which part were you asking about, MoR?

  4. Man of Roma says:

    The drainage quote. But then reading here and there in your blog I realised you take drainage very seriously – I read the post ‘Drainage Redux’ of 2005, for example. So I’m probably wrong. Btw, it shows you are an engineer. A drainage one?

  5. Man of Roma says:

    I also read ‘Flagellants, Ranters, Chiliasts, and such…’
    Now I understand a bit better. I got it totally wrong at first, but have no time to delve into that.

  6. lichanos says:

    I take drainage very seriously, but I like to have fun with it too. I take it seriously as a metaphor for civilized life, but I am playing with you. I love apocalyptic rhetoric – Flagellants, the Symbionese Liberation Front, the Ranters, Marxists – but I don’t believe any of it.

    Serious and not at the same time.

    I am a civil engineer, and much of my work has been concerned with sewers. Thus my fascination and deep appreciation of the role of drainage in civilization. You will find many references to it, metaphorical and historic, if you search my blog.


  7. troutsky says:

    Then you know drainage is a tricky business. Time to drain the swamp of corporate funded denial. In the muck you will find the same old imperialism.

  8. lichanos says:


    Actually, the AGW folks are seeking out corporate funding from energy firms, bigtime! Check out the emails. Besides, corporations have been on the AGW bandwagon for sometime now. Haven’t you noticed their feel-good adverts?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: