Science in action

December 7, 2009

      

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.

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I hate to do this, but…

July 6, 2009

forward_stalin

…I couldn’t stop myself.  I don’t like to make fun of well-meaning people, but sometimes…

This letter was in the New York Times today, or rather, in the Soviet equivalent in…1929?

To the Editor:

Citizen Osterbrook knocks down the straw man of zero-emissions coal-fired power plants to prop up arguments for a path towards bourgeois endorsement of old, dirty, dangerous technology.

He is mistaken when he says that new energy needs cannot be met with clean energy sources alone. We must stand with our forward-thinking leader and comrade on this, and meet our new energy needs by commanding the technologies of the future.

Instead of perpetuating coal, let us instead become again that country that, when put to the test, built socialism in one country!

Wind and solar power can meet our new energy needs through technology available today. All we need is the political will to harness it. Naysayers like Mr. Osterbrook will leave us in the dustbin of history!

Isaac Bloom
Minneapolis, June 29, ?

Read the original, here.