Greens are running out of solutionsThe religion of Thomas Malthus is running out of steam. A few of the adherents to this incoherent religion are beginning to scramble for ways to salvage their movement, and make it compatible with rational thought. The true believers have hijacked science and have called us, all of us, self destructive idiots, and thus lost most of the popular support they once had.
Walter Russel Meade has a nice essay on this, borrowing liberally from a recent piece on the dead end their movement has run into by George Monbiot in The Guardian. Money quote:
All of us in the environment movement, in other words – whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse – are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess. None of our chosen solutions break the atomising, planet-wrecking project. I hope that by laying out the problem I can encourage us to address it more logically, to abandon magical thinking and to recognise the contradictions we confront. But even that could be a tall order.But Mead goes much further than Monbiot. He deconstructs the failures of the movement and gets to their causes.
Malthusianism is a religious conviction that desperately needs to think of itself as a science. From Thomas Malthus and his mathematical certainties to Paul Ehrlich with his famine timetables and the Club of Rome with its ‘scientific’ predictions of resource exhaustion, Malthusians have made confident predictions about the future and claimed scientific authority for statements that turned out to be contemptibly silly. That is the brutal fate that often awaits people who can’t keep the boundaries between science and religion straight.We can only hope that a soft landing awaits the movement, if only because humanity has actual challenges to meet, and having a fringe religion that claims to own the issue places itself in opposition to all the rest of us. This is entirely counterproductive, as we face a burgeoning population, all of whom require food, fuel, and housing, and few of whom will embrace a Malthusian solution that requires most of them to die.