Ehrlich’s Zombie Blog

[This article replaces one which I put up last night when I was rather drunk, and which had the stupid title  “Ehrlich: Fascist”. (Do other bloggers write when they’re half cut? It’s very tempting, since blogging is a kind of simulated human interaction in which you’re quite invisible to your interactee. So you can get plastered or pick your nose while talking to someone. Like in the confessional, or the House of Commons). There’s a lot more to be said on Ehrlich and the totalitarian tendencies of his thought. This post concentrates on one of the bizarre traits he has in common with so many other warmists – the zombie blog. I’ve added Mooloo’s comment to my original post]

Anthony Watts has an article on historically high world grain harvest at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/13/corn-up-7-worldwide-paul-ehrlich-of-course-sees-agricultural-collapse/

He mentions Paul Ehrlich and his forty plus years of predicting imminent famine. Anthony does this stuff well, and to an audience of hundreds of thousands, so it might seem churlish to criticise, but I I disgree most strongly with this:

“Every university has their own nutty professor. As long as people recognize that Paul Ehrlich is just that, and that none of his gloom and doom scenarios have come true, we’ll all be fine. Ehrlich is the poster child for why tenure shouldn’t be a permanent thing, but one that you have to be reviewed at some interval to keep.”

My reasoned argument is that if university authorities start reviewing tenure,  Lindzen might be the first for the high jump – you just can’t tell. There’s a moral argument to be made as well, for which my authority is Noam Chomsky, Jewish defender of Palestinian rights, who wrote a preface to a book by a notorious Holocaust denier, Professor Faurisson, who was relieved of his post as professor of history  at the university of Lyon because of his political beliefs. This provoked an enormous scandal in France, with leftwing intellectuals who had idolised Chomsky for his anti-imperialism denouncing him as a pro-Nazi.There’s a full discussion of the subject at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faurisson_affair

in which Chomsky is quoted as saying:

“It seems to me something of a scandal that it is even necessary to debate these issues two centuries after Voltaire defended the right of free expression for views he detested. It is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adopt a central doctrine of their murderers.”

So there Anthony. I disagree wih you, while defending to the death your right to blah blah (Who said that?)

But back to Ehrlich, who was in the news for being made a Fellow of the Royal  Society, forty years after predicting that we Brits would by now be an island of savages reduced to eating members of the Royal Family in order to survive. It’s not quite true, is it? And why should we give you a prize for saying it was?

Ehrlich is not any old nutty professor. He’s been at Stanford for centuries, he’s been on more lists of hundred most influential thingies than you”ve had hot dates, and he’s still going strong. And he has this organisation – MAHB – which Ehrlich says means Millenium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere, even though it was originally conceived as the Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior. (Next week: My Ass Hurts Bad. Who cares? Only those who formulate the Hundred Greatest Thinkers blah blah  articles for Time Magazine and company).

When I found out about this organisation of nutty professors from Stanford to Upsalla I naturally went to their site and came upon this latest article

http://mahb.stanford.edu/groups/ayurvedicproduct-blog-get-rid-of-excess-weight/

Yes, I know. But three hours ago I could read it, in all its glorious South Asian prose, which had apparently been up for several weeks, but which neither I nor Wayback saw fit to record. However, thanks to Google I can reveal the scientific marvels which MAHB (copyright Stanford and Upsalla Universities) has since suppressed.

“Patients can get rid of blood pressure. Excess weight is not only unsightly but disease forming. With the help of non medicinal natural products and by teaching patients how to read Ayurvedic Herbal Cure Blog: Get Rid of Knee, Hip and Joint Pain. How to Get Rid of Kapha Dosha. Many Ayurvedic practitioners believe that diabetes is caused by excessive kapha . but you should get rid of excess kapha if you think you may have an imbalance. Symptoms of excess kapha include mucous congestion, weight gain, excessively Excess weight is not only unsightly but disease forming Got ama? Vatas, the joints (causing cracking joints); Kaphas, the fat (causing weight gain). Gentle exercise helps our bodies get rid of toxins by encouraging bowel Other specific herbs and spices help with excess ama, according to the …. Blog at WordPress. com.”

There were no comments at the Ayurvedic Herbal Cure article, which alas, I failed to record. Neither were there any comments at the previous article by Partha Dasgupta and Paul Ehrlich on April 28th: Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus”

“Partha Dasgupta and Paul Ehrlich highlight the ubiquity of externalities of decisions made by each of us on reproduction, consumption, and the use of our natural environment… We show that externalities at the nexus are not self-correcting in the marketplace. We also show that fundamental nonlinearities, built into several categories of externalities, amplify the socio-ecological processes operating at the nexus. Eliminating the externalities would, therefore, require urgent collective action at both local and global levels. To read more, access the full article here.”

Accessing the full article costs twenty dollars for twenty four hours. So I turned to the previous article:

http://mahb.stanford.edu/whats-happening/sex-and-earth-day/

Award-Winning Environmental Film Describes an Unorthodox Way to Slow Global Warming and a Free Way to Watch it

 April 1, 2013, Denver – Even though sex and global warming are rarely discussed in the same sentence, much less in the same film, the long ignored truth was recently explored in the 2011 award- winning environmental documentary Mother: Caring for 7 Billion.  In celebration of Earth Day, the filmmakers of Mother announced the Internet release of their 2013 “Director’s Cut” of  Mother that will stream for free on the Internet from April 19 until the end of May.  Christophe Fauchere, the director and co-producer stated,  “We want Mother to be viewed by as many people as possible for Earth Day because Mother holds up a mirror and shows people a very different way to look at their role on this planet.”  As Lisa Hymas from The Grist  went on to say in her article  “This is not your father’s population documentary…  Mother takes a feminist/humanist view as it explores the issues of our exploding numbers.”   

 The journey to make the film was not always easy.  Mireya Navarro in her New York Times Green Blogwrote about the making of Mother  “they (the filmmakers) found some environmental groups reluctant to address the subject for fear of alienating their supporters.  One group hung up on them when they called..”  Writer Sacha Vignieri added to this environmental urgency in her Science magazine review “Our choice to avoid discussion of the population issue, however, will not make the problems disappear. Christophe Fauchere’s film Mother: Caring for 7 Billion encourages us to reengage, both publicly and personally, with the reality of what our increasing population will bring.”   

 Mother: Caring for 7 Billion (2011) is currently being shown in hundreds of classrooms around the country and is being broadcast throughout the world…

The Millenium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere clearly aims to hve an impact on the world –  the kind of impact that few movements in world history have had. Yet the last three articles on their website have received a total of zero comments in the past six weeks. Within hours of my linking to the site, the apparently unwelcome Ayurvedic article disappeared. The apparently welcome article about sex and the streaming Mother remains up, though uncommented.

[Here I had a comment about Ehrlich being a fascist, which I remove because it was completely  unsupported by evidence. I plead tiredness and emotionality. There’s a lot more to say about the social and political origins of Ehrlich’s weird freaky failed prophesies, and their appeal to the likes of the members of the Royal Society. Another time. I finished like this..]

No-one is listening. No-one is commenting at his blog. Absolutely no-one is interested in his message, except, of course, his colleague at the university of Uppsala, those who voted him in at the Royal Society, and those who support his message in the governing establshments of the English-speaking countries.

People made fun of Hitler because only twenty-odd freaks turned up to his first meetings. NO-ONE is turning up to Ehrlich’s meetings. Yet his political message governs the policies of the major democratic nations of the world.

This should worry us.

One Response to Paul Ehrlich: Fascist. [reposted here]

 Mooloo says:

May 15, 2013 at 5:53 am

His message isn’t remotely getting any policy traction.

NZ’s politicians keep wanting to increase our population. There is much whining in the press about our aging population and net immigration rate. Sure there’s a racist overtone (because the outgoing are more often white than the incoming) but no-one gets any traction with the idea that we should be reducing our population. China aside, no-one has tried very hard to reduce population, and many countries actively reward breeding.

Nor do politicians actually try to reduce consumption in any free countries. In fact the general theme all over the world is one of desperately trying to increase it. His Malthusian message of running out of raw materials is so obviously wrong that it isn’t even worth engaging with.

Ehrlich is like the medieval Pope. Right, in principle. Totally ignored, in practice.

The gongs are there to shut him up – since establishment scientists are ignored, on principle, by most people. What traction Chomsky has is largely because no-one suspects him for a second of giving the line the people in power want to hear.

This entry was posted in Phantom Bodies & Zombie Blogs, Weirdos. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ehrlich’s Zombie Blog

  1. steveta_uk says:

    Only commenting to show that at least someone is listening, Geoff, so you’re doing better than Ehrlich.

  2. alexjc38 says:

    Wandering among the “nodes” of MAHB is an interesting – if rather lonely – experience. They don’t seem very “node-ish” actually, as there’s not much evidence that I can see of planet-saving ideas flowing productively to and fro amongst them.

    There’s probably more activity going on in the forum; this, however, is out of bounds to non-members, although you can eavesdrop on comments by clicking on “Activity”.

    Along with the expected sorts of exchanges – for example, about how to reframe the “challenges” of climate change as “exciting opportunities” for the young (good luck with that) – check out the more *cough* entrepreneurial entries, such as “Tallahassee’s One Stop Car Shop”, Tiffany Spark’s (real name?) ad for “Lighting by Lux”, and – my favourite – “Hotdogcollars – Blings For Your Dogs” by the curiously named “Casey Humper”.

    MAHB, it seems, caters for all occasions. When you are feeling a bit down after reading “Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption and Environment Nexus”, you can then cheer up by ordering some new bling for your dog! Sorted.

  3. alexjc38 says:

    On reflection, my apologies to Tiffany Sparks and Casey Humper, who are probably real people and trying to make an honest buck (and whose names are really no more unusual than my own.)

    Having a reliable used car, decent lighting and a few pet accessories has surely contributed to the sum of human happiness far more than a thousand treatises on “pervasive externalities”.

  4. Thanks Steveta. Mooloo commented too, but my auto-censorship turns his comment into part of the article.
    It’s traditional to view bloggers as obsessive losers in bedsits. It can’t be over-emphasised that zombie blogs can be run by government departments, (NESTA) or financed by hugely influential trusts and charities and universities, purvey the thoughts of Royal Society fellows, and still get zero traffic.
    Alex, I was thinking how the internet is to the early 21st century what the automobile was to the early 20th (not a very original thought) and how we’ve got it all wrong. We imagine the early automobile as the preserve of the Great Gatsbys, when the majority of traffic was just people going about their business, but vastly more efficiently than before. Same thing for the internet. Let’s celebrate the site of the Millenium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere as the workplace of Tiffany Sparks and Casey Humper. Good luck to them.

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