Thursday, January 12, 2006

Malthus Lives!

Worldwatch Institute claims that booming nations 'threaten Earth' (BBC)

Asian prosperity bothers Western liberal "do-gooders" comfortable in their cushy, energy-intensive lifestyles. What a surprise?

Their sensationalist headlines are meant to frighten ordinary Joe and Jane -- i.e. Western voters -- about rising India and China. Consequently, these environmentalists represent a clear and present threat to the prosperity of our people.

Reality is that the only resources humans really need to achieve exceptional living standards are curiosity, imagination, and freedom. Armed with these, we can tame the universe to our ends.

Best part is, these resources are infinite and ever-lasting! Neo-Malthusians fail to understand this.

India's response to environmentalist provocation should be clear -- we intend raising our prosperity, and consequent energy needs, to Western standards and woe be unto anyone who stands in our way.


cynical nerd said...

PR: Well said. This is not the first time that this has been said.

Nevertheless, if you read the statement from the institute, it simply seem to imply that "Given the competition for resources, India and China are more likely to pioneer new approaches (incl. renewable) rather than come late to the party like the West".

Me thinks it is a classic BBC editorializing masquendaring as reporting.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, my friend :) It was all hunky dory so far because the West was used to viewing 'em as "third worlders" a nameless, identity-less entity fit only for their tolerance. Now that it's changing at a pace they can't take, the tremors are growing thunderous.


Indianpad said...

I wish curiosity, imagination, and freedom alone could feed the appetites of all Indians. Energy is going to be a issue going forward and will be a big problem for all developing countries. You may jump up and down bu that wont make the issue go away!

libertarian said...

indianpad, here's a tidbit on energy. If all the rooftops in the US were covered with solar panels they would generate over 700 tera watts. That's over 80% of the US's energy requirements (residential _and_ commercial). Given the recent (and continuing) progress with solar panels, and given India's dream solar location (largely within the tropics), we can almost certainly meet our forseeable requirements with solar alone if necessary. Then there's nuclear and wind, and Qatari and Burmese gas. I'd bet on an India powered by abundant energy, rather than a energy-scrimping country. Of course harnessing this energy requires large doses of curiosity, imagination, and freedom.

libertarian said...

sorry - that should read 700 giga watts - not 700 tera watts.

Anonymous said...

I dont know, really. The headline seems to be a classic case of sensationalism. The article tapers towards the end in naming a couple of enviroment friendly steps China/India have taken, although I'm suprised that it doesnt list India's thrust towards Solar heating.

I DO wonder about what will happen when 2.5 billion will lead lives as extravagantly as the Yanks do, now. The emphasis IMO should be on cleaner technology - and at least in India I see it happening. eg: Our 2-wheeler emission norms are if not THE stringest, amongst the stringest in the world, a lot of our vehicles are moving towards CNG and LPG, when we have a smaller base. And there is a lot of awareness, at least in the urban, semi-urban sphere on renewable energy sources.

Anonymous said...

China's developmental model has always had scan regard for the environment and the enormous damage they are self-inflicting is much worse than India, anyday. There are quite a few studies done by different environmental agencies and I remember some Nat Geo channel programs on the impact of appalling Chinese industrial practises.

Anonymous said...

prev comment - edit to "scant regard"

Apollo said...

This a classic case of white man's xenophobia.china & india make easy targets they are very big and very populous. but frankly it is the US and EU that are the problem. together they produce 50-60% of the world's greenhouse gases today and not to mention that they both had a 200 year headstart over both india & china.therefore over 99% of the world's pollution and environmental degration can be placed squarely at their doorstep.
the british bathroom cleaners'(BBC) report is mischievous at best.

Apollo said...

Definition of mischief according to
mis·chie·vous ( P ) Pronunciation Key (msch-vs)
Causing mischief.
Playful in a naughty or teasing way.
Troublesome; irritating: a mischievous prank.
Causing harm, injury, or damage: mischievous rumors and falsehoods

nukh said...

hmm, do i detect the laying of groundwork for the birth of - chindia or indchin ?

nukh said...

i hust had to share this one - inch.
get it?

libertarian said...

nukh: give them an "inch" ... and they'll bust up the planet :-)

nukh said...

good one lib..
i have another one - [chin] up, up, up and away...
and yes, i am taking my medication.


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