Monday, May 24, 2010

Compare and contrast

Two items from the Sunday Times:

There are many important people who don’t want to hear the good news, who see globalisation and uncontrolled trade as a threat to everything they hold dear. They include our national Eeyore, Prince Charles, and his landowner chums of the Soil Association, who say that what they call “sustainability” can only be achieved through self-sufficiency and a rejection of agricultural science. As Ridley observes, based on a whirlwind tour of every sort of society at every point in history, self-sufficiency is just a posh word for poverty: the two are inseparable. It is, of course, those furthest from starvation who find this fact hardest to appreciate.

Dominic Lawson reviews The Rational Optimist, How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

The ultimate solution, he says, is for us all to live less decadently — growing our own food and recycling instead of replacing goods: “People must drop their standard of living [so] the wealth can be spread about. There’s a long way to go.”

Actor Jeremy Irons launches his bid to be the green Michael Moore


Recusant said...

I liked the, "self-sufficiency is a posh word for poverty", and that "without fossil fuels 99% of us would have to live and work as slaves so that 1% could have a decent standard of living".

worm said...

surely technological and scientific agricultural advances, (if they were allowed to happen) could offer the propect of genuine, non-poverty related self-sufficiency. (like people living on mars for instance)

malty said...

A recent conversation with one of malty junior's German friends, 'a prominent member of the North Rhein graun party' (veering towards dunkelgrun I felt)
"those fools are spreading salt on the roads again"
"it's to stop people dying in road accidents"
"they mustn't do it, it harms the environment"
"what's your alternative then"
"there isn't one, the cars must be taken off the roads"

Looney or what, except, this person has serious clout in the running of the Lander, exasperated and being a Geordie I suggested that he was a wally. Later, judging by his demeanour, someone had explained what it meant.
He made his statement in a loud Berlin accent, in a room full of people who design and engineer motor cars, add tactless prat to wally, Herr Wally Prat

David said...

"[O]ur national eeyore" is a great phrase.

worm said...

malty - that chap sounds very typically german!!!

Mark said...

My understanding is that in the election the Green Party here polled half the votes of UKIP and about one-third of the votes of the BNP.

I guess those at the top of the pile often feel threatened by inventions which improve the quality of life for the great mass of folks, thus narrowing the gap with their alleged masters.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Australia.

Please check out this essay which gives a very sobering assessment of the state of the world altogether, and how we got to here.

Further essays are available here:

Plus 2 related references.

David said...

"[O]ur national eeyore" may have met its antithesis in "Further essays are are available."

It the two opposites ever touch, the result would be an earth-shattering explo.... Uh oh.