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« Hockey Stick Illusion denial | Main | Horner on the struggle for the Mann emails »
Thursday
Apr262012

A right royal fail

Judging from the reactions, the Royal Society's report on population looks to be a new low in its rapid descent into scientific irrelevance. Their outpourings do at least seem to have inspired some excellent work from thinking writers. In particular, Ben Pile and Tim Worstall have excelled themselves.

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Reader Comments (72)

There are many links back to Ehrlich and his dystopian views, many of which track back to the totalitarian views of the nasty misanthropes and depressed anarchists and nihilists of the late 19th century. It is a shame that this crowd or doomsayers has taken over the RS.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

It looks to me as thought the hysterics have opened another front, but "winning" is the same, less fossil fuels, transfer of wealth from my grandchildren to autocrats in third world countries, less consumption (an old one this since the invention of "conspicuous consumption") and a generally all round green lifestyle overseen by an authoritorian world government. What's not to like?

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I do have a question for the Fellows though. Many of whom I admire and would, given their talent, emulated. What on earth are you doing standing by while the venerated society you hold in your care descends into a mouthpiece for a small, unelectable, group of green fanatics. We can't stop the slide, but you can, come on chaps, and chapesses, assert your scienctific credentials and oust the activists who've hijacked your Society.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Easy, the glass is bigger than we perceive.
===========

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"Easy, the glass is bigger than we perceive."

As enigmatic phrases go that's right up there with, "The Count is eating kippers with the Duke."

Could you put a little more meat on the bones Kim?

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

geronimo,
You raise an interesting question: What is it that drives the Malthusians to persis, no matter how often they are proven wrong?
It appears to a be a sort of social pathology.

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

What? And ruin all the fun? Please, it's epic fail when I try to explain myself.

It's not a half full or half empty glass. Techno-optimists vs Malthusian pessimists, is it any contest?

Now, pushing the metaphor to shattering resonance; the glass will enlarge until Nature won't let it.
==================

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

More evidence of the green intellectual rot in the RS. Those commentaries by Pile and Worstall are powerful reminders of good intellects at work. When people preen themselves with the honours and trappings of such a Society, it really does behove them to have higher standards.

I am with geronimo's 4:57PM plea. It is time for a revolution. A revolution to revert to the high ideals of Nullius in Verba, and to spurn the sloppy ones of Ehrlichian/Porrittian self-indulgence and posturing.

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The 'we know best' mind set is there for all to see in the small part of this document that I've read: That even if "we" no longer rule the world and it's waves, we should still act as if that is the case. These days the sentiment is wrapped in the garment of environmentalism that has rooted itself in, apparently, different political constituencies. But the essence is the same.

Science is portrayed as one of the levers of power to enable government for 'the greater good'. Traditional economic accounting is seen as needing to be re-written by those who think they already know the answer.

Such a patrician, patronising approach, even if well meant, is probably doomed to failure. The "sustainability" maxim is applied without acknowledgement that we would not have progressed to where we are today if that view was taken from the outset.

Human ingenuity and innovation will contribute most to the real solutions for the worlds very real problems, not high-handed bureaucracy telling humans what not to do.

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

See also the good comments from Mark Lynas.

The Royal Society has jumped the shark with this one.

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

And don't overlook Matt Ridley's piece on the subject:

http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/5560-matt-ridley-responds-to-the-royal-societys-people-and-the-planet.html

Quote:

"Remember: no non-renewable resource has yet run out, whereas several renewable ones have: great auks, for example."

Apr 26, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor Sir Paul do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in Carlton House Terrace and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his left wing, poor thing.

Apr 26, 2012 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Humans are just an awful, awful problem.

Apr 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

P.S. What's the solution? Cancer? Heart disease? I'm trying to do my bit - I smoke and I have a terrible diet. How are you helping?

Apr 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Another good quote from Matt Ridley:

Of course, if human populations were smaller there would be less impact on the planet's resources. But since voluntary mass suicide does not appeal to people, the key question is: what level of economic activity leads to lowest birth rates? The surprising answer from all continents over 200 years is: the higher the better ...

Apr 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

The Royal (Navel Gazing) Society says:

The planet has sufficient resources to sustain 9 billion, but we can only ensure a sustainable future for all if we address grossly unequal levels of consumption.

Of course there is more than 1 planet in this solar system and enough resources to support 90bn+. Private enterprise has just announced a plan to mine some of these resources, which could be used for future terraforming or colonisation. The Royal Society seems to think this is wrong, and wealthy people's resources should simply be re-distributed. With a hefty percentage deducted for administration. Why are the Royal Society looking inward, not out? Scrap their funding and take a stake in Planetary Resources instead.

Apr 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

On Channel 4 the other night was a programme about the jungle in Borneo, Inside Nature's Giants.

Some amazing stats were quoted including one along the lines that ants on their own weighed more than the total world population of humans. The programme also explained the exploitative "protection" rackets the anst organised with other creatures including trees.

Even if we were to dissappear, the critters would consume and consume until they exhausted the available food supply or were wiped out by other predators. and so it would go on.

Paul

Apr 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Maynard

It is clear that they do not have a correct interpretation of back radiation...

:P

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman

Poverty requires children for support in old age. Riches require heirs. Affluence does not require offspring but enables choice in the matter and experience shows that leads to reduced birth rates. It is affluence, born of freedom, which endows sustainability.

Centrally planned affluence: what can possibly go wrong?

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Interesting to see this on a CiF live update thread - what's going on with that BTW? do they expect some grand conclusion to arise out of this at the end of today? - the buffoon John Vidal misquoting Matt Ridley when "interviewing" Sulston, and then they both go off on a jag about how absurd Ridley and his Rational Optimist book is. Matt Ridley is given a chance to put the record straight there thoughand they both come out looking stupid. The sound of those two snorting their derision whilst wallowing n their Malthusian delight was pretty sickening.

What a sorry bunch the RS have let themselves be seen as.

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

My last link to the Vidal/Sulston audio on the CiF live update thread was borked

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The RS seems (madly, sadly?) determined to prove its own irrelevance to anything or anybody of real importance.

Apr 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

An interesting insight from a Royal Society blog post of a few month's ago

(extract)

Jonathon Porritt started his lecture, and in fact his career, with the economist and environmental thinker, David Fleming. Jonathon and David wrote the first Green Party (or the UK Ecology Party, as it was known back then) Manifesto in 1978. Sadly, David died a few weeks ago at the age of 70. Since then, Jonathon has written extensively on a whole range of environmental issues, and has been quite vocal on what he sees as one of our biggest challenges – population growth.

During his lecture, Jonathon pointed us to the thoughtful arguments put forward in Tim Jackson’s book, ‘Prosperity without growth – economics for a finite planet’. The need to decouple economic activity from environmental damage is certainly an idea that Jonathon has bought into. As Jonathon told us in his lecture, Tim Jackson’s work sets out what we need to achieve by 2050. The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report suggests that achieving a 450 parts per million (ppm) stabalisation target means getting global carbon dioxide emissions down to below 4 billion tonnes per annum by 2050 or soon after (in 2007 we were at 30 billion tonnes of CO2 per annum). That means reducing annual emissions by an average rate of 4.9 per cent per year between now and 2050. But income and global population are not going in that direction.

Tim Jackson takes the Ehrlich equation (Impact = population x affluence x technology) to unravel the arithmetic of growth. Using the UN’s mid-range estimate of global population in 2050 – 9 billion people – and assuming business as usual conditions, the decline in carbon intensity balances out the growth in population, meaning that carbon dioxide emissions will increase at the same rate as the average income – 1.4 per cent a year. This means that by 2050, average carbon dioxide emissions are 80 per cent higher than they are today – that’s a long way from the IPCC’s stabalisation target!

Jonathon Porritt sees this necessary transition as a transition from ‘dumb growth’ (growth in GDP) to ‘smart growth’ (growth within environmental limits). He also thinks that we need to stop seeing population as a taboo subject. Where was population in the recent Cancùn climate change summit, he asks? There were one or two side sessions, such as the one held by Population Action International. Peter Preston at the Guardian has offered us his thoughts on this. One of the aims of the Royal Society’s ‘people and the planet’ study is to get population back on the agenda. The study will make a contribution to the 2012 ‘Rio + 20’ UN earth summit, amongst other high-profile events. Tim Jackson and Jonathon Porritt are both members of the ‘People and the Planet’ working group.

http://blogs.royalsociety.org/in-verba/2010/12/20/the-death-of-environmentalism/

Apr 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

geronimo: "... transfer of wealth from my grandchildren to autocrats in third world countries,..."

Did I understand you rightly that you are afraid that wealth might make its way to 3rd world autocrats? Where do you suppose the oil dollars are going at the moment?

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

There must be some green 'politburo' setting the agenda. Haunting the Library spotted a new paper on precisely this theme earlier this year

http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/global-warming-and-over-procreators-what-about-coercion-asks-eco-professor/

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Following the publication of Svensmark's paper I am just glad I am a Fellow of the Royal Astonomical Society and not a Fellow of the Royal Society

Thinking Scientist, FRAS

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

I quite agree that the Royal Society has no business producing a report such as this, which appears to be mainly political in character. Doing so can only further worsen its reputation as a scientific body.

Having said that, I do rather agree with the RS that substantial further growth in population can be expected to result in disbenefits for most inhabitants of the world.

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

I'm all in favour of population control.
Since the Greens are so wound up about it they can set the rest of us an example by not breeding.

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Most of the benefits we each enjoy today arise from the increase in population over the centuries. Economic progress, the benefits of mass markets, the ready availability of food and power all become easier with development, not harder. There are resources more than enough for any realistic future population. Treating people simply as units of consumption in order to cull or control their numbers is inhuman. It's time these people looked their fellow men in the eyes and saw the potential and humanity implicit in each and every one of them. I'm afraid I find this neo-malthusianism utterly depraved.

Apr 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

I opened it, saw the toothless wonder of Mr Nurse, realised it was totally pointless reading it and closed it again.

Apr 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Some might also be interested in the self-proclaimed Good Club (but Sir Paul wasn't at home...).

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Bitbucket: "Did I understand you rightly that you are afraid that wealth might make its way to 3rd world autocrats? Where do you suppose the oil dollars are going at the moment?"

I have it on good authority that the oil money is being used to fund a well organised misinformation campaign designed to confuse the people into not believing the earth isn't going to warm enough to melt all the ice-caps and cause 500m increases in sea-level. It must have worked because the gloomists have switched to population control by... you've got it! "World Government!".

As I understand it the oil money currently going to third world authoritarian governments goes to them because they are sitting on top of the oil in their countries. A transfer of wealth on the other hand would can only be achieved by deliberately taking our own populations into poverty, or at least "relative poverty" from where we are now, and would involve vast sums of "readies" being taken by the UN, or one of its agencies, and distributed by them to those they wish to distribute the money to. This means mainly Africa and parts of South America, as the Indians, South Africans, Mexicans, Chinese, Brazilians and many parts of Asia are already pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and we can expect to see falling population growth as it happens.

The evidence is clear, you cannot eradicate poverty, hunger and disease by giving people money, what they need is jobs, motor cars, ipads and all the much maligned consumption of the Western Industrial Societies, where all the evidence shows that child mortality drops along with the birth rate and population growth drops. (Which can be a worry also, but we're getting around that now with immigration, at least for the time being). The poor people of the world need trade to improve their lot, not money because such money as gets to them merely alleviates their problems, while increasing economic activity needs educated healthy human beings to fuel the engine, and even authoritarian governments recognise that this resource has to be nurtured to continue economic growth.

Apr 27, 2012 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

My greenie friend Megan is doing her bit. She announced at work that she was going to ensure a better world for her children by not having children.

Tragic because instead of really caring for her own real children she will bat out her time pretending to care about abstract ideas like the ratio of gases in the atmosphere in the next century.

Apr 27, 2012 at 2:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Well, when the RS admitted the charlatan Ehrlich any doubt about its degradation into a lobby group unencumbered by boring fact was removed for good. What they don't seem to realise is that they are selling their credibility for a mess of pottage.

The same has happened with the once respected CSIRO in Australia, which has become an uncritical lobbyist for CAGW. When I were a nipper, in antediluvian times, the CSIRO was a venerated source of scientific wisdom. Now, at least half of the population regards their alarmist propaganda as just that. Many of these people (like farmers) were once its core constituency.

Future governments that may wish to cut back support for CSIRO will find it a lot easier to do, thanks to its ill-advised excursions into political controversy. Scientists are openly saying that it is purveying rubbish, which would never have happened in the days when it stuck to science.

The RS may see short-term gains in trashing its brand, but the long term damage is likely to be irretrievable.

Reading Tim Worstall's article, I can only be appalled that such undergraduate errors got through this supposed pinnacle of academic excellence. And as he says, these are just the ones I happen to know something about. How many others are there?

Apr 27, 2012 at 2:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

geronimo: "designed to confuse the people into not believing the earth isn't going to warm ..." wow is this a double-negative competition? Nice one!

So I think I understand. The oil $ are going to the oil autocrats and what we are really quite sure of is that we don't want the UN or anyone else giving the $ instead to any other set of autocrats. The oil autocrats are our kind of guys!

But maybe if we use less oil we can avoid giving so many $ to either set of autocrats? Just a thought.

Apr 27, 2012 at 4:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BitBucket said "Did I understand you rightly that you are afraid that wealth might make its way to 3rd world autocrats? Where do you suppose the oil dollars are going at the moment?"

Well yes they are. And most of them come back in the form of their new infrastructure they are buying from us. Have you seen Dubai or Shanghai lately? But then I guess you would have us send not only oil money abroad, for the energy we run our autos on, but also now we should start generating electricity with wind and solar and such, and send trillions more money abroad to 3rd world autocrats to help third world countries fight climate change? Right?

Obama promised 100 billion a year for the next ten years in his first state of the union address. I'm sure it would continue after that. Oh, and I almost forgot. Don't even think about exploring for more oil or shale gas that would work just fine in autos. Obama's EPA tries to stop every attempt at new sources. Plus most greens hate nuclear.

You need to read Donna's post on this. Good reading. http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/04/21/mother-mexico-the-jackals/

Apr 27, 2012 at 5:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGil Grissom

Bitbucket: "geronimo: "designed to confuse the people into not believing the earth isn't going to warm ..." wow is this a double-negative competition? Nice one!"

Spotted the double negative once I'd posted, usually on this site the denizens tend to be courteous and therefore more forgiving in terms of syntax, so one tends not to see sneering at grammatical mistakes, we usually just address the arguments.

"So I think I understand. The oil $ are going to the oil autocrats and what we are really quite sure of is that we don't want the UN or anyone else giving the $ instead to any other set of autocrats. The oil autocrats are our kind of guys!"

We're not giving any money to oil autocrats, we're buying oil from them. They may be your type of guys, but they're not mine, and maybe if it wasn't for the greens anti-nuclear, anti-shale gas, and anti-human policies we'd be a lot less dependent on them than we are now. We have abundant power sources available to us that the greens are trying stop, yes we could use less oil from the oil-autocrats, but you should look to your friends to find the reason we're not.

"But maybe if we use less oil we can avoid giving so many $ to either set of autocrats? Just a thought."

As I understand it the money to non-oil autocrats has nothing to do with oil, it's to do with redistributing wealth, or whatever weasel words this intention is hidden under in the report.

"The international community must bring the
1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25
per day out of absolute poverty, and reduce the
inequality that persists in the world today. This will
require focused efforts in key policy areas including
economic development, education, family planning
and health."

All of these poor people live in non-democratic, or quasi-democratic states, just how you get the autocrats to focus "...efforts in key policy areas including
economic development, education, family planning
and health," without paying them is difficult to understand, usually we've just ploughed money and made them rich.

I'm not sure who you want to use less oil, who "we" are, but our economies in the west are critically dependent on oil, and to suggest that we use less in the cause of some fantasy catastrophes without anything other than hand-waving as a policy for replacing it just ain't going to work. If you want to use less, tell us how to do it without moving our people back in time in terms of their standard of living. Just a thought.

Apr 27, 2012 at 5:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

O/T but connoisseurs of ridiculae might enjoy:-


http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82594

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

I notice that the level of poverty that demands action is now $1.25, rather than the catchier 'dollar a day'. I wonder if this is to allow for inflation, or whether it allows the number over 1bn to continue being used. [I don't know either way, just curious]

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Some discussion on the $1/$1.25 here:

http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/0,,contentMDK:22510787~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html

Not sure it clarifies things though...

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

More of the 'we know best, do as we say not as we do' moralising. I'd like to see the Authors take part in a "Pepsi Consumption challenge".

I bet these people couldn't even survive on the "average" UK wage, let alone the "poverty level" where the council tax is >20% of income alone.

If these numbers are even ballpark correct.... http://www.poverty.org.uk/summary/key%20facts.shtml
we've been living below the poverty level for some yrs.

I'm wondering how I can follow the authors lead and monetise my new found moral high ground /sarc

Apr 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

A good case in point is James Lovelock, the guru of the Green movement and the RS, now saying he was wrong because empirical data prove the IPCC model predictions to have been wrong. If you look at his background, he trained in Chemistry then became a medical researcher. Thus he was missing key physics' training in statistical thermodynamics, also practical and theoretical heat transfer. Everyone trained in these disciplines immediately sees through the IPCC's false claims.

If only there had been people in the RS who could have said sufficiently early that the IPCC's Energy Budget exaggerated radiative heat transfer by ~an order of magnitude, the RS would not have fallen into the clutches of Malthusians and Eugenicists.

It was they who in 1975 at the Endangered Atmosphere Conference who started the fake CAGW scare as an excuse to justify the Club of Rome/Banker-controlled World government whose avowed intention is to kill billions, a re-run of Nazism. [I know it's a bit early for Godwin's Law!]

Apr 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

A friend pointed this very cogent statement out to me that is just as relevent today.

Referring to Aristotelian experiments intended to illustrate a preconceived “truth” and convince people of its validity, in 1667 Thomas Sprat wrote in: ‘The History of the Royal Society’:

"A most venomous thing in the making of sciences; for whoever has fixed on his cause before he has experimented, can hardly avoid fitting his experiment to his own cause… rather than the cause to the truth of the experiment itself."

Something that the RS would do well to consider.

Apr 27, 2012 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterKon Dealer

Kon D: Exactly the point. Climate science believed until 1997 that CO2 drives the end of ice ages by the GHE. The engineers like me accepted their high feedback argument. Then in 1997, it was shown that CO2 follows T. Instead of accepting this holing underwater of their basic argument, 'the team' apparently decided to create fraudulent science - the hockey stick and fiddling past temperatures to claim modern warming is exceptional [no MWP] and is exaggerated.

So, the RS developed first into advocating fake science and now has changed into proposing Malthusian philosophy merging into a meld of Eugenics and neo-colonialism via the carbon offset plantations and the clearances. This is truly appalling development in World History.

Apr 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

This report could easily be taken apart by a bunch of know-alls with time on their hands. I’ve had a quick look at chapter 5.2 Human wellbeing since wellbeing is what is supposed to replace economic growth in the RS’s brave new world.
After a lot of blather about how money can’t buy you happiness, they finally get to this, and the first and only reference to a peer-reviewed paper

One of the major obstacles to achieving human wellbeing in a sustainable way is that the conventional model assumes that consumption growth is the key to improved wellbeing. Unfortunately consumption growth is also the driving force behind rising environmental impacts. [...] It is hotly contested whether it is possible to deliver wellbeing and raise standards of living without the associated material throughput and environmental impact. This debate hinges on whether it is possible to live a better life by consuming less, and be more sustainable in the process. Evidence from some communities and societies give indications that this may be possible (Pretty 2011).

At last, a reference to peer-reviewed science which suggests that the project being recommended by the Royal Society is both necessary and feasible. One naturally wants to know what communities and societies provide evidence that one can deliver well-being while consuming less. The article will knock you back £30, but here’s the abstract
The emergent human cultures have shaped, and in turn been shaped by, local ecosystems. Yet humanity's intense modification of the environment has resulted in dramatic worldwide declines in natural and cultural capital. Social-ecological systems are becoming more vulnerable through the disruption of livelihoods, governance, institutions, resources and cultural traditions. This paper reviews the environmental sub-disciplines that have emerged to seek solutions for conservation and maintenance of the resilience of social-ecological systems. It shows that a central component is engagement with the knowledges of people within their contexts. Local knowledges of nature (traditional, indigenous, local ecological knowledge and ecoliteracy) are used by place-based cultures to guide actions towards nature. The importance of new engagements between different knowledges is now becoming more widely recognized by scientific institutions. Yet there still exist many false dualisms (for example local knowledge versus science) which tend to emphasize a superiority of one over the other. Ecocultures retain or strive to regain their connections with the environment, and thus improve their own resilience. Revitalization projects offer ways to connect knowledge with action to produce optimal outcomes for both nature and culture, suggesting that systems can be redesigned by emphasis on incorporation of local and traditional knowledge systems.

Please tell me they’re having us on.

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Bullshit baffles brains.....

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

geoffchambers,

Take a look at http://www.julespretty.com/Nature_Culture.html

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Does anyone ever describe the final result of their plans? The utopia we are supposed to live in? Who will be buying them their expensive gear and their £60m super-computers? Not me, I'll be living in a nice little sustainable community, or scratching a subsistence living with barter, I'm not sure which.

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Please tell me they’re having us on.
Please tell me what it means.
If indeed it means anything.
I followed your link and then played my favourite game with the first two paragraphs:
Words per sentence: 27.6 (I kid you not)
Passive sentences: 41% (anything over 10 makes comprehension of long passages more difficult).
Gunning Fog index : 18.31 (an indication of the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to easily understand the text on the first reading)
Obviously not intended to be read by anyone with a brain smaller than half the size of Wales.
Mydog sums it up remarkably well -- even assuming there is some sense in it.

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I disagree that the abstract is meaningless. The meaning begins to emerge from the middle of the verbal swamp round about “Local knowledges of nature (traditional, indigenous, local ecological knowledge and ecoliteracy) are used by place-based cultures to guide actions towards nature” continues with “there still exist many false dualisms (for example local knowledge versus science) which tend to emphasize a superiority of one over the other” and finally emerges in it’s primitive glory with “Revitalization projects offer ways to connect knowledge with action to produce optimal outcomes for both nature and culture.”

Rough translation:
Some of us still know how to make our own blow-pipes and penile sheaths (and which end to blow down)

I'm serious. Let's do some crowd-sourced research on this scientific wonder.

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

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