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More Cosmic Billiards Commentary

As he promised, Brink Lindsey has come quickly up to speed on the asteroid question. It's a good survey of the problem with some good recommendations, and I appreciate his commendation of my knowledge, but there are many who both follow this issue, and are more knowledgeable about it than me. I've just been fortunate enough to have a venue (here and Fox News) to sound the trumpet. Now that Brink has taken up the cudgel, we can make some serious public-policy progress.

(And I don't know whether or not I'm smarter than Jay Manifold or not, but again I appreciate the thought and I doubt that I know more about this particular issue than he does.)

He makes one other point.

One final thought: I think it's interesting that the enviro's haven't gotten hold of this issue. They're suckers for apocalyptic scenarios, and asteroid or comet impacts offer real and plausible threats of ecological catastrophe. So why aren't the greens all over this? Their apathy would seem to be solid evidence for the proposition that the environmental movement is often motivated more by hostility to technology and markets than by love of nature. Because here's a threat to nature that can't be laid at the doorstep of capitalism, and that can only be addressed by more technology. As apocalypses go, this one's no fun at all.

Well, actually, it's not really a threat to nature, since it is nature. If you're a Deep Eke, there's no problem with a natural event wiping out species wholesale, befouling the air and water, devastating vast expanses of the planet--that's, after all, by definition, natural.

It's only evil, and a thing to be battled, when we do it.

Never mind that we're a part of nature ourselves...

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 22, 2002 02:09 PM
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Just a quick recycled comment I already backchanneled to Brink: I think the enviros are silly too, but I wouldn't be too hard on them about this particular blind spot, or even attribute it to antitechnological or anti-market attitudes. They want to think that Earth is a self-regulating system, and it usually is, but the rest of the Solar System has other ideas. And a good thing, too, since without the occasional mass extinction, we wouldn't be here.

Posted by Jay Manifold at April 22, 2002 02:32 PM

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