Saturday, August 1, 2009

Obama Science Adviser--Zero Everything Growth

President Obama's top science adviser is telling the President to act on theories which have been totally discredited by the passage of time, logic and moral considerations. That doesn't stop Obama from acting on them. Just like his boss, this adviser can bend his theories to sound like he's actually proposing something considerably milder.

The adviser's name is John P. Holdren. His credentials look like the registry of blue-blood schools. BA from MIT. PhD from Stanford. Professor at U C Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard. He has held lofty positions with scientific organizations throughout his entire professional career. And he has topped it all off by becoming Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Wow! Oh, and he's also more than a little nuts.

If you have a tendency to use Wikipedia as your source of information, I strongly suggest you discontinue that practice. Holdren's biography, and particularly the section entitled "controversy," is a puff piece, pure and simple. If I had to bet, I would guess it was written by either Holdren or a very loyal disciple, and edited multiple times to make the whole thing look much tamer than it actually is. The man is a zealot, but his Wiki entry looks like a guy with a couple of theories that were basically right, but completley misunderstood by all the poor uneducated slobs who dared to question him. The only refutation of the underpinning of the criticisms (which are glossed over) come from Holdren himself.

POPULATION GROWTH: Holdren cut his teeth on this issue. He was heavily influenced by the 1968 book by Paul R. Ehrlich entitled The Population Bomb. Ehrlich had predicted that the 200 million people who lived in the United States would reproduce themselves into starvation before the end of the eighties. This was the beginning of the "zero population growth" movement, already in full swing in the far more "sophisticated" European nations. Like all the other theories of apolocalyptic and milennial writers, the end never came. Not even close.

But if you're a highly-educated, highly-degreed savant, the utter failure of a theory doesn't mean it's wrong. Holdren never takes the opportunity to discuss how the Europeans ended up having to import fecund laborers from the Middle East to build up the base of their massive social welfare ponzi schemes since they dropped well below zero population growth themselves.

In 1969, thirsting for fame and fortune, and academic chops, Holdren joined up with his idol and co-wrote several highly-admired academic treatises in co-authorship with Ehrlich on the same subject. Holdren argued that "if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come." By 1973, Holdren was saying "210 million now is too many and 280 million by 2040 is likely to be much too many." I hasten to point out that the current population of the United States is somewhere between 305 million and 315 million, depending on whose figures you believe. And according to the Obamacrats, our problem is that Americans are too fat, not starving. You got some 'splainin to do, Professor.

In 1977, once again in partnership with Ehrlich and Ehrlich's wife Anne, Holdren wrote a textbook that an entire generation of American students took as gospel. It was entitled Ecoscience, Population, Resources, Environment. For the first time, Holdren added radical environmentalism to his already failing theory. Only in academia and among true believers can crazy and failed theories become good again by the addition of more crazy theories.

So what does the good professor have to say in this magnum opus? He advocates a variety of solutions (to the problem that didn't exist) ranging from voluntary family planning to enforced population controls, including but not limited to forced abortions and government limits on the number of children each family could produce. That's the part Wikipedia soft-pedaled. They claim these were just possible alternatives, which were followed by Holdren's statement that he actually recommended "the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences." That latter statement is pure fabrication. If you can find a copy of the original book, I challenge you to read it and then tell me that those were "possible alternatives," not advocacy.

In the 2009 hearings confirming Holdren to his position as Science and Technology Director, Holdren continued his denials. He testified to the Senate Committee that he does not believe that government should have a role in determining the optimal population size, and that he never endorsed forced sterilization. The same Senators who voted for three massive economy-destroying bills in a row without reading them took Holdren's word for it because otherwise they might have had to read his books. God forbid. As someone who was very actively involved in the world of academia contemporaneously with Holdren, I can tell you of my own knowledge that Holdren was advocating, not suggesting.

Today, Holdren hasn't changed his views one iota, despite having advocated a theory that was based on junk science, poor research, political agendas, and pure nonsense which turned out to be entirely wrong. Now, as in the Senate hearings, he claims his solutions were merely suggestions, and ignores the fact that the underlying theory has turned out to be a massive error.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: Holdren's theories on the economy got very little notice. They should have. He furnished the administration with a policy paper based almost entirely on his academic paper published in May of 2009 and entitled Science in the White House. His policy paper submitted to the President and the Council contains major portions of his chapter (from the book referenced above with the two Ehrlich's) entitled Changing American Institutions. And where did he get the brilliant ideas included in the White House Paper? Where else? He got them from his own writings from the 70s.

Holdren calls America the leader in humanity's reckless exploitation of the earth. "It would be entirely logical to set limits on the amount of product a nation needs and then strive to reduce the amount of work required to produce such a product [and, we might add, to see that the product is much more equitably distributed than it is today]." The authors call a healthy economic growth pattern "growthmania." "It is logical that economists have clung to their 'growthmania' since natural scientists often cling to outmoded ideas that have produced far less palpable benefits than the growing mixed economies of the Western world in the twentieth century. " You mean outmoded ideas like overpopulation and global warming?

"The question of whether a different economic system might have been produced a more equitable distribution of benefits is not one that Western economists like to dwell on." True enough, Professor. That question was addressed by a theoritician almost as famous as you--Karl Marx. And we all know how well Marx's theories worked out, don't we?

Holdren (and the Ehrlichs) clearly believed and advocated the theory that zero population growth and zero economic growth were lofty goals which had to occur at the same time. Time has proven their entire concept to be pure hooey. But that doesn't stop Holdren from continuing to advocate it. Holdren has written that zero economic growth woud be "a threat to some of the most clearly held beliefs of this society and would attack the Protestant work ethic." Those crazy workers will just go out and spend their earnings on "those wonderful automobiles, detergents, appliances, and assorted gimcracks that must be bought if the economy is to continue to grow." For a man who seems to understand the genius of capitalism, he sure doesn't seem to like it much.

And now to the part Obama probably likes best: "The critical question, of course, is how to get around the extraordinary power interests that would be unalterably opposed to maximum income limits and (if possible) even more opposed to direct taxation of wealth." Nothing like a pure ripoff of Das Kapital to warm a budding socialist's heart.

Holdren has written that "it would be entirely logical to cap the Gross National Product (what we now call the Gross Domestic Product or GDP). It is by now abundantly clear that the GNP cannot grow forever. Why should it?" That was in Ecoscience, Population, Resources, Environment referenced above.

Holdren has scarcely been questioned on his economic views, though they are part and parcel of his unified theory of zero everything growth. If pushed, however, no doubt the nutty professor would respond that zero population growth and zero economic growth by any means necessary were merely suggestions, as he has done before. That might have been true when Holdren was writing academic papers, textbooks, and delivering lectures to feeble-minded Harvard, MIT and Berkeley students. But when he put it in a policy paper and delivered it to the President, it ceased to be a suggestion or a possible alternative and became a proposal. For that, Professor Holdren, you should be very, very ashamed of yourself.

27 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - is this the guy who co-authored the paper advocating trees be given legal standing in court?

BevfromNYC said...

How can we stop these people from breeding, Hawk? By "these people", I mean these overbred, undernourished Academics like Holden and Emanuel? Was it something in their potty training that lead them to be so frighteningly anti-human? Every time I read something from some "advisor" to the Obama Administration, it's reads like some Post-Apocalyptic slash Gattica slash Logan's Run slash Orwellian slash Ray Bradbury-ian world they happily want to steer us into. I think I need a drink and it's only 2pm...

AndrewPrice said...

Holy Cow! Everyone needs to read this to understand who this guy is. He's going to be the guy guiding US science policy over the next 3.5 years and he's a total lunatic!

Thanks Lawhawk for a fascinating read.

(As an aside, could you imagine if a conservative made the same claims? They would be tarred as a racist Nazi and drummed out of the scientific community!)

LawHawkSF said...

TennesseeJed: You are well-read. He is exactly that person. I didn't mention it in the article because I didn't think anybody would believe me. Thanks for helping me to prove just how goofy this guy really is.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: That's all right. I re-read the article, and I'm ready for a drink. It's only 11:30 AM here, and I don't even drink! But I'm considering it.

Andrew: In light of what you commented, I guess I would say that the last time a guy was put in charge of government planning with credentials that long and theories that crazy, his name was Josef Mengele, and it didn't turn out at all well. Good call-out.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, that was the name that came to my mind.

StanH said...

With your post last evening Lawhawk and this one today you have confirmed what I had assumed, our government has indeed been taken over by ‘60s radicals. As most here …I’ve heard this same crap for 40yrs. in one fashion or another and as promised so many years ago, “one day we’ll be running things, then you’ll see old man.” Well folks we’ve arrived, “how’s that hope and change working out for you?”

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: Don't give up hope. I was one of those radicals. Those who didn't sober up and get real jobs with real lives went into academia and government. But some of us made that big change. We know their tricks, we know their plan, and we know how to beat them. They are in charge--temporarily. And those of us who did change got married and had lots of kids. We've got the advantage in numbers for the future. I now have offspring numbering three moderate to ultraconservative kids, their spouses, and eight grandkids who already recognize the foolishness in DC. They read The Population Bomb and believed it. We read it and laughed. And after two new generations, we outnumber them about four to one.

StanH said...

Oh no, give up is not in my DNA Lawhawk, I’m a tenacious SOB. Carter cured me of any remaining counter culturist idea’s, “I am healed.” Until 11/4/08 I kept my head down took care of my family, business, voted, paid my taxes, that was it. Not anymore we owe it to our kids to help keep this country the way we found it. I became involved with blogging after reading Gary Graham’s first essay on Big Hollywood, “One Pissed of Dude,” it was an epiphany for me I new I wasn’t alone, and what a ferocious defense of conservatism, an inspiring article, unapologetically American. I to am lucky with both my kids they are conservative/libertarian, and love the USA. No grandchildren yet, but not long I’d imagine.

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent Stan! Great attitude!

Writer X said...

I'm always leary of people with more than three words in their job title. Holdren sounds like a total whacko and a perfect addition to the Obama administration. I also love how he relishes espousing these ridiculous theories and rules, just as long he's high enough on the food chain not to be impacted. Glad to see the Senate Committee rolled over and played dead on another appointment. It's really quite depressing.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: See! We're not alone. You and I apparently even had our epiphany at about the same time (but considering my past, I may have had a slightly longer journey). Great!

WriterX: Remember, President Obama's alternate title is "He who is without blemish or spot and saveth the world and Overseer of Sasha and What's-Her-Name." The only explanation for Holdren's crazy views is that he was in the Stanford science departments too long while they were experimenting with LSD. That doesn't explain why Obama finds Holdren's views so attractive. Or does it?

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, that's why I changed my title from "Lord And Master of the Universe" to just plain, "Attorney".

Seriously though, if this isn't someone the Senate should find objectionable, who would be?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: You changed your title because I sued you for stealing it from me. I called dibs way before you.

Sadly, I don't think this Senate would find a Tasmanian devil objectionable if it was wearing a collar that says "hope and change." In fact, they would probably confirm the little devil as Director of Peace and Public Relations and Lord of the Hinterlands (how's that for a title, WriterX?).

Writer X said...

LOL, I think the more confusing the job title, the better the Senate likes it. They tend to favor/support anything that belongs in a SyFy channel movie. Anything reasonable and believable, not so much.

Andrew, I thought all attorneys were already Lords and Masters of the Universe?? ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, we're tying to soften the image of our profession. ;-)

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: Don't believe Andrew. We don't need to soften the profession's image. We're all about love and sharing. Ya gotta problem with that?

And you're right--the Senate probably thinks the SyFy channel is the History Channel, and they don't even notice the cheesy c.g. effects.

Mike Kriskey said...

Anyone who'd like to know more about the contents of Holdren's book "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," check out this site:

http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

This blogger has extensive excerpts from the book, and scans and photos of the pages in case it starts disappearing off library shelves.

It's truly disturbing stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, I saw that at your site and I paid it a visit. It is stunning stuff.

DCAlleyKat said...

Wow...I'm speechless.

StanH said...

Hey Lawhawk I see on Drudge that SEIU is going on strike against the state of California, now that’s some good thinking, that’ll help with that budget deficit.

LawHawkSF said...

MikeKriskey: Thanks for the excerpts. When analyzing a man's real views, his actual words are the taste that proves the pudding. The important thing to note is that while The Population Bomb was a very popular book and much-read by students (like me), Ecoscience was an actual textbook. I hope plenty of people will take your advice and look at the actual words.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: I'd much rather you spoke and Holdren was speechless.

StanH: The State was getting too close to a final budget deal, and life was going back to near-normality, so it was inevitable that some gang of socialists would decide to upset the apple cart. The SEIU is the perfect choice--with a board that contains no less than two publicly self-ackowledged Maoist Communists. "Service Employees" is another way of saying the Organization of Unskilled Illegal Immigrants. Nobody is quite sure whom they serve, other than their own leftwing agenda.

CrispyRice said...

It's nice to know we're alone, but this sort of stuff leaves me stunned and thinking, "We're lost." *heavy sighs*

This reminds me of a Talking Heads song called "Nothing But Flowers." It seems to be a couple living in an age when society has finally gotten rid of all those evil cars and modern conveniences, but it's not quite the idyll they'd anticipated. If you'll indulge me with some excerpts --

"From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers...

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner...

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower...

This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong...

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies...

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention...

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries...

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle"

I'm sure the song is somewhere on YouTube. It kind of hits me every time I hear it. And now it's going to become reality. Ugh.

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: Good song to express an Obama state of mind. Being older than you, I tend to think of the Beatles' Tax Man and the lesser-known American song Eve of Destruction. But then I have a good meal and talk to my kids, and out comes We Are The Champions.

CrispyRice said...

LOL, LawHawk! I remember Eve of Destruction, too. And something about "in the year 4545, if man is still alive..." How did you guys make it through the '60s without collectively slitting your wrists?? ;)

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: You remember "4545?" I was sure I was the only one left in the world. Remember the near closing line--"Guess it's time for the Judgment Day?" And what makes you think we entirely survived? I still wear long sleeves so nobody will see the scars from my frequent attempts to "escape" from the 60s. LOL

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