X-Message-Number: 15073
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #15062 - Why I still hate the earth.
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 22:28:43 -0800

In Message #15062 Philip Rhoades made some comments in regard to my loving
analysis of the glorious and infinite beauties of this perfect planet we are
graced to live upon, blessed in every way with the joys of death, the
pleasures of grinding agony, the dependability of earthquakes, tornadoes,
volcanoes, and God's greatest gift to life: the ultimate perfection of the
divinely designed human body!

Excuse me a moment while I clean my bifocals and shift my posture to
accommodate my chronic lower back pain.

Phil, you are very welcome to take an optimistic view toward getting people
to willingly abandon their big cars, air-conditioning, refrigeration and
whatever else makes civilization civilized.  I don't see how it can happen
but I am partial to optimism as a general rule.

As shocking as it may seem, what I do not share with many "earth saving"
people is the underlying presumption that this is the "best of all possible
worlds".  I think Rousseau was wrong and the return to nature is not a
return to some higher or more noble state of being.  Maybe that's because I
have actually been there.  (AFTER military service you could NOT find enough
money to pay me to "camp out", thank you!).

One of two points I was attempting to deliver in my earlier post, strictly
as my personal opinion and not as a provable fact, is that the purely
political  manipulation of the masses through 40 years of imminent
ecological doomsday predictions has worked quite well but does nothing to
address the problem - if there is one.  (Six billion lemmings CAN be wrong).

The second point was that technology will HAVE to provide an answer because
nothing else will.  Nothing.

If you contend nanotechnology will NEVER (an amazing word) be able to clean
up the earth's pollution and supposed eco problems and that evolution MUST
take billions of years to create elsewhere what we have on this little
mudball right now, well I just can't imagine how that can be possible.
People in the future will need to take a lot more stupid pills to not
achieve then what we probably can hardly image as possible now.

But maybe you're right.

So then there is NO answer, correct?

If so then if does not matter how much so called personal pollution any one
of rack up, does it?  (Let's rev up the 1957 Chevy with some leaded Mexican
gas and cruise the desert for a few hours, okay?).

Look, let's be simple here.  The authentic cause of the current claimed
"problem" is too many human beings, who require too much fuel and create the
consequent pollution.  So reduce the earth's population by, say, 80% and you
will see a reduction in your pollution.  ("Kill people to save the earth."
Now there's an interesting slogan I WON'T support!).

But then there are those who would contend that it is specifically the
higher consumption levels of the first world countries which create much
more pollution than the rest of the world combined.  So we must be certain
to also reduce the available use of modern technology to "save the earth".

But this does nothing except urge human beings to return to a less "human"
state of existence.  Perhaps some people would get a thrill from living as
serfs in medieval villages, but I would not.  Even my cats think fleas are
nothing to miss now that they can live flea free due to modern chemistry (a
shameless testimonial to cat lovers for Advantage - available from your

At the end of the cinema production of H.G. Wells "Things To Come", the
protagonist scientist (Raymond Massey) spoke stirring words regarding two
potential futures of humankind.  On the one hand we may try to seek rest
from solving our problems through technology here in this world, but rest
comes "all too soon" anyway with the grave.

Or we can seek to rise from this cradle and seize the stars themselves.

He concluded with, "It's either the entire universe or nothing at all.
Which will it be?"

When my father heard those stirring words at a first public screening of
"Things To Come" in 1927 (I believe that was the year), the lights came on
and as he stood to leave, the man who had been seated next to him said,
"What a load of cr*p!"

Yet my father lived to see the huge bombers dropping hundreds of
paratroopers, the construction of superhighways, buildings hundreds of
stories high, television, radio, the internet, an underground tunnel between
Europe and Britain, the hydrogen bomb, the first artificial satellite and
men landing on the moon - all reflected in Wells' film released long before
World War II.

Human beings have a demonstrated historical track record of UNDER estimating
the changes of the future.  That's a fact you can take to the bank.

Gerard O'Neill designed orbiting space colonies using 1960s technology.  We
already can do better now.  Politics (money) prevents it.

My wife's uncle worked as a NASA engineer on the nuclear rocket project
NERVA in the 1960s.  Even THEN it was capable of taking us to the stars due
to time dilation at close to light speed.  Now we can do even better.
Politics (fear of nuclear power) stopped NERVA.

Robert Ettinger wrote two books and almost single-handedly popularized the
concept of human cryonic suspension around the same time period.  Work
continues to improve this most reasonable of gambles.   Politics (popular
opinion) still resists cryonics as an option.

Phil, you had just better hope that technology CAN solve these pollution
"problems" or at least permit a way off this sad little backwater planet by
the time those of us who take the "cold sleep" rise to see a new tomorrow.
We can't depend upon politics!

This last summer I went back to Mount Saint Helens where some twenty years
ago that volcano tried to kill my wife and daughter.  Even now, as I looked
around me there was nothing but devastation from horizon to horizon.  A dead
moonscape.  Unlike the lighthearted rendition granted in Disney's "Fantasia
2000", the old killer mountain is not softened by a green carpet of new
living things but instead still exudes the poisonous gases of death which
waft across the gray landscape of blasted rock and bleak emptiness.

Mother Nature is a homicidal maniac lacking any sense of sympathy or caring
for the creatures of her world.

Nature doesn't give a damn.

Think about that.

She won't afford any new or easy answers.  She won't be kind nor sweet to us
nor our children.  She doesn't care.

No, it's up to us to find the answers.

Recycling tomato cans won't do it.

Technology CAN.

That's my opinion.

George Smith
"Enough of this progress before it's too late!"  - Whale hugger villain from
"Things To Come"

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