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Countering alarmism in a talk to Loretto sixth-formers


I spoke at Loretto School near Edinburgh on Monday.  It was quite an effort getting there.  I had to get up at 6.0 am to go to Stansted Airport, and when my plane landed at Edinburgh there was a minor blizzard and no taxis.  Eventually some came, but traffic was so snarled up on snow-bound roads that I thought we wouldn’t make it.  What should have been a 35 minute trip to Loretto School in Musselburgh took nearly an hour and a half.

In my talk I countered some of the alarmism spread about by environmental lobbyists.  No, the world isn’t running out of scarce resources because our ability to extract from new sources is advancing faster than we are using them. No, we are not going to drown in a sea of humanity because population will level off at about 10bn.  Yes, we can feed them because of our ability to produce more food from less acreage, which will be enhanced even more by GM crops.  No, we won’t have water wars, we’ll just find cleverer ways, such as osmosis, to purify some of the four-fifth of it covering the planet.  No, we won’t run out of energy because there is over a century’s worth of gas reserves.  I knocked quite a few sacred cows on the head (to mix my metaphors), and I hope I made the students question some of the nonsense some people come out with.


One Response

  1. Did you get to mention Julian Simon? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Simon
    The release of Climate gate 3 would have been useful too.

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