Sunday, May 18, 2008

Global Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good
Energy Technology. Guess what? There may be a lot of oil left in N. America that is cost effective to extract at $125 barrel. Real break-thoughs in alternative energy are yet to come.

Food Technology. Ethanol sucks - It sucks do-gooders into believing they're making a difference; It sucks wheat and grain fields into more corn that won't be eaten which sucks food right out of people's mouths, and more of your paycheck out of your pocket. Genetic engineering can produce more food and turn inedible plant life into energy-rich ethanol fodder. Time for the food-Luddites to take a pass.

Meteorology. Today's kids might grow up to solve global warming (or cooling) with engineering solutions on a global scale.

Biotechnology. If only the FDA would get out of the way of progress.

Internet Technology. As the virtual world gets smaller, reason and human rights tend to rise.

The Bad
Overpopulation - the rain forests are being converted to coal so poor people can get eat for another week. The seas are over-fished and the coastlines of many countries are polluted with fish farms. People produce people faster than Mother Earth can feed them. There are simply too many people on the planet. Population control must be a human priority or Mother Nature will sort it out the hard way. As George Carlin once joked - "We don't need to save the Earth. Mother isn't going anywhere. It's people that are going away.

Global warming. Buying a smaller plastic water bottle isn't going to do shit to slow down global warming. Short-term we need weather, and socio-economic predictions so we can being to adapt to inevitable changes.

Petroleum. Someday it will be as costly as Extra Virgin Olive oil. The transition will suck, but the world will be better off after the addiction is over.

Health. Cancer is essentially undefeated 35 years after Nixon started a war on it. Drug resistant pathogens kill more young Americans than the war in Iraq. Animal-to-human crossover virus's like H5N1, didn't go away, continue to kill people in Southeast Asia, and continue to threaten global pandemics.

God, or rather human interpretation of what God wants. Does God dislike birth control so he'll have more souls in Heaven? Does Allah really want Islamic Jihad to kill all the infidels? And what about the the 1400 year-old religious battle between the Shia and Sunni?. Francis Crick, the Nobel prize winning biologist who discovered DNA, once remarked that 10,000 years from now humans will look back on all religion as a joke. I doubt we can wait that long.

The ugly.
Asteroids, cataclysmic volcanoes, earthquakes. Who said there were any guarantees?


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