So here\’s the Greenie reaction to a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami:
There have always been natural disasters, and there always will be.
Yes, yes, that\’s true.
We might decide that the human enterprise (at least in the west) has got big enough, that our appetites need not to grow, but to shrink a little, in order to provide us more margin. What would that mean? Buses and bikes and trains, not SUVs. Local food, with more people on the farm so that muscles replace some of the oil.
Imagine, for instance, a nation that got most of its power from rooftop solar panels knitted together in a vast distributed grid. It would take investment to get there – we\’d have to divert money from other tasks, slowing some kinds of growth, because solar power is currently more expensive than coal power. We might not have constant access to unlimited power at every second of every day. In the end, though, you\’d have not only less carbon in the atmosphere, but also a country far less failure-prone.
Is there some special vat at Harvard where they prepare cretins to let loose on the world or something?
Take local food. So, if everyone in North-Eastern Japan were to be reliant upon local food supplies then everyone in North-Eastern Japan would now be condemned to starvation in the next month or so. Not just the ten of twenty thousand who have already died, but the hundreds of thousands, millions, that make up the entire population. For in the wake of an earthquake that destroyed much and a tsunami that swamped the rest, there is no food, no saved food storage and no damn chance of growing any for the forseeable future.
\”Localism\” would kill all of these people. And the same would be true of localism in Pakistan when it floods, Queensland when it floods, Cockermouth when it floods, any damn where when there\’s a drought and, in fact, any part of the planet that could be hit by any of those natural disasters which a vengeful planet can plop upon us, from the flood and drought already mentioned through to hurricanes, cyclones, potato or banana blight and plagues of frogs.
Are we allowed to hang people who propose such massive destruction of human life?
As to rooftop solar being the solution:
Damn, it\’s multiple sources, spread across a variety of geographical regions, which provides security of supply of anything. Yes, food and power included. The answer to natural disasters is not to ensure that when one hits you will die but to try, as best is possible, to ensure that you do not. Which means trade, trade with people the further away from you the better.
There really is a reason why you can track famine across Europe and time: the more trade the less famine in any specific area.
Might I ask an important question here? Why is The Guardian paying this cretin, Bill McKibben, to advise people on the best way to make sure they die when the next, inevitable, natural disaster hits?
Remember folks, localism kills.