Make Every Day Earth Day
  • May I suggest this Earth Day you peruse Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now?

    Steven Pinker is by no stretch of the imagination a conservative, right-wing, Republican blah-blah-blah-blah — if, that is, you’re still into all that nonsensical partisan meaninglessness, which I am not. (Meaningless, I say, because the left and the right are two sides of an identical penny, as I’ve stated so many times, and I am quite prepared to prove that to you.)

    Pinker “identifies” as a “left-wing libertarian” — a little like his teacher Noam Chomsky, with whom, however, he deviates significantly and is far less Marxist — which, incidentally, is one of the primary reasons I don’t think the word “libertarian” has much value or explanatory power:

    It’s a rubber word that can be stretched to fit almost anything and anyone. If it’s to mean anything at all, it must be qualified out of all sensible proportion: civil libertarian, leftwing libertarian, anarchist-libertarian, anarcho-capitalist libertarian, Austrian libertarian, Rothbardian libertarian, Ron Paul libertarian …

    Steven Pinker, in any case, is rational inquirer enough to have seen the clear and obvious and irrefutable:

    Science, technology, progress, reason — all outgrowths of the ideas behind the Enlightenment — have made the world far cleaner, healthier, and better, even as world populations have grown.

    He is, unfortunately, still far too equivocal in certain of his views, unable to break out of all the frozen dogma that’s been inculcated into his head — though I have followed his writing over the years and he’s come a long way — and so if you really wanted to know for Earth Day the actual facts about planet earth, I recommend Julian Simon’s book, which remains as sound and as brilliant today as it was the day it was published, the logical power of which has persuaded many, many, many people who honestly care about the truth, Steven Pinker included.

    Be forewarned, however: Julian Simon’s book is fact-filled and not for the dogmatist.

    It is the book that quondam Greenpeacer Bjorn Lomborg and his students tried to refute — and ended up being persuaded by because the data is so strong, and speaks for itself.

    In fact, a beautiful book was born out of Bjorn Lomborg’s attempt to refute Julian Simon — who was a true hero and genius and lover of the earth, in my opinion, and who endured and tirelessly refuted staggering amounts of hostility, harassment, hate, ridicule, and lies almost exclusively from the tolerant left, who in my personal experience are the most intolerant of any religion or group, and never lost an argument because he had facts on his side — and that book by Bjorn Lomborg is an excellent book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.

    Julian Simon’s book is also the book that Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore often cites as a seminal influence in why he, like me, left the environmental movement long, long ago:

    Happy Earth Day!

    Here is Steven Pinker’s recent interview with the excellent Nick Gillespie of the excellent Reason Magazine:

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

11 Responses and Counting...

  • Elvin Holderfield 04.22.2018

    I’m happy to say that I just ordered this book a few days ago. Can’t wait to read it! I’ve listened to many interviews with Pinker, but this will be my first book of his.

  • Well, well, well. If it isn’t my old friend Elvin Holderfield!

    Where you been, motherfucker!?

  • Good hearing from you! I had a wild month or so…I moved my entire music business to a new location because the old location I rented from was bought out, which has actually given me a lot more autonomy. Also, I had a seizure (can’t remember if I ever told you I had epilepsy.) But anyway, haven’t had one in 10 years, so that threw me in a loop and made me alter all possible bad habits. I’m doing better now, and have finally emerged from my hermit shell of abstinence from all vices and society, haha. So….perhaps we can finally get that theoretical coffee that we’ve talked about for the last 3 years??

    P.S. I read “Leave Us Alone” again because I bought a book along similar lines called “The Problem with Socialism.” It was an absolute scathing polemic. I wanted to order your bartender wisdom one, but couldn’t find it on Amazon 🙁

  • Theoretical coffee — yes, when I’m back.

    I’m so bloody sorry about your seizure.

    I hope you’re still making beautiful piano music, friend. I’ll never forget your Chopin Mazurka at A.G. that Sunday, and I love your playing.

    Whiskey Wisdom: a bartender’s guide to living ravenously has been updated, expanded, with a changed title. You may find it on Amazon here. I’d love it if you bought it.

    Keep in touch and I’ll do likewise.

  • It’s a good book. You’ll like it — because you haven’t been thoroughly indoctrinated by the Religion of Environmentalism, and he shows a great many of outright fallacy which this religion peddles as Holy Writ.

    As I mention in the post, though, he himself has still not successfully carried through fully the implications of his premise — and on that front, it falls a little short. But it’s absolutely inarguable in its basic premise:

    The environment and the world have gotten FAR better and FAR cleaner and FAR healthier as a result of industrialization which was a result of the Enlightenment, which was a result of humankind’s return to reason and Aristotle.

  • P.S. Thank you for dropping by, motherfucker!

  • You’ve piqued my interest indeed. I am ordering the book, and will share the read…

  • I can’t tell you how good it is to see you, Tonya!

    Please tell me what you think of the book, and thank you for dropping by.

  • P.S. I just found this, Tonya:

    I’d seen it back in January, and then I couldn’t find it. You can save yourself the trouble of reading that whole book by reading that article, which says pretty much everything.

  • Phew! Thanks for sharing the condensed version. I am a professed tree hugger but not an environmentalist. I appreciate his perspective. ..”We Will Never Run Out of Oil.” Humanity does not suck resources from the earth like a straw in a milkshake until a gurgle tells it that the container is empty. Instead, as the most easily extracted supply of a resource becomes scarcer, its price rises, encouraging people to conserve it, get at the less accessible deposits, or find cheaper and more plentiful substitutes.” So what if we run out of oil and what if we become extinct? I’d much rather see the progress of mankind through innovation and renewable resources than slurping on the crude, oil , that is .

  • Slurping on the crude!

    God, you make that sound thrilling.

    I haven’t slurped the crude in a long, long time … TOO long.

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