issues of ethics
Sources & Links
This page, as much else on this website, is in its infancy as of
late May 2018. The intention of the page is to create a source,
inevitably with my bias, of environmental writing & ideas.
Mason -- The Oracle of Oil, published by Norton, NY,
2016. Subtitle: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for
a Sustainable Future. The maverick geologist is Marion King
Hubbard, in itself something of a maverick name. An account of
how the Columbia University trained Hubbard pointed out, from
inside the oil industry, that the black stuff would run out. Not
an easy point of view: it hasn't and keeps being discovered in
new forms and places. I find the book a moving attempt to see
finity -- a word with almost no citations of use in the Oxford
Dictionary. To see that there are limits. Hubbard had no exact
answers. Yet his bell curve has to be. We can use more and more
and more until we reach a limit and then there is less and less
to use. There is FINITY -- it's a cucial Technopolitana concept.
INfinity applies to the 'heavens' & not the earth.
Also interesting on the largely forgotten Technocracy Movement
of the 1930s, the idea that science could solve social problems.
Still alive to a degree. The idea was hammered in the 1930s by:
1) deficit spending and the New Deal rescued the US economy
while 2) Technocracy looked increasingly fascistic.
For anyone interested in the struggle to understand the
relations between science, resource development and growth see
Adam -- The Seabird's Cry, published by William Collins,
London, 2017. The title says it all -- the cry is for
survival. Modern environmental writing at its most informative
Dieter -- Natural Capital. I have the paperback, Yale,
New Haven & London, 2016 (hardback 2015). Quote
from the preface: Only by putting the environment at the
heart of the economy can there be much hope of addressing the
scale of the destruction that will otherwise happen. We have
to cost the damage so as to repair the damage and prevent it
from continuing. I am not economist enough to review this book.
I find that almost any reading of it helps to focus on the
problem of how currently measured economic progress is both
lulling and full of dangerous flaws.
What is the cost of another litre of
gasoline/petrol consumed? Another thousand acres for housing
'development'? When we say it is cheaper to fly than take the
train (let alone walk) what do we mean? (I am not sure if Dr.
Helm would recognize quesstions: they are the ones his book
makes me ask.)
J.G. Francis Bacon, long out of print, London 1960.
prolific Crowther (1899-1983) was, perhaps, the best informed
science journalist in the UK, writing widely and approaching the
complex issues of the morality and value of science that
Technopolitana attempts to grapple with. And he saw Bacon, as I
think he needs to be seen, the man whose ideas of conquest and
domination of the world via science have us in their grasp. See
also my short notes on