Thursday, 8 September 2016

Hope on Earth: A Conversation by Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias



No matter how often history has falsified the predictions that are made by some big brains they still keep repeating them which is why the cover of the free e-book from the University of Chicago Press is appropriate. A certain amount of methane is generated in the conversation between Michael Tobias and Paul Ehrlich, not enough to threaten the planet, but certainly enough to clear a room. The Wikipedia entry on Arch-Doomster Ehrlich sketches his history of being wrong about everything and his vile recipes for avoiding certain disaster. England would no longer be in existence by 1970 possibly being overrun by ravening feral chavs.
cf: Wikipedia on Ehrlich

The University of Chicago recently issued a bulletin impugning the notion of the safe space to protect the delicate sensibilities of students. The cold hard wind of contrary opinion would blow to toughen them up -‘That’s the Chicago Way’ (The Untouchables) And now this book. Is there a conservative mole in the University? The blurb runs after this fashion:

Hope on Earth is the thought-provoking result of a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists: Paul R. Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb shook the world in 1968 (and continues to shake it), and Michael Charles Tobias, whose over 40 books and 150 films have been read and/or viewed throughout the world. Hope on Earth offers a rare opportunity to listen in as these deeply knowledgeable and highly creative thinkers offer their takes on the most pressing environmental concerns of the moment.

When a university press blurb writer very likely steeped in a stiff brine of Rhetoric and Composition uses a phrase like ‘shook the world’ it doesn’t need quotes like I used to mark it off as irony. Adding ‘and continues to shake it’, the unsaid must be, ‘with laughter’.


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