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Page added on July 26, 2015

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Why The Future Looks Pretty Damn Great

“You will always have people selling doom,” says Reason‘s Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey. “It’s lucrative and it makes you sound serious. But they will be proved wrong.”

In his new book, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the 21st Century, Bailey acknowledges the reality of climate change, but insists that humans will utilize technological advancements in solar, nuclear, and other forms of energy to manage any hazards long before oft-predicted calamity strikes. Bailey argues that world population will peak later this century and prices for all sorts of commodities—from oil to food to metals—will continue to fall as well.

Bailey paints a highly optimistic vision not just for the environment but for human flourishing in general, a point of view he concedes is generally not as good for book sales as visions of the apocalypse are. But he, notes, the optimistic vision does have the advantage of being true.

About six and a half minutes.

24 Comments on "Why The Future Looks Pretty Damn Great"

  1. Makati1 on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 7:15 pm 

    “Once upon a time…”

    Not going to waste 6 1/2 minutes on this book ad. I graduated from fairy tales 60 years ago.

  2. Apneaman on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 7:29 pm 

    Straw man. Nothing has sold more in the last 40 years then delusional hopium books. Oprah made billions shopping these authors to millions of people. No worse example then Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret”. Any book reinforcing privileged folks consequence and guilt free entitlement worldviews is sure to be a hit. Any doubt email Guy McPherson and ask him how his books are selling – there not.

  3. Nony on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 8:02 pm 

    DEC2016 WTI futures are lower than they have been since the 2009 recession and before that since 2005, a decade ago. [Yes, go look at the dailies and the current outlook is already lower than the lows of JAN and MAR earlier this year.]

    That is Peak Oil Dynamic (high prices from scarcity) taking a big hole to the head. A big 50% haircut.

    The volume-izers who thought we would have a 2005-2010 peak followed by a few percent per year declines have been massively wrong as we have actually had a slowly increasing plateau.

    And then the “zombies in the streets” preppers have just been bat-shit crazy.

    Here’s the chart:

    And that’s not a near term glut peeps. And that’s not low demand. That’s a fundamental adjustment in the Bayesian estimate of how much oil is out there at what price. That’s a realization that drill baby drill took shale oil and cracked the OPEC cartel.

  4. redpill on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 8:04 pm 

    Only 21 years since his hard hitting “Ecoscam”. Currently selling for $0.01 on Amazon(with $3.99 shipping).

    But hey, he does have B.A.’s in Philosophy AND Economics…..

    CATO Asshat!

  5. Davy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 8:22 pm 

    In a time of so much danger it is surreal to see such an author and book. I may buy it just to humor myself.

  6. Jimmy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 9:45 pm 

    and on a related note of optimism; Syria is having a revolution in “Self-government at local levels is taking root in Syria” lol what could possible go wrong?

    I hear that “Self-government at local levels is taking root” in Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Eastern Ukraine, rural Mexico and the Sinai Peninsula also. What a wonderful future it will be. LMFAO!

  7. Jimmy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 9:47 pm 

    oh and don’t forget eastern Turkey. I hear they’re having a revolution in self-government at local level also. LOL fuuuuuuck me!!

  8. freak on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 10:44 pm 

    What ever kind of Fairy Dust this guy is smoking I want some.

  9. BC on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 11:42 pm

    I was told years ago that the blue pill is the antidote to red-pill dis-ease. But I experienced bad side effects and have been drug free and traveling farther down the rabbit hole ever since.

    There is no antidote for reality, at least not short of physiological expiration.

  10. joe on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 1:33 am 

    Guys like this don’t say it, but when they say nuclear, they really mean fusion energy which so far remains untested at industrial scales. They are hoping that the god of tech will save them just as it saved them in the early 1900s when the coal economy reached its limits and industrialised populations made moves to take control of of their own society rather then live forever as wage slaves.
    Population growth is going to drive demand, but the trade off is that energy will become more expensive. Governments will be forced to reduce other costs through efficiency which will only increase profit margins and thus drive more growth, net effect will be increased energy use.

  11. Jimmy on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 2:25 am 

    Is Complex Systems Collapse in Our Future?

    Famine, unregulated mass migration, state failure; peak oil with a side of climate change.

  12. Dredd on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 4:46 am 

    Bailey preaches the gospel of Oil-Qaeda (The Deceit Business).

  13. Dredd on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 5:23 am 

    The doomers have always been correct and the hopium addicts have always been wrong:

    “In other words, a society does not ever die ‘from natural causes’, but always dies from suicide or murder — and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown.” – A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee”

    (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch).

    Dr. Kavorkian Baily is an agent of Assisted Suicide, Inc.

  14. J-Gav on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 5:33 am 

    Somebody ought to hold this guy’s head down in an Arctic vent and let him get a whiff of what a methane burp is …

  15. John D on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 7:43 am 

    Admit it. You post these articles just to rile the readers, right?

  16. Beery on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 7:50 am 

    “You will always have people selling doom,” says Reason‘s Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey. “It’s lucrative and it makes you sound serious. But they will be proved wrong.”

    That’s true, right up until the point when you’re proved right. When I turn on the hot tap in my bathroom, I’m always thinking it’s going to run hot, but I’m always proved wrong for at least 30 seconds. Those 30 seconds always seem to last forever, and they seem to “prove” that there’s no hot water in the hot water tank, but eventually it does run hot.

  17. paulo1 on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 8:01 am 

    Chapter 7 is on penis extenders. Sounds gripping.

  18. ghung on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 9:07 am 

    Penis extenders? Guns and pickup trucks?

  19. Cloud9 on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 9:35 am 

    Jimmy, I don’t hang out on the left very much. It was interesting to read the comments section on the pending collapse. Interesting that the left is the mirror image of the right. Each group suggesting that the system could be saved if we simple got rid of the folks that did not follow their brand’s consensus.

    How about this: There is no political or religious solution to collapse brought on by natural disaster and resource depletion. Individuals might be able to mitigate the suffering of their own but beyond that, not much can be done.

  20. Jimmy on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 9:58 am 

    The left-right paradigm is a stage set for idiots to argue upon about how they should best be enslaved.

    Collapse is an ecological thing. Religious and political systems have nothing to do with causing it or preventing it. Plenty of collapse blogs blame capitalism but it’s going to happen to communists too. It’s more accurately a problem exacerbated by industrial civilization. And the USSR was just as industrialized, polluted and in overshoot as the USA.

  21. penury on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 11:43 am 

    There are many books selling hope, the common theme appears to be “believe in me, follow my commandments and all will be yours, the dream never dies, however the dreamers do.

  22. HARM on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 1:16 pm 

    Ron is right. The Law of Infinite Substitution says that if we run out of breathable air, drinkable water and edible food, the free market will just find substitutes. Julian Simon won his famous bets with Paul Ehrlich, thus permanently discrediting any concerns about overpopulation and industrialization. Go back to breeding and consuming, people.

  23. BC on Mon, 27th Jul 2015 1:50 pm 

    HARM, good point.

    A similar example is that, if stock buybacks and M&A continues at the trend since 2000 and 2007, the S&P 100 companies will become private by 2020-25, reducing current stock market cap by ~75-80%, giving them private revenues equivalent to 100% of US GDP.

    Along with existing large private firms, they will be on track to consume a growing majority share of US domestic resources and gov’t revenues, resulting in a kind of private corporate-state, rendering the vast majority of the rest of us irrelevant to useless.

    Therefore, “the market” should continue to do what it does best: concentrate the vast majority of resources, income, wealth, and political power to the top 0.001-1% owners of the capitalist means of production, income and wealth distribution, and political system.

    What’s not to love about that?

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