Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on July 15, 1974 · Page 5
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July 15, 1974

Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 5

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, July 15, 1974
Page 5
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Page 5 article text (OCR)

'. •-.„• h . - f >.\> • • " • V 1 V% World Has Some Time Left; Finishing Off Dying Cult of Ecodootfj, t.. ntt.' * I t r-« i_. »t . n . ri Q1* A fr ft n 1 nnm* n «A««*l n 4l n « w* * i-r It t tin virxj-JtinAi-J Wit f\nr\ •••! •fitttttitt •••••••••••••••!•••••••••!•••••••••• nltnt il j-1 jti-^Moifirtt* ttrrtir trim) Fo 11 rT»»rttmM »•» t-t nwvl^nM rtrwv* __**__ « «. A « i * n t nirtsi 1fl£lf*tlftl'l <• *"?* * *• iy NKA-London Economist News Service This may be the time to finish off the dying cult of extreme ecodoom. Professor Wilfred Beckerman has long made thoughtful people his debtors by writing into the Club of Rome's equations his admirable product called Beckermonium, named after his grandfather who failed to discover it in the 19th century. Ever since his grandfather failed to discover it in about 1856, the world has had no supplies of Beckermonium at all, which on the Club of Rome's equations should have made the world come to a halt some time soon after 1857: especially as.even in 1974, the things we have not yet discovered are far more important and numerous than the things we have so far discovered. Anyone can play the Beckermonium game by defining it as something unknown in their grandfather's day but found to exist since. This is probably the best quick way of understanding the flaw in the extreme econonsense; but, as some people do not see it yet, it is good now to have a whole book from Beckerman on the subject "In Defense of Economic Growth", full of admirably numerate facts. This article will pinch some of the best of these facts without further attribution, and spice them with his and our own comments. A continuing demolition job on the cult is important, because its wrong — if well-meaning — views have been responsible for a number of deaths. These include malaria victims in Ceylon after the banning of DDT; burned children after the wrongly based anti-phosphates campaign' against detergents had destroyed fireproofing in some c lothing ; and pneumonic victims in brownouts caused by, conservationist opposition to\ power stations. The prophets have assumed four limiting factors on the world's economic growth, in ascending order of respectability: they say the world will run out of raw materials, will suffer ever-increasing pollution, will have too large a population, and too little food. On raw materials, the Club of Rome reached its equations by assuming that actual reserves of any material cannot tie more than two to five times "known reserves", with nil elasticity of supply and substitution after that. It then asked the computer what would happen if demand for precisely these things went on expanding exponentially. The computer replied, naturally, that everything would then break down. This mode of argument could always have proved that world production of most things stopped long ago, because "known reserves" of most materials all through history have been only a few decades' worth of demand. At present, "known reserves" of most metals are historically rather high — about a hundred years' supply — but random samples suggest that the natural occurrence of most metals in the top mile of the earth's crust is about a million times as great as present known reserves, so we could probably extract one hundred million years' supply of metals from that top mile by existing technology. Towards the end, it would be a bit uncomfortable to mine to the depth of one mile at every point on the earth's crust, but by AD 100,000,000 we may be able to think up something. Even without mining, sea water is now known to contain about a billion years' supply of sodium chloride and magnesium, 100 million years' supply of sulphur, borax and potassium chloride, more than 1 million years' supply of molybdenum, uranium, tin and cobalt. Those who say we should be worried by AD 100,000,000 also seem to assume that, in the rather long period between now and then, there will be no advances in recycling; in producing substitute materials, or in production techniques. In practice, there are going to be huge technical advances in all of these over a very short period ahead. In listing "pollution" as its second cause of coming breakdown, the Club of Rome supposed, the m o s t "optim.istic" possible assumption was that the ration of pollution to output might be reduced by one ' ' should consider why they fail quarter over the next hundred Times Herald, Carroll, la. ^ to attract this potential force years. Actually, smoke Monday, July is, 1974 3 for doing good to the crusades pollution per unit of industrial ,..„, that are needed — such as the growing urban poor. Such things, however, need action, not just nice spine-chilling calls for inaction. The Economist of London t ^ output in London had then already been reduced by 85 per cent in the 15 years after 1953, and in the United States during the present decade all air pollution is expected to fall to about one-tenth of what it was. Rich countries can and should now afford to spend more on making still cleaner their air, water and land. The debate probably lies between spending the 1 per cent GNP favored by Beckerman and the 2 per cent of annual GNP which might be preferred by reasoning ecologists like Barbara Ward. That is the gap between sensible people. The third reason for supposed ecodoom is the growth of population. The breakthrough in reducing infant mortality rates all over the world after the late 1940s seem to threaten such a population explosion. It then brought its natural antidote of breakthroughs in both birth control technology (the pill, etc.) and often in birth control attitudes (permission of abortion, etc.). Now the World Bank reports that "of the 66 countries for which accurate — fertility & data are available, as many as 56 show a decline". This includes poorer countries. The real problem is that in the next 20 years doctors may break through into conquering some of the great debilitating diseases, allowing us to keep many more old people alive, just as we started to keep many more children alive in the 20 years'after the 1940s: that is the real problem we should now be humanely debating. The world's food problem has nothing to do with physical limits on food production. Even if there were no new discoveries in food-growing technology from now on, and we continued to cultivate only the very small proportion of the earth's surface now used as farmland, a raising of all other countries' efficiency of cultivation to that of the Netherlands would already suffice to feed 60 billion people (today's world population is 3.7 billion). . Those who say that more intensive cultivation always ruins the soil should note that the land in Holland has been farmed with increasing intensity for 2,000 years. Extreme environmentalism is now on the wane. Beckerman quotes reports that sales of the main ecological newspaper have already fallen by 80 per cent from their peak. He is sternly critical of those who drove or leaped on the bandwagon: the middle classes who interpreted environmentalism to mean that other people should not disturb their peace and solitude, radical youth eager to condemn materialism, the newspapers and clergymen and academics who told what some must eventually have known to be untruths because this inflated their importance, the alarmingly innumerate scientists. Yet there was a real passion for doing good among very many of those who interested themselves in these issues. Those who prefer to stick to facts rather than fancies devising and financing of performance contracts for all who will bring re-employment opportunities, modern urban management systems, and nutrition programs (of which transport, not cultivation, will be the key) to the world's HOGSTHREATENED RACINE, Wis. (AP)-U.S. swine are being threatened with a rare disease caused by improperly cooked garbage. Wisconsin Agriculturist, a farm magazine, reports that the disease, called SVD (Swine Vesicular Disease), was first discovered in Italy in 1966 and has spread through Europe. It acts like the dreaded foot and mouth disease but affects only hogs. As yet the disease has not been detected in this country, but SVD's rapid spread has increased the threat of its introduction into the U.S. Most European cases have been traced to improperly cooked garbage. The magazine warns that proper handling and cooking of garbage fed to swine is a must to keep SVD out of this country. Ridiculous Values At The VOGUE JEWELRY Values to $5.00 to Shorts, Tops, Blouses Values to $15.96 SLACKS Va. u e S ,o $2 SOO*5 00 -*7 00 -*9 0 ° All other remaining summer coordinates & sportswear .. Dresses Values to $50.00 1/2 Price $500 . $io°° - $ 15°° $10°° -'MS 00 - $ 20°° All Remaining Spring Coats Values to $75.00 I Come early while the selection is great. Try-ons welcome. Extra sales people on hand to help! you. All sales final. JCPenney .Sale 258. £28 99 Reg. 3 29 -7 Selections of white- < muslin, decorative,muslin, in checks and prints > and printed percale. Available in twin, full, and queen sizes. J- RIDICULOUS BARGA ^p^^^^^^^^™™"^^^^^^^^"""^^^^^^^^^^^— ON ...TABLES CARPET DOOR BUSTER 9 A.M. Special 100 Pairs Of losers Fit yourself— Help yourself—Save yourself S Crop tops, halters, blouses, short sets, nightwear, coordinate pieces. *2 *3 $ 5 Racks Men's Dress Slacks 10 88 tol2 88 The Store AGAINST The Wall 500 Beautiful Pairs of Nationally Advertised CU AEC Famous Brands of iPBB^riSlP ABOUT 150 PAIRS Tail Enders — Values to $20.00 Out they go at SWIMWEAR Men's Women's Bo V s ' 2 00 to5 00$ 3 0 V10 00 1 00 to3°; Reduced Men's Shirts Assorted colors, styles, prints. 44 088 Boys' Assorted Shorts 300 600 riCCCS Of Assorted girls' dresses, swim wear, tops and bottoms. $ 1 $ 2 $ 3 $ 4 Racks FAMILY SHOES Selection of dress & casual shoes for men and boys. White sandals and dress shoes plus clogs for women and girls. For Queens and Princesses — The Final Spring and Summer Close Out at One Low Low Price *TH£ STORE TO 6O fO* SHOCS VOU Women's Shoes NOW I 88 ,3 88 ,5 88 Men's Shoes NOW 6", 18 44 Boys' Shoes NOW 3", 8 44 Girls' Shoes ,3 88 LADIES' SLEEVELESS DRESSES 30% Off SPECIAL BUY MEN'S Tank Tops 1 25 REMNANTS Vl Off Marked Price SPECIAL BUY WOMEN'S & GIRLS' SANDALS & CLOGS 1 88 SPECIAL BUY GIRLS' DRESSES $o ' i ^» Ol 3 for Sizes 4 to 6X 3 for $10 Sizes 7 to 12 CATALOG PHONE 792-3524 STORE HOURS: 9:00-5:00 Mon., Tues., Thur»., Sat 9:00-9:00 Wed. * Fri. '-: 1:00-5:00 Sunday f

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