Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Peak Lavender? Pppfft!!!

The Doomsayers were wrong 100 years ago, and they’re wrong now.
Editorial, Wall Street Journal
Sept 16, 2124

It was 100 years ago, today, that scientists first unlocked the secrets of Heavy Lavender, the almost-limitless power source that has fueled mankind’s last century of unprecedented prosperity and growth. Rather than mark this anniversary as a time for celebration, the doomsday, eco-alarmist Cassandras at WEDF are at it again, predicting “ecological disaster of unprecedented proportions” in today’s sensationalist report titled “Peak Lavender: Return of Limits.”

We’ve heard this song many times before--Thomas Malthus first crooned its dissonant melody over 300 years ago. The song goes on and on, my friends, and though it never seems to end the song of the scaremongers is always and forever wrong.

A little bit of historical knowledge is all we need to thoroughly debunk WEDF’s latest fact-free claims. Very few of us today were alive on April 3, 2019, when some portion of an alien spacecraft crashed into a ski resort in what was then Gstaad, Switzerland. It would be 2 years before the innermost compartment of that spacecraft would be breeched to find that it was full of a substance that looked, more than anything, like seeds of a lavender shrub. Within one year the world’s scientific community had determined that each “seed”, termed “Heavy Lavender” or just “Lavender”, was a form of phenomenally dense sodium and germanium behaving as a single inert element. Our greatest minds soon confirmed that when the GeNa bond was broken each seed was capable of instantly releasing as much energy as the world of 100 years ago then consumed in decades. There were many false starts in harnessing that energy (the world greatly mourned the loss of the Large Hadron Collider along with a third of what was then Switzerland and portions of France), but on September 16, 2024 the first successful Lavender Station went online.

Since that event, 100 years ago, nothing has been the same. Nothing, that is, except the rhetoric of the chattering, so-called environmentalists.

100 years ago, the eco-alarmists warned of “Peak Oil” as if the world would soon run out. How ironic that sounds today, given that Germany’s Lavender Stations produce more hydrocarbons every week (because those liquid fuels are the most effective way to transport energy for the world’s myriad uses) than ever existed in known natural reserves. In light of this Peak Oil history, using the term “Peak Lavender” simply highlights the ignorance of the WEDF.

100 years ago the greatest eco-alarmist threat was something they called “global warming”, the notion being that atmospheric Carbon accumulations would heat the Earth out of control, bringing with it global heating, uncontrolled sea-rises, and general environmental catastrophe. How wrong-headed those notions seem today as Lavender Stations draw the carbon in their hydrocarbons directly from the atmosphere, giving us precise control of these “dangerous greenhouse gases”. As for sea rises, wrong again! By pumping and freezing water across the Antarctic continent we have not only lowered sea levels and greatly increased the Earth’s habitable land, but have also created the third most popular tourist destination in the South Pole’s numerous theme parks and shopping malls.

100 years ago they warned of mass starvation and out-of-control population growth--this in a world of only 7 billion people. 7 billion! Listen… what’s that sound you hear? That’s the sound of today’s 60 billion residents of planet Earth, healthy and well fed, laughing at those old population concerns. Human ingenuity used Lavender energy to quickly bring about a second green revolution: now we’re able to pump water wherever it is needed, extract fertilizer nutrients directly from the air and the oceans, generate artificial sunlight in multi-level skyscraper farms, level mountains into furrows, and turn the newly-exposed ocean floors into boundless farmland. There is plenty of food and water for everybody. (Yes, there remain an estimated 3 billion people suffering chronic undernourishment in areas of political instability--primarily parts of France and the Middle East where relations with Germany remain strained, and as a result of the terrible Verderbnisl├╝cke riots within Germany itself--but in historical terms to have just 1 in 20 people starving is nothing short of a humanitarian miracle.)

100 years ago they were predicting massive unemployment and economic unrest as machines took over our jobs; those worries initially worsened as Lavender’s cheap energy made the cost of running those machines virtually free. Those predictions could not have been more wrong, because what they did not consider (they never do) is how many new employment opportunities would be created by the new technology. For example, with ubiquitous and cheap air travel it is not unusual now for workers to commute up to 1000 miles to their jobs--that 1000-mile job-search radius has greatly increased the job market opportunities for every employee. More importantly, entire job titles exist now that never existed before, such as:
  • in-flight personal trainer - between commuting, retiring, conferences, and vacations, the middle class now spend about 1/5 of their adult life flying, which would be bad for health if not for our in-flight fitness gyms (offering cross-training, bowling alleys, weight-lifting, etc…).
  • ensemblier - a century ago it was common to wear the same outfit all day long. In a time when fashions changed only seasonally, this made some sense (although it was highly unsanitary by modern standards). Now that fashions change daily--sometimes hourly--ensembliers, who choose, purchase and deliver one’s morning, afternoon, and evening attire, make up 8% of the workforce; that’s 4 billion new jobs in a category that didn’t even used to exist. [It was common in olden times to use items more than once--it was called “reuse”. Reusable clothing was just one example of the old mindset that proved both unhygienic and bad for the economy. There were countless examples of product reuse, some of them quite horrifying, including toothbrushes, keyboards, plates, glasses, cutlery, soap, toilet seats, bed sheets, pillows, phones, and currency.]
  • quarantine trooper - in a world that is 60-billion strong, diseases could spread very quickly if each city block did not have an ever-vigilant quarantine patrol at the ready
  • gravity counselor - space is a favorite weekend getaway, but who would have known that so many space tourists would have so much difficulty getting mentally readjusted to gravity
  • energy release artist - most nights we literally have more energy than we know what to do with; without these artists and their brilliant night-time displays whole cities would literally explode
  • sommeli-aire - “are we dining this evening on Canard ├á l'Orange? May I recommend pairing that with bottled air from Lourdes, or perhaps Bilbao if you’re feeling adventurous”

100 years ago they said the ongoing mass extinction was a precursor of humanity’s own doom. If that was our doom, nobody seems to have noticed. Turns out, nobody really misses a few smelly pandas, pelicans, penguins, or porpoises. And bee drones are a lot more efficient than their organic, stinging predecessors.

Today’s WEDF “Peak Lavender” report barely acknowledges the tremendous gains from Lavender energy, never admitting that in every way we’re better off than people of 100 years ago. Instead, the WEDF touts scaremongering estimates that we’ve already used more than half of our Heavy Lavender, even as yearly use increases, and that in less than a century there will be no more Lavender. In language more fitting to a bad movie screenplay than a scientific report, they write “and then, just as quickly as Lavender arrived it will be gone. In just a few generations we will have squandered this one-time resource of incredible energy, leaving nothing for our children. Without the miracle fuel to sustain our way of life, most of the Earth’s 90 billion inhabitants will soon perish in the wars, pestilence and famines sure to follow.”

Whew! Heady stuff. Put that in a QMAX movie sphere and sell me popcorn!

Look. Germany, who has tightly controlled the Lavender supply ever since they annexed Switzerland in 2028, denies the WEDF’s figures. But even if, for sake of argument, we were to accept the WEDF estimate that over 50% of Lavender is gone, it does not logically follow that disaster is impending. Disaster is not at our door. They are just plain wrong.

Why are they so wrong? Why was Malthus so wrong 300 years ago? Why were the zero-population-growthers so wrong 150 years ago, and the climate alarmists so wrong 100 years ago? Because all their claims are based on the belief that Man is restrained by natural, physical limits (and when nature doesn’t prove their point, by golly, they always want government to impose unnatural limits for them).

But what the Malthuses and the Ehrlichs and the Gores and the McKibbens and the WEDFs don’t understand is that Man is not controlled by limits. There are no limits to human ingenuity in an untethered marketplace.

Human ingenuity is an unlimited resource in a free market.

Why are the doomsayers always wrong? Because they never understand the role of the economy and unlimited human ingenuity in overcoming any challenge society encounters.

When petroleum was discovered, brilliant scientist learned to harness its energy. When more food was needed, brilliant scientists brought us the first and second green revolutions. When Heavy Lavender was discovered, it took brilliant scientists only a few years to learn to harness that resource. Do they really believe that in next 100 years our brilliants scientist will make no progress in any of these areas?
  • inventing more efficient paths to Lavender energy extraction
  • discovering more Lavender deposits through exploratory drilling and planetary exploration (it’s only reasonable to assume there have been other alien crashes in our solar system’s 6 billion years history)
  • we have no doubt that someday, as it’s secrets are better understood, Humanity will be able to produce its own Lavender - when that happens, today’s era of prosperity will look like the dark ages by comparison

Looked at historically, today’s WEDF report simply continues a long tradition of pessimistic worrywarts warning the rest of us to amend our wicked ways before it’s too late. The rest of us would be wise to continue our long tradition of blissfully ignoring them.