Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Quote of the Night, Kim Stanley Robinson Edition

with one comment

“So there are lots of Brunners now; but Brunner was first, and The Sheep Looks Up still stands as a powerful warning. Two years after it came out, in 1974, the Club of Rome published a study called The Limits to Growth, which warned that the natural resources of the planet could not sustain an ever-expanding population consuming ever greater amounts of resources, and unleashing on the planet ever greater amounts of pollutants and poisons. For thirty years after this report came out, conservative think tanks and governments never tired of mocking the Club of Rome for their prediction, pointing to the always-increasing world population and resource consumption and noting that no disaster had struck, that here we all were consuming happily away, with only a few of us starving and the whole engine of capitalism humming along. But then around the time of the new millennium the scientific community began to speak up about climate change and habitat degradation and fisheries loss and topsoil loss and groundwater depletion and all the rest of it; and sometime in the last few years the scientific community started going off like the fire alarm in a hotel—saying exactly the same thing that the Club of Rome had said a quarter century earlier! So as a culture we had been like the man in the story who throws himself off the top of the Empire State Building and reports as he passes the tenth story that everything is fine, that the dangers have been exaggerated, and so on. The happy report has simply been premature.”

—Kim Stanley Robinson, Introduction to The Sheep Look Up (Centipede Press edition 2010)

Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2011 at 12:26 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Well said!
    Although…I don’t get many opportunities to correct Robinson, but this is kind of my field: Limits to Growth was published in 1972. In 2004 came out the “30-year update”, which announced that the next update would come out in 2012. For more: http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-1-4419-9415-8#section=899088&page=1&locus=0

    Kimon

    December 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm


Leave a Reply to Kimon Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: