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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Is the Human Race Rational?

In today's NYTimes, columnist Nicholas Kristof writes (p. A25):

"Somewhere in the world, we humans cut down an area of jungle the size of a football field every second of every day, and deforestation now contributes as much to global warming as all the carbon emitted by the United States."


Patty McNally Doherty said...

I'm starting to think your background color of black for your blog was not an accident.

Throw some light in here. Quick. Tell me of something I can hope for, as thin as you want, I need something on which to hang over this abyss of human failings and shortcomings.

Richard McNally said...

The Kristof article goes on to profile two guys who are showing natives in South America how to grow cocoa for chocolate without clear cutting the forest.

Two guys.

Anonymous said...

Stick with the all-black outlook.

Kristof's cocoa growing doesn't make a lot of sense. Once you're growing cash crops for international trade, you are going to maximize the output. Meanwhile, none of this environmental concern stops Kristof from jetting around the world to develop some color for his column. Everyone else might have to change, but not a NYT columnist!

Patty McNally Doherty said...


Anonymous said...

I think we would be more accurately called a "species" than a "race" here. We are not as social as ants or bees, we are only rational on an individual level. And those individuals are going to plant all 200 acres in cocoa unless you come up with an alternative pay scheme.

Richard McNally said...

We are sometimes rational on an individual basis but the mind is a "tissue of contradictions" according to a psychologist I heard on TV one night and with that as our starting point, no wonder the world is on the verge of sinking below the horizon for good.