The End of Doom

Book Party at Reason HQ in Los Angeles for Ronald Bailey and The End of Doom

Food, drinks, talk, and fun on September 15 - register now - last day to register.

|

BaileyAuthorPhoto
Bailey

Invitation from the Reason Foundation:

In his new book The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century, Reason magazine Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey takes a close look at the many failed prophecies of the environmental movement, using facts and data to demonstrate that-despite the doomsayers-the future actually looks better than ever.

On September 15th, you are cordially invited to join Ron, Reason Foundation President David Nott, and other friends of Reason at a reception at Reason's Westside headquarters in celebration of the book's release. 

EndofDoomCover
St. Martin's

The End of Doom: Enviromental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century

Tuesday, September 15

6:00 p.m. drinks and food, 7:00 presentation

Reason HQ, 5737 Mesmer Avenue; Los Angeles

map: http://bit.ly/1JmwEp1

Please RSVP to Mary Toledo no later than Friday, September 11 at mary.toledo@reason.org or 310-391-2245. 

Looking forward to seeing you there!

NEXT: Reason Weekly Contest: Headline a Cultural Appropriation Kerfuffle

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. When are you going to have an event at the Reason Milwaukee headquarters?

    1. Is that the back of a bowling alley or something?

      1. Isn’t that where people in Milwaukee congregate in general, libertarian or not?

      2. Well, the bar is in the front of the bowling alley, so, the front.

  2. Ron and I are getting wrecked on Irish Car Bombs.

    1. Respectable libertarians drink good scotch. Car bombs are he drink of choice of college frat boys and bimbos.

        1. I grew up less – I still drink 4 Jager shots to start the night so I don’t have to drink as much beer.

          WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  3. People need to hold one of these things on a metal island at sea.

  4. One day there will be a Reason event in Montana–I just know it.

      1. Traktur pull weekend

      2. I’d take a ski weekend over a tractor pull any day. Omg. So fucking boring.

        1. You don’t enjoy loudness?

        2. So fucking boring.

          Not if you’re on a tractor.

  5. Oh completely off topic

    Am I the only one that thinks Ron looks like a 50 year old Joffrey Barratheon?

    1. I thought the accepted HnR Ron Bailey look alike was Rick Steeves.

    2. For whatever reason, I’ve always imagined Ron more like Milton from Office Space right down to the voice. Even hearing his actual voice won’t change what I hear in my head.

      1. Have you theen Ron’th Thtapler?

    3. This picture makes it look like he has no teeth.

  6. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really going to miss Doom.

    1. I don’t know, man, that game is really outdated. Wouldn’t you rather play Far Cry 4 instead?

      1. Check your PC privilege

        1. Look, I admit it. I’m a PC supremacist. I’m not ashamed! PC POWER! PC POWER!

            1. PC UBER ALLES

  7. Hang on, Ron wrote a book?

    1. What? Next you’re gonna tell me Lou Reed is dead! Hah! Good one!

      1. Who is Lou Reed?

  8. No hookers and blow? Not interested.

    1. Some things you don’t publicize.

      1. I’m there!

        1. I thought you were supposed to bring your own?

          /BYOHB

          1. Oh.

            Guess I’m staying at home.

            *hangs head in shame*

  9. OT: Gentrification is a human rights violation.

    Just down the block from that bodega are the headquarters of Right to the City, a national alliance of community-based organizations that since 2007 has made it its mission to fight “gentrification and the displacement of low-income people of color.” For too long, organizers with the alliance say, people who otherwise profess concern for the poor have tended to view gentrification as a mere annoyance, as though its harmful effects extended no further than the hassles of putting up with pretentious baristas and overpriced lattes. Changing this perception is the first order of business for Right to the City: Gentrification, as these organizers see it, is a human-rights violation.

    The modern concept of human rights took shape in the years immediately after World War II, when world leaders came together to devise a doctrine that would serve as a legal and intellectual buttress against another Holocaust. In 1948, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document identifies several universal rights, including education, healthcare, and freedom from torture. Nowhere, though, does it say anything about gentrification.

    1. Old news. Back when Reason did occasional non-Trump stories John Stossel covered the topic:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..x8jts:pUYX

      1. Every few years Reason has an involuntary antibody reaction to some perceived “other”. They were essentially the Sarah Palin weekly for about a year in 08/09. They recovered but seem to be in the midst of another such spell over Trump.

    2. Read the tagline as “genetification.” Made perfect sense anyway.

    3. But of course. The Universal Declaration of Positive Rights is a living document.

    4. Everything is a human rights violation, Irish.

      The more people use hyperbole to sell their pet shit (which is insanely popular), the more people will copy that, until everything is the most important thing ever no matter how stupid it is. And then nothing is important.

      1. No. My issues are the most important thing in the world. Yours not so much. The problem is that these people are so self absorbed it never occurs to them that anyone else would make such a claim or that giving them everything they demand might be a problem when other people demand the same. It is always and forever I Me Mine with these assholes.

    5. Are there any actual numbers anywhere on black residents who end up ever getting displaced by ‘gentrification?’

    6. And – is white flight caused by blacks moving into a neighborhood a human rights violation?

      1. Yes, for the Blacks. Just remember, no matter the situation, whitey is always at fault!

    7. The Holocaust didn’t happen because the world didn’t have a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fuck me. It happened because some evil fucks convinced a whole lot of people that the Jews (and gypsys etc.) were the cause of the German people’s suffering and that they were subhuman. It wasn’t like in 1942 Eichmann said to Hitler “You know, if the world published a document declaring human rights, we could be in real trouble!”

      1. I look forward to the Atlantic’s forthcoming article about how WWII was really a historical impossibility, because the Kellogg-Briand pact a decade earlier had outlawed war.

  10. OT. On the self driving car front, the nerd has met reality.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09……html?_r=0

    It turns out driving is a lot more subtle and involves much more difficult calculations of risk and communication with other drivers than the nerds who developed the self driving car thought.

    It is a very interesting article. The overall takeaway is that we are a lot further from self driving cars than is being advertised. In fact, the self driving features being put in standard cars may make driving less safe or at least much more annoying and less pleasant.

    1. My takeaway was that human drivers are assholes. But I already knew that.

      1. Yes, but assholes who for the most part avoid crashing into each other, which is the important part.

    2. That’s kind of my thought. The issue isn’t so much the machines here but that people don’t follow the rules of the road to begin with. Getting the driverless cars to operate with asshole humans could take some time.

      1. It is not even the people who drive like assholes. Driving in traffic requires a lot of non verbal communication between drivers. I can’t even imagine how you could get a robot to be able to do that and even if you could get one that could adjust to how different drivers in different areas or country’s communicate. Forget it.

    3. Sounds like all the problems are dealing with other humans in low-speed situations where the letter of the law regarding right-of-way is often not followed precisely. Driverless cars should still do very well on freeways and highways with signaled intersections. And that’s all I really want for now. I don’t need my car to take me to work every morning, but I would love for it take over for a few hours when road-tripping around the holidays.

      1. John is anti-machine. Bigoted against them, if you will.

        I think he confuses two separate issues. The government being a bunch of assholes who will abuse any new technology to try and get more control over us doesn’t change that the technology is still incredibly useful.

        1. Either that, or he’s worried about the singularity. Which I find to be more reasonable.

        2. He’s more anti-nerd than anything else. He is intimidated by people who are smarter than him.

          1. No. I admire people who are smarter than me. I just have no use for people who don’t understand and appreciate the practical world. Those people are commonly known as nerds. I find the assumptions of the people developing the driverless car to be very funny. It is obvious they either don’t drive or don’t understand driving and cars if they do.

            1. They’re doing the best they can given the tools that they have to work with and the rules that they have to follow. You are the one who lacks understanding and appreciation, not them.

            2. What makes you think that these nerds don’t appreciate the practical world? The fact that they haven’t succeeded (yet) in a very complex but also very intriguing problem?

              Indeed, I’ve found that most of the nerds I know are far more aware of the constraints of reality. They are the first to call bullshit when some visionary manager handwaves over some complex process and declares “it’s not that hard!” And they are the ones who ultimately pick apart seemingly straightforward problems into the nuance and edge cases that ultimately make big ideas work.

              People are wrong about shit all the time. I’d rather these nerds be wrong in their attempts to solve this real problem than to blissfully go about life assuming something and not doing the work necessary to implement it, as pretty much 60% of the american “there should be a law” public seems to do these days.

          2. I like the image of what I picture John to look like sitting out on his front porch with a shotgun and a 48 oz of Bud Light just watching and waiting for his neighbor’s driverless car to go rogue.

        3. Since when is the government being a bunch of assholes anything but a certainty? And I am not anti machine. I am pro personal autonomy and freedom. Machines are neither good nor bad. The effects of machines, however, can be bad if they rob you of your personal autonomy.

          And for the record I am not against driverless cars. I am against the prohibition of human driven cars. That and I also find the claims made by driverless cars’ proponents to be laughably unrealistic.

          1. I’m with you on this, John. And I make robots that drive themselves.
            Someday driver-less cars will be a practical possibility. But unless some miraculous change in how we are governed happens really soon, I don’t see it being any kind of gain for individual autonomy. They will be tracked, they will be speed limited and you probably won’t even be able to have your car drive you home when you are drunk.

            1. The government can do part of that already, and probably will soon. So, the issue still isn’t with the technology, as I see it. I don’t deny that all of those are strong possibilities if not guaranteed.

              Phasing out old, non driving cars would still take a very long time, though.

              1. Those are just reasons I’m not personally excited about self-driving cars, not a reason to give up on the idea. But I also think that the tech is a lot less mature than some make it out to be. Even with a centralized control system that knows where all the cars are, it’s a difficult problem and it has to be solved really well before you can put lots of the things on highways.

              2. Not if you declare a super-duper government initiative. They could call it “Cash for Clowncars” or something like that.

                It could be UUUUGE, and it would pay for itself because of all the manufacturing jobs it would create.

            2. Yeah, as ridiculous as it is, it’s almost a certainty to me that the state would still prohibit you for being drunk in a driverless car (rationale: you need to be sober if something goes wrong!!). They will creep the speed limit lower and lower.

            3. Zeb, I think you are (sadly) right.

              However, I also think there’s a significant chance of all that happening anyway.

      2. They as of yet don’t go over 25 MPH. Even when they do, driving on highways still requires them to deal with other drivers and adjust to people doing things that can’t be predicted. And the stakes on highways is a hundred times higher because of the speed.

        I think it is going to be a while before they have one you would even think of trusting to drive at speed on a highway. And while it sounds nice to turn your driving over to a car on a long trip, understand it is only going to drive the speed limit and no more. Even though you are not driving, you are still stuck in the car. Is the ability to not drive really worth the extra time of being stuck in the car as this thing plods along in the left lane doing the speed limit and no more? Over say a six hour trip, the difference between driving 65 and 70 is 30 miles or nearly 30 minutes. You would really have to dislike driving to think the extra time is worth it.

        1. I prefer driving to being a passenger anyway.

          1. Yeah. Control freaks are like that. 😉

          2. Me too. At least there’s something to do. And no, checking the internet on the phone as a passenger gets boring real quick.

            1. Yeah over a six hour trip, Pornhub is only going to eat up about 6 minutes. At best!

        2. Even when they do, driving on highways still requires them to deal with other drivers and adjust to people doing things that can’t be predicted.

          Do you mean, things that can’t be predicted, or things that can only be predicted by a human? In the first case, a machine with a quicker reaction time should outperform a human. I’m not convinced the second case exists.

          And while it sounds nice to turn your driving over to a car on a long trip, understand it is only going to drive the speed limit and no more

          Google has already confirmed that it’s car will go up to 10 mph over the speed limit, if it is “safe” to do so. Presumably they would allow that to keep up with the flow of traffic.

          Is the ability to not drive really worth the extra time of being stuck in the car as this thing plods along in the left lane doing the speed limit and no more?

          I would happily add 30 minutes to a six hour drive if it meant I could sleep for 5 hours of it. For one thing I could “drive” over night. Yes, I realize early versions might require the driver to be alert and capable of intervening, but that’s not what I’m waiting for.

          1. Oh, and I love driving. But after a few hours it gets old and my legs get tired, especially if I’m on a boring stretch of freeway that I’ve already travelled a hundred times.

            1. Double-oh. I guess what I’m getting at here is the issue of productivity. I like driving, but there’s usually other things I’d rather be doing and many of them can be done in a car, unless I’m the driver.

              1. Less of them can be done than you think. And few people really want to work on their way to work. They might say they do but if you gave them a driver for a month they would end up doing very little more work in most cases.

                1. This is somewhat true, but misses an important point.

                  When my office moved, a bunch of people started commuting on trains. They didn’t end up working more- but they did end up working on the trains. Whereas they used to work a 10 hour day at the office and spend 30 minutes or so on the road, they instead spent 8 hours in the office and 2 hours working on the train. All in all, they were still getting their 10 hours a day in, but they made up an additional 30 minutes that they could spend at home.

                  This is a generalization, and there were many different reactions, but the point remains: remove a laborious activity from people and they will fill it with work or leisure or something else. There is nothing bad about that.

    4. That’s what I’ve been saying for a while. Self driving cars is way harder than they make it out to be. To make software that can really do it as well and safely as a person, the designers need to think of all of the little things that people pick up on and notice, much of which we aren’t even really conscious of. I think we are still a very long way from them being common on the roads. And does anyone really think that they will ever have a self driving car that doesn’t constantly transmit its location to the authorities?

      1. Never. And because of liability concerns, they will go the speed limit and no more. And the idea of trains of self driving cars doing incredible speeds is just laughable. Only someone who has never driven at high speed and doesn’t understand the physics and nature of doing that could believe something that absurd.

        1. I’m sure that the average nerd has a better understanding of physics than you.

          1. Understanding physics does you no good if you don’t understand how it applies. And thhese people clearly don’t.

            Does understanding physics mean you know how to build a bridge?

            1. Reading that article, it isn’t actually clear to me that the nerds had anything wrong.

              Every day, cars get rear ended. Every day, cars get sideswiped by people changing lanes into an occupied blind spot. It isn’t a failure on google’s part that sometimes the car that gets hit is one of theirs. John, by saying that nerds don’t appreciate all the social signaling and subtlety of driving, is suggesting that the examples of a google car being rear-ended are somehow evidence of their deficiency. It might be if we didn’t have soooo many examples of human drivers being even more inept.

              Yes, one example in that article, of a google car being paralyzed at a 4-way stop because none of the other drivers would come to a complete stop, is an evidence that the google car needs more work- and surprise, by the end of the article they show that it was addressed.

        2. the idea of trains of self driving cars doing incredible speeds is just laughable

          Or incredible, anyway.

      2. And does anyone really think that they will ever have a self driving car that doesn’t constantly transmit its location to the authorities?

        I’m sure that that will come long before driverless cars. I fully expect something along the lines of OnStar to be mandatory on all cars in the not so distant future, along with transponders for going through tolls without paying cash. This will allow all cars to be tracked. For our own safety and protection of course.

      3. To make software that can really do it as well and safely as a person

        What if it only has to be as safe as the average driver? What if it’s the average driver from Boston? Would we be there yet?

        And does anyone really think that they will ever have a self driving car that doesn’t constantly transmit its location to the authorities?

        I think, perhaps, such things can be disabled or otherwise mitigated. Most people won’t bother. I wouldn’t bother, because I don’t really care. But if you did care, you could probably do something about it since you’d have direct access to the hardware and software. Just don’t bring yourself to their attention in other ways because you’d probably be looking at extra charges for tampering.

        1. What if it only has to be as safe as the average driver?

          Then the first time a self driving car is involved in a fatal accident everyone freaks out and we get a whole bunch of new laws and regulations that don’t really solve the problem but make everyone’s life shittier.

          How often does the average driver crash? I think people are a lot more tolerant of human error than machine error when life and limb are at stake.

          1. I think we’ll see some of the opposite. Regulations will slowly force driverless cars off the road as studies blame the human cars for it. The progs are going to be all on board with driverless cars because they will be easier to regulate.

            We’ll end up with DUI laws because they are a money maker and because people will still see it as a moral issue of some kind. Sticking it to those other drunks is something most Americans are on board with.

    5. In fact, the self driving features being put in standard cars may make driving less safe

      I’m sure of it. They facilitate distracted driving. Hell, that’s how they are being advertised – “Look, this dipshit isn’t paying attention to the road! No worries, though, the car will save him.”

      1. I’m not convinced. The bits they put in that about adaptive cruise control have happened to me on the road. I set the ACC and it leaves enough space for someone else to slip in ahead of me. AND THEN NOTHING HAPPENS. My car slows down a little bit, and 5 or 10 minutes later, another person slips in. AND NOTHING HAPPENS.

        I’d be interested in reading more about the study suggesting that cars with lane control have more accidents. Did they control for hours driven? Did they check to see if the actual increased number of accidents were actually lane change accidents (if they weren’t, then it’s difficult to draw a correlation). For all we know, the blip is merely due to Asians being more likely to buy cars with electronic gadgets in them (cuz asians, amiright??).

  11. Paying for things with your phone??? I can’t even imagine the security risks involved. It’s a neat idea, but just not practical. Look these nerds in the lab might be able to use something like this in their college cafeteria, but out there in the real world, there are bad people with guns that could steal my phone and loot my retirement account and bank accounts. It just isn’t practical.

    Sound familiar?

    1. Flying cars, jet packs. Those were going to change the world too. Not so much. Not every problem is the same.

  12. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

    http://www.HomeJobs90.Com

  13. You must really hate driving. And most people don’t or if they do don’t find sitting in a car any better. There are plenty of people who can afford to hire a driver but most who could afford it don’t because they like driving or don’t view being driven as an improvement. The benefits of this are oversold.

    1. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that there aren’t better things to spend it on. I could afford a maid, but I’d have to cut into my comic book budget to do it. Does this mean an outsider could conclude that I like cleaning or don’t view having others do my cleaning for me as a better option?

      1. Again you are stuck in the car. How many people prefer to drive rather than be a passenger? A lot. And even the ones who don’t how big of a deal is it? Not that big for most people. This is not a world changing technology.

      2. Re: Illocust,

        Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that there aren’t better things to spend it on.

        If only people could be made to spend their money on better things… What would that be called?

  14. YOU DWEEBS ENJOY UR CUCKTAILZ

    /TRUMP SUPPORTRSR

  15. Ronnie, when are you getting on Stossel?

  16. I do have to hand it to Mr. Bailey; if there is indeed an apocalypse, there won’t be anyone around to call him out on his wrong predictions. Clever.

    1. Funny, how nobody (who matters in their closed little universe) ever calls out the eco-doomsters on their unbroken string of failed predictions.

      Clever.

      1. Easy to call predictions failed when you simply refuse to acknowledge the current and ongoing degradation of the planet’s environment.

        1. Not to mention the billions of people who starved to death in the 70s and 80s, eh, Ehrlich?

          It’s even easier to call predictions failed when they, you know, failed.

        2. So… I’ll see you at the book signing?

        3. Re: Tony the Marxian,

          Easy to call predictions failed when you simply refuse to acknowledge the current and ongoing degradation of the planet’s environment.

          The worst environmental disasters were the result of Marxian activities on this earth, Marxian.

          Lake Aral
          Lake Karachay

          Not to mention the Marxian spill over the Colorado river, the untold disasters caused by Marxian policies in Zimbabwe and other places in Africa. Marxians like you pretend to be these big defenders of the environment when in fact you’re the environment greatest rapists with your assaults on private property rights.

          1. And for those who make human suffering their first priority in the grand scheme of trade-offs that is life, let’s not forget banning DDT and permitting the return of pestilence and plagues that had been largely eliminated for two decades before Silent Spring started the latest neo-Malthusian moral panic. Though I suppose the lives of 100,000,000 Africans is a small price to pay for the fundamentalist’s pleasure at his own moral superiority.

            “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” -Alexander King

    2. Re: Tony the Marxian,

      if there is indeed an apocalypse[…]

      “The Great Pyramid predicts it so!”

      Tony the Marxian is also Tony The Crazed Millenarist!

  17. Still waiting for the price of the Kindle edition of Ron’s book to come down to a reasonable level…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.