The End of Doom

Sierra Club Reviews The End of Doom

And the reviewer doesn't entirely hate it.

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SierraClub
Sierra Club

As some Reason readers may have heard, I have a new book out, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century. It's been reviewed in various places, including the Wall Street Journal. I just came across the recent review of it over at the Sierra Club. Like most environmental activist groups, the Sierra Club has a rather downbeat view of the future of our planet. So I was surprised at the rather wistful and somewhat contradictory tone of the review of my book over at the organization's website. From the review:

It is refreshing to read about positive trends that bode well for the future of humanity, such as the mass migration to cities ("the most environmentally benign human settlement"), or the potential for self-driving cars to significantly reduce the amount of vehicles globally. Nevertheless, we get the sense that Bailey is ignoring a whole lot of bad in order to highlight the good.

The book is overly packed with studies and statistics. Bailey's research was clearly exhaustive, but his writing sometimes feels like a composite of other people's arguments.

BookCover
St. Martin's Press

Overly packed, yet clearly exhaustive? Those are criticisms? Also as a reporter, I don't just make stuff up. So I do confess to writing analyses that incorporate insights from other people's arguments, especially those derived from researchers who publish "peer-reviewed science done in good faith."

The review concludes:

Bailey doesn't go so far as to say that rising temperatures aren't a worry, but his message is that "the solution to future climate change is the same as for other environmental problems—the application of human ingenuity and technology" fostered by free market capitalism. While the book doesn't entirely convince us of that, we can only hope, to some degree, he is right.

May I suggest that you all buy and read the book to see if you think that I am right?

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  1. The book is overly packed with studies and statistics. Bailey’s research was clearly exhaustive, but his writing sometimes feels like a composite of other people’s arguments.

    He basically ripped off that Amazon review that complained about all the science.

    1. his writing sometimes feels like a composite of other people’s arguments

      This just baffles me. Isn’t this a way of saying that he brings together what a lot of people have been saying? And that means we should . . . disregard it?

      1. Look, some people think professional writing is just like a high school essay – its important that you say it in your own words even if someone else has already said it better, clearer, and with more evidence backing them up.

        Those sorts of people work in activist NGO’s to make the world a worse place because they confuse ‘intentions’ with ‘results’.

  2. Yet another complaint about too much science. If Bailey ever gets around to writing a book, he should make sure not to science so much in it.

    1. I think that it’s just the reviewers polite way of saying “really boring”.

    2. They may fucking love science, but only in small doses

      1. I’ve seen it astutely pointed out that a “I Fucking Love Science” could be more accurately named “I Fucking Love Looking at Pictures of Natural Phenomena.”

        1. Yeah, but it’s edgy, you can tell by the “Fucking.”

      2. I like science but only when it confirms my personal biases.

    3. Yeah, don’t science the shit out of it, you … you … Martian!

  3. “We give the book three Spotted Owls out of five, for good effort!”

    1. The End of Doom – Five pounds of science in every 12 oz. book!

  4. Also as a reporter, I don’t just make stuff up.

    Well, that would place you in the top .1% of your field.

    Tell us about your feelz, man. We don’t care about facts.

    1. How does he feel the world is judging his white body?

  5. Overly packed, yet clearly exhaustive? Those are criticisms?

    “Well, he does support his arguments with an exhaustive amount of data but we always find over-reliance on data and figures and facts to be fishy. There’s a Greater Truth out there, after all!”

    That’s how it works with Marxians, Ron. That is how the cookie crumbles.

  6. Overly packed, yet clearly exhaustive? Those are criticisms?

    Well, yeah. You’re letting facts get in the way of the narrative.

    1. Besides that, science is decided by consensus now, not facts.

      1. Facts are decided by consensus, though.

        1. Not really. Facts are still facts. The consensus determines if they matter. You know, like if they counter the narrative then they don’t matter. But they’re still facts.

          1. So how do you determine what counts as a fact if not by consensus of people willing to accept it as such?

            1. omg Hugh will you just shut up and admit there is an identifiable objective reality???

              1. Fine nicole, geez. I’ll admit that reality is objective and that human conceptual categories are discoveries rather than inventions. I’m…I’m just too dumb to read the labels that are conveniently attached to the distinctly discrete objects and events that make up space-time okay?

                1. human conceptual categories are discoveries rather than inventions

                  See, I believe there is an objective reality, and that human conceptual categories are inventions of, well, humans.

                  1. But…that would imply humans only had access to consensus, not facts!!!

                    1. Facts can be verified by independent sources. The fact that for practical reasons we sometimes take the shortcut of trusting relayed facts or even consensus doesn’t change that.

                      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB…..3341239688

                      Yes, we really, really need even more lib arts majors.

              2. omg Hugh will you just shut up and admit there is an identifiable objective reality???

                What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain…

                …Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

            2. So how do you determine what counts as a fact facts count if not by consensus of people willing to accept it as such?

              -ftfy

              1. Why don’t you try answering the actual question?

                1. Why don’t you try not being the worst?

                2. Are you trying to break sarcbot? He only has about 4-5 lines he can say. With John returning I think he now has 6.

                    1. Those are the after pics!?

  7. Nice Bailey, when you get critical review complaining that you provide to much evidence you know you are doing something right. I might pick up your book now. Congrats, the endless advertising worked.

    1. You know who else wrote a book…

      1. Rachel Carson?

      2. Paul Ehrlich?

      3. Certified Public Asshat|10.21.15 @ 11:19AM|#
        “You know who else wrote a book…”

        I’m struggling with that…

      4. Brian Doherty?

        1. Really? I must have missed that.

      5. Hillary?

      6. The Monotones?

    2. I bought two copies! They prop up the uneven leg of my coffee table.

      Just kidding, only one copy. But it is a fine read.

    3. No wait, here’s a better one:
      Elvis Costello. Every. Day.

      1. **Should be under “you know who else”…**

        I’m just gonna go back to work.

        1. Chapter One: I thought up a great Godwin answer.
          Chapter Two: I think I fucked up threading.

          1. **hangs head and nods sadly**

      2. No, he writes “the” book, not “a” book. Articles matter.

  8. The Sierra Club has always been about public advocacy, and public advocacy, especially nowadays, is all about making people scared. Never let a crisis go to waste–because they’re so hard to manufacture, doncha know.

    “Be ye not afraid” is the worst thing you can say in the face of fear mongering, and if the worst an environmentalist public advocacy organization can say in response to that is, “Well, it’s got too much scientific information”, then Bailey must be doing something right.

    Yeah, I’ll buy the book.

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      The Sierra Club has always been about public advocacy, and public advocacy, especially nowadays, is all about making people scared.

      You don’t rake in the big bucks if you tell people everything is better than ever.

      1. If you are the Sierra Club you can get $100 million from David Gelbaum.if you support mass immigration to the USA

      2. “You don’t rake in the big bucks if you tell people everything is better than ever.”

        So Ron’s not gonna retire to Malibu on the sales of the book?

        1. Re: Sevo,

          Not unless he also robs banks on the side.

      3. All right-thinking people know Ron is rolling in the KochBux.

  9. I checked the comments to see how many I would have to read before someone called Ron a Kochsucker. The answer was “1”.

    1. There are comments? How did I miss this? Which one of the links led to them?

      1. The Sierra link; there are [facebook] comments on that page.

        1. Facebook commenters are America’s most horrible people.

          You’d think having their comments associated with their real world identities would matter–but it doesn’t. When you let your friends and family see the stupid shit you write every day, I guess you lose your inhibitions in real life, too.

          It’s like being a Kennedy or a Kardashian. Once everybody knows everything about you, you lose all sense of shame. I’m an idiot–LOOK AT ME!

          1. It’s like being a Kennedy or a Kardashian. Once everybody knows everything about you, you lose all sense of shame.

            It’s Chuck Klosterman’s updated version of Andy Warhol’s famous saying – on the Internet, everybody will be famous to fifteen people.

          2. “”Facebook commenters are America’s most horrible people.”

            I still give youtube comments the crown but thats probably because i havent’ logged into facebook since 2007

            1. You’re right.

              Facebook commenters are America’s second most horrible people.

    2. “John Robert Fay ? University of California, Santa Cruz

      Yes, god bless the market economy, but the market economy has no solution for climate change and other environmental issues unless the government gives it a strong shove in the right direction. The idea that the “free market” will solve climate issues on its own is simply oil/coal industry propaganda. I am angry and disgusted that this book is receiving such a mild and sympathetic review from the Sierra Club. Ms. Spinks clearly does not have the kind of expertise on climate issues that would allow her to see through this kind of output from the Koch messaging machine. Perhaps you should save her for reviewing books that feature warm, human stories about struggling rural farmers or mothers trying to feed their families and go get someone like Dave Roberts or the people at Skeptical Science to review these kind of books.

      Ah, the sharp minds of UC Santa Cruz. Home of the Bannana Slugs, and sort-of-not-really-quite the alma-mater of Reason’s very own Matt Walsh. I bet that’s a great place to engage in debate and meet attractive, open-minded women.

    3. Sad little people,
      Deeply invested in doom,
      yet, Earth will survive.

  10. The book is overly packed with studies and statistics.

    “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: “Did little demons get inside and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts.”

    1. And you put bread in a toaster and later, toast pops out! Where did the bread go, and where did the toast come from?
      These are mysteries.

  11. Any chance of this coming out on audio?

    1. Why? The Braille version too harsh on your sweet, delicate fingers?

      1. I do a lot of audio book listening in the car.

        1. Just think of him as “Old Curmudgeonly Mexican”. For that matter, you can probably think of most commenters as curmudgeonly around here…

          1. I like to imagine him as Ricardo Montalban.

            1. Quien es Mas Macho?

              Ricardo Montalban….? o Lorenzo Lamas?

  12. OT

    Asher’s War Factory cover art. I posted a different pic in yesterday’s PM links but a cropped version of this one appears to be the final cover.

    I have no clue what’s going on in this picture. The black shoals have been a Penny Royal guise but never at that scale.

    The long synopsis was removed from Amazon this morning.

    1. If you need something posthuman to hold you over in the meantime, check out Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur trilogy. It is excellent.

      1. It is, frankly, orders of magnitude better.

      2. CX: Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur trilogy is simply the best post-singularity fiction ever!

        1. I enjoyed it a lot. Can’t wait to see what he does next (possibly some sort of alternate history novel set in Finland, according to an interview i can’t find anymore).

  13. On an unrelated topic (but related to one of Bailey’s other recent posts), Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is being interviewed at the Wall Street Journal Live 2015 Conference…right freakin’ now.

    Here’s the link:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/20…..live-blog/

    1. “So, Ms. Holmes, tell us: Does your technology really work or do you just make shit up to get credulous cretins so enthusiastic about the “next Steve Jobs” that they open their pocketbooks to you?”

      1. She seems to have some pretty good answers to that.

        Incidentally, when speculation about a company that may go public gets frothy, the company doesn’t have to hype it. All the other speculators out there create the froth all by themselves–especially the bankers who will be taking it public. It’ll be between one of five firms taking them public, and they all take positions in each other’s IPOs so they can resell positions to their favored clients before the stock goes public.

        That isn’t Theranos’ fault.

        I see this as like Bloom Energy hype. People were hyping up that technology bigger than what it could do–but the technology was never misrepresented to the public by the company. And when they came out with their product, it did exactly what the company said it would do. They’re certainly not a disappointment because they didn’t reinvent the electron. They did what they said it would do. What more do you want?

        I’m not sure Theranos has misrepresented anything about their technology either. People who are interested in hyping the technology may have been blowing smoke, but that’s hardly Theranos’ fault.

  14. May I suggest that you all buy and read the book to see if you think that I am right?

    Read??? FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG

  15. Also as a reporter, I don’t just make stuff up.

    Then you’ve been doing it wrong. /Sabrina Erdely

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