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David Brin

David Brin
San Diego, California, USA
October 06
Bio David Brin’s novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, including New York Times Best-sellers that won Hugo and Nebula awards. His 1989 ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed cyberwarfare, the World Wide Web, global warming and Gulf Coast flooding. A 1998 Kevin Costner film was loosely adapted from his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. ............................................ Brin is a noted scientist, futurist and speaker who appears frequently on television (Life After People, The Universe), discussing trends in the near and far future, on subjects such as surveillance, technology, astronomy, and SETI. His non-fiction book, The Transparent Society, deals with issues of openness and security in the wired-age. ............................................. David Brin web site: Twitter: Facbook:

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 21, 2012 7:33PM

Rick is on a Roll! But Man is not the measure of all things

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is truly on a roll.  Feeling his oats, he has been laying down a hardcore line. And if this one week is any sample, we are in for one heckuva ride.

He started by impugning President Ombama's religious faith as "phony theology." This is red meat, so central to the party faithful that a surrogate let slip what it really means, into an open microphone -- the "radical muslim" fantasy that they share privately on the bus and plane.

But more on that in a bit.

Is Santorum the new "teflon candidate" to whom nothing bad will stick? Let's start with the Phony Theology of environmentalism.

==  Elevating the Earth above People? ==

Now, completing 48 hours of grand assertions, Santorum proclaims that President Barack Obama is beholden to “radical environmentalists” and has a "world view that elevates the earth above man.”

Again and again, we see broad-brush assertions that are immune to testing by facts or experiment of falsification, because by their very essence they are about rhetoric, polemic, the world of subjective rage.

There IS an answer for this latest Santorum salvo.  Alas, it must be in terms that are rhetorical, polemical and subjective.  Yet, the pure truth.

Santorum claims that both Obama and the hated/satanic blue half of America elevate the Earth above people?

Wrong.  We elevate our great-grandchildren... and their great-grandchildren... above both short-term ripoff artists and dopes who pray for Armageddon.

Tens and hundreds of billions of people... future people... our descendants.  We want to save a viable planet -- and a viable, vibrantly creative economy and a vigorously scientific civilization -- for them.

When you strip away all the dross and distractions -- like the insipid notion that any of this involves old-fashioned "left-vs-right -- and when you strip away all the self-hypnosis incantations like "muslim" and "socialism" -- what is left?  What's the essential. core matter before us?

== The divide is not left/right... it is forward vs backward ==

Picture the big-money oligarchs who are stage managing this hysteria, hijacking the once-noble movement of Barry Goldwater...what do they have in common with the ground troops of the GOP, in their steepening spiral of frothing religious hysteria? Very little, except...

...the future.  Neither of them think about it, want it, care about it or believe in it. The populists in America's latest Great Revival think the days of the Late Great Planet Earth are numbered, and they despise those who would tend it with careful attention to distant tomorrows. The oligarchs? If they had horizons extending beyond ten years, they would get rich the way Gates and Buffet do, with goods and services, and with some thought to the long range, as well. In both cases, the agenda is nostalgia.

Oh, I will concede that Newt wants a moon base.  But where else is the extended future - the Long Now - to be found, contemplated anywhere at all on the right?  Barry Goldwater used to think long term. But in those days, 40% of scientists called themselves Republican, instead of 5% today. A migration and exile that says it all.

Read more about how well Rick Santorum channels to the "future shocked" side of America -- our neighbors who want no part of it.

Yes, there are also lefties, who "avatar" tomorrow with gloom.  I have always avowed that there are nut-jobs in that direction, too.  But those flakes are relatively rare and they do not own or operate an entire political party.  They don't have the calamitous misrule of the 2000s decade to atone for. Those lefty flakes are not the same thing as Blue America.

The America that still thinks about posterity -- and yes the posterity of our beloved fellow (red) citizens, as well. All of our descendants who will need a living Earth.

Author tags:

earth, environment, santorum

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The fact that Santorum has traction in the politics indicates a far more serious problem than the mental trash he is selling. It indicates there is sufficient public support for his vicious nonsense to destroy the country which has neither the understanding nor the intellect to put the country on the sane pathway to survival. If the public buys it then the country is doomed. And it is probably not worth saving.
Now you're talking, dude. It's about time the scientific community got up on its two hind legs and started barking about what a bunch of monkeys the GOP fearmongers and other global warming deniers are.
Why yes, as a matter of fact, we do place "Earth" above man, if man is to have a place to exist. I'm willing to put good money down on the proposition that if humans were allowed to exploit, despoil and destruct as much of the earth as it's been clearly shown in the past they'd be willing to do, unfettered, one would not come back to find the species thriving midst the refuse, linked together in the void of space much like a colony of army ants who form a ball to float across a raging river, while the remains of a polluted planet Earth smolder in the distance...