Re: Powerful Extropian Memes

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 08:51:07 -0500

Christian Weisgerber wrote:

> Terry Donaghe <> wrote:
> > Humans with our technology have done great damage to our planet (or at
> > least parts of it). The left-greenies (Al Gore comes to mind) suggest
> > that we should rethink our reliance on technology as a possible
> > solution. Us Extropians know that that's hogwash.
> BTW, how much environmental change is actually due to industrialization?
> Stone Age Polynesians turned Easter Island into a desert. What about the
> deforrestation of much of Europe?

Good question. Humans have been making species extinct since the Ice Age. Mammoths, sabre toothed tigers, cave bears, brown bears, red elk, gigantopithecus, neanderthals, you name it, we've been wiping them out since we were in loinskins...

Most of the Northern Sahara is a desert because the poor agricultural methods of the Carthaginians and the Romans wiped out the northern savannah. The highest level of lead pollution in history occured during the Roman Empire, not today (some say that is why the empire fell, they wound up with a generation of lead poisoned imbeciles).

If you study a comparison of the levels of per capita pollution with the per capita income, you find that pollution per capita is at its highest with a per capita income of about $10,000.00. After that point the pollution per capita will drop off significantly down to what looks like some sort of a limit at abou 35-40 percent of the maximum, at around the $20k per capita level. Since there aren't any societies that exist with higher per capita income, it is impossible to extrapolate, since per capita income in a society seems to behighly dependent on the technology level of the society. We don't know what sort of pollution reduction technologies may be developed in the future, although controllable limited nanotech may be considered to be capable of being a 100% reducer of pollution.

Mike Lorrey