Category Archive 'James Hamblin'

10 Apr 2020

δειλοί, πάνδειλοι, κυάμων ἄπο χεῖρας ἔχεσθαι (Villains, Utter Villains, Keep Your Hands Away From Beans!) –Empedocles, fr. B.141

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James Hamblin M.D., who would believe it?, is actually 37 years old. He looks about 16. Despite being a Med School grad, he does not actually practice medicine, but instead writes for The Atlantic and lectures on Public Health at Yale.

Dr. Hamblin, in a 2017 article being freshly redistributed by Pocket, tells us that we should all give up eating beef, replacing it with beans(!) thereby coming close to meeting America’s 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.

[I]f nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.

“I think there’s genuinely a lack of awareness about how much impact this sort of change can have,” Harwatt told me. There have been analyses in the past about the environmental impacts of veganism and vegetarianism, but this study is novel for the idea that a person’s dedication to the cause doesn’t have to be complete in order to matter. A relatively small, single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impact—more so than downsizing one’s car, or being vigilant about turning off light bulbs, and certainly more than quitting showering.

So, here is this presumptuous elite scribbler with a couple of degrees and an adolescent’s face who is perfectly prepared to tell 330 million of his fellow citizens to hurry up and fall into line, giving up a primary focus of the American diet, a food item appearing on the table in countless forms and recipes, whose cultural role and traditional use extends backward immemorially. The paleolithic paintings at Lascaux include bison and aurochs, the ancestors of today’s Black Angus. And why? in order to comply with a 2009 international agreement proposing self-flagellating energy measures for advanced Western countries with no possible impact on the Asian and other Third World industrial activities producing far more of the emissions suppositiously threatening to provoke the wrath of Gaia.

Really intelligent people question the ability of computer models playing with statistics to predict the earth’s climate, and the same people are also highly skeptical of the whole Anthropogenic CO2 causing warming business, since it is obvious that the world’s climate has been significantly warmer than today during several periods in the past. The Vikings, for instance, settled and farmed in Greenland, then were frozen out. There’s nobody farming in Greenland today. The Romans extensively made wine in Britain. Growing wine grapes in Britain is a very minimal activity today, and not long ago was non-existent.

Anyone numerate would recognize that the Paris Treaty was never anything but a Feel-Good bien pensant gesture. Even if fully implemented, it could never have accomplished its supposed goal.

And, anyone with common sense would realize that trying to tell Americans to give up steak and hamburger, kill off all their cattle, and shut down a several-hundred-billion-dollar-a-year industry as a gesture of solidarity with International Goo-Goo-ism is a complete non-starter.

It is really typical of today’s society that somebody goofy enough to write that piece would be hired to lecture at Yale.


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