Posted inParenting & Family

One-and-a-half cheers for depopulation

Reading Time: 4 minutes Although we can’t predict the future in detail, there are large-scale trends that make me hopeful. The blossoming of renewable energy is one of these. Let’s discuss another. Overpopulation is a common fear among those who predict catastrophe. They point to the exponential growth of humanity in the 20th century, from 1.6 billion people to […]

Posted inCulture

Does anyone have to be poor?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Does anyone have to be poor? Or is the ongoing existence of poverty a choice we make? In 2021, the world’s population was 7.9 billion people. Over the same time period, the gross world product (GWP)—the sum total of all human economic activity—was around $87 trillion. This figure encompasses vast inequality, everyone from yacht-owning billionaires […]

Posted inEnvironment

What degrowth is, and why it matters

Reading Time: 11 minutes In Livermore, California, there is a light bulb that never goes out. It was installed in 1901 in a fire station that didn’t realize for many decades what a wonder it had on its hands. The bulb was made by the Shelby Electric Company, with a patented-coil carbon filament eight times thicker than the tungsten […]

Posted inTech

Why degrowth is (still) wrong

Reading Time: 6 minutes Earlier this month, I wrote an essay against degrowth, the position that drastic reductions to the modern lifestyle are our only hope of saving the planet. I argued that, to the contrary, renewable energy promises a future of greater abundance even as we tread more lightly on the Earth. It’s the very rare case where […]

Posted inWar and Peace

The cost of uneasy peace and economic warfare

Reading Time: 7 minutes In recent bouts of economic sanctions against Russia, many average citizens are just now learning about the extent of oil imperialism in their lives. But it’s not simply a matter of countries leveraging energy markets against one another. Oil companies stand gleefully at the ready to boost profits and political positioning even as our governments […]

Posted inTech

Why degrowth is wrong

Reading Time: 4 minutes Americans are obsessed with bigness. We build bigger and bigger houses. We drive bigger and bigger cars. We even eat bigger portions and consume more calories than anyone else, including more meat, the most resource-intensive of foods. In short, we idolize excess. We’re the richest society that’s ever existed, and we consume in a way […]

Posted inPolitics

Understanding the contradictions of the EU through the misunderstanding of Brexiteers

Reading Time: 5 minutes A lot of people don’t really understand the EU, which was always going to make a referendum on the UK’s membership, like Brexit, something of a problem. Opposition to the EU can come in broadly two different forms. First, you have the small-government advocates who are anti-immigration and pro-free market. This is generally the right-wing […]

Posted inPolitics

Well, Brexit’s Going Really Well…

Reading Time: 6 minutes I recently wrote that everything I predicted, as a Remainer who publicly debated the EU referendum back in 2016, is coming true. But I just want to update some of my American friends on what is presently going on. Those right-wingers in the US – some of whom comment on this blog – supported leaving […]

Posted inPolitics

Turns out I Was Right about Brexit. A Lot.

Reading Time: 8 minutes “Project Fear, you Remoaner!” I’ve heard it for a number of years, since before the vote. And when Project Fear didn’t happen, Leavers got even more vocal. Of course, it didn’t happen because it took us this long to leave the EU – and it’s still ongoing. In fact, this was yet another lie from […]

Posted inGeneral

Hurrah for Liberals: An Early ‘Occupy’ Episode

Reading Time: 3 minutes By James A. Haught Many atheists also are progressive “social justice warriors” striving to make life better and more equal for everyone. They include Daylight Atheism contributor James Haught. Here’s a chapter from his 2016 book, Hurrah for Liberals. The terrible Great Depression of the 1930s wasn’t America’s only economic crash. Various lesser ones happened […]