Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Obama's "Science Czar" And Re-Distribution

Since becoming Obama’s “Science Czar”, much has been made John Holdren’s controversial positions as espoused in his book, Conscience, written in 1977. In the book, Holdren advocated such bizarre policies as:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not; • The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food; • Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise; • People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized. • A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.

Earlier, 1973, Holdren co-authored Human Ecology with Paul and Anne Erich. Holdren and the Erlichs call for “de-development”:

"The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge," they wrote. "They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided to every human being."

“Redistribution “ is a re-occurring theme for Holdren:

“Angry opposition to de-development can be expected from some technologists who are used to having their schemes for progress accepted without question by a dazzled public," the authors wrote. "SSTs (solid state technologies), space colonies, thermonuclear weapons and delivery systems, geodesic domes over cities, fission power, giant automobiles, plastic wrappings, genetic engineering, disposable packages and containers, synthetic pesticides, and the like are supposed to be accepted as self-evidently desirable.”

“However, many technologists now correctly perceive that, if the ODCs are to be de-developed and civilization is to persist, the halcyon days of unquestioning public acceptance of technological ‘progress’ must disappear forever.”

Holdren doesn’t address the role that technology has played in the improvement of human life. For instance, would the average woman be able to enjoy the career she has today if after work she was required to provide dinner for her family using only the technology available 50 years ago? Technology, including the dreaded “disposable packages and containers”, microwave ovens, dishwashers are convenient and provide the user, most often a woman, with a better quality of life and the ability to pursue options that would not otherwise be available.

Holdren seems to advocate that quality of life be sacrificed for the preservation of natural resources, yet he doesn’t recognize or perhaps believe, that the greatest of all natural resources are our human resources. Further, through the use of redistribution, Holdren would prefer to see quality of life lowered in developed countries rather than improved in undeveloped countries. I find it odd that as a scientist Holdren seems to view technology as a detriment rather than an important tool in improvement of the human condition.

Whatever Holdren’s priorities, it seems clear that as Science Czar he is in a position to “de-evolve “ the American lifestyle.

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