Jonathan Swift himself could not have written better satire than Nathan Gardels in his most recent HuffPo post:

No one — least of all someone like myself who has experienced the existential terror of California’s regular tremors and knows the big one is coming here next — would minimize the grief, suffering and disruption caused by Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
The need to rebuild a large swath of Japan will create huge opportunities for domestic economic growth, particularly in energy-efficient technologies, while also stimulating global demand and hastening the integration of East Asia. … Japan has been wallowing in stagnation for years despite massive government stimulus programs and zero-interest rates because, simply put, in such an advanced, mature economy there was too little demand to generate sufficient returns to attract private investment. Thus the famous “bridges to nowhere” and other projects that amounted to pushing a string.
By taking Japan’s mature economy down a notch, Mother Nature has accomplished what fiscal policy and the central bank could not.

Larry Summers only alluded to this, but this fellow goes on to explore the implications of what Summers could have meant. I mean, thousands may have had their lives ruined, but their status quo was just getting the way of their “[position] for a green recovery.” I waxed on about how the Broken Window Fallacy is still alive and kicking, but this post leads me to pick another bone with leftists commentators….

I’m always repulsed by the way environmentalists see (their typically failed predictions and) ideas come before people. A more extreme example would be John Holdren, our Science advisor to the President. In a 1969 article, Holdren argued that, “if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

In 1973 Holdren encouraged a decline in fertility, and in 1977, he co-authored the textbook Ecoscience; discussing the possible role of a wide variety of solutions to overpopulation, from voluntary family planning to enforced population controls, including forced sterilization for women after they gave birth to a designated number of children, and recommended “the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences” such as access to birth control and abortion.


Of course, just like campus Marxists, these people prefer grandiose change that may jeopardize the lives of others because they think they’ll be at the helms of revolution.

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