Carl Sagan on Climate – 1985

November 9, 2021

3 Responses to “Carl Sagan on Climate – 1985”


  1. Sagan was one of the wisest, but I wonder if he’d sell out to the blind, physical destruction of nature, as his de-facto replacement did? https://www.google.com/search?q=“neil degrasse tyson”+”cosmos”+”wind”+”take+up+very+little+land” (a lie)

    I can’t see Sagan, with his aesthetic respect for the universe, saying something like: “We humans should strive for a BILLION beautiful wind turbines on this blue and green orb.”

    More likely, Sagan would have called for degrowth of the economy, not the accelerated industrialization pushed as a climate solution by misguided techies. There’s a big difference between minds like his and the average green-shill who favors slogans and shouts down dissenters.

    Taking a long break from this blog, as the audience is too predictable.

    • neilrieck Says:

      Not sure I agree with you about what Sagan might have said, or not (I attended his Toronto lecture in 1988 and he was definitely the smartest person in the room). Wind turbines might not have a been a realistic alternative in 1985 (video) or 1996 (the year he died) but they are today. On top of that, there appear to be two holy cows in our society that no one is aloud to discuss publicly: 1) placing any limits on “the economy”. 2) curbing population growth. To make matters worse, one is dependent upon the other UNLESS we agree to set up a world wide system of socialism where everyone is taken care of no matter whether they contribute to “a economy” or not. I read recently that per-person energy use in North America has decreased significantly BUT all those savings were lost due to population growth. If the COVID crisis has taught us anything it is this: limiting human activity did affect the economy but the world did not come to a metaphorical end. So perhaps Tyson’s position is that of a diplomat sitting between two extreme positions. I’m sure we can all agree that the current political divide was very much smaller in Sagan’s time.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Wind turbines do take up very little land, according to both farmers and wildlife. Compare the on-land footprint of mountaintop removal, oil fields, tar sands fields, etc., to a wind turbine pedestal. You can put a child’s playground right next to the tower, under the blades.

      Wind turbines take up much much less sea than oil rigs, in that even the most catastrophic failure of one won’t poison hundreds of square kilometers of sea surface and despoil the coastlines and estuaries and breeding grounds of sea life.

      Wind turbines take up much less air in the amount of fossil fuel combusted for their production in comparison than the FF combustion to produce the energy they do over their lifetimes. It’s an even bigger win in those countries which don’t have scrubbers on their coal stacks or emission controls on their vehicles, poisoning the population downwind.

      Wind turbines take up much less water than that consumed and/or poisoned during extraction and processing of fossil fuels. When wind turbines start damaging aquifers, let me know.


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