Happy Lenin’s Birthday!

Yup, it’s time for the annual Lenin’s Birthday post!

For those of you coming in late to the party, Earth Day” is on Lenin’s Birthday.  Not a coincidence, given that the “founder” of Earth Day was much more a “Watermelon” than an actual environmentalist. Watermelon: Thin layer of green of the outside, red to the core.

Let’s review the predictions from the very first so called “Earth Day” back in 1970.

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” — Life Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

Ok, Ehrlich was sorta right on this, if you restrict his predictions to modern Communist China, where they are showing the typical communist/socialist contempt for the environment.

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Now we get to my personal favorite, although probably not Al Gore‘s…
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

2014 Update: Wired Magazine publishes this article: Renewables Aren’t Enough. Clean Coal Is the Future

It wouldn’t be Lenin’s Birthday with out this clip of the late George Carlin discussing “Saving the Planet.”

Monday Book Pick: Son of the Black Sword

Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

I’ve always been much more of a hard SciFi fan than fantasy, but I like Larry Correia’s fast paced pulp style. I started listening to little bits of this book at the end the weekly Baen Books podcast. When I got a dead tree version, I chewed through it pretty quite. Good adventure with a reluctant hero who has, like some of the characters in his Monster Hunter International books, been given the ‘short straw’ by the gods. Larry Correia is a pen and paper RPG geek from way back, and this book show some serious world building. If you want some fast paced fantasy adventure, where the author was clearly chuckling when writing parts of it, give this book a read.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Grey Lensman

Grey Lensman by E.E. Smith, PhD.

Part of the classic Lensman series, from which all Space Opera springs. It’s the story of Kim Kinnison, the result of thousands of years of selective breeding by an ancient race, to save civilization from the forces of tyranny. It has massive space battles, planet destroying weapons, intrigue, aliens, battles of the mind, and true love.

Let’s not forget the space axe. Space Armor is proof against bullets and death rays, so the heroes use a specialized 30 pound axe to kill their foes.

A ripping good yarn from the Golden Age of Pulp. SciFi Grandmaster Robert Heinlein considered Smith a mentor, and echos of the Lensman series can be found in Heinlein’s work as well as Ringo, Weber, Halderman, and many others.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: I love you Alice B. Toklas

I Love You Alice B. Toklas
Setting the Wayback Machine to 1968 for this Peter Sellers film. He plays an uptight lawyer, what the kids called a “Square” back then. He manages to get a hippy girlfriend, who whips up some pot laced brownies, a favorite recipe of a close and personal friend of Gertrude Stein. Sellers’ character eats them and decides “drop out” and become a hippy. A definite period piece comedy.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: Doctor Detroit

Doctor Detroit
Setting the Wayback Machine to 1983 for this Dan Aykroyd comedy gem. You might recognize Howard Hesseman and Fran Drescher. Drescher plays one of four high end “Ladies of the Evening” run by pimp Howard Hesseman. He gets into trouble for not paying off the local crime boss, Mom. He cons Aykroyd, who plays a young college professor, into taking over his job. He creates the persona of “Doctor Detroit” to save the day. Light fun, with decidedly adult humor.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: The Hunter Killers

The Hunter Killers by Dan Hampton
A well researched look at the creation of the “Wild Weasel” program by the US Air Force during the Vietnam war. The effective SAM (Surface to Air Missile) was a new thing, and the Russians were providing them to the communists in North Vietnam. So the Air Force put radar tracking equipment in planes, along with an Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO), to track down the SAM sites and take them out before they could take out the attacking aircraft.

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Monday Book Pick: A Night in the Lonesome October

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Once again going to the classic by the late Grandmaster Roger Zelazny. It is set in the month of October, which each day being a chapter. The story is told by Snuff, a watchdog, who like his companion Jack, is the owner of several Curses. One of Jack’s involves a large knife. Whenever there is a full moon on October 31, a group of people and their animal companions gather together and work toward a ritual on the night of the 31st. They are trying to either open or keep closed, a gateway for the Elder Gods (think Lovecraft). So far, the Closers have always won. Up until the end, it’s hard to tell who is an Opener and who is a closer, or even who is in the game. Others who are in the area with Snuff and Jack include: a vampire called “The Count” and his bat; a mad Russian monk and his snake, a broom flying witch named Crazy Jill and her black cat, the Great Detective and his sidekick; Larry Talbot and his furry alter ego. Zelazny had a lot of fun with this book. If you can pick up a copy with the Gahan Wilson illustrations, you are in for a bonus treat.

Monday Book Pick Archive