Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Just Kidding: Once you are sufficiently jaded about science you can get a new perspective on the recent announcement that there is only a 50-50 chance humans will survive the century (thanks KK) by Sir Martin Rees. Wow – he's both a knight and a scientist, he must be an unquestionable authority.

Or not, check out this review from The Economist.
So how does he justify his suggestion that mankind might have only a 50-50 chance of surviving the 21st century-our final century, to use the alarmist title of the book? Even before your correspondent could ask him that question at a recent literary event, Sir Martin confessed to being a fan of Bjorn Lomborg-a Danish academic who recently caused some controversy when he suggested that greens have been systematically distorting the fact that the environment has been getting healthier in many countries.

Sir Martin then took the reviewer's copy of "Our Final Century" and pencilled in a question mark after the title. His publishers had ruled it out. The American publishers even changed the title from "Our Final Century" to "Our Final Hour". Sir Martin is clever enough to know that the end is not nigh, but he put up with the chicanery in order to gain a wider audience. A small sin, perhaps, in such an important book.

Writers are such whores.