Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 101: Cabin Fever and David Brooks

Rain today. A cold, drenching rain. This has been a long winter.

We had to get out of it, so it was down to Chico to Calskate for some roller skating. Part of our pantheon of activities when you just can't stand the rain anymore. The other activities are the library and bowling. We don't go to the Mall much; in fact, I can't remember the last time I went to one. Depressing places: I'd rather stay home in the rain.

But Angel and I did manage to stumble out for a walk. All the while contemplating an op/ed by David Brooks of the New York Times. I read the thing yesterday after a friend recommended it to me. It is supposed to be "optimistic".

I found it disconcerting.

What Brooks finds as optimism, I find to be bad news: Increasing birth rates amongst Americans in their twenties (they are having larger families!); increasing immigration; a population increase of (at least) one hundred million by the time I'm scheduled to exit the planet (in 2050--I'm being optimistic given my poor health habits!). This is all bad news.

Of course Brooks minimizes the perils that might befall us. No mention of Peak Oil. No mention of the hazards of monoculture. No mention of climate change. Ignore the man behind the curtain please...

East Coast Well-Educated Token Republicans writing for the New York Times forget one thing: Nature Bats Last...


lph said...


I too read this editorial. In fact David Brooks is arguable my favorite conservative writer. I almost always find him engaging, often provocative, and sometimes even (almost) agree with him. But then he writes some senseless drivel like this and I then must question why I read him.

If there is any consolation, this column generated over 500 comments from readers. I guess that means he did his job!

Allan Stellar said...

Hey Larry,

I agree with you about Brooks. I liked his book (which I think he called "Bobos") about Bohemian Capitalist types. He is a conservative who thinks in the terms of class. And he is always enjoyable on that PBS news program (whose name escapes me).

I like Brooks too. Although he is not an enviro type (and could stand to take a decent backpacking trip with a few radicals--drinking scotch by the fire and debating the loss of wilderness and Peak Oil). Should we invite him along?