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The Earth Is Full

Well, it's always been full of something. (Although, thanks to space programs from around the world sending metal into space, it is less full than it used to be.)

But Thomas Friedman in a recent New York Times column thinks that it is now full in a really bad way. Apparently we are all doomed because of global warming and overpopulation.

There's a lot to criticize in this article, but better bloggers than I have beaten me to the punch and done a better job than I would have done anyway. At michellemalkin.com, Doug Powers exposes Friedman's eco-hypocrisy. At TownHall  Paul Gregory  handily critiques Friedman's analysis of the climate and population problems.

There was one small part of Friedman's article that struck me as poorly reasoned that's worth mentioning here. He quotes an environmentalist-entrepreneur (whatever that is) named Paul Gilding who asks this rhetorical question:

"How many people,...lie on their death bed and say, 'I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,' and how many say, 'I wish I had gone to more ball games, read more books to my kids, taken more walks?

He poses this question to challenge our "consumption-driven growth model" and says it should be replaced by a "happiness-driven growth model". Never mind if the latter is even possible. Who is doing the producing and who is doing the consuming in this dichotomy? Somebody has to write, print and publish the books that are read to the kids. Ball games require equipment. (Taking walks, I'll grant, is a low consumption activity.) These activities are forms of consumption. Consumption of things made by the drones concerned with working hard and shareholder value.

So that's my small contribution to the debate. I'm ok with other bloggers joining in first. After all, Friedman himself was beaten to the punch on the "full earth" debate by Dewey From Detroit.