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In a sense talking about the next millenium is an immediate planetary emergency. For if we do not think about it carefully we will lose any ability to control or even influence it. The result might be self destruction by disease or atomic bombs or a lapse into poverty. But the discussion will be very different from the discussions w have had in the last 10 years when we discuss situations which call for, some would say demand, immediate attention. I argue, even insist that one must think positively. We must not be Luddites – the social movement of British textile workers in the nineteenth century who protested often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt was leaving them without work and changing their way of life. Luddites were unable to stop the industrial revolution but, in my naive view, may they have delayed the proper reaction of environmental scientists to it. The environmental; movement in the USA and hence the world includes people who resist change and this subgroup are sometimes called neo-Luddites. I sometimes accuse them of exclaiming: “stop the world. I want to get off.” My family on my father's side were weavers. Their main complaint was different from that of Ned Ludd. They were concerned that no one would buy woolen products.. It was the 1897 McKinley tariff that the USA enacted which cut imports of British wool into the US and caused majo

Year: 2013
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