Retreat to the Past
The deaths of Steve Jobs and Neil Armstrong could signal the end of a remarkable era of scientific and engineering achievement that started about 200 years ago when James Watt and Robert Stephenson managed to harness coal-fired steam power to drive engines and locomotives. This was followed by magic like electricity, diesel engines, nuclear power, the Model T, Colombia and the iPad.
During that era of innovation, we progressed from horse and buggy to supersonic flight; from semaphore to smart phone; from wood stoves to nuclear power; from the abacus to the PC; from flickering candles to brilliant light at the flick of a switch; and from wind-jammers sailing to the New World to rocket-ships landing on the Moon.
That era brought prosperity, longevity and a richer life to millions of people while creating the surpluses that allowed them to take better care of their environment. It also gave the free world the ability and tools to defend itself from aggressive dictators in two World Wars and the Cold War.
We are now living in the after-glow of that era, relying on past achievements and investments while Green doom-mongers are allowed to scare our children and reject our heritage.
What will today's "Green Generation" be remembered for?
Already they have re-discovered wind power, wood energy and electric cars that were tried and largely rejected a century ago; they now encourage the production of once-banned ethanol corn whiskey, but waste it on cars; they spurn the energy potential of nuclear, coal, oil and gas; and they would close our airports and lock up our resources whilst developing computerised spy-ware to record, regulate, ration and tax our usage of everything.
And one branch of NASA, the once-great risk-taking body that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, is now supporting an anti-carbon cult that advocates the closure of the whole coal industry from mine to power station.
The legacy of today's doom-mongers will be measured by the number of dams not built, the number of mines, factories, farms, forests and fishing grounds closed and the number of humans living in poverty.
Like the emperors of the Nero era in ancient Rome, they celebrate their destructive achievements by staging expensive Climate Circuses, while behind closed doors they plot to destroy the last vestiges of the freedom and property rights that allowed past generations to "Reach for the Stars".
The slogan of the coming era should be "Retreat to the Past".
So vale Neil Armstrong and Steve Jobs -- we are losing far more than most people realise.