We Oppose Bicycles on Wilderness Trails With One Exception

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow bicycles in designated wilderness areas. And that’s pitting groups that have typically been allies against one another.

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow bicycles on wilderness trails. From KPCC radiio

This is a terrible idea.  We oppose it, with one exception.  We fully support allowing bicycles on the Pacific Crest Trail north of Mt. Whitney (technically Crabtree Meadow).  If you’re interested, HalfMile has downloadable maps of the entire trail and a ton of other useful information.

Your humble correspondent confesses to spending many weeks hiking in federally designated wilderness areas in his youth.  That includes six memorable days on the Pacific Crest Trail.  (I haven’t been to the Ventana Wilderness in Big Sur for decades.  That was once a marvelous adventure.  But fires and mudslides may have altered the landscape.)

Andre Burney Falls
Andre Burney Falls (click for larger image)

Let bicycles go onto the Pacific Crest Trail.  That will both keep them happy (briefly) and further the cause of this blog.


California May Legalize Jaywalking and Support Our Cause


A bill being considered in the California legislature would make it legal for pedestrians to enter a crosswalk when the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing.  Currently doing that is jaywalking. California may legalize jaywalking and support our cause.

No further comment needed.  We support this proposal.  For more information, click here.

Title IX and George Orwell

As young adults settle in on college campuses around the country, they’ll experience new freedom to make mistakes. While we hope for good choices based on parental example, the fact is that most people learn only from painful experience.

Some will have their first brush with alcohol or drugs. An unlucky few will mix the two and awaken next to someone else in a room full of regret. That’s a horrible way to “win” the sexually-transmitted disease lottery or the pregnancy sweepstakes, but worse, it is also an invitation for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to levy permanent and devastating consequences to their future.

Under Title IX law, there is virtually no need to respect rules of evidence or constitutionally guaranteed rights to a speedy trial, a jury of one’s peers, the ability to confront and question witnesses or the provision for a capable defense.

Hello, Title IX; goodbye, Sixth Amendment!

Recently there has been much discussion of the ways certain aspects of Title IX are being implemented on college campuses.  The latest entry is from Robert McClain at cleveland.com. Mr. McClain (presumably no relation to John McClain) opines in “The dark side of Title IX sexual-assault investigations” that college freshmen (not freshwomen) have much to worry about. Shortly we’ll write about Title IX and George Orwell. First, however, some background. Here are the first four paragraphs of Mc. McClain’s column →

Here at pfpfp we are of two minds about this issue.  On the one hand, we really like sex.  But on the other hand, one often unintended consequence (at least for those considerably younger than us) is pregnancy.  And that flies in the face of the stated purpose of this blog.

Mr. McClain is far from the first to write about this.  The case of “mattress girl” at Columbia University has become a cause celebré among both progressives and conservatives.  (If you’ve been living in a cave for the past two years, a good summary of the issue is on Wikipedia. This also about the most neutral presentation you can find.  Good conservative comments are at the National Review and Reason. Contrary viewpoints are found in several articles at Jezebel.com. And, of course, there is the case of the Duke University lacrosse team. In the Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote eloquently about this.

In response to an article by Hans Bader at LibertyUnyielding.com: “College: Students must agree ‘why’ they had sex to avoid sexual assault charges,” David Burge (better known by his nom-de-blog Iowahawk) has this advice for college freshmen:Iowahawk suggestion

Title IX and George Orwell

You may remember a significant subplot of 1984. The Junior Anti-Sex League.  Here are a couple of images from various sources:

1984 cover detail1984 cover

JASL buttonAnd there’s even JASL swag:

JASL bag


That Orwell guy was sure smart.  And, mostly because we don’t have to worry about consequences (old, happily married), we have to endorse this idea.

Climate Science Communicator Supports Our Cause

Climate Nuremberg Testimonials

Over at the Climate Nuremberg blog (run by a blogger with the nom-de-death of Brad P. Keyes), they have wished death on much of their audience.  The motto of this site is “When what you really need is some sort of Climate Nuremberg.”  Mind you, Brad is a self-described “science communicator” whatever that means.  My guess, however, is that he’s quite a few notches below Carl Zimmer, for example.

This caught our attention:

Communication Dilemmas #1: Wishing Death on People Without Losing Them

Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than for thousands of middle-class white people to die in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it—live on cable news. Tomorrow.

The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone. And just between us, let’s be honest: the average member of the public is a bit (how can I put it politely?) of a moron. It’s all well and good for the science to tell us global warming is more dangerous than Nazism, but Joe Q. Flyover doesn’t understand science. He wants evidence.

So we’ve probably reached the limits of what science communication can achieve. At this point only nature herself can close the consensus gap—or the fear gap.

Cognitive scientist C. R. R. Kampen thinks the annihilation of a city of 150,000 people might just provide the teaching moment we need …

Amen, brother!  The sooner we rid this planet of the pestilence called the human race, the better off everyone will be.  Especially the cockroaches and crows.

Brad doesn’t want to give his real last name because then we could actually verify his credentials.  Far easier to call for the deaths of thousands behind the shield of anonymity.  FYI his Twitter handle is @BradPKeyes.


The NTSB Is Trying to Thwart Evolution

The NTSB is trying to thwart evolution.   The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has just proposed banning all cell phone use while driving.  No talking, texting, e-mailing, surfing, or sexting.  The Wall Street Journal put the story on their web front page.  Not to be outdone, the New York Times followed suit.

People for a Population-Free Planet opposes these restrictions vehemently.  After all, driving while doing anything with a cell phone is very stupid.  And likely to involve the user in an accident.  Those who believe evolution is no longer working should think about this for a few minutes.

To paraphrase a well-known bumper sticker, “They can have my cell phone when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.  Especially if I died in a car crash I caused.”


The City of the Future

Sunday’s New York Times (Sept. 25) includes a column in the Sunday Review titled “Not-So-Smart Cities.”  Author Greg Lindsay has written about the city of the future — or perhaps not. Since that site may be behind a paywall, I’ll post the first three paragraphs:

“THE Southwest is famously fertile territory for ghost towns. They didn’t start out depopulated, of course — which is what makes the latest addition to their rolls so strange. Starting next year, Pegasus Holdings, a Washington-based technology company, will build a medium-size town on 20 square miles of New Mexico desert, populated entirely by robots.

Scheduled to open in 2014, the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, as the town is officially known, will come complete with roads, buildings, water lines and power grids, enough to support 35,000 people — even though no one will ever live there. It will be a life-size laboratory for companies, universities and government agencies to test smart power grids, cyber security and intelligent traffic and surveillance systems — technologies commonly lumped together under the heading of “smart cities.”

The only humans present will be several hundred engineers and programmers huddled underground in a Disneyland-like warren of control rooms. They’ll be playing SimCity for real.?

Another group, Living PlanIT, is building a similar facility in Portugal.

The author if this column, Greg Lindsay, “is a visiting scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University and the co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.”  Mr. Lindsay does not believe either of these efforts will succeed.  Apparently he firmly believes that computer modeling and robots can never emulate human irrationality.

Or perhaps he’s just trying to sell his book.  This is from page 5: “It [aerotropolis] isn’t his [Stan Gale’s] word. … John Kasarda, a professor at the University of North Carolina, … has made a name for himself with his radical (and some might say bone-chilling) vision of the future: rather than banish airports to the edge of town and then do our best to avoid them, we will build this ce3ntury’s cities around them. …”  (Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next by John D. Kasarda and Greg Lindsay. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2011).

Aha!  Lindsay is simply pushing his vision of the future (and his book) at the expense of our non-human robotic brethren.  Here at pfpfp.org, we fully support the work of Pegasus and Living PlanIT in eliminating people from cities.