Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

New study: Forest cover has blossomed since 1980s

The uncertainty of science: According to new research the world’s tree canopy has grown by almost a million square miles since 1982.

While the area of bare ground and short vegetation is diminishing, forest area is growing. As Ronald Bailey notes in Reason, “Forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountains.”

The greatest increase in tree canopy occurred in Europe, including European Russia, where it exploded by 35%. A close second was found in China, where tree canopy gained 34%. In the U.S., tree canopy increased by 15%.

This study confirms numerous other forest and agricultural research that has shown that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere encourages plant growth. Numerous other studies have also found that the Earth has been greening in the past century.

My review of the scientific literature on this subject also matches this finding, having found that if global warming is happening, research looking at what has actually happened generally show that increased CO2 and warming have tended to have beneficial effects, despite the endless doomsday predictions by global warming scientists of what might happen.


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  • commodude

    The curious thing about the environmentalists can be summed up by a sign in a rest area I pass routinely on my way to work. It’s common knowledge in upstate, New York that forested areas are expanding due to the collapse of dairy farming and other land-intensive enterprises. At this rest area stands a sign warning of the shrinking habitat of the Kestrel, a raptor who hunts in open area. The Kestre’s habitat was unnaturally expanded due to land clearing for farming. Now the bird is endangered due to loss of habitat.

    They can’t seem to decide what’s bad and what’s good, and the answer seems to be anything, as long as it’s as obstructive and destructive.

  • Andrew_W

    The study places the explanation for the increase in forested areas outside the tropics on afforestation as a result of declining agricultural areas (in Eastern Europe a product of the collapse of socialism, in Western Europe a product of the decline in farm subsidies and surplus agricultural production) and on warmer temperatures leading to tree growth in high altitude areas that were previously too cold. Also several governments, including NZ’s, have initiated afforestation programs as a method to increase carbon uptake.

    The study does not claim that higher CO2 leads to increase in forested areas (I’m not disputing that higher CO2 levels can lead to increased herbage production). Mr. Zimmerman was just a few weeks ago claiming that there had not been an increase in temperatures (at least no increase this century) now he highlights the claim that there’s more high altitude tree growth due to higher temperatures.

  • wayne

    I don’t have a link handy—
    :the number of tree’s currently in Michigan, is greater than the number we had, at the start of our lumber-era. (which, at peak production in 1870, produced more board-feet than the next 3 States combined, and continued for 30 years.)
    :we clear-cut the entire State of Michigan (90%), although there is a 40 acre stand of old growth pine that was preserved. (This is why you don’t often see any trees more than 100+/- years old in Michigan.)
    :while FDR era make-work projects (CCC) did replant huge numbers of trees in Michigan during the depression, managed tree-farms begun in earnest in 1941 and those now account for 80% of all the lumber harvested commercially in Michigan.

    Pivoting— At work, I have a client who functions as a “medicinal mary-jane grower.” [We have ‘medical weed’ in Michigan, and he grows for 6 people.] He constantly tells me what “great yield’s” he gets, with CO2 enrichment in his grow-room.

  • With the Left I figure I’m looking at people with the self-awareness of a 6-year-old and the emotional maturity of a ‘tween.

    For them, all change is bad, because it’s change. But they don’t seem to spend time asking that basic 2-year-old question: why?

  • Edward

    Once again, Andrew_W, you take facts out of context.

    You wrote: “Mr. Zimmerman was just a few weeks ago claiming that there had not been an increase in temperatures (at least no increase this century) now he highlights the claim that there’s more high altitude tree growth due to higher temperatures.

    However, your statement assumes instantaneous growth with increased temperature. The study uses the years of 1982 and 2016 (as you would say: “cherry picked”).

    1) If the temperature has increased between 1982 and 2000 but remained stable since, then we still could expect additional growth of trees and other fauna during the current higher-temperature period.

    2) Even if there is only instantaneous response to temperature, and no further growth as temperature stabilizes, there could still be an increase of tree foliage in the last two decades of the last century, which would not have decreased during the recent temperature-stable period.

    Someone here recently mentioned that you reach erroneous conclusions from selected (cherry picked) facts. You are quite good at that. Once you have reached your erroneous conclusion, based upon insufficient information, it is impossible for us to change your mind, no matter how much additional information is supplied to you. You are consistent with this annoying behavior of yours.

    Blair Ivey,
    You wrote: “With the Left I figure I’m looking at people with the self-awareness of a 6-year-old and the emotional maturity of a ‘tween.

    I recently heard someone on radio compare leftists with five-year olds. He noted that it was about that age when children develop a sense of responsibility. This makes much sense to me, as leftists tend to want to avoid any kind of responsibility and prefer others to be in charge. Other leftists are happy to be in charge — telling others how to live their lives, pretending to be adults but failing to have the wisdom of adults, and only allowing those facts that affirm their belief system.

    This is why leftists are so eager when it comes to “free” stuff (“to each according to his need,” and boy are leftists needy) and are so willing to let others do the work and leadership (“from each according to his ability,” and leftists seem to be unable — but they think of it as being not “empowered”). Isn’t that the fairest method? Everyone gets what they need and no one has to work harder than they want to.

    Oh, wait. In these systems there winds up being less than is needed, because not enough gets done. See the hunger and starvation in Venezuela, the Soviet Union’s Ukraine, and China — before she moved in the direction of capitalism.

    Funny that you should mention that leftists think all change is bad, Blair Ivey. Their claim is that right-wingers dislike change. But then, leftists also eagerly project their own shortcomings (e.g. racism, fascism, and inability to see all the facts) onto those they disagree with, rationalizing their complaints against those who have grown up enough to take responsibility.

  • wayne

    -the average generic tree, grows about 1-2 feet per year.

    Wasn’t there a report in the last 10 years or so, to the effect, that the Earth had far more individual trees than was previously assumed?

    Just anecdotally- in my area we have more tree’s (and wildlife) than we did when I was a kid.

  • Chris

    So I wonder about this study.
    35% in European Russia is a vast amount – even for a 1982 – 2016 period. I could see a decrease -cutting but not an increase. I assume that for a tree “canopy” to be counted as an increase the trees in the canopy have to be of some size to be seen.
    Perhaps this “seen” growth is the result of tree planting programs/replacement programs maturing – uncertainty.
    The report states world growth of 1 million square miles so this global increase must also be offsetting the reported deforestation of South America.

    I just look at this with a skeptical eye. The data seems a bit odd.

    AND data observed DOES NOT imply the causality stated is true.
    Causality proof for data observed requires much more work that just a stated hypothesis.

  • Chris

    One follow on to my comment above questioning the data results and that the cause of the data is from warming and CO2 increase.
    There was a report recently that “new” forests were discovered “hiding in plain sight”.
    I think Bob had commented on this as well.

    So this implies we may have not been “seeing” all that was there. Or that prior data was faulty or incomplete.

  • pzatchok

    Plants use and sequester carbon

    So if there is more carbon in the atmosphere then trees will grow faster and larger.
    So the ‘more carbon in the air’ crowd should be happy.
    But that fact that trees are growing is a bad sign for them because this proves the Earth is a living reacting environment. And as the trees grow the carbon comes down.
    Add in the growing algae in the oceans.

    The question is.. Can the Earth react and change fast enough to offset the increased carbon output of growing nations?
    The western nations have dropped their carbon output

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