How many dooms have been promised me since I was born?
Rampant pollution was going to choke me, rampant population crush me. Fresh water was going to run out, fresh air was already gone. Deforestation was going to create droughts, desertification was going to bring sand to my front door. Food additives were going to cause my body to fall apart, artificial hormones were going to cause the human race to die out due to sterilization. A new ice age was going to bring a global freeze, while burning the last of the Earth’s oil reserves would bring the end of our technology.
Tipping points were all the rage. Species going extinct in the rain forests due to urbanization would eventually start a global cascade of extinction that would lead to the human race itself going extinct. Pump enough CFC’s in the atmosphere and the Arctic ozone hole would eventually race to cover the entire world. Dump enough pollution in the environment and acid rain would wash your face off of your skull during a gentle Spring shower.
There are more. Many, many more. These are just the few that I can come up with off the top of my head as I pound away at the keyboard. They all sound very different, but they all had a few common traits.
“Experts” at one time endorsed these dooms. They knew better than the skeptics, better than you, so just listen to them and follow their instructions to avoid catastrophe. The data was incontrovertible, no need for debate. Shut up and follow orders if you didn’t want to starve, choke, melt, become sterile.
The other thing that was common to all of these predictions was that they were wrong. Terribly, horribly, obviously wrong.
The new big thing is climate change. Global warming. Experts say we’re in trouble, we’re going to see a whole lot of catastrophe. Better shut up and get with the program to keep doom at bay.
Is the Earth getting warmer? Dunno. If it is getting warmer, would that be a bad thing? Again, dunno. I’m totally unqualified to have an opinion on the particulars. But I am certainly smart enough, well enough informed, and with a long enough memory to note the track record of those who claim the sky is falling. So far they are batting a thousand so far as fail is concerned.
I mentioned that there were a few traits common to all the dooms mentioned above, besides the fact that they all turned out to be what The Bard described as being a tale told by an idiot. One of the traits is that the people who spread the word never had much by the way of a sense of humor.
I came across this YouTube video that is pretty funny. Supposedly from a pro-tourism agency in Canada, it proudly proclaims how CO2 emissions from the Great White North have increased dramatically in the last few years. A warmer Canada means more tourists to enjoy the weather.
All a wry hoax, of course. They have a pretty slick website set up, but let the mask slip a bit when it comes to a coloring contest for the kiddies. Al Gore’s almost extinct polar bears make an appearance, I suppose because they think that they have to really become unsubtle when it comes to instilling fear in children.
Still, a better effort at humor than any other doom monger I’ve come across in the past four decades.