Kathy Shaidle

Apocalypse Later: That neverending ‘end of the world’

Posted on December 14 2010 12:00 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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One reason I didn’t go to university? Everybody promised me that Ronald Reagan was going to blow up the world. So why waste my time and money on a degree I’d never live to use, right?

That was my excuse, as a GenX “slacker”, anyhow. I later learned that all through history, seers and soothsayers had been predicting the end of the world.

Those prophets were always the butt of jokes — until the mid-twentieth century. That’s when doomsday-ers ingeniously repackaged their predictions as “science” instead of “religion.”

Suddenly, they earned the “strange new respect” of the elites (plus billions in prophetic profits.)  The rest of us plebes were forced to revere yesterday’s kooks as today’s respectable, infallible experts.

So we somehow survived the “nuclear war” scare, the “nuclear winter” scare, the “overpopulation” scare.

And when those fads inevitably went the way of the Pet Rock, the “scientific” prophets concocted a new one: “global warming.” Too bad for them, some of us had longer memories than the average j-school grad.

One of those “skeptics” with a sense of history is Donna Laframboise. I’ve told you before about her groundbreaking research into the “bible” of “global warming”, the Nobel Prize winning IPCC report that’s cost Western economies untold billions in naked wealth redistribution.

Today she presents a look back at “Forty Years of Drama Queen Scientists”:

Four decades ago, in January 1972, the Ecologist magazine published a lengthy essay titled A Blueprint for Survival. Shortly afterward, the essay was re-packaged as a 140-page best-selling paperback.

What else were they saying back in 1972? The first line of the Blueprint‘s introduction declares that an industrial way of life is “not sustainable.” We’re told humans are consuming too much, polluting too much, and having too many babies. We’re told economic growth is the enemy and that austerity is the answer. We’re warned that unless things change radically “a succession of famines, epidemics, social crises and wars” are inevitable.

But of course, we need only look up from all our present day “statistics” and “computer model” and Al Gore’s PowerPoints to notice that, as Laframboise says:

The past 40 years bear little resemblance to the horror story the drama queens were predicting back in 1972. Average people are now richer and healthier. They live longer lives and many enjoy access to more food, culture, and technology than did the princes of old. In much of the world the air and water is cleaner than it was in the 1970s, and the forests are larger.

Alas, I’d hoped we’d have buried ABBA and bell bottoms in the landfill of history, but otherwise, I assure all you young folks that life today is mostly better. (For instance, in the 1970s, something occurred that the high school economics textbooks we were using at the exact same time were assuring us was impossible: unemployment, interest rates and inflation were high at the same time. The situation was so bad they had to invent a new name for it: “stagflation.” Thank you, Jimmy Carter!)

So when you read about the latest “end of the world” conference — this time in Cancun — remember: this “permanent class of global warming bureaucrats and diplomats and various hangers on” have been getting together to variously scold us and warn us about the any-minute-now, our-fault apocalypse… for the last 18 years.

(Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls “a must-read.”)

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