Update: NASA is rapidly backstepping away from the study discussed below. NASA officials claim that although they helped fund the study, that they are not to be held responsible for its conclusions, should they prove unpopular with anyone who matters. 😉
A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
… the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.” _The Guardian
Sound familiar? Modern predictions of doom became quite popular, beginning around the time of the 1970 Earth Day. And no matter how often the same predictions fail, they never fail to be recycled for newer and even better indoctrinated generations.
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something,” ecologist Kenneth Watt declared to a Swarthmore College audience on April 19, 1970. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
… [Paul] Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.” _Reason
More blasts from the past:
By 1995, “…somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.
“The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”
Nigel Calder, International Wildlife Magazine, June 1975.
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support… the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half…”
NASA was shoved deeper to the dark side of doom during Al Gore’s tenure as US Vice President, when President Clinton gave NASA to Mr. Gore as a playtoy, to keep him occupied and out of the Clintons’ hair. With Al Gore’s blessing, NASA Goddard became the global centre of climate doom, with James Hansen as its chief prophet of doom.
With the financing of the US taxpayer behind it, the doom factions of government, media, academia, big environmental lobbies, and international inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations all received a huge boost in funding and prestige. As you can see from the article quote above, NASA has never looked back since, maintaining its doomsaying ways to this very day.
The selling of doom is a multi-billion dollar industry. From Paul Ehrlich to Dmitry Orloff to Chris Martenson to the late Matt Simmons, the merchants of doom have cleaned up royally on the mass gullibility of modern times. Science fiction writers such as David Brin and Bruce Sterling have jumped on the bandwagon, and even respected science writers like Carl Zimmer have drunk of the sweetly seductive koolaid of anthropogenic doom.
More sober voices such as Matt Ridley and Bjorn Lomborg have cautioned governments and large inter-governmental bodies to take a more cautious attitude toward these perennially failing predictions of doom.
Sure, there are tangible threats to our modern high tech infrastructure. Perhaps we should focus on what is real, and leave the fantasies for cinema and cartoons?
Within the free online pages of Julian Simon’s remarkable ebook The Ultimate Resource, we find much wise advice and common wisdom that can keep us from falling for the most ridiculous doom prophecies, saving us a lot of money and perhaps our future in the bargain.
Everyone has a vested interest, even the “scientists” who have gotten roped into the doom industry. Take it all with a grain of salt.
HFTB-PFTW. A prosperous future depends upon a better, wiser, more resilient human substrate. It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.