Prognosticators and Proselytizers, Part 2

In my last post, we examined one of the first predictions made by environmentalists. That was only the beginning of a string of prognostications that catastrophe awaited mankind unless immediate and drastic actions were taken. In this post, we will examine another prediction made nearly fifty years ago.

At the first Earth Day in 1970, environmentalist Nigel Calder declared, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” University of California professor Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” Time and Life magazine both reported on the impending ice age.

Despite the hysteria, the ice age (like the mass starvation previously predicted) did not materialize. But to environmentalists, this was irrelevant. They had an agenda to push, and they weren’t going to let the facts get in their way.

To prevent the predicted ice age, environmentalists , such as law professor Arnold Reitze, suggested that it may be necessary to ban the internal combustion engine, impose rigid controls on research and development of new products, and set population controls. This has been a consistent refrain that accompanies every prediction from environmentalists: government must impose more controls and regulations upon its citizens. And those controls invariably include reductions in the use of fossil fuels and everything that they make possible.

Despite claiming that they want to save the planet for future generations, environmentalists are unconcerned with human flourishing. Indeed, they are opposed to human flourishing. They not only want to stop innovation and progress in its tracks, they want to reverse progress. Their push for renewable energy is but one example.

Wind and solar–the two primary renewable energy sources–are notoriously unreliable. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Moving from reliable energy sources, such as fossil fuels, to unreliable sources is not progress by any rational standard. However, it is “progress” if one’s goal is to return mankind to the ways of our ancestors.

Until the mid-1800s, nighttime illumination was inaccessible to most Americans. Expensive oil lamps and candles were the primary sources of illumination, and because few could afford these illuminants, throughout history most of mankind was literally in the dark when the sun went down. This is the future that awaits us if environmentalists have their way.

Dire predictions are the means. That those predictions have proven wrong time after time doesn’t matter to the environmentalists. Enough people believe the predictions and demand more controls and regulations. Each prognostication moves us closer to the proselytizer’s goal–reducing our standard of living.

Comments are closed.