Have you ever noticed that you can tell a great deal about people based on their opinions on only a topic or two? If you give me your opinion on food stamps, or global warming, or affirmative action, I can pretty much tell which side of the political spectrum you reside on.
Thomas Sowell, in the preface to his book, The Vision of The Anointed, wrote: “If (people) are liberal, conservative, or radical on foreign policy, they are likely to be the same on crime, abortion, or education. There is usually a coherence to their beliefs, based on a particular set of underlying assumptions about the world, a certain vision of reality.”
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years about liberal-progressives, is that they are very gullible when it comes to forecasts of doom and gloom. I think it’s because they WANT to believe the end is near. It’s almost as though deep in their souls there resides an old-time, fire and brimstone, born-again preacher screaming PREPARE TO MEET THY MAKER, YE SINNERS, YE FOULERS OF THE EARTH!
A little, or maybe a lot, of Elmer Gantry in every lib- progressive’s soul. A frightening thought!
All this came to mind recently while reading an article by the science writer, Matt Ridley: “We May Live on A Natural Gas Machine.” The article was about the possibility that carbonate sedimentary rock, under the pressure of plate tectonics, undergoes a substitution of hydrogen molecules for oxygen and – Voila! – becomes methane, which eventually finds its way to the earth’s surface, essentially providing us with a never-ending supply of natural gas.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful!? Not if you are a lib-progressive. I know how they would view the possibility of such a bonanza for the human race: They would think it a disaster. It would mean people would continue to burn fossil fuels for heat, light and transportation, and continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere, which will continue to warm the earth which will doom all of humanity.
All that natural gas would also mean people wouldn’t need to put solar panels on their roofs, or build windmills, or grow their own food, or live in communes, or ride bicycles, etc. etc. ad absurdum. People would continue to prosper, excel and become (gasp!) unequal, and not need the leadership of the lib-progressives. Actually, they wouldn’t need lib-progressives at all, which is a suppressed truth down there in the lib-progressive soul right next to Elmer Gantry.
How can I be so sure of this reaction? Just look at their resistance to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, a technology that has been used for over 60 years to increase the production of oil and gas wells. Only recently have the environmentalists attempted to ban the practice because of its allegedly horrid effects on water supplies and air quality. Why is that? Because fracking has recently unlocked huge new supplies of natural gas and oil, especially natural gas, where U.S. reserves are now estimated at over a hundred years, WITH LOTS MORE TO COME.
How terrible if you’re convinced global warming is caused by the CO2 mankind adds to the atmosphere, no matter that only a few years ago the global warmists would have welcomed replacing coal with natural gas. How terrible if you’re convinced human prosperity is somehow a sin. How terrible if you want to destroy the modern industrial society, with all its intolerable inequities.
Apocalypsers have always been with us, and today’s crop is all high tech and modern science. No entrails reading for them. What hasn’t changed is the insistence that the End is nigh because human beings have been doing bad things, and that us ordinary mortals are too stupid to see it coming. For example, apocalypser Vance Packard wrote in his 1960 best seller The Waste Makers: “Americans have thus far chosen to suppress awareness (of a) dangerous decline in the United States of its supply of essential resources.”
Gosh, Vance, here it is 2013 and our awareness is still “suppressed.”
The best known apocalypser of the last fifty years is Paul Ehrlich, although he is about to lose the crown to Al Gore. Back in 1968, Ehrlich wrote a bestseller, The Population Bomb, in which he predicted major, unavoidable food shortages: “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
Add fifty years, change a word or two, and welcome to the modern Apocalypse, global warming.
Ehrlich made some other noteworthy predictions. On the first Earth Day in 1970, he sounded the tocsin on pollution: “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”
Well, twenty years later, in1990, the stench of his predictions didn’t prevent the MacArthur Foundation from awarding him a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship, nicknamed the “Genius Grant”. With geniuses like Paul Ehrlich and those who run the MacArthur Foundation, who needs damned fools?