The poor you have always with you…not prophecy, but truth. But
there never seems to be an end to those who can’t seem to avoid the
urge to tell the rest of the world where they’re going. When I was a
young lad a troop of this ilk came to town, set up a large tent and
proceeded to attempt to convince the gullible that the world was
ending; the river was going to turn to blood and other devastating
dramas – and they better be ready. On the night that the river was to
dramatically turn color, the troop sneaked out of town. Well,
something similar was going on in the ’60’s with Herbert W. Armstrong
and son Garner Ted Armstrong. Their prognostication had the world
ending in 1975, and other scary events. Of course, keep those dollars
rolling in to protect yourselves.
Well, along comes Mr. Al Gore – and surely he was a student of his
forerunners, all, supposedly, highly educated (too much) and too super
intelligent to not believe. Earth Day, 1970, was ripe for the wild
men of the century. I don’t know if they all met at Stone-henge and
hammered out their most unbelievable scenario or if it just came
naturally for this bunch to seek the “blood river,” “sky is falling
down” Armageddon. The truth is, they seemed to attract the most
gullible bunch of idiots in the world to their fairy tales. Now,
ordinary, intelligent people, didn’t seem to fall for this snake oil,
but those “highly educated” swarmed to them.
One of the “wise men” of that day was Denis Hayes, an organizer for
Earth Day 1970 who stated: “It is already too late to avoid mass
starvation.” Well, it is not a thought that at least some people
might consider. After all, the world has experienced untold famines,
storms, hurricanes, pestilences…and the ten plagues of Egypt. But
that kind of thinking gives man no credit for managing and organizing
the vast resources of the world and men’s minds. Reminds me of the
story that early on, a worker for the Patent Office resigned because
he thought everything had been invented.
Then there was Ecologist Kenneth Watt who calculated that nitrogen was
filling the atmosphere at such alarming rates that it would very soon
filter out sunlight and the land would be unusable. And he went one
giant step further, predicting that the “cooling” trend would put us
in the “Ice Age” by the year 2000.
And who can forget Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich’s dire warning of
“fire in the theater” that hundreds of thousands of people certainly
would die in the next few years from air pollution.
Harvard biologist George Wald predicted the:
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action
is taken against problems facing mankind.”
And, oh yes, we’ve certainly all heard it: we will run out of crude
oil by 1975…or was it 1980…or 1990…or… Kenneth Watt again:
“by the year 2000…we will be using up crude oil at such a rate that
there won’t be any more.” No more “Fill ‘er up” at the pump – there
won’t be any.
Even Life Magazine got into panic-mode:
“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.”
Did the apocalypse happen and I missed it? Woe is me!
This brings us to “global warming.” Wow, this has gathered more than
the gullible folks at the blood river could ever hope for. Who would
have thought that a half degree increase or decrease in temperatures
over the course of a hundred years could cause such panic? Like so
much of other events in our lives, weather and climate run in cycles –
don’t they??? Can “global warming” account for a temperature reading
of -60 degrees one day in February and +120 one day in July…in the
same year…in the same place? Oh, by the way, this happened in North
Dakota in 1936. So, Al, and all you folks who can’t pass up a good
panic without claiming it near and dear, don’t look for me to join the
witchery circle at your next Stone-henge meeting.