Friday, January 18, 2013

Americans Love a Good Apocalypse

Over the last five decades I have read prophecies of colossal doom for the human race. We have had catastrophic warnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, ozone holes, acid rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow disease, killer bees, sex-change fish, HIV, and climate change.  They all have one common feature -- their prophesy of ultimate doom never happens.

We have had these notable prophets of doom: Thomas Malthus, Al Gore, Racheal Carson, Bernhard Ulrich, Laurie Garrett, Richard Preston, Margaret Chan, Paul Watson, William and Paul Paddock, Harrison Brown, and now Rajendra Pauchuri.  They profitably stroke American's desire for a good scare story. 

Matt Ridley a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the author, most recently, of The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves has a more realistic perspective.
Humanity is a fast-moving target. We will combat our ecological threats in the future by innovating to meet them as they arise, not through the mass fear stoked by worst-case scenarios.
To read his view in more detail click here 

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