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The preordained demise of our planet is provided by the clairvoyants at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who passed it on to LiveScience.com who passed it to AmericaOnLine (and, presumably, others) for maximum Fear Factor.
The predictions feature, as do all predictions, whether from the Book of Revelation or Nostradamus or Tiffy the Teenage Fortuneteller, a mixture of shock and awe, fuzziness and no statute of limitations.
For example, the international panel of scientists "predicts" the global average temperature "could" increase by 2 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 and that sea levels "could" rise by "up to" 2 feet.
Then too, that's 93 years from now. How many of these scientists will be around 93 years from now to collect the credit for being right or the hoots and hisses for being wrong? And how many warming worriers, living in fear today, will be around 93 years from now with the mental capacity to give a hoot one way or the other?
The predictions are also full of weasel words. After traumatizing us with "Our planet's prospects for environmental stability are bleaker than ever," you can actually find all of these conclusions in The Apocalypse of IPCC: Between now and the year 2200 some places will be wet and some will be dry, some will be hot and some will be cold, some people will drown while some will thirst, heat-related deaths will go up but so will cold-related deaths, crop yields will increase in some places and decrease in other places, droughts will occur in some lands and flooding in others.
So what's new? Study your history.
Besides, according to our "scientific" soothsayers, most of us are supposed to be dead already. So before writing off all the future dying glaciers, dying animals, dying people, dying cities and dying civilizations we might want to see how these other world-killing calculations have been coming along lately:
The Population Bomb will kill millions worldwide. "The battle to feed all of 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."
Grab your canned goulash and your shotgun and head for your survivalist dugout in the desert.
The Coming Ice Age will kill millions worldwide. "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."
Grab your canned goulash and your parka and head for your igloos basement.
The Millennium Bug will kill millions worldwide. The Year 2000 software glitch that renders nearly every computer in the world incapable of telling the difference between year 1900 and year 2000 will cause all infrastructure to catastrophically fail. Thousands will be trapped in elevators, airplanes will fall from the sky, and the world will go dark. This will happen at midnight, January 1, 2000, so stock up on canned goulash and recycled toilet paper.
And this just in! Astronomers discover global warming on Mars. All life as we know it there will vanish by 2100 (only 97 years from now, so have your canned goulash and your scorecards ready).
It's now fashionable to counter global warming deniers with the mantra, "just because scientists were wrong in their past predictions doesn't mean theyre wrong this time." Makes you wonder how many used cars they'll have to buy from Cheap Eddy's Auto Emporium before they get a clue.
But this is not about global warming denial. This planet has been warming and cooling and warming and cooling for eons without help or hindrance from homo sapiens, homo erectus, or homophiliacs. It's all happened before. Try denying that, global history deniers.
Most libertarians, thankfully, can tell the difference between global warming the science and global warming the politics. The science requires facts, not consensus; the politics just requires coercion.
Maybe wed all be better off just listening to the prophecies of Tiffy the Teenage Fortuneteller.
"I predict that, like, you will pretty much, you know, most likely at some point do something really really kind of fairly okay in your life, whatever."
Garry Reed's articles have appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, LP News and other print and online publications.
-- Garry Reed
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