Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who got no respect, complained about how the kids gave him candy when he opened the door each October 31st. “It’s hard being me,” the classic self-deprecator would say.
Things also get reversed when the Malthusians scream the end is near in the face of the great advances in human betterment.
Consumers, taxpayers, and ordinary citizens get no respect for creating, producing, advancing. Malthusians shriek “I = PAT,” their iron-clad equation where (negative) environmental impact (I) equals increases in population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T).
Ouch! We are Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Wolf Man, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. We are walking, talking market failures that must be reprogramed by experts to march down the energy road to serfdom.
But good news! Malthusianism is make-believe, a trick with no treat. A simple regurgitation of a half-century of falsified scares is worth remembering this All-Hallows’ Eve.
Quotations from four noted fearmongers follow:
- Obama’s eight-year science advisor and “eco-catastrophist” John Holdren
- Holdren’s mentor and dean of today’s Malthusianism, Paul Ehrlich
- Father of the climate alarm and Al Gore influencer, James Hansen
- The infamous “hide the decline” Climategate figure, Michael Mann
Holdren’s Billion Deaths
“We are not, of course, optimistic about our chances of success. Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century.” (1971)
“As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.” (Ehrlich: 1986)
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” (1968)
“If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” (1969)
Hansen’s Climate Clock
“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.” (2006)
“We cannot afford to put off [climate policy] change any longer…. We have only four years left…” (2009)
Mann: Planetary Demise
“Polar bears … will be the stuff of myth. There will be no Great Barrier Reef to explore. Giraffes and elephants will no longer loom in the foreground of the majestic snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Great coastal cities such as Amsterdam, Venice, and New Orleans will join the lost city of Pompeii.…” (2012)
“The great gears of climate change, once set in motion, will inexorably be grinding toward the planet’s demise.” (2016)
It’s A Trick!
Fear not, the climate doomsayers are wrong. Every day might be scary and bleak for them, but for the rest of us, high expectations and optimism should prevail. Comfort yourself that so many false alarms have come and gone in the multi-decade history of climate alarmism. And note the historical record. The last word belongs to James Rogers Fleming, who stated in Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (1998):
“Climate apprehensions did not begin in 1988 or in 1957, or even in 1896. There were colonial, early modern, and even ancient precedents…. [W]e have arrived, late in the twentieth century, at a climate discourse that is again saturated with metaphor, values, and apprehensions.”