Trendy “Global Warming” Alarmism a Dying Fad?
Every generation has it’s “Chicken Little” issues: something that’s going to lead to the destruction of the human race in short order, often propagated most vigorously by high-school children and college students. The ’50s and ’60s had nuclear war; the ’70s and ’80s had “acid rain” and “over-population”; and the ’90s and ’00s had deforestation and “global warming”.
The cold war ultimately did not bring about nuclear destruction. Instead, it brought eastern bloc governments to their knees economically, which led directly to the greatest spread of democracy and freedom ever seen in history.
So-called “acid rain” did not materialize either. Regular, base rain continued to fall, and people (and relieved umbrellas everywhere) continued about their business.
“Over-population”, the notion that the earth was rapidly running out of food and space, didn’t come to pass either: through advances in agriculture and farming, food production increased in every corner of the world, by 283.36% globally between 1961 and 2000¹. True, political reasons continue to severely hamper the distribution of food, but there’s certainly no lack of food to go around. And you can still fit the entire population of the world into the state of Texas and have 12,490 square feet of elbow room each.
“Deforestation” became a hot topic in the ’90s. Some irritating facts, unfortunately, stood in the way of the deforestation clique, such as the fact the United States now has more forests than it did one hundred years ago, thanks to advances in forest fire fighting and reforestation techniques.
Now, it appears, “global warming” is facing its swan song. 2008 has been the coldest year in a decade, something none of the alarmists’ models predicted. And the much-ballyhooed “consensus” among scientists (as though scientific conclusions were a matter of popularity contests) is coming under increasing scrutiny too: “consensus” may be a useful political term (and an entire industry has certainly grown around “global warming” conventions), but dispassionate empiricism doesn’t have much use for it.
All that remains is for the next “Chicken Little” issue to arise for the ’10s. Global cooling, anyone?