From 1948 to the present, environmental activists have declared that the sky is falling.
from David Suzuki’s 1990 ‘It’s a Matter of Survival’ (click for more)
We tend to ignore history in our daily lives. Which is too bad, because historical perspective is one of our best defenses against foolish ideas.
Once we realize that a long line of people have insisted, in recent decades, that we’re on the brink of environmental disaster, today’s climate doomsayers suddenly snap into perspective.
Absolutely nothing new is going on here. Today’s hysteria, exaggeration, and emotionally manipulative language are part of a larger pattern that stretches back decades.
Human society has always had its Chicken Littles, its risk-averse individuals, its glass-half-empty personalities, and its drama queens. Those people have every right to participate in societal discussions. But when we allow their voices to dominate, everyone loses. We end up wasting time and money pursuing illusory fixes to what may, in fact, be non-problems.
Let us, therefore, not be confused: Al Gore didn’t invent the idea of a “planetary emergency” with the publication of his 2006 book, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It. Rather, he was repeating ideas that had been promulgated far and wide a full 60 years earlier.
In their illuminating paper, The Post War Intellectual Roots of the Population Bomb, Pierre Desrochers and Christine Hoffbauer examine two US bestsellers published in 1948. Remarkably, much of the rhetoric we hear today is contained within the pages of these books.
In Our Plundered Planet, Fairfield Osborn (who was born in 1887) talked about humanity’s “mounting destruction” of the natural world, said it posed a greater danger than the Second World War, and referred to “the day of atonement that is drawing nearer.”
Like today’s environmentalists, Osborn portrayed humanity as greedy and short-sighted. He also seemed more concerned about preserving the world for “future children” than in demonstrating empathy and compassion toward the impoverished souls who were already alive.
A few years later, he wrote a second, alarmist book, The Limits of the Earth, and then edited a third, titled Our Crowded Planet.
William Vogt, who was born in 1902, authored the other 1948 bestseller, Road to Survival. Wikipedia tells us Vogt was an ornithologist – a person who studies birds. But his involvement in conservation organizations led him to shift his focus to the environmental impact of human population growth.
A dissenting opinion.
I watched one deluded leftist twit on an afternoon news broadcast today, ranting about how there are too many people in the world and that we’re running out of room. My bet is this idiot has never stepped foot outside of his blue state Mecca-tropolis. I’m swiftly beginning to have little tolerance for the low information far-left Chicken Littles. The problem is not room, it’s very poorly managed conversation and resource handling by agenda controlled politicians and political appointees. If we did away with the ethanol program, we could go a long way towards feeding the world’s hungry, with little change to aggregate emissions (those who push ethanol never consider in their formulas the increased emissions to produce the fuel additive).
I know there are too many people in this AMERICA,
COUNTING WHO THE MILLIONS AND HALF MILLION ILLEGALS COMING ALREADY HERE, AND THEIR CHILDREN, TAKING THE ROOM WHICH THE MILLION ABORTED AMERICAN BABY TO BE,
AND THAT WILLIAM VOGT SHOULD HAVE STAYED WITH BIRDS SCIENCE TO FIND THEY ARE BEING BUTCHER BY THE WIND TOWERS NOW AND OTHER COMING,
BESIDE WHY PICK ON AMERICA THE CLEANEST COUNTRY, THE CLEANEST CITIZENS, BECAUSE ,
INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO HAVE LEARNED OF THE WAY TO STAY CLEAN AND PROTECT THHIS AMERICA,
INSTEAD OF PICKING ON OTHER IN ARAB’S COUNTRY WHO DROP THEIR TRASH IN THE WATER DRINKING WATER, AND PICK ON THE SLAUGHTER OF THE BIG OCEAN MAMMALS BY MULTI THOUSANDS FROM JAPAN, THOSE MAMALS HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN OCEANS AND IF THE SLAUGHTER CONTINUE THEY WON’T BE THERE TO FILTER THE TRASH,
YOU CAN SEE THE WATERS OF ISRAEL WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE BOTTOM , AS OPOSE TO THE NEIGHBOR AGAIN POLLUTING HIS WATERS,OTHER EASTERN COUNTRIES HAVE TO BE REPRIMAND ALSO FOR TRASHING THEIR DRINKING WATERS,
GET OFF THE SHOULDERS OF THIS AMERICA, SHE IS GETTING TIRED OF BEING ACCUSED OF BEING THE POLLUTER, BUT GO TEACH THE OTHER COUNTRY, ON THE MORNING SUN.