Apocalyptic Environmentalism

Ronald Bailey recently made some interesting comparisons between environmentalism and evangelical Christianity:

Environmentalism arose as a movement just a few years before the Moral Majority, with an end-of-the-world undercurrent that harked back to the millenarian sects of the Second Great Awakening. Green millenarians do not expect a wrathful God to end the corrupt world in a rain of fire; instead, humanity will die by its own gluttonous, polluting hand.

Such apocalyptic visions were limned in Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, which predicted massive cancer epidemics as a result of chemical contamination of the environment. Paul Ehrlich asserted in his 1968 book The Population Bomb that in the 1970s “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” And the Club of Rome’s 1972 report The Limits to Growth announced the imminent, catastrophic depletion of nonrenewable resources. … The Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Even the staid New York Times editorial page warned of the human species’ “possible extinction.” It wasn’t so far from the evangelists’ fears of a literal Armageddon, embodied in books like Hal Lindsey’s best-selling The Late Great Planet Earth (1970).

Although all those predictions failed, environmentalism still exhibits millenarian tendencies. Former Vice President Al Gore has warned that man-made global warming is producing a climate crisis that might “make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.”

Is it any wonder that evangelicals are turning increasingly green?

Despite environmentalist scare mongering, the Industrial Revolution has been the greatest boon to human beings.

It turns out that humans almost did go extinct once, about 70,000 years ago. Fox reports:

The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age. …

The report was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. …

Paleontologist Meave Leakey, a Genographic adviser, commented: “Who would have thought that as recently as 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate had reduced our population to such small numbers that we were on the very edge of extinction?”

What? You mean the whether used to change even when people had a miniscule “carbon footprint?” The difference was that, back then, people had no ability to deal with climate changes.

Anyone who doubts the amazing pro-human consequences of the Industrial Revolution need merely glance at a historical population chart.

It is ironic, but no coincidence, that the same environmentalist movement that warns of human apocalypse laments the causes of the population explosion.

One thought on “Apocalyptic Environmentalism”

  1. I’ve recently been learning about the history of end of the world hysteria. The end of the world is nothing new! I’m halfway through ‘A Brief History of the End of the World – From Revelation to Eco-Disaster’ by Simon Pearson. I have to think that if there was widespread education on this subject’s huge history, that might go a long way to end ‘the end of the world’ nonsense we have to deal with, exposing it for the delusion it always is, be it in secular or supernatural guise.

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