Doom-mongering Is Big Business

Frozen Statue of Liberty from The Day After Tomorrow, a doom-mongering movie

During my lifetime, a number of commercially successful books have been published, saying that human civilization faces catastrophic collapse, saying that humanity faces extinction as a species from some cause or another.

Paul Ehrlich published the book The Population Bomb in 1968.  What do people remember about this book?  Do they remember that it sold two million copies (which it did)?  Do they remember that it predicted the deaths of hundreds of millions of people from starvation and famine in the 1970’s (which didn’t happen)?

The Club of Rome published the book The Limits to Growth in 1972.  This book was an attempt to mathematically model a sustainable future for humanity. Another step forward of this book was the use of computer simulations.  I read this book as a high school student.  What did I take away from this book?  Without some kind of global management, humanity would either run out of crucial resources, or die in its own poisons.  The fact that there is a 30th anniversary edition demonstrates the book’s commercial and cultural success.  As a predictive success, it wasn’t so hot.

Lowell Ponte published the book The Cooling: Has the Next Ice Age Already Begun? in 1976  It is my understanding that there have been 5 of what geologists call ice ages in earth’s history. We are 2.58 million years into the fifth one, called the Quaternary Ice Age. Inside an ice age, there are periods of more ice, called glacial periods, and periods of less ice, called interglacial periods. What geologists call glacial periods, non-geologists call ice ages. It is my understanding that we are about 10,000 years into one of these interglacial periods, called the Holocene interglacial period. How long will this interglacial period last?  I don’t know.  The interglacial period before this one lasted about 50,000 years. There have been interglacial periods in this ice age lasting as long as 100,000 years.

Al Gore published the book An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, which has gone on to be made into a movie with a worldwide gross income of roughly $50 million.  Al Gore has won a Grammy award, an Oscar award, and a Nobel Peace Prize for this work, making it quite possibly the most culturally and commercially successful doom-mongering presentation in the history of mankind.  Let it be noted that there are differing opinions as to the scientific credibility of the presentation.

While doom-mongering books have been culturally and commercially successful, betting against the predictions of doom-mongers has also been culturally and commercially successful, most notably the Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich wager.

I’m unhappy that the flaws in all of the above books will make it harder for people to receive the book from the New Message from God about the difficult times ahead, The Great Waves of Change.  It’s not like anyone is making very much money from this, as the e-book version is being given away for free.  Eventually, I’ll get around to telling you a little more about this book.

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