The Villain in the Wings

This story probably begins in antiquity, but for the sake of reasonableness, let’s begin with Malthus in 1798.

He established the concept of a Malthusian catastrophe which would reduce the population to a lower, more sustainable level. Essentially, he proposed that increased population would result in famine.

Another more recent example has been the predictions that the world would run out of oil. In the 1920s, the U.S. Department of Interior predicted the U.S. would run out of oil in a few decades.

This idea was repeated on several occasions culminating in Hubbert’s curve, which firmly established the concept of Peak Oil in people’s minds, where the Peak would happen soon, where the world would have already consumed half of all the available oil in the world. From this point forward, the world would be on the down slope of Hubbert’s curve with the price of oil skyrocketing as oil supplies were depleted.

Once again, the doomsayers were frustrated by the demise of yet another malthusian concept when fracking established that there were huge new supplies of oil in shale formations around the world.

Peak oil is dead, at least for this century, but other concepts of doom emerged during the second half of the twentieth century.

Next in line was Paul Ehrlich, who predicted, in his book The Population Bomb, published in 1968, that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1980s.

This, too, didn’t happen.

The introduction to The Population Bomb said:

“Overpopulation is now the dominant problem in all our personal, national, and International planning.”

Wrong again.

Then along came the threat of a new ice age in the 1970s.

Time magazine’s comments about that threat, said:

“Extreme weather events were hyped as signs of the coming apocalypse and man-made pollution was blamed as the cause. Environmental extremists called for everything from outlawing the internal combustion engine to communist style population controls.”

There were over 100 articles during the 1970s on the looming new ice age from the then respected media, such as the NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Science News, the Canberra Press and the Telegraph.

Here is a particularly relevant article, as it could have been written today about climate change.

The Argus-Press, January 26, 1970
The Argus-Press, January 26, 1970

Wrong again.

Then there was the Club of Rome that published the Limits to Growth in 1972.

Once again, the rise in population would outstrip the world’s resources. And, once again, the world grew and grew, and continues to grow, without outstripping resources.

Limits to Growth? Wrong again.

Then the threat of a new ice age evolved into the threat of global warming caused by CO2.

When the pseudo science became obvious, the global warming threat morphed into climate change.

Now Climate Change is losing its luster, and the doomsayers need a new threat.

Right on cue came Ocean Acidification.

Ocean Acidification is aptly named because it creates fear, even though the oceans are basic and can never become acidic. It could have been referred to as the oceans becoming less basic, but this wouldn’t create the sense of doom needed to replace climate change as a threat to mankind.

Not so amazingly, many people have jumped onto this new bandwagon.

It will take time and effort to sort through the science, but already there have been papers discrediting the new Ocean Acidification threat. See, Ocean Acidification is a Ploy to Scare People, including the comments, some of which disagree with the article.

But why do people so readily accept all these threats promulgated by the doomsayers?

And what are the motivations of the doomsayers? Are they merely concerned about your wellbeing?

One would think that, by now, people would ask a lot of questions to see whether the threat is real before jumping onto the bandwagon, whether it be fear of population growth, fear of running out of oil, fear of a new ice age, fear of running out of resources, fear of global warming, fear of climate change or fear of ocean acidification.

The book Nothing to Fear addresses the CO2 hypothesis and many of the related energy issues.

There really is nothing to fear.

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Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.
Link to Amazon:


Book Cover, Nothing to Fear
Book Cover, Nothing to Fear


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