Editorial: Don’t let those doomsdayers get you down

Published 11:30 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

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We’ve all been blessed by the joys of spring time in recent weeks.

But it’s mid-winter. Mother Nature must be confused.

Or, welcome to 2023 in Piedmont North Carolina.

Blame it on global warming. You wouldn’t be the only one.

I’ll agree that man is no friend to the environment, that we have done and continue to harm it for no other reason than our convenience. But to predict that temperatures will continue to warm because we burn too many fossil fuels, and that the warming is coming faster and faster and pretty soon, there won’t be any environment left.

I can’t buy into that one quite yet.

Remember the 1960s and 1970s?

Back then, scientists were convinced that our love for fossil fuels was going to cause the next ice age. Those little particles left behind when such fuels are burned are filling the atmosphere, blocking the sun, thusly decreasing the temperatures to the point we couldn’t grow food. According to them, it should be happening by now. We should be sliding on glaciers, not golfing in short pants.

A leading environmental expert in 1970 predicted that by 1980, all oceans would be dead and Americans would face food and water rationing.

There are dozens of such examples. All seemed well intentioned and backed by scientific facts at the time. But all were wrong.

It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about the environment. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to seek new ways to power our lives that cause less environmental harm.

What it does mean is that we don’t have to turn our worlds upside down because of a scientific prediction.

We do that way too often when someone makes a prediction that would in itself turn our worlds upside down. In response, we do it to ourselves.

Doomsday predictions have been going on since the beginning of man. And we still fall for them.

Remember Y2K? Many were convinced that a computer programming glitch would shut down every device in the world and we would be flung into chaos. We weren’t.

One man, Harold Camping predicted the end of the world 12 times based interpretations of biblical numerology. He’s the one who predicted that on May 21, 2011, a date that he calculated to be exactly 7,000 years after the Biblical flood, the world as we know it would end.

There’s a difference between scientific facts and scientific theories.

Remember that.

Some fool predicted in about 1970 that folks would no longer need or want newspapers, they would get all the information they need from a “news tablet.”

Not all doomsday predictions turn out to be false, either.

Remember that, too.

– Mike Barnhardt