As virtually everyone now knows, Saturday was supposed to be doomsday, according to the formerly obscure geezer Harold Camping. Search terms related to his prediction consistently led Internet rankings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- except for the hour or two after Kate Gosselin was fined $10,300 for stiffing a marriage counselor.
Politicians must be envious of Camping's spectacular publicity. A quick Yahoo search of "Obama kills bin Laden" yielded only 297 thousand hits, while "Harold Camping" scored 36.1 million. And Mr. Camping didn't have to spend billions on CIA spies and a SEAL team to get his notoriety. He probably doesn't even own a stealth helicopter.
Interviews with Mr. Camping and clips of his TV program seem to show that he was absolutely certain of the impending apocalypse. As LiveScience reported on Friday:
Sociologists and doomsday experts agree that Camping is likely convinced of doomsday rather than perpetuating a hoax or running a scam. A con artist, Hassan said, would never set himself up for failure by giving a firm date.
That highlights the paradox confronting leaders of the "green" cult. On one hand, declaring a specific date for their predictions of environmental apocalypse would signal their sincerity, yet all such past predictions have failed to materialize. On the other hand, if they play it safe and issue only vague doomsday warnings, an intelligent observer would correctly conclude that they merely are grifters or maternal control freaks.
Like Mr. Camping, the green cult leaders have issued plenty of embarrassingly false doomsday predictions. Here are just a few:
Accelerating baby boom will lead to mass starvation in the United States
Of course the exact opposite happened: birthrates fell while food production and gluttony rose. Ironically, the leftist doomsday prophets would have been better off had their birthrate prediction come true. With a fast-growing US population, their Social Security Ponzi scheme still would be thriving rather than losing money.
Adding to the irony, the resulting labor shortage (and leftist minimum wage laws) triggered an influx of 15-20 million young illegal aliens. As low-income unskilled laborers, they pay few or no taxes while consuming a disproportionate amount of public education, Medicaid, and food stamp social spending, threatening to bankrupt those leftist programs too.
The irony is even more delicious in Western Europe. There, the self-absorbed socialist cult followers have birthrates even lower than those in the US. They also work less, take longer vacations, and retire earlier. To fill the worker void, they opened their doors to millions of high birthrate Muslims, which inevitably will become majorities and turn many European countries into militant theocracies -- not quite the utopia that the pacifist social engineers expected. Also, Islamic Sharia doesn't allow interest on debt, and socialism can't survive without massive deficit spending.
The earth's protective ozone layer will disappear, threatening humans
Conspiracy theorists think DuPont was behind this scare. Supposedly, its Freon patent was about to expire and the firm wanted to introduce a more expensive replacement product that theoretically would not deplete the ozone layer. There's no proof of such a conspiracy, but it certainly would be delightful if it were true: anti-capitalist leftists duped into acting as useful idiots for capitalists. Similarly, could the nuclear power industry be orchestrating the carbon dioxide scare?
Like "the population bomb," "the ozone hole" no longer seems to be as trendy among the green cultists as "manmade global warming." Perhaps that proves the Freon conspiracy theory. Or perhaps someone pointed out that stratospheric ozone is synthesized by sunlight and the con artists measuring the ozone hole were traveling to Antarctica in August, after it had been dark there for three months.
Non-renewable energy sources will be used up by 1990...uh, 2010...make that 2030...
Current known reserves of oil will last about a century and estimates continue to grow. Coal and natural gas will be economical for many centuries. And simply ending Jimmy Carter's foolish ban on nuclear fuel reprocessing would expand the amount of available reactor fuel to cover our needs for about ten centuries.
If those forecasts are wrong and energy sources actually are scarcer, then a force more powerful and virtuous than government automatically will correct the problem. That natural force is price. As energy prices rise, consumption will fall until alternatives are found. After 30 years of trying, the US Department of Energy has failed to produce any viable alternatives, but history repeatedly shows that free enterprise can accomplish such feats in only a tiny fraction of that time, at zero taxpayer expense.
Meanwhile, leftist maternal control freaks mindlessly demand that the government artificially raise energy prices via taxation and regulation. In 2008, candidate Obama vowed to do precisely that to the coal industry. But without a one-world government, such a scheme simply drives businesses to countries that have lower energy taxes. For instance, the US currently exports coal to China, where it is burned to make electricity. That cheap energy then is used to build products for export back to the United States. Considering the amount of fuel wasted in shipping raw materials and finished goods halfway around the planet, "green" energy taxes and regulations undoubtedly cause more, not less global energy consumption.
Global warming will kill our grandchildren
In a few years, the leftists undoubtedly will have to acknowledge that false prophesy too. Perhaps they will channel Harold Camping in their apology:
Dear grandchildren: Although the oceans have been rising by a foot or two per century since the most recent ice age ended, we leftists created taxes and regulations projected to reduce the rise from 18 inches to 17.9 inches over the 21st century. Of course, then another mini ice age struck the planet and the ocean levels actually fell, but at least our intentions were good. Turns out, climate change simply is caused by sunspots. Gosh, are we embarrassed!
By the way, don't forget to pay the bill for all of our pointless efforts: At last count, it was a little over 50 trillion dollars in deficit spending for windmills, luxury electric sports cars for leftist movie stars, lost economic productivity, and massive unemployment. Sorry about that.
But hey, it's not the end of the world.