u Notes from the Underground: How to thrive using fear: a case study in environmentalism

How to thrive using fear: a case study in environmentalism

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

[..], I began to recall other fears in my life that had never come true. The population bomb, for one. Paul Ehrlich predicted mass starvation in the 1960s. Sixty million Americans starving to death. Didn’t happen. Other scientists warned of mass species extinctions by the year 2000. Ehrlich himself predicted that half of all species would become extinct by 2000. Didn’t happen. The Club of Rome told us we would run out of raw materials ranging from oil to copper by the 1990s. That didn’t happen, either.

It’s no surprise that predictions frequently don’t come true. But such big ones! And so many! All my life I worried about the decay of the environment, the tragic loss of species, the collapse of ecosystems. I feared poisoning by pesticides, alar on apples, falling sperm counts from endocrine disrupters, cancer from power lines, cancer from saccharine, cancer from cell phones, cancer from computer screens, cancer from food coloring, hair spray, electric razors, electric blankets, coffee, chlorinated water…it never seemed to end.

Here's the whole thing. I am going to be a little respectful towards Michael Crichton, despite the fact that he writes only so that his books can be made into movies. Atleast he sees how neither the environmentalists nor the media have any clue as to what really is the matter with our world, if anything at all.

(Hat tip to the Commons blog)

3 Comments:

At 4:29 PM, January 24, 2006, Blogger Saturday Night Takeout said...

Ola, Venu. I'm finally here. Man, you're academic. A lot of food for thought here. Thanks.

 
At 1:28 PM, January 25, 2006, Blogger Venu said...

Ahem. I wish you had said I was 'intellectual' instead of academic. Anyways, I am trying to write about all kinds of things; the problem is I dont always like what I write and a few of my posts end up as drafts in my blogger account. I guess filter-blogging is far easier.

 
At 11:17 PM, January 27, 2006, Blogger Rajat said...

Hah! I am actually reading Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" now. Reading it exclusively on the bus.

Good article that was. And Crichton's books have been pretty fantastic reads & quite informative too.

 

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