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What to Wear at the Coming Eco-Apocalypse

 

Sure, the future looks dim: The sun will beat down on a crusted Earth, baby seals will have no ice to sit on, and the air will be filled with locusts, frogs, and the dreaded no-see-ums.

But that’s our future according to the climate scientists, so it just makes sense for the rest of us to take the appropriate steps to find a way to live with the global catastrophe that is here now (according to some) or coming our way fast. Forewarned is forearmed.

When I look back at the predictions of the prophesying pundits in 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, I see that ecologist Kenneth Watt predicted that by the year 2000, “we will be using up crude oil at such a rate that there won’t be any more crude oil.”

I remember well, don’t you, when the oil wells ran dry all over the world? Happily, I had prepared for that terrible day: I sold my gas-guzzling car and bought a Pedicar, which I now pedal to the grocery store with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack, Safeway shopping bag in hand.

In January of 1970, Life magazine breathlessly reported that scientists now have solid evidence to support the following prediction: “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution.”

Naysayers, I can hear it now: Scoff, scoff, scoff. That’s all you Republican naysayers do. Science deniers!

Needless to say, I bought a gas mask in 1980, the year Life predicted we’d have to wear gas masks to survive. That was 38 years ago, and I’m still alive due to my mask (though five years ago I switched to one of those chic little smog masks the Japanese wear. Mine is black). You naysayers are probably dead of carbon dioxide asphyxiation. Serves you right.

Kenneth Watt again: “If present trends continue. . . the world will be eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

When the year 2000 arrived, I bought a very handsome pair of woolen onesies. As it turned out, that was a bit warm for Portland, but there was an upside: I now look as cool as a Portland hipster in my woolen onesie, black face mask, and pork pie hat. I attend all the eco-protests and am widely admired for my outfit.

Paul Ehrlich (April 1970), the greatest of all the prognosticators, had this to say about food resources in the future: “The death rate will increase until at least 100 to 200 million people per year will starve to death during the next ten years.”

As a result of Ehrlich’s prediction, I stocked my larder with Mormon apocalypse food — everything freeze-dried, canned, and hermetically sealed. It should be enough to keep Marie and me alive until it’s safe to emerge after the Gentiles and zombies are gone.

I am encouraged that Bill Nye the Science Guy agrees with Ehrlich’s warnings. But Nye goes Ehrlich one step further. Like Ehrlich, Nye thinks that people are having too many children. But Nye wants to penalize couples for having too many children. Raise your hand Ricocheters if you have too many children. OK, now turn one of them into the authorities. I would choose your least favorite.

The Science Guy may not have a Ph.D., but he does have a bow tie, a lab coat, and his last name rhymes with Science Guy. He may not be a scientist, but the guy does know how to brand himself.

Here’s a report from Harvard, home of the smartest people in the world. In 1970, one of those smartest people, Harvard biologist George Wald, predicted that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken. . . .”

I don’t remember civilization dying off, but I’m pretty sure it did. I think I remember a story in The Oregonian about the Vandals and Goths sacking Rome, but I’m not entirely sure of that.

We now turn to the greatest eco-disaster predictor of them all, Al Gore, whose predictions of a catastrophic future were so spot on that the Nobel Committee gave him a Nobel Prize (every bit as deserving as Obama’s) for his 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth.  In that movie, Gore predicted that the polar bears would soon be drowning due to lack of ice to stand on.

Two years later, in 2008, Gore doubled down on his prediction: “The entire north polar ice cap,” Gore said, “will be gone in 5 years.”

I haven’t been up there, but I trust that the ice cap has now disappeared. It has, hasn’t it? What a terrible fate for the polar bears. They just swim and swim and can’t find a piece of ice. Then the poor things sink to the bottom of the warm water that the North Pole has become. Sad.

Once the ice caps have melted, according to Gore, “the oceans will rise 20 feet.” Once again, I trust in Gore’s visions — I have no doubt that New Orleans is now 20 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. I never liked New Orleans anyway, with their little beignets, crawfish pie (has there ever been a dish more unappetizing?), and corny Dixieland Jazz. Just in case the Pacific Ocean reaches Portland, I have bought scuba gear for me and Marie.

Lest we think that the climate scientists are gun shy because of the backbiting and scoffing by climate change deniers (mostly anti-science Republicans), just a few weeks ago the climate scientists of the US Global Change Research Program predicted that mosquitoes, ticks (but no locusts or frogs), and increasing depression and suicides are coming our way because of global warming. I have bought a case of Coppertone for the sun, Deet for the insect bites, and a gallon of Prozac for depression. I would follow my example if I were you.

I am a little confused, though. In the 1970s the climate scientists thought that the ice age was going to return. But now they think it’s going to be hot, hot, hot. So I don’t know whether to buy an air conditioner or a flint fire-starter in order to survive the coming apocalypse.

It’s been said that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Happily, our apocalyptic prophets have received honors galore. They have won Nobel Prizes, Harvard professorships, and government stipends.

These prizes only prove my point. They wouldn’t hand out prizes if the eco-disasters the climate scientists predicted hadn’t panned out, would they? Would they? Also, the fact that the Nobel Prize Committee hasn’t taken back Gore’s Nobel Prize is just another indication that his predictions materialized just the way he said they would.

Repent, climate change deniers, the end is near!

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There are 55 comments.

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  1. Member

    Having been away from Ricochet for a month, I am so glad I am back today to see this helpful survival guide.

    • #1
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:25 am
    • 17 likes
  2. Member

    I’m submerging myself in a tub of water 12 hours a day in hope I develop gills and will be able to survive our impending water world.

    • #2
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:26 am
    • 23 likes
  3. Member

    Haha! Hilarious! And don’t forget renowned scientist Ted Danson who told us in 1990 that we had only ten years to “Do Something.”

    • #3
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:32 am
    • 17 likes
  4. Member

    KentForrester: Sure, the future looks dim: The sun will beat down on a crusted Earth, baby seals will have no ice to sit on, and the air will be filled with locusts, frogs, and the dreaded no-see-ums.

    That’s not going to happen because we’re going to legislate human civilization back to the stone age first.

    • #4
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:43 am
    • 9 likes
  5. Member

    Flashback – Jimmy Carter in the first 1976 Presidential debate:

    Do the arithmetic. According to Carter, the “whole world” was supposed to run out of oil by 2011.

    • #5
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:46 am
    • 9 likes
  6. Member

    And your list could be much longer if there weren’t length and time constraints. Sad.

    • #6
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:49 am
    • 8 likes
  7. Member

    And while I’m happy you are taking care of bounteous Marie, I’m worried that you are apparently doing nothing for Bob.

    • #7
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:51 am
    • 8 likes
  8. Member

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    And while I’m happy you are taking care of bounteous Marie, I’m worried that you are apparently doing nothing for Bob.

    Or the cat, for that matter.

    • #8
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:56 am
    • 6 likes
  9. Member

    KentForrester: The Science Guy may not have a Ph.D., but he does have a bow tie, a lab coat, and his last name rhymes with Science Guy. He may not be a scientist, but the guy does know how to brand himself. 

    He doesn’t even have a masters degree. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering.

    Apropos of Nothing: Didja know that Bill Nye went to Sidwell Friends in D.C. for his high school diploma?

    Described as “the Harvard of Washington’s private schools”, the school has educated children of notable politicians, including those of several presidents. Both of former United States President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, and former Vice President Joe Biden’s grandchildren attend the school. President Theodore Roosevelt’s son Archibald, Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia, Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton, and Vice President Al Gore’s son, Albert Gore III, graduated from Sidwell Friends.

    What a coinkidink!

    • #9
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:58 am
    • 10 likes
  10. Member

    We’re missing the most important projection that is coming true, e.g. that predictions of apocalyptic crises requiring big government solutions will increase exponentially and in spite of the absence of empirical verification over the years will be ever more widely believed until replaced by the next crisis that will also require big government solutions and will also be widely believed.

    • #10
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:27 am
    • 12 likes
  11. Member

    KentForrester: with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack

    I trust this is a typo, and you meant to say, “beautious.”

    • #11
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:52 am
    • 5 likes
  12. Member

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    KentForrester: with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack

    I trust this is a typo, and you meant to say, “beautious.”

    You got something against Rubenesque women?

    • #12
    • December 3, 2018 at 10:02 am
    • 9 likes
  13. Member

    On the other hand we did actively take steps to regulate pollutants in the 1970’s that were going into the air. So perhaps our clean air today is the result of those regulatory steps? So it might be said the panic in the 70’s worked. We acted and things are better today. The system works!

    • #13
    • December 3, 2018 at 10:07 am
    • 2 likes
  14. Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    We’re missing the most important projection that is coming true, e.g. that predictions of apocalyptic crises requiring big government solutions will increase exponentially and in spite of the absence of empirical verification over the years will be ever more widely believed until replaced by the next crisis that will also require big government solutions and will also be widely believed.

    I’m not convinced that apocalyptic paranoia increases over time, let alone exponentially. I’m more inclined to believe that fear of an impending apocalypse stays relatively constant over time, and that it’s only the purported cause of the impending apocalypse that changes.

    Look at all the people who built fallout shelters in their backyards in the 20th century. Those shelters were built at the urging of government, and yet they ended up being unused. There will never be an end to the debate over whether the fear of nuclear apocalypse was ever really rationally justified.

    • #14
    • December 3, 2018 at 10:17 am
    • 3 likes
  15. Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    On the other hand we did actively take steps to regulate pollutants in the 1970’s that were going into the air. So perhaps our clean air today is the result of those regulatory steps? So it might be said the panic in the 70’s worked. We acted and things are better today. The system works!

    Yup, the biggest polluters closed down and/or moved production to countries with lesser environmental standards and that allowed the toxic aerosols in America’s airspace to dissipate.

    • #15
    • December 3, 2018 at 10:56 am
    • 3 likes
  16. Coolidge
    TBA

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    KentForrester: with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack

    I trust this is a typo, and you meant to say, “beautious.”

    You got something against Rubenesque women?

    No way, that would be trans-phobic. Some woman wants to dress butch and call herself Ruben that’s a-ok with me. 

    • #16
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm
    • 3 likes
  17. Coolidge
    TBA

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    We’re missing the most important projection that is coming true, e.g. that predictions of apocalyptic crises requiring big government solutions will increase exponentially and in spite of the absence of empirical verification over the years will be ever more widely believed until replaced by the next crisis that will also require big government solutions and will also be widely believed.

    I’m not convinced that apocalyptic paranoia increases over time, let alone exponentially. I’m more inclined to believe that fear of an impending apocalypse stays relatively constant over time, and that it’s only the purported cause of the impending apocalypse that changes.

    Look at all the people who built fallout shelters in their backyards in the 20th century. Those shelters were built at the urging of government, and yet they ended up being unused. There will never be an end to the debate over whether the fear of nuclear apocalypse was ever really rationally justified.

    It’s probably a matter of signal propagation. If the government, newspapers, radio, or internet is punching up the message, more gullible people will buy in. 

    • #17
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:43 pm
    • 1 like
  18. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Having been away from Ricochet for a month, I am so glad I am back today to see this helpful survival guide.

    Welcome back Arafat. (That’s you after auto-speller got ahold of you.) I haven’t been able to navigate around Ricochet since you’ve been gone.

    • #18
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm
    • 4 likes
  19. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    thelonious (View Comment):

    I’m submerging myself in a tub of water 12 hours a day in hope I develop gills and will be able to survive our impending water world.

    Thelonious (the coolest Jazz musician ever), that sounds like a good plan to me. 

    • #19
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    • 1 like
  20. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    And your list could be much longer if there weren’t length and time constraints. Sad.

    Al, you’re right. Wrong-headed eco-disaster predictions could fill OED-sized volumes. 

    • #20
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    • 1 like
  21. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    And while I’m happy you are taking care of bounteous Marie, I’m worried that you are apparently doing nothing for Bob.

    Al, we’ve shaved all his fur, right down to his skin, because the future is going to be warmer. Even though he is now as ugly as a naked mole rat, Bob still thanks you for asking. 

    • #21
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:54 pm
    • 5 likes
  22. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    KentForrester: with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack

    I trust this is a typo, and you meant to say, “beautious.”

    Quietpi, nope. Bounteous is just about right. Not fat. Bounteous. I always liked bounteous girls, so when Marie came along, I leapt at the opportunity to have a bounteous girl in my home all the time. It’s worked out great!

    • #22
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    • 4 likes
  23. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    KentForrester: with the bounteous Marie perched on the luggage rack

    I trust this is a typo, and you meant to say, “beautious.”

    You got something against Rubenesque women?

    You remembered, Arahant. 

    • #23
    • December 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    The idea that a group of scientists/engineers/politicians are smart enough to manage the entire earth’s climate, requiring everyone agree with them (one world order), reminds me of Babel’s Tower. I don’t think God will let it happen. 

    • #24
    • December 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    • 3 likes
  25. Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    We’re missing the most important projection that is coming true, e.g. that predictions of apocalyptic crises requiring big government solutions will increase exponentially and in spite of the absence of empirical verification over the years will be ever more widely believed until replaced by the next crisis that will also require big government solutions and will also be widely believed.

    I’m not convinced that apocalyptic paranoia increases over time, let alone exponentially. I’m more inclined to believe that fear of an impending apocalypse stays relatively constant over time, and that it’s only the purported cause of the impending apocalypse that changes.

    Look at all the people who built fallout shelters in their backyards in the 20th century. Those shelters were built at the urging of government, and yet they ended up being unused. There will never be an end to the debate over whether the fear of nuclear apocalypse was ever really rationally justified.

    It’s probably a matter of signal propagation. If the government, newspapers, radio, or internet is punching up the message, more gullible people will buy in.

    Also instructive is the very selective portrayal of how people react to official predictions of impending environmental collapse.

    For example, I am forever amused/bemused by the way preppers are portrayed as “right-wing lunatics” considering that their preparations would have been the most rational action if past predictions had been correct.

    Think about it. Imagine a world where:

    1. Paul Ehrlich had been right and 100-200 million people per year had been starving by 1980 and the USA had ceased to exist by 1992.
    2. Jimmy Carter had been right and the “whole world” had run out of oil in 2011.
    3. James Hansen had been right and the global temperature had risen by 0.45°C between 1988 and 1997.
    4. Al Gore was right and the Earth has been in a “True Planetary Emergency” since 2016.

    In such an alternate history of the planet, the preppers should be the only people left standing! So how come none of the most famous climate hysterics are all-in on the prepper phenomenon?

    One might conclude that either they have zero confidence in their own predictions, or else they’re supremely confident that the mitigation efforts already in place are working.

    (Addendum: To be fair to Jimmy Carter, the US did start depositing oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during the first year of his presidency, and FEMA was created in the second year. Those actions could be construed as evidence that the US government itself had started prepping on a national scale. Of course, the plan to create the SPR was enacted in 1975, so it would have happened anyways even if Gerald Ford had been re-elected, but still it could suggest that at least Carter believed in the predictions he was selling at the time.)

    • #25
    • December 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm
    • 5 likes
  26. Member

    Mr. Forrester,

    I am disappointed. From your title, I hoped you might have some sketches of your designs for apocalypse-wear.

    Or even a picture of you in your woolen onesie and pork-pie hat. 

    Geez.

    I feel Sad.

    Sincerely,
    Mama Toad

    • #26
    • December 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    • 8 likes
  27. Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Mr. Forrester,

    I am disappointed. From your title, I hoped you might have some sketches of your designs for apocalypse-wear.

    Or even a picture of you in your woolen onesie and pork-pie hat.

    Geez.

    I feel Sad.

    Sincerely,
    Mama Toad

    Everyone knows for the apocalypse you wear leather, with spikes. 

    • #27
    • December 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm
    • 6 likes
  28. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Mr. Forrester,

    I am disappointed. From your title, I hoped you might have some sketches of your designs for apocalypse-wear.

    Or even a picture of you in your woolen onesie and pork-pie hat.

    Geez.

    I feel Sad.

    Sincerely,
    Mama Toad

    Mrs. Toder, I should have, but at my last eco-protest in downtown Portland, one cop grabbed my pork pie hat and ground it in the dirt with his hobnailed boots. Pure spite.

    The city fathers in Portland are all woke, but the cops remain unappreciative of us eco-crusaders, who only want to save the world (and torch a few cop cars). 

    • #28
    • December 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    • 4 likes
  29. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    I’d better set the record straight lest Marie get ahold of this. Here is what she actually looks like at age 75.

    In my eyes, she’s perfectly lovely and so wonderfully Rubenesque that any satyr would be happy to chase her around the meadow. 

    • #29
    • December 3, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    • 13 likes
  30. Coolidge
    TBA

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    I’d better set the record straight lest Marie get ahold of this. Here is what she actually looks like at age 75.

    In my eyes, she’s perfectly lovely and so wonderfully Rubenesque that any satyr would be happy to chase her around the meadow.

    Who needs sonnets when you got that kinda imagery going for you? 

    • #30
    • December 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm
    • 9 likes
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