This morning I received in my email a plea to save the polar bears, together with fervent warnings about the end of butterflies, baby seals, and the world. If the world is serious about planetary salvation, another email says, rulers must keep their promises, made recently at the UN Paris Climate Conference, to redistribute about $12 trillion over 25 years—over $500 billion annually.
At every turn environmental crisis is used to justify enormous and wrenching changes in economic and social conditions.
This sounds terrible. How are you and I going to pay for this?
It is easy to panic. Instead of handing over the money (which I don’t have) and freaking out over the latest so-called environmental disaster, how does one decide when and whether a crisis is credible and deserving of urgent attention? When is a stampede reasonable? When is it suicide?
This reminds me of an infamous stampede in a Chicago nightclub.
Smoke began to spread through the flashing room. Few noticed the steady uprising of the ghostly haze before its tendrils reached the noses of the gyrating crowd. Dry ice was often added for effect. Strobe lights in the club ripped like lightning through the pale cloud, adding to the heat and thrill and pounding beat. But when a pungent odor reached the nose, then eye, of the first raver, it was plain to him that something was different from usual. Something was wrong.
It hurt. It burnt. A woman screamed. Like a machine gun flashing in his mind, thought racing faster than sound, a mute image sprang at his throat, gagging him. Terrorist! Poison gas!
Fear brought him low as the screaming began. As he tried to rise, a knee slammed into his chest and knocked him down. He gagged again and gasped. Someone vomited on him.
He rose, ran like a wild creature, splashed outward, tumbling heavily down steps. A mad flood poured after him down the narrow stairwell. In a moment the tide became a rising, writhing wave, throttling life at the bottom.
An investigation found that the hysterical stampede at the nightclub began when security used pepper spray to break up a fight between two women. There was no need to panic.
Environmental scares can also be used to cause havoc and devastation but on international scale. The European Commission called the obligations to which rulers committed their nations at the Paris Climate Conference the “first universal, legally binding” climate agreement. French President François Hollande called it a “revolution.”
We must recall that the first French Revolution became a bloodbath. This second French ‘revolution’ is not a call to liberty, but to economic and political bondage, to rule by unelected bureaucrats and environmental activists.
Everyone is familiar with the litany of our ever-deteriorating environment. Images of drowning polar bears, melting icebergs, groaning trees, and polluted air clog our emotional arteries. This causes anxiety, even terror.
In Goya, Argentina, Francisco Lotero and Miriam Coletti are a painful case in point. Lotero and Coletti found life so unbearable that one day, after eating a meal with their two young children, they committed suicide. Unfounded fear, and guilt, is a terrible thing. It drives people frantic.
Before ending their own lives, Lotero and his wife shot their children.
Their suicide pact, explained in a note left on the kitchen table, was prompted over fears about global warming. The Loteros believed all the propaganda. It’s not hard to understand why.
In place of genuine problems, world leaders like President Obama have been saying for a while that our planet has a fever and that this is the greatest challenge ever to face humanity. Fevers can lead to death, so extreme measures must be taken
One can only imagine the fevered discussions around the Loteros’ kitchen table, their painful conclusion that the only way to reduce their carbon footprint, to face the world’s greatest challenge, was to destroy their family. They wanted to save the planet, so they killed themselves.
Would they have reconsidered self-murder if they knew the planet had actually not warmed for about 20 years, as seen in NASA’s satellite records? They were possessed by a false idea.
Eco-hysteria imposes unreasonable economic costs, resulting in lower standards of living. But it also imposes a high emotional toll.
The greatest challenge facing mankind, the biggest crisis, is not ultimately environmental, but spiritual. The problem is that of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Moving people in the wrong direction can lead to needless pain and suffering and death. Ask the Loteros.