The Earth is Not Dying

In addition, we cannot cannot destroy the Earth. It’s highly unlikely that humans could even end life on Earth, even if we gave it our best shot (unless Darth Vader loans us a Death Star). Total nuclear holocaust (the simultaneous use of all nuclear weapons on Earth) would lead to the death of most, and perhaps all of humanity, but the Earth would still be around. In perhaps a few decades, and at most a few hundred years, Earth would be teeming with life again. Sure, most of us complex vertebrates would say adios, but give the planet a bit of geologic time, and something equally interesting would probably replace us.Why do I bring this up? With the reemergence of global warming as a major issue in the last few years, alarmists are again making grandiose claims that we’re killing the planet, or that we’re going to destroy life on Earth. Hyperbole may be a way of getting attention (like the title of this post!), but it also tends to discredit an argument. When environmentalists scream that we’re killing the Earth and need to change our ways, what do people do? They tune out.

Rather than hype up scenarios like twenty foot rises in sea level, which are still considered highly unlikely in the immediate future, why not focus on the real and present effects of environmental mismanagement? Respiratory illness caused by traffic pollution in metropolitan areas has a significant and measurable cost here in the US – the same traffic pollution that’s also linked with global warming. Rather than stretching the truth about Manhattan being inundated tomorrow, why not mention that a many species present today may go extinct by 2050 due to climate change?

Lastly, why not provide positive solutions to environmental problems, like the introduction of Pigovian taxes, rather than painting doomsday scenarios? Just a thought.

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