Human recorded history goes back around 5,000 years, using the definition of a complete written language and a variety—including literature and business—of other
record keeping. But it has been only in the last 120 years that human knowledge has exploded and applied to practical technology that touches every life on Earth.
Globally, for example, adult human life span was reasonably constant for a thousand years. Then in the 20th century that number also surged. While much of the technology that we use today is based on previous technology—smartphones from the radio—even the “previous technology” was developed in the 20th century or late 19th century.
The first commercial ice plant opened in 1868. A commercial process for frozen food came in 1924, which revolutionized the world’s food supply.
Our grandparents and great-grandparents lived from the horse and buggy days to seeing a man walk on the moon. But this was and is also the time of massive wars fought globally, incredibly destructive weapons, and huge standard-of-living inequality. It is almost as if there is some cosmic balance that demands a whole lot of good must be offset with a whole lot of bad.
However, there is no question that humans in general are much less ignorant today than they were 100 years ago. It is not only that the pool of knowledge has expanded but now everyone can choose to take a swim in that pool.
Yet, there are many “educated” people that believe that chocolate flavored milk can only come from brown cows and the Earth is the only planet in the solar system that is flat and not round.
Further, why is there this incredible amount of doomsday scenarios? Forget about the settled science of climate change that had United Nations experts saying in 1989, “Rising seas to ‘obliterate’ nations by 2000.” Ignore Al Gore’s 2008 statement of “Ice-free Arctic by 2013.”
“Within the next two to five years the oil fields of this country will reach their maximum production”—October 23, 1919, Oil and Gas News.
The prediction of “peak oil” has never ended: “Capt. H. A. Stuart, director of the naval petroleum reserves, told the Senate today the oil supply of this country will last only about 15 years”—March 9, 1937, Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “At any rate, US oil supplies will last only 20 years”—May 1972, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Do not tell me that what these peak oil predictions meant to say was “land-based using conventional drilling techniques” any more than Al Gore meant “Sort of ice-free in some places or other now and then after 2013.”
This is the age of the “Drama Queen and King.” Genuine problems cannot be solved when everything is a “we’re all gonna die” scenario. Like a college student said at the “Global Youth Climate Strike,” “I’m OK with missing class because…what’s the use of getting a diploma when there’s not going to be a world to use it on?”
I personally could not care less if this 20-year-old film student ever goes back to class. But I hope the microbiology student who might someday work on a cure for cancer takes a longer view than a decade. Likewise, a physics major might someday find an effective commercial thorium-based reactor to actually replace our dependence on fossil fuels.
So far, though, all the hot air from the Drama Queens and Kings has not done much to improve life. Then again, blaming “climate change” to miss class sounds much nobler than my normal college excuse: “I’m too hungover.”
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