Thursday, June 12, 2008


ABC News, sadly my preferred major news-net is going to be doing a "Two-Hour news event" that's designed to scare the ever-living poop out of this country (and, if they are lucky, other countries). It's dramatically called "Earth 2100" and it centers on the idea that unless we take direct action RIGHT THIS SECOND we're all going to be dead by 2100, our entire race gone in a second. The trailer dramatically points out that the Roman Empire fell, the Mayan Civilization disappeared and Easter Island "Collapsed" (whatever the heck that means), summing this all up with stark bold type asking (retoricaly of course) ARE WE NEXT?

Probably not, despite what the good folk at ABC news are proclaiming. Lets take a look at what they are anticipating-

  • Oil Shortage- Well, no duh. Alternative fuel sources are going to become the next big economic cash-cow, so I'd expect in our delightful free-market system that we'll jump on the hydrogen bandwagon sooner or later.
  • Polluted Air- It's getting better. We do need to continue on this path, but to be frank, it's not somthing that will make us go the way of the Roman Empire (for one thing, it dosn't invite invaders).
  • Water Shortages- This is a legitimate concern, but also one that is utterly solvable by doing things OTHER then wetting ourselves thinking about how we're polluting all our existing water supplies. Focusing new developmental tools on the desalinization of sea water, this problem becomes a non-problem... at least for US. China, India, Africa... they're polluting there waters at a rate that is massive and that includes ocean waters.
  • Global Warming- The planet is getting warmer, but if we act now we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses by 60% in 50 years! Which according to ABC will do... jack squat! No matter how hot the planet gets, we'll adapt.
  • Overpopulation- Ok, they have a point here. This is a problem, albeit one without a solution (other then getting India and China to fight a war that kills most of there population). Then Again, I do advocate forcing people to apply for a license to have kids...
  • Food Shortages- Linked to both Global Warming (too hot to grow food!) and Overpopulation (too many mouths to feed). I'm going to call shenanigans, since they are playing this to an American audience. Africa will run out of food, Asia may, Even Europe might, but we here in the good ole USofA have a breadbasket that can feed us like the dickens. We SELL most of our food to foreign countries, all it would take to keep us fed is to lock up the boarder with mexico so we don't have more mouths to feed.

Now, I might be just a simple city blogger, but I don't think any of that caused the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Mayan Civilizations or whatever it is ABC thinks happened on Easter Island. Unless by Global Warming you mean Attilla the Hun, by Overpopulation you mean conquistadors and by Food Shortages you mean giant stone men with big noses and ears.

But even as they might have a point with the bullet points I outlined above, (in some cases) the things said by the alarmists at ABC are even more intense then your run-of-the-mill doomsdaying millennialists. Look at some of these-
"If 100 years from now, New York is abandoned, I picture some explorer coming to Manhattan saying 'Those IGNORANT people! How On EARTH could they have ever expected to survive?'"
Ok, lets ignore how condescending and morally righteous that quote is. Lets instead wonder A) what explorer didn't know where Manhattan was B) So humanity DOSE survive in order for there to be explorers, isn't that kinda against the whole "we're all going to die" thing? C) what kind of moronic explorer would take a look at the remains of the greatest city in the world and think "Wow, these people were stupid". We didn't think that about the Mayans, the Romans, the Egyptians and every other "dead" society we have ruins for. We MARVELED at them. This future explorer would likewise marvel at us.
"It's important for people to realize we are entering a world that no one has any personal experiance with. We have some idea what it's been like in the past but this is a new world."
well, someone give that guy a prize! You mean the future is unknown? We don't have any experience living in the future? Oh no! How will we ever survive?! I'd wager anything someone uttered just such a moronic sentiment after the first Atom bomb was used in WWII.

And of course ABC delivers the Coup de grĂ¢ce of paranoid, panic-inducing, fear-mongering media stupidity- a YouTube contest to send in your very own Apocalyptic senarios. There examples show people talking about paying 12 dollars for a gallon of milk, 9 dollars for a gallon of gas and crying into the camera about how scared they are. Give. Me. A. Break.

Gas is double what it was a year ago, and milk prices are notoriously high here in New York. Is ANYONE making a youtube video crying about it?! ANYONE?

The of course there is the repetition of "choosing the right path". They use the phrase a number of times in both the description of the video and the videos themselves. Given the media's inherent biases, I doubt it's going to be the logical "More Nuclear Energy, Market-Based solutions, more research funding". I'd wager "The Right Path" starts with voting for Obama, continues with buying a hybrid and ends with buying the Sean Penn and Susan Serandon DVD boxsets.

Shame on you, ABC. The worst thing about the modern media is its constant fear-mongering and it looks like you're about to turn that into an artform.

You call all expect updates as ABC updates the site. I'm sure they'll continue to say insanely stupid things.

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