by Einar Du Rietz

You get Tosca instead. It’s a pity I could not use the brilliant headline from this article: Apocalypse Not, by Matt Ridley, in Wired Science. It sums up a lot.

“Over the five decades since the success of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the four decades since the success of the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth in 972, prophecies of doom on a colossal scale have become routine. Indeed, we seem to crave ever-more-frightening redictions—we are now, in writer Gary Alexander’s word, apocaholic. The past half century has brought us arnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killerbees, sex-change fish, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophes.

So far all of these specters have turned out to be exaggerated. True, we have encountered obstacles, public-health emergencies, and even mass tragedies. But the promised Armageddons—the thresholds that cannot be uncrossed, the tipping points that cannot be untipped, the existential threats to Life as We Know It—have consistently failed to materialize.”

Couldn’t have summarized it better (and please read the full article). But if you are really interested, try my instant polling. Might not be too scientific,  but it helps you understand what is important.

Check Em out. When doing a poll some years ago with informed environmental debaters, Asteroids came out first, as the worst – currently hard, if not impossible, to battle – political schemes, such as CAP came in second.

Doing a similar poll with non scientists, all fears were around faimily life, illnesses and everything connected to that.

What might be threatening, if I may poll myself, is politicians messing with energy. Or pesticides for that matter. Both save lives.

And most importantly, if you absolutely need to scare your kids, scare them with politicians. Not with science. Possibly Scarpia.  


  • Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.