Too often, reporting on the state of the environment is designed to frighten rather than enlighten.   Our Green friends don’t want to engage your intellect, which never works out for them.  Instead they seek to titillate, excite, unsettle, disturb and keep you hooked so you come back for more.

They implants lurid images in thought, foster anxiety, and implant unhealthy obsessions.

They push their message into through headlines, articles, statements and images (many of them computer-enhanced) that disseminate vivid, disturbing images and messages of (allegedly) impending environmental disasters.  They embed their message in movies, TV shows, advertisements, online clickbait, etc. Scary scenarios are the stock in trade. The never ending Green narrative has inflicted cruel psychological damage on millions of young people. News reports have stated that 20, 30, or more percent of young people (Greta Thunberg being only the tip of the iceberg) have suffered climate-change-related anxiety, depression, or fear.

Green porn is prolific and pervasive. For decades, the Greens have has tormented millions with scary scenarios and predictions ranging from agricultural devastation to inundated cities – none of which are coming to pass. Sometimes they are absurdly self-contradictory, such as the prediction from several decades ago that Britain would have a Siberian climate by 2020, while the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free (neither of which has come to pass).

The Greens have hyped climate change as the greatest danger ever to human wellbeing. It has screamed that the world is “dangerously close” to “irreversible change.” Jeremiads allege that Earth “might be unrecognizable” (but note the wiggle word “might”). An article earlier this summer proclaimed, “Climate Change is Killing Americans” (although the article was sorely lacking in evidence).

Green porn exploits all forms of media. TV shows include such depressingly absurd dialog as, “We are going to flood and burn and starve.” Books abound warning about Earth becoming “uninhabitable,” Green porn traffics in wild speculations of various ways the human race could be “wiped out.” Apocalyptic fantasies abound. Reality check: None of these over-the-top predictions are remotely possible unless a giant asteroid hits our planet, Earth’s plate tectonics go into convulsions, or the sun’s output changes. More CO2 in the atmosphere (where it plays a relatively minor secondary role to water vapor in the life-saving greenhouse effect) will not end life as we know it.

Green porn can be laughably absurd. One example: “Expert” assertions that rising seas levels due to climate change are more destructive than nuclear bombs. Oh, really? A nuke can flatten Manhattan in a minute, whereas, at the current rate of seven inches of sea level rise per century, it would take 1200 years for the water level to rise seven feet, which is the current lowest elevation on Manhattan Island. Before you tremble in fear about impending submersion under rising sea levels, consider the 1989 prediction made by a U.N. environmental official that “entire nations could be wiped off the faces of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” Oops. (By the way, if you to read a “greatest hits” compilation of failed green porn disaster predictions, check out the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions.”)

Are you, like me, an animal-lover? Then you might be disturbed by green claims that up to 75 percent of species are doomed and that 25,000 to 30,000 species will become extinct annually within the next 30 or 40 years. Such fantastic – and fantastically wrong – predictions of species extinctions have been around for decades. For example, green icon Paul Ehrlich once boldly asserted, “[By 1985] all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.” Today, 35 years after 1985, the rate of species extinction ranges between two per year to less than one-half per year, depending on who is keeping score. Bottom line: There is no need to fear a massive wave of extinctions.

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres resorted to green porn, declaring, “Our planet is burning but too many decision makers continue to fiddle.” The Nero allusion is cute, but as a reasonable assessment of the state of the planet, Guterres is not even in the ballpark.

Earth has warmed somewhere between – brace yourself! – one or two degrees since emerging from the Little Ice Age in the 1800s. Two degrees warmer than a little ice age – which happens to be several degrees cooler than the Roman and Minoan periods during which civilizations advanced – is not exactly getting fried. We should be grateful for the warming that lifted us out of the Little Ice Age.

The most effective antidote for green porn is to have a command of the pertinent facts. Understand that the purveyors of green porn, like the purveyors of any porn, are in it for the most selfish reasons – money, popularity (who can seduce the most eyeballs?), and trendy ideology. If your eye catches an apocalyptic headline proclaiming the climate-change-induced end of the world, be alert.   Don’t let the green pornographers use you.

Think, evaluate, reason.  They hate that.

Author

  • Mark Hendrickson, Ph.D., is an economist who has analyzed the global warming story for 30 years.