Frank Fuerdi, of Spiked Online, has a delightful article on the daily barrage of panic we hear, in which he says, “In the past year, the threat of doom ? from weather, terror or disease ? became an everyday, even banal issue. It?s time to inject a dose of humanism into public debate.”
The thing that I have noticed, in talking about global warming to civilians, is not just the readiness of people to believe that doom is just around the corner—this after all is what Frank Furedi shows us is the relentless message of the day—but what is strange to me is people’s eagerness to believe the worst pronouncements. Even after you show people that the most apocalyptic claims are nonsense and are politically motivated (e.g. Al Gore’s imminent flooding of Manhattan), they still retain an ardent desire for the worst to be true.
It is this desire that must be investigated. The following quote from the Furedi article might help:
In response to the growing influence of misanthropy, Pope Benedict XVI, in his message for World Peace Day on 1 January 2008, felt the need to remind his audience that ?respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man?. That the Pope felt it was necessary to remind people of the unique status of the human species is telling indeed; it shows that we really do live in an era when most leaders find it difficult to believe in anything other than a scary future, and where it takes a Pope to remind them that humans are actually quite special.