Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Apocalypse Con

Thinking back over the course of my life, if I were to have started to dig my own grave every time officialdom told me we were all doomed because of some predicted cataclysm, I'd be in fucking China by now. Be it DDT, acid rain, global cooling, the ozone hole, global warming, climate change, we had only 10 to 20 years left. When the doomsday clock ran out, and they all have, we were either given another 10 to 20 years or a new end of the world scenario was cooked up. The only thing that changed was environmental groups became richer and more influential, certain corporations made money and better paid bureaucrats became more numerous. And to the best of my knowledge, the world didn't end yet and we're all still alive. It would appear that we were lied to for the gain of others.

However, according to our betters, not being put in a car seat until I was 10 years old, having played in a park not encased in bubble wrap or riding my bicycle without a helmet, I should never have lived past childhood. There should only be a mere handful of my age group left alive today. But there are many of us still here. There were a few who did tragically die in childhood due to accidents, but they were really a tiny minority of us. As it is impossible to make the world absolutely risk free and safe, the hyperbolic appeals to the precautionary principle to justify new laws, rules and regulations were at best exaggerated and at worst simply lies.

No matter whether it is "for the children" or "we must save the earth", "banks (or other corporations) are too big to fail" (or we're all gonna die, the world economy will explode, etc.) there was a corporation there either to sell us government mandated good and services that will somehow save us or receiving a tax payer funded bailout. A warning sign that should make one suspicious is how shrill and extreme the threats are and how little time we have left to act before it's too late. So little time, there can be no debate and skeptics, let alone anyone who asks a question, are smeared as deniers or other weaponized terms. Deniers, who for some unfathomable reason, want the whole world to die as if they were themselves immortal and unaffected by global armageddon or were mindlessly suicidal.
But most suspicious of all is how much this is going to cost us.

Always ask questions of the apocalypse porn peddlers. The more urgent the call to action freighted with the most heart rending of sob stories, the more they should be questioned. Be the tenth man, not the gullible fool and look at the data carefully with a skeptical eye. If it's outside you area, look at what other experts say who are skeptical of what the apocalypse sellers are pushing. Evaluate the arguments, not the ad hominem attacks on the skeptics. Do not fall for the appeal to authority fallacy as even scientists can either get things wrong or being human, will be devotees of a political cult pushing an agenda or saying things the powers that be want to hear just to get grant money. Never believe anything based solely on the output of a computer model as computers are not magical fortune telling oracle boxes but know only what the programmer tells them. Most of all, don't be afraid of the name calling blowback from questioning the official "you're all gonna die" craze.

There is a saying from World War II that when you're taking the heaviest flak, that means you're directly over the target. The more smears you get for asking questions, the more shaming language or weaponized words are used by the doomsayers to silence you, the more certain it is that they are lying.

Don't fall for the apocalypse con game.


Donald Cavaioli


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