The concept for this article originated a few days ago when a friend reposted a video on Facebook. The video depicted a small herd of bison running down a road in Yellowstone National Park. The caption read as follows:
“Several bloggers have posted videos showing bison and other creatures fleeing Yellowstone Park, leading to conjecture that this could be an alert for an impending earthquake, or even the super volcano eruption”.
I responded to my friend’s post with information that provided a different perspective. Shortly thereafter, I received an email through a list group to which I belong containing that same video.
My response to this group of respected friends was (paraphrased); everybody wants to find catastrophe with everything they see in nature but ignore real problems.
This, dear readers, is a real problem in itself.
Don’t get me wrong on this. I have no issue with people preparing for crisis in their lives. Frankly, I have a great deal of respect for those who recognize potential problems before the fact and who use their knowledge and foresight to be prepared for the consequences of bad things happening in their lives. I have greater respect for those who work to prevent the crisis situations before they occur.
But our track record as human beings is not great. We see the bogeyman in every shadow but cannot recognize the forest for the trees.
Please allow me to provide examples.
“Global Warming” or as it is now dubbed “Global Climate Change” is the new crisis of our time. We’re spending billions of dollars worldwide to fight man’s evil destruction of our planet. We’ve been here before.
Here are four headlines from the New York Times regarding the state of our planet:
September 18, 1924 – “McMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age”
March 27, 1933 – “America in Longest Warm Spell since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise”
May 21, 1975 – “Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable”
December 27, 2005 – “Past Hot Times Hold Few Reasons to Relax About New Warming”
These headlines were mirrored in many major news outlets (like TIME Magazine) across the nation. So here’s the bottom line: We’re going to bake, right after we freeze, right after we bake, right after we freeze.
It has come to the point where climate alarmists have been using every major weather event to describe how we are going to end the world; hot or cold, wet or dry. It’s nonsensical to say the least.
Do you remember Y2K?
Oh, yeah, that was when our world would cease to exist as we know it because of our reliance on computer technology. Remember, we all held our collective breath as the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1999.
The funny thing is that New Year’s Day dawned as usual… including the typical hangovers from the night before.
Then there was December 12, 2012. You remember, when the Mayan calendar “predicted” the end of the world. Well… I just looked out the window and I’m still here.
All our crisis-mongering is not necessarily affiliated with the end of the world as we know it, either. Consider the time and resources we spend in trying to “save” endangered species from extinction.
Part of the problem is that we, apparently, don’t know what extinct is:
On February 11, 2004 the ivory-billed woodpecker was found in Arkansas after having been “extinct” for more than 60 years.
In January of the previous year, the New Zealand storm petrel was confirmed living in its namesake country after having been “extinct” for more than 150 years.
Then there is the Truckee barberry listed for 25 years as endangered only to “discover” that it is the same as “a common variety of barberry” found from California to the Great Plains.
I could go on with more examples but the point has been made.
When it comes to climate crisis, it is generally the same people telling us we will boil and then freeze. There is a similar situation with extinction. You see, the same folks who want us to teach that man came from apes are those who also chant about our destruction of species. But the guy who started the Theory of Evolution discussed extinction at length. His basic philosophy on the loss of species should turn the faces of environmentalists to red.
“Nevertheless so profound is our ignorance, and so high our presumption, that we marvel when we hear of the extinction of an organic being; and as we do not see the cause, we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world, or invent laws on the duration of the forms of life”! He wrote that in a book he published in 1859.
Charles Darwin thought that extinction was a natural and necessary part of the process of living. His adherents, nonetheless, cling to the idea that every dying butterfly signals the end of humanity.
So where am I headed with all of this?
We are so immersed in the smoke and mirrors of each new false calamity that we fail to comprehend those things that truly need our attention… and those things which represent very real threats to our way of life and/or our survival.
The single greatest killer in crisis situations is panic and the lack of rational thinking.
So how should we respond when this stuff hits the news?
How about, first, we consider the claims being made and decipher whether there is true imminent risk?
We should also work at prevention.
Sportsmen reacted to the election of Barack Obama by hoarding ammunition and firearms. We helped create shortages and drove prices through the roof, hurting ourselves and our brothers-in-arms. We panicked due to a perceived crisis but failed to do anything to prevent that same crisis.
I have to ask a question of that guy who spent thousands of dollars on ammo to put in his basement. Did you spend so much as a dime to elect representatives who would protect your inalienable rights?
To that person who lost their home to wildfire, did you put any effort into fire-proofing your property or raise a ruckus with the Forest Service for failure to manage our forests to prevent catastrophic fires?
To that person who watched their entire life wash down the Mississippi River during the last flood, did you not study the flood plain maps that explained you were at risk when you built? And, in the aftermath, did you not expect the government to help pick up your expenses to rebuild – in that same floodplain?
Life is replete with ticking time bombs. It isn’t necessary to fantasize about nonsensical “crisis situations”. We need to establish realistic priorities, turn back the timer on those bombs where we can and then prepare in an intelligent manner for the things which can reasonably be considered true risks.
Quit wasting your time – and my tax dollars – tilting at windmills.
By the way, those running bison that started this discussion…
They were running into the park, not out of it. Why?
A park spokesman answered that question.
“Who knows? They could have been spooked by a coyote.”