Friday, July 18, 2008

Selling Fear

No it's not the nature of markets, it's about the 'environmental movement' (Edward Glaeser in the NY Sun, h/t Greg Mankiw):

The environmental movement has been very successful at making America afraid. Forty-five years ago, Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" convinced the public that DDT was a great threat to our ecosystem; more recently, Vice President Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" created widespread alarm about global warming. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" terrified millions with its claim that humans had overtaxed the environment and that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."
Fortunately as the article points out, Ehrlich is persistently and consistently wrong. Some people think that worrying about the environment and the Earth is like believing in God (the Angry Economist). Personally, I'd rather just believe in God.

Of course it's sort of comforting that the people who make it out to be a crisis (WSJ), don't actually act as if it is (American Prosperity).

No comments: