BOCA GRANDE, Florida — Every generation has them: the snake-oil charlatans who stir their witches’ brew of lies and cats’ tales and shuffle their decks of grimy tarot cards portending your doom — your certain doom! — if you don’t pay them a handsome price for the antidote to cure you.
The world is about to end in a fiery hell of global warming, starvation, wicked poverty and social injustice, they insist.
Politicians in Washington are peddling all sorts of extravagant cures from fart mufflers for cows (until we can slaughter them all in a humane and environmentally friendly manner) to high-speed trains to Hawaii. Gurgle, gurgle.
And while we will have high-speed trains to Hawaii, don’t even think about using them to visit family for Thanksgiving because that would be a terrible waste of public resources. Just stay home and eat your tofu Thanksgiving turkey. Alone.
These people are miserable, regressive, leftist, government-first central planners. And they want everyone to be just as miserable as they are.
Interestingly, all of the cures these con artists insist upon would cost massive amounts of money paid (by you) into government coffers controlled entirely by them. Also, every single one of these solutions would give these very same charlatans vast new powers unrivaled in human history to control every aspect of your life.
In other words, hope you like bean sprouts and lentils, because that’s all they serve in the camps.
It is unclear if these solutions will actually make any of our lives longer or simply make all of our lives seem a lot longer. Either way, most common-sense Americans are not buying this nonsense.
Nor should they.
Just ask Matt Ridley, author of the book “The Rational Optimist.” Writing recently in The Spectator magazine, Mr. Ridley made a startling declaration — all the more startling if you are a regular consumer of American media, especially the political press.
“We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously.” The magazine goes on to note that little of this good news made the press “because good news is no news.”
“We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history,” Mr. Ridley writes. “Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 percent of the world’s population for the first time.” Down from 60 percent, he writes, in little more than a half-century.
“Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio, and heart disease are all in decline.”
Well, there goes the social justice crusade.
Perhaps even more impressive are the advancements that allow all these better-off humans to accomplish more while consuming less — meaning that all these wild predictions about humans gobbling up the planet are a bit far-fetched.
As industry and ingenuity lead to greater energy efficiency, humans not only are capable of doing so much more, they also are managing to use less total energy. Similarly, humans are learning to produce more and more food on increasingly smaller and smaller plots of land.
By any sane reckoning, this is good news. Unless, of course, you just simply hate humans. Which is precisely where you get doomsday charlatans of every generation. They don’t see people are families or children. To them, everyone is just another stupid mark who needs to be separated from the silver in their pockets.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the confederacy of American universities, which have conspired to ensure a generation of gullible dupes — formerly known as “ignoramuses” — who go tens of thousands of dollars into personal debt to learn how to be more emotional.
Mr. Ridley predicts that the next decade will see even “less poverty, less child mortality, less land devoted to agriculture in the world. There will be more tigers, whales, forests and nature reserves.”
All the more better to build concentration camps for all those college graduates who don’t like tofu turkey or want to go home to spend Thanksgiving with mommy and daddy.
• Contact Charles Hurt at email@example.com or on Twitter @charleshurt.