Yawning at The Apocalypse MongersPosted: October 31, 2015
To be born in the early 1960’s puts one somewhere near the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and makes one a beneficiary of the fruits of the labor of the ‘Greatest Generation’, a phrase popularized by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the parents of the ‘Boomers’ – those who lived through the Great Depression and defeated the totalitarian forces of German Nazism, Italian Fascism, and Japanese Imperialism in World War II.
At the conclusion of the war, years of suffering, sacrifice, and deprivation gave way to a burst of prosperity and confidence. America enjoyed a position of unparalleled cultural, economic, and military dominance in the world, and Americans now had time to pursue the ‘American Dream’, including home ownership, a large family, and having disposable income to buy automobiles, color television sets, and the latest appliances.
To be sure, it wasn’t all prosperity and sunny optimism after World War II. The post-World War II world had become divided between the ideologies of Communism and Democracy. The Soviet Union detonated its first atomic weapon in 1949, with the Chinese following suit by exploding their first nuclear device in 1964. America found itself in military conflict by proxy or directly with the communists of the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea in the Korean War and soon afterwards fighting communists in the Vietnam War.
But even while American elementary school children were practicing ‘Duck and Cover’ in case of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, by and large most Americans fully occupied themselves with the business of Pursuing Happiness, as epitomized by the opening of the Happiest Place on Earth in 1955.
America and the other nations making up the ‘Western World’ were confident in the morality of their world view and way of life, and they were for the most part united in their view that communism was an evil (yes, they used the word, ‘evil’) that needed to be fought and beaten.
Then the late 1960’s/early 1970’s came, and with that time period, a tidal wave of cultural change, the impact of which is felt to this day.
By no means were all of the cultural changes in the 1960’s/1970’s negative. The civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King was enormously positive, populated by people of faith and good will who worked to steer America in the direction of making good on the promissory note that “…all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
One cannot say the same for the sexual revolution and the fruits thereof, including the disintegration of so many marriages and families, the wreckage of whole communities, and the abortion of some 56 million humans.
Of note was the change of what I’ll call ‘Yay America’ and sunny optimism seen in popular culture to one where dark, foreboding, apocalyptic themes became all the rage.
Popular television shows like ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet’, and ‘Father Knows Best’, shows that took a lighthearted and sympathetic look at America went the way of the Dodo, and were over time replaced with movies like Planet Of The Apes, The Omega Man, The Andromeda Strain, and Soylent Green, which all dealt in dark, apocalyptic, doomsday visions of humanity’s future.
Around the same time, I was playing dodgeball.
Little did I know that at the tender age of nine or so my classmates and I would be exposed to another dimension of doomsday-ism and indoctrination from our 4th grade teacher, a young woman in her 20’s, who, in a most earnest and sincere manner, told us about a book that predicted mass starvation caused by overpopulation of the planet. When she wasn’t telling us impressionable children about this book, she would fill her spare time in class teaching us about, you know, reading, writing, and arithmetic. I’m sure she meant well.
On and on Hollywood and popular culture went, churning out one show, movie, article, and book after another about some variety of nuclear, medical, zombie, acne, toe fungus – or whatever – end-of-days depiction of the demise of humanity and the world as we know it.
Apocalyptic catastrophe, like sex, sells, big time.
With the demise of Soviet communism in Russia and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the object of apocalyptic, we’re-all-gonna-die-so-kiss-yer-a*s-goodbye gloom, doom, death, and destruction moved away from nuclear annihilation and gravitated towards environmental calamity as the instrument du jour of the demise of humanity.
Thus was Global Warming, now called Climate Change, brought into the world, and has attained the status of something like religious doctrine among the cultural elite, who reside for the most part in the rarefied aether of government, higher education, entertainment, and media. Their best known (and perhaps best compensated) apostle is former vice president Al Gore, who in 2006 introduced his movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to a world thirsting for an innovative twist on the tried-and-true (and lucrative) formula of disease, devastation, and death.
Gore’s movie and his apocalyptic message sold like hotcakes at a fireman’s fundraising breakfast the weekend after payday.
Cue to the present day, October 30th, 2015 and the question of leadership. Barack Obama has been president for nearly 7 years, and in the face of the bloody horrors of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, in the face of Vladimir Putin working to reestablish Russia as a world power to be reckoned with, in the face of Iran working to gain nuclear weapons and become the regional hegemon in the Middle East, in the face of a refugee crisis of biblical proportions, Obama has stated he defines leadership by helping to organize the world to respond to the threats he believes are posed by Climate Change.
It is clear President Obama, Al Gore, and their fellow travelers are fully invested in Climate Change. For Gore, it’s his literal meal ticket. Obama appears unable or unwilling to discern between acute, actual, immediate, clear and present threats (a belligerent Russia, a saber-rattling China, an Iranian mullah death cult bent on gaining nuclear weapons, resurgent radical Islamists in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, etc.) for the at best chronic, long-term (to the degree it is a threat at all) ‘threat’ of Climate Change.
How very much easier it is for people like Obama to summon the world’s elites to an international conference on Climate Change to give fellow True Believers the opportunity to gather in luxurious accommodations to clink their goblets filled with French wine and nibble on Russian caviar than it is to commit to spending blood and treasure to eradicate actual threats to national security and global stability.
This is what Obama calls ‘leadership’.
In the end, the elites of the world are attracted to apocalyptic Climate Change because it affords them the opportunity to exercise more authority, more power, and more control over others and get rich doing it.
This is why Climate Change is such a yawner for the rest of us. People are on to the elite’s game, but the elites haven’t gotten the memo.