March 17, 2009

"Notable Quotes"

Amy Kaleita Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University

"Apocalyptic stories about the irreparable, catastrophic damage that humans are doing to the natural environment have been around for a long time. These hysterics often have some basis in reality, but are blown up to illogical
and ridiculous proportions. Part of the reason they’re so appealing is that they have the ring of plausibility along with the intrigue of a horror flick.

In many cases, the alarmists identify a legitimate issue, take the possible consequences to an extreme, and advocate action on the basis of these extreme projections. In 1972, the editor of the journal Nature pointed out the problem with the typical alarmist approach: “[Alarmists’] most common error is to suppose that the worst will always happen.”82 But of course, if the worst always happened, the human race would have died out long ago."

from-Hysteria's History: Environmental Alarmism in Context

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