The Coming Apocalypse

As far back as the '70s, experts have been warning that without human change, environmental apocalypse is inevitable.

| May/June 1972

WASHINGTON—The World could be as little as 50 or 60 years from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Washington Post, July9, 1971.  

WASHINGTON—Fifty U.S. scientists called yesterday for a high priority study of everything man dumps into the oceans, "beforewe are surprised by a disaster". Washington Post , January 15, 1972  

ROME—The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization just issued a report for the coming Stockholm conference saying that the human race is going to run short of water within a century. Washington Post, February 28, 1972.  

A as in Apocalypse

In earlier, more placid times, one would come across the above clippings only by chance . . . say at the dentist's office while leafing through the austere (and boring) pages of SATURDAY REVIEW. Now such stories are splashed continually across the fronts of newspapers in every part of the world and cannot be ignored.

Predictions of environmental doom are reported more frequently these days for a variety of reasons. First, there are many more predictions to announce. Second, today's forecasts usually represent a consensus of opinion among a large group of scientists rather than (as formerly) the views of an individual. Third, the predictions are now generally backed with a thick volume of research and the media is impressed. Which is to say that, in the past, reporters usually had to hoodwink reluctant scientists into making sensational remarks. Now those remarks are both well-documented and freely made.

Although stories like those quoted above all pack a wallop, the layman still finds himself wishing for something more . . . one longs for the complete picture, the consummate report that puts the Apocalypse into proper perspective. And that complete picture is now here . . . not once, but twice.

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