In 1980, I had a debate with a fellow conservative who was 15 years older than about the future. He was pessimist and I mention to him “I am optimist because I have a child and I will fight for policy to ensure her future.” In 1980, the Soviet Empire was on the march, we were suffering from double digit inflation, the Western civilization itself look like it was tottering toward the abyss. We were told that our resources were running out and there were too many people on this planet. It is not much different than today in which our culture appeared to be crumbling, our planet is warming and we are doomed to a overpopulated, over heated planet and our resources running out.
Today, my children are adults but still I am amazed how some of the right and many on the left are pessimist about the future. In 1970’s, the threat was pollution, a new ice age approaching, over population and running out of resources. Yet, today we are living better than ever. More people in the world are escaping poverty, and overall standard of living has improved.
When I bring up these facts, I am amazed how many people simply don’t believe that this is the case. Recently on twitter, I had some guy say I was wrong and where was the data to show this, so I began with four recent sources and told him I could easily flood with him with many more. I doubt that this will make him happy as he certainly will find some pessimist who will be happy to share some data to prove himself right that the world will end soon but the evidence is in front of us
Over the last fifty years, I have read enough predictions, none of which came through. The book, “The Population Bomb” painted a dismal picture of the future but our population has doubled and the world is now feeding more people better than ever before. The human mind proved to be the ultimate resource, as the late Julian Simon demonstrated in his book by the same name. The 1972 club of Rome report stated that overpopulation will lead to depletion of resources. It didn’t happen as resources seem to be proving more plentiful than before with more than double the population. In the 1970’s, a new Ice Age was upon us, it didn’t happen and now global warming will kill us but for the past three decades, we have been told repeatedly that we have ten years left but then when decade comes and the world has not ended, we are then told ten more years are left before the end of humanity. The number of failed predictions and new theories on the world end keeps coming and crashing. Eventually I guess a astroid will hit this planet and the pessimist will prove to be right. If you keep predicting the end of the world, eventually it will come but in the meantime, our world keeps improving.
There is much left to accomplish but we have been cursed with a political class and elite that seems to want to believe the end is near and today, it is climate change that will kill us even though for million of years, we have seen climate change on our planet. It is a given fact that climate change, weather changes but what allows us to survive is our ultimate resource, the human mind.
To the guy I had twitter discussion, I concluded to him, “For the past fifty years, I have heard the end of the world is coming and yet it never does, so if you want to wallow in your pessimism, fine. Wallow in it.” The poor fellow simply doesn’t comprehend that the very policy he wants enacted will only make his children future bleaker. For me, I look to a better world and I go back to what I told my conservative friend in 1980, I am optimist because I have a child and I will fight for policy to ensure her future.” My children are now adults and I still have life left to finish and I be damned if I allow the pessimist to destroy the future for my children and others. The end is not near.