Have you noticed the recent uptick in the number of shows on TV related to the end of civilization? The end of civilization which will be coming very soon? I think there might be two different shows on cable relating to this idea. I have been hearing references to this for quite some time, but it seems to be a lot more common these days, and not just because cable channels are desperate for programming. The first reference to the end of the world coming soon that I remember was something I read in the bible as a child. Jesus said something about that generation not passing away before the end of the world.
Well, Jesus was wrong then, and I’m betting the doomsday preppers of today are also wrong.
Doomsday preppers point to high unemployment, civil unrest, pollution and a society breaking down. Unemployment during the depression was nearly 25%, the unrest in the streets today doesn’t seem worse than the 1960′s (riots, 4 dead in O-hi-o, MLK and JFK shot dead in public, etc), the Cuyahoga river used to catch on fire but doesn’t today, and my 87 year old father remembers when the air pollution in the city of St. Louis was so bad that people had to turn on the headlights on their cars in the morning to be able to see through the coal-fire-generated haze.
Think about this – if I had been sitting in my 128 year old house a hundred years ago (in 1912) and wondering what the next 100 years would be like, would I have imagined 2 world wars, a flu pandemic that would kill 50 to 100 million people, the great depression, the cold war, McCarthyism, the rise of easy access to deadly recreational drugs and an incurable disease like AIDS? Or might I have imagined the creation of penicillin, women getting the right to vote, indoor pluming becoming nearly universal in the U.S., vaccines beating back measles and whooping-cough, the availability of a pension for all workers in their old age, very low-cost accessible medical care for the elderly, the outlawing of some of the most egregious civil rights violations, the Pill, and safe and legal abortions so women didn’t have to be maimed by back-alley butchers anymore?
News flash for doomsday preppers : great and terrible things are going to happen in the coming years. We’ve been here before, we faced the challenges and we made it through without resorting to eating each other.
Give half of that huge store of food that you have squirreled away to people who are hungry today.