This Outline traces how a well-defined apocalyptic worldview made its first appearance around 1500 BCE in the teachings of a Persian prophet by the name of Zoroaster. These teachings were further developed in a great body of literature known as Jewish Apocalyptic in the 2nd Century BCE. This mode of thinking was then taken up in Apocalyptic Christianity. These deep apocalyptic roots have finally found expression in more secular apocalyptic movements such as Marxism and Environmentalism. What all these apocalyptic movements have in common is the shared myth of some ideal or Golden Age at the beginnings of human history and the myth that somehow mankind has fallen away from what things used to be or should have been. Apocalyptic in whatever form is “a theology of despair” in that it takes the pessimistic view that the world and the human condition continues to deteriorate and hastens to some cataclysmic end. This Outline concludes with a far more optimistic view of human history – constant improvement of the human condition and a future that is “infinite in all directions”.
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Hereunder is the testimony of John R. Christy, PhD, presented to a US Senate Committee. He is a climate scientist of world renown. The gist of his testimony is that there is no evidence that human carbon dioxide emissions are having any influence in either the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events. On the other hand he points out that carbon dioxide is a plant food, and elevated levels of it in the atmosphere is providing more food for both humans and animal life. At this stage of human technology, carbon-based fuels are still an indispensable source of cheap energy without which the Third World could never escape from inhuman poverty levels.
Robert D. Brinsmead
On both scientific and common sense grounds we hereunder passionately argue our case against all efforts to demonize carbon and carbon dioxide.
The evidence is piling up every day that the world is not dangerously warming, nor is the rate of sea level rise or loss of sea ice anything that has not been occurring or re-occuring for thousands of years. The sun has recently gone into a less active phase of fewer sun-spots, and the ocean decadal currents have changed from a warming to a cooling phase.
Robert D. Brinsmead (A paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Environment Foundation, 2006)
In 1971 the Sierra Club published a book by Barry Commoner (The Closing Circle) proclaiming that “the third law of ecology” is, “Nature knows best.”
There is nothing wrong in saying, Nature knows best in the right context. Doctors sometimes say it to reassure a patient. Horticulturists like me often say it when working with plants. We’ve all heard advertisers say it to flog everything from butter to the latest natural face cream. My charming neighbour says it when he regales me about the benefits of echinacea and olive leaf extract for all kinds of ailments.