The idea that we are one step from calamity is as old as history itself. Every step on the road of progress has always been countered by those who think that we should keep to a primitive lifestyle that they claim is more compatible with nature. But despite the fact that they've been proved wrong, the pessimists are undeterred by their abysmal record. They continue to echo a deep-seated fear that unless we repent and change the way we live, we will be instrumental in destroying our own world. Today industrialization, genetically modified crops, scientific medicine, nuclear power, and the car are held up as the harbingers of doom. Politicians and persuasive pressure groups play on this same basic fear. They scare us with tales of an inevitable global warming catastrophe blamed on CO2 emissions, they stoke the fires of terror that an epidemic of obesity will kill all our children, and they sternly tell us that our indulgent lifestyle will consume the earth's precious resources. But will pesticides kill off life in our oceans, will chemicals in food poison us all, and invisible rays from power cables and cell phones kill us with cancer?
Published: John Blake an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on Jul 6, 2009