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Ed Driscoll

Search Results for: "Final Countdown"

Despite the myriad of Chicken Little “Final Countdowns” over the last 40 years, somehow mankind will muddle through, Rob Long writes at Ricochet:

All of this doomsday talk is nonsense, says the New Scientist:

In 2008, researchers attending the Global Catastrophic Risk Conference in Oxford, UK, took part in aninformal survey of what they thought were the risks to humanity. They gave humans only a 19 per cent chance of surviving until 2100. Yet when you look more closely, such extreme pessimism is unfounded. Not only will we survive to 2100, it’s overwhelmingly likely that we’ll survive for at least the next 100,000 years.

Take calculations by J. Richard Gott, an astrophysicist at Princeton University. Based on 200,000 years of human existence, he estimates we will likely last anywhere from another 5100 to 7.8 million years (New Scientist, 5 September 2007, p 51).

According to most rational calculations, human beings will outsmart the various threats to their existence — runaway technology, killer viruses, supervolcanoes, that sort of thing.  There will be fewer of us, sure, if any of that stuff happens — death toll estimates in the case of a supervocano eruption that clouds the atmosphere with deadly ash are in the billions — but a hardy billion or two will still be writing television comedy or working the drive-thru window.

In other words, civilization will survive.

But only if we take action Right! This! Minute! on Goreball Worming, right? Well…

Our regular feature, “Quote of the Week” just doesn’t work here. Neither does decade or century. No, a whole new category all by itself is reserved for this quote from the newly appointed Climate Commissioner of Australia, Tim Flannery, noted zoologist and author of the book The Weather Makers.Here it is, brace yourself:

If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.

Lest you think that is an errant remark out of context, here’s the follow up from Flannery:

Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.

Crikey! So much for the “think of the grandchildren” argument used by Dr. James Hansen.

And speaking of the AlGore himself, he’s now claiming “Our democracy has been hacked” — which pretty ironic coming from a guy who considers the opposition to be a gang of “digital brown shirts,” but it’s simply the Goracle’s latest attempt at dissembling how right wing media bias cost him the election in 2000 and the rest of his fellow Democrats a couple of years later. To overcome that, he’s launched his “Current TV” “network” — which is what you’d do too, to blow your carbon footprint even further into the stratosphere, if you thought we had less than four years left to save the earth before “an irreversible slide into destruction,”right?

Or to put it another way, “Gaia Worship: Like the Enlightenment Never Happened.”

At the American Thinker, S. Fred Singer writes that “Climate Deniers Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name,” and near the end of his article, rounds up some fascinating quotes from the folks who seem to bring you new “Final Countdowns” and news of fresh disaster seemingly every day:

  • “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.” -Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
  • “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” -Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
  •  ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
  •  ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC [Update: A reader flags us that Houghton has denied these words are his -- Ed]
  • “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” -Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

As I’ve written before, it’s a fascinating development when people start admitting that they’re willing to lie for their cause.

Late last month, as a result of “GleickGate,” an author at Scientific American asked, “Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?” It sure seemed to me that he was trying to answer the headline of his article in the affirmative, however reluctantly he arrives at his ultimate conclusion.

Given that the author was attempting to use the century-old “Moral Equivalent of War” argument, I wrote here in reply that as the old cliché goes, truth is the first casualty of war. Even eco-war, I guess. But perhaps what’s relatively new are members of the left who are willing to publicly admit they’re lying, as we explored in 2010, when a member of the Journalist, the self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama in 2008 tweeted:

As I noted back then, legacy media house organ Editor & Publisher ran a piece in 2007 that advocated similar tactics for the man-made global warming crowd titled “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers.”

Not to mention former CBS anchorman Dan Rather telling Bill O’Reilly back in 2001 that “I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things:”

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Bill O’Reilly: “I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”
Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man.”
O’Reilly: “Do you, really?”
Rather: “I do.”
O’Reilly: “Even though he lied to Jim Lehrer’s face about the Lewinsky case?”
Rather: “Who among us has not lied about something?”
O’Reilly: “Well, I didn’t lie to anybody’s face on national television. I don’t think you have, have you?”
Rather: “I don’t think I ever have. I hope I never have. But, look, it’s one thing – “
O’Reilly: “How can you say he’s an honest guy then?”
Rather: “Well, because I think he is. I think at core he’s an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
— Exchange on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, May 15, 2001.

And Democrat former  Congressman Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, who lost his reelection bid in 2010, telling his constituents in 2008 this his party lied to take back Congress in 2006:

“I’ll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we…the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn’t say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn’t true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts…and people ate it up.”

Video here:

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Just this past month, “NY Democrat Rep. Kathy Hochul Admits at Raucous Town Hall: ‘Basically, We’re Not Looking to the Constitution’ when it Comes to ObamaCare Mandates.”

Back in 2004, Thomas Sowell said:

There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.

And justifying lying. Fortunately, then and now, the American public as a whole are much smarter than “the nature fakers,” as Theodore Roosevelt once call them, and they don’t much like being bullied, Steve Hayward writes in the Weekly Standard:

The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims. The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths. Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.

Which, incidentally, sounds very much like the worldview of someone who was willing to charge right into those Goliaths.

(H/T: Maggie’s Farm.)

I hadn’t visited Rush Limbaugh’s site (or listened to his show) yesterday when we explored “Apocalypse Now, in both Religious and Secular Flavors,” but as he says, today’s Rapture-ous announcement “is a dead ringer for the global warming movement:”

This is exactly how these people are portraying it, end of the world and we’re destroying the planet, sounds a lot like the global warming warnings that we’ve gotten over the last 20 years. The warmers believe that up to one-third of the species on earth are about to die. Michael Crichton had a great analogy once, a great comparison to the global warming crowd and religious believers. The similarities. There was a Garden of Eden. There is sin. There’s destruction. There’s a rapture. There’s all of this, even though the global warming people claim not to have a religion. But TIME Magazine is having a lot of fun here mocking these Christians. But are they any more deluded than the people who believe so devoutly in manmade global warming? [No -- Ed] As I say, these comparisons are fascinating, global warming and these end of the earth guys, it’s almost identical.

* * *

Speaking of global warming, the New York Daily News had a story, this is from last summer, and just surfacing here from our archives. Just to put some of this stuff in perspective. Last summer, “Documents released Friday by the Nixon Presidential Library show members of President Richard Nixon’s inner circle discussing the possibilities of global warming more than 30 years ago.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan walked into Nixon’s office and told him that we’re going nuts producing carbon dioxide, the world’s temperature the next 30 to 50 years could rise by seven degrees, we’re gonna have sea levels going nuts, parts of America in 30 years will be underwater. Nixon was told this, documents just released. Again, this story is from last summer, from the Nixon library.”Adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan, notable as a Democrat in the administration, urged the administration to initiate a worldwide system of monitoring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, decades before the issue of global warming came to the public’s attention. There is widespread agreement that carbon dioxide content will rise 25 percent by 2000, Moynihan wrote in a September 1969 memo.” This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by seven degrees by the year 2000. This, in turn, could raise the level of the sea by ten feet. Good-bye New York. Good-bye Washington, for that matter. Nixon was warned that New York and Washington would be underwater because of carbon dioxide, in 1970. What a hoax. What a fraud. And look how it ensnared all kinds of people.

Five years later is when Newsweek is doing its cover on the coming ice age,1975. Moynihan was Nixon’s counselor for urban affairs from January of 1969 through December of 1970. I mean, if anything, we know that the earth’s temperature by 2000 had not risen seven degrees Fahrenheit and New York and Washington were not underwater and not even close. None of it was true.

But the Final Countdowns had only just begun.

Update: Slate asks, “What happens to a doomsday cult when the world doesn’t end?”

I’d say it looks something like this:

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Gaia Versus Ganja

April 14th, 2011 - 9:59 am

Last year, I wrote, “Today’s Global Warming Fear-Mongering Is Tomorrow’s Late-Night Camp TV.”

A 1930s scare film such as Reefer Madness was seen as high camp by liberals by the time the 1970s rolled around, as were Jack Webb’s anti-communist efforts of the late ’1950s. But seventies liberals, perhaps spurred on by the title of Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock, if not the actual contents, had plenty of fears of their own, and wanted you to share the cold sweat of their own brand of paranoia.

Recall the horrific slate of politically-oriented science fiction films that Hollywood churned out in-between 1968′s 2001: A Space Odyssey and 1977′s Star Wars. Films such as Soylent Green, Silent Running and ZPG were obsessed with the Malthusian nightmares of overpopulation and deforestation that dominated the overculture of the time. Rollerball depicted a world controlled by giant corporations, at precisely the same time that Steve and Woz were cobbling together the first Apples in their Bay Area garage. They were followed by Leonard Nimoy’s cheesy synthesizer-scored In Search Of TV series a few years later, which explored Global Cooling, Killer Bees, Deadly Ants, and other ’70s obsessions.

Today, these ’70s efforts are seen as equally campy as Refer Madness became three or four decades after its release. The eco-doomsday films of the naughts, such as The Day After Tomorrow, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, and Al Gore’s own An Inconvenient Truth are well on the way to becoming late night camp TV themselves, and at much faster rate as their equally schlocky predecessors.

Perhaps someone can recut Al’s film and dub it “Climate Madness.” Maybe hire William Shatner to cut an exaggerated Jack Webb-style parody opening.

Who knows: “Climate Madness” could eventually even have the same impact on its genre as his wife Tipper’s efforts to curb raunchy lyrics in pop music.

A new post by Yid With Lid brings global warming’s Reefer Madness connection full circle: “Uh-Oh Moonbats Say Marijuana Causes Global Warming.”

I wonder if at least one portion of the left may suddenly start taking global warming hoaxes a bit more seriously, now that Gaia worship and Ganja worship have just intersected.

Also in the news of doomsday prognostications, ”Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade, experts warn today,” the Guardian reported.

Oops — in 2005.

Or to put it another way, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

Found via Small Dead Animals; many more not-so-final countdowns collated here.

It’s the Vinyl Cow Town!

December 31st, 2010 - 12:01 pm

Fox News rounds up “Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts,” to which Yid with Lid adds two more for a classic Lettermanesque Top Ten list — just add them both to the ever-growing pile of not-so-final countdowns and we can resurrect this infamous YouTube clip:

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In Europe, the USS Neverdock notes, “Berlin sees most snow in December since 1900s.” Glad to see that eco-Anchluss is working out so well for them.

Meanwhile, as far as Britain and botched predictions, let’s flashback to a year ago to a post we had on January 8 titled, “The Alpha And The Omega Of Liberal Fascism:”

fahrenheit451-1-10

Granted, it’s from a British newspaper, which means take it with a grain of salt (or at least, as big of a grain of sodium chloride as you’d take an article in an American newspaper), but if true, this story sounds truly frightening:

Pensioners burn books for warmth

Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

Jonathan Stearn, energy expert for Consumer Focus, said: ‘If pensioners are taking such desperate measures to heat their homes it is shocking. With low wholesale prices and increasing profit margins, there is clearly room for energy companies to make price cuts immediately.’

Ruth Davison, of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The spiralling cost of energy means heating homes has become a luxury rather than a necessity for many people – particularly the elderly, low paid and unemployed.’

As science blog Watts Up With That? notes, “Shades of Fahrenheit 451″

But in addition to Ray Bradbury’s famous dystopian novel (which previously echoed more than a little in last year’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act story), it’s also the alpha and the omega of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, now celebrating its second anniversary. The rulers of National Socialist Germany burned books because they were frightened by their content; the citizens of socialist England burn books because of their nation’s whackadoodle environmentally correct energy policies.

And speaking of which, great “Final Countdown” find by Sonic Frog.net:

Prince Charles: Eighteen months

to stop climate change disaster

The Prince of Wales has warned that the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests.

In one of his most out-spoken interventions in the climate change debate, he said a £15 billion annual programme was required to halt deforestation or the world would have to live with the dire consequences.

“We will end up seeing more drought and starvation on a grand scale. Weather patterns will become even more terrifying and there will be less and less rainfall,” he said.

The P.C. prince made the above claim in May of 2008. (He would make yet another final final countdown this past summer, and no doubt, there are more to come.) Those eighteen months he warned us about so portentiously have now passed.

So to paraphrase Lauri B. Regan at the American Thinker, “Hey Chuck, how’s all that global warming working out for you?”

nasa-snow_1555054f

Update: “Only 9,099 Of Last 10,500 Years Warmer Than 2010.”

The Alpha And The Omega Of Liberal Fascism

January 8th, 2010 - 11:29 pm

fahrenheit451-1-10

Granted, it’s from a British newspaper, which means take it with a grain of salt (or at least, as big of a grain of sodium chloride as you’d take an article in an American newspaper), but if true, this story sounds truly frightening:

Pensioners burn books for warmth

Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

Jonathan Stearn, energy expert for Consumer Focus, said: ‘If pensioners are taking such desperate measures to heat their homes it is shocking. With low wholesale prices and increasing profit margins, there is clearly room for energy companies to make price cuts immediately.’

Ruth Davison, of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The spiralling cost of energy means heating homes has become a luxury rather than a necessity for many people – particularly the elderly, low paid and unemployed.’

As science blog Watts Up With That? notes, “Shades of Fahrenheit 451″

But in addition to Ray Bradbury’s famous dystopian novel (which previously echoed more than a little in last year’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act story), it’s also the alpha and the omega of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, now celebrating its second anniversary. The rulers of National Socialist Germany burned books because they were frightened by their content; the citizens of socialist England burn books because of their nation’s whackadoodle environmentally correct energy policies.

And speaking of which, great “Final Countdown” find by Sonic Frog.net:

Prince Charles: Eighteen months

to stop climate change disaster

The Prince of Wales has warned that the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests.

In one of his most out-spoken interventions in the climate change debate, he said a £15 billion annual programme was required to halt deforestation or the world would have to live with the dire consequences.

“We will end up seeing more drought and starvation on a grand scale. Weather patterns will become even more terrifying and there will be less and less rainfall,” he said.

The P.C. prince made the above claim in May of 2008. (He would make yet another final final countdown this past summer, and no doubt, there are more to come.) Those eighteen months he warned us about so portentiously have now passed.

So to paraphrase  Lauri B. Regan at the American Thinker, “Hey Chuck, how’s all that global warming working out for you?”

nasa-snow_1555054f

It’s The Vinyl Cow Town!

July 11th, 2009 - 8:58 pm

The fellas at Weasel Zippers ask, “Is Prince Charles challenging the Goracle as the Prophet of the Bedwetters?” (Bolding and ed. note in original):

Capitalism and consumerism have brought the world to the brink of economic and environmental collapse, the Prince of Wales has warned in a grandstand speech which set out his concerns for the future of the planet.

The heir to the throne told an audience of industrialists and environmentalists at St James’s Palace last night that he had calculated that we have just 96 months left to save the world. (that leaves only 96 months for the Goracle to line his pockets -ed.) And in a searing indictment on capitalist society, Charles said we can no longer afford consumerism and that the “age of convenience” was over.

Yet another “Final Countdown” to add to the always growing list; and a chance to resurrect this infamous YouTube clip:

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Update: More eco-doomsday rhetoric from someone who merely thinks she’s royalty:

If the Senate doesn’t pass a bill to cut global warming, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer says, there will be dire results: droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more.

Uh-huh. Will disease, pestilence, cats and dogs living together, Zuul and a giant Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man also result? (Hey, just speaking satire to power.)

Update: Mark Steyn uses Prince Charles’ doomsday claptrap as the jumping off point for his latest op-ed. Needless to say, read the whole thing — but hurry; we have only have ten years to save the oceans, as Ted Danson said over twenty years ago. (More not-so-final countdowns here.)

The Final Countdown Du Jour

January 17th, 2009 - 7:44 pm

“Leading climate expert Jim Hansen” (no relation, as far as we can tell, to a deceased but global warmingly remembered Muppet expert) believes “Barack Obama has only four years to save the world.”

Of course he does. But we give Mr. Hanson bonus points for eschewing the leisurely and far overdone bourgeois pace of the ten year countdown–four isn’t a number that’s picked all that often from the proverbial hat for a doomsday countdown. But in any case, file this one way for election time in 2012 if–and we think the odds are somewhat reasonable here–Mr. Hanson is wrong.

In any case, no final countdown is complete without…

Turn And Face The Strange

January 9th, 2009 - 12:40 pm

150 years of scary headlines on climate ch-ch-changes:



It’s the final countdown!

It’s The Vinyl Cow Town!

December 18th, 2008 - 11:30 am

As global warming pummels Las Vegas this week, Andrew Bolt lists the “Top 10 dud predictions” from global warming alarmists.

There’s only one way to follow all that epic fail–with the ultimate butchered version of “The Final Countdown“:

P.J. Gladnick flashes back to 1968 and Apocalypse Then:

Today is the official publication date of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment by Paul and Anne Ehrlich. The release of this book was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s once exceedingly popular “The Population Bomb” in 1968. If you expect to see much about either of these books in the mainstream media, you are in for a big disappointment. The MSM is avoiding the whole subject of Paul Ehrlich and his apocalyptic “The Population Bomb” like the plague nowadays. The reason is probably because it might draw embarrassing attention to the fact that apocalyptic visions, despite their popularity at one time such as the current global warming alarmism, are usually proven to be flat out wrong. Such was the case with Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb” which the Intercollegiate Studies Institute ranked as one of the 50 Worst Books of the 20th century due to its many errors.

Gladnick quotes from a Brothers Judd review of Ehrlich’s book that’s also well worth your time.

It’s yet another not-so-final countdown!

The Not So Final Countdown, Revisited

April 27th, 2008 - 1:26 pm

Given how easy it now is to find previous Final Countdowns, just once, I’d love to see the next Final Countdown met with some skepticism from the press: Mr. Gore/Erlich/Danson/DiCaprio, etc., why should we believe you, when there have been so many earlier doomsday predictions that have never come to pass?

(H/T: TB)

Related: Via Small Dead Animals, Canada’s Lorrie Goldstein opens up an even more recent memory hole:

Dear Globe and Mail and Toronto Star:

For 15 months, I’ve been saving your respective front pages from the glorious weekend of January 27-28, 2007, when you simultaneously declared your mutual jihads against man-made global warming.

I knew they’d come in handy some day and now, they have.

Indeed, it seems like only yesterday I awoke to my Saturday, January 27, 2007 Globe to be greeted by the hysterical, front-page headline “Welcome to the new climate,” under a politically correct green masthead, declaring at the bottom: “We want action. We’re ready for sacrifices.”

Not to be outdone, the Star a day later had its own World War III, front-page headline, “State of denial: Do the skeptics of global warming have a hidden agenda?” — in the finest traditions of “do you deny beating your wife?” journalism.

And now, here we are, just 15 months later and isn’t it great you both have exactly what you wanted — skyrocketing gasoline prices and about-to-skyrocket food prices — since as we both know, hitting energy-hogging Canadians in their pocketbooks is the only way to make them reduce their evil greenhouse gas emissions hard and fast.

Or as it’s been dubbed in States, the Pelosi Premium.

Advantage: Gutfeld!

April 3rd, 2008 - 2:23 pm

Only a true satiric master can beat the nigh-impossible odds that Muggeridge’s Law imposes, especially when one of the participants is the nutty grandparent in cable television’s attic. (Alongside Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Helen Thomas, Phil Donahue, and…hmmm: Whom The Gods Destroy, they first build lionizing PBS specials around.)

Add nutty Ted’s latest mutterings to this one from a quarter of century ago, and it’s yet another example of the Not So Final Countdown.

(Which is still probably better than this Final Countdown!)

The Latest Final Countdown

June 14th, 2007 - 10:53 am

Apparently both sensing that a Doomsday Countdown in boring old decade-long increments is just a little too Ted Danson 1980s infomercial for the new millennium, and understanding that the Internet speeds everything up–even Doomsday itself–the UN warns “that the world has just eight years left to save itself”.

As Tim Blair writes, “Our new Doom Year is 2015. Make a note of it”.

Here’s the perfect background music for updating your calendars.

This Week’s Final Countdown

May 15th, 2007 - 11:26 pm

Add this countdown by the Worldwide Wrestling Foundation, I think, to all of these final countdowns, still either in progress or recently allowed to expire in silence by the Legacy Media. Curiously, they always seem eager to announce a new doomsday countdown, but rarely its termination with the planet looking none-too-worse for wear.

And gosh, I just can’t understand why that always seems to happen.

The Vinyl Cow Town

January 31st, 2007 - 10:30 am

No post titled “The Final Countdown” would be complete without this infamous YouTube moment in which the singer–such as he is–sounds like he really is warbling the above title.

The Not-So-Final Countdown

January 31st, 2007 - 9:10 am

Back around 1988, I watched Ted Danson, then at the height of his fame as the star of Cheers appear on a late-night infomercial pitch for an environmental group. He ended the half-hour advertisement with his saying that “we only have ten years to save the world’s oceans”. (That’s a paraphrase, but as close as I remember the line.)

It’s a reminder that, with the exception of Hollywood’s greatest Greatest Generation-era stars (Cary Grant, Bogie, The Duke, Coop), Bill Whittle’s Lou Grant Effect is inviolable. Having a beer in Sam Malone’s bar while he recounts his glory days with the Sox sounds like infinitely more fun than listening to the doomsday prognostications of someone paid to recite lines written by others, with his performance calibrated by someone else.

But since the freshness date has long expired on Danson’s dire warning, and the oceans are, near as I can tell, all happily present and accounted for, there have been numerous additional Doomsday Countdowns, which always seem to run for a decade for some reason. Al Gore started his a year ago, and yesterday, aging man-child Leonardo Di Caprio and several accompanying B-list actors and musicians announced theirs.

As Glenn Reynolds writes, “Ten years to save the planet: Let’s start by banning private jets.”

Here are two extremely environmentally conscious sources who could immediately put their Boeings where their mouths are, and retire their privately-owned jumbo jets for Diet Cokes and a tiny bag of peanuts on Southwest.

Anytime now, fellas; we’re waiting…

And while we’re waiting, James Lileks has some very much related thoughts: “It’s a peculiar inversion: the height of civilization now consists of undoing the plug, not connecting it.”

Update: In 2005, I looked at the number of businesses leaving California for a pro-business climate and wrote, “Will the last person out of California please turn out the lights?”

No need to–California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Pluto) is going to do it for us.

Virginia Postrel recently wrote “California legislators are never without new ideas for regulations and bans”; sadly, that streak sees absolutely sees no sign of abating.

Another Update: Libertas asks, where are the big boys?

Wouldn’t you feel better if it weren’t boy-men trying to save the world? They couldn’t talk Bruce Willis or Russell Crowe into this nonsense? I’m sorry, but I’m just not comfortable leaving the fate of the planet to Leo, Orlando, and Josh.If things are really as bad as Hollywood wants us to believe, shouldn’t any action that pollutes unnecessary to human survival cease? Like movie making? You can’t scream armageddon while moving forward on another Focker sequel. You just can’t.

No, you really can’t. If the earth really is doomed in ten years, then movie making–mere entertainment that no one outside of Beverly Hills needs to survive–should be stopped immediately, to prolong the environment as long as possible by eliminating all of its accompanying chemicals and pollution.