The UN climate-change panel that cried wolf too often – by Rex Murphy (National Post – October 13, 2018)

You can’t set multiple deadlines for Doomsday. It’s a kind of one-off by nature. Do it too often and people cease to take notice or even care

Everybody loves the Apocalypse. The idea of the end of the world, the more imminent the better, has always had enthusiastic popular support.

For as long as we’ve enjoyed life on this delightful Earth there has been a morose and righteous sect of one sort or another telling us the lease was nearly up, the doomsday bailiff coming any minute now to shut things down forever. And whether from the abrasive thrill of the message, or the melodrama of the scenario, people have lapped it up.

Indeed there is a whole category of philosophy devoted to that time when the world in flame and fire renders itself into ash, when time stands still, life evaporates into eternity and all is dead and cold. It is impressively called eschatology — the study of The Four Last Things.

Not, as might be facilely assumed, Feminism, Ecowarts, Don Lemon and WE Day, but the rather more appetizing quartet of Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. It is the four last things, not the four most annoying.

As an attention-getter, The End is Near is right up there with the fabled cry of “Fire” in a crowded theatre. Identical really, as claiming the world is about to end any moment now is the loudest possible cry of “Fire” in the largest possible theatre of all.

The call does gather a crowd. Under the spell of lunatic prophets belching Armageddon, people have done the craziest things — crowded on mountain tops or gone off into the torrid desert — to await the end, only, of course, in the end (that never happens) to be disappointed.

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