The current system of economic growth is unsustainable, and people should “try to avoid banks,” “consider gardening to grow your own food,” and reject the advances of globalization. That’s not a clip from National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers.” That is the latest message of doom and gloom from the environmental movement.
Incubate Pictures produced a nearly 35 minute animated film titled “There’s No Tomorrow,” which depicted a gloomy future of unsustainable economic growth, diminishing natural resources, and environmental degradation. “There’s No Tomorrow” argues that since the modern economy is based on continuous growth fueled by fossil fuels, and oil production has already reached its production peak, the economy will eventually collapse.
The solutions “There’s No Tomorrow” proposes for these drastic problems are stark: The film suggests the elimination of the capitalist economy and economic growth. The “Happy Ending” proposed by the film declares that economies should become localized, declaring that viewers should “consider the use of local currencies should the larger economy cease to function.”
The dire predictions of “There’s No Tomorrow” echo the cries of eco-extremists like Paul Watson, who called for a return to sail-powered ships and a decrease in population to less than 1 billion. Its solutions mirror the cries of radical environmentalists such as Lierre Keith, Derrick Jensen, and Aric McBay, who sought the destruction of human civilization.
“There’s No Tomorrow” claimed to address arguments that humans will technologically adapt to changing conditions by arguing that today’s challenges are too drastic to be solved, and even argued that “more advanced technologies may make the situation worse.” Essentially, the film rehashed the tired 200-year-old argument that humanity is doomed because it there is no possible way humans can adapt to the challenges they face.
Despite the filmmakers’ claim that “every care has been taken to insure the accuracy of the data,” the film is riddled with inaccuracies and distortions. Discoveries of new methods of retrieving oil have further called into question the already highly speculative theory that we have reached “Peak Oil” propounded by “There’s No Tomorrow.” Developments in hydrofracking (opposed by environmentalists and their liberal political allies) have drastically decreased natural gas prices since 2007.
The inaccuracies inherent in “There’s No Tomorrow” are unsurprising, considering its reliance on flawed sources. Incubate Pictures notes that the making of “There’s No Tomorrow” was assisted by the Post Carbon Institute’s Richard Heinberg and Tod Brilliant. The Post Carbon Institute questions “whether or not human beings are unsustainable by nature” and declares that “institutionalized perpetual growth together with an exponentially-growing global population is a recipe for disaster.”
The idea that the world will run out of resources has haunted the fears of environmentalists since Thomas Malthus’ dire prediction that food production would fail to feed a burgeoning human population – in 1798. In modern times, biologist Paul Ehrlich has been among the most prominent proponents of imminent human and environmental collapse – famously claiming in 1970: "I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Despite his track record of failed predictions, he still preaches the dark gospel of economic catastrophe.
The media have entered the controversy on the side of the doomsayers, amplifying the argument that the earth’s ever-growing legion of consumers will one day destroy the environment. Both environmentalists and the media ignore that people are creative and can solve the challenges they are faced with, myopically focusing only on the problems humanity faces.
No one denies that the technological, economic, and environmental challenges the world faces are daunting. But doomsayers have religiously predicted environmental and social disaster for human beings for over 200 years, and been proven spectacularly wrong on every occasion. Their forecasts of the end of the world have proven to be as accurate as Harold Camping’s.