Prince Charles has predicted that the world will end soon if we don’t address climate change immediately and more effectively—and Issues and Insights predicts that the future king will be wrong again.
The Prince issued this latest dire prediction rather recently:
“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Prince Charles, addressing foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth last week. “I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival.”
One assumes that the foreign ministers were rather glum as the boarded their jets to return home after hearing such pessimistic news from their future sovereign (if the world exists long enough for Charles to reign, that is).
May we take comfort from the Prince’s having revised a previous Doomsday date:
A little more than a decade ago, about 124 months in the past, the prince announced the world had “less than 100 months” to save itself. He revised his doomsday prediction in 2015 to 35 years.
Now he’s certain that it’s 18 months. What he’ll be predicting next week is anyone’s guess.
Al Gore also has some missed deadlines. In 2006, the former vice president predicted that there would be no Arctic within five years. He followed this up with prediction that all the ice at the Arctic would be melted by 2013.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez generously gave us twelve years if we don’t address climate change by adopting her Green New Deal. (But this prediction comes with a twist: AOC’s chief of staff admitted in a Washington Post interview that the Green New Deal isn’t really about climate change but rather should be seen as a “how do you change the entire economy thing.”)
What these zealots have forgotten, or maybe have never known, is that no one knows what will happen in the future. A few events are predictable. Economics accurately predicts what will occur when supply and/or demand change. But beyond that, history shows that we have no idea what’s coming next.
Author Michael Crichton made this clear in a 2002 speech in which he said “nobody knows what the future holds.”
Paul Ehrlich, described by Crichton as a “brilliant academic,” has been, for example, “wrong in nearly all his major predictions,” including prophecies “about diminishing resources … the population explosion” and the loss of half of all species.
The late Crichton listed quite a few real-world misses — including Y2K — before quoting Mark Twain, who said, “I’ve seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass.”
In another speech the following year, Crichton elaborated on scientific “consensus,” which he regarded “as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.”
“It is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. When you hear the consensus of scientists agree on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”
Consensus, said Crichton, is the “business of politics,” not science. It is, in fact, “irrelevant” in science.
So Charles might have a long and fulfilling reign after all.