But when it comes to sky-is-burning scaremongering, the former Veep has met his match in the person of Paul Epstein. The scenario he sketches in his "Looking back"column in today's Boston Globe is so wildly alarmist that you could imagine a sci-fi movie Hollywood honcho rejecting it as too implausible.
As far as Epstein's concerned, the apocalypse can't wait till 2100 He looks back from only next year to predict the following litany of environmental disasters:
Scary stuff. But Epstein holds out a ray of hope: the Democrats are coming, and they want to spend a ton of your money [emphasis added]:
- Most outdoor events at the Beijing Olympics were canceled this August due to stifling heat and abysmal air. Populations the world over spilled onto sun-sered streets this summer, escaping baking hovels and failing farms, demanding swift action on climate change.
- Extremes and volatility have become the new norm, as unwieldy winds whipped up over warming seas and lands usher in rapidly shifting fronts.
- In China, dust storms lifting off expanding deserts, mixed with black soot and brown haze from proliferating coal-fired power plants, were now laced with snowlike drifts of pollen from poplars that ring Beijing.
- Runners could not run; jumpers could not jump. The massive business interruption cascaded through global financial markets.
- In the land down under, dense drought has deepened. This summer, Australia - like southern Europe this past August - was again inflamed by wildfires.
- In North America, advancing bark beetles have shredded western forests, as forest fires, sparked by lightning, fueled by lifeless limbs and fanned by fickle winds exact a mounting toll on animals, humans, property, air quality, and watersheds send pulses of carbon amplifying global warming.
- "Peak oil" - after which oil sources decline - turned out to be closer in the mirror than it first appeared, and food prices climbed steeply.
Finally, the 2008 elections are upon us. Some candidates are calling for an end to the era of oil as a necessary step for peace with one another and with nature. A courageous few are proposing a huge investment in our common future.
And just who is the author of this apocalyptic, partisan vision? "Dr. Paul R. Epstein is associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School." Reassuring, isn't it, to know that the medical elites of tomorrow are being indoctrinated with this kind of stuff?