Every Halloween, local news stations bring on experts eager to celebrate the holiday with a little fearmongering of their own. Warnings from dentists about how caramel chews will rot your teeth. Warnings from public officials about how dangerous it is for kids to go wandering in the streets after dark. Years ago, of course, there were all the urban myths about satanic cults and hidden razor blades.
But this is 2015, and we’re sophisticated enough to know that you aren’t going to get a cavity from splurging on candy one night a year. Now they have to scare us with something new.
The Obama administration is up to the challenge. The Energy Department released a report this week, informing Americans that pumpkins are a hazard to the environment. According to their website, more than 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins wind up in the trash after the holidays are over. This leads them to contribute to the “more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.”
According to the Energy Dept., all of this solid waste eventually turns into methane, one of the dreaded greenhouse gases causing global warming. They advise that it will soon be possible to turn those pumpkins into useful clean energy with proposed biorefineries. They describe these facilities as “capable of efficiently converting plant and waste material into affordable biofuels, biopower, and other products.”
We’ll have to wait a few years before these biorefineries come online, however, so in the meantime we’ll just have to accept that our jack o’lantern is slowly killing the planet. Spooky!
But even if you skip the pumpkin this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics is here to make sure you suffer some sleepless nights. See, children all over the world are dying because of climate change. You didn’t know? Well, the academy’s report is just for you, then!
In the policy statement, they say that heat-related mortality, infectious diseases, and even heat stroke on the football field can be expected to get worse because of rising global temperatures. They are “urging pediatricians and politicians to work together to solve this crisis and protect children from climate-related threats including natural disasters, heat stress, lower air quality, increased infections, and threats to food and water supplies.”
Unfortunately, this constant onslaught of fearmongering has had a profound effect on the public. Now we even see a few of the Republican presidential candidates slamming the party for not joining the liberal hivemind on this issue. Even though there’s not one American in 100 who could explain in detail the facts about climate change, everyone is buying into this ludicrous theory without a second thought.
It’s easy to make predictions about the future, especially when you date those predictions outside the human lifespan. They won’t be around for someone to tell them that they were wrong. They are free to accuse and distort and cry that the sky is falling, knowing that you can’t disprove a prediction about the future. And all the while, they are using this issue to expand government control over the private sector.
Talk about scary.