Alarming trends

Over at Bishop Hill’s blog, he posted this graph below which is an output from a special Google Labs search query. It lists the percentage of books that are about nuclear war and climate change.

Fittingly, the climate change graph (blue) is a hockey stick.

Bishop hill came up with what I consider to be a stunningly great caption, and this is well worthy of submitting to graphjam if somebody wants to do that. He called it:

“Conservation of worry”

…which is really one of the best labels I’ve read in a long time.

You can run this query yourself.

Here’s the link.

Taking that a step further, let’s add “global warming” to the mix.

It seems that term is falling out of favor compared with “climate change”, but we knew that.

Unfortunately it seems this query only covers data up to 2008. It will be interesting to see if there’s a recent decline after that given Climategate. Adding that word to the mix yields no hits, so it apparently is not in the database. Ditto for “climate disruption”.

But there is another word trend that seems to mirror “global warming” but may have peaked:

We live in interesting times.

Feel free to share.

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89 thoughts on “Alarming trends

  1. Anthony,
    Climate science only follows the temperatures to generate a pattern to project a prediction. In doing so, they watched the ocean heat pattern shift yet just recorded the temperatures. No, evaporation or precipitation considerations, just temperatures.
    Now that the ocean heat is in the Arctic, the evaporation doors are wide open and the weather patterns have changed bringing down colder Arctic air.
    Climate science is their own worse enemy and their credibility is crumbling due to the ocean heat shift.

  2. Steinar Midtskogen says:
    January 22, 2011 at 5:00 am
    I wonder who wrote about nuclear war around 1808.

    Science Fiction writer? 😀

  3. I love it!
    Talk about “Conservation of worry”, try sticking in [climate change,nuclear war,communism,fascism,second coming]. Intersesting.

  4. Was it Kipling who wrote a story forecasting nuclear weapons in the late 18th century? I remember reading it in an SF Anthology too many years ago.
    OT. autonomous Mind is carrying a story that the BBS has refused an FOI request on the number of complaints about Climate Change on the grounds that climate change is, “Journalism, Art or Literature.” – but we already knew that, didn’t we?

  5. Now if we could just find a way to turn all this “Doomsday is Upon Us” paranoia into energy we’d be able to solve the energy crisi and the CO2 emmissions/AGW problem in one go!

  6. In 1800’s word ‘nuclear’ had a different meaning to the today’s, at that time the nucleus (centre) of raging war was France under Napoleon.
    Napoleon took nucleus of an army he landed on the French coast and with which he marched upon Paris, …

  7. Common sense in decline!
    Other word trends that mirror climate change are autism and pizza. If only I were as good as Briffa and Mann, I could prove causation by the mere fact that I can’t think of anything else plausible.

  8. @Stuart-Brown: Very good article on BBC. If there are any real historians or journalists remaining, they would do well to look into 1988-89 when the Soviet power gave up on Russia and moved to Britain and US. It was dramatically obvious in BBC World Service, and equally obvious in the workings of EPA and in the switch from President Reagan to Rezident Bush Senior.

  9. [We intend to tighten up the show around here. Taunting will not get you far. Continue and you end up in spam filter permanently. ~ ctm]

  10. If you are in the business of writing, the future looks pretty good for those who choose “climate change” for their subject. The readers will still have to sort fact from fiction. The future isn’t as bright for those who choose “global warming”. Readers have discovered too much fiction when they are seeking facts. I predict “climate disruption” will have a short run because the fiction is so easy to recognize.

  11. Well, Charles, I think my question much less of a taunt than people calling a scientist I respect a ‘evil old git’. But, perhaps your standard differ.

  12. Steinar Midtskogen says: “I wonder who wrote about nuclear war around 1808”
    Not exactly writing about it IN 1808, as mentioning 1808 in terms of nuclear war, and hollow earth theory, and other assorted mayhem. Caution, this web site will burn your eyeballs, because of lots of capitals. And I found this doing a search, so please don’t accuse me of actually following this particular creed . . .
    http://positron.truman.edu/~edis/writings/tae/truth.html

  13. steveta_uk says:
    January 22, 2011 at 5:49 am
    You want alarming?
    OT I know…sorry…
    After having my recent bout with Prostate Cancer at 54 and all these male baby boomers, that graph is going to go through the roof.
    Thanks for the OT space.

  14. “…there is another word trend…”
    Wait, what’s that word in yellow?
    Come on Anthony, I use your site to help counter what my kids are taught in school. Up until the “Shrinkage” post I never worried about anything. Now I have to check first. Is this a new trend? Or have I missed this kind of stuff until now?

  15. Try adding “terrorism” too for another far more popular scare. “Rapture” was an interesting one too. Interest seems to have dropped since 1800 only to resurge this century.

  16. Joe Lalonde says:
    January 22, 2011 at 4:58 am ,
    Climate science only follows the temperatures to generate a pattern to project a prediction.
    ===============================================
    Exactly Joe
    Temps go down for a while and “if this trend continues”, they try to predict an ice age.
    Temps go up for a while and “if this trend continues”, they predict global warming.
    Sea temps increase, and “if this trend continues”, they predict sea level rise.
    Arctic ice goes up or down, and “if this trend continues”
    That is this “science” in a nut shell…
    …and for this they need a $30 million computer
    The whole time exaggerating and hyping everything so they get more money…..
    Anyone that steps back can see how lame this really is.

  17. latitude,
    The sad thing is they missed all the action happening in the oceans looking for temperatures.

  18. steveta_uk says:
    January 22, 2011 at 5:49 am
    You want alarming?
    The strong correlation between climate change and prostate cancer, with climate change leading shows a definite cause and effect relationship. Another problem that can only be solved by halting production of CO2.

  19. Joe, I don’t think they missed anything.
    Ramping up the hype on global warming, tells me they know their time is up, so they’re pulling all the stops at the last minute.
    What I think is sad, is these “scientists” are making science look like a fools game and unfortunately taking serious scientists and serious science down with them.
    As long as our governments are hell bent on financing all this, someone needs to put in for money to study how many scientists still wet the bed……………

  20. Oh, that looks terrible ! What if the trend will continue in the future ? All libraries will be full of books on climate bchange, so that there will be no room for other books !
    Imagine the scene: books on climate change everywhere, the supermarkets will have only books, and all books will be about climate change… Every house will be full of those books, everywhere…you open the freezer, and a book on climate change slips out !
    It’s a tragedy for the planet !
    What ? A trend may change in the future ? No danger ? Tell it to the fans of the AGW hypothesis… 🙂

  21. Angry Exile says:
    January 22, 2011 at 7:11 am
    “Now add ’2012′ and ‘Y2K’. Hmmm. Is it me or do we have some weird, deep seated need to find something to crap ourselves about every few years?”
    Most definitely. Normal human instinct is to look out for dangers. That’s also why dystopian science fiction sells. Or take your usual Hollywood blockbuster. And it’s not that weird; it’s a necessary part of our nature to prepare ourselves for the next problem. It’s only that some people go and pick non-problems like saving Gaia when they should better think about their career or their savings or other real problems in their own lives…
    I have this idea that even the Malthusians fulfill a useful role in Julian Simon’s idea of the way we deal with limited resources. Simon says that we use three ways of dealing with limited resources: Finding new resources, increasing our efficiency, and substituting the dwindling resource with an alternative solution.
    So, the substitution process usually picks up steam once the price of the resource becomes too high. The Malthusians and warmists want to accelerate that process for coal and oil and gas; which is not economically necessary at the moment, but might become necessary some time in the future. So, as long as they put their own money where their mouth is, investing, for instance, in renewable technology before they are economically viable, i’m all for it. Somebody must be first. Needless to say, most of the early investors will lose their money.

  22. Wonder if plotting “nuclear war,” “climate change/AGW” et al. against “apocalypse,” “Armageddon,” “The Rapture” and so forth would show a similar peak in early 1980s followed by relative tail-off though today?
    As aging Boomers link to the end of a 65-year post-WWII era, “alarmism” on various fronts probably reflects mortal awareness of their own impending doom. See William James’ “Varieties of Religious Experience” (Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh, 1901 – ’02), esp. his chapter on the Anabaptists of Munster, a 16th Century doomsday cult with close affinities to the contemporary Thanatist psychopathology exhibited full-flower by such as Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, James Hansen and Keith Farnish.
    “Nothing is changed, John Brown… nothing is changed.”

  23. Grumpy Old Man says:
    “Was it Kipling who wrote a story forecasting nuclear weapons in the late 18th century?”
    No. Rudyard Kipling lived from 1865 – 1936.

  24. Try to graph Global Warming, Global Cooling! It reflects people’s misconception about damages that warming suppose to have over the cooling.

  25. izen says:
    What is the source of the small blip around 1900 ?
    How about, Google has crap metadata, and a few books are erroneously dated a hundred years earlier than their actual date?
    I found an interesting blog post by a librarian on this, discussing the resulting popularity of the internet in 1905, but I’m damned if I can find it again.

  26. Steinar Midtskogen wrote:
    “I wonder who wrote about nuclear war around 1808.”
    Either Napoleon must have had some very far-sighted scientists or his enemies did!

  27. There is a startling tactical resemblance between the ‘nuclear winter ‘ campaign , which more emphasized PR than science ,and present efforts to discount climate science for political ends. One wonders if sites such as this will last any linger than that defunct proto-blog , ‘Nuclear Winter News’ .
    It is of course embarassing to see Tony and his cohort following in Carl Sagan’s footsteps , but the scientifically clueless continue to outnumber prophets of doom who fail to deliver.

  28. Dan Lee says:
    January 22, 2011 at 6:54 am
    “…there is another word trend…”
    Wait, what’s that word in yellow?
    Sometimes I think “they” are just trying to see if you are paying attention . . . .
    I sure got a good jolly from the chart . . . very funny . . .

  29. Peter H.
    Just because you call someone a scientist, doesn’t make him one. Actions are what make scientists. Based on that your nominee doesn’t make the first cut. Measurements, care with errors and error bounds, re-measuring, improving measuring methods, cross checking measurements with laboratory references, re-measuring again, acknowledging mistakes, correcting them, publishing the detailed methodology, publishing the raw data, responding to criticism, changing methodology to respond to critiques of the current, demonstrating equivalence, these are the hallmarks of a scientist. Nowhere does it say that a press release is equivalent to a thoroughly vetted, critically reviewed publication.
    Read the piece below on Metrology, there’s a lot to be learned there. None of it will involve hidden, convoluted computer programs.

  30. The early nuclear war reference was from the book by HG Wells: The World Set Free
    I think it was published around 1910.

  31. Nuclear weapons.
    Another topic where predictions and solutions touted by the usual suspects were way off the mark.
    Move along,nothing to see here.There is a new game in town.
    Environmentalism.

  32. Hmmm… Trading the fear of something that can absolutely and directly kill you for the fear of something that can’t kill you directly and probably can’t kill you indirectly. Very interesting.
    Are we, as a whole, also more afraid of second hand smoke than Islamic Terrorists? I wouldn’t be surprised.

  33. noaaprogrammer says:
    January 22, 2011 at 10:00 am
    What about the Y10K Problem when computers will have to go from a 4-digit year to a 5-digit year?
    I ask, . . . . Are you telling me that a boot up batch file was not written to add one new field for the next year everytime all the digits hit 9 in all the existing fields.??? When it comes to the date. . . . ???

  34. @noaaprogrammer
    What about the Y10k ? No problem, I’ll fix the problem. I helped fixing the Y2k bug, so I have experience. Come back before year 10000 and I’ll show you how I fix that problem. Don’t forget, year 10000 is not so near…in any case call me a few months before, in case I forgot. 🙂

  35. Laurie Bowen:
    We are indeed paying attention; “they” need not worry. I’m with Dan.
    John the Schoolteacher

  36. RE: CO2 vs. CO vs. HCN
    I wonder if the integral of the curves would be representative of an LD50.
    Another old fear to put in: antichrist.
    BTW: I wonder if this will make it through RC moderation in their annual Hansen 1988 prediction “review”:
    John W says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    22 Jan 2011 at 2:08 PM
    “So to conclude, global warming continues. Did you really think it wouldn’t?”
    No, I figured it would. I study history, which tells me we have another 400 years or so of Global Warming to go with the occasional two or three decades of slight cooling here and there.
    What I find disturbing is that if Congress had instituted the draconian emission restrictions being recommended in ’88 then these observations through 2010 could be used now to pat ourselves (as in the USA/UN/whoever imposed draconian CO2 restrictions) on the back for avoiding “certain” warming.
    The other thing that bothers me is that if one of the lines of evidence for the current warming having man’s fingerprint is that the models without man’s influence do not coincide with reality that is warmer. This being the inverse should imply man’s influence is negligible since the closest match to reality is with draconian emission restrictions that didn’t happen.

  37. juanslayton says:
    January 22, 2011 at 10:59 am
    Laurie Bowen:
    We are indeed paying attention; “they” need not worry. I’m with Dan.
    John the Schoolteacher
    “Golly Gee” . . . . I hate when “they” jerk my chains . . . .

  38. Dan Lee says:
    January 22, 2011 at 6:54 am
    “…there is another word trend…”
    Wait, what’s that word in yellow?
    Come on Anthony, I use your site to help counter what my kids are taught in school. Up until the “Shrinkage” post I never worried about anything. Now I have to check first. Is this a new trend? Or have I missed this kind of stuff until now?
    ———————-
    Dan, it must be that your dad did such a good job shielding you from such terrors that you just didn’t see them.
    If you can protect your children to the same degree, you’re going to have to do that yourself. Asking everyone around you to bowdlerize their every utterance is unlikely to achieve what you’re after.

  39. The generally accepted phrase for which Anthony has called worry is “moral panic”.
    People have listed a few, although you left out the satanic cult panic of twenty years ago. I would add alien abductions (though doubtless some members here believe in them). Smut on telly and in films. Subliminal advertising had a brief kick too. Every era has them, they’re not even remotely new.
    Be aware though that moral panics are not necessarily based totally on nothing. There is currently a panic about paedophiles. People will drive their kids to school in order for them to be safe, but without seatbelts – thereby dramatically increasing their actual danger. Kids will be left with a family member to avoid being unsupervised – which doesn’t actually reduce the risk. The danger of paedophilia has reached panic precautions, so that it is inflated out of all realistic bounds. But underneath there is a real risk, albeit much lower than lots of other things people don’t worry about.
    Likewise, there is clearly evidence of a huge moral panic over global warming. The dangers are ridiculously inflated and “solutions” are given that would be worse than the cure. However, that is not proof that there is no cause for concern. Many panics are based on nothing (satanic cults, subliminal advertising) and others on real problems but raised out of proportion (paedophilia, smut on TV).
    The Wikipedia page on moral panic is rather skimpy, but you will see that a key concept is “consensus” among believers. Tee-hee.

  40. AGW Progress Report: Update.
    …-
    “State of emergency declared in remote Ont. town”
    “Cold dips to – 40C amidst prolonged power outage”
    “MOOSONEE, Ont. — A state of emergency has been declared in a remote northern Ontario town to deal with a prolonged power outage, as temperatures loom around -40C.
    The power has been out since about 3 a.m. Saturday in Moosonee on the James Bay Coast, and officials say it is unknown when power will be restored. A state of emergency was declared at about 10 a.m.”
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/01/22/16993496.html
    …-
    “Snow, chopper foils dim-witted thief
    A dim-witted crook was arrested after the stolen truck he was driving got stuck in a farmer’s field east of Calgary early Saturday.”
    (canoenews)
    …-
    TO Report:
    “If you’re north of the city, things will be even worse: Environment Canada says parts of northern Ontario could reach lows of up to -50 C.”
    (canoenews)
    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/mt/mt-comments.cgi

  41. AGW popularity will have it’s day then fade way like other pseudo religious cults. Some time ago on WUWT a poster wrote the following. The comment resonated with me and id like to share it again. I didn’t retain the handle of the poster but h/t to you.
    ————————————————–
    “Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. En-vironmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a re-ligion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
    There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a re-sult of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment.”
    AGW theory has become part and parcel of this growing Pantheist ideology.

  42. @Oliver
    No, been there, done more than many, and the kids are well aware of the world. But juvenile language and imagery is not as widely appreciated as one might think, nor is it routinely acceptable in all households.
    I know this site is better than that, a “family site” I’ve read on occasion, but I felt that if nobody said anything it might become yet another alarming trend. 🙂

  43. From Dacron Mather on January 22, 2011 at 9:06 am:

    There is a startling tactical resemblance between the ‘nuclear winter ‘ campaign , which more emphasized PR than science ,and present efforts to discount climate science for political ends. One wonders if sites such as this will last any linger than that defunct proto-blog , ‘Nuclear Winter News’ .

    True, when one looks at formerly-premier sites like UnRealClimate and ClimaticProgressive as they cut down and smear true climate science experts like Dr.s Spencer and Lindzen, and Watts and Morano, and pursue abusive censorship and silencing of criticism… One gets the impression they possibly might have actually been worth something without that politicized nonsense, you know? As it stands, it looks like they may still linger a bit longer.

    It is of course embarassing to see Tony and his cohort following in Carl Sagan’s footsteps , but the scientifically clueless continue to outnumber prophets of doom who fail to deliver.

    True, it was terrible to see former UK Prime Minister Blair fall like that, his leadership was so promising, with so many promises about combating global warming. But he and Prince Charles fell for the hype, didn’t question the one-sidedness of the presentation, didn’t seek out the opposing views, and now they lie exposed to ridicule. Soon they may be exposed to shivering cold, having set the path for the UK to trade dependable fossil fuel energy sources for “when it’s there” renewables in a time of record-breaking winters.
    It’s a good thing that you, as the synthetic great-times-eight grandchild of Cotton Mather, have such a wonderful artificial family history to draw such perspectives from.

  44. luca turin says:
    January 22, 2011 at 10:44 am
    ’twas I who sent the graph to Andrew, and I have long been a believer in the notion that total anxiety is a conserved quantity. Ngrams is a source of endless fun

    ———-
    luca turin,
    Thanks.
    Would you think that ‘worry’ is a scaled phenomena that is dependent on the world population? Likewise, I would think that the number of books written is scaled to world population.
    John

  45. Erroneous seach results pickup stuff like the following which features a story about a nuclear war in 1808 and the involvement of UFO aliens and so forth.
    THE HIDDEN TRUTH ABOuT UFOS AND THE ENERGY CRISIS
    by DR. Tamerlane A. Edvardssonn
    Fiction describing weapons with a capability for the destruction of cities and worlds by great weapons is as old as the first cities built to resist attackers. Early science fiction stories such as Jules Verne, The Begum’s Millions (1879); The Inhabitant, The Great Romance (1881); Jules Verne, Facing the Flag (1896) include super weapons with enough destructve power to destroy cities and worlds. Atomic weapons appear in the literature beginiing with the first 19th Century discoveries of the atom.

  46. What struck me in the timing of the graph is that the downtrend in the nuclear war worry and the uptrend of the global warming panic happened right about the time that Soviet communism fell. I’ve heard it said that environmental extremism is the new communism…

  47. I put in the word ‘consensus’ – it shows a steep rise throughout the second half of the twentieth century. At first I thought it was linked to CO2 but I couldn’t account for a rapid decline after 1998. Is that when scepticism set in?

  48. @ John Whitman
    My understanding is that the counts are normalised to the total mass of words and therefore do not scale with number of books. There is an article by John Bohannon in ScienceNow last week that gives more info.

  49. Try running NGRAM with the word “anxiety”. It dwarfs the other words tested, but seems to have been relatively flat for the last 50 years — evidence in support of the conservation hypothesis.

  50. @Dan Lee: What you may view as juvenile language and imagery, others may view as a way of connecting with the common man for an appeal to humour. I understand your concerns, but I don’t believe this is the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent. Not everything can be G-rated everywhere at all times. Even Victorian society wasn’t like that. While this is a family site, there may be one or two things your kids may ask about, but I believe that it could be used as a teaching opportunity for the little ones that the word in question is not a polite synonym for a bull’s waste matter.
    Just my two cents.

  51. Strong correlation between bullshit and global warming. Hmm, anyone want to conjecture a causal relationship? Which direction? I don’t detect an 800 year lag, though…

  52. For the fun of it, try these searches:
    between 1800 and 2000 from the corpus English
    Anthony Watts,James Hansen
    Anthony Watts,Phil Jones
    Anthony Watts,Michael Mann
    higher sea levels,lower sea levels,rising sea levels
    Meteorologist,Climatologist,Weatherman,Atmospheric Scientist,weatherman,meteorologist,climatologist,atmospheric scientist
    hurricane,tornado,flood,drought,blizzard,snowfall,volcanic eruption
    Global Warming,global warming,Global Cooling,global cooling,Ice Age,ice age
    Global Warming,global warming,Climate Change,climate change,Climate Disruption,climate disruption
    robust,scientific,consensus,post-normal science,scientist
    robust,scientific method
    energy dependence,energy independence
    socialism,social justice,capitalism
    between 1800 and 2008 from the corpus English
    climate change,social justice,global warming
    climate science,postnormal science
    environmentalist,Greenpeace,green party
    melting glaciers,glaciers are melting,glaciers are advancing
    sea level rise,sea level fall
    weather forecaster,climate forecast
    climate experiment,climate model
    anthropogenic,anthropogenic climate change
    between 1970 and 2010 from the corpus English
    Global Warming,Global warming,global warming
    Climate Change,Climate change,climate change
    Climate Disruption,Climate disruption,climate disruption
    climate disruption,redistribution of wealth,wealth redistribution
    between 2007 and 2008 from the corpus English
    Climategate
    between 1750 and 2008 from the corpus English
    climate model,climate science,climatology
    Franklin stove,air conditioning,HVAC,passive solar
    wood stove,coal stove,natural gas furnace,electric furnace
    gasoline automobile,electric automobile,diesel automobile
    between 1980 and 2008 from the corpus English
    global warming skeptic,global warming alarmist
    climate change skeptic
    climate change alarmist
    carbon footprint,CO2 sequestration,carbon credit
    global warming,IPCC,climate change,Climate Change
    Inconvenient Truth,Al Gore
    between 1950 and 2008 from the corpus English
    climate modeling

  53. @Huth:
    I am afraid there’ll be not so many books to use as fuel, because my ironic post wanted to show that a trend doesn’t remain always the same. people don’t go always in the same direction, they turn left, right, and temperature trends do the same, like everyone can see looking at graphs of the past.
    The trend about climate change books will not increase forever.
    people don’t walk in the same direction so that they arrive to the see and start swimming… 🙂
    So, only fanatic environmentalists can believe that this trend of increasing temperature can grow indefinitely, so that if it is increasing our planet will be hot like Venus, or, if it is decreasing will be facing an ice age.
    Temperature goes up and down, that is what it did in more than 4,5 billions life.
    In my opinion.

  54. Slight OT, but as another person who helped fix the Y2K problem, I think the level of ignorance in the general public should be addressed by someone.
    The Y2K problem was real, and a very large number of programmers made sure it was fixed in plenty of time, as evidenced by the complete lack of serious issues when the event occurred.
    But there were other unreported consequences that had serious impacts on some lives. Many software companies exist from update income – they produce a product with reasonable new sales, but nowhere near enough to new sales to support the company, but survive thanks to the need to supply regular updates and enhancements that provide a regular influx of cash. Individual customers may upgrade only every 3 to 5 years, but there is a steady flow of upgrade sales.
    But 1998 and 1999, almost the entire customer base of these software suppliers upgraded their software. These were boom years, and were misunderstood at the time. Companies, including the one I worked for at the time, were cash rich, stocks rose, staff levels grew, everything was rosy.
    But early in the year 2000 the reason became obvious. Nobody was upgrading, so there was no cash flow. Even new customers dried up, as anyone considering replacing systems did so the year before, to avoid the need to upgrade legacy systems. Within six months, many of the companies, including the one I worked for, collapsed.
    So I get a bit annoyed when the ignorant public say things like “remember Y2K? That was a fuss over nothing” – because it took a lot of work by many programmers to ensure that is was a “fuss over nothing”.

    • That is truly far out.
      I suppose he has a following though.One thing the Net has shown is that no matter how outre ones thinking is it is already out there and attracting like minded folk.
      The vote is not for everybody.

  55. In all seriousness I would have called this graph ‘Conservation of Millenarianism.’ I really wonder how graphs of ‘overpopulation’ and ‘Hubbert curve’ would compare.

  56. To Grumpy Old Man:
    You have Kipling confused with another Brit write, H.G. Wells. Wells named the “atomic bomb” and used it in his 1914 novel, The World Set Free.
    This is but one of Wells’ many predictions in his speculative fiction. Virtually all were wrong in detail but right in outline.

  57. Actually, Kipling wrote several stories we would call science fiction today. “With the Night Mail” is the one I believe the people who brought him up had in mind.

  58. “steveta_uk says:
    January 23, 2011 at 6:19 am”
    Was “Y2K” a real problem? Certainly wasn’t for countries like Romania and many African countries who could not afford to spend the money to fix, what turned out to be, like AGW, a non-issue.

  59. http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=nuclear+weapons%2Cnuclear+energy%2Carms+race%2Cpeace+movement%2C+climate+change&year_start=1945&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3
    And if you know your history than all kinds items in this graphic become clear.
    1953 – first hydrogen bom, people start to write about nuclear weapons.
    1963 – Banning of atmospheric testing.
    1979 – Three mile Island
    1985/86 – Perestroika/Glasnost
    And with these above it is interesting to watch what “Peace Movement” and “Climate change” do once the arms-race is over.

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