Lessons From The Insect Apocalypse

Do you remember the insect apocalypse? This was a dire warning to the world that we would be living without insects.

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Of course, the mainstream media was all over it. They will never pass on an opportunity to spread fear.

The only problem is that it did not happen. In fact, this is the common outcome of most of the apocalyptic projects.

We saw this situation spring up about 4 years ago:

The recent hyper-focus on insects can be traced back to a 2017 study conducted by an obscure German entomological society, which claimed that flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 76 percent over just 26 years. The study, co-authored by 12 scientists, lit a fire in advocacy circles and became the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of that year. It remains popular today.

That is what it needs to spread a great deal of fear. Do a study and have a number of scientist put their name to it and it must be true.

Or maybe not.

The Times essay might read like a clear and convincing polemic, but it fell flat with the science community, which spent much of the next four years trying to calm the consequent hysteria. Manu Saunders is a prominent entomologist, and recipient of the Office of Environment & Heritage/Ecological Society of Australia Award for Outstanding Science Outreach. In 2019, she and her colleagues Jasmine Janes and James O’Hanlon outlined the science-based perspective in a paper for BioScience, where they examined the headline-grabbing apocalypse studies that had appeared to date. They summarized their conclusions in a post for Ecology Is Not a Dirty Word, a highly respected blog that Saunders oversees:

[F]ocusing on a hyped global apocalypse narrative distracts us from the more important insect conservation issues that we can tackle right now. Promoting this narrative as fact also sends the wrong message about how science works, and could have huge impacts on public understanding of science. … And, frankly, it’s just depressing.

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Overpopulation Crisis

Remember this one?

Not too long ago, there was the fear that the human population was going to get so large we would not have enough resources on the planet. This idea skipped over the fact that, in spite of massive growth over the last 150 years, we have more resources now than ever before.

As a quick experiment, head to YouTube and do a search for "over population". You will find a number of videos promoting the idea of how this is becoming a global problem. The dates on the videos, for the most part, will go back 8 or 10 years. We saw this mindset commonplace.

What happened?

Suddenly the world is waking up to the fact that we are seeing the risk of under population arising. This was capped off by the release of the census from China which showed their population to be peaking. The largest country in the world had a one child policy for 4 decades. Evidently it worked very well since that country is the fastest aging one in the history of the world.

Suddenly, the over population crisis was averted, although some still ignorantly believe it is a problem.

Peak Oil

Does this ring a bell with anyone?

We are not referring to the definition that people use today. This is a complete opposite of the headlines from 15 years ago.

At that time, peak oil referred to the idea that we were at maximum oil production. The fear was that we could not keep producing enough oil to maintain the increase in demand. This led to some speculating that $300 per barrel of oil was in the cards since prices has no choice but to go up.

What happened?

Enter technology. The United States oil companies were able to perfect *horizontal oil drilling. Suddenly, the world was awash with oil. The idea of peak oil was no longer valid.

Of course, we still hear the term. Today, this refers to the point where we no longer have an increasing demand for oil and it starts to reverse course. Whereas before it focused upon supply, now it is demand.

The move into renewable energy is expected to, over time, impact the need for oil. However, like those who were touting $300 a barrel oil, be careful of forecasters who are saying that oil is dead.

Ignore The Gloom And Doom

There are people all over the place touting gloom and doom. They are simply purveyors of negativity and want to scare people. Of course, the financial media picks up on this since they major in this concept. There is nothing they want to do more to enhance rating than to scare the pants of people.

Let us take our buddy Peter Schiff. The noted gold bug, Bitcoin-hater, and hyper-inflationist is a regular on the financial media. One problem exists: the guy is never right.

Accuracy in predictions is obviously not required to be on the mainstream media.

Here is an interview with him in October of 2012 calling for $5,000 gold within 2 years. Here we are 9 years later and gold is still below $2,000.

It is good that he pulled back his forecast to $5,000. Here we see a video in May of 2010 where he forecast $10,000 Gold.

Is this guy a joke or what? Why does anyone still believe in this garbage.

Yet people like this are very consistent. We now have not only Schiff but also Jim Rickards, another gold bug who was wrong forever trying to sell the idea of $15,000 Gold.

Why not go for $25K? After a decade of being wrong, why stop now?

Listening to these people will cost you money. There is not other way to put it.

Are there down cycles? Yes there are and one always needs to be mindful of what is taking place. Risk and proper money management strategies are vital to any investing plan.

However, all the talk of crashed, collapses, and hyper-inflation have been floated for more than 30 years. For the most part, they do not come about.

Investing in what people like Schiff tell you is going to cause loss. Forget the returns of Bitcoin versus Gold since the videos posted were made, just look at the S&P returns compared to Gold. Yet Schiff was consistent in his espousing the market will crash.

Learns the lessons from the Insect Apocalypse and these other scenarios. The doom and gloomers will end up costing you a massive amount of money if you listen to them.


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