Or, possibly not: Three occasions when the end wasn’t nigh.
Concerned wildlife watchers have spent the last two years rigid with fear as the media predicted that bees and other pollinators world wide would continue to slide into a terminal decline—the victims of parasites, the horrors of industrial scale agriculture and heaven knows what else.
Now it appears, according to the United Nations body which deals with such statistics that honeybee populations in the US, Canada and Europe have been stable or rising for decades.
The doomsayers are crestfallen. And it isn’t the first time they’ve got it wrong. Throughout history the moaning Minnies have wrongly predicted the end of days. Here’s a couple of my favourites.
The Millerites, mid 19th century
William Millar is a good example of a long line of bible studiers who have made mistakes with their abacus as they sought to pin down the final days of mankind – in this case April 23, 1843. The gullible flocked to his side, selling their farms, oxen and possessions (since these would not be required on the other side). To the shock and dismay of no one but the Millerites themselves, the great day arrived but Jesus had taken a rain check.
Halley’s Comet, 1910: A tale of three geeks
Only geeks turned their heads when a late 19th century astronomer discovered that comet trails contained a cyanide related deadly gas (cyanogen). The rest of the populace was oblivious – until another geek pointed out that our blue planet would pass through the tail of Halley’s comet during 1910, bathing everybody in toxic gas! A panic ensued in the US until a third geek told everyone to calm down and that no one would come to any harm. And no one did.