I don’t think we should underestimate the influence of significant numbers of Americans who believe in the Rapture, Armageddon, the Mayan Calendar and other myths. This belief works against taking the long view, in planning for big projects for the common good and sacrificing today for future generations. A paradigm of this mindset is a quote from former Secretary of the Interior, James Watt…
Watt periodically mentioned his Christian faith when discussing his approach to environmental management. Speaking before Congress, he once said, “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations.”
This eased Secretary Watt’s conscience as he sold our public lands to private interests.
If the apocalyptic mindset works against looking forward, it would be a good idea to look back, and see how many times the world failed to end on schedule. Salon.com has a post about it today. So brothers and sisters, don’t cash in your IRA just yet.