A long ago friend once entertained a GreenPeace activist at his door. The activist earnestly explained what was going wrong with the Great Lakes. At the end of the spiel, my friend said to the young man, “Thank you very much, but I am not concerned”. The activist was aghast. Appalled. “How can you not be concerned?” “Very easily. I am not concerned” and shut the door.
I keep thinking of that response when the global worry industry finds new concerns to pile on top of the existing ones: global warming, population growth, acidification of the oceans (viz. coral reefs), tobacco, meat, the list is endless .
Today’s concern, for the sort of person who gains something by appearing to be concerned, is the spread of moss and houseflies in Antarctica. It appears that, as the coldest continent has warmed by some 3C in the past century, life is spreading. The Guardian is alarmed.
More and more invasive plants – mostly non-native meadow grasses and sunflower species – have been found on the Antarctic peninsula and its islands and have required removal. In addition, a paper in Biodiversity and Conservation by Kevin Hughes of the British Antarctic Survey and others, indicates that current biosecurity measures to control these invasions are inadequate.
I will admit there are some things to be concerned about. Whether you or your children will live in poverty. Whether Islam or political correctness or both will prevail. Whether universities will continue to be cesspits of leftism. Whether the US political intelligence establishment will overthrow Trump. Whether the US policy establishment will continue to destroy countries in the Middle East. Whether the 1% will own 85% of all wealth by 2050, or sooner. Islamic refugees in Europe. And so forth.
Can you imagine the sort of comfort zone in which someone must live, that they become alarmed at mosses and insects spreading to colonize Antarctica? A superfluity of concern. A superfluity of comfort from which to look out on the world. It is worthy of Jonathan Swift.