Dan Gainor

Lately, the media aren’t just throwing tomatoes to scare us. They are throwing everything but the kitchen sink. ABC is promoting its fall schlock-umentary about what the planet will be like in the future. “Earth 2100” claims it will tell us “what will our world be like over the next 100 years if we don’t act now to save our troubled planet.”

Working with left-wing activists, the network is warning people our civilization is poised to go the way of the Roman Empire and the Mayan civilization. The Web site promo for “Earth 2100” depicts “100 years from now when New York is abandoned.”

Of course it brought together the standard talking heads of climate doom – NASA’s James Hansen, the Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen and more. These are people who make their livings off of disaster – either real or imagined.

ABC has a lot of imagination. This is the same network that brought us the fears of avian flu a couple years ago and Dr. Robert Webster, “the father of bird flu.” Webster predicted that the virus would mutate and “that 50 percent of the population could die.”

The network even produced the 2006 sweeps month movie “Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America .” They were right about one thing. Bird flu is more deadly than salmonella. More than 240 people worldwide have died from avian flu, according to the World Health Organization. That’s still 240 out of 6.5 billion.

I’ll take those odds every day.

In fact, we all do. Almost everything we do, from eating to driving to taking a walk is potentially more deadly than our chances of dying from bird flu or bad tomatoes combined.

Our world has enough troubles to satisfy any prophet of doom. But we don’t need to escalate a crisis artificially just so somebody gets better ratings.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.