TIME and again we are told by all sorts of think-tanks, experts, boffins and other authorities that the world is coming to an end – and it’s all our fault.

Global warming, the death of bees, ocean acidification – the list rolls on and on and on. Back in the 1970s, it wasn’t global warming that people were worrying about – it was global cooling, to the extent that a new ice age was said to be in the offing.

But guess what: it would come about because of human-produced pollution, with the cooling effect of dirty air outweighing the warming effect of CO2.

It is clear that there is some sort of mentality, or more than one sort of mentality, that yearns for the apocalypse.

One of those mentalities is perfectly obvious, and that is the power seeker.

This type of person wants to exert the kind of control over other people that can only be warranted by a dire emergency and is only to happy to seize on any reason to make this happen. If they cannot find a reason, they may go so far as to manufacture one.

Baneful as those people are, they are exceeded in danger by the other type – those who genuinely want to see the world come to an end.

They are subconsciously aware that 30 or 50 or 50 years from now, they will be dead and gone, but the world will still be rolling along.

Their narcissism is such that they cannot bear the thought of life going on without them, so they conjure up a vision where there is no future for anyone. When they die, everyone dies. Such self-obsession rules out any kind of possibility that they have anything at all to add usefully to the public discourse.

It’s also interesting that these sort of people have nothing to say about two dangers that serous scientists have been implicated in mass-extinction events in the Earth’s past.

These are the reversal of the planet’s magnetic field, and collisions with extra-terrestrial bodies such as asteroids.

But these catastrophes cannot be blamed on the misdeeds of humanity, so are not suitable for their narrative.

This is a great shame, because these two threats are real, and there are many things that the human race could be doing to alleviate the dangers they pose.