I was reading the article: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math. And this came to my mind.
Much like the religious people of the past, there is a group of people who wish to define impending apocalypse and catastrophe as the normal state of daily affairs. This is because their intentions can only be realized if we are constantly living on a life boat. I am sure a lot of these secular eschatologists will agree with the – Earth As A Lifeboat – thesis.
What they do not factor in is human ingenuity, which makes it possible to create a mostly benign universe in which catastrophe is the anomaly.
This – benign universe – premise is one of the ideas which underlies Capitalism. The popular support for quasi-capitalist policies is possible because a large fraction of working population experiences a life devoid of day to day catastrophes, and they implicitly understand that universe is benign.
Once catastrophes, whether artificial/purported/real doesn't matter, are the norm, the public will be willing for decisive legislations to be put in place, specifically designed to violate individual rights.
What we are witnessing throughout the decades which cried for the need to ban reproduction, ban bad genes, ban CFCs, ban high yielding crops, and now ban petroleum, is a systematic leaderless attack on the idea of individual rights by using exaggerated possibilities. This is what gradually drives people to conclude "Freedom doesn't work" and that we might as well let our lives be led by our Dear Leaders who through their infinite wisdom and restrictive policies can centrally plan and vouchsafe the general betterment of all.