Failed Mirth Earth Day predictions

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Via iHateTheMedia, here are a few of the predictions made on the first Earth Day. Don’t these sound like the predictions today that fail, like the 50 million climate refugees by 2010 followed by the moving of the goalposts to 2020?

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist


“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

and this classic:

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

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80 thoughts on “Failed Mirth Earth Day predictions

  1. in 1964 i was driving from wells nevada to los angeles and as i went by the sign that said “next gas station 80 miles” the ecologists on the radio were screaming that at the current rate of construction we would pave over the entire United States in 12 years.

    i looked to the left and there was nothing but snow and brush for about 100 miles, i looked to the right and the same thing was evident.

    it is now ~ 46 years later and it hasn’t happened yet.

    for those who beg to differ consult google satellite maps.

    C

  2. ‘Greens’ have a distorted world view. All their analyses are based on the imaginary world which they think exists and not on the real world which does exist. So, their predictions are not merely wrong but are usually the opposite of what is likely to occur in the real world.

    I keep telling people to believe the exact opposite of anything a ‘green’ says. Sometimes, very rarely, believing that exact opposite will prove to be wrong, but this is more than compensated by the many, many times it proves to be right.

    Richard

  3. The Golden Hansen Award Winners are……
    The Suzuki No-Foundation Prize for this year is…..

  4. Is nice to have an historical perspective of their hysterical precedence.

    The end has been nigh for 40 years and nothing has happened…….. loons.

  5. The term for Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, James Hansen, latterly Keith Farnish et al. is “Thanatist”– more than mere doom-sayers, they “love death more than life.” Viewing humanity as “a mass of seething maggots” (Holdren, 1974), they abominate Norman Borlaug’s seminal Green Revolution which refuted Malthusian catastrophism root-and-branch; sabotage coal, oil, nuclear energy economies by vicious Luddite means; espouse centralized Statist apparats with the explicit goal of physically exterminating “excess” global populations.

    “Earth Day,” declared by a convicted murderer on Vladimir Ulyanov aka Lenin’s birthday to compete with Easter Sunday, celebrates not Light and Life but Darkness and Death. Radical extremists who embrace this evil hate peace and prosperity, hate humanity, and they want you dead.

  6. These people should all be contacted (those that survived the famines that is) for comments on the statements they made 40 years ago and for explanations of what steps were taken that avoided these tragic predictions.

  7. Anthony, you might add the date of the first earth day…
    …I think it was 1970??
    dunno

    REPLY:
    But you can’t use Google?

  8. We had the good sense to ignore those predictions then. I wonder where logic and common sense have gone since 1970.

    Is it due to a belief in the infallibility of computers? Most people have no idea how computers work, or that they can be made to spit out anything the programmers want them to. The computer models, as complex as they are, are only a reflection of the beliefs and misconceptions of the people writing the code, but I think that fact is not understood by most people, especially the most vocal alarmists who seem to be the least informed.

  9. Too funny.

    The only slack I might cut these guys is mentioned in Ken Watts’ last “prediction”. In 1970, the climate had been cooling for nearly 30 years and wheat harvests in Canada and USSR were declining, so there was at least some justification for the gloom-and-doom scenarios of mass starvation.

    Fortunately, warming started at about that time (the Great Pacific Shift – or whatever it was called – PDO went positive) and humanity was saved by warming.

    Oh, the Green Revolution helped a bit too.

  10. How is it possible for the current Catastrophists to read a list like that without looking in the mirror and saying, “You know, I might be wrong.”

  11. What are the odds that it was a coincidence that Earth day is celebrated on Lenin’s birthday AND the very first celebration of Earth day coincided with Lenin’s 100th birthday?

    Anybody a stat expert???

  12. I think it would be useful to award points for people who make alarmist statements. Add them to a list that includes their name, organisation, the date of the statement, and the statement itself (and a URL).
    Each week, sort the list in descending order of the number of points and publish the top 20 names (or maybe more).
    The points for each alarmist statement should be reduced each month.

  13. Paul Ehrlich: “One of the most amusing things about The Population Bomb is that is was much too optimistic a book.” (2009)

    He must really be experiencing an alternate reality.

  14. kramer says:
    April 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm
    “What are the odds that it was a coincidence that Earth day is celebrated on Lenin’s birthday AND the very first celebration of Earth day coincided with Lenin’s 100th birthday?

    Anybody a stat expert???”

    Oh come on, it’s 1/(365*100) if we assume that the probability of declaring Earth Day is equally distributed from the birthday of Lenin to when it was declared.

  15. DirkH says:
    April 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    “Oh come on, it’s 1/(365*100) if we assume that the probability of declaring Earth Day is equally distributed from the birthday of Lenin to when it was declared.”

    To be fair, we should ask: How probable is it that any one of those meaningless celebratory days is declared on the 100th birthday of an arbitrary autocrat. To compute this, we first need the number of meaningless celebratory days; let’s use this list of UN celebratory days; it has 72 entries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:United_Nations_days

    And we need a list of autocrats; i found this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dictators

    I’m too lazy too count them but it’s on the order of 100 in the time interval we’re interested in; so the probability of a Meaningless UN celebratory day declared on the 100th birthday would be
    72*100/(365*100) = 72/365 = 0.197

    So it’s perfectly possible that it happened by chance.

  16. The modern environmental movement of anti-Capitalism, anti-industrialism, anti-Americanism, and anti-anything-that-improves-life-ism is constructed like a watermelon: green on the outside, red on the inside.

  17. Most over used phrase: “If present trends continue”

    If NH spring time trends continue the oceans should be at a full boil by about September or October. We’re all gonna die.

  18. I remember my computer language professor back in 1970 was excited about a population computer model. I believed it was created by the Club of Rome. It tracked five values: population, pollution, industrial growth, resources, and food. The model predicted that if we did nothing, the human population would increase to 16 billion, and we’d have a die-back of 15 billion. If we conserved our resources, then the model predicted the human population would increase to 26 billion, and we’d have a die-back of 25 billion. The only way to prevent a die-back was to roll the population back to 1 billion.

    The Club of Rome is definitely at home in the global warming/environmental movement–computer models and all.

    Jim

  19. Latitude says:
    April 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm
    REPLY: But you can’t use Google?
    ==================================================
    actually no, not today
    Gooble has some waterfall thingy going on and it’s locking me up….

    …so I decided to switch to Bing and keep it there

    ;-P grouchy

  20. What happened to that ‘twenty-four (?) months to save the planet’ schtick? How’s that going?

  21. But why don’t the “gate keepers” of official science, like Nature, AAAS, Nova, The Union of Concerned Scientists ever call these fellows out on these astonishingly failed predictions? You can bet that if these were creationist predictions or from the Republican party, these aforementioned groups would be all over it.

  22. In Canada we have about 5 trillion acres of unpopulated land. In super-natural, beautiful British Columbia, “The Best Place on Earth”, we have 250 milllion acres of unpopulated land. And in Vancouver (aka Lotus Land), there are no mosquitos in the summertime!

    Come one! Come all!

  23. Jim Masterson says:
    April 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    > I remember my computer language professor back in 1970 was excited about a population computer model. I believed it was created by the Club of Rome.

    Yes, “The Limits to Growth.” It came out right after my Systems EE course at Carnegie-Mellon and I was duly impressed at the looming disaster. I spent a lot of time looking at their system block diagram. One of the main things they and I missed was that price increases release raw materials that used to be economically unavailable, high prices also spur the development of alternatives, and new technologies come along and disrupt everything. Car dashboards used to be metal. I remember realizing one day I hadn’t seen a metal dashboard in years.

    A month later, I bought Greybeard by Brian Aldiss, a SF book that traced the development of economic, societal, and population collapse when nuclear war/testing/whatever rendered everyone sterile for several decades.

    The pair left me depressed for weeks. However, ultimately it was my first lesson that a model that is new, big and state of the art may not be right.

  24. I find the 50 million climate refugees by 2010 particularly worrying.

    In 1995 Norman Myers wrote “There is a new phenomenon in the global arena – environmental refugees [...] As far back as 1995…these environmental refugees totaled at least 25 million compared with 27 million traditional refugees (people fleeing from political repression, religious persecution and ethnic troubles). The environmental refugees could well double between 1995 and 2010.[...] Poverty serves as an additional “push” factor [..] other factors include population pressures, malnutrition, landlessness, unemployment, over-rapid urbanization, pandemic diseases and faulty government policies [...]”
    Nowhere in Myers (rather honest) review of international environmental refugees is there any mention of climate change. His point seems to be an attempt to put forward the argument that the number of refugees will increase in the coming years, due to these factors.

    So somehow the global warming movement has gotten hold of this, turning truly displaced people into examples of man-made climate change and in typical knee-jerk reaction, the anti-global warming movement has jumped all over them. But these people exist. They existed in 1995 as defined by Myers (he lists areas of the world where these people were currently struggling and defined their struggle as being environmental based) and their numbers have grown.

    The main reason cited for the growth in numbers by Myers is the growth in population, which he claims is limited to the poorest of the poor (people living on less than $1 per day).

    So make fun of AGW but don’t forget that people are displaced due to environmental reasons – and they will be so in increasing numbers.

  25. Latitude says:
    April 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    > Anthony, you might add the date of the first earth day…
    > …I think it was 1970??

    Well, let’s see, I was still a student at CMU, but not a freshman. It was in the spring, so maybe 70/71/72.

    I remember two things – Stewart Brand’s The Whole Earth Catalog, which I believe I still have, and the wind and rain storm that flattened tents and scattered paper, and turned the ground soft so the trucks left bad ruts in the lawn.

    I learned that idealism is not immune to reality.

    We were all impressed that Brand actually included small computers in his catalog. It was the first catalog meant for the mass market that had computers. Real computers, too, not the ones with telephone dial inputs if Popular Electronics. So what if they cost more than a car, it showed some day we might be see computers we could actually afford. A couple KB of memory, an old Teletype for I/O, PDP-8 or maybe hold out for a PDP-11, it could actually happen….

    Hey, wasn’t last year the 30th anniversary of the first Earth Day?

  26. I have never understood “Earth Day”. I mean the enviro nuts are more far removed from being environmentally friendly ‘an common city folks (common city folks don’t think they know it all, after all.)

    IMHO is it any wonder that where ever the crazed climate communist hippie parade with their paranormal climate science touch down, being all “eco nice nice climate friendly”, weed spreads like wild fire before the coming of the shroomey fungus’s that follows? :p

  27. These failed predictions should make any sensible person take a closer look at the global warming alarmist’s claims. It’s nothing but doom and gloom for these pathetic fear mongers.

  28. Apocalyptic cults often confuse prophecy with command, which is something of an insult to God. If you really believe it’s a prophecy, then you know that you have no power to change it one way or the other.

    This is clearly visible in the 666 types who want to encourage nuclear warfare to hasten the end.

    Same with Ehrlich. He predicted that millions will starve. Governments and industries have taken up his cult, have been following his commands, and by Jove, millions are starving as a direct result.

  29. “Most over used phrase: ‘If present trends continue'”

    Which is why I often say that “greens” must be scared to death of roller coasters or plane rides because every time one goes into a climb, they must expect it to keep going. Same when when going down in altitude.

    They must have a problem even riding in cars. “Hey, cabbie, at the present trend continues, we will be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean within three days! STOP!”.

  30. First Earth Day – April 22, 1970

    I believe at the time I was learning to spend money like a 17 year old drunken sailor in Barcelona, Spain. (I had previously learned to curse – so lessons were not required.)

  31. Jay Forrester of Project Whirlwind fame – which started as a computer project to develop flight simulators, and ended up giving us real-time computing, the SAGE defense system, etc. was one of the early contributors to the Club of Rome doomsday computer modelling. I imagine the whole mind-set of the Club of Rome was influenced by the Viet Nam War, the Cold War and other nasties of the period; I wish these guys would realize that that’s history, and we have other wars to fight today.

  32. As a 1979 graduate of Huxley College of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University I was spoon fed this BS. Thank G-D I came to my senses. I am an evil stockbroker now…

  33. Since Lenin (and his successors) believed that Communism depended wholly on heavily industrialized infrastructure (“Communism equals Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country”) – he envisioned Germany as the starting point for the coming world revolution, since Russia was far too backward in his view – there is a kind of savage poetic justice in seeing him chosen as the patron saint of green pastoralism. If Earth Day had been organized ten years later, these people might have better chosen Brother Number One, a.k.a. Saloth Sar, a.k.a. Pol Pot.

  34. This may sound stupid, but:

    What about the migration of AGW DE-Refugees? People who have moved into areas that were previously considered adverse environments, but which are now receiving or absorbing more people? Or people who have moved into areas that are or suspected to be at environmental risk (due to sea level rise, for example) but are willing to accept the risks of living in those areas, for whatever reasons they might have. People who have moved from colder to warmer climates as a preference (think retirees to Florida)?

  35. Steve from Rockwood
    The main reason cited for the growth in numbers by Myers is the growth in population
    Which means that Myers’ definition of environmental refugee is over-broad. Somehow it never occurred to me that when my father and his four siblings (population growth here) left the farm and moved to town, they were refugees.

  36. Reading those quotes reinforces my instinctive preference for optimistic, “glass half-full” people.

    What leads educated people to embrace nihilism so totally? Is it just book sales?

  37. The first stab an alarmist makes is to accuse one of a political position. It’s like they don’t think anyone could possibly disagree with the scientists. It’s rather disturbing to see comments from people who seem to actually believe we are doomed and one would think they would be open to any viewpoints that might take that pressure off, but it angers people who seem to WANT the doom and they won’t be denied. If a doctor told me I was going to die of a disease, but I heard of another doctor who had evidence that this wasn’t true, would anybody in their right mind NOT at least listen and evaluate what he had to say? In essence, they are saying, “We are going to die and don’t try to tell me we aren’t.” That’s why I don’t think they believe any of it, but it’s a form of protest against their usual enemies, big oil and all those profit-making capitalist. If they can convince people that death is the result, then so be it. Nobody can be so stupid as to really believe CO2 is pollution.

  38. I have found that every year, on 25 December, I am 1 year older than the previous year. If present trends continue, by the year 2511, I will be 565 years old !!

  39. Anytime I see these linear projections, I remember the Simpsons franchise episode wherein Disco Stu is selling… well, disco to potential franchisees. He has a memorable chart that projects disco’s popularity forward from a few years data in the late seventies. The data cutoff is around 1979, but the projections continue up and up and up.

    Why these people cannot see that the earth has been self-regulating through positive and negative feedbacks since the atmosphere oxygenated 2.3-2.4 billion years ago is beyond me. But they sure seem to love their Disco Stu linear trends.

  40. Amazing: 40 years ago we were all going to freeze to death.
    Then the freezing stopped.
    Then we were all going to die of heatstroke and the oceans would swallow the continents.
    Then they couldn’t find what happened to all the heat they were 100% scientifically positive was there.
    A Perpetual Doomsday is predicted to strike if trends continue. Hurry.

  41. The Ted Danson quote – where is the Ted Danson quote?

    Oh … here it is: “Ted Danson claimed, in 1989, that if we did nothing to fight global warming, our planet would be uninhabitable in 10 years …”

    (posted on a backup Win 98SE machine)

  42. Thursday’s temperature was around 15 Celsius. By Friday it was 25 Celsius. We need to act now to stop further warming because my computer modelling which was carried out on a state-of-the-art computer predicts that this time next year temperatures will be above boiling point.

  43. Of course we are all going to die. Its just a question of when.Personal insecurity mixed with self loathing is a potent combination.The cult IMO should celebrate earth day by having themselves buried up to their necks in mother earth, I will dig them up later, honest.

  44. I have one prediction to make – knuckleheads like Paul Ehrlich and the others quoted above will continue to make dire predictions of the future of the planet, all of which predictions will prove to be incredibly stupid, wrong, and ultimately the fodder for humorists.

  45. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    This “classic” quotation does reflect the published scientific concensus on climate change at this point.

    According to this survey study, most studies during the 70s on the climate (42 to 7) predicted eventual warming.

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

  46. On computer models, a quote:

    “On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
    — Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

    ’nuff said :)

  47. kramer says:
    April 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm
    “What are the odds that it was a coincidence that Earth day is celebrated on Lenin’s birthday AND the very first celebration of Earth day coincided with Lenin’s 100th birthday?

    Anybody a stat expert???”

    Gareth Says

    It’s also Mayday when people traditionally danced around Maypoles or rolled cheeses. Maybe Earth day commemorates how predictions get tied up and knotted creating a cheesy stink?

  48. I was around for the first earth day handing out environmental literature in Calgary. Back then (aside from overpopulation and the presumed devastating effects of proposed SST’s) the primary concern was CAGC (cooling). It was coal fired electricity generation that was going to cause CAGC and I remember getting into arguments with fellow “environmentalists” when I proposed nuclear power as the solution.

    There’s a box in my workshop filled with 40 year old books with all the doom an gloom predictions of how the world was going to end before 1980 which I might just dig up to see how spectacularly wrong people like Paul Ehrlich were. My environmentalist phase was explicable as the enthusiam of youth and I’ve kept up things which are worthwhile doing (like composting and walking wherever I can) and ditched all of the clearly erroneous beliefs I can’t believe I temporarily had. “EnvironMentalism” is profoundly anti-technologic and pessimistic and an extreme example of uniformitarianism where there is the inexplicable belief that nature is either unchanging or changes incredibly slowly. Uniformitarianism posits that any rapid changes must be as a result of human interference with nature while studiously ignoring such events such as ice ages and the sudden drainage of lake Agasiz following the last ice age. Climate, being chaotic, is changing on all time scales and the only way of dealing with the changes is human ingenuity.

    15 years ago I believed that increased CO2 would cause global warming, but being the curious type, I went to the scientific literature and discovered that the evidence supporting that hypothesis just wasn’t there. The CAGW cult has convinced me that there seems to be a fundamental religious impulse in people and, once many people go away from conventional religions, they are replaced by something else. This would be fascinating if the potential effects of this mass delusion weren’t so devastating. What is needed is someone like Ron Hubbard to craft a pro-technologic religion which will be widely appealing to counter the CAGW religion. It would be interesting to see what fraction of the population can be convinced to change their mind when presented with scientific evidence. My guess is that this is a minority of the population and that non-rational techniques will be necessary to convince those people who fervently believe that CAGW is real.

  49. Harold Pierce Jr says:
    April 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    In Canada we have about 5 trillion acres of unpopulated land. In super-natural, beautiful British Columbia, “The Best Place on Earth”, we have 250 milllion acres of unpopulated land. And in Vancouver (aka Lotus Land), there are no mosquitos in the summertime!

    Come one! Come all!

    I’d love to, except that, as a retired former railway engineer, you probably wouldn’t have me. Sigh – the virtues of the many are outweighed by the vices of the few.

    At least I’ve never written any soft core porn though so maybe that would count in my favour.

  50. I think you forgot the Prince of Wales who stated in a speech about a year ago that we have 96 days to save the planet. Unfortunately he did not say which planet.

  51. John Marshall says:
    April 23, 2011 at 3:02 am
    “I think you forgot the Prince of Wales who stated in a speech about a year ago that we have 96 days to save the planet. Unfortunately he did not say which planet.”

    I remembered it and checked yesterday – it was about 2 years ago and Charles said “100 months” so we still have about 76 months left.

  52. Boris Gimbarzevsky says:
    April 23, 2011 at 1:56 am
    “What is needed is someone like Ron Hubbard to craft a pro-technologic religion which will be widely appealing to counter the CAGW religion”

    The thing that comes closest to this would be the singularitarians; see http://www.kurzweilai.net or singularityhub or the SF novels by Vernor Vinge.

  53. Take a good mind, add a college education and lots of that 70’s weed and what do you get? A permanently altered mental state characterized by a mild delusional psychosis of the secondary type, evidenced by meticulously thought out paranoid scenarios, coupled with a holier than thou personality.

    Best,

    J.

  54. Sonicfrog says:
    April 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    Ideally, there should be dates posted on when each comment was said.

    The date was stated in the first sentence:

    Via iHateTheMedia, here are a few of the predictions made on the first Earth Day.

    Granted the actual year was not stated, but it was 1970.

  55. The local newspaper (The Columbus Dispatch) publishes a weekly environmental column called “Earthweek: Diary of a Planet,” despite its assertion that it has no bias in the arena of climate change. This week’s column starts off with the following:
    “The world as we know it is likely to end within 30 years, and human civilization has only a 50 percent chance of surviving until 2100 without being hit by a manmade catastrophe, according to two of the world’s most-respected scientists.”

    The scientists were the U.K.’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and Astronomer Royal for Scotland John Brown. Rees argues that climate change and overpopulation are the world’s leading manmade perils. Brown cautions that the Earth is overdue for a catastrophic impact with an asteroid.

    While I have no quibble with the asteroid scenario (what could mankind possibly do to prevent it anyway?), I have to ask why an astronomer is weighing in on climate change and overpopulation. If Reeshad publicly denied the theory of AGW, the environmentalist crowd would have immediately attacked his credentials.

  56. There is a saying that if they’d had computer models in 1846 they would have predicting that by the year 2000 we’d be ten feet deep in horse sh*t…
    Well – let’s face it – that’s come true…!

  57. It is this wretched doom mongering that is my real gripe about the global warmers and environmentalists generally. There are plenty of sensible things to be said and improvements in the way we live our lives and to cut down pollution etc, but this sort of doom laden garbage just turns me off. I agree with the comments that these people really enjoy predicting disaster – a feature of most environmentalists who seem to dislike human beings. Years ago, on British television there was a series called Doomwatch, an environmental fictional programme. You could tell the authors really relished the sorts of disasters they imagined. Especially when there was heavy loss of life.

  58. When these people are interviewed now, they either insist that the disaster is still right around the corner, deny they said it, or change the subject. Such prognosticators can never never admit they were wrong.

  59. In 1968 at a young age, we remember reading Paul Ehrlich’s doomsday screed entitled “The Population Bomb.” Then and now, the whole thing reeked of communo-fascist special-pleading: Only a Maximum Leader bestriding a totalitarian Central State can save us from ourselves.

    I and my enlightened colleagues (says Ehrlich) will show the way if you but heed my message, akin to Biblical prophesy. If not– a pox on you and yours! May Gaia strike you dead, O Infidel.

    Amazingly, Ehrlich and his Leninist Earth Day composters are with us yet. Faugh!

  60. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Kenneth Watt.

    These predictions by biologists are actually wishfull thinking out loud. If Kenneth Watt is still alive, what an interesting interview he would give – but then the MSM doesn’t do this sort of thing.

  61. “What is needed is someone like Ron Hubbard to craft a pro-technologic religion which will be widely appealing to counter the CAGW religion”

    In Canada (and likely the US) the Church of Scientology had itself declared a religion and thereby escapes taxation. Apply this principle in a widespread fashion to allow the average Joe and Jane to escape taxation by joining and you would have a fairly successful membership drive.

    A real bonus in all this is that in the US at least, churches do not have to submit financial disclosure statements. In theory you could form churches as tax free real-estate investments. Contributions to the church are tax-deductible by the congregation, and the church can then use these funds to buy land as investments. The property then becomes tax free and income from the land can be used by the church to care for the congregation.

  62. DirkH says:
    April 23, 2011 at 4:49 am

    John Marshall says:
    April 23, 2011 at 3:02 am
    “I think you forgot the Prince of Wales who stated in a speech about a year ago that we have 96 days to save the planet. Unfortunately he did not say which planet.”

    I remembered it and checked yesterday – it was about 2 years ago and Charles said “100 months” so we still have about 76 months left.

    So? JM’s comment is the appropriate one here; mad Charlie didn’t mention which planet. And as almost all of we Brits know, he is one of the most deranged public figures we have to put up with.

    I congratulate our Queen on her 85th birthday and hope that she stays around long enough to stop her intellectually challenged son from ever succeeding to the throne. That would definitely be a disaster.

  63. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Kenneth Watt.

    Luckily we started producing CO2 which warmed up the planet and helped fertilize food crops, which increased the food supply and largely ended the famines that were common in the past.

    Fearful that without famine to keep population numbers in check, that civilization will truly end this time, scientist and politicians around the globe are working tirelessly to find ways to reduce CO2.

  64. The predictions may be right, but the timing predicted is a bit too premature. However the nature has shown some symptoms of resilience so we might be able to cheat some disasters

  65. I have a premise that this sort of doom-and-gloom prediction goes hand in hand with the use of so-called “mind expanding drugs,” ranging from marijuana through LSD.

    Ordinary wisdom, knowledge and even spiritual progress comes from mental effort leading to small insights, which the mind strings together into larger and larger insights, and even inspirations. Much hard work is involved.

    “Mind expanding drugs” create the sensation of insights and inspirations occurring without effort, however they are notorious for leaving people unable to recall the insights they had. (If one writes the insight down, one often rereads the statement later, and can’t see what was so insightful, for one reads something apparently inane, such as, “the sky is blue.”)

    It was for this reason Tim Leary stated, “If you remember the nineteen-sixties, you weren’t there.”

    The long term effect of this amnesia is that one is less able to learn. One cannot string together the larger insights the mind makes of small insights. Therefore one is faced with the depressing (and highly subjective) conclusion, “There is no answer.”

    It is the people who believe “there is no answer” to our problems who propose the most drastic and deadly “answers,” such as “reducing world population to a half billion.” They do it because their minds are darkened, and they really and truly are filled by despair by the “lack of any answer,” which is all their burned-out brain cells can manage, in their unenlightened state.

    There is likely a correlation between the use of anti-depressants during middle age, and the use of large quantities of marijuana and other “mind expanding drugs,” during ones youth.

    I’ve watched a lot of friends, (who started out far more brilliant than me,) gradually become more and more depressed and stupid, over the past fifty years, claiming “marijuana is harmless” every step of the way. Now it is difficult to have a coherent conversation with many of them.

    Therefore I conclude my premise: Drugs don’t expand the mind. Rather than inspiration, drugs lead to despair.

  66. “Caleb says:
    April 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I have a premise that this sort of doom-and-gloom prediction goes hand in hand with the use of so-called “mind expanding drugs,” ranging from marijuana through LSD.”

    I tend to agree with you. See my earlier post, albeit a lot shorter than yours. The weed generation, those that stuck with it, are on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.

    They think drug use lead to enlightenment. Carl Sagan included. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is an impaired state, where “connections” spontaneously come to mind without going through rigorous mental or academic tests. It is a sad state because I believe the damage is permanent – I’ve seen it in some of my friends. They just don’t know it because they are able to function at relatively high levels of performance. But they are forever hindered by a mild psychosis that instills paranoia and because of this feeling of “enlightenment” they also have a superior attitude that permeates their personalities.

    This is my hypothesis and I’m sticking with it :).

    Best,

    J.

  67. Jose Suro says:
    April 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm
    “But they are forever hindered by a mild psychosis that instills paranoia and because of this feeling of “enlightenment” they also have a superior attitude that permeates their personalities. ”

    Hmmm…. the brain produces its own cannabinoids… and paranoia is a known side-effect of caffeine…

  68. Mr Green Genes says:
    April 23, 2011 at 9:24 am
    “So? JM’s comment is the appropriate one here; mad Charlie didn’t mention which planet. And as almost all of we Brits know, he is one of the most deranged public figures we have to put up with.”

    Sorry – didn’t know about his other predictions. Difficult to stay up to date with that guy.

  69. The ice age is coming, the sun’s zoomin in, engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin ! Who remembers

  70. “DirkH says:
    April 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hmmm…. the brain produces its own cannabinoids… and paranoia is a known side-effect of caffeine…”

    LOL! If the brain cannabinoids and coffee were as potent as the stuff people smoke the Colombians and Mexicans would be out of business overnight! Well, maybe not the Colombians because they do make great coffee :).

    Best,

    J.

  71. Jim Cole says:
    The only slack I might cut these guys is mentioned in Ken Watts’ last “prediction”. In 1970, the climate had been cooling for nearly 30 years and wheat harvests in Canada and USSR were declining, so there was at least some justification for the gloom-and-doom scenarios of mass starvation.

    But isn’t it a WARMER climate that’s going to wipe out all our food crops and cause mass starvation? That’s what they keep telling me…

  72. May I suggest that everybody take a clsoe look at that wiki earth day photograph of planet earth.

    Note first that the earth is almost a full hemisphere, so the sun is pretty much directly behind the viewer. That means that the low altitude angle reflectance off the Antarctic ice, is directed mostly AWAY from the observer out into the space beyond earth.

    So the photo is a phony, because the only light that would be visible coming off the antarctic ice pack, would have to be backscatter. Now I don’t have a problem with high backscatter off the cloud tops; that’s where the cloud albedo comes from; but not so for either the arctic ocean or Antarctic land ice.

    So that earth day flag is photoshopped to exaggerate the antarctic reflectance; and they have deliberately enlarged the Antarctic area, it is only 8.3% of the area of just the southern hemisphere.

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