Same news, different century

They say those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Read this article in the Vancouver Sun, May 1982, and tell compare to the sorts of news stories we are seeing today about the same topic with the same overhyped warnings:

Hauntingthelibrary writes:

The trouble with the alarmists is that they don’t seem to realize that people are capable of looking back over what they said before, and judging them by their past record.

Perfect example: In 1982 Mustafa Tolba of the United Nations Environment Program excoriated the world’s governments for failing to institute “ecologically sound management” and warned them, in an “official forecast” that if they didn’t mend their ways,

by the turn of the century, an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust

Vancouver Sun, May 1982. Ecological Disaster Feared.

Mustafa tolba went on to become Executive Director for UNEP.

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ROFLMAO!!!
I read that several times trying to determine what the ecological disaster was. The only thing I could find was “marked deterioration in the quality of our shared environment.” I am not sure what that means, but it sounds bad. Maybe that was the ozone hole.
I have to give it to them. They have certainly tuned the message much more specifically to total and absolute boiling of the oceans (after they flood the Earth). They have learned to be specific. Same accuracy, but they add more details now.
John Kehr
The Inconvenient Skeptic

John Marshall

Those rabid environmentalists get everywhere, even 28 years ago. They certainly have no hindsight.

CO2 not mentioned. Hmm.

steveta_uk

Well clearly the guberments must have acted, since we didn’t have a disaster.
Shows the prediction was right.

GBees

Time to ditch the UN, IMF, WHO, EU and all other international NWO wannabees. We don’t need World government nor their rantings. Time to restore our individual country sovereignty.

richard verney

I recall some poster having previously suggested that someone should collate a record of predictions and summarise to what extent those predictions were correct.
That would be extremely useful since it would demonstrate that the end of the world was never nigh and by inference is still not nigh today, whatever some doom sayer may be suggesting. It would help demonstrate to the public that despite what is being said, we have time on our side. We have time to get a proper handle on the data (may be starting from scratch a new reconstruction of past global records) and there is no need for knee jerk reaction, and there is time for a considered approach to addressing any problem that may truly exist.

MattN

Could they be any more vague in that 1982 article?

jamie

I don’t understand the article from ’82. What exactly is the problem that will lead to this appocalypse?
The only thing I can see is “a marked deteriation in the quality of our shared environment”. What the hell does that mean? And how do you get from that to a disaster on the scale of Nuclear War?

Rick Bradford

History is very inconvenient for the Warmists, who know that ‘he who controls the past, controls the present’.
Their brazen serial manipulation of data is at the center of their efforts to control the past, rewriting events such as the MWP and LIA.
They should not be allowed to get away with their deception, so pointing out historical events is very valuable in countering their bluster.

Deserts? Usually I halt one before breakfast — and, I don’t have UN grants to support me.
Some of us remember these stories…

Moemo

Are you kidding? It’s articles like that got him the job. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

George Lawson

It’s interesting to see that the Prime Minister of Australia is referring to the recent floods as one of the the country’s “natural disasters” No reference to GW or AGW as the cause. http://greg4ess.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/aussie-floods/

Baa Humbug

Mustafa tolba went on to become Executive Director for UNEP.

Well of course he did. And Patchy will get a promotion after his stint at the IPCC is over. Houghton is still on the gravy train. Hansen, Trenberth and all the rest have very very secure futures.
That’s how the UN operates. Once you’re in, you’re in. The greatest gravy train in history just keeps rolling on and on, getting bigger by the day.

Beth Cooper

Just another in that long tradition of catastrophe theories that came to nothing…Malthus, Marx, Erlich – oh, I left out millennium dire predictions, (2x) maybe third time unlucky (-:
Just another in that long line of catastrophe theories that came to nothing. Malthus, Marx, Erlich – oh, I left out failed millenium theories, twice!…Maybe next time they’ll get lucky (-:

Beth Cooper

Don’t know how this came up twice! Just unlucky I guess!(-:

roger samson

i guess if you were a pelican in the gulf of mexico recently you might be a little more sympathetic to the article.

H.R.

Forecast wrong? EZ-peezee, just move the goalposts to 2135 or better yet, 2100.
The first rule of apocalyptic forcasting is “Never forecast an event that will happen within the next generation’s lifetime.”

old44

“The trouble with the alarmists is that they don’t seem to realize that people are capable of looking back over what they said before, and judging them by their past record.”
That is why most of their predictions are in a 25-100 year timeframe, (a) so you will not remember it, (b) they have finished milking it for every last cent the taxpayer has, or (c) they have found another scam that pays better.

Patrick Davis

The “media” have been publishing stories like this since the late 19th century. Nothing to see here, move along!

Mac

Are these comments a joke? Eastern Africa (and the continent as a whole) has been devastated by environmental degradation….
http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5318e/x5318e02.htm
*Not only is Africa geologically old and afflicted with a harsh climate, but also large parts of the continent have been occupied by human beings much longer than in other continents. Human activities in obtaining food, fibre, fuel and shelter have, therefore, significantly altered the soil.
*Though degradation is largely man-made, and hence its pace is governed primarily by the speed at which population pressure mounts, irregular natural events, such as droughts, exacerbate the situation. The 1982/85 drought, for example, had a dramatic effect on the speed of land degradation and desertification. Essential though food aid is in such emergencies, it clearly does nothing to alleviate environmental *Nomadic herders, grazing animals on arid and semi-arid lands, are particularly vulnerable to drought, since it depletes their most precious assets: their livestock herds. In northern and eastern Kenya, we saw the drought of 1992 decimate the livestock herds of pastoral communities, forcing herders to sell cheaply to local traders.damage.
*Desertification is a serious problem in the continent. It has been estimated that 319 million hectares of Africa are vulnerable to desertification hazards due to sand movement. An FAO/UNEP assessment of land degradation in Africa suggests that large areas of countries north of the equator suffer from serious desertification problems. For example, the desert is said to be moving at an annual rate of 5 km in the semi-arid areas of West Africa.
*Soil degradation caused by deforestation is also a serious threat in Africa. Deforestation exposes the soil to high temperatures which break down the organic matter, increase evaporation and make the soils vulnerable to erosion. Thirty-seven million hectares of forest and wood lands in Africa are said to be disappearing each year (FAO, 1986). More serious still is the gradual removal of trees in farms and pastures, which are crucial for protecting productive land from erosion.
*Africa’s forests and woodlands are also being depleted, threatening one of the continent’s most important resources. In Africa, trees play an important role in protecting the environment. They are the principal source of rural energy, and provide countless medicinal and industrial products used in both the home and in small-scale industry.
*Nearly 4 million hectares of this resource are now being deforested or degraded annually, largely in humid and sub-humid West Africa. The rate of destruction is alarmingly high in the Cameroon, in Côte d’lvoire and in Nigeria. The cause of deforestation is mainly clearing for agriculture but uncontrolled logging, gathering for fuelwood, fire and overgrazing are also taking their toll. In most parts of Africa, the current trend cannot be continued indefinitely: in some places, deforestation rates exceed planting rates by a factor of 30:1.
*Even with high inputs, Kenya’s lands can support only 51 million people a total that will be passed by 2010. By 2025 there maybe 83 million Kenyans, with as many as 111 million before the population reaches its plateau.
Sounds pretty bad to me….although I’m sure it’s fine if you’re an armchair pundit.

amicus curiae

I remember the exact same bogus claims made in the 70s..and I was young enough to be fooled then..not now!
yes! a collection of all the scare and fearmongering items in one place with all the TRUTH alongside.
would be great 🙂

Stefan

“During his long tenure (1975–1992), he played an important role in the fight against ozone depletion, which culminated with the Vienna Convention (1985) and the Montreal Protocol (1987).”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mostafa_Kamal_Tolba

Me

The real disaster is these charlatans are succsesfully contributing to the wrecking of the economies of the west.
Now that’s the real disaster , or is it the real agenda ?

Alan the Brit

I suppose that statistically if they keep predicting an armageddon it will happen somewhere. It’s WTWT, WAGTD!
BTW It’s official, folks, BBC 1 lunchtime news announced casually in the presenter’s usual light banter with the upcoming forecaster, that 2010 was the “second hottest year after 1998”!!! FACT. The forecaster even rubbed in the fact that one wouldn’t have thought so after all that snow & ice, etc. Bloomin marvellous! Keep going chaps, keep hoping!

Dena

The Deserts they are talking about was northern Africa and they were correct in stating the size of it was and still is increasing. They were wrong as to the cause of the problem being something man can control. The wobble of the earth causes a weather pattern shift over thousand year time periods resulting in times of much rain and other times of little rain. It also helped that humans were overgrazing the land but I don’t think anyone would be able to tell the people who live there to stop doing that. In the end there would be very little the UN could do much like today with Global Warming.

DanDaly

roger samson says:
January 19, 2011 at 4:53 am
i guess if you were a pelican in the gulf of mexico recently you might be a little more sympathetic to the article.
————————————————
Yep. That oil spill was definitely a devastating nu clear holocaust. I’m sure the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sympathize with that pelican as well as the otters, seals and seabirds devasted by the Exxon Valdez in 1989.
Have we identified any new and improved deserts recently?

Sam the Skeptic

old44 says:
“The trouble with the alarmists is that they don’t seem to realize that people are capable of looking back over what they said before, and judging them by their past record.”
That is why most of their predictions are in a 25-100 year timeframe, (a) so you will not remember it, (b) they have finished milking it for every last cent the taxpayer has, or (c) they have found another scam that pays better.

And (d) they’re dead so unless you’re going to dig up the bodies and put them on trial …. (don’t laugh; it’s been done)!

Jorgen Overgaard

1982, I was 58 that time and close to 30 years has passed since the Stockholm meeting. I remember it. It was very much writing about it. Mr Maurice Strong a Canadian was very much involved in that business.
If I remember right Mr Strong was part of maybe the boss of UNEP, United Nation Environment Program or a driving force behind their work at the Stockholm meeting. Mr Mustafa Tolba became executive director of UNEP after Mr Strong. (as thank you for a well done job) Steveta-UK says
“gubernments must have acted since we never had an accident.” We will never have an accident, what Mr Strong is speaking of is the increasing carbon diaoxide content
and the following warming that did not work according to IPPC’s plans around 2000
Marx is mentiod in one comment. When you are reading about Mr Strong you will find the name of Herr Marx and his influence.
If again I remember right. Mr Strong got a Swedish order , The North Polar Star Order or somethng like that, (In Swedish Nordstjärneorden) for his job at the Stockhlm meeting. JO

John M

Well, I guess he mustafa been wrong.
(Sorry)

sceptical me

Oh come on guys, at least credit them with consistency.
Sadly it is not really a humorous topic.

redneck

John Marshall says:
January 19, 2011 at 3:10 am
Those rabid environmentalists get everywhere, even 28 years ago. They certainly have no hindsight.
They should swallow some contact lenses it might help with that problem.

Chris Smith

“As complete and irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.”
Indeed. Apart from we have never had a nuclear holocaust – so how does he know it is complete and irreversible?
Closest events relevant to his terminology are:
1. WWII Japan … but they recovered from being nuked.
2. WWII holocaust … but the Jews recovered from the holocaust.
So what “Nuclear” “Holocaust” is he comparing with?
Oh, wait, I know what he means! He is comparing his belief in what will happen to the planet to fantasy science fiction movies depicting nuclear holocausts. Very Scientific! Were those movies rubber stamped by a peer review process too?
Gee, in 10 years from now, with complete certainty due my expensive computer model (code and input data unavailable for inspection), I can say the debate will be as strong as it was since the Romulins were considering joining the Federation.

UK Sceptic

I wonder by what percentage the UN rent seekers allowance cost of saving the Planet has increased since 1982?

Frank K.

We also have Mostafa to thank for saving us from the the ozone hole…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mostafa_Kamal_Tolba
“During his long tenure (19751992), he played an important role in the fight against ozone depletion, which culminated with the Vienna Convention (1985) and the Montreal Protocol (1987).”

Magnus

roger samson says:
January 19, 2011 at 4:53 am
i guess if you were a pelican in the gulf of mexico recently you might be a little more sympathetic to the article.
_____________________________________________
Not sure why, but this really made me lol. Perhaps because I got an image of an oil-stained worried-looking pelican being “sympathetic” in my mind.

Olen

When I see the words our shared and our collective I expect outrageous claims and predictions to justify new or increased taxes and tax dollar expenditure. What I have also come to expect is the non shared and non collective tax burden.

Hate to rain on the parade here, but the prediction is entirely correct and we now have the predicted ecological catastrophe; it is called the Green Movement, or Global Climate [ ] fill in today’s name, or the demonisation of the best/cheapest plant food known (CO2). (Pick one or all of the above)
Reports in the press today about the coming global food shortage etc etc with crop yeilds of wheat down 14% and rice down 11%. Well, what did they expect if they withold fertilizing CO2 from the plants??
By 2045 we will not be able to feed the world’s population and by 2020 the first really acute problems will hit. Source: Universal Ecological Fund and Dr Osvaldo Canziani.
Mark it in your diaries for a review in 2020.

Joe Lalonde

Anthony,
Here is something REALLY IMPRESSIVE!!!
Almost ALL of the northern hemisphere land mass is covered in cloud cover.
http://uk.weather.com/mapRoom/mapRoom?lat=10&lon=0&lev=1&from=global&type=sat&title=Satellite
I suppose the sun’s inactivity did this?

wsbriggs

roger samson says:
January 19, 2011 at 4:53 am
Isn’t it remarkable how one of the largest “Big Oil” supporters of the “Green” movement managed to cause such a large mess?
If I were a pelican in the Gulf, I might be thinking WUWT?
Notice how hard the media tried to find continuing problems, but dropped the whole thing when it was apparent that Mother Nature had things under control? The marshes will cleanse themselves shortly, the world will continue to rotate, and the media will be baying after another “natural disaster caused by man”. Plus ça change, …

RoyFOMR

Well Mustafa got it right in a way. We have, and still are, experiencing Environmental Catastrophe.
Food riots triggered by biofuel greed that now takes a quarter of US corn and turns it into non-food.
Energy strategies brought about by green zealotry that have decoupled reality and economics to bring us massive hikes in fuel prices, mass first-world unemployment and promise only misery for the forseeable future.
An education system that has lost its way and now turns young, gifted children into poorly educated and malleable pawns to swell the ranks of the believers.
Indeed Mustafa was pretty well correct. If he’d only used the phrase “environmentalist catastrophe”, he would have hit the jackpot!

Martin Brumby

@roger samson says: January 19, 2011 at 4:53 am
“i guess if you were a pelican in the gulf of mexico recently you might be a little more sympathetic to the article.”
Well maybe. Maybe not. Actually, just how many pelicans were in trouble in the Gulf of Mexico? In the UK we just got footage of the same one oily pelican repeated several times a day for week after week. There were probably more.
How many little old ladies died of hypothermia in December 2010 because they couldn’t afford the gas & electricity bills? Seen them on telly?
And did the pelicans in the Gulf actually get any benefit whatever from UNEP or any of the other enormously overfunded ‘transnational’ shroudwaving outfits?
You have to be kidding.

Tom Jones

This is still in print
Global Environmental Diplomacy
Negotiating Environmental Agreements for the World, 1973-1992
Tolba tells the story of the negotiations that led to a number of landmark agreements, such as the Vienna Convention on Ozone and its Montreal Protocol, the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes, and the Biodiversity Convention.
For only $25, you can learn how UNEP saved the world.
On to the next crusade!

Magnus

Mac says:
January 19, 2011 at 5:16 am
Are these comments a joke? Eastern Africa (and the continent as a whole) has been devastated by environmental degradation….
http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5318e/x5318e02.htm
.
.
.
Sounds pretty bad to me….although I’m sure it’s fine if you’re an armchair pundit.
=============================================================
Of course many things are bad. But much of what you cite from the link are further doomsday scenarios – NOT an “ecological collapse comparable to devastations of a nuclear holocaust”. Backing up failed predictions of the past with more predictions for the future is not a very intelligent way of making an argument.
Let’s be frank: No place on the planet is without human hostility in its environment, and Africa is probably facing challanges greater than most places on earth – mostly due to poverty.
Now: soil degradation, deforestation and desertification are all “threats”. Now, this has clearly not become a huge problem yet, as more people are killed at gunpoint from greed and conflict over valuable minerals. The problem with crop growth and hunger is an economic issue. Trade barriers in the EU should be removed to ensure profitable food production at the african continent. Efforts must be done to prevent further deforestation, sure. Areas can also be protected from increased desertification.
BUT: this is the typical fallcy of selecting and mixing actual problems with catastrophic predictions and threats of collapse and doom which is proven to be hysterical and wrong time and time again. Take your breath, Africa has had complex problems for aeons and they need to be taken seriously, thoroughly and not by people in a state of panic. Shouting like the whole continent already caught fire at the turn of the century is just as useless as the article which is the topic of this post.

TomVonk

Some deluded guy wrote
Eastern Africa (and the continent as a whole) has been devastated by environmental degradation….bla bla bla bla
If you cannot see the difference between a bit more desert here and a bit less there and an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust at the scale of the planet then you have serious understanding and information problems.
Besides a nuclear holocaust and an ecological apocalypse would have for effect to dramatically decrease the human population .
What happense is exactly the opposite and in Africa even much , much more than elsewhere .
Actually this unprecedented African population explosion while being a sure sign that they live much better than decades ago , might ironically be the biggest problem they will have to cope with one day .
So worry about your problems and don’t stick your dirty nose in matters which are none of your business .

Martin Brumby

@Mac says: January 19, 2011 at 5:16 am
Mac, you are spot on. Your comments are indeed a joke. And you sound every inch “an armchair pundit”.
A long piece about Africa which doesn’t even mention the dreadful governance endemic across the continent, doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, even if it didn’t originate from the FAO (which doesn’t exactly have a great record itself).

Poseur

Mustafa passed the torch along to Al Gore, who referenced his work in “Earth in the Balance” (1992) where Gore documented all the examples of the ecological catastrophe that was occurring and warned of the holocaust that was impending.
http://www.booknotes.org/Watch/24448-1/Al+Gore.aspx
I think Al claims that he first used the “Frog in the Boiling Water” analogy in this book when referring to climate change.

It is called Apocalyptic Environmentalism. This now establish new eco-ism cover everything that is supposed caused by man, like global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification or anything that is believed to cause the destruction of the ecosystem.
The driver for this is survival fear among humans, scientists desire to make important and scare discoveries and the believe in the concept of an overriding ecological balance.
Of course ecological balance is not something that exists. What exist in nature is constant change and survival of the fittest.

Owen

Things never change. I was doing some historical research in the microfilm of the local paper and found alternating about every 30 years from the early 1800’s to present claims that first we are entering an ice age followed 30 or so years later with claims we were entering a hot desert climate full of droughts. Sometime I am going to have to collect all these into a lengthy article just for illustrative purposes.

Richard Lewis

And the beat goes on …. Lester Brown (Alarmist-in-Chief) is out with his latest:
“World On the Edge”
But thank goodness! Brown has the solution! Sub-title: “How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.” Listen up, y’all!

David

Now let’s be fair. The prediction did come true. I remember in 2002, one time, I wanted to barbeque. But it rained, so I couldn’t. In my book, that’s easily the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust.