Last week’s Earth Day marked the 45th Anniversary of this high-holiest of days for environmentalists. True-believers used the event to point to all of the damage that man’s existence has brought to Mother Erath. To others, like this Blogger, it was also a time to reflect on the accuracy (or lack of) of the many dire claims made by Earth Dayers.
The federalist.com listed some grotesque examples of the failed alarmist predictions from environmentalists. It shows a failed track record of the fear-mongers that included the following failed prophesies:
Global Cooling – In the mid 1970’s the fear was not Global Warming, but the imminent coming of the next Ice Age. The environmental experts went further, blaming the global cooling on man-made pollution. In their view, dust spewed into the atmosphere was blocking the sun and leading to the coming catastrophic cooling. A 1970 Life Magazine bought into the alarmist stating: “by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” Alarmist mistake #1.
Overpopulation – Too many people has been the chant of many environmentalists. To them the root cause of environmental havoc is the human race itself. How narcissistic! Throughout the 1970’s these folks claimed that the world’s population bomb would do us in. The result; not only has worldwide population growth slowed, but in some countries populations are declining causing major problems for such countries as Japan and Russia. Alarmist mistake #2.
Mass Starvation – It only follows that if too many people are the problem, mass starvation is soon to follow. For this incorrect call, The Federalist referred to a claim made by Dr. Peter Gunter of North Texas State University in 1970 who stated in The Living Wilderness:
“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.”
Like so many followers of junk science, the biased scientists form conclusions based on too few variables. In this case Gunter ignored the possibility (probability) that agricultural science would advance with the population. In fact, in advance much quicker. Alarmist mistake #3.
Resource Depletion – The depletion of natural resources has been a cry of environmentalists since long before the first oil crisis of the mid-1970s. There is no better example of the fallacy of their predictions than that of energy resources. President Jimmy Carter during the late 1970s predicted that the United States would run out of natural gas within a decade. It is hard to imagine how he and other resource depletion alarmists could have gotten it so wrong. In fact, the world is now awash in oil and natural gas with oversupply that is significantly depressed prices. Alarmist mistake #4.
Mass Extinction – A major extinction event of lifeforms on the planet has been another of the environmental alarmists rallying calls.
The Smithsonian Institute’s Dr. S. Dillon Ripley predicted in 1970 that approximately 75% of all animal species then living on earth would be extinct in less than three decades. That alarmist claim was not only fallacious, but as The Federalists points out, would have been an extinction event not seen since the dinosaurs died off over 65 million years ago. In 45 years claims for mass extinctions have died off with instead, environmentalists now attempting to protect the Delta Smelt in California, instead of using the scarce water resources for states residents. Alarmist mistake #5.
Renewable Energy – Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, environmentalists have taken advantage of the supposed shortage of energy resources to promote pet projects relating to alternative of dollars energy. Tens of billions have been spent on governmental funding for research on all sorts of projects. The result, a mere 12% of the Country’s electricity comes from alternative fuel sources and large corporations have made huge profits on the crony capitalism. Alarmist mistake #6.
Global Warming – Man-made climate change is again the leading rallying cry of alarmists. While the jury is still out on this one, the warming trend has not gone on at the rate predicted by all of the major models promoted by the alarmists. In fact, it is generally agreed that the Earth’s temperature rise stopped in 1998. Alarmist mistake #6.5.
There are other environmental-type calls made by the alarmists in the past 45 years that have proven way off base. This includes acid rain, ozone depletion above the Arctic, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARs, etc. If one opens up the list to other “scientific” miss-calls, such as the Missile Gap with the Soviet Union during the 1950s and the Y2K event, the rate of false prophecies becomes rather comical. The sheer number of mistakes bring in the question their root cause. Poor intellect might be comical. However, it is just as likely that the search for profits and personal gain played a role in these botched predictions. There is little comical about these motivations.