Decades of Idiotic Environmental Predictions

Opinion

Panic Calm Chicken Little Sky is Falling
Decades of Idiotic Environmental Predictions

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- The Competitive Enterprise Institute has published a new paper, “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions.” Keep in mind that many of the grossly wrong environmentalist predictions were made by respected scientists and government officials. My question for you is: If you were around at the time, how many government restrictions and taxes would you have urged to avoid the predicted calamity?

As reported in The New York Times (Aug. 1969) Stanford University biologist Dr. Paul Erhlich warned: “The trouble with almost all environmental problems is that by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you're dead. We must realize that unless we're extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.”

In 2000, Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at University of East Anglia's climate research unit, predicted that in a few years winter snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren't going to know what snow is.” In 2004, the U.S. Pentagon warned President George W. Bush that major European cities would be beneath rising seas. Britain will be plunged into a Siberian climate by 2020. In 2008, Al Gore predicted that the polar ice cap would be gone in a mere 10 years. A U.S. Department of Energy study led by the U.S. Navy predicted the Arctic Ocean would experience an ice-free summer by 2016.

In May 2014, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared during a joint appearance with Secretary of State John Kerry that “we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.”

Peter Gunter, professor at North Texas State University, predicted in the spring 1970 issue of 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.”

Ecologist Kenneth Watt's 1970 prediction was, “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.” He added, “This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Mark J. Perry, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus, cites 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970. This time it's not about weather. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated that humanity would run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver would be gone before 1990. Kenneth Watt said, “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.”

There were grossly wild predictions well before the first Earth Day, too. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior predicted that American oil supplies would last for only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous energy claims, in 1974, the U.S. Geological Survey said that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that as of Jan. 1, 2017, there were about 2,459 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas in the United States. That's enough to last us for nearly a century. The United States is the largest producer of natural gas worldwide.

Today's wild predictions about climate doom are likely to be just as true as yesteryear's. The major difference is today's Americans are far more gullible and more likely to spend trillions fighting global warming. And the only result is that we'll be much poorer and less free.


Walter E.Williams
Walter E. Williams

About Walter E.Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Williams is also the author of several books. Among these are The State Against Blacks, later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint, All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and recently his autobiography, Up From The Projects.

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Lava
Lava
6 months ago

What about the two people who made a formal bet on these predictions? That a group of several metals would be scarce?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago

@OV, No injuries or major damage here, but we are quite disheveled. Small branches, leaves, feeding pans all over the place. Everything on the left end of the porch was in the right side of the porch!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@OV, That is funny! I had not seen that coming.

JPM
JPM
11 months ago

We (people) can pollute water and air in an area and destroy forests and take down mountains, but to think or believe that we can actually bring about global change is the height of arrogance. One volcano can spew more hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the total amount human beings have created in their entire existence. The planet is dynamic and constantly changing, and would do so even without our input. The whole environmental “green” movement is a scam and intended to scare people into action to fix a problem which doesn’t exist. Do you really think… Read more »

loveaduck
loveaduck
11 months ago

The science is much improved since the 70s. My adult life has gotten me to be in and away from my childhood home. I’ve seen the changes come over time. Weather and climate are two different things. Some think we can continue to put all this crap into the air and the oceans and expect no ill effects. Look again. Sure there’s a natural cycle at work, actually a long term and short term at the same time. Humans are making worse and come faster than it otherwise would. The Earth is not limitless.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago
Reply to  loveaduck

@duck, China, India, and California are the first, second, and third place polluters. America, even with California, has cleaner air than Europe. How will you make China, India, California, and Europe stop polluting?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago

@OV, To the end of their term and they refuse to give up power, perhaps?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@OV, Even though socialism only provides starvation and sorrow, there is a kind of person that would want to preside over it.

American Patriot
American Patriot
11 months ago

The left has already taken my money to save the planet & they still want more…..Not only that but now they want to take all my guns to protect me……..I think I’ll keep what I have & take my chances, we are all gonna die sometime but it might come quicker if you show up at my door demanding……

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago

@AP, Waiting until “they” come to my door is what I call the Jim Bowie Defense. “They” are not going to serve their warrant when you hope that they will. “They” will surveil you, and take you when you are least prepared, they go to your house and pick up your weapons at their leisure. The government agents will take you when you are getting out of your car, or at your Lions Club meeting, or sitting in church. Better to plan your defense and escape for those time periods. You will need a different license plate, cash, and some… Read more »

Old Ch.E.
Old Ch.E.
11 months ago

And a little child (Greta) shall lead them.

Vern
Vern
11 months ago

Back in my remodeling construction days, I did a job for an environmentalist. A really nice guy. I asked him what line of work he was in and he told me he was an environmentalist and he was now officially retired. Astonished I asked how old he was, his reply, I am 38 years old. I then asked what kind of environmentalism he was involved in. He said there were three types of environmentalists, they are; 1) those who are in it for the money, 2) those who are in it for the power, 3) those who are in it… Read more »

JH1961
JH1961
11 months ago

I teach Earth & Space Science. I would love to share this article with my students, but our internet filter is blocking it.

Tionico
Tionico
11 months ago
Reply to  JH1961

if you can read it, do a “select all” then a “copy”. Now, safe that in a word processor. Some printer utilities will allow you to save directly to a PDF. Simply hit PRINT, when the dialogue box comes up, look in the drop down meny for “save as PDF”. Select that. Your computer will then save the PDF to wherever it saves your downloads. Now, you can flip that onto a USB drive, carry it with you, transfer it to any other computer. You can also look up in the title bar when you are reading the piece, do… Read more »

StWayne
StWayne
11 months ago

Hear! Hear! The world was supposed to have ended, by one means or another, some sixty different times since 1990 alone. Every prediction made was made by accredited scholars/scientists who had the wherewithal to “know” this. Yet, every last one of them was wrong: every last one of them — wrong! Just because someone starts crying that the sky is falling, we need to take their “objectivity” with a grain of salt before woofing it down whole. The indigestion to follow can be just as hard to take, as the egg all over your face is to wash off. Selah.

HankB
HankB
11 months ago

Dr. Willams, be careful – we may actually have LESS than 12 years before the “experts” reset their climate disaster prediction clock again!

Using global warming/climate change predictions to set government (and tax!) policy is a scam that makes Bernie Madoff’s shenanigans look like a game of Three-card Monte in some back alley.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
11 months ago

Dr. Williams you are the cat’s meow!

Tom Claycomb
11 months ago

Great article Mr. Williams. And you make a good point, do people not look back in the not so distant past and see that there have always been loony naysayers? No, because like you say, they are more gullible than ever. Thanks for your insights.

Littlejohn1411
Littlejohn1411
11 months ago

Not sure it could have been said much better, when I was young it was all about the ozone layer.

Lava
Lava
6 months ago
Reply to  Littlejohn1411

I haven’t heard “ozone” in a long time! But I’ve heard every scientific show say Global Warming in every sentence. They even claim there are more tornadoes. Not. Thomas Grazulis, a tornado-hunting author, graphed the number of *strong* tornadoes (F4 and F5) straight across the page since they were documented. *Weak* (F0 to F3) boinged up since technology improved and more eyes are looking.

Will
Will
11 months ago

Al Gore has made millions off this climate hoax,and so has Hillary. This bullshit is/was a major cash cow for the socialists until President Trump was elected. Trump 2020 !

Lava
Lava
6 months ago
Reply to  Will

Now, with Trump, we just have to put that cash into the military.