Friday, April 22, 2016

Missed It By That Much

Seven Earth Day predictions that failed spectacularly
1: “Civilization Will End Within 15 or 30 Years.” Harvard biologist Dr. George Wald warned shortly before the first Earth Day in 1970 that civilization would soon end “unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Three years before his projection, Wald was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. . .

2: “100-200 Million People Per Year Will Be Starving to Death During the Next Ten Years.” Stanford professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared in April 1970 that mass starvation was imminent. His dire predictions failed to materialize as the number of people living in poverty has significantly declined and the amount of food per person has steadily increased, despite population growth. The world’s Gross Domestic Product per person has immeasurably increased despite increases in population. . .

3: “Population Will Inevitably and Completely Outstrip Whatever Small Increases in Food Supplies We Make.” Paul Ehrlich also made the above claim in 1970, shortly before an agricultural revolution that caused the world’s food supply to rapidly increase.
Ehrlich has consistently failed to revise his predictions when confronted with the fact that they did not occur, stating in 2009 that “perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future.”

4: “Demographers Agree Almost Unanimously … Thirty Years From Now, the Entire World … Will Be in Famine.” Environmentalists in 1970 truly believed in a scientific consensus predicting global famine due to population growth in the developing world, especially in India. . .

5: “In A Decade, Urban Dwellers Will Have to Wear Gas Masks to Survive Air Pollution.” Life magazine stated in January 1970 that scientist had “solid experimental and theoretical evidence” to believe that “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.” Despite the prediction, air quality has been improving worldwide according to the World Health Organization. . .

6: “Childbearing [Will Be] A Punishable Crime Against Society, Unless the Parents Hold a Government License.” David Brower, the first executive director of The Sierra Club made the above claim and went on to say that “[a]ll potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”  . . . Today, the only major government to ever get close to his vision has been China, which ended its one-child policy last October.

7: “By the Year 2000 … There Won’t Be Any More Crude Oil.” On Earth Day in 1970 ecologist Kenneth Watt famously predicted that the world would run out of oil saying, “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.’” . . .  American oil and natural gas reserves are at their highest levels since 1972 and American oil production in 2014 was 80 percent higher than in 2008 thanks to fracking. . . .
But other than that, everything is pretty much going they way they planned it.

Grant writing 101. Use some wiggle words in your dire predictions of what will happen if the world choses not to follow your preferred policies.

Not our husky.

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