|Holly Maddux before Earth Day|
Because even though this day is founded on the vision of an Earth worth saving, it's also founded by (or at least partially by) a man who whose conservation efforts didn't quite extend to human life. On September 9, 1977, Ira Einhorn, one of Earth Day's co-founders, lured his ex (the 'ex' portion occurring pre-brutal murder) girlfriend, Holly Maddux, to his apartment and killed her in a heartbroken rage. Though, he did choose to dispose of the body by composting her. So at least he's consistent. [You can see the composted body here, but be forewarned: it's not pretty.]
|Holly Maddux after Earth Day|
It took seven months for the police to discover what had happened, and just days before his murder trial was set to begin, Einhorn—or as he preferred to be called, the Unicorn—fled to Europe, where he enjoyed a 17-year holiday from the law, avoiding extradition and marrying a Swede along the way. He was at last sent back to face the consequences on July 2001, and is currently serving a life term in prison without the possibility of parole.But just because the founder was a really bad guy doesn't mean he's wrong, right? Hitler invented the VW bug. But here's the first 9 of 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around the first “Earth Day” in 1970:
So with all this considered, it shouldn't be surprising that you probably won't see Einhorn's name on any of the many Earth Day pamphlets literred around our beautiful blue marble today. Sure, he was the master of ceremonies at its inaugural event 43 years ago, but the other organizers have taken every measure they can to distance themselves from the Unicorn's (fanciful as it is felonious) name.
1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”And finally, the one country that really honors earth day, with famines, and no lights, North Korea:
2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.
3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By… 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.”
6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.
8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “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.”
9. In January 1970, Life reported, “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….” . . .