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A Brief History of Environmental Science’s Doomsday Predictions

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 25, 2013 @ 9:30 pm In The Point | 15 Comments

Proof. Scientific proof that the world ended about 30 years ago. Compiled by the great Anthony Watts.

In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb and declared that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and that there would be a major food shortage in the US. “In the 1970s … hundreds of millions are going to starve to death,” and by the 1980s most of the world’s important resources would be depleted.

He forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million. The problems in the US would be relatively minor compared to those in the rest of the world.

(Ehrlich, Paul R. The Population Bomb. New York, Ballantine Books, 1968.)

New Scientist magazine underscored his speech in an editorial titled “In Praise of Prophets.”

I wasn’t around for much of the 70s, but could anyone who was around then let me know whether hundreds of millions of Americans starved to death during that period? I haven’t heard anything about it, but maybe it’s another of those Phantom Time coverups by the military-industrial complex.

“By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Paul Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

Now we know why he’s not a gambler.

In 1974, the US Geological Survey announced “at 1974 technology and 1974 price” the US had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.

So that means we ran out in 1985. That’s too bad.

In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” Paul Ehrlich, speech during Earth Day, 1970.

There are some whales in the Atlantic Ocean who would disagree with him.

“Artic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.” Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1972.

And that’s exactly what happened.

According to Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years “children just aren’t going to know what snow is” and winter snowfall will be “a very rare and exciting event.” Interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.

Hello? Is anyone in the UK still aware of what snow is? We have pictures we can show you.

“[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots … [By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” Michel Oppenheimer and Robert H. Boyle, Dead Heat, St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

At least they predicted that we would have computers. It’s the only thing they got right.

Now this sort of bad Science Fiction might be amusing, but policy, and very creepy policy is made based on it. Bad science promotes alarmism that translates easily into totalitarianism.

In 1989, when the US Supreme Court was hearing the Webster case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor brought the idea of overpopulation into a hypothetical question she asked of Charles Fried, former solicitor-general, “Do you think that the state has the right to, if in a future century we had a serious overpopulation problem, has a right to require women to have abortions after so many children?”


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