13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 — Jon Gabriel

 

Today is Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded. Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
  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.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] 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.” — Paul Ehrlich
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “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.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  8. “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.” — Life magazine
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  11. “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. 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.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. 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. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

A version of this article was posted last year on FreedomWorks.com.

Members have made 52 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Wordcooper Coolidge

    How about a mandated warning label that every pundit is required to carry around.

    This pundit has been:

    Wrong 39% 
    Dead Wrong 23%
    Right 8%
    Inconclusive 30%

    • #31
    • April 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm
  2. Profile photo of Seawriter Member

    Most predictions are wrong because change almost always occurs either exponentially or logarithmically, and switches back and forth between the two curves. The key is finding the inflection points. If you know when that happens you get rich. If you don’t you do a pratfall.

    Instead, many prognosticators assume change will be linear. If they base their prediction on the exponential part of the curve, their predictions are hopelessly high. If the base it on the exponential part of the curve (especially just before an inflection) they end up way too low.

    • #32
    • April 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm
  3. Profile photo of Yudansha Member

    It MUST be a sin to enjoy things like this as much as I do. I just love watching doomsayers, doom saying their way to ridiculousness.

    Unfortunately, we never actually get the satisfaction of seeing them slink away in public humiliation… more’s the pity.

    • #33
    • April 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm
  4. Profile photo of George Savage Admin

    “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    ― Yogi Berra

    • #34
    • April 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm
  5. Profile photo of MikeHs Inactive

    “It sure is uncomfortable today. The humility is very high!”

    – Norm Crosby

    • #35
    • April 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm
  6. Profile photo of Marion Evans Member

    Ehrlich is a revolting character and was not just wrong but spectacularly wrong. The fact that he hasn’t been fired by Stanford is absolutely incomprehensible (except by tenure). He advocated forcible population control which China put in place with the soon-to-be obvious disastrous consequences of a soaring dependency ratio. He also supported in the late 1960s the idea of triage by country, in which countries like India are dumped from international aid programs because they didn’t look (back then) like they could effectively combat hunger. Just awful.

    I wrote about him and Steve Jobs last August here:
    https://ricochet.com/archives/two-guys-go-to-india/

    • #36
    • April 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm
  7. Profile photo of The Question Inactive

    Yeah…ok.:

    Do you think there was any coordination between the environmentalist and feminists. If one takes as fact that food, water and air will be scare in the near future it’s easier to convince a woman that abortion is not selfish.

     There is a school of thought (or something) called ecofeminism. I think the gist of it is that men rape women and rape the Earth too. Hard core leftists are basically Gnostics who hate the material world.

    I’ve taught environmental science twice. The first time lead me to becoming skeptical of the claims of the envrionmental left. The second time I tried to focus on the pure science of ecology and the history of environmental legislation, without saying what my personal opinions were. I did emphasize that the growth of the human population is slowing, and also that the population boom of the last hundred or so years was due to declining death rates, not due to too many babies being born. I think we’re now approaching our biological limits in longevity, which explains why the growth rate is declining.

    • #37
    • April 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm
  8. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    Rare footage of Margaret Sanger in 1947 calling for a complete 10-year moratorium on anybody having babies, at all:

    • #38
    • April 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm
  9. Profile photo of Kim K. Member

    Those predictions explain a lot about people who grew up in the ’70’s. That and the clothes!

    Reminds me of one of the first office jobs I had. One of the “girls” was putting stamps on the outgoing mail and asked who Rachel Carson, the person on the stamps, was. No one had heard of her so we said Rachel Carson must have been the person who designed the stamp.

    • #39
    • April 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm
  10. Profile photo of Yeah...ok. Inactive

    Misthiocracy:

    Rare footage of Margaret Sanger in 1947 calling for a complete 10-year moratorium on anybody having babies, at all:

     Save those videos of Al Gore.

    • #40
    • April 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm
  11. Profile photo of Yudansha Member

    Yeah…ok.:

    Misthiocracy:

    Rare footage of Margaret Sanger in 1947 calling for a complete 10-year moratorium on anybody having babies, at all:

    Save those videos of Al Gore.

    Ugh. I nominate you.

    • #41
    • April 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm
  12. Profile photo of Yeah...ok. Inactive

    What are they going to do when it turns out quantitative easing caused more harm than greenhouse gas?

    • #42
    • April 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm
  13. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Reading these predictions I thought of nothing but communist countries fit the bill; North Korea, Cuba, Barry’s America….

    • #43
    • April 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm
  14. Profile photo of Yudansha Member

    Yeah…ok.:

    What are they going to do when it turns out quantitative easing caused more harm than greenhouse gas?

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U7rOUSvYM8

    This. 

    • #44
    • April 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm
  15. Profile photo of dicentra Inactive

    When some Christian schlub thinks he’s figured out when Jesus is returning, and the day comes and goes without Jesus, he loses face.

    Even Coast-to-Coast AM goes over the previous year’s predictions (on New Year’s Eve) and give each a yea or nay depending on its accuracy. (Oddly enough, Full Disclosure has not happened, nor has there been a UFO sighting so obvious and universal that everyone is forced to become a UFOlogist, even though that’s predicted every year.)

    But these freaks just keep going and going and going. Prager is right: being on the Left means never having to say you’re sorry.

    • #45
    • April 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  16. Profile photo of dicentra Inactive

    Yeah…ok.: What are they going to do when it turns out quantitative easing caused more harm than greenhouse gas?

    We’ll never know. The Internet will have collapsed and all gloating will return to earshot-distance only.

    • #46
    • April 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm
  17. Profile photo of Joker Member

    Absolutely certain and absolutely wrong. No different from snake oil salesmen before them and no different from today’s alarmists.
    Am I jealous because I could never get away with that on the job, much less get ahead?
    Yogi was right.

    • #47
    • April 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm
  18. Profile photo of Matt White Member

    dicentra:

    When some Christian schlub thinks he’s figured out when Jesus is returning, and the day comes and goes without Jesus, he loses face.

    Even Coast-to-Coast AM goes over the previous year’s predictions (on New Year’s Eve) and give each a yea or nay depending on its accuracy. (Oddly enough, Full Disclosure has not happened, nor has there been a UFO sighting so obvious and universal that everyone is forced to become a UFOlogist, even though that’s predicted every year.)

    But these freaks just keep going and going and going. Prager is right: being on the Left means never having to say you’re sorry.

     
    Actually, when a someone claims he’s figured out when Jesus is returning he’s identified himself as a false teacher. No need to wait for the date. 

    • #48
    • April 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm
  19. Profile photo of Jennifer Johnson Inactive

    This is so great, Jon. Thanks for compiling those quotes.

    • #49
    • April 23, 2014 at 10:02 am
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