I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard some things about Earth Day that I just couldn’t bes listening to the radio yesterday and heard some things about Earth Day that I just couldn'lieve. Yesterday was “Earth Day”, something that has been “celebrated” since 1970 and was, at least partially, conceived by hippie leader turned convicted murderer Ira Einhorn. Things were simpler then. The average price of a home was $26,600 and gas was at 36 cents a gallon. And the Earth, while certainly having its share of pollution, was moving along as it always does.
Of course, the late 60s and early 70s were when the big environmental push came along. People began wondering if the Earth could continue to sustain life if humans continued to pollute it. I remember writing a term paper in 6th or 7th grade about air pollution and how terrible it was. (I wasn’t an environmentalist by any means. I just needed something to write about that was current.) I don’t even remember what it said but I know that the research I did and the predictions made in the various articles I read never happened. Thus the point of today’s post.
The following predictions were made by scientists and environmentalists on the first Earth Day in 1970. They’re pretty wild. Forty-three years later some people are still predicting gloom and doom for the Earth, from climate change to the end of civilization. But air pollution, for the most part, has been reduced and the climate change people keep having to change their predictions. (They started by saying we were headed toward another ice age, then changed that to global warming, and now have settled for “climate change” because it pretty much covers anything without being specific. Ah, but don’t disbelieve it because you’ll be scorned by those who believe in the (ever contradicting) “science.”
Here are some of the amazing (and ridiculous) predictions made on Earth Day, 1970:
"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." — Harvard biologist George Wald
"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
"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
"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
"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, Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology
"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation," — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
"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
"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
"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
"Air pollution...is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone." — Paul Ehrlich
"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
"[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
"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
This is why I don’t get too worried about climate change, etc. Scientists and environmentalists have been predicting gloom and doom for over 40 years and yet, the Earth goes on and has actually gotten better in many respects. My prediction is that people will kill each other long before the Earth is incapable of sustaining life. After all – God made the Earth and made it pretty self-sustaining, regardless of what people do to it. Unless, of course, one day we blow it up.