The End of the World Ain't What It Used To Be
By the way, here's what the leftists and environmentalists were predicting for us over the years:
Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let's look at some
environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget
writes Walter E. Williams on TownHall.
At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969,
environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now
stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for
C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling
since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be
In 1968, professor Paul Ehrlich, former Vice President
Al Gore's hero and mentor, predicted that there would be a major food shortage
in the U.S. and "in the 1970s . . . hundreds of millions of people are going to
starve to death."
Ehrlich forecast that 65 million Americans would die of
starvation between 1980 and 1989, and that by 1999 the U.S. population would
have declined to 22.6 million.
Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier: "If I were a gambler, I
would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."
In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning that the world
would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and
petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992.
Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book "The Doomsday Book," said Americans were
using 50% of the world's resources and "by 2000 they (Americans) will, if
permitted, be using all of them."
In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, "The World
as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000."
Harvard biologist George Wald in 1970 warned,
"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken
against problems facing mankind." That was the same
year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look magazine, that by 1995 "somewhere
between 75% and 85% of all the species of living animals will be
It's not just latter-day doomsayers who have been wrong; doomsayers have
always been wrong.
In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that there was "little or no
chance" of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said
the same about Kansas and Texas.
In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies
would last only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said
the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight.
Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S.
Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural
gas. The fact of the matter, according to the American Gas Association: There's
a 1,000- to 2,500- year supply.
Here are my questions:
In 1970, when environmentalists were making predictions of man-made global
cooling and the threat of an ice age and millions of Americans starving to
death, what kind of government policy should we have undertaken to prevent such
When Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist in the year 2000, what
steps should the British Parliament have taken in 1970 to prevent such a dire
In 1939, when the Department of the Interior warned that we only had oil
supplies for another 13 years, what actions should President Roosevelt have
Finally, what makes us think that environmental
alarmism is any more correct now that they have switched their tune to man-made
Here are a few facts:
More than 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in
Earth's atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth's average temperature
would be zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Most climate change is a result of the orbital eccentricities of Earth and
variations in the sun's output. On top of that, natural wetlands produce more
greenhouse-gas contributions annually than all human sources combined.