Sunday, May 01, 2011

Happy Belated Earth Day!

Ah shucks, I missed celebrating Earth Day again. At least this year I have the excuse that April 22d commemorates a much more important event Any way here is a list of 15 predictions from the first Earth Day:

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” • George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

The 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, Stanford University biologist

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.” Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“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….”
Life Magazine, January 1970

“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.” •

Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“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.” • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”

Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

“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.’”

Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“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, the day after the first Earth Day

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

Sen. Gaylord Nelson

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“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, Ecologist

From an article by Ronald Baily in the May 2000 issue of Reason which is still an excellent discussion of the issues. The quotes were selected by I hate the Media. HT: Duff and Nonsense

Interestingly several of the quotes are from the (in)famous Paul Erlich who authored the influential “The Population Bomb” predicting massive disasters if we did not institute population control. He is often criticized because his prophesies failed to come true. But is this a surprise? When I was an undergrad the Department, in it’s never ending quest to teach research skills, would send students to the library to check the documentation of books that were popular that year. One of them that year was Paul Erich’s “The Population Bomb”. Result. There was no correlation between “facts” he reported and the numbers in the standard reference works. Often by a magnitude of 10. Garbage in - Garbage Out!

But on a more serious note, while I am sure none of these self appointed groups would intentionally support genocide or mass murder as a means of population control to make more living space for themselves, perhaps at a sub-conscious level it is a contributor to the weak international response to incidents like Rwanda and Dafur.

Earth Day 40
Climate Change Schandenfreude
Imagne: I agree with John Lennon
2007 Year of Global Warming
A Very Inconvient Court Ruling
Warmmonger Considered for Peace Prize
State Police Blows Up Global Warming
Recycle Now
Never Again and Again and Again

Environment Toipic
Genocide/Democide Toipic

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