With yesterday’s withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord, I thought it might be nice to have a quick guide to just how well climate doom predictions have gone over the last 50 years or so. These are just the highlights. I left out things like the U.S. coastline being scoured to seafloor by hurricanes and the interior being destroyed by tornadoes.
|A Short History Of A Failed Philosophy
|How It Turned Out
|DDT Would Destroy The Ecology
|Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring triggered the move to over regulate pesticides and in particular banning DDT. How did it turn out ? Well we use more pesticides now than we have ever before, the big threat to birds these days are Windmills and most people are living longer than ever. Negative Results: Deaths in third world countries are estimated in the 10s of millions from diseases carried by insects
|Paul Ehrlich’s prediction of Malthusian apocalypse for humanity. Overpopulation was predicted to exhaust all the earths resources, and completely exhaust our ability to feed ourselves. If we were lucky by that far future decade of the 1980s we would be living in a Mad Max desert scrabbling for buried canned goods. How’d that one turn out ? Well I see people trying to lose weight all over the place, and I have made a hobby of ordering foods I have never tried from strange places.
|Don’t let them snow you this was a real unreal thing. During the 70s and early 80s there were widespread predictions of a coming ice age* and we would all be moving south or living under glaciers. This was a bad prediction but a good look at how the greens use scare stories. Carl Sagan was one of the proponents of the original idea which he expanded into his Nuclear Winter scenario. The goal was to force disarmament on the U.S.
|Limits To Growth
|Resource exhaustion: Collapse of world civilization by mid 21st century. Give them credit the people that came up with this one made sure they would never be called on it. 45 years in though it doesn’t look good. We have actually had several collapses in the price of basic commodities due to oversupply since the book was written. The U.S. is well on it’s way to being energy independent again (thank you fracking) and we are still eating more than we should and exercising not as much as we should
|Global Warming, climate change, man bear pig, is the follow up scare story to global cooling. This time around literally hundreds of predictions are being made. A cynic would characterize this a strategic decision to prevent it from being discredited. How has it done ? Well we have had no warming for nearly the past 20 years. (Well excepting that which comes from adjusting the temperature record up)
|West Side Highway Under Water
|NASA’s James Hansen made this bold prediction while not monkeying with air conditioning back in the 80’s. The west side highway and much of Manhattan would be under water within either 20 or 40 years. Well it’s well past 20 years and getting near the 40 year mark and Manhattan still isn’t underwater
|Predictions that climate change/global warming would cause of much of the world to become desert and unable to support human or plant life. Hows that one going ? Turns out the world is getting greener. CO2 that horrible pollutant turns out is really popular with the green and leafy set.
|No More Snow
|In 2000 Senior research scientist David Viner at the English Climate Research unit predicted that within a “Few Years” there would be no more snow in the UK. Uhmm nope.
|No More Ice
|Take your pick where on this one. The Arctic, the Antarctic, Greenland have all been predicted to be imminently ice free. (Usually when someone is trying to push an environmental program/regulation). So far if you are in any of those places expect no trouble getting ice for your drinks.
|In 2005 the United Nations Environmental Programme predicted their would be 50 million refugees from coastal countries by 2010. Rising seas would make their countries disappear. Turns out UNEP wound up working overtime to make this prediction disappear.
*Technically we are in an ice age, and that would be a glacial period