Today I figured readers might like to see some, just some, of the fatuous environmental predictions made by worry-worts and misanthropic headline-hunting doomsayers.
- Britain's industrial growth will come to a halt because its coal reserves are running out “… it is useless to think of substituting any other kind of fuel for coal... some day our coal seams [may] be found emptied to the bottom, and swept clean like a coal-cellar. Our fires and furnaces ... suddenly extinguished, and cold and darkness ... left to reign over a depopulated country."
--Economist William Stanley Jevons, writing in 1865
- Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in
; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India , India , Pakistan and the China 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, a professor at
. Spring 1970 issue of ‘The Living Wilderness.’ North Texas State University
- …some scientists estimate that the world's known supplies of oil, tin, copper, and aluminium will be used up within your lifetime.
--1990s school textbook The United States and Its People, quoted by Ronald Bailey in testimony to US House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources,
Feb 4, 2004
- The period of global food security is over. As the demand for food continues to press against supply, inevitably real food prices will rise. The question no longer seems to be whether they will rise, but how much.
--Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown, 1981
- The world's farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to the world's population.
-- Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown, State of the World Report, 1994
- The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population.
—Reid Bryson, “Global Ecology;
towards a rational strategy for Man”, (1971) Readings
- The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
—Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (Ballantine Books 1968)
- I would take even money that
will not exist in the year 2000. England
—Paul Ehrlich in (1969)
- In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
—Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
- Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1976)
- There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon… The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologist are hard-pressed to keep up with it… This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.
--Science writer Peter Gwynne writing in ‘The Cooling World,’ ‘Newsweek’ magazine,
April 28, 1975
- This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000.
—Lowell Ponte in his book The Cooling, 1976 (which was endorsed by US Senator Claiborne Pell and current Bush adviser on global warming Stephen Schneider)
- If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. … This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.
—Kenneth E.F. Watt on air pollution and global cooling, speaking on Earth Day 1970. Watt is Editor in Chief, Encyclopedia of Human Ecology Advisory Board Member, Center for the Study of CO2 and Climate Change
- Indeed, when we wake up 20 years from now and find that the
Atlantic Oceanis just outside , because the polar icecaps are melting, we may look back at this pivotal election. Washington, D.C.
--New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, writing in NY Times,
Dec 8, 2000.
- Frostban -- a harmless bacteria genetically engineered to protect plants from freezing temperatures -- "could irreversibly affect worldwide climate and precipitation patterns over a long, long period of time.
-- Founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeremy Rifkin, 1986
- The economic impact of BIV (Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus) on the beef and dairy industries is likely to be devastating in the years to come.
--Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef 1992
- Biotech crops will "run amok"; they will create "super bugs"; they will lead to farmers using "greater quantities of herbicides."
--Jeremy Rifkin, 1999
- The use of biotechnology might "risk a fatal interruption of millions of years of evolutionary development? Might not the artificial creation of life spell the end of the natural world? ... cause irreversible damage to the biosphere, making genetic pollution an even greater threat to the planet than nuclear or petrochemical pollution?”
-- Jeremy Rifkin, The Biotech Century 1999
- Current estimates that a flu pandemic could infect 20% of the world's population and cause 7.5 million deaths are "among the more optimistic predictions of how the next pandemic might unfold.”
--Osterhaus et al. Nature May 2005
- The next flu pandemic could kill as many as 150 million people.
--Dr. David Nabarro. WHO spokesman Sept 2005.
- As many as 142 million people around the world could die if bird flu turns into a "worst case" influenza pandemic and global economic losses could run to $4.4 trillion - the equivalent of wiping out the entire Japanese economy for a year.
--Report entitled Global Macroeconomic Consequences of Pandemic Influenza, from the Lowy Institute in
. Feb 2006. Australia
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