Earth Day Predictions from 1970

From I Hate the Media, here are actual quotes from the first celebration of Lenin’s Birthday back in 1970.

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

“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

“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, Stanford University biologist

“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.” — Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“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

“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

Ok, Ehrlich was sorta right on this, if you restrict his predictions to modern Communist China, where they are showing the typical communist/socialist contempt for the environment.

“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

Now we get to my personal favorite, although probably not Al Gore‘s…
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “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

More on the subject over at Reason Magazine.

Remember kids, Environmentalism Good, Watermelons Bad!

FYI, Watermelon: Thin layer of Green on the outside, Red to the Core!

Update: Thanks for Link Love from Rain in the Doorway, Ed Driscoll, Moe Lane, Atomic Fungus and the Blogonomicon.

Update: I just had to add this link to a very snarky list of thing to do in order to celebrate Lenin’s Birthday!

11 thoughts on “Earth Day Predictions from 1970”

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  4. Meh.

    These predictions didn’t come true in part because activists, many inspired by Earth Day, worked to change things. The beginnings of the clean water act came about in 1972 and the Endangered Species act was passed in 1973. Plus there were advancements in agricultural technology and management that forestalled famine.

    How would the world look today without the environmental movement?

    Sometimes you need to make dire predictions to spur action.

  5. Thaddeus W. Taylor

    Predictions from the past are always good for a laugh. The sad part is how people keep putting predictions out there and other people take them seriously.
    Long term weather forcast programs don’t work. The computer models are always wrong. Global warming has been going on since the last ice age. Someday it will end.

  6. “Global Warming” is environmentism hijacked by socialists to steal money from the middle class of the first world and pass it to rich dictators in the third world.

    Given that the most common historical weather pattern for most of North America is be under a few kilometers of glacial ice, I’m personally really glad that we are in an interglacial period. The AGW cultists have it backwards, warm periods have been historically periods of growth and expanded food production. It’s the cold periods that are really dangerous.

    I wonder if Will will be willing to give credit to the President who founded the EPA? Given the doom and gloom spouted on the first celebration of Lenin’s birthday, it was already too late. Those famines were going to happen, the oil was going to run out and over population was going to turn the rest of the survivors into roving bands of cannibals fleeing the oncoming glaciers.

    In fact we *do* know what the world would like today without the environmental movement. Just take a look at Communist China, the former Soviet Union and its former client states. The communists committed environmental atrocities on a grand scale. As someone who was invited on the Clearwater for his environmental activities, I’m still sickened by what those leftist dictatorships did to the only planet we currently have to live on. What they left was bad, but not nearly as bad as the doom & gloom preached at the first celebration of Lenin’s birthday.

    Environmentalists I understand and have common ground with, being one myself. Watermelons who buy into junk science to promote leftist political agendas get all the contempt they deserve.

  7. “These predictions didn’t come true in part because activists, many inspired by Earth Day, worked to change things. The beginnings of the clean water act came about in 1972 and the Endangered Species act was passed in 1973. Plus there were advancements in agricultural technology and management that forestalled famine.”

    The post didn’t say a single thing about water supplies, nor endangered species, so those are straw man arguments.

    As for advancements in agricultural technology — that has FAR more to do with Big Corporations looking to make money (by selling those technological advances) than it does with activists.

  8. Pingback: Happy Lenin’s birthday (a.k.a “Earth Day”) : Urbin Report

  9. Pingback: Happy Lenin’s Birthday! : Urbin Report

  10. Pingback: Happy Lenin’s Birthday! : Urbin Report

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