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Apocalypse Now!

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest” – Napoleon Bonaparte

In 1970 a movement gained traction where it had been building up power for some time.  It was then that the environmental movement became more than a fringe segment of the social populous.  Their pushes in the 60’s finally brought fruit, and that fruit would be handed out generously in campuses, legislatures, and businesses across the country (all without pesticides).

There were some rightful motions set in place during this time such as pollution fines for corporations, but not all were so legitimate.  Climate change, for instance, was quick to fall off the lips of most environmentalists, but it was the coming “Ice Age” that we feared.  Time Magazine published a story in 1974 titled, Another Ice Age.  In it they said,

However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Life magazine quoted “many qualified experts” and dismissed any skeptics due to “solid experimental and theoretical evidence” to support the following predictions in their Jan 30, 1970 issue.

In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution

-In the early 1980’s air pollution combined with a temperature inversion will kill thousands in some U.S. city

-By 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.

-In the 1980s a major ecological system – soil or water – will break down somewhere in the U.S. New diseases that humans cannot resist will reach plague proportions.

– Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will affect the earth’s temperature, leading to mass flooding or a new ice age.

-Rising noise levels will cause more hearth disease and hearing loss.  Sonic booms from SSTs will damage children before birth.

Ice caps were growing, seas were cooling, ecological systems are failing, the air wasn’t breathable, the sunlight was fading, the cold air was causing drought which led to famine!  This global cooling, combined with our outrageous population growth was about to hit the fan and we needed to do something quick.  The panic was on.  Ronald Bailey from captured the alarm well in his piece, “Earth Day, Then and Now”.

Earth Day 1970 provoked a torrent of apocalyptic predictions. “We have about five more years at the outside to do something,” ecologist Kenneth Watt declared to a Swarthmore College audience on April 19, 1970. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment. The day after Earth Day, even the staid New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

Surely these individuals, these “qualified experts” making these predictions would have been cast outside the population like mental lepers, right?  Wrong; most were lifted into lofty positions of respect.  They are still quoted today and considered “well respected”.

The ecologist Kenneth Watt would go on to make such claims like, “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” and “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.” He would inspire a whole generation of ecologists to push for environmental rights.

George Wald would go on to get speaking invitations at almost every prestigious university across the globe, and advised Mikhail Gorbachev on environmental matters.  Wald made a great impact in the world of medicine, but sadly failed miserably in his judgment of politics and environmentalism.  He firmly believed that without worldwide abortion and contraceptives that the world would be overpopulated within the generation. Though his wild predictions were obviously off, he died believing them.  In a 1994 interview with Boston College he, with the knowledge that his previous calculations were off, declared, “When it is said nowadays that we are in the grip of hysteria with regard to environmental problems, I wish it were true…Unfortunately, experts are convinced that the threat to the environment is all too real”.  Doesn’t that sound familiar?  Environmental experts, like weather men, are often quoted, but rarely proven reliable.

Barry Commoner ran for President in 1980 after founding his political “Citizens Party” based almost entirely on a system of socialism and ecological extremism.  He started the party because he found Carter too moderate.  After his failed attempts he was hired on at Queens University as a senior scientist, became a member of American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

In 1970 Dr. S Dillon Ripley said that within 15 to 30 years “somewhere between 75 and 85% of all the species of living animals will be extinct.  He went on to have a building in the Smithsonian named after him and received honorary degrees from Brown, Yale, Harvard, John Hopkins and Cambridge.

In an interview with mademoiselle magazine in 1970, Paul Ehrlich foretold, “In 1973, 200,000 Americans would die from air pollution, and by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans will be 42 years.”  Large words from a butterfly expert, but this entomologist would become one of the most famous environmentalists in the world; the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford.

He’s best known for his book “The Population Bomb” which starts out, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”.  His course of action to deal with this overpopulation was to “have population control at home, hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail. We must use our political power to push other countries into programs which combine agricultural development and population control.”

In 2004, Ehrlich was interviewed and when questioned about his false predictions he said, “My basic claims (and those of the many scientific colleagues who reviewed my work) were that population growth was a major problem. Fifty-eight academies of science said that same thing in 1994, as did the world scientists’ warning to humanity in the same year. My view has become depressingly mainline.” Unfortunately, he’s correct.  Those “experts” have come out to somehow support the basic principles behind Ehrlich’s obviously false forecasts.  These are the same individuals who now advise our politicians or even hold high offices capable of implementing policies.

This is the problem.  If a religious zealot makes doomsday predictions about the world ending we mock them.  When their prediction falls flat they are rightfully mocked and eventually ignored.  Their line to a higher power is obviously not as clear as they thought and their credit is brought into disrepute.  If you make such claims within the ecological/environmental world and they turn out untrue then you are given professorships and honorary degrees.  You presumably become part of a group commonly referred to as “experts”, who seemingly always agree.  When May 21st passed by without a heavenly rapture, the media lit up in mockery of its predictor.  When the 80’s survived without an ice age or mass death in the streets of America, the media made them expert references.

Two years ago in an interview, Ehrlich said that his book “The Population Bomb” was “way too optimistic”. The interview was for The Earth Island Journal, and the title of the interview, “Paul Ehrlich, the Vindication of a Public Scholar”.  Denial, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t a dried up river in the pestilence ridden land of Egypt.


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  • Steve Dennis June 2, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    Great post, they keep pushing this on us year after year while changing the terms to fit what is happening in the environment at the time. But now they are teashing our children in the schools that this is real and if we are not on guard a whole generation will grow up not understanding the truth about this movement. Today many people do not remember the big “ice age” scare so they don’t realize that these people have been at this so long and have been changing the argument over the years.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Barack Obama’s Commerce Department nominee admits that cap and trade is a hidden taxMy Profile

  • RightHandMan
    RightHandMan June 2, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    It’s quite annoying Steve. My child went to Kindergarten in a public school and was fed Earth Day junk every few weeks. She would come home with things to “teach us”, about how to save the planet, refrain from using non-biodegradable substances, etc. My kindergarten daughter understood the term “global warming” as something that will come if we don’t stop polluting. It’s a religion that is being preached from an early age…and most people write it off as cute and harmless. *scoff*

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire June 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    These are truly dangerous people. They will ride whatever Alinsky lie that works. When one lie stops working they just change to another lie. And, of course, they have the support of the MSM.
    Jim at Conservatives on Fire recently posted..Death Panels are NICE – ReallyMy Profile

  • RightHandMan
    RightHandMan June 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    They’re legitimized by the MSM and academia. It doesn’t matter if none of their stupid theories come true, the king makers give them their blessing.

  • John Galt June 2, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Al Gore missed becoming the leader of the most powerful nation on earth by a few thousand votes, and when he did we thought that we had ducked a bullet. But we didn’t.
    We now have an environmentalist in power with ten times more dubiousness than poor Al, and more dangerous, for he sees energy policies as a means to political power, while all Al wants is to make some easy bucks.
    John Galt recently posted..The Donkey That Played the Flute – Part IMy Profile

  • Infidel de Manahatta June 2, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    I wish these experts would make up their so-called minds. Global cooling? Global warming? Overpopulation? I think it’s time to create a new drinking game. Every time an “expert” predicts environmental catastrophe we all take a shot. No wait, that might lead to a shortage of whiskey. Now that would be a catastrophe.
    Infidel de Manahatta recently posted..Chewbacca Confirms Rumors- Yes- I’m Gay!My Profile

  • fleeceme June 2, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    If these charlatans would ever deign to use their enormous IQ’s to solving real environmental problems, like, say….working towards a system to accurately and timely predict tornadoes or earthquakes, they could save a helluva a lot more lives than their failed doomsday predictions ever could. But, methinks their is a lot more money in the false religion of Gaia.

  • Tony Fernandez June 2, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    The only environmentalism I follow is libertarian environmentalism. It is based purely on property rights whereby those who are polluted upon get to sue those who pollute (good luck doing that today). This is the only way to handle pollution as any government solution is more than prone to corruption.
    Tony Fernandez recently posted..The Double Dip is Upon UsMy Profile

  • Matt June 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    I’m just waiting for the next big narrative change. When theories fail, they just reboot them with altered terminology, and go on as if they haven’t failed miserably.
    Matt recently posted..Beck wins Again- Socialist Admits Cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood in “Arab Spring”My Profile

  • Apocalypse Now! June 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

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