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BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970

Jack the Sailor 22 Apr 13 - 03:13 PM
Rapparee 22 Apr 13 - 03:22 PM
pdq 22 Apr 13 - 03:28 PM
beardedbruce 22 Apr 13 - 03:34 PM
pdq 22 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM
beardedbruce 22 Apr 13 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 22 Apr 13 - 03:50 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Apr 13 - 03:50 PM
beardedbruce 22 Apr 13 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 22 Apr 13 - 04:07 PM
Ebbie 22 Apr 13 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 22 Apr 13 - 04:45 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Apr 13 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Apr 13 - 05:45 PM
Bill D 22 Apr 13 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 23 Apr 13 - 10:00 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Apr 13 - 10:10 AM

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Subject: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:13 PM

Unintentionally funny article IMHO

Behold the coming apocalypse as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

    "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." — Harvard biologist George Wald
    "We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation." — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
    "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
    "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." — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
    "Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [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
    "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." — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
    "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
    "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." — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
    "Air pollution...is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone." — Paul Ehrlich
    "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.'" — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
    "[One] theory assumes that the earth's cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun's heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born." — Newsweek magazine
    "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


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:22 PM

"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind."
                         — Harvard biologist George Wald

I'd go along with that if we'd been civilized to begin with.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: pdq
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:28 PM

"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."


I have been pointing out that predictions are not science on every Global Warming thread for years. Scare tactics are all they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:34 PM

" "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." — Ecologist Kenneth Watt"



And we are supposed to take "ecologist" seriously????????????



Anybody here know what air consists of?


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: pdq
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM

"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.'" ~   Ecologist Kenneth Watt


Now there is a flashback.

Anyone remember gas station attendants? Free maps? Promotional steak knives? Smiles?


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:39 PM

For those here that care about reality...

Hard to imagine that NITROGEN BUILDUP will cause the atmosphere to become non-transparent to the solar spectrum.


"Air is a mixture of gases - 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen - with traces of water vapor, carbon dioxide, argon, and various other components. Air is usually modeled as a uniform (no variation or fluctuation) gas with properties averaged from the individual components."

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-composition-d_212.html


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:50 PM

"...an unpopular war, endless political scandals and a faltering economy."

Well, that part hasn't changed much at least.

-G


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:50 PM

Chill out Bruce, I think he was probably referring to nitrous oxides, which were a big problem at the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:54 PM

See atmospheric composition...


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:07 PM

Dr. Watt was a respected ecologist at the time. His work is still quoted extensively by people on both sides of the climate change argument, which I find amusing.
To me, the thing is, how can you live through multiple(!) decades of doomsday prophecy (each decade having its own bogeyman, of course) without building up at least a little skepticism about the scare-du-jour? I'm all for wise stewardship of our resources, but a little sanity would be nice on both sides.
-G


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:28 PM

I'm never quite sure where the point of contention begins. Is it the argument that global warming is not occurring? Or is it that it is occurring but that Man has little or nothing to do with it?


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:45 PM

Or that it is occurring and man has much to do with it, but that it is in fact a Positive Good?

(Don't skewer me, I'm not making that assertion, but I've heard it.)

For my part, the contention is that one is looked at askance for allowing that there may be any contention at all. In the light of decades of revision, re-evaluation, recanting and recalculating -- which is after all what good science has always done and always should do -- a little humility would be reasonable. But when science gets hijacked by politics (on both sides!!) this gets replaced by the attitude that we've got it incontrovertably, inarguably by-god Right this time.

The whole conversation is so poisoned now, that I suppose we'll have to wait another 43 years to know which set of pronouncements to snicker at (if not both).

Peace
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:13 PM

I think that a few of those predictions were disasters averted by action triggered by those very warnings.

Others like the Fuel crisis were averted by new drilling and exploration technologies, smaller cars and higher prices.

When the principle pollutants were particulate matter, global cooling may have been a concern. Now that most air pollution is CO2, it is another story.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM

Well, a lot of action was taken, and a lot of stuff was cleaned up. Was the case overstated? It's possible, but we don't know. We've expanded our food producing capabilities greatly, so the "Population Bomb" stuff seems a bit off base. However, that food production requires a great deal of petroleum and other energy to support, and it's not clear how long we can sustain it.

We have a lot more people now than we did in 1970, and a lot of the problems that come from overcrowding and competition for resources are starting to appear. However skeptical one might be of the latest doomesday prophecies, it would be foolish not to take these issues seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:45 PM

Did the Chinese have the "one child" policy then?

The thing about Over-population in any species is that it always corrects its self in the long run.

Chemical fertilizers will no doubt be replaced by nitrogen fixing GMOs Welcome to the brave new world version 2.0.


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 06:23 PM

"The thing about Over-population in any species is that it always corrects its self in the long run.

Yep... it certainly does.... and the Earth will not support 19 trillion people. We are theoretically capable of monitoring and controlling our own self-correction. Unfortunately, this would require ummmm.... cooperation... and decisions that some will dispute. "Who me? Limit MY procreation?"

Detailed predictions about how & when various resources will be seriously depleted are often off the mark. We are clever enough to stretch and change and redesign. What is NOT in doubt is that there are limits.

To me, the important point is that it is not just finding out how many people can be kept alive for how long, but rather that when we get near the limits, it will not be pleasant! I am old enough now to have some perspective on the changes... both since the original Earth Day (I was working for EPA at the time!) and since the 1940s- with stories of earlier times and research to help me understand the relevance.

I was told in the early 50s that "The oceans will feed the Earth".... Ask the Japanese how many Bluefin tuna they can find now, or the fishermen who used to go out to the Grand Banks and fill their boats... or those in the Pacific Northwest how the salmon runs are going if THEY see any changes.

Pardon me if I seem cynical when some take flaws in detailed predictions to mean "it's all ok."


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 10:00 AM

Bill: "I was told in the early 50s that "The oceans will feed the Earth"...."

As I recall, that was about the predicted commercial development of plankton and algae and stuff, becoming the raw material of all sorts of human food. But the reality is that never happened on any real scale, and humans just went on skimming off the top of the food chain like we always have (it's easier, and biologically we're predators with the predator's instinct to take the path of least effort).

There probably is enough biomass in the oceans to sustainably feed a huge global population, but eating off the top of the food chain is not the way to utilize it.

"Pardon me if I seem cynical when some take flaws in detailed predictions to mean 'it's all ok.'"

Oh, I agree, it's definitely not all ok. I just think there should be healthy skepticism of authoritative pronouncements on either side.

-Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: 13 worst Earth Day Predictions 1970
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 10:10 AM

I don't hold much hope for global cooperation. We can't even agree on allocation of medical resources between counties or convince the State legislatures to stop forcing regular landowners to subsidize the roads to and insurance on McMansions built on hurricane prone sand bars.


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