Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Botched Predictions

In this time of dire warnings about global warming and the State of Florida being submerged I thought it would be interesting to remind ourselves of prior dire warnings by people who were considered to be experts at the time.

1) Within a few years "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event."

This prediction was made by Dr David Viner, Senior Research Scientist at the climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in March 2000. Have you guys up in Canada forgotten what snow is?

2) "[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers."

This was predicted by Michael Oppenheimer, director of Princeton University's Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy in 1990. In fact rainfall has increased slightly since 1990. I believe the Platte River is flooding right now.

3) "Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.

This was predicted by the Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1972. As of last month, the Arctic Ocean had 3.82 million square miles of ice cover -- an area larger than the continental United States -- according to The National Snow and Ice Data Center.

4) "Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010." Associated Press, May 15, 1989.

The average temperature in the United States has risen less than 0.5 degrees.

5) "By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half." Life magazine, January 1970.

Air quality has actually improved since 1970.

6) "If present trends continue, the world will be ... 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, in "Earth Day," 1970.

I guess "present trends" didn't continue.

7) "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

People actually took this guy seriously when he made this prediction.

8) "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." Ehrlich, speech during Earth Day, 1970.

I was at the beach today and it smelled pretty good to me. I also noticed that they're still selling Tuna and Salmon for pretty low prices so I know there are some important animal life left in the ocean.

I just don't understand how anyone can take these people seriously with their doom and gloom predictions.

When Mr. Fahrenheit came up with what we now know as the Fahrenheit temperature scale he wanted all practical uses of temperature measurement to fall in between 0 and 100. He chose 0 to be the freezing point of blood and 100 was the temperature of a sick cow.


Lisa said...

Interesting. I don't caught up in all that doom and gloom prediction stuff.

Peter and Mandy said...

Those are funny. I like the trivia too. How warm is a healthy cow?

Lynn said...

yeah, I agree. I am only going to pay attention to what the President of the church says over the pulpit. I'll move when he says it's time to move. ; D So far no gloom and doom there. In fact, just the opposite.

Dad said...

Those folks sure have a good track record. Im looking at the last couple of weeks, snow storms in the Mid West, New York and Southern Ont.,one location 5ft in 48hrs, Florida freezing. Our ski hill on Vancouver Island had a 560cm base 2wks ago.--- We sure are getting warmer.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Great collection! From what I have learned people should never be so definite when it comes to science. I mean heck, when I was growing up Pluto was a planet....ha.