1) Earth Day At 50: None Of The Eco-Doomsday Predictions Have Come True
Ron Stein, 22 April 2020
From predicting ecological collapse and the end of civilization to warnings that the world is running out of oil, all environmental doomsday predictions of the first Earth Day in 1970 have turned out to be flat out wrong.
More than three decades before Greta Thunberg was born — the Swedish environmental activist on climate change — more than 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.
We now look back at quotes from Earth Day, Then and Now,” by Ronald Bailey of the spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions from Earth Day 1970.
Considering the current doomsday predictions scaremonger activists are verbalizing about global warming that will result in the demise of civilization within the next decade, many of those unscientific 1970 predictions are being reincarnated on today’s social and news media outlets.
Many of the same are being regurgitated today, but the best prediction from the first earth day five decades ago, yes 50 years ago, was that the “the pending ice age as earth had been cooling since 1950 and that the temperature would be 11 degrees cooler by the year 2000”.
The 1970’s were a lousy decade. Embarrassing movies and dreadful music reflected the national doomsday mood following an unpopular war, endless political scandals, and a faltering economy.
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 — okay, “celebrated” doesn’t capture the funereal tone of the event. The events (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.
Behold the coming apocalypse as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:
1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
2. “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
3. “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
4. “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
5. “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
6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
7. “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
8. “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
9. “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
10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
11. “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
12. “[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
13. “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
History seems to repeat itself as there will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future–and the present–never looked so bleak. I guess we’ll need to critique the 2020 doomsday predictions in the year 2050 and see if they were any better than those from the first Earth Day 50 years ago.
This piece first appeared on CFACT.org
2) Happy Earth Day! Even After 50 Years Of Eco Scares, Brits Favour Economy Over Environment
Gaia Fawkes, 22 February 2020
In new polling that has been specially released on Earth Day, Ipsos MORI has found that the majority of the British public, along with the Indians, Russians, Aussies, and Americans agree with the statement that:
“Government should focus on helping the economy to recover first and foremost, even if that means taking some actions that are bad for the environment.”
Despite the clearly leading question, asking respondents to explicitly back their Government taking “actions that are bad for the environment” rather than more neutral phrasing such as not intervening as much to reduce carbon emissions, the economy still won.
The clearly disappointing Earth Day results were buried at the bottom of the press release…
Turns out that despite mass-environmentalist virtue-signalling, people care more about not being poor. Happy Earth Day.
3) EU May Shift Green Deal Funding Into White Deal For Healthcare
Dave Keating, Forbes, 22 April 2020
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has floated an idea: why not combine the green deal climate plan with a white deal for healthcare?
As EU national leaders prepare for a crucial video summit tomorrow on how to respond to the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus, about half the member countries are insisting that the EU Green Deal to fight climate change unveiled in December be the backbone of the strategy.
But given that the immediate healthcare needs of the outbreak are preoccupying most governments at the moment, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has floated an idea: why not combine the green deal climate plan with a white deal for healthcare?
“Certainly, the reserves in most countries have turned out to be too small in view of this pandemic,” she told Germany’s Focus magazine. “The identified deficits teach us that in future we will have to think differently about our health systems. That also applies to the amount of reserves for paying healthcare workers”.
The idea has been described as a “white deal” by German media in reference to the color associated with healthcare, although the president has not used the term herself.
Already EU governments have agreed to let countries which use the euro draw up to 2% of their GDP from the European Stability Mechanism, which has a €500 billion capacity, for healthcare spending. Like the green deal sets the framework for the huge amount of money ring-fenced for climate spending in the EU budget, so too could a white deal set the framework for the huge amount of healthcare spending now envisaged.
Von der Leyen has said the EU’s next long-term budget for 2021-2027, still not yet agreed, would be the framework for this healthcare spending.
4) New Paper: Systemic Misuse of Scenarios in Climate Research and Assessment
Roger Pielke Jr and Justin Ritchie, SSRN, 21 April 2020
The misuse of scenarios in climate research means that much of what we think we know about our collective climate future may be incomplete, myopic or even misleading or wrong, and as such, ‘uncomfortable knowledge’.”
Figure 5. The approach to RCP scenario development employed by the IPCC, firstproposed in IPCC (2005), showing the central role played by the IPCC from start tofinish.
Climate science research and assessments have misused scenarios for more than a decade. Symptoms of this misuse include the treatment of an unrealistic, extreme scenario as the world’s most likely future in the absence of climate policy and the illogical comparison of climate projections across inconsistent global development trajectories. Reasons why this misuse arose include (a) competing demands for scenarios from users in diverse academic disciplines that ultimately conflated exploratory and policy relevant pathways, (b) the evolving role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which effectively extended its mandate from literature assessment to literature coordination, (c) unforeseen consequences of employing a nuanced temporary approach to scenario development, (d) maintaining research practices that normalize careless use of scenarios in a vacuum of plausibility, and (e) the inherent complexity and technicality of scenarios in model-based research and in support of policy. As a consequence, the climate research community is presently off-track. Attempts to address scenario misuse within the community have thus far not worked. The result has been the widespread production of myopic or misleading perspectives on future climate change and climate policy. Until reform is implemented, we can expect the production of such perspectives to continue. However, because many aspects of climate change discourse are contingent on scenarios, there is considerable momentum that will make such a course correction difficult and contested – even as efforts to improve scenarios have informed research that will be included in the IPCC 6th Assessment.
5) Steve Milloy: Earth Day at 50: Progress, Not Politics, Cleaned Up America
Real Clear Politics, 21 April 2020
How did all this progress happen? As our society became wealthier, we could afford the luxury of paying more attention to our environment. That same wealth has made it possible to afford expensive laws and regulations and to afford scientific knowledge and technology development.
Environmental activists decreed in 1970 that April 22 was to be commemorated as Earth Day. Fifty years later, if you listen to these activists, especially as they are fog-horned by the mainstream media, you might get the impression that our environment is in more jeopardy than ever. Is this true?
Let’s stipulate that post-World War II America was much dirtier than 2020 America. Industrial cities were beset with smog. Pollution in rivers caught fire. Waste dumps weren’t always managed well. Not much thought was given to use and exposure to chemicals like pesticides. Litter was commonplace.
All that said, with the exception of three days in October 1948, when the weather trapped acrid factory emissions in the valley town of Donora, Pa., resulting in the deaths of 20 people, the environment was not an actual public health problem. Still the Donora tragedy propelled states and then the federal government to take action on the environment. Awareness of the value of environmental protection and the regulation of emissions were all underway by the time of the first Earth Day.
Over the decades we have made tremendous progress. Here are some examples to consider:
* Air pollution has declined dramatically.There is no chance of another Donora-like incident.
* Except for rare accidents like what occurred in Flint, Mich., drinking water is clean and safe.
* Except for stubborn surface water problems caused by runoff (as seen in the Gulf Mexico and Chesapeake Bay) surface water quality has dramatically improved. Any industrial discharges to surface water have been cleaner than the surface water itself for decades.
* There are no more uncontrolled toxic waste sites that threaten anyone’s health.
* Pesticides are thoroughly tested for safety before use and use is strictly regulated.
How did all this progress happen?
Environmentalists would like to take all the credit. But reality is more complex.
As our society became wealthier, we could afford the luxury of paying more attention to our environment. That same wealth has made it possible to afford expensive laws and regulations and to afford scientific knowledge and technology development.
The key, though, was and remains wealth – a reality backed up by closer examination of the environments of poorer nations around the world.
Air quality, for example, is awful in places like China and India not because they don’t know what to do or don’t care, they just can’t afford to do much about it at this point in time.
6) Patrick Michaels: Let’s Really Celebrate the 50th Earth Day With Some Humble Pie
Inside Source, 22 April 2020
April 22 marks the 50th Earth Day — born in the height of fears of The Population Bomb, global famine, miasmatic air and the rapid decline of the West into post-civilizational chaos.
How did that all work out? The dire predictions were wrong, but there is one lasting legacy: on December 2, 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was born.
It was purposefully and politically re-cobbled from other parts of the federal bureaucracy by Richard Nixon into one central agency granted eternal life in Washington.
Failed predictions aside, there were some serious air-quality problems, especially in urban airsheds; and the EPA along with the states did a pretty good job of cleaning things up. That was low-hanging fruit the agency could easily pick off.
A much larger, less manageable problem was acid rain.
While rainfall is naturally a bit acidic, addition of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, mainly from the combustion of coal, clearly increase acidity. Air quality around coal-fired power plants was pretty bad, but local solutions resulted in multistate problems.
The mantra of those days was “the solution to pollution is dilution,” so power plant chimneys moved skyward. The clustering of generation facilities along major rivers like the Ohio, where they had easy access to coal, resulted in large regions of the East being subjected to increasingly acid precipitation, as the new plants injected sulfate aerosols high enough in the atmosphere to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles.
Acid rain became a regional problem, both in the eastern United States and Europe. Our power plants were forced to shift to low-sulfur coals and to capture the sulfates with scrubbers.
Environmentalists and academics predicted horrible things would happen to extensive forests, but a comprehensive review published in 2004 in the journal Environmental Science and Policy concluded that “(f)ortunately, the dramatic forest dieback feared by some scientists in the 1980s never materialized.”
In fact, it was ultimately discovered that in general (there are exceptions in the highly polluted east), European forests grew more luxuriously, thanks to fertilization from nitrogen compounds emitted during coal combustion.
Over time, the scope of environmental concerns spawned by the first Earth Day grew increasingly large, culminating with global warming.
EPA’s reach increased proportionately, justified by the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA that granted the agency the power to regulate carbon dioxide if it deemed the gas “endangered” human health and welfare. The agency issued its official finding of endangerment in 2009.
EPA’s sole metric to determine future endangerment consists of complicated computer models for future climate.
Anyone who is watching the coronavirus saga (and who isn’t?) knows that future prospects are completely dependent upon very fuzzy and plastic assumptions. How effectively would people “socially isolate?” No one really knows. How many “silent” cases are out there contributing to an undetected herd immunity?
It’s now known that the climate models are “with one notable exception” totally incapable of modeling the three-dimensional structure of climate change in the Earth’s vast tropics. The one model that works, predicts less warming than any other, a warming so modest that it can’t justify “endangerment.”
It’s also recently been found that dreaded sea-level rise on the East Coast is pretty much the same as it is now as it was some three centuries ago, or long before the Industrial Revolution and the initiation of our ability to significantly modify the global atmosphere.
And it is also now clear from satellite data that our planet is rapidly becoming greener, thanks to the fertilizing effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The effect about 10 times larger than we see from the increasing nitrogen deposition noted above.
In observation of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the subsequent founding of the EPA, it would be great if the agency “for once” ate some humble pie and reversed its finding of human endangerment from carbon dioxide.
That would really be cause for an Earth Day celebration!
7) And Finally: New Michael Moore-Backed Documentary On YouTube Reveals Massive Ecological Impacts Of Renewables
Michael Shellenberger, Forbes 21 April 2020
Over the last 10 years, everyone from celebrity influencers including Elon Musk, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Gore, to major technology brands including Apple, have repeatedly claimed that renewables like solar panels and wind farms are less polluting than fossil fuels.
But a new documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” being released free to the public on YouTube today, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, reveals that industrial wind farms, solar farms, biomass, and biofuels are wrecking natural environments.
“Planet of the Humans was produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. “I assumed solar panels would last forever,” Moore toldReuters. “I didn’t know what went into the making of them.”
The film shows both abandoned industrial wind and solar farms and new ones being built — but after cutting down forests. “It suddenly dawned on me what we were looking at was a solar dead zone,” says filmmaker Jeff Gibbs, staring at a former solar farm in California. “I learned that the solar panels don’t last.”
Like many environmental documentaries, “Planet of Humans” endorses debunked Malthusian ideas that the world is running out of energy. “We have to have our ability to consume reigned in,” says a well-coiffed environmental leader. “Without some major die-off of the human population there is no turning back,” says a scientist.
In truth, humankind has never been at risk of running out of energy. There has always been enough fossil fuels to power human civilization for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, and nuclear energy is effectively infinite.
But the apocalyptic rhetoric detracts little from the heart of the documentary, which exposes the complicity of climate activists including Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Sierra Club’s Executive Director, in promoting pollution-intensive biomass energies, as well as natural gas.
The film unearths a great deal of information I had never seen before. It shows Apple’s head of sustainability, former EPA head Lisa Jackson, claiming on-stage at an Apple event, “We now run Apple on 100% renewable energy,” to loud applause.
But Gibbs interviews a scientist who researched corporate renewables programs who said, “I haven’t found a single entity anywhere in the world running on 100% solar and wind alone.” The film shows a forest being cut down to build an Apple solar farm.
After Earth Day Founder Denis Hayes claims at a 2015 Earth Day concert that the event was being powered by solar, Gibbs goes behind the stage to find out the truth. “The concert is run by a diesel generation system,” the solar vendor said. “That right there could run a toaster,” said another vendor.
The film also debunks the claim made by Elon Musk that his “Gigafactory” to make batteries is powered by renewables. In fact, it is hooked up to the electric grid.