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These 7 Predictions From The Original Earth Day Were Way Off | The Daily Caller

April 22, 2016

Environmentalists truly believed and predicted that the planet was doomed during the first Earth Day in 1970, unless drastic actions were taken to save it. Humanity never quite got around to that drastic action, but environmentalists still recall the first Earth Day fondly and hold many of the predictions in high regard.
So this Earth Day, The Daily Caller News Foundation takes a look at predictions made by environmentalists around the original Earth Day in 1970 to see how they’ve held up.
Have any of these dire predictions come true? No, but that hasn’t stopped environmentalists from worrying. From predicting the end of civilization to classic worries about peak oil, here are seven green predictions that were just flat out wrong.

Read the full list here.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    April 22, 2016 5:44 pm

    It’s worse than that!

    1. Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

    2. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

    3. Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “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.”

  2. April 22, 2016 6:15 pm

    Beginning with the first US Earth Day in 1970, their venues were/are absolutely trashed. From coast to coast, those clamoring to protect the earth leave mountains of garbage. Seriously? Contrast these with equally large Tea Party events on the National Mall in Washington, DC. There is no comparison. We non-greenies tend to clean up after ourselves. So, one might logically ask, just who cares about the environment? Which of you just throws things down and walks off?

  3. Don B permalink
    April 22, 2016 6:44 pm

    [Co-founder] Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

    • April 22, 2016 8:22 pm

      Composting her was the green thing to do.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    April 22, 2016 7:30 pm

    And… on that Earth Day, Walt Kelly’s POGO had his famous remark: “We have met the enemy and he is us” placed on a poster!

    The interesting thing is that Pogo was right. It was pointed out in 1987 by Newell and Marcus, that the correlation between atmospheric CO2 and people…our global population, is almost perfect. It still is. So… if CO2 is going to do us all in, it’s clearly all our fault? Except that since 1987 the “enemy” has risen by two billion “carbon feet” and CO2 is 50 ppm higher. The climate? It hasn’t changed enough to notice, much less do us all in, especially since 1997. The more things change, the more they stay the same?

  5. April 22, 2016 8:21 pm

    Commented elsewhere more extensively. Peak oil is not about running out. Its maximum annual production. US crude production peaked in 1971, just as predicted in 1955. The vaunted shale oil horizontal drill/frack revolution has not changed that. In 2015 US imported 2.7Bbbl crude, 38% of its 7.08Bbbl consumption. Conventional crude (API>10, reservoir porosity >6%, reservoir permeability >10 datcies) peaked in 2007. Global all types peaks around 2025. For sure. US shale oil TRR is 16-18Bbbl, less than 2.5 years consumption– and US has worlds largest shale oil reserves NOT including Green River. Green River ‘oil shale’ isnt. Its kerogen shale that has not entered the oil window for catagenesis. Producting and retorting it for syncrude requires 3-5bbl water/bbl crude. There isn’t any spare water in the entire Colorado Riber basin, of which the Green is a major tributary. If you want to know more details, read my ebooks Gaia’s Limits and the energy essays in Blowing Smoke.

    • April 22, 2016 8:23 pm

      Darcies. Measure of oil field permeability. Darned spellchecker.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 22, 2016 10:17 pm

      It has been many years since the RP ratio in the US has been more than in the low teens – yet as each decade passes new frontiers have opened. More importantly, the global RP ratio was reported by BP as 52.5 years for 2014 – towards the higher end of the range since 1980 when it was just 30 years. The measure is against supposedly proven reserves, so little shale is included as this only attains proven status when drilled.

    • RAH permalink
      April 22, 2016 10:51 pm


      They have been predicting were running out of oil longer than anyone here has been alive.

      • 1857 — Romania produces 2,000 barrels of oil, marking the beginning of the modern oil industry.

      • 1859, Aug. 25 — Edwin L. Drake strikes oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania

      • 1862 — First commercial oil production in Canada, also 1863 in Russia.

      • 1862 — Most widely used lamp fuel (camphene) taxed in US at aprox. $1 a gallon; kerosene taxed at 10 cent per gallon.(Kovarik, 1997)

      • 1863 — John D. Rockefeller starts the Excelsior Refinery in Cleveland, Ohio.

      • 1879 — US Geological Survey formed in part because of fear of oil shortages.

      • 1882 — Institute of Mining Engineers estimates 95 million barrels of oil remain.With 25 million barrels per year output, “Some day the cheque will come back indorsed no funds, and we are approaching that day very fast,” Samuel Wrigley says. (Pratt, p. 124).

      • 1901 — Spindletop gusher in Texas floods US oil market.

      • 1906 — Fears of an oil shortage are confirmed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Representatives of the Detroit Board of Commerce attended hearings in Washington and told a Senate hearing that car manufacturers worried “not so much [about] cost as … supply.”

      • 1919, Scientific American notes that the auto industry could no longer ignore the fact that only 20 years worth of U.S. oil was left. “The burden falls upon the engine. It must adapt itself to less volatile fuel, and it must be made to burn the fuel with less waste…. Automotive engineers must turn their thoughts away from questions of speed and weight… and comfort and endurance, to avert what … will turn out to be a calamity, seriously disorganizing an indispensable system of transportation.”

      • 1920 — David White, chief geologist of USGS, estimates total oil remaining in the US at 6.7 billion barrels. “In making this estimate, which included both proved reserves and resources still remaining to be discovered, White conceded that it might well be in error by as much as 25 percent.” (Pratt, p. 125. Emphasis added).

      • 1925 — US Commerce Dept. says that while U.S. oil production doubled between 1914 and 1921, it did not kept pace with fuel demand as the number of cars increased.

      • 1928 — US analyst Ludwell Denny in his book “We Fight for Oil” noted the domestic oil shortage and says international diplomacy had failed to secure any reliable foreign sources of oil for the United States. Fear of oil shortages would become the most important factor in international relations, even so great as to force the U.S. into war with Great Britain to secure access to oil in the Persian Gulf region, Denny said.

      • 1926 — Federal Oil Conservation Board estimates 4.5 billion barrels remain.

      • 1930 — Some 25 million American cars are on the road, up from 3 million in 1918.

      • 1932 — Federal Oil Conservation Board estimates 10 billion barrels of oil remain.

      • 1944 — Petroleum Administrator for War estimates 20 billion barrels of oil remain.

      • 1950 — American Petroleum Institute says world oil reserves are at 100 billion barrels. (See Jean Laherre, Forecast of oil and gas supply)

      • 1956 — M.King Hubbard predicts peak in US oil production by 1970.

      • 1966 – 1977 — 19 billion barrels added to US reserves, most of which was from fields discovered before 1966. (As M.A. Adelman notes: “These fields were no gift of nature. They were a growth of knowledge, paid for by heavy investment.”)

      • 1973 — Oil price spike; supply restrictions due to Middle Eastern politics.

      • 1978 — Petroleos de Venezuela announces estimated unconventional oil reserve figure for Orinoco heavy oil belt at between three and four trillion barrels. (More recent public estimates are in the one trillion range).

      • 1979 — Oil price spike; supply restrictions due to Middle Eastern politics.

      • 1980 — Remaining proven oil reserves put at 648 billion barrels

      • 1993 — Remaining proven oil reserves put at 999 billion barrels

      • 2000 — Remaining proven oil reserves put at 1016 billion barrels.

      • 2005 — Oil price spike; supply restrictions and heavy new demand

      • 2008 — Oil price spike; supply restrictions and heavy new demand, global economies collapse when oil reaches over $140 USD/bbl.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        April 22, 2016 11:18 pm

        You forgot the Scottish shale oil industry which for a while made Scotland the World’s largest exporter of petroleum products (not a lot of people know that!) and despite being beset by Peak Oil assertions from the mid-19th century continued to produce until 1962.

      • April 23, 2016 4:41 am

        Well, I have made very specific predictions. About ten years out. Lets wait a decade, and see who was more correct. Have learned there is no use arguing on blogs with faith based geological nonsense, any more than faith based climate nonsense.

      • RAH permalink
        April 23, 2016 7:01 pm

        There certainly is a finite amount even if new petroleum is being produced by natural processes today. I’m not here to argue, just pointing out the fact that time and again authorities have predicted we’re running out and time and again even more is found from different sources and as new drilling and extraction processes evolve. There is coal gasification also and there is still a whole lot of that yet to be tapped. So while the price may go up I believe there are one heck of a lot more years of carbon based energy left before we have to start burning charcoal to run our vehicles.

  6. AndyG55 permalink
    April 23, 2016 1:02 am

    OT.. about wind non-renewables.

    People might like this via WUWT, from Scotland

    Follow through to the Facebook page, and read the whole story.

  7. AndyG55 permalink
    April 23, 2016 3:55 am

    NS-DIC caught out “adjusting” Arctic sea ice charts.

  8. Dave N permalink
    April 24, 2016 9:37 am

    Sadly, alarmists will tell you that these disaster were averted because “we took action” after heeding their advice, and that we should continue to believe their predictions of doom.

    No doubt that as time goes by and there’s no climate disaster(s), they’ll accept credit again; ignoring that CO2 levels will likely still be above “dangerous” levels.

    Alternatively they’ll claim that there was no scare to begin with, and that it was all just a bunch of looneys.

    Those are predictions you can bank on, because they happen time and time again.

  9. April 24, 2016 9:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Another crackpot claim was for 200 million climate refugees.

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