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Eco Scares Crowd Search

May 9, 2019

By Paul Homewood


I’m working on an exercise looking at all of the various climate-scares, which have cropped up in the past and subsequently proved to be false.

The more references I get, the better. So can I ask you all to help with a crowd search. Don’t worry about duplications.

Many thanks


  1. Frank Everest permalink
    May 9, 2019 11:37 am

    The most obvious which springs to mind is Al Gore’s 1998 Inconvenient Truth “hockey stick curve” which shows that we’ll all be dead already!

    • Adrian permalink
      May 10, 2019 9:52 am


      OK Paul, a tad ‘off-track’ it might seem, but I think you ought to consider the lessons that can be learned from putting garlic in olive oil.

      Too oblique ? Let me explain.

      Perhaps 40 yrs ago I happily used to place a few cloves of garlic into a bottle olive oil, to use after a few days for both cooking and making dressings. It is really is nice an easy, smells and tastes great and saves a lot of time. I must have followed this practice for perhaps 20 yrs. Then because I started moving house frequently the practice got lost.

      Just recently, now settled thanks, I decided to re-adopt this. Part way through making a bottle (oh it works really well in a bottle of cider vinegar too – just don’t leave it in too long as then you get picked garlic not garlic vinegar – there is a difference – a week or so is enough). As I was making up the first lot, I thought I’d look on-line to see if anybody had superior ideas.

      Well it turns out, wherever you look on the web, that you will die a horrible and painful death if you put a clove of garlic in a bottle of oil. Every site I could find carried the same hysterical certainty that I would get botulism and my head would explode.

      1: Clostridium botulinum is kinda ubiquitous – hence could be on your garlic.
      2: It is an anaerobe
      3: hence it could grow well in olive oil
      4: You will DIE, dead, no coming back.

      Well the true story?

      1: In theory this could happen – like a LOT of things.
      2: There has NEVER been a single case of garlic in olive oil killing anyone – well not recorded on sites like the CDC – in any event botulism from any cause is an incredibly rare disease – and incidentally the largest outbreak with 24 deaths was from eating POTATO SALAD – be scared be very scared.
      3: The world, has gone totally mad.
      4: lack of education and total lack of sophistication of the vast majority of our so-called culture makes them incapable of making any rational decisions based on probabilities.
      5: We give them the vote.
      6: We’re doomed.

  2. Action@ceturn permalink
    May 9, 2019 11:44 am

    Hi Paul

    I am sure you have these

    Nuclear War – Greenham common / Cuban missile crisis

    Chinese population growth – world starvation

    Chernobyl radiation poisoned Welsh sheep

  3. May 9, 2019 11:50 am

    A useful reference:

    and also here

    Based on John Brignell’s Numberwatch list, who hasn’t blogged for some time but the site currently says “returning soon”.

  4. May 9, 2019 11:52 am

    Nuclear winter following Sadam setting fire to Kuwait oil wells.

    Howard C Stein MRICS  Chartered Quantity Surveyor Mob 07778 145262Phone & Fax 01978 842453

    • HotScot permalink
      May 9, 2019 1:28 pm

      I’m not sure it’s wise to include your contact details on a public blog.

    • Sheri permalink
      May 9, 2019 1:30 pm

      One of my personal favorites!

  5. Immune to propaganda permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:18 pm

    Paul, I’m pretty sure that Paul Erlich- one of the founders of environmental scare stories along with Rachel Carlson- published many books about crop failures, over population and other examples of drivel. As far as I’m aware, nothing he predicted came to pass! The strange case of mud not sticking plays out here as he is a professor at Stanford University in the US. Only in climate ‘science ‘ and possibly politics can you be rewarded for always getting things wrong.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      May 9, 2019 12:42 pm

      Yes, I remember his prediction in the 1960’s that “the World couldnt support 2.5 billion people” and “that by 1975 (or 76) cannibals would be roaming the Mid-West of the USA”.

    • David Parker permalink
      May 9, 2019 1:14 pm

      Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ Never Happened

      • Sheri permalink
        May 9, 2019 1:33 pm

        We stopped using DDT and that prevented it. Actually, that made proof impossible, so it can’t be scientifically shown whether Carson was right or not.

      • Sheri permalink
        May 9, 2019 1:35 pm

        We stopped using DDT. So she was right.

      • Oliver King permalink
        May 11, 2019 8:42 am

        Yes Sheri and how many millions have died of malaria as a result? Proud of her are you?

  6. Thomas Gough permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:23 pm

    Go to WUWT and enter scare stories into the search engine

  7. Vernon E permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:28 pm

    One of the earliest I recall was a claim that warming (North Sea) waters were causing white fish to migrate north – without a single mention of how industrial fishing by the Dutch was stripping the sea of their principal food source – sand eels.

  8. Don B permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:30 pm

     “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       

  9. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:39 pm

    I was just reading “There is an urgent need for the development of new varieties of wheat…Two factors limit this… The first is that the genetic material..has already been exploited…almost to its full capacity. The second is that the genetic variation has decreased rapidly in recent years.
    The continuing rapid erosion of the gene pool..not only reduces the possibility of future improvements but also makes the world wheat crop vulnerable to new diseases and to adverse climate changes.”
    Slightly shortened from The Wild Gene Resources of Wheat by Feldman & Sears.
    Scientific American January 1981.

    I expect a graph of World wheat production for the last 40 years will illustrate the seriousness of this.

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:47 pm

    Just about anything in ‘Limits to Growth. From c1972.

  11. May 9, 2019 12:48 pm

    Acid rain in the late 60s early 70
    Destruction of the ozone layer in the early 80s
    Population bomb — mass starvation and oil to run out by early 2000s — Ehrlichs and the Club of Rome
    Global dimming – caused by soot – about the same time
    All the scares about the effects of agrichemicals and GM crops

    It’s questionable whether measures taken to prevent any of these really had an effect.

  12. Joe Public permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:51 pm

    1. Anything in the Grauniad mentioning Wadhams!

    2012: Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years

    2013: Ice-free Arctic in two years heralds methane catastrophe – scientist
    Professor Peter Wadhams, co-author of new Nature paper on costs of Arctic warming, explains the danger of inaction

    2016: ‘Next year or the year after, the Arctic will be free of ice’

    2. Many Grauniad articles mentioning climate.

    2012: Met Office: Arctic sea-ice loss linked to colder, drier UK winters

    2004: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
    · Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
    · “… major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020.”

    2005: 50m environmental refugees by end of decade, UN warns
    · States urged to prepare for victims of climate change

  13. Stephen Burchell permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:52 pm

    ‘Blueprint for Survival’ Penguin Special from the Ecology Party. 1973.
    Basically saying we will have run out of everything by 1986.
    Endorsed by the then great and good.

  14. condor13 permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:17 pm

    My list of scares:

    1. 1960- a report that oil reserves were being depleted too fast. It caused an increase in gas prices and government advising car companies to make smaller cars. 2. Harm from Birth Control tablets. daily reports, even after it was pointed out that BC tabs were safer than pregnancy 3. Acid rain – was going to kill all ou lakes. 4. 1960. Misuse of Antibiotics were causing resistant bugs . This one has come round again 5. Radiation from Computer screens, then TVs then power lines. 6. Phosphates in detergents – were going to ruin the environment. 7. Urea Formaldehyde Foam. Used for home insulation, a big deal in Canada. There were government grants to pay for removal . This all collapsed when further studies showed it was safe. 8. 1970s. Global cooling – we were all going to freeze 9. Radiation from power lines, Atomic power stations, cell phones. 10. Toxic effects from saccharine , cyclamates, Aspartine,


    On Thu, May 9, 2019 at 6:32 AM NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT wrote:

    > Paul Homewood posted: “By Paul Homewood I’m working on an exercise > looking at all of the various eco-scares, which have cropped up in the past > and subsequently proved to be false. The more references I get, the better. > So can I ask you all to help with a crowd searc” >

    • JohnM permalink
      May 9, 2019 1:37 pm

      I am old enough to have been at university in the 1960s and being taught that oil would run-out in the late 1970s.

  15. Broadlands permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:19 pm

    One of the biggest eco-scares was (and still is) the depletion of global ozone. The principal reason for this is the inability to remember (or ignore) and look back to what stratospheric ozone was doing before the NASA Nimbus satellite was put in place in 1979. Ozone had been steadily rising from ~1957 to 1979. After the scary depletion from 1979 to 1985 ozone stopped falling and was simply back to what is was in the early 1960s. The mean total column ozone is about was 300 Dobson units, as is was earlier.

    Some supporting references:

    London and Kelley (Science, 1974, vol. 184, p. 987-989) GLOBAL TRENDS IN TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC OZONE.

    London and Kelley write (col. 3, p. 987): For “13-year period from July 1957 to July 1970”. “The average total ozone measured from the earth’s surface (that is, the total amount of ozone in a vertical column) is about 300 matm cm.”

    Komhyr et al.(1971, Nature, vol. 232, p. 390-391) ATMOSPHERIC TOTAL OZONE INCREASE DURING THE 1960s.

    Komhyr et al. (1973, Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 106, p. 981-999) TOTAL OZONE INCREASE OVER NORTH AMERICA DURING THE 1960s.

    In 1979 London and Oltmans wrote THE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF LONG-TERM TOTAL OZONE VARIATIONS DURING THE PERIOD 1957-1975. (Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 117, p. 345-354).

    In the abstract they write (in part): “It has been found that during the period 1961-70 the total ozone amount increased in the Northern Hemisphere by about 12 percent and that this increase seems significant at all latitudes.” Figures 2 and 3 in this paper illustrate the upward trend for both hemispheres at all latitudes, and for the globe.

    The loss of ozone in the Antarctic (so-called ozone hole) is seasonal, lasts a month or so and returns to “normal”. The net loss has been minimal.

    All part of a huge eco-scare, and one based on a theory about chlorine from CFCs that has never been proven in the real stratosphere.

  16. HotScot permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:32 pm

    The Gulf Stream shutting down.

    I was suckered by that for a while.

  17. Doug permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:33 pm

    Acid rain, ozone depletion, BSE deaths, avian ‘flu deaths, swine ‘flu deaths, millennium bug, Prince Charles ’96 months to save the world’ (2010), world food shortage (Ehrlich), ice-free Arctic, 50 million ‘climate refugees’, underwater coastal cities, Prince Charles ‘red squirrels extinct by Spring 2019.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      May 9, 2019 3:34 pm

      Oh no, not again: the “millennium bug” (Y2K) was not a false scare. Unlike all the others on your list, it was a real and potentially dangerous problem that was largely (but not entirely) fixed because a lot of people devoted considerable time to doing the mind-numbingly boring work that was needed to fix it.

      • Doug permalink
        May 9, 2019 4:04 pm

        USA spent many millions, so did lots of others. Italy spent next to nothing and suffered the same non problem.

      • bobn permalink
        May 9, 2019 5:44 pm

        Sorry Robin but Y2K was a scam. Millions of computers were not adjusted (mine included) and nothing happened. The scammers sold alot of new computers though. Now I’m told to stock up on sandbags for the coming flood.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 9, 2019 6:10 pm

        Untrue bobn – any system that utilised (or might have utilised) two digits instead of four to represent the year had a problem. This applied especially to big organisations and in particular for example to banks and major financial organisations with significant amounts of “legacy” software. They had to investigate, if necessary fix and test their entire system (and commonly related third-party systems). It meant laboriously checking, fixing and testing millions of lines of computer code. As I said, it was mind-numbingly boring work.

        Don’t believe me? OK, go to this 2017 lecture by Professor Martyn Thomas: (Click on “PDF Transcript” in the box on RH side.)

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 9, 2019 6:18 pm

        Italy spent next to nothing

        I’m sorry Doug, but that isn’t true. Have a look at Professor Thomas’s lecture – link above.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 9, 2019 7:55 pm

        Bobn: It may not have affected your computer (not sure what you had) but my very large VSAM databases would have been unusable if the SysProgs had not converted the date calculators to allow for dates post-2000. The knock-on effect of that didn’t bear thinking about.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 9, 2019 9:16 pm

        My guess Harry is that bobn is referring to a PC or a similar device such as a so-called microprocessor or workstation. Despite some genuine initial fears (and foolish media scares) most who understood the issue didn’t expect serious difficulties. And that proved to be the case. This was especially true of small or medium sized PC (or microcomputer) reliant businesses where, in most cases, software suppliers had ensured their customers were using compliant software – usually at no charge. In any case, problems that occurred after the date change were usually easily remedied.

  18. Ian Magness permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:53 pm

    Cambridge’s Professor Wadham and sea ice is a good one. I think he claimed in 2012 that all sea ice would be gone by 2016.
    Poor sweet thing! I wonder how many of his undergraduates remind him of it?

  19. TerryL permalink
    May 9, 2019 2:01 pm

    * Great Barrier reef being destroyed by Crown of Thorn Starfish.

    This was 24/7 message in Australia from late 1980s and is still trotted out today. The scare was that the starfish would destroy the entire reef because it was destroying a portion.

    Here is a link to a paper in 1992 arguing against the doommongers: (1992)

    Yet even today the Crown of Thorn Starfish is trotted out as an impending doom. ( 2018 )

    * Cane Toads from Queensland
    These introduced bug control toads became a pest. They are poisonous and often kill indigenous animals who are unaware of their toxicity. The scare comes from the fact that bordering states NSW VIC were told they would be overrun ( 1980+ )

    2018 and the toads are still mainly in northern QLD. There has been extensive government measures to combat the spread.

    * Global Cooling

  20. Davidellliscope@gmail permalink
    May 9, 2019 2:33 pm


    You will know about global cooling of perhaps 40 years ago Then there’s AIDS epidemic – bad but not as bad as feared Ebola And now measles

    David Cope

    David Cope Sent from my iPhone


  21. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    May 9, 2019 2:44 pm

    Please note that there have been SEVERAL ‘Ice-Age’ scares.

    The poles seem to grow and then shrink regularly. Every time they grow, SOMEONE claims that we’re going to have an Ice Age. I seem to remember reading recorded worries in Victorian newspapers…

    Every time they shrink, until recently, this was generally a cause for rejoicing and the discovery of a possible North West passage.

  22. RobbertBobbert permalink
    May 9, 2019 2:51 pm

    We’ve got 5 years to save world says Australia’s chief scientist Professor Penny Sackett
    By Olga Galacho, HeraldSun
    December 4, 2009 12:00am
    …THE planet has just five years to avoid disastrous global warming, says the Federal Government’s chief scientist.
    Prof Penny Sackett yesterday urged all Australians to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Australians – among the world’s biggest producers of carbon dioxide – were “better placed than others to do something about it”, she said.

    “Australians can make an enormous contribution, so why would we not rise to this challenge and this opportunity,” she told a business conference in Melbourne.

  23. May 9, 2019 2:52 pm

    John Brignell’s site, numberwatch seems to have disappeared

  24. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 9, 2019 3:15 pm

    This site has so many if you are not already aware of it:

    • RobbertBobbert permalink
      May 10, 2019 2:34 am

      Phoenix and readers…Here is one of the Classics from the climatechangeprediction site…
      …Women must stop admiring men who drive sports cars if they want to join the fight against global warming, the Government’s chief scientist has warned.
      Professor Sir David King singled out women who find supercar drivers “sexy” adding that they should divert their affections to men who live more environmentally friendly lives.
      ”I was asked at a lecture by a young woman about what she could do and I told her to stop admiring young men in Ferraris,” he said. Daily Telegraph, 16 Dec 2007.

  25. May 9, 2019 3:22 pm

    The Rogue Wave nonsense spouted by the BBC:

    The scientists they interviewed did not even mention once that climate change could be involved. Yet the BBC threw in the comment in the usual way – suggesting that research is needed to see if this was linked to climate change

  26. bobn permalink
    May 9, 2019 3:26 pm

    Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past – Environment – The Independent
    20 March 2000

  27. Dave Wheatley permalink
    May 9, 2019 3:31 pm

    Time magazine, 1980, Herpes is going to sterilise us all.
    AIDS will kill a billion Africans by 1990.
    1992 – SARS will kill a billion people.
    Swine flu, a billion people
    Bird flu, a billion people
    Ebola, a pandemic

  28. bobn permalink
    May 9, 2019 3:36 pm

    Tony Heller must have a huge file on Climate alarm nonsense.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      May 9, 2019 7:15 pm

      I was going to suggest Tony as well. Any of his posts featuring old newspaper articles will be good hunting grounds.

  29. Michael Taylor permalink
    May 9, 2019 3:52 pm
    Rogue Waves – getting LESS – and yet reported to be 1% higher than normal! – as a result of guess what? – climate change

  30. CheshireRed permalink
    May 9, 2019 4:01 pm

    Was reading this earlier today, so bang on cue! From 1970 Earth day to the present.

  31. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 9, 2019 4:20 pm

    Hi Paul,
    There might not be enough paper or pixels to record all the failed climate doom predictions. Good hunting, though.

    One of the sorts of stories I like is the idea of smart people doing research that shows an alternative cause for an aspect others were sure was caused by warming driven by CO2.

    We were (are) associated with Central Washington University (CWU) located in central Washington State {Ellensburg} to the east of the Cascade Mountains. About the time our active careers ended, CWU hired a couple of young researchers: Susan Kaspari (Geological Sciences) and Megan Walsh (Geography, a paleoecologist). Susan and Megan did a tag-team presentation we attended. {We are both geographers.} Megan’s work involves lake sediment cores and 10,000 years of fire activity.
    Here is a link to what they are up to: black carbon vs snow

    Susan’s evidence suggests black carbon from increased wildfire activity is affecting snow pack – earlier melting. An initial assumption was that the soot was from urbanization in the Seattle region.

    The current Governor of WA, Jay Inslee is now running for POTUS on the single issue of climate change. It is accepted (demanded) policy in The State that CO2 and global warming are causing earlier snowmelt and thus reducing late season irrigation water on our ‘dry side’ of the Cascades.

    Good luck with your project.

  32. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 9, 2019 4:52 pm

    I’ve got a huge collection. Here are just a few:

    Pachauri: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” (November 2007)

    Greenpeace: “Without urgent measures to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the possibility of limiting the temperature rise below a dangerous level will have disappeared within a decade”. (2004)

    Click to access SumIB_uk.pdf

    James Hansen: “I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change … no longer than a decade, at the most.” (September 2006)

    The Guardian: “On a very conservative estimate there are 50 months to prevent a climate catastrophe”. (September 2012)

    The Telegraph: “The UK [will] be hit by regular malaria outbreaks, fatal heatwaves and contaminated drinking water within five years because of global warming. [There’s] “a high likelihood of a major heatwave, leading to as many as 10,000 deaths, hitting the UK by 2012.” (February 2008)

    San Jose Mercury News: “A senior official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos … He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control”. (June 1989)

    The Scotsman: “GORDON Brown has warned there are fewer than 50 days left for world leaders to set a course of action to save the planet from devastating climate change. The Prime Minister said there would be a global “catastrophe” if action to tackle climate change was not agreed at United Nations talks in Copenhagen in December.” (October 2009)

    David Suzuki: “… we have fewer than 10 years to turn things around or civilization as we know it will cease to exist” (1990)

  33. PeterGB permalink
    May 9, 2019 5:31 pm

    Great list here from chaamjamal – one of my favorite sites:
    all the more recent ones are referenced.
    Have fun and good luck! Looking forward to seeing your collation.

  34. bobn permalink
    May 9, 2019 5:38 pm
    Our friend in Tailand has 228 examples on his list and stops in 2010, out of exhaustion or despair i guess.

  35. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 9, 2019 5:42 pm

    Paul: as happened yesterday, I have a post here stuck in moderation. Please help.

    • May 9, 2019 5:54 pm

      Got it thanks.

      WordPress puts them into mod when there’s a lot of links

  36. PeterGB permalink
    May 9, 2019 6:58 pm


    “This not the first time the alarms of mass extinction has been raised. In 1970, Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, predicted that between 75 and 80 percent of all species of animals would be extinct by 1995. In 1979, the Oxford biologist Norman Myers suggested that the world could “lose one-quarter of all species by the year 2000.” Also in 1979, the Heinz Center biologist Thomas Lovejoy chimed in, estimating that between a seventh and a fifth of global diversity would become extinct by 2000. None of those dire predictions came true.”

  37. May 9, 2019 9:30 pm

    More “medical” than “eco”, so might not be what you need, but scares just the same.

    H1N1 (swine flu) 70s (also made a reappearance in the late late 00s)

    AIDS was going to decimate the population “according to scientists” in the 80s.

    BSE was going to kill half the population, mid-80s, leading on to CJD mid 90s.

    H5N1 (bird flu) late 90s/early 00s.

    SARS mid 00s.

    For bonus points: “Scientists say there will be a major pandemic within 5 years…” Every. Single. Year.

  38. Christopher Lynch Lynch permalink
    May 9, 2019 9:59 pm

    Hansen’s prediction in the late 1980s that Manhattan would be under water in 20 years due to global warming caused sea level rise! Somehow still lauded as a visionary and a prophet by the useful idiots in the MSM.

  39. May 9, 2019 10:55 pm

    California permanent drought.

    Texas too.

    2015: No Major Hurricane Has Made Landfall In the U.S. In More Than 9 Years — and That’s a New Record

  40. Bernard Taylor permalink
    May 10, 2019 12:15 am

    I remember Greenpeace bitterly opposing the sinking of a redundant oil rig in the North Sea. Subsequently trawlers gave it a very wide berth and the area around the sunken rig became a de-facto conservation area and an important spawning ground for a number of fish species.

  41. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    May 10, 2019 1:22 am

    Here’s a list from my ‘predictions’ folder. The name is the title of the article which you should be able to search for. Some I’ve added dates to, that’s not in the original title.

    Not all these are failed predictions but most of them are. They’re just prediction-related links I’ve saved as I’ve seen them.

    030915 2009 ABC Report Pictured Apocalyptic Climate Effects [VIDEO] The Daily Caller
    031114 Halloween Thoughts from Obama’s Science Advisor – Master Resource
    041218 Climate Change Alarmism Is The World’s Leading Cause Of Hot Gas
    051218 JOY TO THE WORLD, OUR END IS NIGH Daily Telegraph
    070818 Failed Prognostications of Climate Alarm Watts Up With That
    110717 “Settled Science” in Two Headlines Power Line
    111016 BOM September failure — but who can predict the climate a whole month ahead « JoNova
    130319 Here Are 5 Hysterical Environmentalist Claims in Modern History
    160118 NASA Solar Cycle 24 To Be A Big One The Deplorable Climate Science Blog
    160417 Post-Easter Frost And Snow To Grip Central Europe As Temps To Fall 12°C Below Normal!
    180118 Fifty Years on from Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb So How Come We’re Not All Dead, Yet
    201015 Autumn Halftime Central Europe “Record Cold” Shatters DWD Prediction Of “Warm Fall” …Cologne Breaks Cold Record!
    210718 Charlatans Of The Arctic… Laughing Stock Ice-Free-Arctic Predictions …Fake Science At Its Best
    220417 Remembering the first Earth Day Power Line
    220419 Earth Day Not a Single Environmental Prediction of the Last 50 Years Has Come True Watts Up With That
    220717 PBS – Global Warming Killed All Life On Earth 17 Years Ago The Deplorable Climate Science Blog
    241216 National Weather Service’s Multi-Billion Dollar Models Fail …Totally Botched Forecasts!
    290618 Software Expert Exposes 30 Years Of ‘Totally Messed Up’ Climate Forecasts, Embarrassing NASA Scientists
    291016 Russian Scientist ‘The New Little Ice Age Has Started’ Climate Depot
    300718 Meteorologist Joe Bastardi Shows How Texas Climatologist’s Permadrought Predictions Flopped
    301217 7 New (2017) Papers Forecast Global Cooling, Another Little Ice Age Will Begin Soon
    311017 Some Failed Climate Predictions Watts Up With That
    311018 2018 – An Important Year For The Climate The Deplorable Climate Science Blog
    Al Gore Says That Great Lakes Ice Is Disappearing Real Science
    Climate Science Wrong For 120 Years Tory Aardvark
    Crack Government Climate Models Predicted That January-April Would Be Hot In The US Real Science
    Famed hurricane forecaster Dr. William Gray predicts below-average hurricane activity for 2012 & global cooling over next 20 years
    Fifteen Foolish Forecasts How did environmentalists get it so wrong on Earth Day 1970
    George Monbiot The Mayan Prophet Real Science
    Hansen’s 2009 Super El Nino Forecast Real Science
    Jim Hansen’s 1981 Model Prediction Needs Scrutiny Climate Science Roger Pielke Sr.
    NOAA Proves That Climate Models Are Wrong Real Science
    The UN’s Environmental ‘Holocausts’ « NoFrakkingConsensus
    Warm Bias Met Office Computer Models Are Complete Rubbish
    What sort of forecast does the Met Office Supercomputer make Watts Up With That

  42. smoke&mirrors permalink
    May 10, 2019 7:32 am

    If possible, it would be useful to collate this info so that we can identify WHO are the worst offenders. Ridicule is a useful tool.

  43. May 10, 2019 8:42 am

    Some good stuff here:

  44. Ian permalink
    May 10, 2019 9:03 am

    This is a new one, rather than old, but Sir David King’s back (he of the CO2 in a bottle experiment?) on BBC News. Talking to camera in front of an iconic Cambridge University Building (so his must be a voice of authority), opining that we need to take drastic action to refreeze polar ice by various methods, some of which we’ve seen before). The Law of Unintended Consequences will probably play a large part.

  45. NeilC permalink
    May 10, 2019 11:58 am

    UK students, Key Stage 3 to post graduate level, have been indoctrinated about CAGW for the last 21 years. It is sad, as they have not experienced any warming in the UK for that period.

  46. europeanonion permalink
    May 10, 2019 1:03 pm

    The classic was the BBC gardeners declaring for drought and informing their viewers about rain barrels and horticulture premised on aridity. It’s a fight to the death amongst those in the blogesphere to spot the next portent. Apparently Cambridge Uni is going to capture loads of CO2 as if the gas was an alien invader. It’s phlogiston all over again. Still it takes the heat off nuclear weapons for the time being.

  47. A C Osborn permalink
    May 10, 2019 1:08 pm

    This is a list of all the things CO2 has been blamed for.

  48. May 10, 2019 5:42 pm

    I remember the Cuban missile crises in 1962 and the Limits of growth predictions in 1972.
    Scaring people with dire predictions if we do not mend our ways is not exactly new
    There are plenty examples in the Bible.
    Nostradamus 1555 made a number of scary predictions of war mass famine and death
    Weather catastrophes and the northern hemisphere becoming uninhabitable.
    Those that rule us have two choices they can offer hope or fear.
    The Hope of course is false pie in the sky bread today but jam tomorrow.
    The Fear of course is false also be it Russia or Swine flue or Climate Change
    The Bible offers both. The old testament is mostly fear with some hope mixed in and the New testament is mostly hope with some fear mixed in.
    First they used Religion and now they use politicised science.
    But as always they are anxious to control the narrative.
    Before you were branded a religious heretic and in time of was a traitor.
    Now you are conspiracy theorist and a denier peddling fake news and disinformation.
    A non violent extremist an anarchist a terrorist.

  49. Angusmac permalink
    May 11, 2019 5:52 am

    I include some failed predictions here:

    Are doomsday scenarios best seen as failed
    predictions or political detonators? The case of the ‘Theory of Himalayan
    Environmental Degradation’, Aase, 2017

    Fifty Years of Failed Apocalyptic Forecast,


    Fire and Ice, Media Research Center

    Earth Day: Not a Single Environmental
    Prediction of the Last 50 Years Has Come True, WUWT, 2019

    Some Failed Climate Predictions, Javier and
    May, WUWT, 2017

    U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming
    Not Checked, Spielmann, AP News,1989

  50. May 12, 2019 1:18 am

    In 1980, the Jimmy Carter administration distributed to foreign governments a report claiming that, by the year 2000, 2 million species would be wiped out. In fact, by 2010, there had been 872 documented extinctions. From WUWT

  51. May 12, 2019 1:18 am


  52. May 12, 2019 2:56 am

    In 1988 The Canberra times said the Maldives could be under water in 30 years’ time ie by 2018!

  53. n s permalink
    May 13, 2019 8:46 pm

    Guido Fawkes at
    mentions six such instances going back to Al Gare in July 2008

  54. May 14, 2019 7:08 am

    This link from Donna LaFramboise’s site has some good stories!


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