Skip to content

Doomsdays that didn’t happen: Think tank compiles decades’ worth of dire climate predictions

September 19, 2019

By Paul Homewood



From Fox:



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested Miami would disappear in "a few years" due to climate change. The United Nations is convening a "Climate Action Summit" next week. And climate activist Greta Thunberg is on Capitol Hill this week telling lawmakers they must act soon.

But while data from NASA and other top research agencies confirms global temperatures are indeed rising, a newly compiled retrospective indicates the doomsday rhetoric is perhaps more overheated.

The conservative-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute has put together a lengthy compilation of apocalyptic predictions dating back decades that did not come to pass, timed as Democratic presidential candidates and climate activists refocus attention on the issue.

The dire predictions, often repeated in the media, warned of a variety of impending disasters – famine, drought, an ice age, and even disappearing nations – if the world failed to act on climate change.

An Associated Press headline from 1989 read "Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials." The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending "cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere." That claim came from an "international team of specialists" cited by The New York Times in 1978.

New York City to allow students to skip school for climate protest

Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that "another ice age" was imminent. "Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest," the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that "Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast."

In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, "Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century." The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be "as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age."

Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that "everybody" would "disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years," The New York Times reported.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a "disastrous" famine," urged placing "sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water."

Those predictions were made around the time former President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, the U.S. has adopted a series of environmental reforms aimed at limiting emissions.

Years after those initial predictions, media outlets and politicians continue to teem with claims of apocalyptic scenarios resulting from climate change.

Earlier this month, leading Democratic presidential candidates held a town hall on the issue and warned about the "existential" threat posed by a changing climate. Before the end of the month, 2020 candidates are expected to have another climate forum at Georgetown University.

CEI’s report came just before the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, an event that promises to "spark the transformation that is urgently needed and propel action that will benefit everyone."

It also came a week after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned that Miami would be gone in a "few years" because of climate change. She was responding to critics of her ambitious "Green New Deal," which seeks to reach net-zero emissions within just decades.

Reports: Swedish scientist suggested eating human flesh as solution to global climate change

Ocasio-Cortez, whose plan has been endorsed by leading presidential candidates, previously joked that the world would end in 12 years if it didn’t address climate change. But short-term predictions weren’t a laughing matter in the years following "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary produced by former Vice President Al Gore.

In 2008, ABC released an ominous video about what the world would look like in 2015. As the video warned about rising sea levels, a graphic showed significant portions of New York City engulfed by water. Gore himself famously predicted in the early 2000s that Arctic ice could be gone within seven years. At the end of seven years, Arctic ice had undergone a period of expansion, though recently it has been melting at a quicker pace.

  1. September 19, 2019 10:26 am

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. Chilli permalink
    September 19, 2019 10:36 am

    One of things that first red-pilled me to the CAGW scam was that old html website with a huge list of html links to all the daft MSM articles blaming all types of silly things on global warming. The headlines themselves were ridiculous and seeing them juxtaposed just reinforced that – and every link was to an MSM ‘experts say’ article.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      September 19, 2019 12:05 pm

      “That old html website” I guess you mean this one:

    • Arthur Clapham permalink
      September 20, 2019 12:30 pm

      The doomsayers were at in the 1960s none of their predictions have occurred! I refer to them as the POBS or purveyors of bullshit !!!.

  3. Up2snuff permalink
    September 19, 2019 11:13 am

    Don’t know about being red-pilled (Eeeek!) but the introduction of the Fuel Duty Escalator by the UK Conservative Government in 1992/93 did not make economic sense. That was a key wake-up moment for me that the Global Warming/Climate Change thing did not hold up to good economic and fiscal scrutiny, let alone the weaknesses or failings of the science backing it up.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 19, 2019 1:53 pm

      When the taxes started rolling out to save the World my curiosity was aroused and I became educated in the reality of the scam starting with the book Meltdown.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    September 19, 2019 11:33 am

    Our climate is now so dire, mankind is struggling to reproduce.

    This link shows just how dire that ‘problem’ is, noting how many deaths there have been so far today:

  5. Adrian, East Anglia permalink
    September 19, 2019 11:52 am

    The sad part is that so many people believe in the endless torrent of ‘expert’ rubbish and seemingly never ever think to question it. “Look, it must be true ‘cos it says so on my smart phone.”

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 19, 2019 1:56 pm

      The ignorant masses also miss all the times the so called experts have got it wrong. Thalidomide anyone?

  6. Broadlands permalink
    September 19, 2019 2:10 pm

    It never seems to sink in with the climate elite, that no matter how bad the extreme weather might get, nothing can be done to prevent it. No amount of draconian reductions in carbon emissions can have any effect on the natural variations that control the climate. It is human arrogance to suggest we can…if we could only have the $$$$ and the resolve. Stupidity?

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      September 20, 2019 8:23 am

      Cupidity. Follow the money.

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 19, 2019 5:23 pm

    In the past we used to have religious proselytisers who went about wearing advertising boards proclaiming THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH while handing out leaflets from the book of Revelations. It seems the new religion does the same. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds indeed.

  8. September 19, 2019 6:28 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  9. paul petley permalink
    September 20, 2019 3:10 am

    I vividly recall a uni lecturer telling us all back in 1975 that the world would run out of oil by the end of the century. Nobody said anything so after a pause he added “well if you believe that you will believe anything”!

  10. Michael permalink
    September 20, 2019 3:53 pm

    A few years ago on a cable news network, a perfect storm scenario was predicted for the northeast. Using a computer climate model it predicted extreme weather and that people should avoid driving and stay indoors. The weather the next couple of days turned out to be in the 70s, For those that are paying attention, this was another example that computer climate models can’t even get a 48 hour cycle correct. And they expect us to believe their 20 to 100 year predictions.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: