Off in my prime it's all about timing
Man, I wish I had caught this in time for Earth Day. Alas, I was celebrating a friend's birthday, and this just popped across my radar (h/t to Cox & Forkum, who put me on the trail) tonight. It's full of the dire warnings of the imminent doom of all life on our fragile little teacup of a planet that we've come to associate with the environmental left and ED in particular. Here's a sampler: (courtesy of Reason Magazine)
"We have about five more years at the outside to do something," ecologist Kenneth Watt declared to a Swarthmore College audience. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." "We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation," wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.
"Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make," Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in an interview with radical journalist Peter Collier in Mademoiselle. "The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years."
If you're familiar at all with those names, you already know where I'm going with this. Those folks received a metric fuckton of press from the MSM when they were disseminating their crackpot eco-tastrophy propaganda... What's that you say, you missed this news-gasm? Well, I assure you, these icons of the environmental movement were splashed all over the news when they made those predictions - in 1970, on the first Earth Day. Moreover, this article is from 2000, meaning we've had an extra six years to prove these Cassandras right.
In case you missed the news flash, we're not facing catastrophic starvation. Civilization hasn't ended either... at least not in the sense Mr. Watt spoke of.
How did these ostensibly bright people colossally miss the mark on their predictions? Well, for one, Miss Cleo wasn't around to lend them a hand. Mostly though, they made did all their pontificating statically, meaning they didn't allow for the phenomenal economic and technological changes mankind is capable of. They also didn't consider that the earth is a self-regulating system. If earth wasn't able to rebound from catastrophic changes, it never would have recovered from the meteor strike that clipped the dinosaurs. It never would have recovered from any of the many ice ages. It definitely wouldn't have recovered from my trip to Taco Cabana last summer.
Yet all of a sudden, a bunch of Ford Explorers are going to drag our planet into a dark alley and make off with its lunch money? I don't buy it. Let's hear once more from the "experts" about the worldwide hunger problem we're barely struggling through...
"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation," declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness. In that same issue, Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, wrote, "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" (emphasis in original).
Come to think of it, I am a bit peckish. I'mma make a border run folks; somewhere out there is a Chilito with my name on it.