Apocalypse_vasnetsov

Het was onlangs, 22 april, weer de dag van de aarde waarop groenbevlogenen aandacht plegen te schenken aan het milieu met allerlei manifestaties, zoals het uitschakelen van de elektriciteit in openbare ruimten en woningen. Op zich is het goed wij zo zorgvuldig mogelijk omgaan met het milieu en dat er groepen zijn die ons daartoe aanmoedigen. Maar zij overdrijven vaak. Vorig jaar was er in ons land nog wel wat te merken van de dag van de aarde. Maar dit jaar is het mij en vele anderen ontgaan. Er lijkt een zekere vermoeidheid te zijn ingetreden.

Dit soort manifestaties passen in een bredere stroming waarbij de bevolking met grote regelmaat wordt opgeschrikt door de aankondiging van naderend onheil. In de tijd van de zondvloed kwam de waarschuwing nog van ‘boven’ in de vorm van een ‘goddelijke aanwijzing’. Thans begint het meestal met een ‘wetenschappelijke’ publicatie die op basis van modelstudies concludeert dat ons in de nabije toekomst allerlei rampen zullen treffen.

Dergelijke publicaties worden steevast gevolgd door krantenkoppen die deze apocalyptische toekomstvisioenen nog versterken, terwijl de tv vertegenwoordigers van de milieubeweging opvoert die met een van onheil bezwangerde blik bevestigen dat de toestand inderdaad zéér, zéér ernstig is. Volgens hen is het vijf voor twaalf. Dat is overigens al tientallen jaren zo.

Maar, zo voegen zij eraan toe, als de mensheid zijn gedrag verandert, is het nog niet te laat! Thans mondt dit alarmisme in de regel uit in een pleidooi voor de vermindering van de uitstoot van door de mens veroorzaakte broeikasgassen, zoals CO2, die tot een catastrofale opwarming van de aarde zouden leiden.

Maar vele onheilsprofetieën zijn niet uitgekomen, terwijl andere soorten ellende geheel onverwacht als een donderslag bij heldere hemel over ons heen kwamen.

Onder de titel, ‘7 Enviro Predictions From Earth Day 1970 That Were Just Dead Wrong’, schreef Andrew Follett voor de Daily Caller.

Ik pik er een aantal elementen uit.

Environmentalists truly believed and predicted during the first Earth Day in 1970 that the planet was doomed unless drastic actions were taken.

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 environmentalist predictions that were just flat out wrong.

1: “Civilization Will End Within 15 Or 30 Years.”

Harvard biologist Dr. George Wald warned shortly before the first Earth Day in 1970 that civilization would soon end “unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” ….

[But] civilization still exists. The percentage of Americans who are concerned about environmental threats has fallen as civilization failed to end by environmental catastrophe.

2: “100-200 Million People Per Year Will Be Starving To Death During The Next Ten Years.”

Stanford professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared in April 1970 that mass starvation was imminent. His dire predictions failed to materialize as the number of people living in poverty has significantly declined and the amount of food per person has steadily increased, despite population growth. The world’s Gross Domestic Product per person has immeasurably grown despite increases in population. …

3: “Population Will Inevitably And Completely Outstrip Whatever Small Increases In Food Supplies We Make.”

Paul Ehrlich also made the above claim in 1970, shortly before an agricultural revolution that caused the world’s food supply to rapidly increase. …

4: “Demographers Agree Almost Unanimously … Thirty Years From Now, The Entire World … Will Be In Famine.”

Environmentalists in 1970 truly believed in a scientific consensus predicting global famine due to population growth in the developing world, especially in India. …

India, where the famines were supposed to begin, recently became one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products and food supply per person in the country has drastically increased in recent years. …

5: “In A Decade, Urban Dwellers Will Have To Wear Gas Masks To Survive Air Pollution.”

Life magazine stated in January 1970 that scientist had “solid experimental and theoretical evidence” to believe that “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.”

Despite the prediction, air quality has been improving worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. …

6: “Childbearing [Will Be] A Punishable Crime Against Society, Unless The Parents Hold A Government License.”

David Brower, the first executive director of The Sierra Club made the above claim and went on to say that “[a]ll potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.” …

Today, the only major government to ever get close to his vision has been China, which ended its one-child policy last October.

7: “By The Year 2000 … There Won’t Be Any More Crude Oil.”

On Earth Day in 1970 ecologist Kenneth Watt famously predicted that the world would run out of oil saying, “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.’”

Numerous academics like Watt predicted that American oil production peaked in 1970 and would gradually decline, likely causing a global economic meltdown. However, the successful application of massive hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, caused American oil production to come roaring back and there is currently too much oil on the market. …

Lees verder hier.

Maar er zullen altijd Cassandra’s blijven bestaan. Hun onheilsprofetieën zeggen in de regel meer over hun misantropische persoonlijkheidsstructuur dan over de realiteit, lijkt mij.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.

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