Via iHateTheMedia, here are a few of the predictions made on the first Earth Day. Don’t these sound like the predictions today that fail, like the 50 million climate refugees by 2010 followed by the moving of the goalposts to 2020?
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
Since 1970 there have been three major famines in Cambodia, N. Korea and Ethiopia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine).
Currently ~11% of the world’s population is undernurished. Hunger is the main cause of death in 45% of children under 5 (3.1 million/yr) (http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats).
Furthermore, predictions on air pollution have not necessarily come to fruition because of concerted efforts to curb NOx, SOx, CFC’s and particulates through environmental regulations. Had these not been enacted, the predictions would surely have come true (e.g. see present-day China where regs are lax/non-existent).
“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, Ecologist