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December 31, 2010
8 botched environmental forecasts
Fox News has an all-star grouping of environmental forecasts that turned out to be so off base that the only question remains is why are the people who made them are still taken seriously?
A couple of examples:
1. Within a few years "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event." Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.Um...no. Kids in England today know very well what snow is. They've had to shovel so much of it off the walk this winter they probably want to find Dr. Viner and throttle him.
2. "[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots...[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers." Michael Oppenheimer, published in "Dead Heat," St. Martin's Press, 1990.
Read what this mealy mouthed little snit has to say to defend himself:
Oppenheimer told FoxNews.com that he was trying to illustrate one possible outcome of failing to curb emissions, not making a specific prediction. He added that the gist of his story had in fact come true, even if the events had not occurred in the U.S.
Um, no again. Where are the food riots? The "black blizzards?" that will shut down computers? Or strip paint from houses? Or stop traffic on highways?
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again.
Here's one from our old friend Paul Ehrlich, who famously predicted in the 1970's that both China and India would suffer famines by 1985 where hundreds of millions of people would die. Both China and India are now self sufficient in food production.
Here, Ehrlich points his mini-brain in the direction of England:
7. "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."How about that one, Paul?
"When you predict the future, you get things wrong," Ehrlich admitted, but "how wrong is another question. I would have lost if I had had taken the bet. However, if you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They're having all kinds of problems, just like everybody else."
Incredible. How wrong are you? Fantastically, stupendously,egregiously, idiotically wrong, that's how much. "All kinds of problems" is light years distant from "England will not exist in the year 2000." It's not close, even by cosmic standards. You can look as closely as you'd like at England and glean absolutely nothing that would make your prediction anything more than the drooling ranting of a clown.
Check out the piece for more jaw droppers.