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Celebrating Earth Day 2010 – Climate predictions then and now

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 10:17am MST
Are we approaching the end of times? On the first Earth Day in 1970 scientists, poiliticans and pundits gave mankind little hope for survival. That tactic continues today. (Discovery Channel)

Are we approaching the end of times? On the first Earth Day in 1970 scientists, poiliticans and pundits gave mankind little hope for survival. That tactic continues today. (Discovery Channel)

Today we celebrate that most auspicious occasion – Earth Day.  It is a day in which we can all ‘be green’, hold hands, sing Kumbaya and be one with Mother Earth. 

With the ongoing debate about manmade climate change, it affords us an opportunity to evaluate what “experts” were saying 40 years ago and what they are saying now.  

Many parallels between the two times can easily be drawn.  Over the top rhetoric and predictions were apparently as common in 1970 as they are today. 

The Climate Change Examiner has a great look back at some of the predictions made on the first Earth Day as well as some that are being made in current times.  Here is a brief excerpt – be sure to follow the link below to view the whole story.

Forty years ago Earth Day was founded as a way to give greater visibility to environmental concerns across the globe. The event is celebrated annually and while the focus has now shifted to one primarily on manmade climate change, just like in 1970, today we continue to hear dire warnings of man’s impending doom.

From that very first Earth Day, laying out a reasoned case to spur the public into action was not deemed adequate. Instead, the use of predictions of the end of times were used as a scare tactic.

The founder of Earth Day, Senator Gaylord Nelson was not shy about using hyperbole to drive home his belief of the dangers presented. He famously proclaimed that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

It would appear that something miraculous occurred since that first Earth Day and today as the Earth is teeming with life just as it was then.

Questionable claims of impending doom continue

In the intervening time we can clearly see that these were nothing more than weak attempts to steer public opinion toward what was the ‘consensus’ at the time by scaring people into action. The names of the scientists and public policy ‘experts’ making the claims have changed in the past forty years but the tactic remains.

Will the seers of today like Gore, Hansen and Lovelock be any more accurate in their predictions than Ehrlich, Nelson or Gunter was in their day?

Check back in 40 years – If humankind is still here.

There's more to this story on Examiner.com!Be sure to read the complete story: Earth Day 2010 – Celebrating 40 years of outrageous predictions of doom

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