The Climate: False Predictions – False Prophets

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False Predictions

The Population Bomb – We Will All Starve

In 1967, the population scientist Paul Ehrlich (his last name is German and means “honest”) predicted that within 20 years most of the world’s population would starve. Dire famine would happen in 1975.

In 1967, the Los Angeles Times wrote:

“It is already too late for the world to avoid a long period of famine, a Stanford University Biologist said. Paul Ehrlich said the ‘time of famines’ is upon us and will be at its worst and most disastrous by 1975.”

In 1969, the New York Times wrote:

“The trouble with almost all environmental problems, says Paul R. Ehrlich, the population biologist, is that by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you’re dead.”
“We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.”

The Truth: Agricultural yields have been growing faster than population growth. They are still growing, while population growth has slowed down.

A new Ice Age is Coming

In 1970, the Boston Globe wrote:

“Air pollution may obliterate the sun and cause a new ice age in the first third of the next century if population continues to grow…if the current rate of the increase in electrical power generation continues, the demand for cooling water will boil dry the entire flow of the rivers and streams of the continental United States.”

In 1970, the Redlands Daily Facts wrote:

“Ehrlich predicts that the oceans will be as dead as Lake Erie in less than a decade…. America will be subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980.”

In 1971, the Washington Post wrote:

“The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age… Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University says that: In 50 years, the fine dust man constantly puts into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by 6 degrees…. If sustained over several years (5-10 he estimated) such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

In 1972, Dr. Kukla of the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and Dr. Matthews of the Department of Geological Studies of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, wrote in a letter to President Nixon:

“The main conclusion of the meeting was that a global deterioration of climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilized mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon. The cooling has natural causes and falls within the rank of processes, which produced the last ice age.”


In 1978, the New York Times still saw “NO END IN SIGHT TO THE 30-YEAR COOLING TREND”.

The truth: As we all know today, none of the above predictions came true. Instead, the global cooling paranoia was replaced by the global warming paranoia.

Global Warming

In 1988, the Lansing State Journal quoted James Hansen, one of the loudest climate alarmists, as saying:

“If we do nothing to cut down the on pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, temperatures in 2050 will be 6-7 degrees F higher than they are today. Washington DC for instance would go from its current 35 days a year over 90 degrees to 85 days (over 90 degrees) a year. The level of the oceans will rise anywhere from one to six feet. The frequency of severe storms would increase … the maximum strength of hurricanes may increase by 50%.”

OK, the atmosphere will heat up, the ice will melt, the oceans will rise, the polar bears will perish, New York City will be under water, there will be more hurricanes, more tornados, more droughts, and more floods. The end will be near.

Lets see if these predictions came true.

The atmosphere will heat up

30 years after Hansen’s prediction about atmospheric warming the atmosphere has warmed by only about 1 degree F. However, the atmosphere has been warming up since the end of the last ice age, about 18K years ago. Todays warm-up period is largely the continuation of the end of the so-called Little Ice Age, which ended around 1850. People exist for just 18 seconds of earth time. Earth’s climate has continuously changed with no people around. Mankind has never experienced earth’s mean climate, which is much warmer than our present relatively cool period. In 2019, AOC said that we “have 12 years to save the world”. Today, with CO2 content in the atmosphere growing, the atmospheric temperature is not significantly rising.

The truth: It got a little warmer but not much. If there is a human component in this we do not know how big or small it is. Anyway, this modest global warming is well withing the geo-historic pattern of climate change without humans. Data show that the atmosphere has not warmed at all in the past 20 years in spite of rising CO2 levels (China!). It seems that AOC has a limited knowledge and understanding of climate-change dynamics. But then, she still has 10 years to prove she’s right.

The ice will melt

In 2009, Al Gore predicted that “the North Pole will be ice-free in the summer of 2013 because of man-made global warming”. In 2022, the Arctic is still covered with ice, more in the winter and less in the summer. BTW, for most of its 4.5 billion years of existence the earth has been completely ice free. But even if all the ice on the North Pole would melt, sea levels would not rise one inch, because there is no land under the arctic ice (put an ice cube in a water glass and let it melt: the water level in the glass will not rise). Only if ice melts over Greenland and the Antarctic it would make sea levels rise. It would also make Greenland and the Antarctic inhabitable and arable land again that could be inhabited by humans. Antarctica, which was a sprawling continent for millions of years, sometimes with a subtropical climate, was part of an ancient, considerably larger land mass, known as Gondwana. The supercontinent began breaking up during the Triassic Period 205-240 million years ago, and its several segments gradually drifted apart to form the present continents. Coal deposits found today in sandstone beds less than 500 kilometers from the South Pole show that these materials were laid down during late Paleozoic time (240-300 million years ago) under marshy conditions in a cool, moist climate. Sorry, no ice.

The truth: What little warming occurred is well within the ordinary climate changes that happened on earth regardless of humans. In fact, the Antarctic ice shield has grown thicker and temperatures in Antarctica have dropped in recent years. With one exception: temperatures in the area of the so-called Antarctic Peninsula have been rising and the ice there has been melting slowly. Nobody, presently knows why.

The oceans will rise

In 2021, Harold R. Wanless wrote in the Guardian: “Sea levels will rise by 20 feet”.

The truth: Currently, the water level of the oceans is rising at about 0.8 inches per decade. If Wanless is right, it will take 300 years for sea levels to get to 20 feet. But they may indeed get there. Sea levels have “risen” for over 4,000 years. Just look at the sunken cities in the Mediterranean. However, we do not know for sure how much is attributable to rising water or to sinking continents. The European continental plate is pushing down on the North African plate with the result that the Alps are rising by about net 80 cm in 1000 years. We have similar situations in the US. The West Coast is rising, the East Coat is sinking. So, if NYC gets flooded, it may have more to do with continental drift than with global warming.

The polar bears will perish

Boohoo – this is a tear job. Greta Thunberg to the rescue.

The truth: The polar bears are just fine. In 1960, the total polar bear population was approx. 15,000. Today, we have over 25,000 polar bears. There are 13 known polar bear populations. They are all growing, except one, which is shrinking – due to excessive cold.

New York City and the Maldives will be under water

In 1988, The Canberra Times wrote:

“A gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this ocean nation of 1,190 small islands withing the next 30 years…But the end of the Maldives and its 200,000 people could come sooner if drinking water supplies dry up by 1992, as predicted.”

The truth: Providing drinking water has always been a problem on these low-lying islands. The situation got actually better in recent times through the construction of several seawater desalination plants. Reports about a water shortage in the city of Male in 2014 fail to mention that the shortage was caused by a fire in the main desalination plant, not by rising sea levels. One may, however, question the sanity of the decision to build human settlements a foot or two above sea level in the middle of an agitated ocean, just like one may doubt the reasonableness of building New York City on a low-lying piece of land surrounded by water or building New Orleans in an area that is below sea level and gets easily filled with water by any good-size hurricane.

According to Al Gore’s 2006 predictions, sea levels should have risen several feet and New York should be well under water. Well, it is not, and sea levels have only risen about a few inches.

There will be more hurricanes and tornados

Data suggest otherwise. The most tornados happened in the mid-50s, mid-60s, and early 70 – so far. Hurricanes have become neither more frequent nor stronger. What has increased, is the damages they cause. These are not due to more or stronger hurricanes but to more people building more expensive structures in harm’s way.

There will be more droughts

No data to support this claim.

The Truth: There are not more droughts.

There will be more floods

The Truth: There are not more floods. Data support the conclusion that the number of droughts and their extent have remained about the same.

Final Conclusion: Overall, these catastrophic climate predictions have not come true or only to a very minor extent. There are other such predictions like that there are more wildfires, and that more forest area has burned, or that the coral reefs are dying, or that the glaciers are melting. True, some glaciers are melting, some are growing, and some stay the same. Glaciers have melted before and the Arctic ice shields has been much smaller several hundred years ago during the medieval and Roman warm periods.

The concept of “climate” as something unchangeable, something that should always remain as it is today, is naïf, childish, and entirely unrealistic. Earth’s climate has always changed in dramatic ways and without humans even existing. We need to learn how to adapt to this inevitable change, instead of wasting our resources and destroying our civilizations fighting it.

I got the impression that the entire global warming movement has morphed into a secular religion, a messianic movement expecting a secular salvation. Maybe this explains the intolerance and the fervor of its faithful believers.

I wrote my doctoral dissertation about messianic or charismatic movements and cargo cults. I found a strange repeating pattern in all of these movements: The prophet or cult leader announces the advent of salvation (the cargo, god’s kingdom on earth, judgment day etc.) and his followers work feverishly toward the advent of salvation, which is considered imminent. When the promised salvation fails to materialize, the prophet will never admit that he was wrong, apologize to the people he misled, and go home. Instead, he will find a culprit whose allegedly sinful behavior he blames for the failure of his prophesy. For example, Jan Matthys, the medieval (1500-1534) anabaptist prophet, would walk along the isle of his church thundering against the evil traitor whose sinful behavior or weak faith torpedoed his prophesy. He would then suddenly draw his sword, chop somebody’s head of and proclaim him or her the evildoer.

When the facts fail to bear out the prophesy, typically, terror is used to hold the believers together and keep the non-believers at bay. I think we are seeing a trend toward climate terror among the global warming believers because they increasingly realize that the scientific facts do not support their cataclysmic world view. Climate skeptics are the evildoers, of course.

Jan Matthys was finally caught, dismembered, and his head was stuck on a pike. His genitals were nailed to the gate of the city of Muenster. Perhaps, a lesson for the climate prophets: when people get too frustrated by failing prophesies, they can get nasty.

No, Al, don’t worry. You can keep your junk.

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