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50 Years of Failed Climate Forecast Predictions

Downside Risk
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EDITOR NOTE: This post will certainly divide our readers--with half of them cheering it on, memorizing a few salient points to use in their next climate change debate, while the other half feels enraged, claiming to have a counterargument for each point posited in this inflammatory piece. The article presents decades of failed ecological climate forecasts and predictions--now appearing like nothing more than empty propaganda. The question is, how many billions would you be willing to spend to see if the climate change agenda is worth supporting; if those scientists (and the politicians using their arguments to fuel their spending agenda) are correct? Note, this is money that’ll claim your and your children’s future income and wealth--something that will end up decreasing your purchasing power, leading some, though not all, to a future of impoverishment. And if there were, say, over 100 predictions, and 99 of them were incorrect, the other question would be whether you’d be willing to play a version of eco Russian Roulette with a gun that has 99 empty chambers and one with a bullet?

Here are 21 headlines from various news sources regarding dire climate predictions over the last 50 years. Many of the predictions are outrageously funny.

Climate Forecast Headline Predictions

  1. 1967 Salt Lake Tribune: Dire Famine Forecast by 1975, Already Too Late
  2. 1969 NYT: "Unless we are extremely lucky, everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. The situation will get worse unless we change our behavior."
  3. 1970 Boston Globe: Scientist Predicts New Ice Age by 21st Century said James P. Lodge, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 
  4. 1971 Washington Post: Disastrous New Ice Age Coming says S.I. Rasool at NASA. 
  5. 1972 Brown University Letter to President Nixon: Warning on Global Cooling 
  6. 1974 The Guardian: Space Satellites Show Ice Age Coming Fast
  7. 1974 Time Magazine: Another Ice Age "Telling signs everywhere.  Since the 1940s mean global temperatures have dropped 2.7 degrees F."
  8. 1974 "Ozone Depletion a Great Peril to Life" University of Michigan Scientist
  9. 1976 NYT The Cooling: University of Wisconsin climatologist Stephen Schneider laments about the "deaf ear his warnings received."
  10. 1988 Agence France Press: Maldives will be Completely Under Water in 30 Years. 
  11. 1989 Associated Press: UN Official Says Rising Seas to 'Obliterate Nations' by 2000.
  12. 1989 Salon: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019 said Jim Hansen the scientist who lectured Congress in 1988 about the greenhouse effect.
  13. 2000 The Independent: "Snowfalls are a thing of the past. Our children will not know what snow is," says senior climate researcher.
  14. 2004 The Guardian:  The Pentagon Tells Bush Climate Change Will Destroy Us. "Britain will be Siberian in less than 20 years," the Pentagon told Bush.
  15. 2008 Associate Press: NASA Scientist says "We're Toast. In 5-10 years the Arctic will be Ice Free"
  16. 2008 Al Gore: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013.
  17. 2009 The Independent: Prince Charles says Just 96 Months to Save the World. "The price of capitalism is too high."
  18. 2009 The Independent: Gordon Brown says "We have fewer than 50 days  to save our planet from catastrophe."
  19.  2013 The Guardian: The Arctic will be Ice Free in Two Years. "The release of a 50 gigaton of methane pulse" will destabilize the planet.
  20. 2013 The Guardian: US Navy Predicts Ice Free Arctic by 2016. "The US Navy's department of Oceanography uses complex modeling to makes its forecast more accurate than others.
  21. 2014 John Kerry: "We have 500 days to Avoid Climate Chaos" discussed Sec of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious at a joint meeting.

The above items are thanks to 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions.

The article has actual news clips and links to everyone of the above stories.

What Happened to the Glaciers?

On January 17, 2020 Montana Public Radio reported Scientists Predicted Glacier Park's Glaciers Would Be Gone By Now. What Happened?

Last week, Glacier National Park announced that it will be changing signs warning that its signature glaciers would disappear by 2020. The park says the signs, put in more than a decade ago, were based on the best available predictions at the time.

In terms of the predictions, the latest that I've seen actually comes from a group of Swiss researchers. So I would have to look at their results in more detail than is possible from looking at the paper they published to be able to say definitively when all the glaciers are are hosed and no longer present, but certainly by 2100.

New Predictions and Stories 

Ocasio-Cortez called the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change her generation's "World War II." 

"Millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us are looking up, and we're like, 'The world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?' " she said.

OAC then blasted the GOP for taking her doomsday prediction literally. 

We have had 50 years of this kind of BS and yes, many people do take it literally.

On February 7 2020, she unleashed her Stunningly Absurd "New Green Deal" that suggests she was serious.

  1. Upgrade all existing buildings in the US
  2. 100% clean power
  3. Support family farms
  4. Universal access to healthy food
  5. Zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
  6. Remove greenhouse gasses form the atmosphere
  7. Eliminate unfair competition
  8. Affordable access to electricity
  9. Create high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages
  10. Guaranteeing a job with a family sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States

More $90 Trillion Solutions

In 2015, Business Insider noted A Plan Is Floating Around Davos To Spend $90 Trillion Redesigning All The Cities So They Don't Need Cars

The $90 trillion proposal came from former US vice president Al Gore, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and their colleagues on The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. 

Where is the CO2 Coming From?

CO2 Stats

  • Please note that the US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2019 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

Key Questions

  1. How much money are we willing to spend to reduce our 14.5% and falling percentage of carbon emissions?
  2. What would it cost to cut that by half in 10 years?
  3. Assuming we could cut that in half in 10 years, what would it do to total carbon output?
  4. By what force do we get China, India, and all the developing economies in the Mideast and Africa to reduce their carbon output?
  5. Assuming we achieve number 4 peacefully by some sort of economic buyout like cap-and-trade what is the cost to the US?
  6. What about inflation?
  7. Sure, China is producing goods for the US and EU but do we want that to stop? When? Why? How? Cost?
  8. Does not China, India, Africa, etc., have the right to improve their standards of living?
  9. What do the above points imply about the US standard of living?
  10. How the hell do we pay for this?

Looking ahead over the next 100 years, the US is a minor part of the carbon problem.

Bonus Geopolitical Q&A

Q: What happened when Merkel went along with the Greens and did away with nuclear?
A: Germany imports more coal-based energy from neighboring states and is more dependent on Russia for natural gas.

Q: Is wind and solar ever going to make a serious dent in China's growing energy demands.
A: No

Q: What happened in France when Macron pushed through a gas tax to support the Green movement?
A: How quick we forget the Yellow-Vest Revolt that went on for months.

I have yet see AOC, John Kerry, any Mish reader, or anyone else address any of the above questions in detail.

Final Questions to All Those Demanding Government Do Something

What the hell are you doing?

The #1 thing someone can proactively do eliminate their carbon footprint is to stop breathing.

Since that seems a bit impractical, the #2 thing someone can do is not have kids.

Instead, most demand the government do something. What?

Until someone can put a realistic price on this while addressing my questions, forgive me for not agreeing that a total rise in the ocean of 3 inches in the last 20 years is the existential threat of our time.

Politicians Will Not Solve the Problem

Clean Energy

I am a big fan of natural gas and believe it is clean energy. The byproduct of burning natural gas is carbon dioxide and water.

Neither is a pollutant in any way shape or form. Plants even need carbon dioxide to survive.

Coal is another matter.

Burning coal releases SO2 and NOx pollutants that cause Acid Rain, huge respiratory problems and will devastate forests.

If the atmosphere is polluted with sulfur dioxide (SO2) or nitrogen oxides (NOx), rain becomes oxidized by ozone (O3) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to form H2SO4 or HNO3 before falling to the ground. They are known respectively as sulfuric and nitric acid.

Acid rain will dissolve panty hose on the spot.

There is a huge difference between burning coal and burning natural gas.

Anti-Coal, Pro-Natural Gas

For environmental reasons, I am anti-coal but very much in favor of Natural Gas. And that has been my position forever. 

I am totally fine with eliminating coal for environmental reasons but to expect China to be 100% wind and solar is nonsense. 

There is no reason for Germany to abandon nuclear power and the results have been anything but green.

Libertarian Philosophy

Many of my readers blame me and Libertarians in general. They understand neither.

As noted above I am anti-coal. Why? It pollutes with SO2 and NOx causing acid, respiratory illnesses, and it kills fish.  

I have seen too many environmental cleanups. I have never commented on this before but my degree at the University of Illinois was in Environmental Engineering.

I have bashed China's air and water pollution consistently for decades. I have bashed Germany's diesel industry consistently too. 

Doing nothing about actual poison and doing nothing about CO2 are two very different things. 

There is nothing Libertarian about letting companies pollute then walk away in bankruptcy. 

One clever reader researched my coal and water pollution stance and noted I said the same things in 2006. Indeed I did. 

My position has been consistent.

Don't Accept 100% of the Climate Change Story and You Get Labeled a Racist

There we numerous global cooling warnings in the 60s and 70s and that is what we were taught in school. I did not believe the hype then, and I do not believe the hype now.

Point any of this out and guess what happens: You Get Labeled a Racist, as I did.

I am grateful that 50 years of sensational headline now look laughable, but they keep coming and coming.

Why should anyone take these models seriously? 

No Wonder People Don't Believe the Hype

How many times did we hear the arctic ice would all be gone by now? That Miami if not all of Florida would be underwater? 

Flashback 2010: The glaciers will all disappear by 2020. Now the best estimate is another 80 years. 

Flashback 1989: UN Official Says Rising Seas to 'Obliterate Nations' by 2000. What a hoot.

Flashback 2009: Gordon Brown UK Chancellor of the Exchequer says "We have fewer than 50 days to save our planet from catastrophe." Hmm. Have 50 days passed? 

Flashback 1969: "Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. The situation will get worse unless we change our behavior."

That's my favorite.

A Word About Predictions and Urgency

Believe in man-made climate change all you want. There is some truth to it although the models have not been remotely accurate to say the least.

After 50 years of nonsense hype, it's no wonder anyone with a modicum of common sense is more than a bit skeptical of these dire predictions and the alleged urgency to do something immediately about them.

If after all these now laughable headlines, you still have faith in the predictions, why? 

And if you don't believe the predictions, then do you still want to spend $90 trillion to solve the alleged problem?

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