Back in 1970, when the world celebrated the first Earth Day, environmentalists were worried that without dramatic measures, the future would be catastrophic for the Earth and civilization. But their grim predictions haven’t come true, The Daily Caller News Foundation pointed out today, assembling a list of seven incorrect predictions of doom regarding the planet and civilization. The following are highlights from their list.
The end of civilization within three decades
Nobel laureate George Wald prophesied in 1970 that civilization would end “unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” The Daily Caller reported. Civilization is still here.
Hundreds of millions will starve
Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, forecast in 1970 that vast famines would occur in that decade and the next. England would be hit by food shortages, the country would collapse, and civilization would come to an end. And yet the world’s per capita GDP has grown even as the global population has, and fewer people live in poverty.
Gas masks will be required in cities
In January of 1970, Life Magazine claimed that people would have to wear gas masks in cities in ten years due to pollution, and that in 1985, air pollution would cause the world to receive only half the normal amount of sunlight. In fact, air quality is getting better, the World Health Organization says.
The world’s oil will run out
Kenneth Watt, an ecologist, predicted in 1970 that there would be no more oil in the future. Watt wasn’t the only one who thought the world’s oil was peaking— but he was wrong. In fact, today there is an oil glut, leading to cheap prices. Part of the reason for that is the boom of fracking in the United States, where oil production is now much higher than it was in the past.
Read the complete list at The Daily Caller.