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Earth Day Predictions from 1970

April 26, 2010 4 comments

This is why you don’t let the “experts” dictate policy.

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” – Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” – The same Paul Ehrilich

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” – Life Magazine, January 1970

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” – Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” – Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

I’m a big fan of Dr. Thomas Sowell. His book Intellectuals and Society is an excellent read, to get an idea of what goes through the mind of intellectuals like Ehrilich. Why they get it wrong but never have to answer for being wrong so consistently.

(O)ne of the advantages of high intelligence is the ability to rationalize. We can all make mistakes and again, if you don’t pay for those mistakes, there’s not really a strong reason to make a correction. In fact, to admit a mistake among intellectuals and more so among politicians, will do you more damage than persisting in it.

Here’s more from Sowell. Go to the 2:04 minute mark to hear him talk about intellectuals that don’t pay any price for being wrong.

So think about all this, the next time you hear someone talk about the pending doom, unless of course we take their advice.

H/T Cafe Hayek