Thursday, April 20, 2017

When scientists become politicians

Science suffers when scientists become politicians.  A few examples:
  1. Biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted in the 1970s that: “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” and that “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
  2. In January 1970, Life reported, “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….”
  3. In January 2006 Al Gore predicted that we had ten years left before the planet turned into a “total frying pan.” We made it.
  4. In 2008, a segment aired on ABC News predicted that NYC would be under water by June 2015.
  5. In 1970, ecologist Kenneth E.F. Watt predicted that “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000, This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.”
  6. In 2008, Al Gore predicted that there is a 75% chance that the entire north polar ice cap would be completely melted within 5-7 years. He at least hedged that prediction by giving himself “75%” certainty.
  7. On May 13th 2014 France’s foreign minister said that we only have 500 days to stop “climate chaos.” The recent Paris climate summit met 565 days after his remark.
  8. In 2009Nasa scientist and leading climate expert James Wassen warned that Obama only had four years left to save the earth.
  9. On the first Earth Day its sponsor warned that “in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
  10. And another Earth Day prediction from Kenneth Watt: “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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