18 Spectacularly Wrong Earth Day Apocalyptic Predictions

Predicting the end of the world is not confined to religious prophecy writers. Liberals have used predictions about the near end of something — anything — as a way to call for more government interference in our lives.

“You never want a serious crisis go to waste” has been the liberal mantra even before Rahm Emanuel used it to describe the Obama agenda.

Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum actually mean this:

You never want a serious crisis go to waste, and if you don’t have a real crisis make up one.

The crisis of the environment has worked well for liberals, so well in fact that some liberals want to use the government to silence anybody who questions the man-made global warming narrative. For example, Joss Whedon, the director of the new The Avengers film, wrote that “Policy makers who deny basic scientific truth should also be denied penicillin, horseless carriages, air time on the magic box of shadows.”

Joss Whedon

Denied by whom? Denied by the government, of course. Fascism comes in all shapes and sizes.

Let’s not forget that the crisis makers exempt themselves from the restrictions put on the rest of us. Joss Whedon is using massive amounts of energy to make his films, and this doesn’t even count the amount of fuel that people will use to drive to the movie theaters to see his energy gobbling productions.

President Obama’s trip to the Everglade, “timed to coincide with Earth Day,” consumed “9,180 gallons of fuel on Air Force One.”

Leonardo DeCaprio is one of the biggest of the “not for thee but for me” environmental hypocrites.

Crisis politics has a long history, with Earth Day taking center stage for bigger and more expensive government and fewer freedoms.

Mark J. Perry, concurrently a scholar at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus, has compiled a list of 18 Failed Earth Day Apocalyptic Predictions.


On the 30th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article in the May 2000 edition of Reason Magazine titled “Earth Day, Then and Now.” In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article.  Well, now that more than 40 years have passed, how accurate were those predictions around the time of the first Earth Day? Wrong, spectacularly wrong, and here are 18 examples:

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.



3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “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.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

To read the rest of the apocalyptic predictions, go to AEI.

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