The sky isn’t falling

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Friday was Earth Day, so it was tempting to once again ridicule all of the inaccurate doomsday predictions scientists have made about our climate, but that wouldn’t be nice.

Wait. Forget nice! Green activists want to cripple our economy on behalf of their cause. And if we dare question anything they tell us, we are accused of being anti-science.

So it’s a good thing to remind ourselves that the people scolding us for eating meat, driving cars and taking hot showers have been wrong time and time again.

The point is not to deny science or to suggest that we shouldn’t be good stewards of the planet. It’s not even to suggest that we should ignore all of the warnings being made.

No, the point of remembering the wrong predictions is to maintain a healthy skepticism so we will at least question what we’re told. So we won’t blindly comply with demands activists make without first asking for proof that the measures are necessary.

Here are just a few of the many times latter-day Chicken Littles have gotten it wrong. They were compiled by Mark J. Perry, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

These predictions, Mr. Perry wrote, were made “around the time of the first Earth Day, in 1970:”

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

Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle,

“The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” wrote Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years [that is, 27 years ago], somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

Ecologist Kenneth Watt warned: “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Would we accuse those who questioned that impending ice age of being “anti-science?”

Of course not. It was wise to exercise discernment back in the ’70s, and it’s wise to do so now.

Three years ago, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, warned that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” So we have just nine years left.

What happens in 2031 when we’re still here? Will AOC admit she was wrong?

We all know the answer. Instead of apologizing, she’ll still be pushing to dismantle our economy via the Green New Deal (if it’s not already law by then).

Yes, we need discernment. We need to care about the environment but ignore the Chicken Littles.

• • •

Candidates in the new 13th Congressional District have filed their latest campaign finance reports, which show what the campaigns have received through the end of March.

The following numbers are total receipts, which also include money candidates loaned themselves (in Kelly Daughtry’s case, she has loaned her campaign over $2.15 million).

So these numbers do not tell how well candidates have done in terms of grassroots fundraising. Still, because money is the mother’s milk of politics, they are a measure of each candidate’s strength.

Contact Bart Adams at badams@mydailyrecord.com.

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