50 Years of Failed Global Warming Doomsday Predictions


Last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez casually mentioned that if nothing is done about carbon emissions, Miami would disappear “in a few years” due to climate change.


AOC is hardly alone in making spectacularly stupid predictions about global climate catastrophe. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has compiled a list of the best, the worst, the funniest, and the most banal predictions from climate change hysterics that somehow, someway, never quite managed to come true.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

Fox News gives a few examples from the CEI list that includes media coverage of the disaster predictions at the time.

An Associated Press headline from 1989 read “Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.” The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending “cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.” That claim came from an “international team of specialists” cited by The New York Times in 1978.

Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that “another ice age” was imminent. “Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest,” the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that “Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast.”

In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century.” The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be “as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.”


The “global cooling” prediction was based on almost the same evidence that global warming predictions are being made now. The difference is in falling temps (cooling) and rising temps (warming).

Have these hysterics got no sense of irony?

The most famous doomsayer of them all — Paul Ehrlich — made a fortune out of scaring the beejeebees out of the gullible greens.

Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that “everybody” would “disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years,” The New York Times reported.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a “disastrous” famine,” urged placing “sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water.”

I just love some of these headlines:

1980: “Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes”: “But 10 years later, the US government program formed to study acid rain concluded: ‘Acid Rain no environmental crisis, study concludes'” (AP)

1988: James Hansen forecasts increased regional droughts in 1990s. “But the last really dry year in the Midwest was 1988, and recent years have been record wet”


1988: “Maldives completely underwater in 30 years.” Daily Caller last year: “30 Years Ago Officials Predicted The Maldives Would Be Swallowed By The Sea. It Didn’t Happen”

1989: “New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019”

And my favorite from 2000: “Children won’t know what snow is.” “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

I’ve concluded through careful observation of climate change hysterics that many of them see climate change the same way the rest of us see a scary movie. Everyone loves to be frightened, whether it’s goblins and ghosts or carbon emissions and rising seas.

The difference is that we’re pretty sure the goblins and ghosts don’t exist.

It’s no fun envisioning the end of the world unless you feel that only you and select few know it. Holding privileged information makes one feel special and superior.

It’s not enough that most scientists agree the world climate is changing. You have to believe in the apocalypse or you’re a heretic or a “denier.” That’s why these doomsday predictions keep coming. And why they will almost certainly prove to be wrong again.



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