Some may argue that such cataclysmic projections would have come to fruition had the EPA not been organized later that year and had efforts to clean up the environment not been taken immediately. But listening to their 21st century equivalents, it’s obvious that we have never done enough.
Then there were the population and human life projections, which included, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” warned Harvard biologist George Wald.
“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction,” said a New York Times editorial.
“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,” according to Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich.
Ehrlich continued: “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [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.”
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” proclaimed Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day.
And finally, “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,” said professor Peter Gunter.
If we could shed the cataclysmic alarmism that often accompanies environmental movements, and wouldn’t subordinate mankind in the global hierarchy of needs, the environmental movement could have even more broad support than currently enjoyed. In the meantime, forgive us deliberative types for not gullibly gulping at today’s servings of alarmist hysteria. After all, the movement has a history; and we’re keeping track.