Not all bad predictions are by progressives or the left. But people are resistant to change, and progressives want change -- so in order to get change, they need to sensationalize problems and paint a utopic picture of what the solutions will be like. Whereas if you're conservative and want lesser change, or things to stay the same, you don't need to hype problems and can be skeptical (moderate) about solutions. Plus, conservatives are more cynical and look for ways that things can go wrong, thus negative predictions (about Unintended Consequences) are more likely to be on target. Thus the vast majority of bad predictions come from the left.
Bad Predictions : 12 items
Internet Prediction - 🔮 "By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.” ~ Paul Krugman. The smartest guy at the NYT, written in an article for Red Herring magazine, explaining why “Most Economists’ Predictions Are Wrong". Then proving it.
Beepocalypse - There was this huge scam (perpetuated by the left) for many years that bees were dying, and it was going to be the end us of all, because bees were so important to the ecosystem. Colony Collapse Disorder was sensationalized as the greatest threat to humanity since Nuclear weapons. A decade later, nothing had happened and most had forgotten the media's sensationalism. But the informed remembered, and learned from the mistake.
Climate Quotes - From the contradictions between cooling vs. warming, the devastation caused by the pollution or warming/cooling that never came, to the ice caps that are still fine, to the glaciers that never went away, or the plants and animals that are still thriving and so on. Malthusian catastrophe's predicted since time immemorial. The point isn't that we shouldn't study this stuff, it's that we should look at it with the skeptical eye of mature adults who have a clue as to how wrong the religion of Science has been in the past, to know to not overreact like gullible emotional children today.
Earth Day Predictions - To judge how off someone likely is in the present, it is a good idea to remember how wrong they were in the past. Here's a few predictions from the first earth day:
- “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” ~ 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.” ~ NYT
- Paul Ehrlich has a rich history of being wrong (which is why he wins so many lefty accolades),
- “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." ~ Mademoiselle, April 1970
- "...between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the 'Great Die-Off.'", rant in the Earth Day issue of The Progressive
- “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich predicted 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.
- DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. ~ Audubon, May 1970. (NOTE: life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).
- “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.
- “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.” ~Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor
- “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….” ~ January 1970, Life Magazine
- Ecologist Kenneth Watt had a few losers:
- “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.” ~ Time Magazine
- “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”
- the pending Ice Age, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years... If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
- Prediction: decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate ~ Barry Commoner
- Scientific American published a chart that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990. Quoting Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences.
- "in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” ~ Look Magazine, quoting Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley (secretary of the Smithsonian Institute).
Global Cooling Scare - The left/media/polemics of today will pretend this didn't exist, or it was just a few outlets that were claiming it, and there was no science or momentum behind it. That's a lie. Paul R. Ehrlich, Watermelon environmentalist of the 1960's, not only wrote the discredited The Population Bomb, but he also started another Tragedy of the commons based chicken little disaster: the Global Cooling Scare. In 1968 he claimed fossil fuels had raised CO2 levels 15% which was causing clouds to block out the sun and causing the global cooling they had been observing (a minute fraction of a degree). He was wrong, warming had caused CO2 to go up (not fossil fuels), and it wasn't causing the cooling. But all the watermelon sources bought in: NCAR, CRU, NAS, NASA, NYT, Science, CIA, and so on. We needed big government authoritarianism to fix it, or we we're doomed. This was all the rage until something bad happened... and they realized that despite the 40 year drop in temperatures (due to mans minuscule contribution to CO2), that we were actually warming again. Reverse engines, nothing to see here. Time for the next theory/excuse why we needed centralized Marxism to cure what ails us: this time it was Global Warming. (And when that paused, they changed the term to Climate Change: so that they could use up or down trends as an excuse to prove themselves right).
Malthusian Catastrophe - In 1798, this guy named Robert Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population , basically saying that since population growth was exceeding food production, our labor value would crash to zero, we’d all be poor and we were all going to die in 50 or 100 years (known as the Malthusian Catastrophe), if we didn’t give the government control over our breeding. Also we needed to “condemn the bad specimens to celibacy”. Hey, he must be right, he used math. We ignored Malthus, and he was wrong about everything. The world not only didn’t go into meltdown by 1898 (or ever couple generations after that): it got better in every dimension along with population growth. But his ideas long outlived the era where they were proven wrong, and were often repeated by the the left like Keynes, or to this day. Every time one the collectivist ideas fail (which is always), they try to repackage it (reinvent it), to sell the next gullible on the same bullshit. And this zombie has more lives than a cattery. But all the variants have a few things in common, their premise (humans can't control themselves and need government), their proposed solution (giving up our liberty/money to government to fix it), the outcome if we didn’t act (our near term violent demise, to add immediacy), and then finally — the unwillingness of the rational to heed their warnings, and then the complete lack of consequences that were predicted (proving that they were wrong all along).
Peak Oil Theory - In the mid 50’s M King Hubbert plotted out oil production, and said we would peak in the U.S. between 1965 and 1970, and in the world by 1986, so we needed to give government control to save us. Globally, advances in discovery, has resulted in at least 2050 until we expect to supply peak, 70 years or so after we were supposed to be doomed -- assuming no further advancements are made. And demand peak (for oil based energy) may already be on the decline, well before we ever consumed all the supply.
The Population Bomb - When the 1960’s happened the hippie collectivist environmentalists started their watermelon movement (green on the outside, red on the inside). They had nothing logical to support their fear mongering, so they just went with the long disproven falsehood of Tragedy of the commons, again. First Garrett Hardin regurgitated the Tragedy of the commons, despite the fact that it was disproven 160 years before he wrote it. Then Ehrlich did a shallow, plagiaristic, pessimistic derivative of Hardin and Malthus, entitled "The Population Bomb", basically saying that if you didn’t give government all your money and rights, so they could enact compulsory population control, then there would be mass starvations and war in the 1970s and 1980s that would destroy civilization. Of course it didn't happen, but many on the left seems it will, soon, and believe in over-population is a problem. As far as we know the carrying capacity of the earth far expands with technology and exceeds population growth (so is infinite) -- and current projections are that we'll peak in population in a couple more generations (well below any imaginary ceiling), as currently the worlds population could fit in Texas. Only science deniers think overpopulation is a serious capacity problem.
Tragedy of the commons -
Trump Election: Orange is the new black -
Trump and Brexit - Headline in the Progressive Rag the UK's New Statesmen (by Ian Leslie), June of 2016, 🔮"Calm down. Trump won’t be President – and Britain won’t leave the EU". A twofer in a headline, the article even elucidated more clearly on how clueless the progressive left is.
Unintended Consequences -
Progressives by nature want progress. Since the majority of progressives are young kids (or old children), that suffer from chronic Dunning-Kruger effect (those that know the least are the most self-assured) and think they know how to fix everything better than the people who have spent their lives in those industries, progress is virtually always an immature "knee-jerk" far-left reaction on how to make things better, that results in unintended consequences and would make things much worse. If only they had the wisdom to listen to the experts before regulating/legislating. But if they had that wisdom and temperament, they would be moderates. more...
Progressives by nature want progress. Since the majority of progressives are young kids (or old children), that suffer from chronic Dunning-Kruger effect (those that know the least are the most self-assured) and think they know how to fix everything better than the people who have spent their lives in those industries, progress is virtually always an immature "knee-jerk" far-left reaction on how to make things better, that results in unintended consequences and would make things much worse. If only they had the wisdom to listen to the experts before regulating/legislating. But if they had that wisdom and temperament, they would be moderates.