The Scarier the Climate Change Forecasts, the Better! 

by | Apr 13, 2021 |

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When was the last time you heard something positive about climate change in mainstream media? Say that global warming is generally good for humanity and nature? Or that rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are a boon for plants and so will help us feed our growing population?

Of course, both of these statements are true but don’t expect the press to report on them. After all, the basic axiom for most media is simply, “if it bleeds, it leads.” 

The senior author of this article, Dr. Jay Lehr, has called TV and radio stations to ask why they fill their broadcasts with local murders and car crashes. If one is not available locally, they will go to great lengths to find one even thousands of miles away. I was told that if their listeners or viewers do not hear or see such bad news on their station, they will complain if they heard or saw it elsewhere. The stations do not want to lose readers, listeners, or viewers, so naturally, they give their audience what they want to hear and see.

When it comes to climate change, the same thing is happening. A 2013 study by James Painter, head of the Journalism Fellowship Program at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, found that approximately 80% of media coverage of climate change, and 90% of coverage of reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), portrayed the subject in terms of disaster. Some writers have even announced that climate change will happen so fast that the Earth will be uninhabitable in the next 10 years.

Climate activists may unwittingly be doing us all a great favor with their exaggerations. In “The Moral Roots of Environmental Attitudes,” a 2013 paper in the journal Psychological Science, the results of a study by UC Berkley social psychologist Robb Willer and Matthew Feinberg of the Center for Compassion and Altruism at Stanford University showed that test subjects who were exposed to doomsday messages about global warming became more skeptical about the science of the IPCC. This tendency was even greater among people who viewed the world as safe, stable, and fair. “Dire Messages About Global Warming Can Backfire, Study Shows” explains this more fully.

When President Joe Biden convenes his Earth Day Leaders Summit on Climate Change on April 22nd, we know he will engage world leaders with the scariest pronouncements on the dire threat of climate change. Based on the mounting evidence, we actually will support their cheap talk. It proves how removed from reality these people truly are!

Repeating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) statement that “Millennials, and Gen z, and all these folks that come after us, are looking up and we’re like ‘the world will end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'” would be a great place to start, especially given the dire financial straits of so many Americans right now.

Another bonus of outrageous forecasts is that it gives people like us excellent ammunition to use in the future when the predictions do not come true. This, too, helps the public understand the science’s immaturity on which the climate scare is based.

Thanks to the help of Steve Milloy at JunkScience.com, we will supply you with 10 stories that were projected to come to pass in 2020 but, of course, did not actually happen. 

1  –  In 1978, The Vermont Sun quoted multiple scientists predicting that by 2020 the Earth’s CO2 concentration would double from its then-current level of 330 parts per million. It actually increased by only about 27% to 420.

2  –  In 1986, U.S. EPA predicted a two-foot sea-level rise for Florida in 2020. It has risen about one inch, a rate which has been experienced for 800 years. An additional apparent rise of 3 inches has been the result of land subsidence.

3  –  In 1987, a former NASA scientist was quoted in nearly all U.S. newspapers that by 2020 the world’s temperature would increase by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The actual increase was less than a single degree Fahrenheit.

4  –  In March of 2000 at Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, scientist David Parker told the English newspaper The Independent that British children will soon experience snow only virtually on the internet. When it snows 20 years hence (2020), it will cause chaos due to its rarity. England has not been short of normal snow.

5  –  In 2000, it was reported by the Tarawa, Kiribati newspaper that a study by Greenpeace indicated that Global Warming would ruin Pacific Island Nations economies by 2020, with Tuvalu considered most critical. Tuvalu’s 2019 budget report stated that Tuvalu had enjoyed an unprecedented six consecutive years of economic growth.

6  –  A secret Pentagon report in 2004 reported to President Bush that climate change-caused resource shortages might cause a global war by 2020. It said that water and energy shortages would become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war as it is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. Enough said.

7  –  In 2008, Al Gore and most of his friends predicted the snow on Mount Kilimanjaro would have disappeared. There has been little change at all in its snow cap.

8  –  In 2009, it was predicted that China would decrease its CO2 emissions by 40 to 45% and India by 20 to 25%. Instead, their emissions have increased in the past 11 years. 

9  –  In 2009, The Los Angeles Times reported from a number of government reports that it was expected that all glaciers in Glacier National Park would be gone by 2020. The Park officials posted signs warning visitors that the end of glaciers in the Park was near. In 2020 no glaciers were gone, but officials removed the signs.

10  –  USA Today reported in 2013 that the Arctic should be free of ice in the summer by 2020. The prediction was off by 3.9 million square kilometers, which was the amount of remaining ice in September of 2020.

Let’s hope Biden, OAC, and the rest of the left continue to come up with even more extreme predictions to try to scare us all. Their past failures will not deter them one bit, and, for once, we should all be grateful.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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