Earth Day HysteriaSam was born in 1959 and I was born in 1964. The generation gap between us is surprisingly enormous. His formative years were spent listing to music whined by long-haired stoners struggling to articulate consonants whilst sliding gently from one pitch to (almost) the next. Not to mention the worst clothes in the history of the world. Mine were consumed by the awesomeness of disco, breakdancing, and shoulder pads.

On a company retreat last weekend, I'm pretty sure we came to the conclusion that the 70s sucked and the 80s rocked. (That's my interpretation of that conversation.)

To celebrate Earth Day today — my favorite holiday in the universe — I plan to litter, poison well water, and drive tens of thousands of miles in my SUV.

To top off the fun, I'd like to share with you 13 more reasons why the 70s really stunk. Also why you're stupid if you listen to today's environmental extremist rhetoric. (Which is most environmental rhetoric since the commencement of Earth Day.)

Behold the carnage predicted on the first ever Earth Day in 1970.

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    ~ George Wald, Harvard biologist
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
    ~ Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
    New York Times editorial
  4. “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.”
    ~ Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
  5. “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.”
    ~ Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
    ~ Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “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, North Texas State University professor
  8. “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.”
    Life magazine
  9. “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.”
    ~ Kenneth Watt, ecologist
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
    ~ Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
  11. “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.'”
    ~ Kenneth Watt, ecologist
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth's cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun's heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”
    ~ Newsweek magazine
  13. “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.”
    ~ Kenneth Watt, ecologist

Quotes courtesy of “Earth Day, Then and Now” by Ronald Bailey. Synopsis courtesy of FreedomWorks. 13 years later, we are still awaiting the apocalypse.