'Screw' Earth Day

(system) #1

As the folks at Grist say, "Earth Day is for amateurs." Of course it's a good reminder, but beyond a day, there are lots of ways to live an increasingly sustainable life.

Here's a good tip on coffee.

Here's a good tip on tire pressure.

If you haven't already, I recommend checking out this Adventist Environmental Advocacy post by Sara Goodwin, a first year biology major at Andrews University.

A couple weeks ago, the Andrews University community enjoyed an evening presentation by Peter Sinclair, a member of the organization, The Climate Project, who has worked alongside environmental activists such as Al Gore and many prominent climate scientists. I admit that I was a little skeptical at first since Sinclair is not a scientist, and neither is Al Gore (as much as I enjoyed his video, An Inconvenient Truth). But when he began his presentation by saying, “I am not a scientist — I am just a storyteller, reporting the facts as they have been given to me by the scientists,” I was satisfied.

Sinclair gave a brief overview of some of the issues caused by climate change and addressed several common myths and misconceptions that are tossed around by the skeptics. He also spent quite a bit of time covering ways that people and communities could make a positive environmental difference, focusing mainly on energy conservation. I appreciated his professional, humorous style, especially since this is a subject I’ve heard about over and over (who hasn’t these days?).

Read the rest here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1593

(Gene Fortner) #2

‘All experts agree…’, vintage 1970.
Scientific predictions from Earth Day 1970:

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist
“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
“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
“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, professor, North Texas State University
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
“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….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970
“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
“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

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director
“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
“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, the day after the first Earth Day
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist
“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

This stuff never changes. Science apocalypticism is the scourge of the 20th century, and shows no sign of letting up in the 21st.