Predictions old and new

Posted: December 31, 2010 in oddities
Tags: , , ,

Nope this isn’t a post about my predictions for 2011 this is instead about predictions in the past that have become busts:

It is always entertaining to look at predictions from the past, and see how far off they were. In the 1920s, the assumption was that by the 1950s, we would all be getting around in flying cars. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward describes how by the year 2001, capitalism would have completely disappeared (at the instigation of the capitalists, who would see the advantages of socialism), replaced with a democratic socialism where everyone ate in common mess halls, owned everything in common, and there was almost no violence anymore.

Clayton then links to this list of predictions of environmental catastrophes that weren’t and concludes thus:

When scientists make apocalyptic predictions based on claims of science, I expect them to hit their marks, or have a darn good explanation for why not.

The problem being these days that huge amounts of cash ride on these predictions and the right way of looking at things can be the difference between a well-funded grant keeping you in champagne for decades to teaching chemistry at a community college. More importantly with the amounts of money involved any challenge to the orthodoxy becomes not so much a scientific debate as a threat to a person’s standard of living requiring a strong and sometimes devastating counter.

The whole Global Warming bit has become basically a giant 21st century version of The Sting with the taxpayers of the western world as the mark. I predict that when it fails there will be a new version with a new prediction and a new urgency that will drive media coverage and funds for NGO to keep them in caviar for another decade or two.

  1. […] TechGuy: Predictions Old and New (More on globull […]

  2. rogerthesurf says:

    I think that we are in the grip of the biggest and most insane hoax in history, and unless the public get wise to it soon, we will all be parted from what wealth we have.

    Lets take a simple economic view of what is likely to happen.

    In the absence of sufficient alternative solutions/technologies, the only way western countries can ever attain the IPCC demands of CO2 emissions reduced to 40% below 1990 levels, (thats about 60% below todays) is to machine restrictions on the use of fossil fuels. Emission Trading schemes are an example.

    As the use of fossil fuels is roughly linear with anthropogenic CO2 emissions, to attain a 60% reduction of emissions , means about the same proportion of reduction of fossil fuel usage, including petrol, diesel, heating oil, not to mention coal and other types including propane etc.

    No matter how a restriction on the use of these is implemented, even a 10% decrease will make the price of petrol go sky high. In otherwords, (and petrol is just one example) we can expect, if the IPCC has its way, a price rise on petrol of greater than 500%.
    First of all, for all normal people, this will make the family car impossible to use. Worse than that though, the transport industry will also have to deal with this as well and they will need to pass the cost on to the consumer. Simple things like food will get prohibitively expensive. Manufacturers who need fossil energy to produce will either pass the cost on to the consumer or go out of business. If you live further than walking distance from work, you will be in trouble.
    All this leads to an economic crash of terrible proportions as unemployment rises and poverty spreads.
    I believe that this will be the effect of bowing to the IPCC and the AGW lobby. AND as AGW is a hoax it will be all in vain. The world will continue to do what it has always done while normal people starve and others at the top (including energy/oil companies and emission traders) will enjoy the high prices.

    Neither this scenario nor any analysis of the cost of CO2 emission reductions is included in IPCC literature, and the Stern report which claims economic expansion is simply not obeying economic logic as it is known in todays academic world.

    The fact that the emission reduction cost issue is not discussed, leads me to believe that there is a deliberate cover up of this issue. Fairly obviously the possibility of starvation will hardly appeal to the masses.

    AGW is baloney anyway!