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Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

Photo Credit: Getty

Thanks go to Tony Heller, who first collected many of these news clips and posted them on RealClimateScience.


Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.

None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true.

What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

1967: ‘Dire famine by 1975.’

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, November 17, 1967

1969: ‘Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989.’

Source: New York Times, August 10 1969

1970: Ice age by 2000

Source: Boston Globe, April 16, 1970

1970: ‘America subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980.’

Source: Redlands Daily Facts, October 6, 1970

1971: ‘New Ice Age Coming’

Source: Washington Post, July 9, 1971

1972: New ice age by 2070

Source: NOAA, October 2015

1974: ‘New Ice Age Coming Fast’

Source: The Guardian, January 29, 1974

1974: ‘Another Ice Age?’

Source: TIME, June 24, 1974

1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life’

But no such ‘great peril to life’ has been observed as the so-called ‘ozone hole’ remains:


Sources: Headline

NASA Data | Graph

1976: ‘The Cooling’

Source: New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1976

1980: ‘Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes’

Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, IN) April 9, 1980

But 10 years later, the US government program formed to study acid rain concluded:

Associated Press, September 6, 1990

1978: ‘No End in Sight’ to 30-Year Cooling Trend

Source: New York Times, January 5, 1978

But according to NASA satellite data there is a slight warming trend since 1979.

Source: DrRoySpencer.com

1988: James Hansen forecasts increase regional drought in 1990s

October 2022: Earth’s 4th-warmest October on record

October 2022: Earth’s 4th-warmest October on record

Europe had its warmest October on record, as did Northern Hemisphere land areas.
Warm afternoon in London on 11/28/22
Sunshine bathes government buildings at Whitehall Street in London on the unusually mild afternoon of Friday, October 28, 2022. The high of 66 degrees Fahrenheit at Kew Gardens followed 70 degrees on October 27. Some of the warmest late-October weather ever recorded reached many locations in Europe, including 92 degrees Fahrenheit at Lomnè, France, on October 29. (Image credit: Bob Henson)

October 2022 was Earth’s fourth-warmest October since record-keeping began in 1880, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reported November 15. NASA rated October as the fifth-warmest on record, behind 2016, 1.23 degrees Celsius (2.21°F) above the 1880-1920 period – its best estimate for when preindustrial temperatures last occurred. The European Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Japan Meteorological Agency rated October 2022 as the third-warmest October on record. Such minor differences in the agencies’ rankings can result from the different ways they treat data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Land areas had their second-warmest October on record in 2022, land areas in the Northern Hemisphere had their warmest October on record, and global ocean temperatures were the fifth-warmest on record, according to NOAA. Europe had its warmest October on record; Africa, its third-warmest; and Asia and North America, their sixth-warmest. Oceania and South America each had a warmer-than-average October, but the month did not rank among their top 10 warmest on record.

The year-to-date global surface temperature is the sixth-highest on record, and 2022 is 99% likely to end up as the sixth-warmest year on record, according to NOAA.

Land and ocean temperature percentiles
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for October 2022, the fourth-warmest October for the globe since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Parts of western and central Europe, western North America, and Africa experienced record-high October temperatures. No areas experienced record cold. (Image credit: NOAA/NCEI)

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Climate scientists: Ban solar geoengineering

Climate scientists: Ban solar geoengineering

‘The risks are poorly understood and can never be fully known’

The following open letter was issued by an international coalition of prominent scientists and governance scholars on January 17, 2022. It calls for an international treaty to outlaw attempts to reduce global heating by blocking sunlight from reaching earth.

Sixteen of the signatories are co-authors of Solar geoengineering: The case for an international non-use agreement, published simultaneously in the journal WIREs Climate Change. That paper concludes:

“Solar geoengineering is not necessary. Neither is it desirable, ethical, or politically governable in the current context. With the normalization of solar geoengineering research moving on with rapid speed, a strong political message to block these technologies is needed. And this message must come soon.”


Solar geoengineering – a set of hypothetical technologies to reduce incoming sunlight on Earth – is gaining prominence in debates on climate policy. Several scientists have launched research projects on solar geoengineering, and some see it as a potential future policy option.

To us, these proliferating calls for solar geoengineering research and development are cause for alarm. We share three fundamental concerns:

First, the risks of solar geoengineering are poorly understood and can never be fully known. Impacts will vary across regions, and there are uncertainties about the effects on weather patterns, agriculture, and the provision of basic needs of food and water.

Second, speculative hopes about the future availability of solar geoengineering technologies threaten commitments to mitigation and can disincentives governments, businesses, and societies to do their utmost to achieve decarbonization or carbon neutrality as soon as possible. The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering risks becoming a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate denialists, and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.

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If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7 C this century

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7 C this century

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century
Corals will not likely survive more than 2℃ global warming. Credit: Shutterstock

If nations make good on their latest promises to reduce emissions by 2030, the planet will warm by at least 2.7℃ this century, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found. This overshoots the crucial internationally agreed temperature rise of 1.5℃.

Released today, just days before the international climate change summit in Glasgow begins, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report works out the difference between where  are projected to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst climate change impacts.

It comes as the Morrison government yesterday officially committed to a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The government made no changes to its paltry 2030 target to reduce emissions by between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels, but announced that Australia is set to beat this, and reduce emissions by up to 35%.

The UNEP report was conducted before Australia’s new 2050 target was announced, but even with this new pledge, global pledges will undoubtedly still be short of what’s needed.

The report found global targets for net-zero emissions by mid-century could cut another 0.5℃ off . While this is a big improvement, it will still see temperatures rise to 2.2℃ this century. If we don’t close the global emissions gap, what will Australia, and the rest of world, be forced to endure?



If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century
Credit: The Conversation

Pledges are falling short

As of August 30 (the date the UNEP report reviewed to), 120 countries had made new or updated pledges and announcements to cut emissions.

The US, for example, has set an ambitious new target of reducing emissions by 50–52% below 2005 levels in 2030. Similarly, the European Union will cut carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

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Zero Carbon Sooner—Revised case for an early zero carbon target for the UK

Zero Carbon Sooner—Revised case for an early zero carbon target for the UK

Cover image: Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ in Liverpool; photographed by Donald Judge / flickr.com (CC-BY 2.0); modified


This paper is an update of an earlier briefing note[1], revised to take account of new findings from the IPCC’s updated 6th Assessment Report (AR6). The broad aim of the paper is to establish how soon the UK should aim for (net) zero carbon emissions. The paper first derives a ‘fair remaining carbon budget’ for the UK. It then analyses a variety of emission pathways and target dates for their adequacy in terms of remaining within this budget.

A first key finding is that a target date for zero carbon is not sufficient in itself to determine whether the UK remains within its carbon budget. Policy must specify both a target date and an associated emissions pathway. A second key finding is that the sufficiency of these targets and pathways depends crucially on whether emissions are accounted for on a ‘territorial’ basis or on a ‘consumption’ basis.

For a linear reduction pathway not to exceed the remaining carbon budget the net zero target year would have to be between 2027 and 2032, depending on the accounting framework. For a target year of 2050, the average rate of emission reductions must lie in the range 17-27% if the UK’s fair budget is not to be exceeded. As measured on a consumption basis, these rates would require absolute reductions approaching 95% of current carbon emissions as early as 2030. Consequently, this paper argues in favour of setting a UK target for net zero carbon emissions no later than 2035, with a maximum of around 5% of the mitigation effort achieved through negative emission technologies.


The full working paper is available for download in pdf (1.4MB). | Jackson T 2021. Zero Carbon Sooner…

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Why 4°C?

Climatologists say that civilization can’t survive global warming of 4oC over the pre-industrial average. Some climatologists even say that civilization can’t survive 3oC.  A temperature increase of 4oC over the pre-industrial average sounds fairly trivial so why would that cause civilization to collapse?

First, for Americans, a 4.0oC temperature increase corresponds to a 7.2oF temperature increase.  Maybe that still doesn’t sound too bad but it’s a big problem because the 7.2oF increase is an average over the globe and the temperature increase will not be homogeneous.

Some places will warm more than 7.2oF and some places less than 7.2oF.  The regions that will warm substantially more than 7.2oF include high latitude regions and large landmasses.  We can see that happening already with the global temperature change over the last 50 years (See Figure 1):


Figure 1:  Global Temperature Change from 1951-1980 to 2011-2020 (From NASA)

Figures II and III are projections of future warming across the globe:


Figure II: Average annual air temperature change (°C) at the Earth surface for two scenarios of future climate relative to the average of temperature between 1980 to 1999


Figure III-Warming during days and nights (Maps from NASA)

Not only will temperatures be higher in the future, but precipitation patterns will change over time, illustrated by predictions from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research shown in Figure IV:


Figure IV-Predictions of future precipitation changes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Hotter and drier conditions will make growing food more challenging.  As it is now, a substantial amount of agricultural production in the U.S., as well as in other countries, takes place in regions that rely on irrigation, particularly in the southwestern U.S. and the Great Plains.  The water for irrigation comes from both surface water and aquifer sources.

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The Scientists Are Terrified

The Scientists Are Terrified

A survey of the world’s top climate researchers shows a stark finding: Most expect catastrophic levels of heating and damage soon—very soon.

 woman looks at wildfires tearing through a forest in the region of Chefchaouen in northern Morocco on August 15, 2021. Smoke and flames rise in the background as she clasps her hands behind her head.
Photo: Fadel Senna/AFP (Getty Images)

A new Nature survey shows a majority of the world’s leading climate scientists expect “catastrophic” impacts in their lifetimes driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions. Brilliant researchers, they’re just like you and me—but with more data, which actually makes the new survey even more unnerving.

The feature from Nature, published on Monday, involved querying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change researchers. These are the same folks who put out a major report earlier this year warning that this is essentially the most consequential decade in human history, one that will play a major role in deciding just how severe global warming will be for generations to come. In other words, they’re deep in it.

Nature heard back from 92 of the 233 living IPCC authors. The results show that six in 10 of the respondents expect the planet to warm at least 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), a level that’s well beyond the Paris Agreement target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). And it’s double the 1.5-degree-Celsius (2.7-degree-Fahrenheit) target that policymakers and researchers (including the IPCC) have identified as a relatively safe level of heating that would allow small islands to remain above sea level and protect millions from food insecurity and violence. Just 20% of the researchers, meanwhile, expect the world to meet the Paris Agreement 2-degree-Celsius target, and a paltry 4% think 1.5 degrees Celsius is in play.

Even more upsetting, 88% of the researchers expect climate change to unleash catastrophic impacts in their lifetimes. Of course, you could argue that’s already happening. Research has shown climate change is playing a role in making heat waves, wildfires, and cyclones worse…

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How Climate Scenarios Lost Touch With Reality

A failure of self-correction in science has compromised climate science’s ability to provide plausible views of our collective future.

The integrity of science depends on its capacity to provide an ever more reliable picture of how the world works. Over the past decade or so, serious threats to this integrity have come to light. The expectation that science is inherently self-correcting, and that it moves cumulatively and progressively away from false beliefs and toward truth, has been challenged in numerous fields—including cancer research, neuroscience, hydrology, cosmology, and economics—as observers discover that many published findings are of poor quality, subject to systemic biases, or irreproducible.

In a particularly troubling example from the biomedical sciences, a 2015 literature review found that almost 900 peer-reviewed publications reporting studies of a supposed breast cancer cell line were in fact based on a misidentified skin cancer line. Worse still, nearly 250 of these studies were published even after the mistaken cell line was conclusively identified in 2007. Our cursory search of Google Scholar indicates that researchers are still using the skin cancer cell line in breast cancer studies published in 2021. All of these erroneous studies remain in the literature and will continue to be a source of misinformation for scientists working on breast cancer.

In 2021, climate research finds itself in a situation similar to breast cancer research in 2007. Our research (and that of several colleagues) indicates that the scenarios of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the end of the twenty-first century are grounded in outdated portrayals of the recent past. Because climate models depend on these scenarios to project the future behavior of the climate, the outdated scenarios provide a misleading basis both for developing a scientific evidence base and for informing climate policy discussions…

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Is the National Observer intentionally ignoring reports by/about leading climate scientists?

Is the National Observer intentionally ignoring reports by/about leading climate scientists?

Why has Observer reporter not responded to my email promoting work of Dr. Nate Hagens? 

On May 31, I sent a polite email to National Observer reporter Chris Hatch in response to his open invitation to readers to share “comments or suggestions” related to his efforts as climate correspondent to sort through “the kaleidoscope of news, ideas, politics and culture to figure out what’s working in the race against climate change.”

A copy of my email to Mr. Hatch is reposted below. But first, I want to point out that my letter to Hatch was not the first time I had contacted the National Observer to express my concerns re its absence of any coverage of the work of leading climate scientists and experts in related fields. In fact, last year, because of this failure, I did not renew my subscription and shared my reason with the paper.

Here is a slightly abridged copy of my letter to Mr. Hatch. Coincidentally, not only has he failed to reply to my request for feedback, he did not have the common courtesy to acknowledge receipt of my email.

Dear Chris Hatch

Frank White, here, of Windsor Ontario. Thank you for your invitation to share “comments or suggestions” related to your efforts as climate correspondent to sort through “the kaleidoscope of news, ideas, politics and culture to figure out what’s working in the race against climate change.”

Before sharing my thoughts with you, here’s a bit of relevant, personal background information. For the past 11 years I have been editing a blog, Citizen Action Monitor, that focuses primarily on major contemporary global and Canadian-specific issues, including climate change. I offer my readership a news and information filtering service that involves monitoring, selecting, and  reposting articles from authoritative online sources…

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By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science

By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science

I haven’t had time to write a new essay, and I wanted a new post so newcomers don’t assume un-Denial.com has shifted its focus to Covid, which is a confusing space populated by crazy people speculating about the intentions of our incompetent leaders.

Thank you to reader Frank White for providing a good reason for a quick post with a new video by Neil Halloran on climate change.

It’s my first exposure to Halloran and I’m really impressed. He targets people that are skeptical of climate change and does an amazing job of leading them to conclude we are in serious trouble and must act.

I left this comment on his YouTube channel:

Brilliant content and production! This is best video I’ve seen for persuading climate change skeptics that we are in serious trouble. Thank you.

Your next step should be to address the human genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities.






Climate scientists: concept of net zero is a dangerous trap

Sometimes realisation comes in a blinding flash. Blurred outlines snap into shape and suddenly it all makes sense. Underneath such revelations is typically a much slower-dawning process. Doubts at the back of the mind grow. The sense of confusion that things cannot be made to fit together increases until something clicks. Or perhaps snaps.

Collectively we three authors of this article must have spent more than 80 years thinking about climate change. Why has it taken us so long to speak out about the obvious dangers of the concept of net zero? In our defence, the premise of net zero is deceptively simple – and we admit that it deceived us.

The threats of climate change are the direct result of there being too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So it follows that we must stop emitting more and even remove some of it. This idea is central to the world’s current plan to avoid catastrophe. In fact, there are many suggestions as to how to actually do this, from mass tree planting, to high tech direct air capture devices that suck out carbon dioxide from the air.

The current consensus is that if we deploy these and other so-called “carbon dioxide removal” techniques at the same time as reducing our burning of fossil fuels, we can more rapidly halt global warming. Hopefully around the middle of this century we will achieve “net zero”. This is the point at which any residual emissions of greenhouse gases are balanced by technologies removing them from the atmosphere.

Climeworks factory with tractor in foreground.
A facility for capturing carbon dioxide from air on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland July 18, 2017. This is one of the handful of demonstrator projects currently in operation. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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350 Canada’s “Climate Science Basics” fail the acid test of science reporting excellence

350 Canada’s “Climate Science Basics” fail the acid test of science reporting excellence

Its climate crisis assertions border on the fraudulent; they’re “misleading, overly simplistic, and sometimes, factually false.” —

No 2723 Posted by fw, March 30, 2021 —

On Wednesday April 7, 2021, Amara Possian of 350.org sent an email to followers bearing the Subject line “We’re launching something big today.” The message expressed dissatisfaction with Justin Trudeau’s failure “to tackle climate change,” and called on followers to “Sign the petition to call on federal Green Party Leader Annamie Paul and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to form a Climate Emergency Alliance.”

As a follower of 350 Canada, I received Amara’s email. Disappointed with with the absence of any scientific facts to support the claim of “the climate crisis,” mentioned in the email, I did not sign the petition.

Instead, using the return address 350canada@350.org, I immediately replied to the email. Opening with the salutation “Dear Amara –”,  I candidly began: “If 350 were genuinely interested in the climate crisis, it would be reporting on the contributions of top climate scientists and experts in related disciplines. As things stand, 350’s apparent misunderstanding of the nature and scope of humanity’s global existential crises broaches on the fraudulent; one might be tempted to suggest your oversight of the facts is intentional.

I suggested to Amara that, for her own edification, she should look at the recent works of seven climate scientists, and researchers in related fields. I listed their names, academic qualifications, and links to a recent article or video presentation. (See the list at the bottom of this post).


On April 13, I received this follow-up email from Chris –

Hi Frank,

Thanks for these links. Yes, I know the situation is dire and that our growth-obsessed economic system is to blame, but what are you proposing exactly?…

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Climate Campaigners Say ‘Listen to the Science’ as New Study Shows Earth Now Warmer Than Any Time in Last 12,000 Years

Climate Campaigners Say ‘Listen to the Science’ as New Study Shows Earth Now Warmer Than Any Time in Last 12,000 Years

The study “changes the baseline and emphasizes just how critical it is to take our situation seriously,” its lead researcher said.

A protester is seen holding a placard during a climate change demonstration. (Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A new study published in the journal Nature shows the Earth is now hotter than it’s been at any time during the past 12,000 years. (Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Climate campaigners on Thursday pointed to a study showing that Earth is hotter than it’s ever been during the entire epoch of human civilization as the latest proof of the need to treat human-caused global heating like the dire emergency that it is.

“The modern, human-caused global warming period is accelerating a long-term increase in global temperatures, making today completely uncharted territory.”
—Samantha Bova,
Rutgers University

On Wednesday, the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature published a report revealing that an analysis of ocean surface temperatures found that the planet is hotter now than at any other time in the past 12,000 years, and that it may actually be warmer than at any point during the last 125,000 years.

Researchers Samantha Bova, Yair Rosenthal, Zhengyu Liu, Shital P. Godad, and Mi Yan detemined this by solving what scientists call the “Holocene temperature conundrum.” This was the mystery of why the global heating that began at the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago peaked around 6,000 years later—before giving way to the onset of a cooling period that lasted until the Industrial Revolution, when the current anthropogenic warming period began.

It turns out that the collected data, obtained from fossilized seashells, was innacurate, showing only hot summers while missing the colder winters.

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Rolling blackouts in California show how reliance on solar and wind power can backfire

Image: Rolling blackouts in California show how reliance on solar and wind power can backfire
(Natural News) California issued its first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years last week as the state’s grid operator tried to keep the power system from complete collapse in the midst of a heat wave, and some are pointing out that the situation demonstrates the failures of green energy.

The rolling blackouts affected upwards of 2 million Californians. Many of the outages took place in the afternoon, when power demand peaked as people starting turning up their air conditioning at the same time that solar power supplies started slowing down as the sun set.

The state’s three biggest utilities – Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Diego Gas & Electric – cut off power to homes and businesses for roughly an hour at a time until the close of an emergency declaration, and this was followed by a second outage.

On top of that, erratic output from the state’s wind farms failed to make up the gap. Around a third of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources thanks to state law mandates, and these alternatives proved incapable of keeping up during peak power usage. In the past, utilities and grid operators in the state bought extra electricity from other states when it fell short, but the vast size of the heat wave meant that other states were also reaching their limits and had none to spare.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered an investigation into the outages seen in the state over the weekend, vowing to uncover the cause. However, Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno, who serves as the Committee on Utilities and Energy’s Vice Chair, said that the problem can be traced to California’s reduced dependence on natural gas.

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Climate scientists should admit failure and move on – writes Dr Wolfgang Knorr

Climate scientists should admit failure and move on – writes Dr Wolfgang Knorr


The climate crisis demands new ways of thinking – scientists should be first to admit failure and move on.

A universal policy failure
Inarguably, one of the most significant and long-lasting legacies of the 50-year old Apollo programme was the life-changing experience its astronauts had upon viewing the earth from the vantage point of another celestial body. The vision they described of its fragile and delicate beauty is all the more striking and poignant at this moment in climate emergency.

We, that is to say, humanity has this beautiful planet, home now to 7 billion people with nowhere else to go, and are running a reckless experiment, that has taken the Earth system right out of the mode of operation it has been running in for millions of years. Climate and earth scientists should be and should have been the first to see the utter insanity of this hellishly dangerous undertaking.

But in some strange way, and despite the warnings over the past decades of many individuals such as Roger Revelle, Jim Hansen, Kevin Anderson, to name but a few,–– it appears the latest generation of protesters, from Fridays for Future to Extinction Rebellion – have done far more to hammer home the real message that climate crisis cannot be taken lightly, and is urgently and ultimately a most horrifying question of life and death. We do not know when it will happen and who will be hit first, but one thing is certain: if we do not change course quickly, things can get very nasty indeed.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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