Earth Day 2009: Air Quality's Better Than Ever
From the first Earth Day in 1970:
“Air pollution is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone,” Paul Ehrlich in an interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.
Ehrlich also predicted that in 1973, 200,000 Americans would die from air pollution, and that by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans would be 42 years.
“By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half...” Life magazine, January 1970.
Most Earth Day predictions turned out to be stunningly wrong. In 1970, environmentalists said there would soon be a new ice age and massive deaths from air pollution. The New York Times foresaw the extinction of the human race. Widely-quoted biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted worldwide starvation by 1975.
MP: Consider that since the first Earth Day in 1970, U.S. population has increased by 50.25%, miles driven has increased by 159% and real GDP has increased 203%; and yet air quality is better than ever.