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Science & Technology
Anthony Watts: Great Moments in Failed Predictions
2013-01-21
An excerpt:
  • In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England's factories would grind to a standstill.
  • In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was "little or no chance" of oil being discovered in California.
  • In 1891, it said the same thing about Kansas and Texas. (See Osterfeld, David. Prosperity Versus Planning : How Government Stifles Economic Growth. New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.)
  • In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.
  • 1944 federal government review predicted that by now the US would have exhausted its reserves of 21 of 41 commodities it examined. Among them were tin, nickel, zinc, lead and manganese.
  • In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight.
  • In 1952 the US President's Materials Policy Commission concluded that by the mid-1970s copper production in the US could not exceed 800,000 tons and that lead production would be at most 300,000 tons per year.
    They get better...
  • Posted by:badanov

    #7  Boris Johnson on snow in England. Compare and contrast with BP's.
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2013-01-21 11:26  

    #6  Price = Demand/Supply

    Meddle at your peril as you will only create shortage.
    Posted by: Bright Pebbles   2013-01-21 07:50  

    #5  This one is a pretty good laugh too
    Posted by: Bright Pebbles   2013-01-21 07:49  

    #4  Robert Lauglin's Powering the Future is well worth the read.
    Posted by: Perfesser   2013-01-21 06:47  

    #3  SteveS we will go after the more expense Dolphin. The price will go up but BAU will continue TPTB insist it's not TEOTWHWKI.
    Posted by: Shipman   2013-01-21 04:58  

    #2  I couldn't find this one in the cited article:
    28 March 2007
    "At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained," Bernanke said in prepared testimony to Congress' Joint Economic Committee.
    Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418   2013-01-21 02:28  

    #1  I'm willing to stipulate that Paul Ehrlich is a jackass, but Peak Oil is a serious problem.

    We use oil to lubricate our machines and light our homes. Demand increases daily. Meanwhile, there are only so many whales in the world. What is going to happen when we run out of whale oil?
    Posted by: SteveS   2013-01-21 00:59