4-22-16 – Earth Day: Environmental Predictions Fall Short

by Rob Roper

Happy Earth Day! As Vermont celebrates this environmental holiday by industrializing our ridge lines and pasture lands with wind and solar electricity generation factories, a friend reminded me of a prediction made by our governor nearly ten years ago:

Any reasonable scientist will tell you that we’re going to rise anywhere between another two and three degrees in the next 30 years. That means that New Jersey’s climate is moving to Vermont in the next decade. That has tremendous implications in our economy’s ski, maple-sugar making, leaf-peeping and the list goes on and on. So we are, ­I at least am,­ looking at this with a major sense of panic. – Peter Shumlin, April 2007

Here we are nine years later. Are we New Jersey? Though we’ve certainly experienced a warmer than usual winter in 2016, let’s not forget that the previous two years were record breakers for Vermont’s ski industry, and last Fall was the best leaf-peeping season in memory. This chart on snowfall puts things in perspective…

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 9.34.11 AM

So, let’s just put Shumlin’s prediction up there with Al Gore’s prediction that the polar cap would be gone by 2014. It’s still here. Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, predicted in 2000 that there would be no more snowfall in Britain as of 2010. It still snows there. Dr. James Hansen, who headed NASA’s Goddard Institute for three decades was asked predicted in 1988 that in 20 years, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water, and there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change….” Nope. Nearly 30 years later Manhattan is still there, and is still populated with pigeons.

The list goes on.

The sad reality is that Vermont’s “green” policies are doing more to damage our environment — harming water quality, killing birds and bats, disrupting habitats and migratory corridors, and cutting trees – and are doing absolutely nothing to save the Earth.

While there’s no denying the climate by its very nature changing and is in a constant state of flux, the people peddling “solutions” at great financial and ecological cost, clearly don’t have a real understanding of what their talking about. We can safely make that assertion based on their track record of failed predictions. So, on this Earth Day, let’s embrace policies  won’t damage Vermont’s landscape, habitats and “brand” for no reason or benefit whatsoever.

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Hearne April 23, 2016 at 12:15 am

I just returned from a trip to Niagra Falls NY. We drove our 2014 VW Passat diesel out on mostly I-90 and other high speed roads. We got 47.5 mpg on the way out.
On the return trip we took the scenic byway along Lake Ontario for a portion of the trip then went dead reckoning the rest of the way back to Vermont over roads most travelers don’t know exist. We received 52.2mpg on the return trip. Could it be that this vehicle that the EPA detests that was built in a non union shop in USA is being targeted for just that?
How can it be that a vehicle that uses a fraction of the fuel other vehicles use to do the same work be such a threat to our environment?


jim bulmer April 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Shumlin’s panic prediction back in 2007 doesn’t suprise me at all. It’s just another ho hum example of the ignorant cherry picking the data to support a preconceived point of view. OR you could say, “don’t bather me with facts, my mind’s made up!!!!” And we reelected him????????


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