the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Time to vote – 2009 Most Extreme Predictions!!

Posted by Jeff Id on January 12, 2010

Well we made it another year and I for one currently have half a foot of global warming in the drive. Despite these minor hardships, it’s time to choose which scientist, editor or politician deserves the newly invented yet widely coveted – Air Vent “MOST EXTREME PREDICTIONS FOR 2009!!”

Who had the right stuff, which luminary put their money and mouth on the line, who knew the future and was brave enough to tell all.

Due to the extremely competitive entries in this event, we may need to narrow these down. If someone doesn’t take 50% we’ll choose the top three and then we’ll finish it up with a “for all the marbles” poll.

Choose 5 but vote only once. Voting ends in 1 week.

46 Responses to “Time to vote – 2009 Most Extreme Predictions!!”

  1. TurkeyLurkey said

    Unless the order is being randomized, I expect that you will see the predominant leaders will be the ones seen on the first page.

    I had already made my choices when I found the lower half.

    Not complaining, just observing.

    I enjoy tAV; not too big, not too small. Plus, I was an early downloader of that fine zip file. Thanks Jeff!

  2. Frank K. said

    Hmmm…all my choices ended up being statements made by NASA GISS employees…must be the center of climate science extremism and paranoia…

  3. timetochooseagain said

    No Ag in California-completely impossible

    Choke Oceans 100,000 years-Ridiculous. Nothing people have ever done would last that long. Now, that is the return interval for a glaciation so there will be climate change of great magnitude going on some time close to then.

    Down to a billion-Hyperbole at it’s finest!

    UK flooding and tropical storms in the year 3000-Real Crystal Ball type stuff. What drivel.

    Cooling Trend “never talked of again”-NEVER say NEVER!

  4. Michael Hauber said

    Cooling trend never talked about again obviously takes the cake as an extreme prediction. Never underestimate human stupidity. The ‘its been cooling the last few years therefore global warming is over’ argument is at least as old as 1983, and I’m sure someone will make the ‘its been cooling since 2012’ argument in some future year.

  5. Retired Engineer said

    A tough choice. All of them were absurd.

    The flip side of: “When you vote for the lesser of evils,
    you still get evil.”

    Question: Is there an upper limit to stupidity?

  6. Ted Carmichael said

    Many, many of these are thoroughly ridiculous. The problem I had was very few of them were specific and testable. Sure, the world population will not fall to less than 1 billion people in the next couple of 100 years … but the quotation doesn’t actually say when this horrible die-off will occur.

    Also, (for example) income from farming will decrease … because every year we get better at it, and it gets cheaper to farm. Fishing may drop off as well, since we are over-fishing quite a bit. But neither of these have anything to do with anthropogenic climate change, and nor do they – heh – have anything to do with the sex trade. Pure silliness, really.

    So, I just picked the five I thought were the most specific, and easiest to monitor in the short term (5-10 years, say) to see if they happen.

  7. artwest said

    Turns out I more or less voted for the most popular 5 so far(You get the running result after voting).
    I don’t know whether to be smug that I’m agreeing with lots of people who, no doubt, are more learned about science than I, or depressed that I’m being so conventional.

    I guess I’m over-burdened with self-doubt – just one of many reasons I’d never have made a successful climate scientist.

  8. Thortung said

    Can’t beat Hanson for Hyperbole!

  9. P Gosselin said

    Those with the words “might”, “could”, “possibly”, “would” etc. can be eliminated, as they are not related to predictions, they are related to scenarios. Some even use the word “scenario”. To include them as a prediction is bad English.

    I like Hansen’s 51% is a “high liklihood”.
    But I tipped Hansen’s: “Before the end of Obama’s first term, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that.” THAT’S A PREDICTION.

  10. Roger Knights said

    “There is a high likelihood, I would say greater than 50 percent, that 2010 will be the warmest year in the period of instrumental data.” – James Hansen

    “Before the end of Obama’s first term, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that.” – James Hansen

    “Who had the right stuff, which luminary put their money and mouth on the line …?” – Jeff ID

    Why don’t people like Hansen and his followers put their money where their mouth is? For instance, the odds offered on the bet that 2010 will be the warmest year ever at are just 1 in 4, not (say) 3 in 5, as they would be if warmists were sincere. (Click on Market –> Climate & Weather –> Global Temperature.)

    Similarly, there are bets available on whether 2010 will be warmer than 2009, ditto for 2019 vs. 2009, and on whether each of the years from 2010 through 2014 will be among the five warmest years on record. A bet on all five of them, or at least on the later years, would be a good proxy for a generally warming trend. Free money! – If the science is settled.

  11. Tenuc said

    My favourite for pomposity and complete megalomania comes from the good Dr Hansen:-

    “We’re much more powerful than the natural forces…. We could be sending the planet back toward an ice-free state.”

    And I thought the Illuminati were supposed to have an unbelievably huge IQ???

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow :-))

  12. Viv Evans said

    Did vote – but the most ludicrous prediction is only known to us Brits:
    Gordon brown told us in autumn 2009 that there were only fifty days left ‘to save the World’ … and then he went to COP15, and global warming started to fall from the sky.
    Its still falling here in Great Britain …

  13. Amabo said

    Haven’t we already seen record temperatures (albeit in the negative)? It seems Hansen’s prediction came true.

  14. timetochooseagain said

    13-I would assume that Hansen meant global records. Cold and hot records are ALWAYS being set.

  15. Captain Cosmic said

    How about this for a plot for a screenplay:

    Al Gore and the Climategate scientists are actually androids placed on earth by a
    vastly superior alien race. The aliens have a biochemistry based around
    halogens / silicon / phosphorus or something weird and carbon dioxide is instantly
    lethal to them.

    Millions of years ago, a delegation of their planetary
    engineers visited Earth and liked what they saw but found the atmosphere too
    toxic for them, so they seeded it with photosynthetic nanobots to
    remove the free carbon from the atmosphere. Things were going brilliantly –
    the atmospheric CO2 had been slashed from 7000 parts per million to 250
    parts per million but then the pesky humans evolved and started digging it back up and
    burning it, releasing the CO2 back into the air. When it reached 350 ppm again
    they had to take drastic action and parachute their ‘climate change’
    androids to the surface….

    Hmm, actually that’s about as likely as AGW when you think about it…

  16. deadcenter said

    had to go with those that were somehow measureable; “by the end of the president’s first term”, “2010 will be warmest in instrument record”, “four years left” bwahaha.

  17. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    I was like a kid in a candy store… so many ridiculous statements to choose from! I particularly liked the “more women driven into prostitution”; solidly founded in rock solid research, I’m sure.

    But seriously, how does such non-sense get passed off as serious commentary? It would all be very funny were it not for the huge economic cost of fighting “the war on global warming”.

  18. Living_Right_In_CA said

    The only prediction on the list that I could find that has already proven untrue is:

    a cooling trend “will be never talked about again.” – Gavin Schmidt

    All others of course are highly unlikely, but the above has already proven false.

  19. chopbox said

    It would be nice to a little more information on these quotes, such as dates uttered and where made. I am assuming all of these were said in 2009; is that so?

  20. Living_Right_In_CA said

    Meant to add this to my first post…

    And the Most Extreme prediction is the one about the collapse of the Western Antartic Ice Shelf changing the rotation of the planet…

  21. Jeff Id said

    #19 there is more information at the link below the blog header.

  22. Roger Knights said

    Hi again — In my comment (#10) I didn’t know how to properly post a link using the tag system, so all the purple material constitutes a link to the well-known event-prediction site I had meant to post its name as the title of the link.

  23. Keith W. said

    “Before the end of Obama’s first term, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that.”. – James Hansen 3%

    Since we have had numerous record low temperatures so far this winter in the Northern Hemisphere, I believe I would say Jimmy boy got this one right, just not in the way he intended. This was probably one of his CYA comments, because he was covered which ever way the temperatures went.

  24. EJ said

    I voted, but my favorite was Obama spouting something to the effect that now that he is elected, the oceans will quit rising and the planet will heal….. My god.

  25. boballab said

    As others have said Gavin has to take the prize for his comment about cooling trends. I mean think about it, it was provably wrong 2 secs after it left his mouth.

  26. […] 2009 A climate of extremes. Will 2010 be the same? Ooops these are the er um real predictions (for non technical users)!, BBC – more of the same! […]

  27. twawki said

    My prediction for 2010 – most of those who made alarmist predictions will increasingly look stupid!

  28. David Jay said

    Retired Engineer said

    Question: Is there an upper limit to stupidity?

    Don’t have a source so it may be apocryphal, but attributed to Einstein:

    “The difference between stupidity and genius is that there is limit to genius”

    Credo: In God We Trust – all others show code and data

  29. John P from MN said

    we have an accurate 400 year temp record that shows no influence by Co2. I did just find these central England Record quite facinating. No Hockey stick and no fiddling with the numbers and no UIHE…John……..805970b-pi

  30. JAE said


  31. Ron H. said

    Thanks Jeff, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. I had forgotten some of these zingers.

    That was way harder than I thought. They are all so outrageous that it was hard to choose.

    I assumed the instruction was to choose the predictions that were the most outrageous. If it was to chose the most (largest number of) outrageous predictions by source, Hansen wins in a landslide.

    where did the ‘soggy pork chop’ quote come from? It isn’t attributed. It’s the one item that really got me to thinking. I don’t give a rat’s a** about polar bears, floods, fires, or billions dying, but if my pork chops are in danger, I want to do something about global warming. Where do I sign up? 🙂

  32. From Peru said

    Before the end of Obama’s first term, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that.”. – James Hansen


    Exclusive: 2009 Hottest Year on Record in Southern Hemisphere



    HANSEN: 2
    DENIERS: 0

  33. From Peru said

    I forgot to say:

    Hansen said: “Before the end of Obama’s first TERM, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that”

    We have RECORD TEMPERATURES at the end of Obama’s first YEAR!

    Hansen was wrong,evidently. As all Climate Models.
    All too Optimistic: Earth is WORSE THAN THE WORST CASE SCENARIO.

  34. Jeff Id said

    #33 I’m a denier of that one.

  35. TerryMN said

    Jeff, for 2010 I request an additional category; adding to Extreme Predictions, Extreme Claims of Responsibility (“Global warming is responsible for…”). If you agree, and to that end, I would like to formally submit Danny Glover blaming the Haiti earthquake on global warming.


  36. Atomic Hairdryer said

    Had to go with Stott given that one’s already mythbusted 🙂

  37. Pablo said

    Hmmm nice post, was all new to me this but started reading a little more on it with the trusty google, interesting 🙂

    I also run a good site, the at ntgworld, its a way to make money online and share your experiences with others. We also cover things like SEO, wordpress, tutorials, savings and so on… oh and did I mention it was all free?

  38. Pablo said

    Sorry about the above post I coded the html wrong my bad 😦

  39. greg2213 said

    Most Extreme: “We have only four years left” – to save the world. – James Hansen

    Why? A “scientist” made it and it gives a date and a consequence.
    Problem – When we’re here 4 yrs form now Hansen will either say, “See? I told you so” (since we were obviously saved,) or he’ll modify the comment in some way.

    Goofiest (ie- the “LoL Wut??? Award”)“Climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing, possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection, – Mukherjee

  40. […] Vote here: Time to vote – 2009 Most Extreme Predictions!! […]

  41. Vote Quimby said

    We should have been able to choose the preferences of our 5 choices from 1 to 5.

    I would have chosen number 1 to be: a cooling trend “will be never talked about again.” – Gavin Schmidt

    Considering there have been some news reports recently about heading into a little ice age again for 20-30 years, I do believe that is talking about cooling!

  42. Navy Bob said

    I liked the Mukherjee comment for greatest leap between assumed cause and purported effect. But I also noticed an apparent fallacy in the Titanic metaphor of Dr. Chu, a leader in the fight against global warming: since the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg, we should be doing all we can to stimulate global warming in order to melt them all and eliminate the hazard to shipping.

  43. Lawrie Ayres said

    The prediction that California could be farm free was first mentioned in the NGM in the eighties and again more recently. It wasn’t the result of AGW however but the need to divert water from agriculture to the southern cities which are apparently growing rapidly. Much of the water now used for ag is being extracted from aquifers faster than it can be replenished. The Colorado river is severely over allocated.

    So we have a prediction of a disaster attributed to AGW but actually caused by over extraction of a limited resource. The methodology of allocation was based on the flow data of the early 1900s which was an unusually wet period. Flow rates are now back to long term averages and are approximately half of the planning figure. This is similar to the Maldives and Tuvalu blaming AGW for sea level rise when in reality their islands are sinking due to using coral as a building material for hotels and airport runways. There are many examples of attributions to AGW that rightly belong to poor or insufficient planning.

    Last but not least while the Wilkins Ice Shelf might collapse and the temperature might increase there is still no proof positive that MM CO2 emissions were responsible. The correlation that was considered causation has for a decade become unlinked. When science deliberately leaves out the MWP and LIA the decisions based on the resulting flawed data will lead to far greater problems than if we simply had to deal with the reality.

  44. Give Away said

    Get a Free NINTENDO DS ===>

  45. […] is just an accusation, but the godfather of the extremist claims and winner of the Air Vent’s most extreme quote of 2009 contest James Hansen potentially made […]

  46. Wanted to bump this one for a few laughs.

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