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Disarming An Alarming Prediction

I’m no Denier. Far from it. Yet I cannot understand the slant of truly zealous eco-warriers.

Made-up stats and preaching portents of armageddon surely hinder, not help, their worthy cause.

Then again, nor do I follow how Big Oil and their brethren fail to see what is coming and aren’t acting faster. Go Disruptors. Do to them what happened to all previous behemoth Canutes across all industries before them.

This Autumn’s main environmental news was that scientists have admitted to a mistake. As The Times put it, “As egg-on-face moments go, it was a double-yolker”.

in 2015 they proclaimed we had no chance of reducing carbon emissions in a timely manner. James Delingpole gleefully recounted their statement that to do so would be “incompatible with democracy”.

Yet come 2017 and, miracle of miracles, we are told the world now has a two-in-three chance of nailing the promised land of only raising temperatures by 1.5°C. Far from the impending doom of two years prior.

It turns out that all predictions since 2000 have been “too hot”. By quite the margin it seems.

Which got me thinking. These are some of the most clever people on the planet. If they’re out so wildly on this central point, then how dreadfully amiss are their predictions in general?

Near top of the search list was this delightful site; climatechangepredictions. Happily listing opinions delivered as foreboding fact.

Then there’s this pair of truly inspiring forecast resets;

In 2013, the International Energy Agency expected coal-burning to grow by 40% by 2040 – today [Nov ’17] it anticipates just 1%

The oil cartel Opec has increased its estimate of the number of electric cars operative in 2040 by five times in the past year alone

Hail solar, wind, tidal and all things renewable. Alongside battery technology making giant strides and green electricity taking over.

You can’t help dwelling on the fact that if our Sales forecasting was as way-out as that deep-pocketed pair above, then we’d be shown the door. Sharpish. (& don’t get me started on the anti-Brexit Project Fear.)

Yet we encounter many a gloomy view of the future. Often from ‘opponents’ of ours within a prospect.

It pays to gently question the rationale behind their assumption.

Indeed, wikipedia even has a page logging famous historic incorrect predicitons. I also enjoyed these 15 tech examples from a Forbes piece early 2015; “Predicting the future is easy … getting it right is the hard part”.

Unless your prospect arrived at work by jetpack, if they question your alternative view then this Arthur C Clarke wisdom may come in useful to show you can be even-handed; “If by some miracle, a prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would so sound so far-fetched, so absurd, that everyone would laugh him to scorn.”

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Category: quirky

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