Over the past 100 years or so, there have been many major predictions that have proven to be false. Here are ten examples:

Examples of Global Predictions That Were False

1. Y2K Catastrophe (1999):

It was predicted that the year 2000 would bring a massive global computer crash, known as the Y2K bug. However, the new millennium arrived without the catastrophic failures that many feared.

2. Flying Cars (20th Century):

Many futurists of the 20th century predicted that by now, flying cars would be a common mode of transportation, which hasn’t materialised.

3. End of Books (Late 20th Century):

With the rise of digital technology, it was predicted that physical books would become obsolete. However, books are still widely used and cherished.

4. Population Bomb (1960s):

The book “The Population Bomb” by Paul Ehrlich predicted catastrophic starvation due to overpopulation by the 1970s and 1980s, which did not occur.

5. Ice Age Predictions (1970s):

Some scientists in the 1970s predicted a new ice age, expecting global cooling trends to continue. This was contrary to the subsequent rise in global temperatures.

6. Video Phones Replacing Regular Phones (Mid 20th Century):

It was believed that video phones would become the norm and replace voice-only calls. While video calling is popular, it hasn’t entirely replaced traditional calls.

7. Human Extinction by 2000 (1960s):

During the Cold War, some predicted that nuclear war would lead to human extinction by the year 2000.

8. Paperless Offices (Late 20th Century):

The digital revolution led to predictions that offices would soon become completely paperless. However, paper usage in offices continues to be significant.

9. Global Famine (1970s):

Predictions of global famine due to population growth and resource depletion were widespread in the 1970s, but advances in agriculture have prevented this.

10. Colonisation of Other Planets (20th Century):

Predictions about humans colonising other planets by the early 21st century have not yet come true, though space exploration has advanced significantly.

Incorrect Predictions About the Depletion of Resources

That list of predictions is predominantly about general concepts. There have also been many incorrect predictions related to the depletion of certain resources.

Here are some notable examples:

1. Whale Oil Depletion:

In the 19th century, it was widely believed that the world would face a crisis due to the depletion of whale oil, which was extensively used for lighting and as a lubricant.

However, the advent of petroleum products as alternatives averted this crisis.

2. Peak Oil Theory:

Predictions about ‘peak oil’ have circulated for decades, suggesting that the world would run out of oil, leading to a major energy crisis.

While oil reserves are finite, advancements in extraction technology and the discovery of new oil fields have continually pushed back these predictions.

3. Coal Shortages (19th Century):

In the 19th century, it was predicted that coal reserves, the backbone of the Industrial Revolution, would run out.

This was before the large-scale extraction of petroleum and the development of renewable energy sources.

4. Helium Scarcity:

There have been concerns about the depletion of helium, a non-renewable gas used in medical equipment, scientific research, and party balloons.

However, new reserves and recycling methods have eased these fears to some extent.

5. Deforestation Leading to Timber Shortage:

Predictions of severe timber shortages due to deforestation have been made repeatedly.

While deforestation remains a critical environmental issue, sustainable forestry practices and alternative materials have helped mitigate a complete timber shortage.

6. Malthusian Catastrophe:

Thomas Malthus predicted in the 18th century that population growth would outpace agricultural production, leading to widespread famine.

Advances in agricultural technology and methods have disproved this prediction, although resource distribution remains an issue.

7. Silver Exhaustion:

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were fears that the world would run out of silver, affecting currency and industry.

The discovery of new silver mines and the development of alternatives have prevented this.

8. Uranium Scarcity for Nuclear Power:

It was feared that uranium, vital for nuclear power, would become scarce.

However, new deposits and more efficient reactor designs have lessened these concerns.

Final Thoughts:

These examples show how technological advancements, new discoveries, and changing practices often overturn predictions about resource depletion.

If I Were The Devil by Paul Harvey – Eerily Accurate

It’s interesting how sometimes thoughts about the future can be eerily accurate. Such an example is the case of Paul Harvey.

In 1965, radio personality Paul Harvey released a broadcast titled “If I Were the Devil.”

Although more than half a century since the broadcast, it is amazing how well his words describe the situation many countries (e.g. the USA) find themselves in today.

I noticed that comments float around that the video below was created using AI. Truth is this is a real video about the words of a person who was quite accurate in many of his predications based on thinking about how to make things worse.

If by chance you cannot watch the video below, you can read the transcript of it at the end of this article.


More Information

For more information about the work of George Lee Sye, visit www.9skillsfactory.com [add link – https://www.9skillsfactory.com ] where you’ll discover one of the most significant professional development programs in the world today covering topics of leadership, influence, business execution, and lean six sigma.

Transcript of the 1965 Paul Harvey Broadcast

If I were the Devil, if I were the Devil,
If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness,
and I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of it’s population,
but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree – thee.
So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.
I’d subvert the churches first.
I’d begin with a campaign of whispers with the wisdom of a serpent.
I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”
To the young I would whisper that the Bible is a myth.
I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around.
I would confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.
And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father – which art in Washington.”
And then I’d get organised.
I’d educate authors in how to make Lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.
I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.
I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could.
I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.
I’d tranquillise the rest with pills.
If I were the Devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves, until each in its turn was consumed.
And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerising media fanning the flames.
If I were the Devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions, just let those run wild until before you knew it you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing.
I’d have judges promoting pornography.
Soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of congress.
And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science.
I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.
If I were the Devil I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
If I were the Devil I would take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
What will you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich.
I would caution against extremes, in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.
I would convince the young that marriage is old fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be.
And thus, I could undress you in public and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
In other words, if I were the Devil…
I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.

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