Here we go again: New predictions of doom and gloom are coming forth regarding global warming using the Summer Olympics as a pretext.
A report co-authored by researchers at UC-Berkeley says that by the year 2085, “San Francisco may be the only city in the United States cool enough to host the Summer Olympic Games.”
Vancouver and Calgary are listed as two other potential sites, while “not a single city in Latin America or in Africa would be suitable for the Olympics by that date,” The Daily Californian reports.
Twenty-five cities in Western Europe are classified as “low risk” sites although Madrid, Rome and Paris all would be “too hot” to play host.
[Campus global environmental health professor Kirk] Smith noted that the study centered on the Northern Hemisphere because roughly 90 percent of the world’s population resides there and because allowing a city in the Southern Hemisphere to host the Summer Olympics would necessitate having those Games in January or February. Cities with fewer than 600,000 residents, along with those situated more than a mile above sea level, were likewise excluded from consideration. …
According to Ted Grantham, a member of the campus environmental science, policy and management department, the study was based on aggressive climate change models and several key assumptions, and thus represented a “worst case scenario” for the future of the Olympics. Grantham added, however, that the findings were nonetheless founded on a “reasonable analysis” of climate data and that the main thrust of the study was cause for legitimate concern.
Ronald Amundson, a campus professor of environmental science not affiliated with the study, said that climate change could render the world “almost unrecognizably different” at the end of the century than it is now. He noted that the Olympics will hardly be the first area affected by global warming and that by the time Summer Games are impacted, the planet will already be plagued by major climate concerns. …
“The problem is that most of the impacts of climate change seem far away, so the question is how do you make those faraway impacts seem important?” Smith said. “Talking about the Olympics — especially now with the Olympics going on — is one way to do that.”
Indeed, that’s just what former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara did a mere seven years ago regarding the current Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: “It could be that the 2016 Games are the last Olympics in the history of mankind,” he said, in the midst of lobbying to get the 2016 games in his city. “Scientists have said we have passed the point of no return.”
Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics in 2020.
Of course, Ishihara’s and UC-Berkeley’s warnings just add to the list of global warming doomsday predictions we’ve heard before, including the infamous “within ‘a few years’ snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain” (made in 2000), and having only “50 days to save the world from global warming” (made in 2009).