THURSDAY is Lenin's Birthday. It will be celebrated around the world as Earth Day, a holiday begun by Democratic Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to keep anti-capitalist sentiment going after the Vietnam War ended.
Ten years ago, on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, Ronald Bailey of Reason magazine recycled some quotes from that first Earth Day.
"I'm scared," Paul Ehrlich wrote in the 1970 Earth Day issue of Look. "I have a 14-year-old daughter whom I love very much. I know a lot of young people, and their world is being destroyed.
"My world is being destroyed. I'm 37 and I'd kind of like to live to be 67 in a reasonably pleasant world, and not die in some kind of holocaust in the next decade."
Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise, Ehrlich will turn 78 next month.
"We have about five more years at the outside to do something," ecologist Kenneth Watt said at Swarthmore College in 1970.
Well, we must have done something right. We're still here.
Maybe it was the leisure suits that saved us. That makes about as much sense as anything else.
"We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation," wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner for a 1970 Earth Day issue of "Environment," a scientific journal.
He did not put an end date to his prediction. But Ehrlich did.
"Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make," Ehrlich said in 1970.
"The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years."
Ehrlich was an optimist compared to Denis Hayes, an aide to Nelson, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day.
"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation," Hayes said.
"Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa.
"By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions . . . By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."