Click on WORD or PDF for full content
We just had another Earth Day. This foolishness dates back to 1970. For our entertainment, Freedom Works lists the 13 worst predictions made on that first earth day.
… In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated — okay, “celebrated” doesn’t capture the funereal tone of the event. The events (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.
Behold the coming apocalypse as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:
1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — WashingtonUniversity biologist Barry Commoner
3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial
4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — StanfordUniversity biologist Paul Ehrlich …
There were many mentions of Paul Ehrlich in the above collection of bogus earth day predictions. So we have more on him. Even the NY Times figured out the fraud of Paul Ehrlich says Jonathan Last. But, Mr. Last says Ehrlich is even worse then the Times knows. All of this is from June three years ago, but it is germane to today’s posts. And it is not the last word.
Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.
This is great, I guess.
Of course, it’s been obvious that Ehrlich was not just misguided, but an actual charlatan, since the 1970s. The late economist Julian Simon spent most of his career exposing Ehrlich’s errors. You may remember the Ehrlich-Simon wager. In 1980, Simon bet Ehrlich $1,000 that over the course of the following decade the price of a basket of commodities—any resources Ehrlich chose—would drop, as proof that Ehrlich’s ravings about the relationship of population to scarcity was wrong.
Simon was correct. Ten years later Ehrlich sent him a check, with no note. Never prone to either civility or introspection—he frequently called people he disagreed with “fools,” “idiots,” “clowns,” and worse—Ehrlich later told the Wall Street Journal, “If Simon disappeared from the face of the Earth, that would be great for humanity.” Hell of a guy.
Other people caught on to Ehrlich over the years. In her book about sex-selective abortion, Mara Hvistendahl has a long, devastating interview with Ehrlich in which she probes his errors, pushes him for accountability, and reveals him to be a doddering, foolish, old man wedded to a political ideology and with no interest in science, demographics, or even basic math. And Hvistendahl is a progressive feminist in good standing. (I spent a good deal of time on Ehrlich in my book on demographics, too.) …
Ehrlich recently ranted some more in a Manchester Guardian interview. Real Clear Science responds.
Do you see yourself as a worthless cockroach contributing to the collapse of human civilization? Probably not, but Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich thinks precisely that about you.
Fifty years ago, he published arguably the worst book ever written, The Population Bomb, which declared tin Seattle about the benefits of GMOs. One person in the audience expressed concern that GMOs were simply helping to “feed the monster” — that is, the “monster” known as hungry people in poor parts of the world. Though she didn’t verbalize it, her words were clear: The world would be better off if poor people (mostly brown and black, I might add) in distant lands weren’t given any food. Starve the monster.
This appalling attitude is surprisingly common in allegedly compassionate cities like Seattle. And the book that gives this openly misanthropic, vaguely genocidal belief a veneer of academic credibility is The Population Bomb. …hat human overpopulation would cause mass starvation. Instead, the Green Revolution (led in part by ACSH co-founder Norman Borlaug) caused global food production to explode, and the world population more than doubled from 3.5 billion in 1968 to 7.6 billion today.
The reason The Population Bomb was so terrible is not because its predictions were wrong; most scientists make incorrect predictions. No, the book is terrible because of how it made people in the developed world feel about people in the developing world. A short anecdote, which I described for Forbes, illustrates my point.
Several years ago, I gave a talk in Seattle about the benefits of GMOs. One person in the audience expressed concern that GMOs were simply helping to “feed the monster” — that is, the “monster” known as hungry people in poor parts of the world. Though she didn’t verbalize it, her words were clear: The world would be better off if poor people (mostly brown and black, I might add) in distant lands weren’t given any food. Starve the monster.
This appalling attitude is surprisingly common in allegedly compassionate cities like Seattle. And the book that gives this openly misanthropic, vaguely genocidal belief a veneer of academic credibility is The Population Bomb. …
Another adherent of this type of thinking, John Holdren, ended up being obama’s science advisor. Holdren helped set up the bet Ehrlich lost to Julian Simon. Trump’s predecessor had a talent for filling his administration with hopeless ideologues. Here’s some items from Holdren’s Wiki entry.
… Overpopulation was an early concern and interest. In a 1969 article, Holdren and co-author Paul R. Ehrlich argued, “if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”
In 1973, Holdren encouraged a decline in fertility to well below replacement in the United States, because “210 million now is too many and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be much too many. …
… Holdren was involved in the famous Simon–Ehrlich wager in 1980. He, along with two other scientists helped Paul R. Ehrlich establish the bet with Julian Simon, in which they bet that the price of five key metals would be higher in 1990. The bet was centered around a disagreement concerning the future scarcity of resources in an increasingly polluted and heavily populated world. Ehrlich and Holdren lost the bet, when the price of metals had decreased by 1990. …