The 'Population Bomb' (that bombed) Turns 50


This month marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most destructive books of the last century, The Population Bomb, by Paul Ehrlich.

The 1968 doomsday bestseller generated hysteria over the future of the world and the Earth’s waning ability to sustain human life, as Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich offered a series of alarming predictions that turned out to be spectacularly wrong, creating the enduring myth of unsustainable population growth.

Ehrlich prophesied that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s (and that 65 million of them would be Americans), that already-overpopulated India was doomed, and that most probably “England will not exist in the year 2000.”

In conclusion, Ehrlich warned that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come,” meaning “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”

If these musings had been received for what they actually were—the wacky theories of a crackpot academic—all would have been well. But The Population Bomb sold some 3 million copies and influenced an entire generation.

Ideas have practical consequences, and Dr. Ehrlich did not leave his followers guessing as to what they ought to be.

In the course of his illustrious career, Ehrlich has defended mass sterilization, sex-selective abortion, and infanticide. In his call for radical population control, Ehrlich has said he would prefer “voluntary methods” but if people were unwilling to cooperate, he was ready to endorse “various forms of coercion.”

To allow women to have as many children as they want, Ehrlich said, is like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

Those who had the coercive power to put Ehrlich’s theories into practice bear witness to just how horrifying they were.

To reduce its population, China instituting a draconian one-child policy, which has now left the country (through sex-selective abortions) with a horrific gender imbalance, with yearly births of some 120 boys born for every 100 girls. As a result, “30 million more men than women will reach adulthood and enter China’s mating market by 2020.”

Many nations—including the United States—began attaching population control measures to aid packages to third-world countries, meaning that the amount of aid received became conditioned by the state’s ability to coercively reduce its own population.

The tragic fact is that as a credentialed scientist—a biologist lecturing at Stanford University—Ehrlich’s proclamation of the end times as well as the means to confront them struck many as the plausible theory of an “expert.”

As Bill McGurn argues in the Wall Street Journal Monday, in his day, Dr. Ehrlich’s “assertion about the limited ‘carrying capacity’ of the Earth was settled science. Never mind that it is rooted in an absurdity: that when a calf is born a country’s wealth rises, but when a baby is born it goes down.”

A few brave souls resisted the urge to jump on the population explosion bandwagon, urging calm and rationality. One was economist Julian L. Simon, who later noted that “whatever the rate of population growth is, historically it has been that the food supply increases at least as fast, if not faster.”

In 1981, Simon published The Ultimate Resource, underscoring man’s ability to adapt to new circumstances and overcome obstacles through ingenuity and creativity. It is the human mind, rather than coal, trees, or iron, that is the ultimate resource—one that suffers no risk of depletion.

Another population expert, Fred Pearce, has more recently noted that birthrates are now below long-term replacement levels nearly everywhere, a trend he examined in his 2010 bookThe Coming Population Crash and Our Planet’s Surprising Future.

The baffling mystery is how Ehrlich—despite his utterly failed forecasts—can continue to be hailed today as a serious scientist with something important to say to the world.

In early 2017, the Vatican invited Dr. Ehrlich to speak at an academic conference titled ‘Biological Extinction,” sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The conference addressed issues of biodiversity, “great extinctions” of history, population and demographics, and Ehrlich was invited to speak on “Causes and Pathways of Biodiversity Losses: Consumption Preferences, Population Numbers, Technology, Ecosystem Productivity.”

The enduring power of alarmist theories such as Ehrlich’s, which somehow survive being exposed as utterly false, should give people pause before embracing similar theories and their practical corollaries, even when based on “settled science.”

In a 2015 articleThe New York Times observed that “worrying about an overcrowded planet has fallen off the international agenda” and has now been replaced “by climate change and related concerns.”

While perhaps failing to observe the irony of its own reporting, the Times juxtaposed the thoroughly discredited population explosion theories of the 1970s with the (equally alarmist) global warming predictions of our day.

As scientists themselves are beginning to recognize, doomsday theories—including those surrounding global warming—must learn to factor in the astounding resilience of human intelligence and the ability of human beings to re

Read the full essay at Breitbart

176 thoughts on “The 'Population Bomb' (that bombed) Turns 50

  1. You would think people today would learn a lesson from the likes of Ehrlich and apply it to CAGW.

    • Many of the people supporting the CAGW myth were hoping that Ehrlich’s prophesies would come true.

      • like this one….LOL
        National Weather Service Head Is Accused Of Assaulting An Employee. He Denies It
        The National Weather Service (NWS) has denied allegations that director Louis Uccellini physically assaulted a staff meteorologist for mentioning “cooling” during a 2014 presentation on Earth’s climate.
        “This alleged incident never happened,” NWS spokeswoman Susan Buchanan told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Dr. Uccellini encourages open discussion on all science issues and perspectives, and he has never had a physical altercation with anyone in his 40-year career.”
        Buchanan responded to a report published by Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) alleging Uccellini “put his hand on the meteorologist’s chest as a warning, and pushed the employee against the wall,” according to an NWS meteorologist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
        “I was giving a talk to fellow NWS staff about the jet stream flow in the upper atmosphere. What it showed was large amplitude waves in both the northern and southern hemispheres,” the meteorologist told CFACT.
        “I explained that the only way the jet stream could get to be high amplitude is if the atmosphere was actually cooling,” the meteorologist said.
        “Right at the bathroom break, the Director of NWS, Louis Uccellini, put a hand on my chest and pushed me up against the wall and said ‘Don’t ever mention the word cooling again,’” the meteorologist said. “He did not mean it in a ‘joking’ way, he absolutely violated my personal space and was dead serious. This was back in 2014.”

      • “Latitude May 2, 2018 at 1:17 pm
        like this one….LOL
        National Weather Service Head Is Accused Of Assaulting An Employee. He Denies It”

        Off topic… But fire the jerk!
        Without his pension!

      • I just came from enjoying the latest Avengers movie. As Thanos, the antagonist, explains his need and desire to wipe out half of all sentient life forms in the universe, I was struck by how similar his arguments are to Paul Ehrlich’s and the warmests.
        It is interesting that the writers of the Marvel Universe decided to make their greatest villain a being who does the most awful things in the name of a noble cause. The movie is a pretty good depiction of what the world would be like if people like Paul Ehrlich and James Hanson ever obtained real power.

    • I used to wonder just what Ehrlich was smoking when he said some of the things he says. Then I realized that it was the money falling into his pockets from the gullible and uninformed people who read his fake doomsday forecasts, and swallowed them whole.
      I’ve known mosquitoes that are smarter than he is.

    • Sure, if people actually THOUGHT. Most don’t.
      They emote.
      Hell, they even have a button where you can display your current emotion. You don’t even need to tell anyone how you feel, you just use the latest emoji.

      • People may think, but for a lot of them, their reality is not that of the universe. Case in point: Chris Pratt plays the part of Peter Quill (aka Star Lord) in Marvel films. Mr. Pratt has been getting lots of hate mail for screwing up the efforts of the Avengers in bringing down Thanos. Many of the movie-goers can’t seem to differentiate between the actor and the role. They do not understand that he play his part as written by screenwriters.
        This is not the only place I’ve witnessed this. I’ve seen aerospace engineers taken in by advertisements for shampoo that clearly weren’t meant to be taken seriously.
        Reality is not the same for all of us. What amazes me is how often our realities are not even internally consistent. An example: absolute non-belief in astrology, but get haircuts, plant crops, build fences according to the phase of the moon.
        Or maybe someone here can explain the latter to me.

      • We speak not strictly and philosophically when we talk of the combat of passion and of reason. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.

        David Hume 1940

    • A problem is that most people have never heard of Ehrlich and his now defunct theories. Nobody can learn from the past if they have never heard of it.

      • They may not know Erlich, the author of these theories, but they do know these are not theories but are fact! I know many people personally who believe the planet is over-crowded. They are not close friends, because I haven’t much patience with dolts.

      • Today’s SJWs may not have heard of Ehrlich, but his memes live on in their concept of humanity as a plague upon the planet. I am always amazed at the longevity of bad ideas. No matter the contradictory evidence a really bad notion such as Marxism refuses to die.

      • In my world, EVERYONE believe that there are too many humans, humans are destroying the planet, and that 14 out of 15 people should not exist.

      • Felix,
        If it ever comes to that point, that would be the folks that believe very strongly in the second amendment.
        (and Max was kidding)

    • But they won’t. Because these doom predictions are what people in an affluent, guilt-ridden society want to hear. Reality is of no interest. Only the moral message has any value, because they are not at all interested in following the preacher in tems of changing their lives. It’s all for the glossy feel-good, better-than-thou, moral high ground.

      • I vote that Paul euthanise himself first, and any of his remaining ardent followers…well… actively follow his lead. Problem solved until the next Paul shows up! By then, I reckon I’ll be gone from this planet!

    • the lesson was completely taken onboard. people love gothic horror and will wring out their purses for a good fire and brimstone tent show. it’s the frisson, baby. roller coasters, pro wrestling, politics – people love it.
      the supply is entirely demand driven.
      cagw is just one of the dino de laurentis ‘cast of thousands’ kind of epic version.
      to judge from the prices, there is actually a shortage.

  2. There’s always a group of people that scream loud, wear pink hats…and have to have a reason to believe we’re all doomed…
    They are not the idiots….the idiots are the ones that give them air time

    • All I know is that my local grocery store shelves are PACKED with food … stacked even higher than I can reach. PACKED … with food. LOTS and LOTS of food.
      Thank you Capitalism!!

      • I am in a growing suburban area. As the suburbs expand, the grocery stores appear – each holding more variety and volume than the last. And, prices are steady.
        Plus, as my daughter points out – it is dumb to say we are overcrowded – “hasn’t anyone ever looked out of their airplane window during a flight?”

      • You don’t even need a plane ticket- just pull up a satellite map online, and explore.

      • Indeed … lots of BADlands left to populate with the idle leftists who enjoy making political theatre. Might I suggest the far reaches of Mohave Desert ? Perhaps all those leftists can find work sweeping the sand off the solar farm panels? I see that WASTEland quite often from my airliner window (when shards of the engine aren’t flying through it).

      • Kenji, why would you wish that on the Mojave Desert? What did it ever do to you?
        No, no, and triple no!!! Leave those nutballs in cities – preferably crowded cities with little to no grasses — because that is where they belong.
        I’d invite you to my campfire, but until we get some rain (SOON, PLEASE!), campfires are out!

      • Actually, the only shelves you have that have actual food in your grocery store are on the outside. Everything else isn’t actually food as your grandparent’s would recognize as such.
        But, hey, you can’t have an obesity epidemic without Cheetos. Lovely…orange…crunchy Cheetos.

      • kenji
        Of course most ‘greens’ live in cities and rarely experience ‘greenery’ beyond their window box.
        Isn’t it hilarious that the real greens, farmers, invariably despise the green movement for interfering in a genuine green environment.
        We are more and more regulated by minority pressure groups that lobby governments to ensure their particular plight is recognised over and above the needs of the majority. Indeed, city dwellers insist their air is cleaned up because of vehicle pollution, so all cars are built to city dweller standards, so why do the rest of us have to pay for a problem that doesn’t affect us?
        London doesn’t have a single functional power station within the M25 (the motorway that encircles the area commonly referred to as London), they are all located in rural areas beyond the city and pollution is exported to be problem elsewhere. And yet the power consumption of London is prodigious.

      • Because of the EPA various Super-micron-sized Particulate Pollution “findings” … No residential developments can be made within 1/4 mile of CA freeways … without an EIR report that indicates how the residents will be “protected”. Otherwise the residents would all slowly diiiiieeeeee of asthma, and whatnot. All because of the evil automobile.
        And the CA politicians wonder why there is a housing shortage … why homeless encampments and tent cities are springing up across the State.

      • Wait until it starts to get colder and food gets scare as more and more harvest begin to fail, leaving to massive food shortages and empty shelves everywhere, Kenji. It’s already happening in a lot of places such as the UK and will soon get worse. Capitalism will not save you when the JIT (just in time) food supply chain system breaks down. I’ve got nothing against Capitalism, but it won’t help in disasters!

  3. While China had one-child, America has selective-child (i.e. life deemed unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable). Whereas the former was a minority Choice, the latter was normalized through political, scientific, cultural, and religious/moral corruption. Both, ironically, were justified as measures for social progress.

  4. In all these years did Ehrlich ever give his lecture on population control in a Muslim country? just wondered

    • We Westerners have been pushing population control of dark-skinned people ever since the 1920s, and we have not ceased.
      As I have noted in the past, our totalitarian overlords are a blend of know-it-all pointy-headed intellectuals such as Ehrlich and Harrison Brown pontificating beyond their areas of expertise, and of Marxists. The intellectual Paternalism-R-Us forces want to control all population – but have to focus on dark-skinned populations, since us white-skinned populations have eagerly followed the few-children idea. The intellectuals so not care what religion the population is.
      However, the Marxists do: to Marx’s followers, the enely is us, our prevailing culture here in the West. This includes our strong society which is based on a “cultural hegemony” leadingly reified by The Nukelar Family, personal-property/liberty/laizssez-faire free trade/capitalism, and -get this – Judeo-Christianity.
      So, to the intellectuals, Islam and Christian are obstructions, but to Marxists, who want our Judeo-Christian culture to fall, Christianity is bad, but fostering Islam is just fine – until the day comes that Judeo-Christianity is wiped out of our culture – then the Marxists will figure out how to move against Islam.
      In the literature on this population-control topic, there is a subset of literature on how to penetrate the Muslim countries / culture. They have actually had attempts at recruiting Imams to find the case for abortion in their religious writings.

      • This particular Westerner has never pushed for population control of dark people. Don’t paint with such a large brush.

      • Sara
        Did he ever consider that laying down his own life for his cause would be a more effective means of protest than profiting from the sales of 3M books?
        Sadly, this lunatic shares his name with at least one eminent humanitarian scientist who sought to achieve preservation of life rather than eradication

      • I know. It’s a sore subject with people like me, so let’s remember the Good Guy in this, and not the Wanker.

  5. Remember that John Holdren, a co-author of a book with Erhrlich, was Obama’s science advisor.

  6. Skeptical Science repeated runs articles on reduced farm yields etc due to global warming. I got banned when I pointed out that A) it was contrary to historical trends of improving farm yields through out history and B) these doomed predictions were simply a regergitation of paul erlich with the obligatory AGW tag.

    • Who cares what’s actually happening. The models say it’s going to get bad.
      One of these days.

      • Kinda reminds me of the jehovah’s witnesses back in the 60’s/70’s/80’s and other religious fanatics that said the end days were just around the corner
        Same story today – just different religion.

      • Jonestown, Guyana, is no more. What was that other bunch? Oh, yeah – the Heaven’s Gate people (?) are gone. There were others, I think, but I’ve lost track.

      • Reminds me of the old saying that a liberal can’t believe something works in practice until they see it work in theory.

      • MarkW
        Not so fast mate. I suspect there’s more who agree with us that there are that don’t, they just don’t want to admit it.
        Old article below, but the momentum is undoubtedly with sceptics since no catastrophic predictions have come to pass in the last 40 years, the only empirical manifestation of increased atmospheric CO2 is that the planet has greened by 14% in the last 30 years, Chris Monckton submitted his evidence last month, and Judith Curry published her paper over the last few days (weeks?).

  7. The population bomb is lite, it’s Africa (Population 1.2 Billion)
    Africa is unimageable chaos. Sort of like hell on earth. No possibility of emergence from hell, due to the depth of the chaos.
    Here is a Nigerian (largest country in Africa, pop. 180 million) example to give you a sense of the depth of the chaos.
    The Nigerian military did not pay their electrical bill, as the money allocated to the Nigerian military to pay for electricity, is taken as graft for the Nigerian military.
    The Nigerian Power company cuts off power to the Nigerian military, until they start paying for electrical power.
    The Nigerian military respond by kidnaping, a senior Nigerian Power company executive, his wife, and his family.
    The Nigerian military then torture same said executive, permanently injuring him so he cannot longer work and do unthinkable things to his wife (sort of like hell).
    Problem solved. Power is resorted to Nigerian military.
    The problem is all of the government departments, in Nigeria, do not pay for electrical power (same for all most every country in Africa), the electrical utilities (in Nigerian and across Africa) do not have funds to purchase fuel.
    No money to purchase fuel is the reason why there are daily ‘brown’ outs in every African country.

    • So you make claims about Africa, then use only a single African country as an example. Poor construction of an argument. I’ll leave alone the salient point that the issues you describe share a common root cause. And it isn’t over population.

      • Yes Tim. Seen this Afro hate too many times. Africa is vast. It’s population is decent. There are problems, but population explosion is not the biggest.
        The example above sounds bad hearsay, so I’ll just ignore it.

      • Seven of the world’s top 10 “failed states” are in Africa, according to a study published in the United States.
        The world’s “most vulnerable” nation, according to the annual Failed States Index, is Somalia, followed by Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The next African countries on the list, where conditions are a little better than in Afghanistan and Iraq, are the Central African Republic and Guinea.

    • William Astley
      “No money to purchase fuel is the reason why there are daily ‘brown’ outs in every African country.”
      I’m not sure I an conceive of a more idiotic statement relative to a countries social problems.
      But first let me cite South Africa, not without it’s problems, but with a thriving manufacturing industry, booming tourist trade, growing financial sector, and home to some of the best international Rugby and Cricket teams. Then there’s Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, again not without problems but largely productive.
      Much of the rest of Africa’s energy needs is at subsistence level, predicated on ‘illegal’ loggers clearing forests to provide cooking and heating fuel for villages, towns and cities.
      They are denied international finance (except it seems other than by the Chinese recently) to build fossil fuelled power plants delivering cheap, abundant electricity.
      Much of Africa can’t afford electricity, because there is no electricity to build wealth, and therefore the means to afford electricity.
      In it’s infinite wisdom, the west denies the destitute members of many African countries access to the very source of wealth the west has profited from, fossil fuels.
      Much of this is as far as I can see, is predicated on the notion that the earth’s population needs to be artificially controlled rather than leaving it to it’s own devices to balance out. Meanwhile, we know that successful western nations’ birth rates are in decline, because they are wealthy and educated.
      And were African countries wealthy, and democratically run, wouldn’t that be one less source of immigrants to western nations, indeed, with the resources Africa has, it might become the destination of wealthy western immigrants.

        • David Smith
          And you deem an IQ standard, developed in the Western world, used to test the ‘intelligence’ of developing nations appropriate?
          My late father in law was a United Nation Senior Forester in Nigeria during the 50’s/60’s. He would be the first to concede the country wasn’t well educated then, but there was no lack of intelligence.
          “Nigeria losing about a dozen doctors to the UK every week”

          How strange. A country with a recorded low IQ exporting doctors.

      • We cannot solve any problem if we politically correct make the problem go away.
        Only 1 out of 8 African people who train to be a doctor in developed countries returns to Africa to practice medicine. African people love their countries. Regardless, chaos is chaos. This example was also provided from the Economist Article: Is Africa get Worst? (I paraphrase).

        South Africa’s electricity crisis
        Unplugged: Rolling power cuts are fraying tempers
        THE people of South Africa are learning to live in the dark. Their beleaguered power utility, Eskom, is unable to meet electricity demand and in November reintroduced a tortuous schedule of rolling blackouts known as “load shedding”. South Africans now check electricity reports that read like weather forecasts: “There is a medium probability of load shedding today and tomorrow, with a higher probability on Thursday and Friday,” said a recent Eskom tweet. Newspapers print survival tips and “load shedder recipes” for food you can prepare without electricity. And there are bleak jokes aplenty. “Q: What did South Africa use before candles? A: Electricity.”
        The power cuts are hurting an already stagnant economy, estimated to have expanded by just 1.4% in 2014. Both big industry and small businesses are feeling the pinch. Meanwhile Eskom has warned that the blackouts could drag on for months, perhaps even years, as it struggles with a maintenance backlog and a barrage of technical problems at its ageing power stations. There are delays in bringing new capacity online, particularly at Medupi, a heralded new coal-fired plant whose completion has been endlessly postponed. .

        Since we’ve been in Johannesburg, I’ve noticed quite often how many of the city’s traffic lights aren’t working, yet no one seems to be concerned of the potential traffic dangers while driving. This observation sparked interest for me, so I began researching South Africa’s rolling blackouts and the effects that they’ve had on its economy. ….
        …According to, the 2014 blackouts hadn’t been this bad since 2008. Eskom Holdings SOC, Ltd. scheduled blackouts due to rain storms that “disrupted the state-run utility’s supply of coal [that is] burned to generate more than 80 percent of power.” Eskom supplies 95% of power to South Africa, and spent 500 billion R ($46.7 billion) last year to “replace aging equipment and add plants to avoid a repeat of blackouts that affected homes, mines and factories for five days in January 2008.”

      • Hot Scot.
        Re: doctors.
        I take it you’ve not heard of a bell curve?
        Has it not occured to you that the brightest Nigerians get themselves trained to get away from their chaotic country as soon as they can?
        Besides, Nigerian doctors in the UK haven’t got a very good track-recotd:

        The country with the biggest single number of doctors who have been removed or suspended from the medical register, is India, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.

        • David Smith
          You posted a link to a site which publishes IQ’s of country populations.
          My point was that if there is such a dearth of general intelligence in Africa, how can so many people qualify as doctors.
          Their success or failure in the UK is irrelevant. There could be many factors affecting that including language, culture and of course, the sheer number of immigrant doctors from India and Nigeria. The article even highlights this.
          However, what’s really unconvincing is this is a Telegraph article from 2012!
          Please try to quote something up to date.

      • Hot Scot
        2012 you say!
        Oh my gawd, that’s virtually ancient history! /sarc
        I think your PC sensibilities are stopping you from admitting that Africans have not made a good show of running their continent. Nigeria, for example, is plagued by corruption, and it’s supposed to be one of the more successful countries! Laughable.

        • David Smith
          So you imagine nothing has been done in the last 6 years to address the problem?
          Nor is Africa run as a continent. It”s run as individual countries with their own governments.
          And of course it has problems, but then so does every other country in the world. There’s are exacerbated by lack of access to funding for true development i.e. fossil fuel derived energy.
          Did Africa start two world wars? Did Africa drop the first nuclear bomb? Did the develop world not drop the financial ball in 2008? Did Africa colonise Holland, the UK and France? No, it was the other way round. Did Africa use the west as a source of slaves? Is the west still plundering the continent for mineral wealth with no regard for child labour? Did Africa impose Christianity on the west?
          And guess which monarchy most despots in Africa mimic? In fact make that globally. Yes, the British Royal family, who flaunt wealth and pageantry, engage in overt displays of military control with the trooping of the colours etc.
          And what does the west contribute to Africa? Charity derived toilets, and wells with a tap for an entire village.
          I don’t think its Africa with the problem, the west has the problems.

      • IQ is a relative scale where 100 is considered “average”. If enough people score higher (or lower) on the tests, the scale is adjusted to reflect the new average.

        • drednicolson
          Which is fine assuming all things are equal, for example, access to education, health care, sanitation, roads, internet etc.
          Old age provision in Africa is accepted as having a large family to support the patriarch/matriarch when they’re too old to work, and with child mortality rates as they are in Africa, subsistence is more important than proving how bright you are.
          And whilst a man might be intelligent enough to catch, gut, skin and cook a rabbit, he might not be able to read and write. Mensa puzzles would be meaningless, I have tried them and with practise, one can improve technique, thereby improving a score. But what motivation is there for a man/woman with a family of ten to familiarise themselves with Mensa techniques when they could be supporting their family?
          And by your description, it might seem that the IQ test is as reliant on participation as it is ability. In other words, if no one in Nigeria actually sits the test, the whole country will achieve a score of zero. No matter how one adjusts the average, they will always be at the bottom of the pile.
          And I do appreciate the scoring criteria allows for regional variations and participation levels, but when entire cities across Africa are reliant on ‘illegally’ logged timber to burn over open fires to cook with, somehow, I suspect the concept of even subjecting themselves to an IQ test is entirely alien.
          With the best will in the world, and the greatest of respect to you and everyone on this blog, IQ is a westernised concept designed by academics to prove how superior they are to everyone else.
          Try presenting an IQ test to an Amazonian native, then let him/her present their version to academic westerners.
          I’m damn sure I know who’ll live the longest.
          That’s not to say IQ test’s have no value, they do, but in context.

    • The example I provide is from an article in Economist on-line. He specific notes unbelievable chaos and corruption is the norm for Africa as a whole (that was the point of his article Why are things getting worst in Africa?) and then provides the Nigerian Military evidence of Mafia type chaos crime.
      The writer of Economist article then describes travels with a truck that is attempting to carry good across Africa.
      Every ten miles or so there is a guy or guys with a gun, which may or may not work, stopping the truck and asking for a buck. A large portion of the money for road repair is take as graft so the roads are logically in disrepair.
      He notes there is no rule of law outside of the capital. He also notes the rule of law in the capital is dependent on position, money, and so on.
      Long term aid workers are moving away from Africa as it is getting worst not better. Aid to a group of super corrupt countries does not fix the super corruption.

    • Corruption we can imagine.
      The chaos the results from daily power outages and long-term lack of basic infrastructure repair we cannot.
      Try taking a tourist trip to the Congo.

      (CNN) If you live in Liberia, arranging to see a doctor might unfortunately not be as simple as booking an appointment.
      Seven out of 10 people in the country say they have had to pay bribes to access basic services like healthcare and schooling, according to Transparency International, a global watchdog.
      This number is the highest in Africa, but in the latest poll — which the NGO conducted with Afrobarometer, an organization which publishes surveys on African governance — 58% of people said they thought bribery was increasing.
      “Poverty and exclusion”
      “Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy a lavish life, millions of Africans are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, in a statement.

  8. In a crowded field, that includes Michael “Piltdown” Mann, Gavin “The Adjuster” Schmidt, James “Open The Windows” Hansen, and “Fat” Albert Gore, I hereby nominate Ehrlich, Holdren and McKibben as the Holy Trinity of Climate Charlatanry.

  9. Paul Ehrlich is still living since that book was published ever consuming his fair share of, in his own words, the Earth’s precious resources.
    I’m sure all these years he has eaten well, taken advantage of automobiles and airplanes and was never too hot or too cold in his residence. He is a founding father of all this mess we are in and definitely a poster child for all the hypocrisy.

  10. Many of these future-forecasting books make the assumption — that current trends will continue ad infinitum.
    They never do, of course.

  11. China did not take of the mantle of population control in response to this, and the accompanying population panic that jumped to prominence in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
    China had been into population control before that – they began when we Westerners brought our racist-inspired eugenics to their realm. To wit: “Following birth control advocate Margaret Sanger’s visit to China in 1922, during the 1930s eugenics became part of birth control campaigns and part of a national hygiene program.” Etc., etc.

  12. Right at the beginning, Population Bomb informs you that it is Western imperialism at work. Ehrlich opens chapter 1 with an anecdote of a visit he made to crowded urban India.
    Each of you can quickly figure this out, since The Population Bomb is on the web in pdf, readily available. This opening anecdote is just one page long.

    • If I was a Dolphin,
      I’d Dolphin in the mornin,
      I’d Dolphin in the evenin,
      all over the Sea.
      I’d Dolphin with Porpoise
      I’d Dolphin with Orcas
      I’d Dolphin with Love between the Seahorse and the Clownfish
      Allllll over the Sea.

      • The ONE thing I have NEVER been interested in doing … during my family holidays … is to “swim with the dolphins”. Why? I don’t get it. At. all. I love the ocean, and swim, surf, and beachcomb, and investigate tidal pools, and all manner of fun in the sea … but “swim with the dolphins”? Why? Because they are “smarter than humans”? Puhleeze.

    • J Mac
      Excellent! A good laugh, for the dolphins. They must have all been giggling like mad.
      Like you, I don’t see the attraction, although I let my children do the tourist thing in Bermuda with wild dolphins that return in the tourist season. No idea why, they just come back into a pool area they are free to leave, but entertain the tourists.
      My kids were seated on a concrete seat, life jackets the whole 9 yards (Scottish expression) and one felt the water at her feet warm up. The attendant told her the dolphin must have liked her a lot as it urinated on her legs…………..not impressive to an 11 year old girl, in the least!!!!
      Personally I agree with you. I’ll stick to rock pooling, have you seen the teeth those ‘harmless’ dolphins sport?!!!

      • hotscot,
        Is the “King of the Hill” cartoon shown on tv in Scotland…?
        Hank also had an encounter with a dolphin that liked him.

        • DonM
          Sadly, I live in the SE of England so don’t know the answer to your question. I doubt it would be shown though My countrymen find anything amusing about Scotland offensive, unless made by a Scot.
          I’m not sure I should enquire further about Hank’s dolphin experience. 🙂

        • DonM
          Watched the clip. Not something I would enjoy. I managed RugRats when my kids were young, but found the Simpsons tedious.
          Still love Tom and Jerry though.

      • Dolphin teeth are primarily used for gripping. In the wild, they catch a fish, hold it until it stops wiggling around, then swallow it whole. A dolphin’s real method of attack is its rock-hard snout. They drive away threats by ramming them. They can kill sharks by smashing up the gills, or just by racking up internal injuries. (Know how easy it is to break someone’s nose? Shark skeletons are 100% cartilage, so every area on their bodies is like a human nose in the face of blunt trauma.)
        Dolphins are some real bad muthas.

  13. The solution to China’s “Too Many Males” problem is Plural Marriage. 1 wife and multiple husbands.

    • Not sure that totally ‘fits’ with Nature’s reproductive strategy for human beings. Women have a few, finite, number of eggs … so they (tend to be) choosey with mates. Men have an UNLIMITED number of swimmers who can fertilize an egg until the man drops dead (or carries his iPhone in a front pocket). Those few Chinese women can afford to be even MORE choosey than typical. Look OUT planet! Here comes the Chinese SUPER race of children born of only the BEST men China can produce.

      • No woman will “go through” her allotment of eggs. Women are not choosy due to the need to dole out their eggs judiciously.
        She does have other limits, such as being obviously and clearly tied to the child while the sperm donor is allowed to dance away, and only being able to engage in sexual reproduction just about once a year, while a man could do the same once a day. [They say: once a King, always a King, but once a Knight is enough!]

  14. Has it occured to anyone that if we could enter even a little ice age in the next few years, what would
    happen to food production that now feeds seven plus billion people. Canada and northern U.S. appears
    to be having late planting this year and possiblley reduced production. what then?

    • I heard a guy on tv (Ply?) the other day who was head of an EMP study panel and he said in talking about the U.S. being hit with an Electromagnetic pulse that knocks out the grid, that there is only about a 30-day suppy of food available for the masses.
      He also said something very important. He said it would take about $3 billion to insure the U.S. grid could withstand an Electromagnetic Pulse. Simple things like large surg protectors for the huge transformers that are the backbone of the grid. Otherwise, if the large transformers blow out it could take from one to five years to build replacements, and we would have to buy them from overseas since the U.S. doesn’t make those items. That is if the manufacturers are willing to sell to us. They may need the transformers for themselves if it is a worldwide EMP.
      I think we need to spend about $3 billion on our electrical grid. As soon as possible.

      • Yes but like all wrong doomsayers, he just doubles down on his wrong predictions by merely pushing the dates out for when his predicted disasters are supposed to happen.

    • Yes! He was RIGHT … that his book preaching doom and gloom would make him a multi-millionaire and cause celeb.

  15. …In 1981, Simon published The Ultimate Resource, underscoring man’s ability to adapt to new circumstances and overcome obstacles through ingenuity and creativity. It is the human mind, rather than coal, trees, or iron, that is the ultimate resource—one that suffers no risk of depletion….
    In fact, the more people you have, the more ingenuity and creativity you have…

    • Yes, as Julian Simon pointed out, there is something wrong with a measurement system (GDP) where, when a human is born, it lowers, yet when a pig is born, it rises.

  16. Both Norman Bourlaug and Julian Simon showed how wrong “The Population Bomb” was and is.

    • Leftists get on board doomsday movements because the magnitude of the cause provides the means to convert their inferiority complex into a superiority complex.
      Their lofty selves can then lecture the foolish masses and seek to force upon them what is for their own good.

    • For skeptics it may be wrong. But true believers in the BOOK don’t get confused by mere facts.

  17. Another example of stupidity in high places getting no bad consequences from missing by miles. That is the true inequity in society, more so than wealth. It’s Teflon Status.

  18. The hell of it is, this is still regarded as a totem.
    But look at the pattern it followed. Alarmism set sufficiently in the future. Then when the dates actually come and go, they are pushed back. Then pushed back again. THEN the story is changed to fit current conditions to create the impression the predictions HAVE come true. And finally, the admission that it was all ‘exaggerated’ (as in pulled free and clear out of thin air), to bring about ‘awareness’ – apparently of a problem that never existed.
    Patterns repeat – particularly when they involve human behavior.

  19. The limited carrying capacity crowd are not just unscientific wack jobs. They are hypocrites of the worst sort. One might say asking them to check out of this life might be a bit too much, but at a minimum they should follow their own recommendations and not reproduce.
    How many off spring do guys like Ehrlich and David Suzuki have?

  20. There are a number of interesting research opportunities into the psychology and economic motivations of doomsday storytelling. Ravi Batra and Matt Simmons also come to mind.

  21. Well, that was interesting. Doomsday predictions have been around since the asteroid whacked Gomorrah and Lot’s wife just HAD to stop and take a look.
    I expect to outlive this old gas bag Ehrlich. I read a copy of that book long ago, looked around me, and started laughing. I thought then, and more than ever now, that those people need to have their own planet – a place of refuge from the “bomb” (whatever the fashion is) and we’ll just move on without them.

  22. The population bomb is real but has turned out differently than Erlich envisioned. The West is being flooded by third world peoples who are out-breeding their native lands — this will get only worse and probably end in war against the migrations. Famine is Nature’s way of dealing with overpopulation, but was forstalled by the Green Revolution of the 1970’s. Perhaps famine was the better option in terms of the long picture.

    • Only in areas of high-density and low resources. And frankly I consider your comments about famine being ‘the better option’ the sort common among utterly heartless elites.

    • The population bomb was never real and the run away population gains that haunt your nightmares is not happening.

    • It’s a matter of quality over quantity! No one the west has any problem with migration – of people bearing skills that are needed! We are increasingly angry with unfettered migration of hordes of uneducated unskilled welfare recipients from cultures that are openly hostile to us.

      • “from cultures that are openly hostile to us.”
        I think that is the heart of the matter. You can’t get along with people who don’t want to get along. And you shouldn’t invite those types of people into your house if you value your peace and quiet.

  23. Even The New York Times scorched him a couple of years ago with one of its typically great Retro Report mini-documentaries:

  24. As Nasim Taleb says, its about skin the game. People like Erhlich will continue to have long, lucrative careers because they, literally, have nothing to lose if they are wrong.
    The rest of us, however…

    • It would not be that hard to design an algorithm and bot to detect and flag arm waving predictions that carry no cost to the bomb thrower. It would start by cross checking credentials against the prediction requirements for expertise and continue on checking and cross checking the competency behind the thrower. It could also compile gains to the arm waver against fact checking results.

      • As for metals market economics Ehrlich was clueless and so were the others he turned to for help in the wager.

  25. Has there ever been a leftist prediction of doom that proved to be even remotely correct? Or one that didn’t have a solution plagued by unintended consequences?

  26. People love to be scared , The war was over so the book gave the sensitive crowd something to fret about .
    Just like the dying earth has a fever con game , there is always something in the wings to churn .
    People programing through Face Plant and other social media might make for a good campaign .

  27. The baffling mystery is how Ehrlich—despite his utterly failed forecasts—can continue to be hailed today as a serious scientist with something important to say to the world.
    Not baffling at all. They WANT to believe. That’s all it takes.

    • I never knock the common man after seeing a survival program on TV. Six or so men were left on a tropical desert island in the Pacific for several weeks to see if they could survive. The six included a brain surgeon form Manchester. I thought it was a comedy show because they spent days trying to start a fire rubbing sticks together, scouring the island in search of fresh water (and ending up drinking foul mosquito covered stuff and getting sick) plus all had blackish urine for days. None of them noticed that the beach was covered in human rubbish such as sheets of plastic. Making use of the tropical sun for solar stills on the beach plus making lenses out of plastic filled with sea water appeared to be beyond their imaginations. Also, not one thought of removing a lens from the several cameras they had with them to start a fire. My window cleaner would have shamed them if she had been there (As for them knowing how to catch fish……!).

  28. The Left tries to claim it is the Conservatives are anti-science.
    But one day, history will record by-name that is was Paul Ehrlich, Mann, Phil Jones, Hansen, Santer, et al, with their alarmist prophesies that were the true anti-science charlatans of this Climate Hustle era.

    • American conservatives are pro-science (i.e. separation of logical domains, and near-frame philosophy), and progressives are not anti-science, but since classical times, they do have a habit of offering wicked solutions to albeit hard problems.

  29. One of the great ironies of the world is that “ehrlich” in German means “honest, truthful”
    I feel sorry for the young women of the late 1960s and early 1970s who got involved with ZPG and had themselves sterilized. I wonder if any of them regret it now?

    • I don’t regret they did it. People with such weak minds are too likely to raise children with weak minds.
      Not always true. Juan Williams is one who follows the crowd, but his two boys don’t. Strange.

  30. I think the timing is about right, For those of us who remember “All in the Family” it is my guess that Ehrlich was responsible for Meathead telling Gloria that he did not want to father her children.

  31. In early 2017, the Vatican invited Dr. Ehrlich to speak at an academic conference titled ‘Biological Extinction,” sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

    College of Cardinals : “Can we have a re-do?”

  32. People who call for radical population control never seem to set an example to us over-breeders by forming a queue outside euthanasia clinics in Switzerland.

    • Oh, you saw that, too? Historically, it’s the ‘good for thee, but not for me’ line.

  33. The ironic part is that due to GSM this educated NAZI’S predictions may, unfortunately may be correct. This statement is not intended to be an endorsement of his Far Leftist beliefs, merely an opion. This opinion is based on the possibility (if not probability) that in such a short time as may come to pass, that human intelligence (as well as resources) may not be able to match the pace which is required to insure a large part of the population to survive. Look at who is investing millions into alternative means of food production. All these Techno billionaires who are investing in this, are not doing so because they are nice people. They see a huge profit margin. If you think they care whether you can afford the price they demand for essential vegetables,think again. They have never done anything without an alterior motive.
    Whether it be profit or p.r. (so you wouldn’t mind paying their exorbitant prices) the base line for these types of individual is greed and the need for public worship.
    So unfortunately I see a possibility that this lunatics ravings may come true. Sad commentary on mankind’s true nature. At least I admit that if in a dire situation, I would have no Qualms in killing someone in order to survive. Done it before, will do it again if required.

    • I guess you’ve never had a garden, have you, Joe? Seed companies all over the place, many of them offering heirloom seeds as well as resistant hybrids.
      Techno billionaires? Gee, they don’t even do their own laundry. Give me a break! When was the last time one of them drove himself anywhere? Such a dismal, dystopic attitude!
      In regard to “alternate food production”:
      1 – who do you think will be tending that stuff? Not the billionaires, certainly.
      2 – Remember, soylent green is people!!!

  34. I find this puts things in a different perspective. It says nothing about resources, but quite a bit about the perception of Earth being “over populated”. Every human on the planet will fit in Jacksonville, FL, with 18 inches between them. Jacksonville (geographically, one of the largest cities in the U.S.) is approx. 841 square miles. This is approx. 23.5 billion square feet, which works out to approx. 3.5 square feet per person (for a population of 7 billion).

  35. Here’s a sobering (and ultimately amusing) sequence of reasoning for you.
    If the Earth’s population today is 7,500,000,000 or so, and is increasing about 1.16% per year
    and the Universe has over 10⁸³ nucleons
    and it takes some 3×10²⁵ nucleons to make up an average body, then
    ln(10⁸³ / (3×10²⁵ × 7,500,000,000)) ≈ 222.9 – 81.4 → 141.5 (remember this)
    141.5 / ln( 1.0116 ) = 12,270 years.
    So therefore, if mankind continues to increase from today until twelve thousand years in the future at the present rate, then we will consume all the matter of the universe. As people. LOL
    Just saying.
    Math is fun.

  36. What’s profound but never discussed is the vast swath of relationships destroyed by the poison injected into the public by Ehrlich. I lost my very best friend because he read that crap and then turned into insane crusader. I suspect that poison did widespread damage.
    The key to remember about output from people like Ehrlich is that the particulars are irrelevant. What matters is that his books and the ideas contained within were deliberately-designed, military-grade weapons of psychological warfare, with tremendous power to cause mass casualties.
    Brain-chemical warfare.

    • Would a safe space be a solution? Had your friend not fallen for this nonsense, sooner or later some other crap would get him. That’s how Das Kapital or Mein Kampf works – they are pseudo-science written for the vulnerable.

  37. Kaliforniakook’s story about Chris Patti is a very common situation and has often serious consequences for many people. In 1989 a brilliant defence attorney called Pat Finucane was murdered by Loyalist terrorists in his home in front of his young family with the connivance, collusion and assistance of senior figures in both the British secret service and the RUC (the previous name for Northern Ireland’s Police Force) Special Branch. Mr Finucane had been particularly successful in the defence of Republican terrorist suspects, although he represented clients from all sides of the sectarian divide. Subsequent inquiries established that one of the main reasons for Special Branch pushing so hard for his murder was a conflation of the solicitor with his client base.

  38. Actually, your post shows the sterility of “conservative thought”, defined as the ability to ignore the reality in favor of favorite ideology.
    The population bomb exploded. Just not evenly. Consequences are on your television screen, if you care to watch it, disguised as a religious war in the Middle East. There will be more of the same in more places.

    • mf shows the inability of the left to think at all.
      First off he declares that since he disagrees with the author, the author must be conservative.
      Then he declares that the author ignores reality and proceeds with pronouncements that have no connection with any reality known to science.
      There is not and never has been a population bomb, and the wars caused by Muslims have to do with their being Muslim, not with their being crowded. Which most of them aren’t.

    • mf shows his/her/its complete ignorance of history of the middle east. religious wars have been ongoing there for centuries before Ehrlich was even born and will likely continue for centuries after we are all dust. It has nothing to do with population size and everything to do with population beliefs.

  39. Off course Paul Ehrlich is an ekstremist.
    But how many of the religious extremists who comment here (Christian/Moslem), would like to live in the vast slumareas of the third world ?
    No runnning water, no sanitation, no power ?

    • Interesting you say it that way…and yes, it’s obvious to anyone who reads it that you do not have high regard for anyone of faith and that’s ok because we still love you…most Christians would not want to go to a slum, but would rather do their part through donations. Not saying that’s bad. It actually means a great deal to those without to have the money or food or clothes. That’s what I do is donate and I am trying my best to do what God wants me to do.
      However, a Christian “extremist” as you put it, would and does gladly go and live, and often die, in slums all over the world. Mother Theresa is a famous one but you don’t hear about the thousands and thousands that do it. Many don’t come back but most do survive, Not just slums, but into places like China where they risk imprisonment. A Christian Extremist is a powerful, amazing, God-filled soul who loves everyone and who would literally take the coat off his back and give it to you, and then his shirt if you asked for that too.
      Compare that to a Muslim Extremist.

    • We extremist Christians can be seen to be directly responsible for great swaths of alleviation of problems and poverty across the globe. Across centuries.
      You are brainwashed by anti-Christian Marxist messages to say such ridiculous stuff.
      Atheistic philosophies are responsible for oppression and death across the globe. This is all a matter of historical record.
      In the United States, Christian-based charity going overseas is, each year, greater than U.S. government foreign aid. We extremist Christians are on the ground doing real things to help out the problems in Haiti, rather than raping the people and hijacking resources, as the U.N. forces have been doing.
      And yet again my extremist (we believe the Bible is true) church is sending scores of people on summer mission trips all over the globe. How is it going down at the Ethical Society? Or is it the Unitarian Church?
      This all a matter of record. Try again.

    • What does being an extremist, religious or otherwise have to do with living in slums?
      Ask yourself a question, assuming your brain is functional enough to do so.
      Why do people choose to live in slums?
      When you can answer that question, you just might have taken the first step on the road to wisdom.

  40. Leftists hacks throughout history conjured up fake projected catastrophes to both extort money from taxpayers and increase State power and control to “fix” these fantasies: Population bomb, Ozone Hole, DDT scare, New Anthropogenic Ice Age (1970’s), GMO scare, New Mass Extinction Event, Polar Bear extinction, Everything Causes Cancer, Robber-Baron Scare, Black Lives Matter, Capitalism is Evil, Pollution is Getting Worse and Worse, Raw Material Depletion, Killer Bees, All Coral Reefs Disappearing, and now, The Mother Of All Leftist Scams: The Gloooobal Waaaaarming scare (the biggest and most expensive Leftist hoax in human history).
    Amazingly, citizens continue to fall for these Leftist hoaxes and the “solutions” to these mythical catastrophes have actually cost 100+ million lives (deaths under Communism) and $100’s of trillions.
    Invariably, Leftists’ “solutions” are more detrimental than the fake catastrophes they were designed to fix…
    As long as Leftists remain in power, the more lives and treasure will be sacrificed.

  41. “It is the human mind…” that is the resource. Looking even further into the question of demand for resources. I’ve made the point that we are not demanding zinc. We are demanding barn rooves, culverts, batteries,
    … non corrosive ducts…1) Plus, metals have been recycled because of their value since human ingenuity created them. As the process has become more efficient, mining is turning to be a “topping up” activity. It’s safe to say nearly all the gold mined in the Gold Coast and traded across the Sahara in pre medieval times is still with us. 2) I predicted and argued during the debates that arose after the Club of Rome came out with their linear and ignorant petri-dish thinking about resources, that copper reserves in 2000 would be not less than they were at the time. An orebody is an inventory and you only have to drill (its an expensive exercise) off reserves enough ahead for planning purposes. And surprise, surprise, new technologies will lead to more and more ore being found. 3) Miniaturization results in less and less resources needed per unit of product. The first computer I saw in 1967 took up an entire airconditioned room at the university and it didn’t have the computing power of a shirt pocket calculator of a generation later. Hey, bitcoin is a virtual replacement of currency and we have the world’s library at at our fingertips, which means even our ingenuity is expanding at a rapid rate.

  42. Just to go off the plantation a bit……….
    We all recognize that Ehrlich’s hypothesis has been proven wrong. But so have hundreds of other hypotheses on all kinds of issues. Are we supposed to not present ideas, no matter how radical, because someday they may be proven wrong?
    Under those circumstances we would still be living in caves.
    Give Ehrlich his due: he came up with a hypothesis, and was proven wrong. That’s called science.

    • William
      Fair point however, to continue to beat the drum decades later without, to my knowledge, any type of retraction, and being courted by celebrities, politicians, and the media because of his infamy is a bit hard to stomach.
      And forgive me for asking but was it as you say, just a hypothesis he expressed, or was his book considered robust science at the time?
      If not, I could come up with some theories that are out there, with no evidence other than my own opinion.

    • Sure. But when you believe your ideas so surely that you believe in overthrowing government-by-the-people, and taking away the freedoms of individuals to live their lives as they see fit, we have a problem.
      Ehrlich, in Ecoscience, is on record throwing out all kinds of totalitarian ideas such as putting birth control in the drinking water, and conducting mass sterilization.
      “We” have actually had great runs at involuntary mass sterilization here in the U.S. These fell out of favor right after we figured out what Hilter was doing, but the desire to control everyone through eugenics lingers on . Here in the U.S., the final mass-sterilization projects were given up only in the 1970s.
      Propose what you want.

      • He keeps pushing the same solutions even after the disasters he predicted have proven to be imaginary.

    • William, the problem is that it was easy to see, even at the time that Ehrlich’s hypothesis was wrong.
      Very, very wrong.
      The problem is pushing wrong ideas in order to force people to do things they would not normally do on their own. That is evil.

      • Yes, all true, and I do not disagree with any of the comments.
        But my point was that the easiest way to prove/disprove a hypothesis is to expose it to sunlight. Unfortunately, exposure of Ehrlich’s hypothesis to sunlight seems to have acted as fertilizer, and his lunacy seems to have found fertile ground.
        As my hero Jordan Peterson (may his sainted name be heard forever) says: “We have an obligation to speak, and to speak the truth. If we do not, evil will flourish”.

  43. There is always one. Michael Mann is one, Al Gore another. Fake “Sky is Falling” science promoted as propaganda to support their phoney careers and/or delusional beliefs thatmake no allowam nce for the adapive capabilities of human society, in their short pointless lifetimes, at the cost of the mass of people.
    We can be as many as our many supporting technologies can sustainably support, more is pointless and self regulating, but not a frozen status quo, because technology changes what is possible, how to do more with less of natural planetary resources
    For an Erlich antidote, watch the later Hans Rosling explain mankind’s and nature’s adaptive response, where technology meets pragmatic human reality. When children stop dying, mothers stop having them, quite quickly. When health care saves them, even before the prosperity adequate energy supplies deliver. Why extremists don’t like vaccinations, it is their bizarre wish people should die from natural diseases. Preferably not them because their god protects them (and all the vaccinated people).
    QUESTION: Most of these obsessive delusions find most support in the USA. Why? Is it the backward religiosity hence gullibility of its poorly educated masses who are thus easily manipulated by their “all the education, health and justice you can afford” elites, or simply a culture of excessive wealth and privilege that is rich enough to support cynical Snake Oil salesmen like Erlich, Mann and Gore, et al.? Also read Ronald Bailey’s’s book “The End of Doom” where the cult and approach of phoney doomsayers is spelled out at length..

    • Being religious equates to being gullible.
      It’s nice that you chose to wear your bigotry on your sleeve so that everyone can see it.

      • It is ironic that when I graduated from graduate school, I thought I knew it all and sneered at those who held religious beliefs as being ignorant peasants.
        Now, after a lifetime of continuous learning in science and engineering, I am embarrassed to look back at my arrogant stupidity.
        What we have learned in science since I graduated proves to me beyond a shadow of doubt the existence of God as the creator of our universe, and all in it.
        As to where he is, what he is, how he does it, etc, etc. It seems I will have wait for the inevitable before I get those answers.

      • I believe in what can be independently verified by full disclosure scientific method. Those who are religious ipso facto don’t, and are easily deceived by the supposed words a of some fictional god, told to them as fact by a human written in a book when there was no way to understand things rationally, n NOT the case today, yet the gullible still believe these incredible stories that lack any actual support, even the credibility of everyday life experience. I think that qualifies as gullibility, except wher the individual is not educated to reserach and think for themselves.
        Religion is run by people who wish to control the actions and beliefs of other people, not gods. Distrusting the faith of those who require no proof for their beliefs and describing what they do literally is not bigotry. It’s basic common sense AKA, evidence based vs. delusional faith.
        PS: It’s also hard to relate the Vostok ice cores to an Earth 10,000 years old where Dinosoars mixed with humans. Carbon dating must be the work of the devil, etc. The way human society became developed was by making its management and culture secular. What humans now know is the antithesis of religion.
        Humanism does all that is required w/o believing a lot old fairy stories written by ignorant (not daft though) old men centuries ago to maintain control over their peoples, which, I would suggest, has no value in a technologically sophisticated society.

  44. One Wall St financier commented recently about ToysrUs and its bankruptcy. The store picked a bad time to rack-up $5 billion in corporate debt. There were 450,000 fewer births in the US in 2015 than in 2007. In the US and most of the developed and developing world, young people are just not having children. The children’s toys industry is just one victim. As the global population gets older and older (the median age of the globe is 30.5, in 1970 it was 24.5), the allocation of resources will also change. From real estate to food production, to consumer goods, markets will eventually react.
    Has anyone wondered how our global economy will react with a stagnant or declining population?

  45. Population explosion was over 25 years ago. Since then global population under 15 is stable, around 1.9 billion. Population is still increasing though, because people live longer, but that’s a bad thing how?
    Anyway, no one can produce more than one old fart by failing to die young. That can never be explosive, unlike too many kids.

  46. Never has there been so much surplus food in most countries, but some countries do have dire difficulties. In 1911 the area of India that made up Pakistan had 11 million people, 120 million in the mid nineties and 193 million today.Some counties like Rwanda are going to have an unsustainable population.Rwanda’s population is going up 50% every 16 years.Unless certain counties take drastic measures, then expect famine and mass migration. I am afraid that is is inevitable.

  47. There was some serious population control in the 1930s and 40s by two countries that signed a non aggression pact.

  48. “to reduce its population, China instituting a draconian one-child policy”
    That was only after a just as draconian population growth policy, with Mao believing population numbers were a way to increase raw production power. That was quickly shown to be not sustainable at all and the one-child policy was simply a way for the nation to survive (and was not exactly “draconian” in practice, depending on ones definition).
    That said, there’s no reason to advocate any number. Some of it is based on the one-dimensional ideological theory that growth is fundamental to progress or sustaining the economy. But many indicators (and plain reason) do show that six billion or more cannot be stable if more than half of them have to live below poverty levels because of the harsh realities of geography, local history and human nature or culture. It’s not hard to imagine humanity will have to find some balance between growth and reduction. Same is already applied to agriculture, game hunt, diplomacy and so on. It made it possible to exist over the ages. Population balancing is just another thing. And it has nothing to do with forceful “coercion” of any individual. The highlights of human development happened through different means.

  49. Yet another example of the fact that EVERYONE that has ever predicted the end of the world has been wrong. They will continue to be wrong until one of them gets it right, but there will be nobody left to say “I told you so” to, so what does it matter? Whether the planet and everything on it dies tomorrow or 3 billion years from tomorrow matters not at all. All that matters is that you have no control over it, and never will. So find something that you CAN change to worry about. Preferably something important, and not trivial emotional reaction BS based on some perceived wrong done to you. Live life and enjoy it instead of focusing like a laser on some crackpot flyspeck of insignificance.

  50. Never had the misfortune to read that particular screed, but in middle school was forced to read the equally deplorable “29th Day”.
    I keep wondering why the people who think the world is overpopulated never take responsibility for themselves adding to that problem and taking action to reduce the population by one (or more if they have children). Why aren’t they doing their part to reduce the population by their own life (and those of their children)?
    And why does the life they seek to reduce the population of always seem to have non-white skin?

  51. Paul Ehrlich was absolutely right, of course, as was Malthus, but had he left his overly enthusiastic predictions out of the book, perhaps he would have been better regarded today. A human population expanding without limit on a planet with limited space and resources is a formula for disaster.

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