Serially Wrong Paul Ehrlich Is Wrong, Again. We Are Not on The Brink of a 6th Mass Extinction Event

Guest Opinion by Chris Talgo

On January 1, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” rang in the new year by airing a segment in which several scientists, including Dr. Paul Ehrlich, predicted that we are on the cusp of a sixth mass extinction event and that “the next few decades will be the end of the kind of civilization we’re used to.”

Suffice to say, Ehrlich does not have a stellar track record when it comes to making predictions about impending planetary doom. For those unaware of Ehrlich, in 1968 he authored The Population Bomb, in which he wrote, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970’s the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death…nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

Obviously, Ehrlich was dead wrong about his doomsday prediction in the 1970s. However, that has not stopped him from constantly ringing the apocalypse alarm bell. Indeed, for more than half a century Ehrlich has been producing ridiculous claims of mass starvation, ecological Armageddon, and a host of other wacky prophecies, all of which none have come to pass.

Nonetheless, despite his abysmal history of failed predictions, Ehrlich was front-and-center on “60 Minutes,” engaging in his most outrageous claims to date.

For example, according to Ehrlich, “humanity is not sustainable. To maintain our lifestyle (yours and mine, basically) for the entire planet, you’d need five more Earths. Not clear where they’re gonna come from.”

Actually, that is completely untrue. As Michael Schellenberger notes, “The assertion that ‘five more Earths’ are needed to sustain humanity comes from something called the Ecological Footprint calculation. I debunked it 10 years ago with a group of other analysts and scientists, including the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS Biology.”

During the segment, Ehrlich’s Stanford colleague, Tony Barnosky, also made several shocking predictions about a looming mass extinction event that he claims will wipe out life as we know it.

According to Barnosky, “There are five times in Earth’s history where we had mass extinctions. And by mass extinctions, I mean at least 75%, three quarters of the known species disappearing from the face of the Earth. Now we’re witnessing what a lot of people are calling the sixth mass extinction where the same thing could happen on our watch.”

He added, “The data are rock solid. I don’t think you’ll find a scientist that will say we’re not in an extinction crisis.”

Once again, lets separate fact from fiction.

Per Environmental Progress (EP), “The IUCN has estimated that 0.8 percent of the 112,432 plant, animal, and insect species within its data have gone extinct since 1500. That’s a rate of fewer than two species lost every year, for an annual extinction rate of 0.001 percent.”

Moreover, as EP points out: “Many environmentalists and conservationists claim that fossil fuels and economic development are responsible for the decline in population numbers. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“In fact, denying developing countries access to fossil fuels and economic growth is among the largest threats to wild animals. Making charcoal and burning biomass are top drivers of tropical deforestation, and is still the primary source of energy in Sub-Saharan Africa,” explains EP.

So, as Ehrlich and friends continue to beat the world-is-going-to-end unless we curb population growth, disavow fossil fuels, and reduce consumption of material goods, they could not be more misguided.

Human innovation has overcome the vast majority of the problems we’ve encountered to date. People like Ehrlich and Barnosky are anti-human, in that they view humans as the source of problems. In reality, humans are ultimate problem solvers, and if history has taught us anything, it is that the capacity for humans to conquer unforeseen difficulties is literally limitless.

Chris Talgo ( is editorial director at The Heartland Institute.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more on population, click here.

For more on resources, click here.

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Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 10:08 am

Ehrlich is rehashing Malthus, and making the same wrong assumptions as Malthus. Assuming no change in technology had progressed to opposing any technology that might change his premise
Remember, Erhlich is the one who said having cheap and abundant energy would be like “giving an idiot child a machine gun”.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 10:36 am

There’s a virtually infinite universe of energy and mass out there, but it seems Ehrlich can only comprehend a partial vacuum.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Scissor
January 5, 2023 5:34 pm

“… the capacity for humans to conquer unforeseen difficulties is literally limitless.”

This is a dynamic completely foreign to the brain of a biologist (Save for the precious few we know here at WUWT). Actually, biology has not been a science for 4-5 generations. It was the first casualty among the sciences of Marxist ideologues. It lies there inert and immobile like a piece of amber full of ancient insects in a sample drawer. It is a catalogue of creatures that they view as timeless and not as the present incarnation of chains of ancestors stretching back 2.5+ billion years or more.

From paleontology we know that life is marvelously dynamic. We know that 99.99% of all life forms that ever lived have gone extinct, almost all before we got here! We know that major extinctions arose from major geological events, like a bolide collision with earth and catastrophic volcanic outpourings of lava, gases an shot-blocking particulates. Each of five major extinctions in the last 500 million years wiped out 90 percent of species that existed at the time of the event!

The linear mindset of the likes of Ehrlich makes them unfit to think and write other than silliness about the future of dynamic systems. His ‘work’ and The Club of Rome look at earth’s resources with a bean counter’s eye. The real resource is human ingenuity. We don’t demand zinc. We demand non-coroding barn roofs and culverts and car door handles and flashlight batteries. This is not a zero sum game.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 11:02 am

Ehrlich is rehashing Malthus

I disagree.

Ehrlich is rehashing Attenborough (Optimum Trust) who rehashed Ehrlich who rehashed Malthus

Reply to  Redge
January 5, 2023 12:31 pm

And Packham – another BBC ecoalarmist

Rick C
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 11:44 am

“Always wrong, never in doubt.”

Pretty much describes the entire Climate Change Hysteria Cult.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 12:27 pm

> Erhlich is the one who said having cheap and abundant energy would be like “giving an idiot child a machine gun”

Energy is a tool. Humans are tool users. Abundant energy has and will continue to unleash a greater human condition. I prefer to think of abundant energy as gifting our children a toolbox and imagination. Thinking them idiot children is the greatest denigration.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Giving_Cat
January 5, 2023 12:37 pm

I think Ehrlich hates almost everyone.

Last edited 5 months ago by Tom Halla
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 5, 2023 1:46 pm

Almost everybody except himself.

Rich Davis
Reply to  edfix
January 5, 2023 2:49 pm

Perhaps including himself. He may look forward to his personal extinction event which is now clearly overdue.

Worst case, we have to endure another 10-12 years of his perfectly wrong predictions.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 6, 2023 9:55 am

Yes,well, that proves what he has really wanted is people living in the dark ages, except himself of course. People
Like him prove, everytime they open their mouths, that they think no one else is fit to live on the same planet as he.

January 5, 2023 10:11 am

This man has been wrong so many times with his predictions it’s a wonder anyone gives him another soap box.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 5, 2023 10:18 am

He will always be given a soapbox AND a bullhorn by the news media as long as he spouts the required nonsense. If he were to say “Everything is fine.” then he would be ignored. Same for Al Gore, for John Kerry,….

Last edited 5 months ago by Mumbles McGuirck
Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 10:24 am

Dr. Bill Gray (Colo. State U.) was a darling of the news media whenever he issued his seasonal hurricane forecasts. They couldn’t get enough of him. Then he publicly began to question the orthodoxy of global warming and they turned on him. cast him as some sort of crank, then began to ignore him and his forecasts.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 2:54 pm

You’ve gotta love the Bee!

another ian
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 5, 2023 2:02 pm

Don’t knock him! Where else can you get such a 100% reliable forecaster by just reversing the predictions made?

Reply to  another ian
January 5, 2023 8:40 pm

Who needs science, or even logic, if you believe a human being can be an infallible ouija board? Evidently a preponderance of the posters here believe that if Paul Ehrlich predicts something, that is bulletproof evidence it can never happen. From that point, it’s only a tiny step further to dismiss any and all warnings of potential catastrophy as “chicken little” alarmism. Did the boy who cried wolf prevent the wolf from arriving?

Running out of food is only one of several easily conceivable scenarios that could collapse civilization, and there are undoubtedly many more that are still inconceivable. And we are ill-prepared for all of them.There’s a good chance that the human species will become extinct itself before a majority of other species die out. To think that we can overcome any obstacle that may present itself is nothing but megalomania.

Last edited 5 months ago by otropogo
Jon Garvey
Reply to  otropogo
January 6, 2023 12:33 am

…and there are undoubtedly many more that are still inconceivable. And we are ill-prepared for all of them.

Surely it’s not only rational, but unavoidable, to be ill-prepared for the inconceivable? I confess I am ill-prepared for a world-eating manifestation of Yog Sothoth, but ignoring the possibility is a benefit, not a cost.

The point is that in the last fifty years or so many have gained a lot of money and power from predicting catastrophe on inadequate evidence, and the result has been enormous damage to human flourishing, especially as doom-mongering has gained political traction in the last few years.

Remember that the present (real) world economic crisis is variously the result of Net Zero policies to prevent a burning planet (inconceivable), lockdowns to prevent billions of COVID deaths (implausible) and the obliteration of the world by Vladimir Putin (paranoid).

Reply to  Jon Garvey
January 6, 2023 10:52 am

Surely it’s not only rational, but unavoidable, to be ill-prepared for the inconceivable?

My point is that we are NOT ONLY unprepared for the conceivable, but furthermore adamantly blinding ourselves to the very possibility of global catastrophy with wistful breast-beating about our marvelous progress and prodigious powers of adaptation, and this despite our pitifully brief existence as a species and abominable record of toxifying our environment.

A good example of our inability to deal with catastrophy, even on a miniscule scale, is given in this report from 2015 on the toxicity of the pesticide chlordecone.

The toxicity to humans of this product was revealed following an industrial accident in Virginia in 1975, yet it continued to be applied intesively in banana plantations in the French West Indies until 1993, contaminating the soil, the drinking water, coastal areas near the estruaries of polluted rivers, and most of the population.

And it was not until 2004 that studies of the effects of this pesticide on pregnancy and infant development were initiated, showing that it tended to shorten pregnancies, increasing the incidence of preterm births, and interfered with the neurological development of the newborn. It has since been accepted as a work-related cause of prostate cancer.

This week a French court ruled that the claims of the affected people are inadmissible because too much time had passed since the use of the pesticide was halted. (I haven’t been able to find a copy of the actual judgment, which is reported to run 300 pages, including a remarkable 5 pages explaining the reasoning behind it.)

“In what is seen as a rare move, the two judges concluded their decision with a five page explanation for
the reasoning behind their dismissal of the legal action.”

Here we have a man-made catastrophe that gave very early warning, yet took 30 to 40 years to assess, and for which no solution has yet been found half a century on…

Last edited 5 months ago by otropogo
Allan MacRae
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 6, 2023 10:18 am

The murdering globalist totalitarians are creating chaos in our energy and medical sectors with their popular delusions, and that could fulfill Ehrlich’s prophesies in entirely different ways – the Big Cull of the elderly and poor will happen in Europe this Winter, due to unworkable woke energy policies and resulting energy shortages, and deliberate mismanagement of the Covid-19 scam with destructive lockdowns and toxic “vaccines”. It was never about the Climate or about Covid – it was always about destruction, carnage and CONTROL.
Ehrlich’s predictions have been 100% wrong, just like the very-scary predictions of the woke Climate alarmists and the murdering Covid alarmists.
They lied about everything Climate and they lied about everything Covid.
Rode and Fischbeck, professors of Social & Decision Sciences and Engineering & Public Policy, collected 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse going back to the first Earth Day in 1970. With the passage of time, many of these forecasts have since expired; the dates have come and gone uneventfully. In fact, 48 (61%) of the predictions have already expired as of the end of 2020.”
For 60:40 predictions, the odds of being this wrong are 1 in 13 quintillion; for 70:30 predictions, the odds are 1 in 13 septillion. It’s not just climate scientists being randomly mistaken – they must have known they were not telling the truth.

John Wilson
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 6, 2023 6:18 pm

It’s his deep rich voice of intellectual condescension that keeps him coming back.

January 5, 2023 10:14 am

LOL – this guy is such a clown.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  frozenohio
January 6, 2023 3:16 pm

And CBS gives this clown the Big Microphone.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 6, 2023 5:27 pm

And all the while, someone at NPR and someone at PBS is sitting at their desk on Monday morning crying in his coffee, thinking, geez, why didn’t I think of having Paul Ehrlich on my network? ha ha ha ha ha

Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 10:15 am

I think that by ‘mass extinction’ maybe he means his own.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 10:37 am

Me thinks his calculations are the Future of Maths Extinction

January 5, 2023 10:18 am

60 minutes is a waste of time.

Reply to  HotScot
January 5, 2023 10:32 am

60 nanoseconds is too much time for them

Reply to  HotScot
January 5, 2023 10:40 am

It’s been going down hill for a long time, but when Andy Rooney left, he took all of the remaining fun out of it.

Reply to  Scissor
January 5, 2023 12:09 pm

Much like most mainstream stuff I’m afraid. I’m almost at the point of just letting the idiots get on with it to sit on the sidelines as society implodes on itself. I just can’t quite let go…….

Reply to  HotScot
January 5, 2023 12:32 pm

It’s an hour you won’t get back

January 5, 2023 10:27 am

Elite access for idiot commentary in national media is no different than elite access for power and privilege in all other cases.

January 5, 2023 10:31 am

I know, let’s spend $4 trillion in borrowed money to celebrate the end of the world and fund big gatherings at beach party meetings for advocacy groups instead of using zoom.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 5, 2023 10:41 am

Sounds like you got a hold of the plan.

Reply to  Scissor
January 5, 2023 10:57 am

It was in a file drawer mislabel under “imported frozen seafood”.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 5, 2023 12:18 pm

Sadly, that borrowed money is our money and no one seems to have the wherewithal to incite a (metaphorical) pitchfork and torch revolution.

We have all seen tough times, the 70’s was a nightmare in the UK, but I was in my teens/early 20’s so hadn’t a clue what was going on and just partied and womanised.

I would do the same today but now I know I can’t dance, the hangovers I didn’t get then have caught up with me, and the women all look like my Grandmother.

Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 10:39 am

I notice they always talk about species going extinct but don’t mention the arrival of NEW species. After all, Darwinian evolution means that you’d expect unfit species to die off and more fit species to arise to take their ecological niche. So you shouldn’t discuss an extinction rate without also discussing the emergence rate.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 11:27 am

That’s no use. The entire point is creating alarm and soliciting donations.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 1:43 pm

You can’t trust the emergence rate, though. Every minor variant is labelled a new species. There’s no prestige for discovering that some spotted frogs are getting bigger. But discovering the ‘greater spotted frog’ is a fantastic opportunity. You get naming rights, speaking rights, even a PHD.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 5, 2023 2:54 pm

And they never use actual species counts and, you know, observational data. They build imaginary computer worlds and run simulations, like the global warmists do. A lot like computer games. But not as much fun.

Last edited 5 months ago by stinkerp
January 5, 2023 10:40 am

Not the extinction he has been predicting but a real one nevertheless – Western Civilisation is in a downward spiral, committing woke driven suicide by denying itself cheap reliable energy and turning its back on the benefits it alone has brought to that civilisation.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  petroalbion
January 6, 2023 3:32 pm

“Western Civilisation is in a downward spiral”

Yes, it is. Thanks to delusional thinking, and a Mass Media that spreads the delusions far and wide, causing people to do things that are not in their best interests, like electing radical Democrats to political office.

January 5, 2023 10:41 am

All of my educational training to a terminal degree level on scarcity and natural resources refutes Malthus and Ehrlich and Holdren. Yet they get all the media coverage and podium time to a mass audience. But I’m not going to spend my time every evening at the local theater yelling fire in front of a general audience to catch up.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 5, 2023 11:35 am

podium time”

Lectern time.

January 5, 2023 10:43 am

In a few years this angry old fart will be right about one thing.

Coeur de Lion
January 5, 2023 10:44 am

Do read Rosling’s Factfulness’ and cheer up

John the Econ
January 5, 2023 10:54 am

How embarrassing: Old age is going to get Paul Ehrlich before any of his predictions will.

January 5, 2023 10:55 am

You really cannot know if we are on the brink or not. I guess it depends on what the timeline is for brink, but nothing says the Sun could not create a massive solar flare, an asteroid is just a few decades from impacting, that we are in fact at the end of the interglacial period or any number of potential cataclysms.

You can argue that his stated mode of extinction is wrong if he is claiming it is the global warming scam.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  astonerii
January 5, 2023 11:36 am

How long did previous mass extinctions take? Hundreds of years? Thousands? If you’re actually there, it could be so slow, relatively speaking, that you might not notice.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2023 9:53 am

No, the Chicxulub event 65 million years ago took place in days. There’s nothing slow about the effects of a giant meteorite hitting the earth at 11-72 km/sec. It was highly noticeable, and everything with a body mass of more than about 2 kg died within minutes or hours. All of the planet’s large vegetation was burned to a crisp within a couple of days. The surface of the oceans flash-boiled.

The rupture of Lake Agassiz about 13,000 years ago would have had an immediate and catastrophic effect on a global basis.

Reply to  cgh
January 7, 2023 12:40 pm

[in] “the Chicxulub event 65 million years … everything with a body mass of more than about 2 kg died within minutes or hours.”

It appears that Sharks, Alligators and Crocodiles survived. I haven’t been able to find any details on their size at the time.

Do you have a reference for the 2kg weight limit cited?

Janice Moore
January 5, 2023 10:56 am

… the next few decades …

Of course.

Citizen Smith
January 5, 2023 11:14 am

Chicken Little in a suit. 60 Minutes ain’t what it used to be.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Citizen Smith
January 5, 2023 3:02 pm

60 Minutes never was worth a bucket of warm spit

Reply to  Citizen Smith
January 5, 2023 6:34 pm

60 Minutes was always a legend in their own minds.
Even back in the 80’s, whenever they covered a subject that I knew something about, their “errors” were egregious. Just like the rest of the media, their “errors” always managed to make those on the left look better.
The only difference between now and then, is that 30 years ago, they felt the need to hide their biases. Today, they are proud of them.

Bryan A
Reply to  Citizen Smith
January 5, 2023 10:25 pm

if you run your own stopwatch you find that 60 Minutes lasts 57 minutes but, with commercials it’s really just 41 minutes

January 5, 2023 11:21 am

May he live another 90 years so that he will continue to see is predictions fail. I wonder how many years it would take for him to give up on it.

Reply to  Tom.1
January 5, 2023 6:37 pm

I doubt he cares that his predictions have failed.
1) He’s become rich and famous.
2) He’s managed to scare many people into doing the nonsense that he’s pushing.

January 5, 2023 11:24 am

And the same people making these dire predictions wonder why our children and young adults think they don’t have a future. Futurists (always wrong) like Ehrlich, schools, colleges and the media feed them this BS constantly. It’s not surprising they don’t want to get married and have children–or they commit suicide.

January 5, 2023 11:30 am

I disagree with Chris. Ehrlich’s record is unbeatable. How many people in the field could be this wrong this often over half-a-century and still keep coming back for more?!
I’m sure most readers will know of the Greek seer Cassandra whose predictions of doom were consistently right but never believed. Many years ago (with Ehrlich or one of his imitators in mind) a friend coined the phrase “the Ardnassac Effect”, ‘Ardnassac’ being ‘Cassandra’ spelt backwards, which he applied to those whose predictions never came to pass but were universally believed by the gullible leaders of the day.
Good to see that as he enters his second half-century of prediction he has lost none of his magic!

Reply to  Newminster
January 6, 2023 5:01 am

“…the Greek seer Cassandra…”

Actually Trojan.

January 5, 2023 11:34 am

It would be refreshing to read a story that tells us of something right that Erlich teaches. Anything? Anyone? He is after all a professor at Stanford. He must have gotten something right to retain such a position.

Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2023 11:37 am

We are on the brink (well, probably already in) of a mass hysteria event.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 6, 2023 3:36 pm

That’s exactly what it is.

January 5, 2023 11:50 am

Why would Ehrlich change his winning ways? The more wrong he is the more they listen to him

January 5, 2023 12:21 pm

There are several high level species that humanity has saved. Some endangered by our actions admittedly but others were headed into history regardless. The difference is I can name those species whilst the mass extinction types cannot name any except polio.

Should be noted there are some unsupportable claims regarding what constitutes a defined species. Isolated rhino populations for instance. Contrarywise we’ve seen several “extinxt” species make surprise reappearances. I also hold out hope for the ivory-billed woodpecker.

It seems the Carolina Parakeet is truly extinct. Very little evidence it was human caused. It would be a great thing if we cold revive the species with still viable DNA.

Reply to  Giving_Cat
January 5, 2023 12:27 pm

Should we save variola?

Rich Davis
Reply to  strativarius
January 5, 2023 3:21 pm

Of course, it’s a moral imperative! We eradicated smallpox out of speciesist delusion that human life has some unique value. The highest value is eliminating human impact on nature.

If Ehrlich is consistent in his no-impact moral framework, he must favor saving the variola.

Now that would be a funny video — collecting signatures on a petition to “save the endangered variola! This poor creature was brutally hunted to the brink of extinction. It now only survives in captivity”

Who imagines that the typical XR crowd would not enthusiastically sign, much like those protesting the deadly di-hydrogen monoxide.

January 5, 2023 12:30 pm

Paul Ehrlich has learnt nothing during his life time .
He has had a comfortable life university and to my knowledge has never produced anything of value to mankind .
Every prediction that he has made has been wrong .
Mass starvation could now happen but that will only occur if politicians start believing Green Peace who are calling for the banning of Nitrogenous Fertilizer .
The world does have a problem which is that the constant propaganda against the use of fossil fuels and nitrous oxide emissions could tip some countries into banning the use and manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizer .
4 billion people are fed with the food produced by fertilizer produced using Natural gas .

January 5, 2023 12:45 pm

Look out Ehrlich…

UK’s record hot 2022 made 160 times more likely by climate crisis
Without global heating, such warm temperatures would be expected only once every five centuries, Met Office says

Not 159 or 161….

January 5, 2023 12:56 pm

60 minutes has at least one propaganda piece in every show. The emotional manipulations they engage in fool most of the people most of the time. The omnipresent false narratives repeated endlessly have brainwashed a significant percentage of the population to accept absurd conclusions. Getting people to ask “is this true?” the first time they hear something and training them to recognize manipulations is the only hope for sanity to be regained.

Reply to  gyan1
January 5, 2023 6:42 pm

60 minutes has one OVERTLY propaganda piece in every show. All of their segments are propaganda, just less blatant.

John Hultquist
January 5, 2023 1:13 pm

Mentioned is “Making charcoal
 I was thinking about this as I watched flames dance inside my glass-fronted wood stove.
The person that makes (burns) charcoal is known as a “collier” and there are
many other words to learn.
An interesting account is here:

And, naturally . . .

An image search is suggested.

John Hultquist
January 5, 2023 1:32 pm

After this book, he went off the tracks.
 How to Know: The Butterflies 1961

January 5, 2023 1:44 pm

I first read ‘Population Bomb” in college in the mid ’70’s, and thought, “Wow we’re really in trouble”. But I had a degree to earn, then a wife and new job to occupy me, and forgot about him for a while. When I looked at the book again in the early 80’s, I realized everthing he had predicted…never happened.

Now, I’m astounded that 1. he’s still alive (meaning he wrote his first book out of youthful ignorance) and 2. people still listen to the same re-re-hashed nonsense and still believe it.

It seems people LOVE apocalypse.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  edfix
January 5, 2023 3:26 pm

Well, nobody wants to buy a book titled, “It’s 2023 and everything is A-OK.”

another ian
January 5, 2023 1:55 pm

A while back it was pointed out that third world countries (for lighting, heating and cooking) consume about as much kerosene a year as the US does jet fuel.

Fossil fuel free will go down a treat there. Also explains why you can still buy new Tilley lights.

January 5, 2023 2:02 pm

We’re still viable. Democratic support for planned personhood, social progress, and sexual dysfunction is greatly oversampled.

Last edited 5 months ago by n.n
Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2023 4:44 pm

What we may in fact have is a “De-population Bomb” going on, in the US and elsewhere. Here, and perhaps a possible story tip idea, is an interview of Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution. Definitely worth an hour of your time:

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2023 9:00 pm

This is far more momentous economically than the imaginary population apocalypse. How is a diminishing workforce population going to financially support the growing elderly population? What happens to home prices when fewer people have an oversupply of homes to choose from? Home values traditionally have gone up over the last couple centuries. Do they start going down? The U.S. population isn’t declining yet because immigration is making up the difference in the declining birth rate, but it’s a real problem in Japan and Italy right now, and soon in China. Their 1.4 billion will decline by nearly half by 2100. That’s not a small deal.

Last edited 5 months ago by stinkerp
Reply to  stinkerp
January 6, 2023 9:59 am

Exactly so. The fertility rate in Japan is 1.3, well below replacement rate of 2.1 What this means is that every generation, the population of Japan approximately halves. There are entire abandoned suburbs in Japan with houses but no residents. There’s no one who can or wants to buy them, so they sit abandoned. Something like the ruins of Detroit.

It should be noted that the fertility rate of ALL OECD nations is less than 2.1.

January 5, 2023 5:03 pm

Interviewing totally discredited figures like Ehrlich is great for ratings, but news orgs wouldn’t do it because it tarnished their image with the public, and more importantly, other journalists. Sadly, we’re long past those days.

It was different in the ‘60s when he was fresh and his ideas seemingly new. To interview him 50 years later with his rancid track record is sad really.

January 5, 2023 5:10 pm

With any luck, at ninety, there will soon be a Paul Ehrlich extinction event.

Thomas Finegan
January 5, 2023 6:37 pm

Life will always challenge us but the smart money is on the tool making monkeys.

January 5, 2023 7:21 pm

“ We are often told we are causing a “sixth mass extinction” similar to that wrought by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. So what is the evidence for this claim?

One estimate of the species extinction rate – 27,000 a year – came from the biologist E. O. Wilson, of Harvard University, based on an assumption that habitat loss leads to predictable species loss through a mathematical relationship called the species-area curve. The trouble is, the theory is flawed.

A recent study by Stephen Hubbell and Fangliang He, of the University of California at Los Angeles, found that these “estimated” extinction rates are “almost always much higher than those actually observed” because destruction of forest habitat simply does not lead to proportionate species loss as predicted by the theory. In eastern America, in Puerto Rico and in the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil, more than 90 per cent of forest was extirpated, but the number of birds that died out locally were one, seven and zero respectively.

Another widely used estimate for the extinction rate – 40,000 species a year – came from Norman Myers, a British conservationist. Though often cited as if it were a scientific estimate, this number was more of an assumption. This is what Myers wrote in 1979: “Let us suppose that, as a consequence of this man-handling of natural environments, the final one quarter of this century witnesses the elimination of one million species – a far from unlikely prospect. This would work out, during the course of 25 years, at an average extinction rate of 40,000 species per year.” For more on Myers, see here.

There is no doubt that humans have caused a pulse of extinction, especially by introducing rats, bugs and weeds to oceanic islands at the expense of endemic species. Island species are often vulnerable to parasites, predators and competitors that continental species have evolved to cope with. Mauritius’s dodos, New Zealand’s moas, Madagascar’s elephant birds and many of Hawaii’s honeycreepers all succumbed to the introduction of rats, pigs, monkeys – and humans.

But now that most of these accidental introductions to islands have happened, the rate of extinctions is dropping, not rising, at least among birds and mammals. Bird and mammal extinctions peaked at 1.6 a year around 1900 and have since dropped to about 0.2 a year. Wilson’s 27,000 a year should be producing (pro rata) 26 bird and 13 mammal extinctions a year. Myers would predict even more.

Moreover, according to an analysis by the scholar Willis Eschenbach, of the 190 bird and mammal species that have gone extinct globally in the past 500 years, as recorded on the comprehensive list kept by the American Museum of Natural History, just nine were continental species (if you count Australia as an island, which in ecological terms it is).”

January 5, 2023 7:53 pm

When people struggle, they disregard their environment and breed more. When you don’t have gas, you hop the fence and strip the national park of wood. And you kill the tiger that endangers your friends and family when they do it.

January 5, 2023 7:58 pm

If the next few decades will be the end of the kind of civilization we’re used to, it will be due entirely to the global warmunist efforts to “save the planet”, not from human emissions. “Fighting climate change” is the real threat.

Jon Garvey
January 6, 2023 12:23 am

The obvious reply to those who claim thousands of species are going extinct each year from climate change is: “name one.”

Reply to  Jon Garvey
January 6, 2023 6:41 am

Corals! If the CoTS don’t get them the warmening and bleaching will-
Well okay there is the small matter of overfishing first.

January 6, 2023 6:06 am

For the first time since records began in 1900, more people died in The Netherlands than were born in 2022, according to the nation’s official statistician.

In a stunning example of Western demographic decline, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of The Netherlands reported that last year the birth rate fell below the death rate, with 168,000 babies born compared to 169,000 deaths. The number of births declined by 11,000 over the previous year, putting the rate of 1.49 children per woman on par with historically low birth rates in the 1980s.

Reply to  Neo
January 6, 2023 6:49 am

Don’t tell Earl Paulich or you would risk increasing the death rate by one immediately!

January 6, 2023 6:47 am

Paul Ehrlich is noteworthy in that he sums up in a single individual, all that is wrong, harmful and unfit for purpose about contemporary dystopian politicised climate science.

Andy Pattullo
January 6, 2023 7:50 am

I predict with 100% certainty the complete extinction of Erlich’s prophecies within a decade.

Gunga Din
January 6, 2023 9:00 am

Ehrlich reminds me of some of those people (Kardasians, Hiltons etc.) who are famous for being famous.

January 6, 2023 9:51 am

Another case of “some ideas are so ludicrous that only an intellectual would believe them.” Although in Erlich’s case I doubt the intellectual part. He’s about as intellectual as Joe (rutabaga) Biden.

January 6, 2023 12:51 pm

Ehrlich is a dumb ass. Doesn’t he know that Captain Kirk and Spock and Scott, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu saved a breeding pair of Humpback Whales RIGHT FROM HIS OWN HOME TOWN and these became Adam-whale and Eve-whale? Now, I know that Star Trek is fiction, but then, so is The Population Bomb. At least one of those fictional works is entertaining and fun. Double dumb ass on you, Paul Ehrlich.

January 6, 2023 3:32 pm

I discussed this question in my post “Where Are The Corpses“. It was eventually turned into a journal article entitled “Historical bird and terrestrial mammal extinction rates and causes” by Dr. Craig Loehle and myself, and has been cited 137 times, most recently yesterday.

TLDR version? The extinction rate is not statistically different from the geological record, and there is no evidence of a “6th mass extinction”.


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