Paul Ehrlich’s Overpopulation Message Even More Relevant Today

Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

He told Carson, “There are 3.6 billion people in the world today, and we are adding about 70 million a year. And that’s too many. The very delicate life support systems of the planet, the things that supply us with all of our food, with ultimately with all of our oxygen, all of our waste disposal are now severely threatened.”

Overcrowded group

Despite Ehrlich’s sobering message, Carson had him on 20 times. Ehrlich started a movement called “Zero Population Growth.” He got a vasectomy to set an example. And he proposed a tax on diapers to keep population in check.

Since 1968 the human population has more than doubled, most people have not had vasectomies, and there is no tax on diapers to keep population in check…


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9 thoughts on “Paul Ehrlich’s Overpopulation Message Even More Relevant Today

  1. The Human Population Explosion is killing the planet, but few people, even environmental/animal groups will touch the issue.Growth for Growth’s sake is the mantra of every nation state, and every city and town, with very few exceptions. What a tragedy for the Earth, and all her living beings. Homo sapiens is starving not only itself at the table, but millions of non-humans who have not caused this problem. Two things I am proud of as a human: I am meat free (wish I had done it sooner), and I chose not to breed.
    Because our species cannot accept self-sacrifice, and become humble enough to stop breeding and eating animal flesh, I do not see much hope for Earth now. Our efforts here at home are to try to nourish whatever wildlife comes through our acre & 1/2, with food and water, and not use any pesticides, etc. The Rio Grande is no longer running south of Albuquerque. Snow pack is nil, so any runoff will be sparse, but people still do not face reality. “Well, maybe there’ll be a good Monsoon,” or “maybe we can divert from another water source….or, or.” Meanwhile, “new” relentless winds continue.

    • Overpopulation, like subsistence hunting, is taboo to even talk against for any group seeking public funding. Political Correctness has us so hobbled and tongue tied we can’t address certain problems, let alone solve them. Thank you for your acts of self sacrifice, both of which I can claim as well. But like you, I don’t see much hope, especially when you read about how unwilling to change most people are when faced with the impacts of global warming. That’s so sad the Rio Grande no longer flows south of Albuquerque. What about the sandhill crane refuge at Bosque del Apache–are the birds left high and dry now?!

      • Sorry, I neglected to reply on the Bosque: NM has been getting some rain (Mother came through this evening with very dark skies, with thunder & glorious lightening, & a short rain–very grateful for it, and the aroma is so wonderful. Right now, I believe the Bosque is ok, but it is surrounded by ranches, which will get the water first. At least, at this time, we are looking fairly green, and some pretty strong storms have been hitting down that way. We will see what comes later. Most people just forget, now, that there still is a drought. There is a wonderful wilderness hike called “solitude canyon wilderness” that is just marvelous, and we see so many tiny ( and a few big) tracks in the sand. The canyon takes one back in time, and I imagine that as we hike, there might be something watching us from the canyon rim above. Mountain lion are in the area, according to the Refuge. I believe we saw a track in the sand.

  2. Especially when you are a woman and want to get sterilized, they will look at you as if you had two heads. They often refuse it as well and only do it when you get the OK from some psychiatrist. You would think by now that this kind of thing(and birth control) would be done fast and for free by now.

  3. Pingback: Stay Tuned… | Exposing the Big Game

  4. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:

    Marcia Mueller on June 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm said: Edit

    More fuel for the fire: Fareed Zakaria (CNN on his show GPS) announced that Japan, Russia, and Singapore are trying to encourage people to have more children through matchmaking events, lowering the cost of weddings, and giving away free appliances. America, he tells us, will be saved because of our liberal immigration policies and the fact that many immigrant families tend to have larger families. Thus our population is climbing and for the near future we’ll be saved!

    He also gave stats that indicate the US is now the biggest oil and natural gas producer, thanks to technologic progress like fracking!

    Sounds more like impending doom than good news.

  5. Not only is there no tax on diapers, mothers dump their kid’s dirty diapers in the parking lot! They can’t even take them to the garbage can. Like everything else, human reproduction is a very strong instinct that has very little to do with actual parenting.

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