Paul Ehrlich’s Overpopulation Message Even More Relevant Today

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.

Exposing the Big Game

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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1 thought on “Paul Ehrlich’s Overpopulation Message Even More Relevant Today

  1. Population & Climate Change & Sustainability of Human Destuctionability

    Is climate change the new hysteria as maybe was The Population Bomb, such as suggested or implied by a recent New York Times article? Maybe, but it seems the world population explosion (7 billion now, projected 10-11 billion by 2100) has had devastating effects on animals with increased ranching and sport killing (aka hunting), poaching. It has had devastating effects on climate with the increased greenhouse gases. Due to the population explosion there is increased demand for resources, increased demand for fossil fuels, increased demand for animal farming (aka ranching), shrinking wildlife habitat and pressure on wildlife habitat by ranching and extraction industries and development, disruption of balanced wildlife ecology by hunting and ranching and extraction industries and development. So, predictions of disasters due to populations explosion (The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich 1968) may be valid with the time scale skewed due to science aided increased food production exceeding or keeping pace with population, but not averted. We are killing off the world’s wildlife, exploiting the wilderness to a shrinking scale, polluting water, air and land. How sustainable is it? At what costs to wilderness and wildlife and the planet? Are there alternatives to the ways we humans sustain ourselves? Maybe there are even healthier alternatives for ourselves, the animal kingdom, the planet? Maybe there alternatives to wildlife management to hunting and trapping? We all could have more meatless days in our week and month and year. Encourage the food industries to develop palatable and even delicious meat alternatives.

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