Ehrlich’s lifetime of hot air

posted at 3:00 pm on March 7, 2010 by Mitch Berg

I was reading Ed’s piece on the apparent attempt by “human-caused global warming” partisans at the National Academy of Sciences to attack their detractors (via the NYTimes, naturally, rather than via actual science or anything), and I came across this bit here (emphasis added):

“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

Paul Ehrlich.  Leading the attack.

Ladies and gentlemen, this battle may be over.

Ehrlich started his academic career as an entomologist, an expert on Lepidoptera – butterflies.  But in 1968 he wrote one of the biggest best-sellers in the history of pseudo-scientific literature, The Population Bomb.  In it, Ehrlich reprised the work of Thomas Malthus, arguing that population growth would eventually, inevitably lead mankind to three choices:  Stop making new humans, stop consuming resources, or starve to death.  The book started ”The battle to feed all of humanity is over … hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” He spent much of the next decade writing other books and articles in support of his thesis in Population Bomb, adding in a later article “By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.”  The book and his body of “work” through the seventies proposed a number of radical solutions to the overpopulation crisis; dumping sterilizing agents into water supplies, allowing only selected people the privilege of reproduction, and performing mass “triage” of nations, the same way an emergency room triages patients – between those who don’t need help (North America, Australia, parts of Europe), those who can be saved, and those who are behond help – India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and much of Asia, which he predicted would be hell on earth by the 1980′s; he essentially gave up all hope for Africa and India.  Our ecology was going to strike back at us; in a 1969 article, “Eco-Catastrophe!”, he predicted that by the end of the century the population of the US would be under 20 million, and our life expectancy would be around 40 years – due not to starvation, but to pesticides.

By the mid-seventies, though Ehrlich broadened his sights a bit, behond overpopulation and into geopolitics.  In 1975′s The End of Affluence, Ehrlich predicted cataclysmic food riots in America, leading the President to declare martial law.  But it did no good – in Ehrlich’s narrative – because the world was driven to destroy the US in a combined nuclear assault, spurred by our use of…

…pesticides.

He broadened it further with 1978′s The Race Bomb, which was a paranoid melange on the dangers of racial diversity, followed by The Golden Door: International Migration, Mexico, and the United States, in which he called for sealing off the border long before it became Tom Tancredo’s issue.

By the eighties, he’d joined with much of the left’s elite (who were, by the by, not busy participating in food riots or race wars, and were well-fed enough to go to protests) in warning about the danger of nuclear war, joining with Carl Sagan to write The Cold And The Dark, demanding the US disarm just in time for our generations of deterrence to render the point moot with the fall of the Soviet Union.

He was, of course, early on the Climate Change bandwagon, with Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environment Rhetoric Threatens Our Future, a 1998 book co-authored with his wife Anne, which basically served as a model for the left’s response to questions about Global Warming this past decade – he didnt’ call for Nuremberg trials per se, but he wasn’t that far off, either.

His body of work – at least, his work that impinges on politics and human events – has had three things in common.

He’s blamed Western Civilization – especially our economic freedom – for successive waves of self-caused, predicted catastrophes.

He’s prescription to deal with these catastrophes has been, in every case, for the individual to surrender his/her autonomy, and even future, to an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful central entity that’ll make all the hard, life and death choices for them.

And he’s been wrong on every count.  Humans, rather than sitting in caves waiting to get eaten by sabre tooth tigers, invented spears.  Faced with floods, we invented the sandbag as an alternative to drowning and mildew.  And faced with shortage of resources, we adapt.  And humanity in the past forty years has adapted – learning to grow crops where we didn’t before, learning to conserve farmland and water, developing new crops and practices.

Julian Simon, an American economist, placed a bet with Ehrlich:

Simon set up a bet wherein he would sell Ehrlich $1,000 dollars worth of any five commodities that Ehrlich chose. Ehrlich would hold the commodities for ten years. If the prices rose — meaning scarcity — Simon would buy the commodities back from Ehrlich at the higher price. If the prices fell, Ehrlich would pay Simon the difference. Professor Ehrlich jumped at the bet, noting that he wanted to “accept the offer before other greedy people jumped in.”

In October of 1990, Ehrlich mailed Simon a check for $570.07. As Simon predicted, free markets provided lower prices and more options. Simon would have won even if prices weren’t adjusted for inflation. He then offered to raise the wager to $20,000 and use any resources at any time that Ehrlich preferred.

The bet never happened.  Ehrlich moved on.

To global warming.

While Simon died, it’d seem that another bet was placed, if only in spirit.  Ehrlich is paying us all back with excess hot air.

Cross-posted at Shot In The Dark.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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It must suck to be wrong EVERY time. Mush. Go Cryptonite!

VegasRick on March 7, 2010 at 3:06 PM

These guys are powermongers. They don’t really care what the current selling point is, they just want power over every living thing.

sharrukin on March 7, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The Left can’t be destroyed, only contained. Laughable if not so dangerous.

solidaction on March 7, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Not well known is that Ehrlich was one of the first ’scientists’ to discuss the problems of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, when scientists were concerned with ‘global cooling’ (in Population Bomb of all places. From Wikipedia’s page on Global Cooling:

In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote “The greenhouse effect is being enhanced now by the greatly increased level of carbon dioxide… [this] is being countered by low-level clouds generated by contrails, dust, and other contaminants… At the moment we cannot predict what the overall climatic results will be of our using the atmosphere as a garbage dump.”[4]

phreshone on March 7, 2010 at 3:19 PM

there’s a swamp somewhere that grew this guy as a bacterium in a petri dish. But, considering how many promises to drain swamps have been made and then considering how few swamps have been drained, it’s not likely that this type of fella is going anywhere soon.

ted c on March 7, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Never has one man been so wrong, so often… oh, wait. Never mind.

princetrumpet on March 7, 2010 at 3:21 PM

By the way, Ed… the show where you previewed this was wonderful I was LMAO for the whole time you and Mitch Berg were cutting Ehrlich down to size. Bravo.

princetrumpet on March 7, 2010 at 3:22 PM

The cause does not matter power must go to the state.–Paul R. Ehrlich

Slowburn on March 7, 2010 at 3:22 PM

When I was in college, Ehrlich’s Population Bomb was required reading. I was throughly convinced by it that mankind was on the fast track to extinction. After all, the science was settled.

Ironically, that episode did for me what a college education is supposed to do, although not exactly as planned. I gained great cynicism from that episode, particularly with regard to scientific apocalypticism in any form. This has served me quite well in later life as “science” presented us dumb rubes with a slew of other looming catastrophes, be they global cooling, global warming, asteroid strikes, catastrophic vulcanism, bird flu, Ebola, HIV, tsunamis, whatever. The lesson from Ehrlich is not that mankind is about to disappear from existence. Rather, it is that for reasons of profit, ego or something else, people acting in the name of science have an ingrained inclination toward hysterical alarmism, and their warnings should be weighed with this firmly in mind.

If only Al Gore could have learned the same lesson.

Cicero43 on March 7, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Marx, Engels, Ehrlich…Guevara…Obama…all the same…

Schadenfreude on March 7, 2010 at 3:30 PM

It’s amazing to me that ANYone still takes this tool seriously.

And from Stanford, no less. :P

Bob's Kid on March 7, 2010 at 3:42 PM

“Wrong on every count” except the one that matters: Giving the Left a rationale to take control and micro-manage everyone’s life. You can say the moon is made of green cheese and so long as your key takeaway from that statement is that it means the government must control cheese production on Earth, it’s all good.

venividivici on March 7, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Hey Mitch, you and the rest of the heathen had better be nice to Ehrlich he is next year’s Nobel Prize winner I am sure.

Jdripper on March 7, 2010 at 3:48 PM

The man who diffused the population bomb

muggedbyreality on March 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I used to post that being a liberal is to never admit that you were wrong. I think that was incorrect because liberals are incapable of recognizing when they are wrong.

docdave on March 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

It’s nice to see that Julian Simon is still remembered. I was a grad student of his 19 years ago, and I rank him as one of my top two professors — Julian Simon and Gordon W. Prange. I won’t and can’t say which was better, they were in different fields of study–Economics and History, respectively.

BottomLine5 on March 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Actually at this point a major problem is going to be a de-population bomb. Looking at the fertility patterns of Europe, they are going to have serious problems going forward.

Each successive generation after the baby boom is smaller than the one preceding. This means that financially, they will have one “baby boom” retirement problem after the next with a large generation entering retirement with a smaller generation providing their pensions.

The only choices they have are to either kill old people off, or get rid of the notion that government is somehow responsible for you when you retire.

Actually, the reason people retired back in the mid 1930′s was because they were unable to work or they had accumulated enough personal wealth where they no longer needed to work. The notion that you were owed a 30 year vacation after working for 40 years was never an issue.

We need to go back to a situation where we work for as long as we are able to or until we no longer need to.

crosspatch on March 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM

In an essay contained in the textbook entitled “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Holden and Ehrlich predicted on pages 76-77 a “world cooling trend” they estimated at measuring “about 2 degrees Celsius in the world mean surface temperature over the past century.”

Holdren and Ehrlich attributed the cause of global cooling to “a reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollutions (smoke, aerosols), agriculture air pollution (dust), and volcanic oil.”

Elmer Gantry rides again!

sharrukin on March 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Similar article from Wired Magazine is the Doomslayer.

Stegall Tx on March 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Mitch – great article, but I can’t believe you left out Erlich’s association with our newest, bestest buddy and big toe, Science and Technology Czar John Holdren in co-authoring ‘Ecoscience.’ And to think – guys like this are in power and entirely unaccountable to anyone at all. To my knowledge, the Boss Emeritus still hasn’t heard back from Holdren’s office to disavow his previous writings. Forced sterilizations and eugenics to stave off mass starvation and food riots from overpopulation, what fun!

- In a recent course I took, a required reading was Erlich’s co-authored study claiming a bright line link between poverty and terrorism, no less (Ehrlich, Paul and Liu, Jianquo. “Some Root Causes of Terrorism,” available at Population and Environment, November 2002, Vol. 24, Iss. 2, apologies for the lack of a good link). Of course, all the actual evidence suggests anything but (most of AQ’s leadership is Western-educated, most suicide bombers are from middle class families and educated, and so on). Add that to a long and distinguished list of wrong-ness!

Right on March 7, 2010 at 4:29 PM

He also cowrote “Ecoscience” with our current science czar, wherein many of those murderous options are explored. Ehrlich is a fool, but his co-author who also believes in that crap has the President’s ear. And the pres probably believes it, too.

CPL 310 on March 7, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Simultaneous post. Oh well, point still stands.

CPL 310 on March 7, 2010 at 4:32 PM

These people would really help the environment and the Earth by going the way of example. Drink the Kool Aid Ehrlich and all other like him. Step up to the plate and be an example for us all.

Kini on March 7, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Being a lefty false prophet of doom means never having to say you’re sorry. You just move on to your next prophecy.

Tantor on March 7, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I used to post that being a liberal is to never admit that you were wrong. I think that was incorrect because liberals are incapable of recognizing when they are wrong.

docdave on March 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

To the left, being consistently wrong is a resume enhancer. As long as you are arguing for more government control, everything is correct.

iurockhead on March 7, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Unexpected.

jukin on March 7, 2010 at 5:11 PM

The man who diffused the population bomb

muggedbyreality on March 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Hmm I guess the NYT would say:”Just another Iowa hick,a rube that stumbled upon a seed or something.” The East and West coasts do not think Americans in flyover country are worth listening to.George Washington Carver became one of the nation’s greatest educators and agricultural researchers. Another Iowa hero that is still saving (Haiti requested peanut butter) 1000′s of lives. Taught at ISU. Boy us Iowans sure are dumb!

IowaWoman on March 7, 2010 at 5:13 PM

He has led the perfect liberal life. Another life wasted. If he’s an atheist the circle with be completed in the afterlife.

Mojave Mark on March 7, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Good post. Everyone, especially your average Democrat voter, needs to know who this nut is.

visions on March 7, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Yep, another of those ‘know-it-all elite intelligentsia’ that will run everything for us. Guy probably has someone put his socks on for him and tie his shoe laces.

GarandFan on March 7, 2010 at 5:16 PM

The notion that you were owed a 30 year vacation after working for 40 years was never an issue.

We need to go back to a situation where we work for as long as we are able to or until we no longer need to.

crosspatch on March 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM

A FUC&ING MEN

Tim Zank on March 7, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I THINK WE SHOULD PUT HIM IN A LITTLE RED WAGON AND TOW HIM BEHIND A SEMI FROM BOSTON TO LA DOING 100 MPH AND THROW TOMATOES AT HIM.

sonnyspats1 on March 7, 2010 at 5:33 PM

An excellent expose. Well done, Mr. Berg.

JDPerren on March 7, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Ehrlich is representative of the left … crazed.

The left is so overwhelmed with the desire to control they sometimes forget that people actually listen to what they’re saying and realize hey, these people are dangerous … and nuts.

darwin on March 7, 2010 at 5:44 PM

My last name is Ehrlich. No relation. In German, the name mean honest or truely. He give the name and meaning a foul smell. Obviously educated beyond his ability to comprehend.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on March 7, 2010 at 6:06 PM

If someone could point out ONE thing that the left has gotten right – without being sarcastic – I would be very grateful.

Sharke on March 7, 2010 at 6:08 PM

The Left can’t be destroyed, only contained. Laughable if not so dangerous.

solidaction on March 7, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Welcome to the reason for the Constitution.

Amendment X on March 7, 2010 at 6:24 PM

I have yet to see a image from space where the land cannot be seen due to the surplus population of humans. All I have ever seen in these images is land, forests, deserts and water. Never once saw a human.
Oh, but you say, humans are too tiny to be seen from space you foolish dolt! Oh really, and the land isn’t? That is the point, my friend. That is the point.

This has been going around for awhile. Nothing new under the sun.
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. …”

JellyToast on March 7, 2010 at 6:33 PM

That’s “an image” not “a image!” Blast!

JellyToast on March 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM

He may have been onto something with the pesticides. He may have simply misinterpreted his data and went in a completely bizarre and unreasonable direction with a valid discovery.

His disdain for pesticides over the decades strongly suggests he had a profound impact on reducing their efficacy rate. This is proven by landownership in Texas. In Texas, it is impossible to get any advantage over bugs in your backyard. Incredible over-dosage rates and stepped up application frequencies of insecticides are to no avail. After each application, I ask my wife if she can hear the mashing of teeth and wailing and she counters that it sounds like they are enjoying a meal.

He may have simply confused the subject bugs as people.

ericdijon on March 7, 2010 at 6:54 PM

This is the loon who managed to be taken seriously by the media, Hollywood and other institutions of the world in the late 60′s. There’s no telling how many people read his stupid book, and thought “We can’t have any babies! Or we’ll all die!” If you meet some of these wacky environmentalist they actually believe this crap! Glad to see him proven wrong. Once I get married, my beautiful wife and I we’ll have 10 kids to piss him off.

Humphrey007 on March 7, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Proof reader change:
The first word, “He’s”, in following sentence and paragraph reads better as “His”:
He’s prescription to deal with these catastrophes has been, in every case, for the individual to surrender his/her autonomy, and even future, to an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful central entity that’ll make all the hard, life and death choices for them.

mitch088 on March 7, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Julian Simon FTW!

thebrokenrattle on March 7, 2010 at 7:35 PM

The Left can’t be destroyed, only contained. Laughable if not so dangerous.

solidaction on March 7, 2010 at 3:09 PM

You’re wrong about that. It can, and indeed must, be destroyed. Marxism has as its goal nothing less than the destruction of human dignity.

It can be destroyed, all right, but only when people stop sniveling about “But how can we get a Republican elected” and start paying attention to the fact that they’re in a battle for their lives and those of their progeny.

Civilization has been playing defense with these monsters ever since at least the middle 19th century because the people with some investment in the culture were so paralyzed by this bullsh t they immediately decided on a policy of appeasement. Every single Western political movement that’s ever used the word “progressive” in its plank has sold sanity down the river, and yes I do mean Republicans, Bull Mooses and all the rest of them.

Gently making fun of vicious fools like Paul Erlich is sure a lot easier when you can whine from the comfort of a warm house filled with of food and warm clothes, but it’s a copout – and every sentient human being knows that intuitively, however easy it is to deny and grab another pizza roll at the commercial break. Some of us have lived life on the raw edge for long, long periods of time, and I promise that criminals in any form are anathema. Criminals with college degrees are infinitely worse, because they have no basis whatsoever to understand or assess the damage they cause.

Treating Leftism, in any form whatsoever, as though it’s inevitable and essentially harmless is the act of cowards and deniers. It has the precise relation to reality of somebody who thinks cobras are cute on the Nature Channel.

Wake up, America. The final battle has been joined, and calling Kings-X won’t get you a pass from the creatures.

warbaby on March 7, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Blaming Ehrlich for saying stupid things is like blaming your dog for crapping in the yard. He’s stupid. So his choices are limited to saying nothing, or saying something stupid.

The real villain here is Stanford University, which has inexplicably encouraged this imbecile by paying him money and letting him write on their letterhead.

This is the real outrage.

Jaibones on March 7, 2010 at 8:15 PM

He is the Paul Krugman of the (Pseudo)Science genre.

VelvetElvis on March 7, 2010 at 8:26 PM

The man who diffused the population bomb

muggedbyreality on March 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Hmm I guess the NYT would say:”Just another Iowa hick,a rube that stumbled upon a seed or something.” The East and West coasts do not think Americans in flyover country are worth listening to.George Washington Carver became one of the nation’s greatest educators and agricultural researchers. Another Iowa hero that is still saving (Haiti requested peanut butter) 1000’s of lives. Taught at ISU. Boy us Iowans sure are dumb!

IowaWoman on March 7, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Only those of us who didn’t vote for Obambi…

lovingmyUSA on March 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

I still remember reading Paul R. Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb back in high school and even having to give a speech on the subject as part of a class. At the time, the notion of the population growing and depleting the natural resources of the planet scared the tar out of me.

But then as I got older and started reading more on the subject of science and the research process, I came to one unmistakable conclusion; namely that Paul R. Ehrlich was full of it as far as his warped-out theories went and that he was more loose cannon alarmist than he was level-headed researcher.

What really bugs me about Ehrlich more than anything else is that he has most likely influenced the same people who are now running around the landscape warning of gloom and doom resulting from the junk science of Global Warming. One other thing about Ehrlich is that virtually every single theory he has promulgated has been shot to smithereens by fact and truth, and he still insists on clinging tenaciously to them regardless.

The truth is Paul R. Ehrlich is less skilled qualified researcher and more suitably qualified as a kook.

The only problem is that there are still people out there who take him and his theories seriously.

pilamaye on March 7, 2010 at 8:43 PM

I too noticed how the article casually mentioned Ehrlich as a Stanford researcher, as if to whitewash all of his Chicken Little proclamations to-date while giving the man credence as an academic. Unreal.

People like Ehrlich are nothing more than parasites who use doom and gloom proclamations to try to suck the life out of the rest of us while using their positions to live like royalty. Personally I believe this movement got its start around the time that the divine right of kings and the whole feudal system of the middle ages was getting its butt kicked by the rise of the middle class.

So there are two types of leftist: first, the ones who actually believe this mess. Their point of view can be described as “earth centric” where anything people do is by [their own] definition to be “bad” for the holy “environment”. “Bad” in the sense that we are harming the environment. Not bad in the sense that we are harming human health and the health of plants and animals which we depend on for sustenance.

Plants and animals could care less about the environment or biodiversity. (Yes, I know I’ve just sinned bigtime against Gaia and her hordes, but to quote Markos Moulitsas, screw them.) Cane toads, “killer” bees, and Formosan termites are easy examples of creatures that wipe out other populations and leave nothing in their path. Weeds displace other plants until trees displace them. The makeup of the plant and animal population is constantly changing, and we continue to discover “new” species even as some old ones fall away.

In the Bible, there is a verse in Genesis that is oft-used by the Left to suggest that “religious nuts” condone pollution: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen 1:28, emphasis mine). The word “subdue” is taken by many as a perjorative. We are held down in the Western world daily by people whose mantra of “sustainability” and “renewables” tries to force us to focus on living with our tail between our legs, hoping that if we use one more sip of precious rainwater or kilowatts from a wind farm that we don’t offend Gaia.

As the Brits say, bollocks.

We “subdue” the earth every time we plant a field to grow crops; dam a river for power; dig a hole for the foundation of a new building; or mine the earth for minerals used in things as diverse as spaceships to cosmetics. Subduing the earth allows our society to live without struggling daily for food, shelter, or clothing. We have the ability to create things that multiply our individual efforts and allow leisure time.

I will not believe any person who tells others to live a “sustainable” or “renewable” lifestyle until they themselves completely forsake a modern life and live completely off the land and their own skills, without any assistance or insurance whatsoever from any modern device or service. Oddly enough, none of them have actually made that jump.

Instead, we should be “subduing” the earth more and more, ensuring that we do so in a way that protects the health of humans first and then plants and animals that share it. I strongly suspect that any actions taken to protect the health of humans while maximizing resource use will also benefit animals and plants. For example, nuclear power plants should be built for baseload power wherever possible. Water shortages should be handled by building desalination plants wherever economically feasible. Fossil fuels should be drilled and used efficiently. And our focus generally should be on what we can do, rather than what someone else says we cannot.

Norman Borlaug was a humble saint whose efforts saved literally millions of people from the very starvation that Ehrlich suggested would doom us all. Borlaug’s efforts were so successful that Ehrlich had to revise his doom and gloom prophecies about starvation in India from later editions of the Population Bomb book. His work was the very kind of “subdue [the earth]” mentality that I believe truly successful people take: face a problem head-on and solve it for the benefit of mankind.

Unfortunately it is far easier from a human nature standpoint to cry about spilt milk than it is to take the effort to clean it up. Ehrlich and people like him would rather us cower helplessly while they make money on our collective misfortune.

Ehrlich can go to Hell as far as I’m concerned.

Instead of crybabies like him, we need a nation of Borlaugs. Imagine what will be possible if we all work to make others lives richer and more productive…

-Wanderlust

Wanderlust on March 7, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Is there a point in time where it is legitimate to give a euthanasia prescription to this PoS? With or without his consent?

platypus on March 7, 2010 at 10:03 PM

If Ehrlich had the courage of his convictions, he would have stopped breathing decades ago.

Cicero43 on March 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Actually at this point a major problem is going to be a de-population bomb. Looking at the fertility patterns of Europe, they are going to have serious problems going forward.

crosspatch on March 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Actually, the de-population bomb isn’t a problem just in Europe but around the world.

Mark Steyn writes in depth about the problem in America Alone

The only place that isn’t suffering from a de-population bomb is the Middle East.

Conservative Samizdat on March 7, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Every person on earth could stand in the county I live in. My county is one of 105 in my state. Of the 57 states.

I put one error in the above statement. Bet the left can’t figure out where the error is.

Highplains on March 7, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Being an anti-Western leftist means never having to say that you were wrong.

29Victor on March 7, 2010 at 11:01 PM

It’s funny, every once and a while Pat Robertson or some other famous preacher makes predictions that don’t come true. Then the media reminds us of those predictions every time they talk about the man.

29Victor on March 7, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Another Moonbat with tenure, no doubt…

Khun Joe on March 7, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Good article about the Green Job and Green Energy plans for ruining even more of our U.S. economy. It’s a leftist big government scam in the works. Why does Obama keep ignoring the facts about what would truly be a American energy independance policy? Because it doesn’t fit into his socialist ideology or the now debunked global warming fiasco.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100028631/what-dave-and-his-chum-barack-dont-want-you-to-know-about-green-jobs-and-green-energy/

Americannodash on March 8, 2010 at 3:11 AM

From a butterfly net to multiple theories about the imminent demise of humankind….and his book came out in 1968. Maybe the “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” got to him. Maybe his life has been one, long paranoid trip.

Grace_is_sufficient on March 8, 2010 at 4:19 AM

The pretension to infallibility, by whomsoever made, has done endless mischief; with impartial malignity it has proved a curse, alike to those who have made and it those who have accepted it.

-Thomas Huxley

N. O'Brain on March 8, 2010 at 8:24 AM

At some point people like him should be dismissed with a wave of a hand and a “You have got to be kidding me.” when he asks to be listened to…again.

archer52 on March 8, 2010 at 9:13 AM

In looking at some of the other postings here, it is kind of shocking to see how Erlich’s book “The Population Bomb” was practically required reading in both high school and college when it first came out.

Frankly, I would have rather had any of the books by physicist Richard Feynmann been made required reading when I was in high school. Grant it, it would have been kind of dull reading for someone like me way back when, but at least Feynmann was not just entertaining, but he was a skilled researcher who stood by facts instead of bending to the whim of poor research and junk science.

pilamaye on March 8, 2010 at 9:33 AM

He is a perfect example of the dangers of entrusting undeveloped and unsophisticated minds to an intellectual like him. I have tended, for years now, to think that sending people to college directly out of high school instead of letting them get a little life experience under their belt before being subjected to indoctrination every day or at least every week, is not a good idea or at least, not the best idea. Remember nutcase Ward Churchill? Timothy Leary? Symptomatic. When you think someone else’s thoughts you are someone else.

LarryG on March 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I remember him with loathing. I was pregnant in 1978 with my third daughter and was actually verbally berated by some wacko stranger about overpopulating the planet. Now there is a woman at my office who said that all the problems we have are caused by “too many people.”

My first stepmother’s sister was retarded, and we found documentation that she had been sterilized in the Eugenics Movement back in the 40s.

That’s what they want; the power to control. Plain and simple.

Sarah2053 on March 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

The man who diffused the population bomb

muggedbyreality on March 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Those of us in agriculture know his work well.
Those of us in agriculture also what what it truly takes to feed people.
People are starving in other countries bcs of not enough education, government interference & incompetence, and ignorance.
Here in America less than 5% live on the land that produces your food.
The rest of you live in cities & urban areas.
Humans will either adapt or die.
I am convinced that food shortage will happen, as they always have, but probably not too much here.
I would just worry about the safety of your food.
Russia & China are treating their food supply as a national security issue & I’m afraid that we should, too.
So many of the farmers I know keep thinking that they are going to benefit from China’s exploding population & I’m afraid that just isn’t going to happen. Neither with Russia.
Those 2 countries are working hard to create their own packing & processing industries in order to feed their own people.

Badger40 on March 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I am convinced that food shortage will happen, as they always have, but probably not too much here.

And any food shortage that DOES happen will be bcs of govt interference: NOT bcs we can’t grow enough.
American agriculture has paved the way for feeding the world.
We have spent a lot of $$ & time trying to teach people in other countries how to feed themselves the right way.
And yet all we catch is hell bcs we are so ‘bad’.
I’d like to see where a lot of S. American, African, etc countries would be right now had it not been for American ag’s advance in technology & knowledge.

Badger40 on March 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Some very informative posts here today, all I can say is thank you for the information all of you. very well done.

jainphx on March 8, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Way back in ’68 or ’69 I saw Ehrlich on The Tonight Show . . . once. I don’t think Carson ever had him on again. Carson knew fraud when he saw it.

Pelayo on March 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

From Ronald Reagan:

“A commissar in the Soviet Union went out to one of those state collective farms, grabbed the first worker he came to and said, ‘Comrade, how are the crops?’

“‘Oh,’ he said, ‘Comrade Commissar, if we could put the potatoes in one pile, they would reach the foot of God, and the commissar said, ‘This is the Soviet Union. There is no God.’ and he said, ‘That’s all right, there are no potatoes.’”

Pelayo on March 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM