Paul Ehrlich in 1968 predicted that a devastating human Population Bomb would immanently wreak untold havoc upon the world. He was later derided, ridiculed, blasted, razzed, heckled, savaged, tweaked, tormented, and teased after the “mass starvation of humans” and “major societal upheavals” which he forecast failed to materialize.
The level of abuse the man suffered over his wildly wrong predictions would have discouraged a weaker man. But not Ehrlich. He’s back and more terrified than ever that the End is Nigh, and he’s letting us in on it. He and his wife have a new peer-reviewed paper out in Proceedings of the Royal Society B warning that a “global collapse appears likely”. A “calamity” is a comin’!
In support of their new prognostication, the Erlichs quote that eminent philosopher and perpetual king-in-waiting Prince Charles, who said we’re engaged in “an act of suicide on a grand scale.” The preferred word is euthanasia, Chuck. The Erlichs punctuate His Almost-Majesty’s words using terms like “escalating severity”, “accelerating extinction”, “immune-weakened societies”, “growthmanic cultures”, and “run for your lives!” Just kidding about that last one.
Why is all this happening? “Overpopulation,” naturally. Which is causing “climate disruption” which “may” (note the word) “pose insurmountable biophysical barriers to increasing crop yields.” Then “dangerous anthropogenic climate change could ravage agriculture” [my emphasis].
Did you see it? Lots of maybes, could bes, and ifs. Not quite feeling his oats as strongly as he did four decades ago when he was certain sure most of us would crap out before the year 2000. Now he leaves the door open for salvation: we won’t perish if. If what? Let’s see.
First, “dramatically transforming much of the existing energy mobilization infrastructure”. Second—and this really goes without saying—“changing human behaviour”. This won’t be easy because many nefarious “businesses” with poor “ethics” are “knowingly continuing lethal but profitable activities”, all masked by “successful disinformation campaign[s]” “to confuse people about climate disruption”.
Let’s remind ourselves that this was written in a peer-reviewed paper published in a (what used to be prestigious) science journal.
Nuclear war. I said it abruptly because I couldn’t think of a logical, sensible segue. Neither could the Ehrlichs, who squeeze in the opinion that nuclear war would be the “quickest and surest route to a collapse.” So at least they give us a recipe.
Back in the 60s Ehrlich wanted to lace the water supply with saltpeter (“temporary sterilants”). He now wants to construct pens—camps, really—“institutions” he calls them, for concentrating, rather “for imposing quarantines” which he anticipates will be necessary. He also wants to move “as rapidly as possible to humanely reduce the human population size.” How will all this happen? Through a “more comprehensive system of international governance”.
No scientific paper would be complete without some religion bashing. Our authors imagine there is a growing “endarkenment” which they define as “a rapidly growing movement towards religious orthodoxies that reject enlightenment values such as freedom of thought, democracy, separation of church and state, and basing beliefs and actions on empirical evidence.”
There’s some of this, it’s true. But the pair have forgotten that restrictive speech codes in the West almost exclusively arise from the Left. It’s also progressive governments which take “executive” actions without consulting citizens, and those same governments which impose restrictions on religious practices. And it is a canard to suggest religious folks reject “empirical evidence”—especially when it is the empirical evidence which is in dispute.
The paper isn’t entirely bad. It has the distinction of being the only peer-reviewed publication where you can see the terms “loss of biodiversity” and “opposition to condoms” in the same sentence. No sense of irony in the Ehrlichs.
Nor comedy. They invent the term—don’t snicker!—“foresight intelligence” which they claim is lacking in the citizenry. Yes, the man responsible for the worst prediction in all of recorded history has the guts to tell us we don’t understand forecasting.
The Ehrlichs have also forgotten bombs are of two types. Those that explode outward and those which collapse inward, imploding. Mankind did not explode outward, spewing bodies everywhere as they predicted (hoped?). Instead people, particularly in the West, seem intent on having as few babies as possible. There is a population implosion. A headcount deficit is coming. That’s what the empirical evidence says. The Ehrlichs in their environmentalist religious “endarkenment” reject it and believe what they want and not what is.
HT Lifesite News.