Sunday, September 27, 2009


Paul Ehrlich in 2009:
Global population growth has slowed significantly, but it hasn't stopped. By 2050 there may be about 35 per cent more people on Earth than there are today. We are already seeing increasing shortages of food, water and other resources and growing numbers of hungry people.

Yet to embark on any discussion about limiting our numbers is to enter sensitive and controversial territory. Perhaps this is not surprising, as in the 1960s, when population growth became an issue of widespread concern, the discussions often had a racist undertone, in which the "well-off" focused on the exploding populations of "underdeveloped nations".
Paul Ehrlich in 1968 agreeing with an official's suggestion that Indian men should be compulsorily sterilized:
When he suggested sterilizing all Indian males with three or more children, we should have applied pressure on the Indian government to go ahead with the plan. We should have volunteered logistic support in the form of helicopters, vehicles, and surgical instruments. We should have sent doctors to aid in the program by setting up centers for training para-medical personnel to do vasectomies. Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion in a good cause.
Yep, he's right about those racist undetones. By the way, quote-doctorer Tim Lambert still refuses to correct a 2007 post claiming Ehrlich never advocated forced sterilization.


Anonymous ARIII said...

Paul Ehrlich's malthusian concerns were wrong in the 1960s and there doesn't seem to be any evidence that we can't feed the population we have now or a 35% bigger population in the future.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is "overtone" a word? I'm not sure if "undertone" is adequate. Lattecat

6:51 PM  
Anonymous murph said...

To paraphrase PJ O'Rourke: greenies never relate crowds on 5th Ave to global overpopulation, they have no probs, however, in invoking images of huge crowds of brown people in places like Delhi or Lagos in order to make their point.

3:21 PM  

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