Age allows perspective. I remember when overpopulation was all the rage, as climate change is right now.
Read the article below, and you will see how the climate change crowd simply used the exact argument from the over-pop era. Substitute "climate" for "population", or " population growth rate" for "carbon emmissions" and the article would not raise an eyebrow of the green faddists of today.
The Population Bomb was written at the suggestion of David Brower the executive director of the environmentalist Sierra Club, and Ian Ballantine of Ballantine Booksfollowing various public appearances Ehrlich had made regarding population issues and their relation to the environment.
Early editions of The Population Bomb began with the statement:
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...Much of the book is spent describing the state of the environment and the food security situation, which is described as increasingly dire.
Ehrlich argues that as the existing population was not being fed adequately, and as it was growing rapidly, it was unreasonable to expect sufficient improvements in food production to feed everyone.
He further argued that the growing population placed escalating strains on all aspects of the natural world. "What needs to be done?" he wrote, "We must rapidly bring the world population under control, reducing the growth rate to zero or making it negative.
Conscious regulation of human numbers must be achieved. Simultaneously we must, at least temporarily, greatly increase our food production." Ehrlich described a number of "ideas on how these goals might be reached." He believed that the United States should take a leading role in population control, both because it was already consuming much more than the rest of the world, and therefore had a moral duty to reduce its impact, and because the US would have to lead international efforts due to its prominence in the world.
In order to avoid charges of hypocrisy or racism it would have to take the lead in population reduction efforts. Ehrlich floats the idea of adding "temporary sterilants" to the water supply or staple foods.
However, he rejects the idea as unpractical due to "criminal inadequacy of biomedical research in this area." He suggests a tax scheme in which additional children would add to a family's tax burden at increasing rates for more children, as well as luxury taxes on childcare goods. He suggests incentives for men who agree to permanent sterilization before they have two children, as well as a variety of other monetary incentives.
He proposes a powerful Department of Population and Environment which "should be set up with the power to take whatever steps are necessary to establish a reasonable population size in the United States and to put an end to the steady deterioration of our environment." The department should support research into population control, such as better contraceptives, mass sterilizing agents, and prenatal sex discernment (because families often continue to have children until a male is born.)
Ehrlich suggested that if they could choose a male child this would reduce the birthrate). Legislation should be enacted guaranteeing the right to an abortion, and sex education should be expanded.
After explaining the domestic policies the US should pursue, he discusses foreign policy. He advocates a system of "triage," such as that suggested by William and Paul Paddock in Famine 1975!. Under this system countries would be divided into categories based on their abilities to feed themselves going forward. Countries with sufficient programmes in place to limit population growth, and the ability to become self-sufficient in the future would continue to receive food aid.
Countries, for example India, which were "so far behind in the population-food game that there is no hope that our food aid will see them through to self-sufficiency" would have their food aid eliminated.
Ehrlich argued that this was the only realistic strategy in the long-term. Ehrlich applauds the Paddocks' "courage and foresight" in proposing such a solution.
Ehrlich further discusses the need to set up public education programs and agricultural development schemes in developing countries. He argues that the scheme would likely have to be implemented outside the framework of the United Nations due to the necessity selecting the targeted regions and countries, and suggests that within countries certain regions should be prioritized to the extent that cooperative separatist movements should be encouraged if they are an improvement over the existing authority.
He mentions his support for government mandated sterilization of Indian males with three or more children.
In the rest of the book Ehrlich discusses things which readers can do to help. This is focused primarily on changing public opinion to create pressure on politicians to enact the policies he suggests, which he believed were not politically possible in 1968. At the end of the book he discusses the possibility that his forecasts may be wrong, which he felt he must acknowledge as a scientist. However, he believes that regardless of coming catastrophes, his prescriptions would only benefit humanity, and would be the right course of action in any case.
The book sold over two million copies, raised the general awareness of population and environmental issues, and influenced 1960s and 1970s public policy.
For the 14 years prior the book's appearance, the world population had been growing at accelerating rates, but immediately after the book's publication, the world population growth rate began a continuing downward trend, from its 1968 peak of 2.09% to 1.09% in 2018.
So today, according to the grean new deal, we have only 12 years, and it's already too late! Instead of mass starvation, its flooded coastal cities and killer storms!
We must do something NOW! The whole thing is laughable to those who have seen society convulse over these fads before.
But notice the similarities in what they think is causing the problems, and what their solutions are.
The problem, as always is man. And the solution? Impede man, cut him off, stop him. The over-pop people wanted forced sterilizations, the green people want to take us back into the stone age. Confiscate cars, forbid oil, no meat, no flying. By force.
The fads are lasting longer now because technology is aiding each new wave. Radio helped the one in the 1930's and TV blew up the one in the 1950's.
Now the greens have social media to fuel their fad. Whatever comes next, two things will be certain, the problem will be man, and the solution will be his death.
These fads are from the king of this world, and death is his ultimate goal. Sooner or later we will have the perfect storm of technology and faddism, and the world will be carried off in it.
This current fad won't make it. There are still too many rational people among the sheeple for it to fully catch.
I predict the one in 2050 will do the trick. And I'm glad I'm going to miss it.