146. PAUL EHRLICH
Paul Ehrlich is a Stanford professor, and one of the original die-off blowhards from the 1970s.
To give you an idea of how stupid doomers can be, let's take a little trip down memory lane with some memorable Ehrlich quotes from yesteryear. (As you can see, there's an uncanny resemblance to the breathless hype of today's crop of peak oil doomers):
The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer. -- Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (1968)
I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000. -- Paul Ehrlich, 1969
In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. -- Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day 1970
Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity... in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion. -- Paul Ehrlich, 1976 Source
Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make, ... The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years. -- Paul Ehrlich in an interview with Peter Collier in the April 1970 of the magazine Mademoiselle.
By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth's population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people. -- Paul Ehrlich, 1969
By 1980 the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 because of pesticides, and by 1999 its population would drop to 22.6 million. -- Paul Ehrlich, 1969 Source
The lesson to be drawn from this? Don't listen to pompous peak oil misanthropes who think they can see the future. They can't.
The folks at overpopulation.com have it right:
Ehrlich summed up his approach to overpopulation with a flourish worthy of the great totalitarian dictators of the 20th century,"A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies -- often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance of survival."Based on the evidence of the past 25 years, this would have been a horrible "solution." The world turned out to have a case of the flu, and Ehrlich recommended the equivalent of bleeding the patient. Source
This is a very good reason to be skeptical of all peak oiler "solutions" -- such as the extermination of non-contributing members of society promoted by ASPO (see 29. COLIN CAMPBELL "LETS THE MATTER REST"), or the military dictatorship promoted by Jay Hanson (see #145 below). They'll try to tell you that they need brutal, draconian powers because the alternative is so much worse, but the "alternative" is just a fiction they dreamed up. Paul Ehrlich said we needed to go fascist in the 1970s or billions of people would die. Well guess what: We didn't do anything and billions of people are eating better than ever. He was wrong, and should pay the price for it. He needs to be taken out back, gagged, tarred and feathered for attempting a fascist putsch by false scaremongering.
-- by JD