Paul Ehrlich, Genius?

by Don Boudreaux on February 20, 2011

in Cleaned by Capitalism, Environment, Myths and Fallacies

Here’s a letter to the Los Angeles Times:

Three different readers write today in praise of Paul Ehrlich and his predictions of eco-mageddon (Letters, Feb. 18).  Such praise is odd, given that not one of the many catastrophes that Mr. Ehrlich has predicted over the past 43 years has occurred.

The drying of the Aral Sea, alas, is not – contrary to reader David McClave’s insinuation – evidence in support of Mr. Ehrlich’s proposition that one of the greatest threats to the environment is capitalism.  Here’s what the BBC reported in 1998: “correspondent Louise Hidalgo in Kazakhstan says that the most amazing thing about the disaster is that it is no accident.  ‘The Soviet planners who fatally tapped the rivers, which fed the seas to irrigate central Asia’s vast cotton fields, expected it [to?] dry up. They either did not realise the consequences the Aral’s disappearance would bring or they simply did not care.’”

How interesting that the one genuine eco-disaster mentioned as confirmation of Mr. Ehrlich’s wisdom was caused by the same institution – the powerful, centralized state – that Mr. Ehrlich advises we must submit to if we are to be saved from genuine eco-disasters.

Donald J. Boudreaux

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John Blake March 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” published 1968 is notorious for its gloating drivel, virtually celebrating the impending death by starvation of some 80% of global humanity. In 1974 John Holdren, our feckless and malfeasant Administration’s so-called “Science Czar” (read Commissar), referred to his fellow humans as “a mass of swarming maggots,” worthy of Ayers-type extermination by the State if not by their own misdeeds.

Ehrlich, Holdren, and their Green Gang of climate cultists are beyond nihilism: They are Thanatists who “love death more than life,” Luddite sociopaths concerned to banish post-Enlightenment industrial-technological civilization from Gaia’s heaving bosom in favor of a crude and vulgar Rousseau-istic “natural state.” Academics, crony capitalists like GE’s Immelt, collectivist Statists in Big Government communo-fascist mode, applaud these psycho-social death-eaters out of power-hunger born of deep self-loathing, a revulsion against Light and Life on the profoundest level. Either an aroused citizenry bequeaths peace and prosperity to its descendants, or James Hansen, Keith Farnish, and their fellow hate-mongers will savagely tip everyone to early graves.

Michael March 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Sir, do you have a link to that “maggots” quote?

TheLastDemocrat March 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Not much more to say after John Blake.
Seriously, get a copy of Population Bomb. The opening 2 pages are racist / classist enough to clue you in.

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