Why is anyone still taking Paul Ehrlich seriously?
In 1968, the biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote:
In the April 1970 issue of The Progressive, Ehrlich forecast the existence in 1999 of a ‘United States of North America’ with a population of just 22.6 million.
The same month, Ehrlich marked Earth Day with the prediction that by 1980, “…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” and said that “The mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children.” The following year he offered “even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”
Not one of these predictions has come anywhere close to coming true. From 1970 to 2021, the global population rose by 111%, from 3.7 billion to 7.9 billion. When famines have occurred, it has not been from any inherent inability to feed the larger number of people but, as in the case of the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s, because of deliberate government policy. The population of the United States in 1999 was 279 million — Ehrlich was off by a factor of 10. Not only haven’t “Large areas of coastline” been “evacuated because of the stench of dead fish,” none have. And not only does England still exist, but this year it got knocked out of World Cup at the quarter final stage, just as it did in 1970. Even that hasn’t changed.
Ehrlich is a charlatan. He has made a career out of peddling hysterical nightmares with no basis in scientific fact. He is the modern-day version of those medieval ‘prophets’ who would wander from town to town predicting the imminent end of the world. The only difference is that they wore rags; Ehrlich has leveraged his lunatic fantasies into a well-paid academic career.
He has been helped by the mainstream media. Even after more than five consistent decades of being as wrong as it is possible for a human being to be, Ehrlich is still appearing on shows like 60 Minutes, where he pushes updated versions of the same garbage he has been pushing since 1968:
Paul Ehrlich should not be taken seriously. Neither should those who publicize his delusions.