Back in the year when many of the bad things that we’re currently living through were set in motion, 1968, Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich got rich and famous by being one of the first liberal lunatics to sound the alarm about the danger posed by the number one threat to the planet, the scourge of human beings existing on Earth. Key word: alarm, as in employing a tactic that modern militant environmentalists have refined to an art form; that is, predicting inevitable doom, death, and destruction. Here’s how the learned professor started his book, The Population Bomb.
“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…”
With that title, and with an opening like that, can there be any doubt that the professor is about to deliver a calm, rational analysis of his interesting theory in this book?
If this imminently “reasonable” tone seems familiar to you, even if you’ve never read the preposterous and inadvertently hilarious Bomb, the reason is that the fame and fortune it brought Prof. Ehrlich did not go unnoticed. Scaremongering got him a best-selling book, an appearance on the Tonight Show, and celebrity status. It is now the template for the modern environmentalist.
As you know, when the Left wants to take your money or your freedom, the playbook requires the solemn assertion of “deep concern” from genuine “experts,” delivered with a hysterically alarmist tone designed to leave no option other than that we immediately “do something!!!”
Professor Ehrlich had a lot of brilliant ideas about how to solve the “crisis” that he discovered. For example, adding “temporary sterilents” to the water, taxing each family’s additional children, and creating a 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.” Any resemblance between that proposal and China’s horrific “one-child” policy, implemented through forced abortion, is purely coincidental.
Professor Ehrlich predicted that if we didn’t take these dramatic steps, mass starvation would happen during the 1970’s and 1980’s. He couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, he famously lost a 1980 bet to economist Julian Simon, who bet Ehrlich $1000 that the price of any mix of raw materials Ehrlich selected would decline over 10 years, owing to human innovation. In any rational universe, Ehrlich’s con would be viewed with some amusement as a lesson in not accepting ridiculous predictions from charlatans feathering their own nests by creating panic and hysteria. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a rational universe, and if you need any more evidence, I submit the case of meteorologist Eric Holthaus.
Last Friday, when the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put out a press release about the first part of its latest report on manmade climate change, which concluded that it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” Mr. Holthaus was overcome with emotion over the destruction of Mother Earth. He tweeted that, “I just broke down in tears in boarding area at SFO while on phone with my wife. I’ve never cried because of a science report before.”
I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not, “Gee, shouldn’t this guy wait for something more than ‘extremely likely’ before bawling like a little girl in public?” Or “doesn’t he realize that this report is from the United Nations, which has less credibility than a supermarket tabloid?” No, I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking the same thing; specifically, “What color panties was he wearing while boarding this flight?”
Well-intentioned, earnest people like Mr. Holthaus are sitting ducks for con artists like Paul Ehrlich and his ideological progeny, and sadly, they are apparently so ignorant of history that they don’t realize that this scam has been run many times before. They perceive themselves as sophisticated, educated, and therefore, rational believers in science, unlike those mouth-breathing, superstitious, religious types who, they claim, deny evolution. Yet, in reality, their belief in hoaxes like “climate change” rivals the intensity of any religious fanatic, and demonstrates that, far from being the smartest folks around, they actually have no idea what’s going on.
Mr. Holthaus also tweeted that he is considering a vasectomy to reduce his contribution to climate change. I hope that the doctors are able to send away for some of the tiny instruments that they will no doubt need to do the procedure on this guy, and we can only hope that all emotionally-driven, simpering fools like him follow his lead. What an improvement to the gene pool that would produce!