Overpopulation

Doomster Paul Ehrlich Unrepentant: "My language would be even more apocalyptic today."

And still just as wrong

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Paul Ehrlich
telegraph

The New York Times is taking a little walk down memory lane to look at what (did not) happen to the much-prophesied "Population Bomb." The Times interviews biologist Paul Ehrlich who wrote the book in 1968 which declared: "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."

Ehrlich went on to predict four billion deaths, including 65 million Americans. Didn't happen. The Times rehearses some of Ehrlich's failed predictions:

His 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," sold in the millions with a jeremiad that humankind stood on the brink of apocalypse because there were simply too many of us. Dr. Ehrlich's opening statement was the verbal equivalent of a punch to the gut: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over." He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair "England will not exist in the year 2000." Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that "sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come." By "the end," he meant "an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity."

As you may have noticed, England is still with us. So is India. Hundreds of millions did not die of starvation in the '70s.

And yet in the Times, Ehrlich, even now continues to insist:

Population Bomb
wikimedia

After the passage of 47 years, Dr. Ehrlich offers little in the way of a mea culpa. Quite the contrary. Timetables for disaster like those he once offered have no significance, he told Retro Report, because to someone in his field they mean something "very, very different" from what they do to the average person. The end is still nigh, he asserted, and he stood unflinchingly by his 1960s insistence that population control was required, preferably through voluntary methods. But if need be, he said, he would endorse "various forms of coercion" like eliminating "tax benefits for having additional children." Allowing women to have as many babies as they wanted, he said, is akin to letting everyone "throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor's backyard as they want." …

Dr. Ehrlich, now 83, is not retreating from his bleak prophesies. He would not echo everything that he once wrote, he says. But his intention back then was to raise awareness of a menacing situation, he says, and he accomplished that. He remains convinced that doom lurks around the corner, not some distant prospect for the year 2525 and beyond. What he wrote in the 1960s was comparatively mild, he suggested, telling Retro Report: "My language would be even more apocalyptic today."

Shameless self promotion: My new book The End Of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century (July 21) explains in the first chapter why Ehrlich failed and how world population is set to peak later in this century and then begin to decline. You can pre-order the book now. Just saying.

For more background see my article, The Invisible Hand of Population Control, on how liberty and the rule of law strongly tend to lower total fertility rates.

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194 responses to “Doomster Paul Ehrlich Unrepentant: "My language would be even more apocalyptic today."

  1. At least Heaven’s Gate had the common courtesy to off themselves.

    1. Let’s not forget Paul’s best effort, from 1984: ” The extinction of Homo Sapience cannot be excluded ”

      But what if they had a nuclear winter and nobody noticed ?

      It’s happened twice so far

      1. Dr Sietz… you are truly a worthless human being.

        People I respect have told me that you are clever and an interesting conversationalist.

        I don’t see it. What I do see is a pathetic little never-was who flings poo at someone who has done more to advance and spread human knowledge and does it poorly.

        I suggest you get a more socially beneficial hobby than your current one, like closing your pathetic little blog to focus on starting a Harvard branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

        1. We were hoping you’d < a href= “http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/” unleash Javascript on the Klansmen and transform them nto anarcho-capitalists.

  2. I, too, have a new book: You’re Fucked: How You’re Going to Die Soon Unless You Buy this Book and Memorize It, Then Send Money to Me for Updates for the Rest of Time.

    1. Brillian, ProL. To where do I send my contributions?

      1. To You’re Fucked if You Haven’t Paid Me this Month, LLC
        c/o Reason Foundation.

        1. Limited Liability… smart.

        2. Well, I’ve already contributed to the 2nd mentioned entity and I still don’t have my flying car OR a libertarian moment. What’s the address of ‘You’re Fucked’?

          1. That’s a totally different company. This one is about pain avoidance, not wish fulfillment.

            There is Consolidated Fusion Enterprises, LLC, which is dedicated to the proposition of making fusion power a mere ten years away at any given moment, rather than twenty.

            1. Fusion is a myth! Buy into my solar company to save us! That’s Green Crony Bucks, LLC.

              1. Oh, please. That ship has sailed.

                1. Right. Wind power it is!

                  1. Also pass?, which is French for over.

                    1. Wind power has blown over?

                      Not in the Great White Pacific Northwest.

                    2. I’m into real money, which is in collecting money from people to advance the cause of fusion so that it’s only ten years away. Won’t you give?

    2. Is there an Amazon link for that? Might pre-order a copy.

      1. It’s too big to let Amazon get any of my money. Strictly infomercial and scream-of-mouth.

        1. Vanity press

          1. And social media. Like my money on Facebook.

  3. “I’m an idiot incapable of learning and I don’t care who knows it.”

    1. It’s his schtick and how he makes money. You don’t expect Uri Geller to stop bending spoons or John Edward to stop pretending to talk to dead people, do you?

      1. At leas Uri Geller actually bent some spoons.

        1. And he never suggested the gov’t limit the number of kids you can have.

          1. Wow, worse than Uri Geller.

    2. It is very difficult for a man to comprehend something when his lively-hood depends on him not understanding it.

    3. Why should he change his mind when people still lap it up?

    4. I’m an idiot incapable of learning and I don’t care who knows it.

      His doomsaying has gained him fame, fortune, and wide public respect. Why on earth would he “learn”? And who’s the idiot?

      1. He’s the idiot if he’s not putting out a new book extending the deadline.

  4. OT:

    Call me Caitlyn

    She looks good. Should have made the transition years ago.

    1. A bit too mannish (heh) and not in a good way – a little masculinity can make a woman appear very striking but here her face screams ‘crossdresser’.

      1. It’s kind of the man-like part of men that I don’t much care for in women. But to each his own.

        1. At this point, she’s a better looking woman than man. She’s an ass-ugly man.

          1. Didn’t see this coming in the Wheaties days.

            1. “Didn’t see this coming in the Wheaties days.”

              I did but I have a long history of making wild assumptions about athletes. If Michael Jordan ever assassinates the president, I’m going to look like a fucking clairvoyant.

          2. Her gender reassignment plastic surgeon also seems vastly more competent than whoever did the botox back when Bruce was living as a man.

            1. Prolly a fuckton of air-brushing going on.

              1. Prolly a fuckton of air-brushing going on.

                This was my thought.

                She, on the cover of Vanity Fair, looks like Felicity Huffman on a rough day.

                She’s ‘attractive’ the way Joan Rivers has been attractive for the last decade or so.

                1. And Joan’s only been dead for a year…

        2. You could opt for the sarcasmic choice of wiminz, then you get into the ‘boy-like’ part.

    2. maatkare67 ?@maatkare67 1h1 hour ago
      @VanityFair It’s Renee Russo!!

    3. John would do, unless he’s dead.

    4. Finally Bruce Jenner can go fuck himself.

    5. I have no idea who Bruce nor Caitlyn are. Not particularly interested in finding out, either.

  5. Timetables for disaster like those he once offered have no significance, he told Retro Report, because to someone in his field they mean something “very, very different” from what they do to the average person.

    That’s same thing every doom-cult prophet says,

    1. “That’s same thing every doom-cult prophet says”

      Except he DID offer time-tables and not a single one bore any resemblance to reality.

      1. He’s a secular version of Hal Lindsey. Or Lindsey’s a religious version of Ehrlich. Whatever.

    2. “To someone in his field” – what the hell does that mean? In what field are you allowed to make specific factual assertions that turn out to be total bullshit and then claim that you aren’t full of shit because bullshit means something different to you than the average person? Back in 1971, the New York Times reported that Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore repeatedly molested an entire Cub Scout troop but paid off a local judge to escape prosecution. Now that may sound like some sort of libelous statement, but to someone in my field it means something very, very different than what it means to the average person.

  6. “Shameless self promotion: My new book The End Of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century (July 21) explains in the first chapter why Ehrlich failed and how world population is set to peak later in this century and then begin to decline. ”

    I’d be careful about making those predictions. The reason Ehrlich and the doommongers were wrong is because they didn’t foresee technological shifts that would allow greater food production and also didn’t consider that current trends can be reversed. It’s equally possible that, for whatever reason, global fertility rates will start increasing again for some reason in 100 years.

    “For more background see my article, The Invisible Hand of Population Control, on how liberty and the rule of law strongly tend to lower total fertility rates.”

    How do you explain the extraordinarily low fertility rates in Russia, Belarus, Cuba, and China? Isn’t it more likely that societal acceptance of birth control and abortion lower fertility rates, rather than freedom overall?

    1. Fertility rates drop below replacement levels when birth control/abortion is widely available and economies shrink.

    2. In my reading, the normally accepted explanation for lowering birth rates is generally greater wealth, not freedom.

      Though that would explain Russia/China (maybe Belarus) but not Cuba so much.

    3. I’d also speculate that perhaps the massive amounts of pollution in China and Eastern European countries might have an impact on fertility.

      1. the massive amounts of pollution in […] Eastern European countries might have an impact on fertility

        Not on the gypsies*’ fertility.

        (* although the PC usage is Roma, it is my understanding that not all gypsies are Roma.)

    4. global fertility rates will start increasing again for some reason in 100 years.

      I’ve seen post-apocalyptic movies. I know this for sure, it’ll involve a lot of leather.

      1. go on…

      2. it’ll involve a lot of leather. And Matt Damon.

      3. Sorry, most of the apocalyptic movies that involve a lot of leather involve lots of sweaty men in chaps with no pants on.

        Not a lot of ‘reproducing’ going on there.

        1. I appreciate a man who understands how chaps work. No, seriously, “ass-less chaps” pisses me off. Its like saying “assed pants”. Thank you for doing your part.

      4. And finger-less gloves.

    5. food production and also didn’t consider that current trends can be reversed.

      I agree with this. At the rates progressives are getting their way, I for one believe that mass starvation and shortages might be on the horizon.

      1. Get a grip. The Proggies had Total Power in the dirty thirties and still no mass starvation in America.

        1. I’m trying to think of places where the progressive actually did have Total Power that suffered mass-starvation…

          I’m sure the commentariat will help name some places, because they’re right on the tip of my tongue…

        2. I guess you missed the Great Depression and Dust Bowl part of your history book?

          Oh, who am I kidding. That part is now called ‘How FDR Saved the World’.

          1. Or the Great Leap Forward, or a little finger-snappin’ place called North Korea. Or the Soviet famine of 32-33.

          2. I guess you missed the Great Depression and Dust Bowl part of your history book?

            No I didn’t but you missed the ‘mass starvation’ part of Paul’s comment.

            Or the Great Leap Forward, or a little finger-snappin’ place called North Korea. Or the Soviet famine of 32-33.

            Get real. Those were carried out by communists. Progs might be ascendant (though I have real doubts) but outright communism isn’t making a comeback. Christ people try NOT to be the prog caricature of libertarians.

            1. Your concern trolling is cute. Progressives are synonymous with socialists. Socialists are communists who are ascendant to the communist ideal.

              Progressivism is the philosophy behind the system of socialism.

              This is why politicians who refer to themselves as progressives, are very often socialists.

              It’s not an accident. Progresses are the intelligent designers and creation scientists of economics. The results in places where they actually have Total Control (not just an influence as you suggested above), you get…famines.

        3. “The Proggies had Total Power in the dirty thirties and still no mass starvation in America.”

          No, they didn’t. They had enough to screw the economy royally, but not total.
          You and reality ought to get to know each other one of these days.

          1. They had far more power then than now and probably more than they will ever get with our globalized world. Spare us the invective and move on.

            1. The degree of actual power they hold or held is one thing, but they also have hypnotic power in the sense they manage to somehow get someone in control to listen to their crap. For example, cops cracking down on ‘manspreading’ in New York’s subways.

            2. No it’s just now everyone is a far left proggie just some of them call themselves Republican and for “low taxes” by fighting vehemently over 37 vs. 39 percent top tax rates….

    6. VISoH: All is explained in my new book.

      1. That’s it, Bailey. Stay on message, you filthy capitalist.

        Your cold, black, money-grubbing heart has led me to order your book on Amazon.

  7. Never apologize, never explain.
    But then never claim you have moral standing to do other than wear a sandwich board on the street corner.

  8. Allowing women to have as many babies as they wanted, he said, is akin to letting everyone “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.” .

    Well, I guess we now know what the thinks of his fellow human beings.

    I agree, mr. ehrlich. I say we start picking up the garbage… where, oh where shall we start?

    1. It’s always that other people need to die in order to bring about the new order.

      Listen, if you think it’s such a problem, please start with yourself now. Just think how much credibility that will bring you.

  9. Didn’t Ehrlich also attempt to discourage Foundations from funding Borlaug’s research that initiated the Green Revolution? A truly vile individual.

    1. I had either forgotten about Borlaug or never heard of him. But there is some serious derp out there about him. This is from the Wikipedia article:

      Borlaug’s work has been criticized for bringing large-scale monoculture, input-intensive farming techniques to countries that had previously relied on subsistence farming. These farming techniques often reap large profits for U.S. agribusiness and agrochemical corporations and have been criticized for widening social inequality in the countries owing to uneven food distribution while forcing a capitalist agenda of U.S. corporations onto countries that had undergone land reform.

      (My bold).

      Ron Bailey on Borlaug from 2000:
      https://reason.com/archives/200…..an-borlaug

      More derp:

      The political effects of agrarian modernization were hard to predict. In the Philippines a Maoist rebellion swept the countryside. In Pakistan, absentee landlords raised rents, and six months after the bumper harvest tenant farmers declared jihad and overthrew Ayub’s junta, paving the way for a brutal Islamist regime, civil war, and the eventual independence of Bangladesh.

      from here: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/116855

      1. Borlaug’s work has been criticized for bringing large-scale monoculture, input-intensive farming techniques to countries that had previously relied on subsistence farming

        Life was so much better when people didn’t know if they’d survive another harvest, or not.

        Much better than those icky profits.

        1. May have saved the lives of a billion. With a b.

          1. Whereas the policies of Paul Ehrlich and his ilk, where implemented, have killed millions.

            (cf: The anti-DDT crusade.)

            1. Reality-based community for the win!

            2. Correct.

              DDT is a wonder chemical. Highly effective at controlling malaria a global killer of millions.

              Unfortunately for some it spoils their little death fantasies…”better dead than alive and reproducing”

              http://www.freerepublic.com/fo…..4424/posts

      2. Borlaug is one of humanity’s greatest (and least celebrated) heroes.

        1. Saved more lives than any one person, probably, ever.

          1. ^ ^
            This.

            Borlaug is a secular saint. As already stated, probably saved at least a biliion lives. A true humanitarian.

            Ehrlich is a loathsome misanthrope and deserves nothing but scorn and ridicule.

      3. I don’t know what the fuck happened to society, but terms like “subsistence farming” and “hunter-gatherer” used to be synonyms for “crushing poverty”. Why anyone would romanticize such suffering is beyond me.

        1. You haven’t been paying attention to the “Greenies” over the last 40 years, have you?

          Actually, it goes back further than that, to the early romantics who thought that factories were evil and venerated peasant life.

        2. Go watch Pocahontas (or have it play in your car for your kids 600 times a year) and you will understand why people are confused

    2. Ehrlich also said a cheap, clean, unlimited source of power (like nuclear fusion) would be the worst thing in the world for mankind. Truly a loathsome worm.

      1. Other winners:

        Actually, the problem in the world is that there are too many rich people.

        Technology does nothing to solve problems of biodiversity or living space or arable cropland

  10. Technology can easily deal with these problems. Although technology 2 has powerful enemies who will, given the chance, fuck that up. They’re known as jealous politicians and bureaucracy. And they work together. That quote that ‘if the government were in change of the Sahara, there would be a shortage of sand’, is one of the most accurate phrases ever uttered.

    1. Actually, the Sahara quote was about communists, but yeah, show me a government that actually ensures plenty.

  11. ” The Times rehearses some of Ehrlich’s failed predictions:”

    Re-hashes? it may not be an accidental spell-check revision, but seems a little off.

    as for Erlich = no one has ever lost money crying “the End is Nigh!”. He knows what side his bread is buttered on. Admitting error, showing some humility, would be suggesting that people NOW might not have the best intentions with their Doom Predictions, or that the Malthusian theme is fundamentally misguided.

    1. No. The word rehearse when used in the context means to drive the predictions around New York in a car that normally carries the departed to funerals.

      1. Why then, doesn’t ehrlich just depart?

        1. Because he’s the prophet we deserve.

          1. Undeserved profits are the problem!

        2. Cuz he’s still got his minion in the White House Office of Science Technology Policy to control! (the useful idiot John P. Holden)

    2. G: See 3rd dictionary definition of rehearse: to relate the facts or particulars of; recount.

      1. I never trust the third definition.

        I know there was no definitional problem, i just thought maybe it was a usage-error thing. in retrospect, its actually classier. And therefore classist.

        1. I believe my definition is the correct one.

        2. I never trust the third definition.

          apropos

          1. cute. Is it wrong that the best punchline is in the first cell? (“its not technically a fiasco unless someone’s on fire”)

  12. But his intention back then was to raise awareness of a menacing situation

    Oh fuck you. Don’t we have a drinking game where everyone takes a shot on the ‘raising consciousness’ trope? If we don’t, we should.

    1. Jesus, that game would certainly work at population lowering!

    2. The overt intention of The Boy Who Cried Wolf was “to raise awareness of a menacing situation”, too.

  13. “The end is still nigh, he asserted, and he stood unflinchingly by his 1960s insistence that population control was required, preferably through voluntary methods.”

    Boy, I sure do wish there was some sort of voluntary means of choosing not to have children that would allow people to plan out their families. It would be particularly great if it came in some sort of pill form.

    Why, I bet if this pill form of birth control were available globally, birth rates would be much lower than they have been in the past. A boy can dream.

    1. ONLY IF FULLY AND COMPLETELY SUBSIDIZED AND PAID FOR.

    2. But look, if the government doesn’t provide it for free then how are these people going to be able to afford it?

      And if the government doesn’t mandate it then how are these people going to know what’s an appropriate family size?

    3. It’s sad that his mother didn’t have access to those pills.

    4. The end has been nigh ever since the first fucktard dreamed up religion.

      As a child I was constantly tormented by being told that they world is going to end so that Jesus can come back, any day now. Then the Soviets had enough missiles pointed at us to destroy the total population 100x over (ok,that was real). Now you have fuckwits like this guy and Al Gore spouting their versions of doom.

      Well, I’ve been triggered and I feel unsafe. I’m suing all of them for traumatizing me.

      1. “Then the Soviets had enough missiles pointed at us to destroy the total population 100x over (ok,that was real).”

        probably not really.

        I mean yeah it might have been technically true that if you got every human to stand out in the open at ground zero for a warhead you might have been able to kill off the human race a few dozen times over but the reality is that even using all of the combined nuke arsenals of every country in the world would likely not have resulted in an extinction level event and all of Russia’s nukes still wouldn’t have been able to kill off every American.

        The the global peak there were about 62,000 nukes combined in everyones arsenals. Assuming that each nuke killed everything within 24 miles of ground zero you’d have almost enough to cover All of South America and North America up to the US Canadian border with no nukes left over for Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia

        1. Extinction, no.

          Specifically targeting to kill population, given the concentration caused by urbanization, you could get 90% and let disease take out a good chunk of the rest.

          Now, why would you do deliberate population destruction, as opposed to strategic targets? No idea.

        2. You are forgetting nuclear winter. Nukes have lots of secondary effects, especially if detonated near ground level.

          1. Not really, even with the increased background radiation and nuke winter it still wouldn’t have been an extinction level event. Not even close.

            Sure, it would likely blast us back to the Stone Age but several million would survive

  14. Ron loves me so much he is releasing his book on my birthday.

    1. Or, he’s attempting to steal attention away from you on your special day. Instead of the full party with cake, balloons and a clown, you’ll get a bent card and a perfunctory pat on the back. Ron must hate you.

      1. I will destroy him.

    2. I refuse to respond to this comment and add to the attention of the poster.

    3. That sucks. Now, you know what he’s getting you.

  15. You know who else had a German last name and referred to certain segments of the population as ‘garbage’?

    1. Angela Merkel?

    2. My college housemate Paul?

    3. David Hasselhoff?

  16. There really is no shortage of Malthusians and other assorted prophets of doom among us, is there?

  17. “My language would be even more apocalyptic today.”

    I don’t understand this. What does he mean by “would be”? Is he unable to speak on this subject? Why doesn’t get just get all apocalyptic then? Go ahead, pimpwagon, drop some predictions and timelines on us!

    1. It would be, but even he can only bullshit so much without getting tired.

      1. So you’re saying bullshitting is a young-man’s game? I beg to differ.

        1. No, just that he has to be very efficient in his bullshit.

    2. The Climate Changers have cornered the market on global doom and gloom.

      Sorry, professor. Too late for you (tee hee)

  18. Photographer: “Okay, Mr. Ehrlich, give me your smug, punchable-face expression.”

  19. Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.

    1. And wrong.

  20. This guy makes the Millerites look like accurate prognosticators.

  21. You know who else made apocalyptic predictions that never came to pass…

    1. Ryan Kesler?

    2. The followers of Zorp the Surveyor?

    3. The High Sparrow?

  22. “Allowing women to have as many babies as they wanted, he said, is akin to letting everyone “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

    He unabashedly refers to babies as garbage.

    From Bailey’s original article linked above:

    “Economic freedom and the rule of law produce prosperity which dramatically lowers child mortality which, in turn, reduces the incentive to bear more children. In addition, along with increased prosperity comes more education for women, opening up more productive opportunities for them in the cash economy.”

    This is right on the money. I’ve never agreed with Bailey on anything more than I do this.

    Right. On. The. Money.

    Incidentally, I suspect people like those at the Gates Foundation are getting it backwards. Giving away free immunizations in sub-Saharan Africa in an attempt to bring down the birthrate is putting the cart before the horse. People investing in immunizations for their children is one effect of rising affluence among many–not the cause of affluence.

    Having said that, I’d just be happy if more Americans got it through their heads that economic growth is the solution to problems like overpopulation.

    1. Confusing cause and effect is the hallmark of a Cargo Cult mentality. Look at many of the prog policy prescriptions and you see no reason to mock those Pacific Islanders who built airstrips to attract the gods of gift-giving. Free shit just falls from the sky in their world.

  23. If only Someone had founded an organization which repeatedly warned against the dangerous foolishness of the Malthusians.

    Yep, yep, yep, there it is!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdKsgBNEHUU

    1. Eddie, stop.

      Tag Team is good, and you aren’t very funny.

      Also, you have now confused 95 South (Whoot! There it is) with Tag Team (Whoomp! There it is).

      These are two entirely different genres of music and your confusion about them reveals a degree of racist hubris.

      1. You mean that different musical groups would rip each other off?

        This is the worst disillusionment I have ever experienced since seeing the end of the *The Neverending Story.*

        1. At least “Tootsie Roll” doesn’t rip anyone off:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs7f3ssuEjA

  24. Smug idiot acts like smug idiot.

  25. I’ll grant that Erlich’s idea were influential. I recently watched “Soylent Green” and laughed at how badly that movie’s predictions were off. But, the apartment “furniture” idea was interesting, and I would strongly encourage old man “Never mind the facts, I’m still right” Erlich to report to the same old age mitigation center as Edward G Robinson’s character did.

    The fact is that he did get it badly wrong — missing both the technological advances that produce more food on less agricultural land AND the globally increasing prosperity that lowers birth rates in third world countries. Ironically, statists do all they can to mitigate or even undermine the very forces that work to prevent the population explosion. Or perhaps it’s not ironic at all, as a population and environmental crisis is just what they need to seize even more power than they already have.

    1. Sadly, most people are not content to have a large slice of a humongous pie. The are far more satisfied with having a slice of a tiny pie – as long as their slice is bigger than everyone else’s.

      1. Something something something king of Hell something something servant in Heaven…

    2. The really funny thing about Make Room, Make Room is that we have actually reached the apocalyptic population figure it hypothesized.

      Strangely, the predicted social dislocations did not materialize. Unexpectedly.

      These are people who fundamentally fail to understand the entire concept of economic growth.

  26. i think he looks like a (more) aging Krugman. Probably taller, though.

    1. I think he sounds like an aging Krugman.

  27. At least Harold Camping had the decency to fuck off after being famously and spectacularly dead wrong.

  28. In fact, Mr. Bailey…

    Someone should go after Peter Singer for his “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” essay from 1971.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..r.C3.A9cis

    I had a current college student cite this back at me recently and found out that it was being taught in an entry level philosophy course. How a philosophy professor could teach it in 2015 with a straight face is amazing! I bet that professor hasn’t revised his lectures in 15 years.

    Singer’s analogy, for those that don’t know, has it that it’s immoral for someone to stand by and watch a baby drown–because he or she doesn’t want to get his new shoes wet saving the baby. Singer then proceeds to argue that buying consumer items (like a new pair of shoes that you don’t really need) rather than sending that money to a baby that is dying for lack of funds is morally equivalent to standing by and watching a baby drown because you don’t want to get your shoes wet.

    1. Isn’t Singer the infanticide guy?

      “When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the haemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him….

      http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1993—-.htm

      1. I personally think the next paragraph is actually worse:

        “The total view treats infants as replaceable, in much the same way as it treats non-self-conscious animals (as we saw in Chapter 5). Many will think that the replaceability argument cannot be applied to human infants. The direct killing of even the most hopelessly disabled infant is still officially regarded as murder; how then could the killing of infants with far less serious problems, like haernophilia, be accepted? Yet on further reflection, the implications of the replaceability argument do not seem quite so bizarre.”

        In other words, murdering babies is okay because you can replace them really quickly. It only takes 9 months!

        I especially love that he uses hemophilia as his example. I just googled ‘hemophilia life expectancy’ and found an example of a guy born in 1932 who died in 1998. Apparently by the 80’s the average life expectancy of a hemophiliac was 50-60 years old.

        So Singer wasn’t arguing we should euthanize kids who were bound to die in a year or two, he was arguing we could euthanize people who could very possibly live into late-middle age. Quite the moral human being, huh?

      2. It’s like Kant meets Schopenhauer

        1. Meets Sparta

    2. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool. –George Orwell

    3. So that’s where Bo learned to make analogies. It all makes sense now…

  29. He made that argument in 1971. There has never been a time in the history of the world when more people have been pulled out of abject poverty (defined as living on less than $1.25 a day) than over the past 14 years–since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization and plugged their labor force into the world economy. Restated in terms of Singer’s argument, literally hundreds of millions of babies have been saved from “drowning” over the past 14 years specifically because people like me bought shoes we didn’t really need. Given that fact, if Singer isn’t wearing a pair of new shoes, that he doesn’t really need, right now, then by his own argument, he’s living his life in a way that is morally depraved.

    It is astounding how these people continue to be referenced, taught, and venerated after they have been so wrong, wrong, wrong for so long, long, long.

  30. ALL HAIL ZORP

    1. I swear I posted my comment before seeing yours. Always refresh…

    2. You know who else was hailed by his followers?

      1. Vigo, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldavia?

      2. Pontius Piwate, govuhnuh of the Woman pwovince of Judea?

  31. Isn’t it someone’s job to go over to the NYT and read the comments and report back? I tried it and just can’t anymore.

    1. I did this earlier today. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Paraphrased highlights include:

      “Take a look at India or Bangladesh! How can you say overpopulation isn’t a problem?”

      “The overpopulation DID cause disaster, it just did it through global warming!”

      There were several comments expressing both of these sentiments.

      1. They want to believe so badly.

  32. “his intention back then was to raise awareness of a menacing situation, he says”

    Any interviewer with an ounce of credibility and intellectual honesty would then ask,

    What if people had taken your word as truth? What would the possible costs/consequences to the world, to the economy, to society, had they taken your most dire predictions seriously, rather than ignored them?

    Because that too-often unused word, “Cost” really needs to be shoved in these people’s faces every single second of the day.

    They always claim the dangers are limitless, the doom total, the annihilation will be utter, complete, epic. Unmeasurable by definition.

    However, the cost of addressing these so-called “risks” are by contrast *very specific and knowable*. And they are utterly unwilling to even consider them. The costs, if they are also limitless… apparently concern them not at all.

    1. Government spreads to costs out to everyone else so that no one has to bear them. It’s magic!

      1. If overpopulation could possibly ever materialize as a problem, it could only be because of unnatural distortions in economy and society by the state. Like dumping fertilizer in a farm pond causing an otherwise impossible algae bloom.

      2. in seriousness, they do make this case that “Costs Don’t Matter” because they will be borne *whether or not we take their advice*. That ultimately, its just a matter of whether we’re going to “spend more” to adapt to uncontrolled change, or “spend more” trying to control it.

        They use this, or your “Government makes Magic Money”-rhetorical angle to basically deflect the questions about the costs of specific policy. Or they just use the “Top Men Will Figure That Out” move, which allows them to say, “i’m not an economist, you see”, while making their case for Control Economies.

  33. Erlich is a professional troll. He doesn’t believe one word of anything he has ever said. He just likes poking people with a stick and they pay him to do so. He is a worthless piece of shit.

  34. A face you can’t punch just once.

  35. As seen on the tranny thread:

    I think it’s obligatory for the baby boomer generation to be terrified of a growing population. No amount of reason or evidence will dislodge them from this belief. You can point to limiting factors, like basic economics, that would naturally prevent overpopulation. You can point to species in the wild whose fertility rates seemingly without reason, go down in the presence of scarcity. You can point to the declining fertility of people who live in prosperous societies. None of it will dissuade them.

  36. “The end is still nigh, he asserted, and he stood unflinchingly by his 1960s insistence that population control was required, preferably through voluntary methods.”

    Preferably. But if not, coercion through force will do just fine.

    /said in Krieger’s voice.

    1. I read that as “Krugman’s voice” at first…

  37. Gee, I thought Eric Hobsbawm was dead already. Who knew?

  38. Why is this guy getting any more press than the co-authors of that “Down 36,000” book from several years back?

  39. What an asshole.

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