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Opening Arguments

Panic on your own, pal

Hey,  global warmists, join me in looking back at Paul Ehrlich's "population bomb" theory, which, well, bombed:

The New York Times just published an extraordinary “retro report”—a short video paired with an article—looking back at Paul Ehrlich’s “population bomb” theory, the fear that an uncontrolled human population would outstrip the ability of the Earth to support it.

The Times lays out some of the evidence for the theory’s failure, including the fact that the world’s population was about 3.5 billion when Ehrlich first made his apocalyptic prognostications in 1968. It’s 7 billion now, and we haven’t starved, we haven’t run out of resources, and we’re better off than we’ve ever been.

This report wouldn’t be extraordinary anywhere else. In the right-leaning press, it would be considered a pretty mild take on Ehrlich and his crackpot theories. The only thing that makes it extraordinary is that it isn’t in a right-leaning publication but in the citadel of the establishment left.

Ehrlich always had some detractors, the most famous of them Julian Simon, who gets short shrift in the Times piece but is given his due in the blog post:

He was one of those preternaturally optimistic analysts concluded that humans would always find their way out of tough spots. Among them was Julian L. Simon, an economist who established himself as the anti-Ehrlich, arguing that “humanity’s condition will improve in just about every material way.” In 1997, a year before he died, Mr. Simon told Wired magazine that “whatever the rate of population growth is, historically it has been that the food supply increases at least as fast, if not faster.”

Why is it "preternaturally optimistic" to believe that, as humankind has always thought and planned its way out of tough spots in the past, it will continue to do so in the future? The statists, and their cheerleaders in the press, always glom onto the lunatic fanatics like Ehrlich and the global warming scaremongers because they are useful to their command-and-control agenda.

Posted in: History, Science