COMMENTARY | Most people in the 21st Century never heard of Paul Ehrlich, but back in the late 1960s he was famous world-wide for a book he published called “The Population Bomb.” So when he predicts we shall soon be eating our own dead, we should all notice.
At least to gape in astonishment and laugh out loud.
In his now 46 year old classic, Ehrlich predicted that overpopulation would create mass famines in the 1970s that would kill off hundreds of millions of people. This prediction never came to pass, largely because of improved food production technology. Ehrlich also failed to identify the main cause of famine, which is government corruption and malfeasance.
Ehrlich, even though he has been long discredited by events, is back again with a new book, which, like a good environmentalist, he recycles from old ideas, throwing in trendy environmental tropes such as climate change, to predict once again world-wide disaster is just around the corner. It is sad, in a way, and contains within it a lesson.
Global warming alarmists wonder rather frantically why most people are not listening to predictions of imminent doom unless something is done about fossil fuels. Ehrlich is to blame for that. None of his predictions came true, just as none of the predictions of the global warming crowd have come true.
One accomplishment Ehrlich can boast about is the launching of a lot of alarmist science fiction in the early 1970s predicting future world overrun by tens of billions on people. Most of them would be eating something like solyent green when they are eating as well (is that where Ehrlich got his latest prediction, since we know what that was made of?)
To be sure the world has got a lot of problems, most of them human made. Virtually all of them stem from a lack of liberty, with dysfunctional governments making things worse, spreading economic malaise and global conflict. These are what should be worried about and not the fancies of a discredited former prophet.