The Population Bomb and Politicized Science
Hattip to Alberto Hurtado at Southern Appeal. The myth of the Population Bomb is a cautionary tale of the dangers of politicized junk science. Paul Ehrlich’s best seller in 1968 helped propel public policy in an anti-natalist, pro-abortion and pro-contraceptive direction. As I hope all of our readers know, the book was a heap of rubbish, making wild alarmist predictions about the dangers of population growth, none of which came true. Good articles on Erhlich’s bomb of a book are here, here, and here. Rather than a population bomb, we have a population implosion throughout most of the world, including in Muslim states.
Now why would a book that was so spectacularly wrong headed have so captured the imagination of policy makers for generations? Because books like Erhlich’s truly have nothing to do with science. Science jargon is merely a wrapper for a political agenda; in Ehrlich’s case one which was both radically pro-environment and anti-human, with a heaping dollop of hatred for people who had more than two kids. I have a great deal of respect for science, and little but contempt for those who attempt to claim the mantle of science for political agendas through the use of junk science.
As my colleague Joe Hargrave of this blog pointed out in this post here , Obama has picked as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Dr. John Holdren. In a speech in 2006 Holdren stated:
“This was the key insight in Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (Ballantine, New York, 1968), as well as one of those in Harrison Brown’s prescient earlier book, The Challenge of Man’s Future (Viking, New York, 1954). The elementary but discomfiting truth of it may account for the vast amount of ink, paper, and angry energy that has been expended trying in vain to refute it.“
As for Ehrlich, he is still preaching his old time religion.
Judging from his prior writings, and a hattip to the always eagle-eyed Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclesia, Mr. Holdren attends the same church as Ehrlich:
“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being,”.