The ‘Population Explosion’ Myth Blows Up
The UK’s far-Left Guardian admitted Monday that “the long-feared ‘population bomb’ may not go off, according to the authors of a new report that estimates that human numbers will peak lower and sooner than previously forecast.” The Club of Rome study, which was “carried out by the Earth4All collective of leading environmental science and economic institutions, including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Stockholm Resilience Centre and the BI Norwegian Business School,” predicts that “on current trends the world population will reach a high of 8.8 billion before the middle of the century, then decline rapidly.” This being the Guardian, it added: “The peak could come earlier still if governments take progressive steps to raise average incomes and education levels.”
It’s jarring to read this. Population explosion hysteria has been a staple of education for decades, and there are no doubt millions of people who still take the idea that soon there will be many more people on earth than can possibly be fed as axiomatic fact. Americans have so internalized this belief that people with large families are guilt-tripped on a routine basis. I myself can remember being inundated with this propaganda in public school at all levels, although of course, no one recognized it as propaganda in those palmy days, as far back as the early 1970s. The population explosion myth became the basis for many of the Left’s other favored agendas, including the “climate crisis,” the bug-eating plan, and even the sexual revolution, which was in large part made possible by the contraception and abortion that we were told had to be readily available in order to try to bring the world’s population under control.
All this is largely the work of one man, Paul Ehrlich, who despite being an obvious fraud (or perhaps because he’s an obvious fraud) is enjoying a new vogue among Leftists today. The Wall Street Journal noted in Jan. 2023 that the establishment media treats the 90-year-old Ehrlich “with an obsequious deference,” as evidenced in a “recent cringe-worthy segment on CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’” that retailed the population explosion myth yet again.
Ehrlich started the hysteria rolling in 1968 with his bestselling book The Population Bomb. It began, “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.” In April 1970, he amplified the warning, saying: “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” Ehrlich even predicted that England would cease to exist by the year 2000.
England still exists as of this writing (although some may think it is in such bad shape that it would have been better off shuffling off this mortal coil 23 years ago), and 100-200 million people have not been starving to death every year. And now we learn that the whole thing was false.
But Leftist hysteria doesn’t die that easily. The authors of the new study that definitively debunks the idea of the population explosion still “caution that falling birthrates alone will not solve the planet’s environmental problems, which are already serious at the 8 billion level and are primarily caused by the excess consumption of a wealthy minority.” See? We need global socialism, with the forced confiscation and redistribution of wealth. That’ll fix everything!
Ben Callegari, one of the authors of the new study, emphasized this: “This gives us evidence to believe the population bomb won’t go off, but we still face significant challenges from an environmental perspective. We need a lot of effort to address the current development paradigm of overconsumption and overproduction, which are bigger problems than population.” What is coming? Socialism is coming, and the resulting famines and starvation will take care of overconsumption once and for all.