Turns out we have all been dead for over a decade. So what are we arguing about? Holdren wrote this in 1969.
World food production must double in the period 1965-2000 to stay even; it must triple if nutrition is to be brought up to minimum requirements. That there is insufficient additional, good quality agricultural land available in the world to meet these needs is so well documented (Borgstrom, 1965) that we will not belabor the point here.
Then he went into a long diatribe about how we are going to run out of water, energy, food, land – and that the heat from nuclear power plants is going to destroy the climate.
A more easily evaluated problem is the tremendous quantity of waste heat generated at nuclear installations (to say nothing of the usable power output, which, as with power from whatever source, must also ultimately be dissipated as heat). Both have potentially disastrous effects on the local and world ecological and climatological balance.
This guy must be the life of the party. After a dozen pages of psychotic disaster prediction, he gets to the punch line. He wants to snip men’s private parts.
If we may safely rule out circumvention of the Second Law or the divorce of energy requirements from population size, this suggests that, whatever science and technology may accomplish, population growth must be stopped.
But it cannot be emphasized enough that if the population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.’0 Therefore, confronted as we are with limited resources of time and money, we must consider carefully what fraction of our effort should be applied to the cure of the disease itself instead of to the temporary relief of the symptoms. We should ask, for example, how many vasectomies could be performed by a program funded with the 1.8 billion dollars required to build a single nuclear agro-industrial complex, and what the relative impact on the problem would be in both the short and long terms. The decision for population control will be opposed by growth-minded economists and businessmen, by nationalistic statesmen, by zealous religious leaders, and by the myopic and well-fed of every description. It is therefore incumbent on all who sense the limitations of technology and the fragility of the environmental balance to make themselves heard above the hollow, optimistic chorus-to convince society and its leaders that there is no alternative but the cessation of our irresponsible, all-demanding, and all-consuming population growth.
In other words, he proposed forced sterilization based on his hare-brained theories. His reward for being dangerous, wrong and anti-democratic? Obama made him his science advisor.
Remember to vote next month.
h/t to Marc Morano