Ehrlich Deniers

There seems to be a subculture out there of people trying to mentally erase Ehrlich’s ludicrous predictions. No matter how many original books, magazines and newspaper articles they are presented from the time period, they refuse to accept the truth.

Walter Williams wrote a column a dozen years ago in which he made some wild claims about Stanford population biologist Paul Ehrlich.

Recently Williams revived that claim for another column, and the revived claim is all over conservative sites.

Steven Goddard, who appears to be making a living on screwing up references to the work of others, though had restricted most of his error to sciency issues like climate change denial, put up a post repeating Williams’ claim.

I imagined Ehrlich might have said something like that, but most likely in one of his “scenarios” like the three much different disaster scenarios he proposed in his 1968 book Population Bomb.  So I asked Goddard for a reference (pollution and economic scarcity, disease, and food shortages, were the three apocalyptic horsemen Ehrlich wrote about then).

http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/

This is the identical behaviour of Holocaust deniers – refusal to accept the historical record.

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123 Responses to Ehrlich Deniers

  1. Justa Joe says:

    Even Ehrlich has admitted to his mistaken predictions. Erhlich blamed it on his lack of a mathematical background.

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Please, Joe, do give us a citation where Ehrlich admitted making a mistaken prediction of 65 million Americans starving. No one else here can find it.

      • Please provide a citation where Hitler admitted to the gas chambers.

      • O'sputternik says:

        Uh, Ed, please give us the citation of 65 Million Americans starving.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        The only place that claim exists is here, in Goddard’s words, and in Walter Williams’ extensive history denialism.

        So, o’sputternik, my request was for Steve, or someone here, to give a citation that shows Ehrlich actually said what Williams and Goddard claim he said. So far, they’ve struck out completely. They can’t provide a publication that has the quote in it, and never a page number in a book — I fear Williams misspoke (or made it up), and Goddard simply repeats the error.

        In true denialist form, Goddard refuses to back down after his half-dozen efforts to verify the quote failed.

        So, I can’t provide you with a citation for Ehrlich saying 65 million Americans would die. I don’t think it exists. Goddard and Williams, on the other hand, I gave you above. Goddard cited Williams in that crank policy site, Town Hall.

        Perhaps, one might think, we need better, more careful sources of information.

      • Justa Joe says:

        “I wish I’d taken more math in high school and college. That would have been useful.” And if he were writing The Population Bomb now, he’d be more careful about predictions…” – P. Ehrlich

        http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/the_vindication_of_a_public_scholar/

        I never stated that Paul Ehrlich admitted fault specifically for the 65 million comment, but when your whole life has been making spectacularly wrong predictions incessently how can Ehrlich be expected to remember them all.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Please provide a citation where Hitler admitted to the gas chambers.

        Hitler never “admitted” the gas chambers. The orders he signed were clear, however.

        Your denying the Holocaust does not verify false claims about Paul Ehrlich.

        I didn’t realize your denial of history and science ran so deep, Steve. You would do well to learn the story of Mel Mermelstein, and how it is the law in California now that a court may make judicial note of the facts of the Holocaust. It happened. Learn from it.

        You might do well to check out Deborah Lipstadt’s blog, and get her book, History on Trial.

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Steve, if you are not in fact a Holocause denier, don’t join them in trying to create a false record against Ehrlich, and denying what the record really says.

    Willis Carto’s great sin was refusing to look at the historic record — I’ve challenged you to look at Ehrlich’s writings, and give us a citation, but you’ve refused, like Carto. David Irving’s great sin was creating a new, false record. You cite Walter Williams creating what appears to be a new, false record.

    Tu quoque, much?

    Stick with the history, and quit denying it. Don’t make stuff up.

    Or, were you merely noting that your behavior here is identical to Holocaust deniers’ use of evidence in other venues? The antecedent to your last line is sadly, ambiguously unclear.

    • I’ve provided you with dozens of contemporaneous newspaper articles, magazines and books from all over the world directly quoting Ehrlich (including TV interviews) and you think they were all lying? That is exactly the Holocaust denier mentality.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Not one of which says Ehrlich predicted 65 million Americans dead from starvation, or any other cause.

        You’ve provided almost a dozen citations, not one of which backs your claim. If I missed one that does back your claim, please post it again.

  3. Latitude says:

    “In the late 1960s, Ehrlich was one of many biologists and agronomists who began to issue dire warnings about human “overpopulation”, the most famous of which appeared in his book, The Population Bomb (1968). “The battle to feed all of humanity is over”, Ehrlich wrote. “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now.” Later, in an article for the first Earth Day in 1970, Ehrlich outlined a horrific scenario in which 65 million Americans and 4 billion other people would die of starvation in a “Great Die-Off” between 1980 and 1989.”

    “65 million Americans” was quoted from the article Ehrlich wrote for the first Earth Day in 1970.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Here’s what that CATO piece says:

        Later, in an article for the first Earth Day in 1970, Ehrlich outlined a horrific scenario in which 65 million Americans and 4 billion other people would die of starvation in a “Great Die-Off” between 1980 and 1989

        From that we can see, first, it was one of the famous, hypothetical “scenarios” Ehrlich wrote, and not a prediction at all; and second, not even CATO provides a citation.

        That’s not scholarship. It’s rumor-mongering among the denialists.

        Good try, Latitude. Better results in a few minutes than Goddard got in a week — but it doesn’t back Goddard’s claim that Erhlich made a grotesque prediction and missed.

        Nor does it back the claim that Ehrlich even said it.

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Quite possible. Where was that article? Publication, date and page, or as much information as you have, please?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Hypothetical Scenarios are what the entire AGW position is based on. Hypothetical scenarios are what the models provide. Hypothetical scenarios are what the IPCC produces.
        They are not predictions and they are not based on reality but people want to change everyone’s life style based on those fantasies.
        Ehrlich is a fool and you are a fool for defending his rants!

  4. Latitude says:

    It’s a quote from the CATO Institute, it’s their record of it, it’s what they say happened…
    …ask them

  5. Latitude says:

    It’s all over the internet, in news media links, everywhere…
    for over 3 decades
    …how much effort did the screwball put into correcting it

    • Latitude says:

      correction: over 4 decades – over 40 years – almost a 1/2 century

    • Ed Darrell says:

      So, if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth?

      Lousy standard of accuracy, if you ask me.

      Why not read Ehrlich, and see what he actually said? His words helped save your balls from DDT — you owe him a few minutes’ attention for that alone — and he may have other wise and scientifically sound ideas you could benefit from.

      Knowledge always trumps ignorance — and even in these days when the internet can speed a lie, we should strive for accuracy.

  6. Latitude says:

    “it was one of the famous, hypothetical “scenarios” Ehrlich wrote, and not a prediction at all”

    “would die of starvation”? is hypothetical??

    Ed, sorry I wasted any of my time with you…………..

  7. Justa Joe says:

    Darrell, Instead of fixationg on the 65 million dead American predicted scenario by Ehrlich why not ATTEMPT to explain away all of the other spectacularly failed dooms day predictions by Ehrlich? When a guy is so fantastically wrong on so many dooms day themed predictions why quibble about one in particular?

    • It is the Tony Duncan syndrome

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Ehrlich said if we didn’t act to end pollution, there would be trouble to pay. Ehrlich said if population growth didn’t slow, there would be trouble to pay.

      We cleaned up a lot of pollution, population growth was slowed in critical places, and we got a one-shot miracle from Norman Borlaug.

      How was Ehrlich wrong? When a guy is “so fantastically wrong on so many . . . predictions,” why don’t you pick real predictions from the guy, and tell us how they are in error?

      I don’t have time to do your homework for you.

  8. Latitude says:

    More clues…
    Seems that nutjob wrote the 1970 Earth Day article for some magazine called The Progressive…..

    “Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/predictions-of-the-overpopulation-alarmists-wrong-wrong-wrong-again.html

  9. Latitude says:

    “And so it is 1990, a scant 9 years away from 1999, for which Paul Lysenko Ehrlich foresaw the US population shrinking to 22.6 million, the rest having perished by starvation and other consequences of overpopulation (The Progressive, Apr. 1970, p.23)”

    http://www.accesstoenergy.com/view/atearchive/s76a5497.htm

    • Latitude says:

      also known as “The Progressive Party”…
      …must be a mag put out by the party

      • Ed Darrell says:

        The Progressive takes its name from the progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was founded by Robert LaFollette. Wikipedia has the quick history:

        The Progressive was founded on January 9, 1909, by U.S. Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin. First called La Follette’s Weekly, its name was changed to The Progressive in 1929.[1]

  10. Latitude says:

    “For the first Earth Day in 1970, Ehrlich, in an article entitled “Eco-Catastrophe” in The Progressive magazine”

  11. Latitude says:

    ok,

    It was in an article that the Ehrlich’s wrote for the first Earth Day in 1970 for The Progressive magazine (The Progressive, Apr. 1970, p.23) put out by the Progressive Party, and the article was titled “Eco-Catastrophe”

  12. Latitude says:

    and not to lose sight of the bigger picture…..

    ….the Ehrlich’s prediction was not because of global warming

    but because of the coming of the next ice age………….

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Ah! You’ve found the quote.

      Where did Ehrlich say 65 million Americans would starve because of the coming ice age? There are two predictions there, of course — and you’re so cock sure of your accuracy, you must have found the source!

      You wouldn’t continue to yammer out of ignorance, of course.

      Would you?

      Would you?

    • Ed Darrell says:

      If you’ve got a splinter, Steve, it’s probably because you’re handling rough wood without gloves. Use the proper tools, use proper procedures, you can avoid splinters.

      You’ve got a page number in a specific magazine — but that doesn’t vouch for any claim about ice ages.

      Were you ever a Boy Scout? Did you ever get a warning about leaping into water without first figuring out such a leap was safe?

  13. alexjc38 says:

    I find this question of “65 million Americans” intriguing, and have ordered a used copy of “The Crisis of Survival”, in its paperback edition from Amazon – will let everyone know what Paul Ehrlich actually wrote. The Progressive magazine also has an online archive, I think, so this may be another route to the article, for subscribers. One way or another, it will be interesting to find out the truth of the matter!

    • Latitude says:

      alex, I looked at The Progressive. Didn’t look like their archive went back that far.
      Didn’t find anything that mentioned it was in their book, only that it was in an article that they wrote that appeared in a special Earth Day edition of The Progressive. (The Progressive, Apr. 1970, p.23) They used the same title for the article as one of their books “Eco-Catastrophe”.

      • alexjc38 says:

        I’m wondering whether “Eco-Catastrophe” was a different article entirely (may be wrong of course) by Paul Ehrlich, first published in Ramparts magazine and then placed in the Congressional Record in Sept 1969, according to this book review:
        http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10410

        The online Congressional Record goes back only to 1994, but there could be old copies of this in Federal Depository Libraries, according to the GPO Access website:
        http://www.gpoaccess.gov/crecord/index.html

        Or it could be the same article, but if it is the same one, this exchange on Wikipedia would indicate that it has nothing about any “Great Die-Off” :
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AThe_Population_Bomb

        “The second part of that same sentence in the Wiki article, stating that Ehrlich, in his 1969 Ramparts article, also wrote that the U.S. population would “drop to 22.6 million by 1999,” turns out to be even more dubious than the first part. That second part does not appear in any form whatsoever in Ehrlich’s article. I carefully read the article four times looking for it, without finding any trace of it.”

  14. Justa Joe says:

    “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

    – Paul Ehrlich, quoted in Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 35.
    ——————————————————
    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, (New York: Ballentine Books, 1968), p. 13.

    • Yes, but hundreds of millions isn’t the same as 75 million.

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Can you discuss how China’s population control policies did absolutely nothing to slow population growth in China? Would you inform us how Norman Borlaug’s work is over-rated?

      Can you show us that the Sahel starvation figures are hoaxes?

  15. alexjc38 says:

    Latitude, what I (hopefully!) have ordered is a paperback which, to my knowledge, was published in 1970, after the Earth Day edition of the magazine, but which contains the articles that were in the magazine, by Paul Ehrlich, Ralph Nader and the others. There’s an ad for it in this edition of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Google books) – a massive link, which I’ve run through tinyurl for convenience, here: http://tinyurl.com/5vq6xj3

    Hopefully the article (and the quotation we’re interested in) is here, somewhere – if not, no great damage, as the book wasn’t expensive. It would be nice to have an answer to the mystery, though.

  16. omnologos says:

    it’s a waste of time. Ehrlich himself has admitted his PREDICTIONS didn’t come to pass, but that’s not enough for Ed to concur that Ehrlich’s scenarios were for most intents and purposes PREDICTIONS.

    Ed will not change his mind even if Paul would call him and explain in person. I suggest we move on.

    • MikeTheDenier says:

      Move on??? You’ve been visiting too many liberal web……oh never mind.

      I like the argument especially when warmer lunatics keep digging the hole deeper and deeper and making fools of themselves.

      I say MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!! 🙂

      • P.J. says:

        You know … if you dig a hole deep enough, it gets hotter due to the increase in atmospheric pressure 🙂 .

      • Latitude says:

        I just figured that Ed had some mancrush on him or something…..

      • Scott says:

        No, don’t think so. Read his website and you’ll see this is how he treats any situation. If you disagree with him, you’re wrong. You can have an exact quote and he’ll find a way to tell you that you’re wrong.

        -Scott

    • Justa Joe says:

      What Ed calls hypothetical “scenarios” everyone else in this context would call predictions.

  17. Andy Weiss says:

    These are “scenarios” but not “predictions”. Then why lay out the scenarios to begin with? I doubt this man was doing so as humor or sarcasm

    • Latitude says:

      Andy, you didn’t catch it

      Ed, chastised us and told us we should read what the moonbat Ehrlich actually said. Ed is the one that didn’t read what Ehrlich actually said.

      Ed is so dense, he didn’t realize that he was quoting what someone at CATO said in a write up about Ehrlich.

      Ehrlich didn’t say “scenarios”, the person that wrote the article for CATO used that word.

      Ehrlich made a prediction that millions would be dead and 65 million in the US alone………..

      Why in this world does anyone care what that pathetic loser predicts anyway?

      • omnologos says:

        Latitude – it’s worse than that. Ehrlich is not an “Ehrlich denier” and over the years has had no qualms in admitting he had it quite wrong (still, he’s going along the same route. No wonder, given how many prizes he’s got by telling people they’re going to die).

        So we are in this strange situation where the opinions of a living author about his own work are contradicted by his “admirers”.

      • Latitude says:

        I caught that om…

        What’s even stranger, the Ehrlich believers/pushers today are using it because of global warming..

        Ehrlich said that in 1970 because he believed there would be a famine from the coming ice age.

        But that’s climate science for you.
        If it gets colder, there’s a famine.
        If it gets warmer, there’s a famine.

        and on and on……………….now it’s glutfamine

      • omnologos says:

        Before Ed writes another post about inaccuracies on this site, I believe Ehrlich was talking of “climate change” in the 1970’s, not explicitly of “global cooling” (even if he had that in mind, more likely than not).

        Having worked with Schneider, he was aware of the wisdom in hedging one’s bets by predicting in a total non-committal way.

      • Latitude says:

        nope it was Paul Ehrlich, he was predicting famine because he thought we were going into an ice age in the 70’s…..

        “In the 1971 essay, “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.”

        “Falling temperatures will cause the ice caps to sink into the ocean, producing “a global tidal wave that could wipe out a substantial portion of mankind, and the sea level could rise 60 to 100 feet.” (1970)

      • Ed Darrell says:

        nope it was Paul Ehrlich, he was predicting famine because he thought we were going into an ice age in the 70′s…..

        That’s what you get from particulate air pollution — remember Mt. Pinatubo? No?

        Of course, the facts don’t matter to you, do they.

        The other scenario for a new ice age was a nuclear winter.

        Their science was sound, which is why you can’t find the silly quotes you claim now. They weren’t “hedging” bets, they were telling what happens given certain circumstances.

        Americans listened then, and that’s why your air is cleaner today, you ingrates. The Clean Air Act cleaned up a tremendous amount of the particulate air pollution, effectively (for us) ending the threat of an imminent ice age. The SALT and SALT II agreements, coupled with the end of the Cold War, helped reduce the threats of nuclear winters.

        What makes you think that, since we now know that Ehrlich and his colleages were right enough to influence policies to make a much brighter 21st century, that we should not listen to Ehrlich at least as well, now?

        Santayana was right — sadly, in the case of people who think Paul Ehrlich was wrong, even though they can’t provide a lick of evidence that he was seriously wrong on any point.

        Latitude, bereft of facts but full of braggadocio and . . . other stuff, said:

        Ehrlich didn’t say “scenarios”, the person that wrote the article for CATO used that word.

        Completely false. If you had read Ehrlich, you’d know better. You could have checked the table of contents of Population Bomb and learned better.

        See that book, unnumbered page ix; see page 50 for “Scenario I.” See page 62 for “Scenario II.” See page 73 for “Scenario III.”

        I’ll take your apology any time; better, why don’t you study the subject before spouting off again.

        A simple mistake is forgiveable. Arrogant ignorance goes beyond the pale.

      • Latitude says:

        Hi Ed…

        In the 1971 essay, “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

    • Al Gored says:

      Odd thread. Arguing over the number of angels dancing on pinheads, and the supposed differences between ‘scenarios’ and ‘predictions’ when in the real world what mattered was how those comments were perceived by the public.

      Sort of like saying ‘You know, someday, in this theatre, there could be a FIRE!!!!

      So, out of the many wild and scary and false ‘“scenadictions” spouted by Ehrlich, seems to be quite the discussion about a specific one.

      Then we have the ‘holocaust denier’ analogy thrown in.

      OK. How’s this? Hitler did not plan to kill Mr. A. Lipowitz.

      Arguing about that particular detail misses the real point.

      Erlich was a product of the 1960’s. Far out man. Very far out. If he was in business he would be beyond bankrupt, but he works in a field and at an institution where the real world is beside the point.

      • Latitude says:

        It just emphasizes the point that these hysterical bedwetters have been with us, and making these same pathetic predictions…

        …for a long time

      • Ed Darrell says:

        The issue is whether we pay attention to the science, or whether, in our ignorance, we try to mock the scientists to take away their credibility.

        Lincoln once said that you cannot make a small man bigger by cutting off the legs of a taller man. Still, there you guys go with that saw, looking for Paul Ehrlich, or any other scientist whose conclusions you neither like nor understand, hoping to cut the man down to size.

        You can’t find that quote either, can you.

        Funny. Half a hundred responses here, all tap dancing around the obvious fact: “Oops. We were wrong. We should have paid attention to what Ehrlich said, and not what the polemicists claimed falsely that he said.”

      • Latitude says:

        waiting on you to make your way down the page to my post…..

        tap tap tap…….

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Read the book, you’ll understand. Ehrlich was trying to push people to urge policy changes to prevent disaster.

      You might as well curse the tornado sirens when they sound.

      • Good point. Most Americans starved to death 20 years ago.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Good point. Most Americans starved to death 20 years ago.

        Steve, you may want to do a study on tornado sirens. Most of the time when they sound, no tornado strikes.

        Using the usual logic around here, that means that tornado sirens, though unnecessary, scare off tornadoes.

        Maybe you could use them to scare off rising temperatures, yes?

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Yeah, rising temperatures.

        Mostly yours when you see the new report that glaciers really are melting, and faster than the pessimists claimed they might. I hear that you show up on NASA’s satellites, and that you personally may be responsible for .01 degree rise in average temperature on the planet.

      • suyts says:

        Ed, presently, if he is, then I thank him. I’d appreciate more people just like that. I live in Kansas. It’s cold. It’s fcking May!

        The fact of the matter is, we haven’t been getting warmer for a long time.

        What’s wrong with you people? Glaciers melting? No sh*t. That’s typically what should happen when the earth moves from an ice age. THE GLACIERS HAVE BEEN MELTING FOR A FEW HUNDRED YEARS NOW!!! Is that so difficult to conceive? How is it that you and people like you can be so informed of recent climatic changes but ignore the general trend of the world? Are you being willfully ignorant or something worse? Guess what? When the earth transitions towards a new ice age, GLACIERS WILL START TO GROW!!!! Much to the detriment of humanity. Or are you one of those that posit the earth’s climate should be static?

  18. Philip Finck says:

    Interesting that the global circulation models are in fact scenarios but the outputs are referred to as evidence and data. So if they don’t come true the AGW crowd will say, “They weren’t predictions, they were scenarios”. So what if the climate scientists were wrong…… only scenarios.

  19. Mike Mangan says:

    Funny, if you search “Ehrlich denies predicting 65 million dead Americans” you don’t get any results either. He doesn’t appear to care just how often or how badly off the mark his blithering is.

    Ed’s mindset is reminiscent of the crazies who denied any consensus amongst scientists of an impending ice age back in the 1970’s. Funny how every single reporter who could talk to an egghead back then seemed to come away with freezing doomsday warning. Just like every time Ehrlich has been interviewed he’d disgorge another whopper.

    • Latitude says:

      Ehrlich’s whole famine and millions dying thing was because he thought there was going to be another ice age…

      …not because of global warming

    • Ed Darrell says:

      But Mike, if you search “’65 million’ +dead +Americans,” you can’t find the Ehrlich ever said it.

      It doesn’t matter what you search for, if what you claim is false and cannot be corroborated. Of course you can’t find Ehrlich denying what he didn’t say. That’s the point.

      Why not stick to the facts? Search for “starvation.” See what you find for “Sahel drought.” See if you can find anything under “Clean Air Act” and “results.”

      My mindset is “be accurate, first.” You’re entitled to your opinions. The U.S. Constitution gives you the right to be as big a fool as you wish to be. But you have no right to facts different from the truth. And you have no right to slander the good work of good scientists in your foolishness.

      You have a Constitutional right to be a fool. You have no right to call another “a fool” without facts to back the claim.

      You claim there were a lot of freezing warnings after particulate pollution was cleaned up? Show us.

      You don’t understand how particulates cool the Earth? Get out of the debate.

      • Good point. 200 million is not the same as 75 million.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Ed:
        You are practicing your constitutional right to make a fool of your self.
        The latest theory is that Particulates Warm the earth and the cooling scenario was wrong! It is even peer reviewed!

      • Latitude says:

        Ed doesn’t pay attention to “the science” Mike……

      • Sundance says:

        Ed your just an incompetant searcher. If you search for ’65 million’ +dead +Americans +paul+ehrlich’ instead you get 10,300 hits. Her’s just one site reviewing a 1972 paper by Erlich and referrencing Ehrlich’s claim/scenario that 65 million deaths by:

        “65 million Americans” will die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to “22.6 million”. Paul Ehrlich, 1968

        http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/08/accurate_thirtyseven_year_old023581.html

        What if we had spent trillions to mitigate Ehrlich’s fantasies and why should we spend trillions trying to mitigate Hansen’s scenario fantasies since they are not predictions?

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Sundance, those do not point to Paul Ehrlich’s writings, and none of the references offers a citation that would allow you to verify that Ehrlich even said it.

        I may be incompetent at the internet, but you fail high school English essay writing. Those aren’t citations. They are hearsay.

        Can you tell us where Ehrlich made those predictions? Your post doesn’t lead us to Ehrlich’s statement. They lead to others repeating the rumor.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        The latest theory is that Particulates Warm the earth and the cooling scenario was wrong! It is even peer reviewed!

        I won’t take your word on that, Mike. If it’s peer-reviewed, there should be a publication that you, and I, can check.

        Otherwise, it’s rumor.

        Do you know the difference between rumor and published research? (I’m beginning to fear few here do know the difference.)

      • Scott says:

        The whole 40-70s cooling being due to aerosols is pure speculation. We don’t have the aerosol measurements from back then to back up claims on that. Yes, non-absorbing (e.g. sulfate) aerosols cause cooling. And yes, absorbing aerosols (e.g. soot) cause warming. Since both were reduced with air quality improvements, it’s hard to say which way it goes. The reason that aerosols are pointed to for that cooling is an ad hoc explanation of the measured cooling from that time frame that doesn’t fit the models without a fudge factor…so they assume it was aerosols.

        So you want a peer reviewed study showing how uncertain aerosols are?..piece of cake:

        Click to access 11872.full.pdf

        This study shows that a combination of the non-absorbing (sulfate) aerosols and the absorbing ones (soot) leads to an aerosol that is SURPRISE! more absorbing than soot itself! The thing is, this was just recently found out and requires single-particle composition measurements to account for. How many single-particle mass specs were there back in the 40s? The thing is, people in the aerosol community know that the instrumentation just wasn’t there for any sort of adequate measurements until at least the late 70s, and many would argue that the instrumentation STILL isn’t there (it’s too expensive for wide-scale deployment…about the best they can do wide-scale deployment of is filter samples, which have poor temporal resolution and suffer from a variety of artifacts). The thing is, most of the scientists that work on aerosol stuff just nod their head about the 40-70s cooling being due to aerosols, presumably because it keeps the funding going. I guess I shouldn’t complain about that part…that’s why I have a job right now. 🙂 But what do I know? I’m just a scientist who did his Ph.D. on aerosol chemistry and chemical measurement.

        -Scott

      • Sundance says:

        Sorry Ed you’re definitely a mindless Ehrlich denier. You won’t see the forrest for the tree and that is your limitation and noone elses.

        Predictions
        The Ehrlichs made a number of specific predictions that did not come to pass, for which they have received criticism. They have acknowledged that some predictions were incorrect. Still other commentators have criticized the Ehrlichs’ perceived inability to acknowledge mistakes, evasiveness, and refusal to alter their broad arguments in the face of contrary evidence.[15] (gee Ed that is what you’re doing too)

        In The Population Bomb’s’ opening lines the authors state that nothing can prevent famines in which hundreds of millions of people will die during the 1970s (amended to 1970s and 80s in later editions), and that there would be “a substantial increase in the world death rate.” Although many lives could be saved through dramatic action, it was already too late to prevent a substantial increase in the global death rate. However, in reality the global death rate has continued to decline substantially since then, from 13/1000 in 1965–74 to 10/1000 from 1985–1990. Meanwhile the population of the world has more than doubled, while calories consumed/person have increased 24%. The UN does not keep official death-by-hunger statistics so it is hard to measure whether the “hundreds of millions of deaths” number is correct. Ehrlich himself suggested in 2009 that between 200-300 million had died of hunger since 1968. However, that is measured over 40 years rather than the ten to twenty foreseen in the book, so it can be seen as significantly fewer than predicted.[16]

        Famine has not been eliminated, but its root cause has been political instability, not global food shortage.[17] The Indian economist and Nobel Prize winner, Amartya Sen, has argued that nations with democracy and a free press have virtually never suffered from extended famines.[18] Nevertheless, in 2010 the UN reported that 925 million of the world’s population of nearly seven billion people were in a constant state of hunger.[19] The UN report notes that the percentage of the world’s population who qualify as “undernourished” has fallen by more than half, from 33 percent to about 16 percent, since Ehrlich published The Population Bomb.[20]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Population_Bomb

        Ehrlich was wrong, and you have every right to defend his error in scientific judgement. Just don’t get angry when others do not share your childish delusions.

  20. Justa Joe says:

    Based on Ed’s extreme leftist website how does Ed reconcile his admiration for Herr Ehrlich? Ed Darrell’s hero is a real peach of a guy.

    “He [Ehrlich] broadened it further with 1978′s The Race Bomb, which was a paranoid melange on the dangers of racial diversity, followed by The Golden Door: International Migration, Mexico, and the United States, in which he called for sealing off the border long before it became Tom Tancredo’s issue.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/07/ehrlichs-lifetime-of-hot-air/

    • Ed Darrell says:

      So, Joe, you’ve never read Ehrlich, either, eh?

      If you think Ehrlich should be condemned for a lifetime of hot air, why do you join in that tactic?

      • Justa Joe says:

        I haven’t read Ehrich for the same reason I haven’t read Chomsky because the little I have read of each demonstrates that there is no value in reading their works in their entirety.

        I’m sure even you don’t believe the BS you’re selling. The USA’s Clean Air Act created at the urgings of the likes of Ehrlich (false BTW) staved off an ice age? Wow… that’s nutty.

        You claim to have read extensively Ehrich’s proposed solution which puportedly saved us all. Funny none of Ehrlich’s nutty solutions were ever enacted, 1 & 2 child policies, sterilants in food & water supplies, urbanization, elimination of gasoline powered automobiles, limiting families to 1 small vehicle, etc etc, etc… Nobody ever took Ehrlich seriously except the most radical of the left. His proposed policies are a bigger flop than his predictions.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Justa Joe:
        Ed did and that is what matters to ED! I also have read enough BS from Pathological liars to not want to venture into the works of Ehrlich or Ed!

      • Latitude says:

        Si….

        He also believed in euthanasia for people that couldn’t sustain or support themselves or would have to rely on governments to support them….

        The populations of India, Africa……college professors and government employees………..;-)

        Ed is complaining that we should have listened to Ehrlich without realizing we might have to eliminate Ed. 😉

      • Mike Davis says:

        If we listened to Ehrlich we would have eliminated Ehrlich long ago.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        Euthanasia?

        We don’t even need to call for the citation you’ll never produce.

        That’s just pure excrement, bull or bat, I’m not sure.

        Shame on you.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        His partner is Obama’s science adviser. That is pretty serious.

        Yeah, but you don’t know what Holdren said, either. I’m sure that won’t stop you from a false and slanderous attack on him.

        But at long last, Sen. McCarthy, have you no humanity? Um, I mean, Steve.

  21. Latitude says:

    In the 1971 essay, “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

    Dr. Holdren and Dr. Ehrlich wrote: “The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”

    and the obligatory CYA – warmcold, wetdry, snowrain, droughtflood…..

    ” If man survives the comparatively short-term threat of making the planet too cold, there is every indication he is quite capable of making it too warm not long thereafter. For the remaining major means of interference with the global heat balance is the release of energy from fossil and nuclear fuels. As pointed out previously, all this energy is ultimately degraded to heat. What are today scattered local effects of its disposition will in time, with the continued growth of population and energy consumption, give way to global warming. … Again, the exact form such consequences might take is unknown; the melting of the ice caps with a concomitant 150-foot increase in sea level might be one of them.”

    Which everyone should be used to by now, global warming causes everything……..

    • Mike Davis says:

      They were warning of Waste Heat and not CO2! WOW! It gets better with every quotation!
      I particularly like the Ice Caps getting so heavy they will sink to the bottom of the ocean and cause a massive tidal wave that will swamp the entire global sea coast.
      Chicken Little would be proud of these morons!

  22. Latitude says:

    Ed Darrell said: “Oops. We were wrong. We should have paid attention to what Ehrlich said, and not what the polemicists claimed falsely that he said.”

    If we had paid attention to what Ehrlich said, you might not be here right now…..

    It would be a win win!

  23. Heretic says:

    Ten (well, 15!) minutes with Google/Bing yields two quotes:

    Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the Earth Day (April 22, 1970) issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans<, would perish in the "Great Die-Off."

    For the first Earth Day in 1970 (April 22), Ehrlich, in an article entitled 'Eco-Catastrophe' in The Progressive magazine, offered a scenario in which four billion people would starve to death between 1980 and 1989, 65 million of whom would be Americans.

    Most of this information is available above. The side-winder Darrell professes ignorance. Well, like all lefties, he is ignorant of the basic courtesies of debate. Treat him as a troll. Ignore him.

  24. Heretic says:

    Sorry, emboldening went astray.

    I meant, in both quotes, to embolden the words which should satisfy even that rattle-snake Darrell, viz:between 1980 and 1989, 65 million Americans will starve. The Gospel according to Ehrlich. Failed prophet.

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    The Ehrlichs made a number of specific predictions that did not come to pass, for which they have received criticism.

    Usually unjustly, as in this thread. You accuse them of making a prediction that they didn’t make.

    You refuse to acknowledge that they wrote, in Population Bomb, three different scenarios, which they warned were NOT predictions, and which are in many places contradictory. In one scenario it’s disease that wipes out millions; in another, it’s starvation induced by a few glitches in food supply at the wrong time. If millions died of disease, of course, the reduced food supply wouldn’t be a problem.

    The Ehrlichs were warning us that we need to consider global systems, rather than focusing on local problems. They warned us that we needed to be alert to massive effects from stupid actions, and not count that disease or famine could always be restricted by technology when we knew the failings of technology in many different places would prevent such a solution.

    Were those predictions? The Ehrlichs also noted that they hoped none of the scenarios came to pass — dishonestly, critics (including you apparently) leave that out.

    If no action were taken to prevent disasters, they said, even more drastic actions would be required in the midst of the disasters to stop them — militant restrictions on family size, for example.

    In Population Bomb they also state their belief that such restrictions may violate the rights of people, and they express hope that such actions never need to occur.

    Why don’t you note that?

    They have acknowledged that some predictions were incorrect.

    With gratitude that the disasters didn’t come to pass. In their 1990 book, Population Explosion, they also express their changing beliefs that mandatory family limitations should ever be applied. Instead, they say, educate people, and make sure people have jobs. They recognized that families with money limit their own sizes, without dramatic, drastic government actions.

    You fail to tell any of that story. You indict them unfairly, and inaccurately.

    Still other commentators have criticized the Ehrlichs’ perceived inability to acknowledge mistakes, evasiveness, and refusal to alter their broad arguments in the face of contrary evidence.[15] (gee Ed that is what you’re doing too)

    Unfair criticism, I think — because those criticisms fail to mention at all their later writings. You accuse them of being wrong on numbers, when the numbers were never the point. You fail to acknowledge the massive famines we have seen in the Sahel — do you have an inherent inability to acknowledge your mistakes, too? Or is that just one more area where I don’t know what you’ve said? Clearly you’ve ignored the dramatic famines in Ethiopia, Sudan, Biafra and Bengla Desh.

    In each of those cases, the scenarios of the Ehrlichs were more accurate than not. The numbers may differ, but that’s only important if you claim human lives are not of value individually, so the famines don’t count if the numbers are not so high.

    Is that your position?

    In The Population Bomb’s’ opening lines the authors state that nothing can prevent famines in which hundreds of millions of people will die during the 1970s (amended to 1970s and 80s in later editions), and that there would be “a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

    An error they have acknowledged many times, and said they were happy the disasters did not occur. Especially in their 1990 book.

    Where is your acknowledgement of that?

    Although many lives could be saved through dramatic action, it was already too late to prevent a substantial increase in the global death rate. However, in reality the global death rate has continued to decline substantially since then, from 13/1000 in 1965–74 to 10/1000 from 1985–1990.

    Population Bomb was published in 1968. Look what happened int he following five years: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, founding of the EPA, National Environmental Policy Act, invention of a practical catalytic converter, and Norman Borlaug’s work bore unexpected fruit because of dramatic action, especially the work of Norman Borlaug, financed by the Rockefeller Foundation to frustrate the disaster scenarios the Ehrlichs spun.

    It was not that the Ehrlichs were in error in their scenarios, so much as we got a lot of action, and lucky breaks, they did not and perhaps could not foresee. The Wikipedia account of Borlaug’s work may put it in perspective for you; when the Ehrlichs wrote, Borlaug’s green miracle was pie-in-the-sky, and it was frustrated by a dozen bizarre problems including freeways closed by the Watts riots:

    During the mid-1960s, the Indian subcontinent was at war, and experiencing widespread famine and starvation, even though the U.S. was making emergency shipments of millions of tons of grain, including over one fifth of its total wheat, to the region.[14] The Indian and Pakistani bureaucracies and the region’s cultural opposition to new agricultural techniques initially prevented Borlaug from fulfilling his desire to immediately plant the new wheat strains there. By the summer of 1965, the famine became so acute that the governments stepped in and allowed his projects to go forward.[10]

    Biologist Paul R. Ehrlich wrote in his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over … In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Ehrlich said, “I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971,” and “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.”[21]

    In 1965, after extensive testing, Borlaug’s team, under Anderson, began its effort by importing about 450 tons of Lerma Rojo and Sonora 64 semi-dwarf seed varieties: 250 tons went to Pakistan and 200 to India. They encountered many obstacles. Their first shipment of wheat was held up in Mexican customs and so could not be shipped from the port at Guaymas in time for proper planting.[citation needed] Instead, it was sent via a 30-truck convoy from Mexico to the U.S. port in Los Angeles, encountering delays at the Mexico – United States border. Once the convoy entered the U.S., it had to take a detour, as the U.S. National Guard had closed the freeway due to Watts riots in Los Angeles. When the seeds reached Los Angeles, a Mexican bank refused to honor Pakistan treasury’s payment of US$100,000, because the check contained three misspelled words. Still, the seed was loaded onto a freighter destined for Bombay, India, and Karachi, Pakistan. Twelve hours into the freighter’s voyage, war broke out between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. Borlaug received a telegraph from the Pakistani minister of agriculture, Malik Khuda Bakhsh Bucha: “I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble with my check, but I’ve got troubles, too. Bombs are falling on my front lawn. Be patient, the money is in the bank …”[10]

    These delays prevented Borlaug’s group from conducting the germination tests needed to determine seed quality and proper seeding levels. They started planting immediately, and often worked in sight of artillery flashes. A week later, Borlaug discovered that his seeds were germinating at less than half the normal rate.[citation needed] It later turned out that the seeds had been damaged in a Mexican warehouse by over-fumigation with a pesticide. He immediately ordered all locations to double their seeding rates.[citation needed]

    The initial yields of Borlaug’s crops were higher than any ever harvested in South Asia. The countries subsequently committed to importing large quantities of both the Lerma Rojo 64 and Sonora 64 varieties. In 1966, India imported 18,000 tons —the largest purchase and import of any seed in the world at that time. In 1967, Pakistan imported 42,000 tons, and Turkey 21,000 tons. Pakistan’s import, planted on 1.5 million acres (6,100 km²), produced enough wheat to seed the entire nation’s wheatland the following year.[14] By 1968, when Ehrlich’s book was released, William Gaud of the United States Agency for International Development was calling Borlaug’s work a “Green Revolution”. High yields led to a shortage of various utilities — labor to harvest the crops, bullock carts to haul it to the threshing floor, jute bags, trucks, rail cars, and grain storage facilities. Some local governments were forced to close school buildings temporarily to use them for grain storage.[10]
    Wheat yields in developing countries, 1950 to 2004, kg/HA baseline 500

    In Pakistan, wheat yields nearly doubled, from 4.6 million tons in 1965 to 7.3 million tons in 1970; Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat production by 1968.[citation needed] Yields were over 21 million tons by 2000. In India, yields increased from 12.3 million tons in 1965 to 20.1 million tons in 1970. By 1974, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals. By 2000, India was harvesting a record 76.4 million tons (2.81 billion bushels) of wheat. Since the 1960s, food production in both nations has increased faster than the rate of population growth.[citation needed] Paul Waggoner, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, calculates that India’s use of high-yield farming has prevented 100 million acres (400,000 km²) of virgin land from being converted into farmland—an area about the size of California, or 13.6% of the total area of India.[22] The use of these wheat varieties has also had a substantial effect on production in six Latin American countries, six countries in the Near and Middle East, and several others in Africa.[citation needed]

    Now, two generations later, you criticize the work of Paul Ehrlich and you scurrilously brand him a failed scientist because he did not foresee that Borlaug’s work could be so successful? No one bet on Borlaug then, except the Rockefeller Foundation, worried that Ehrlich’s scenarios were too close to becoming true.

    I think one can make a good case for divine intervention in that string of events — but it’s dishonest, petty and small to claim that Ehrlich should have foreseen Borlaug’s success that astonished even Borlaug. And it’s dead wrong to say Ehrlich predicted disasters that did not happen, when he did not intend to make predictions, warned that his scenarios were not predictions, and expressed the hope so often that the scenarios would not play out.

    Meanwhile the population of the world has more than doubled, while calories consumed/person have increased 24%. The UN does not keep official death-by-hunger statistics so it is hard to measure whether the “hundreds of millions of deaths” number is correct. Ehrlich himself suggested in 2009 that between 200-300 million had died of hunger since 1968. However, that is measured over 40 years rather than the ten to twenty foreseen in the book, so it can be seen as significantly fewer than predicted.[16]

    Famine has not been eliminated, but its root cause has been political instability, not global food shortage.[17] The Indian economist and Nobel Prize winner, Amartya Sen, has argued that nations with democracy and a free press have virtually never suffered from extended famines.[18] Nevertheless, in 2010 the UN reported that 925 million of the world’s population of nearly seven billion people were in a constant state of hunger.[19] The UN report notes that the percentage of the world’s population who qualify as “undernourished” has fallen by more than half, from 33 percent to about 16 percent, since Ehrlich published The Population Bomb.[20]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Population_Bomb

    Ehrlich was wrong, and you have every right to defend his error in scientific judgement. Just don’t get angry when others do not share your childish delusions.

    Ehrlich was wise to warn us, and your delusions that Borlaug’s work was nothing, that no action was required to avert disasters, are themselves disasters in the making.

    We have tornado sirens all across Dallas County. They fire off when the weather radars detect “rotation” in clouds storming across the area. Most often, about 80% of the time, there is no tornado.

    We don’t tear down the tornado sirens because “their predictions were inaccurate.” We thank God they warned us.

    You should be thanking Ehrlich for the warnings, too.

    And, if you were wise, you’d be listening to Ehrlich and other scientists who warn us of other disasters awaiting us, if we do not act.

    • Scott says:

      That is probably the most civil comment I’ve seen from you…much appreciated.

      Though the messed-up italics were tough on the eyes…

      -Scott

  26. alexjc38 says:

    Steve, everyone, I now have a copy of the essay in question by Paul Ehrlich in front of me – it was indeed written for The Progressive magazine to be published in spring 1970 and later that year in a paperback edition, along with articles by Ralph Nader, Gaylord Nelson and others, and it’s the paperback edition I have (The Crisis of Survival, publishers Scott, Foresman and Company, 1970.)

    This is an article entitled “Looking Backward from 2000 A.D.” and it actually reads more like a very short science fiction story, in the format of an annual and confidential report written to the President of the USA on 1st January, 2000 by L. Page Kennedy, Secretary of the Department of Population and the Environment.

    It describes an America recovering from a worldwide ecological catastrophe that has decimated the population, and which is not described in detail but seems to have several different elements. Firstly, there has been an event called the Great Die-Off, which appears to have been global in scope, and climatic in nature, with mass extinctions of plants and oxygen depletion in the atmosphere; the cause can be traced to “jet stream shifts” in 1978-84, which are not fully understood.

    The article starts with summaries of the US population’s size, quality and health. “The 1999 midyear population of the United States of North America was estimated to be 22.6 million, with a standard error of 3.2 million” (p.238.)

    Later, Kennedy explains the reasons for this, which include widespread famine and an epidemic of “Marburgvirus B”, a highly virulent form of the Marburg virus. “Famine has been estimated to have been directly responsible for sixty-five million American deaths in the decade 1980-1989” (p.239.)

    However, not all the deaths were attributable to disease or famine, but could be linked more generally to a polluted and degraded environment. “Remember that although 125 million American deaths were attributed to Marburgvirus B during the Great Die-Off, it is clear that as many as sixty million of these would not have occurred if the population had not been weakened by environmental deterioration. Therefore the estimate of ten million deaths due to environmental problems other than famine and disease is undoubtedly too low” (p.240.)

    Later, some optimism (!) about energy. “It is now estimated that Deuterium-He fusion will be operational, producing pollution-free power by 2050, which will allow about fifty years to complete the transition to all-electric power” (p.241.)

    However, the report ends on a warning note. “The Department urges you to remind our citizens that all of the trends leading to disaster were clear twenty years before the end came, and that we and the rest of mankind did nothing substantive to avert it. As a single example, the vulnerability of the world population to epidemic disease, due to large population size (overcrowding), hunger and environmental deterioration was repeatedly pointed out by scientists. No substantial action was taken to correct the situation by a nation addicted to economic growth and the limits of technology.”

    “The cost of inaction, apathy and unwarranted optimism has been the payment of near four billion human lives over a fifteen year period – and we are still paying. We cannot permit a repetition of such a disaster. Mr President, it is imperative that this generation and those to follow be kept mindful of mankind’s recent history” (p.245.)

    It’s actually rather an interesting (although highly improbable) article, and reminds me of a 1980s SF novel I read once called Nature’s End by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka. I’d have to say, in this instance, that I don’t think it was meant to be a sober and measured prediction of something that the author thought certain or even very likely to happen, but more of a scary worst-case fictional scenario written to evoke a reaction from readers and policymakers. So – if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to classify it either as a “prediction” or a “scenario”, basically I’d choose “scenario”.

    (Just to add that if anyone would like more information about this article or others in the book, I can be contacted via my blog/Twitter, etc.)

    • omnologos says:

      thank you Alex. So the trick is to make wild guesses in the form of fiction so they can be described as “scenarios” if they don’t materialize, “predictions” if they do. Old Paul has made a career out of it.

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Alex said:

      I don’t think it was meant to be a sober and measured prediction of something that the author thought certain or even very likely to happen, but more of a scary worst-case fictional scenario written to evoke a reaction from readers and policymakers. So – if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to classify it either as a “prediction” or a “scenario”, basically I’d choose “scenario”.

      Exactly right.

      Not guesses, though, Mauricio. You keep ignoring the facts. Norman Borlaug’s work was barely into distribution at the time. Air pollution control laws necessary to clean the air of Los Angeles, New York, London and Paris did not exist. Water pollution laws didn’t cover small-city drinking water, but instead flotsam and jetsam from ships in harbors. Had none of that changed, had no one listened to Ehrlich and acted, his scenario might have come much closer to being a prediction.

      Now you urge we treat Ehrlich and IPCC as Cassandras. Do you know the story of Cassandra?

      You’ll probably laugh at Lester Brown’s new book. You never learn, eh, grasshopper?

      • Jimash says:

        But , but, but, YOU said he didn’t say it at all.
        This may be the creepiest bit of worming I have seen recently.
        First you say, “He never said that. You are making up these quotes”
        Then its “Well it didn’t happen because we listened to the warnings, that was lucky, because otherwise he would have been right”.
        Finally presented with the quotes that you earlier denied existed, you turn to ” Oh that was just a SCENARIO, nobody took that seriously. But we should take it seriously because it still might be right “.

        What kind of mental gymnastics do you do in the morning to support such a process ? Are there NEWTHINK exercises ?

      • Ed Darrell says:

        I said Ehrlich didn’t make the predictions attributed to him by Mr. Goddard. Alex’s sleuthing bearsr that out, Jimash.

        No predictions, period. A fictional story, a “look back.”

        How much mental gymnastics do you have to go through to take a fictional story and make it a prediction?

        Look at the rest of Ehrlich’s writings. He made it clear to anyone who read his writings, which may not include many here — right, Jimash? — that we needed to do something to increase food production, decrease pollution, and stabilize population at a lower number than the steep curve we were on then indicated we’d reach.

        In each of those areas, much of the industrial world acted, acted soon after Ehrlich’s warnings, and got better results than anyone had a right to expect.

        I was correct that Ehrlich did not say those things in Population Bomb. I was correct that Ehrlich didn’t make crazy predictions that didn’t come true. I was correct that if Ehrlich said anything even close, it was qualified.

        I didn’t say “oh, that was just a scenario.” I pointed out that Ehrlich’s scenarios were not predictions.

        Please check your facts, don’t let your need for a dudgeon overcome your work to get the facts first.

      • Ed Darrell says:

        So, Steve, you should change the name of the blog to “Scenario.”

        Or, you could have read Ehrlich before you started making claims about what you thought he said.

        Ehrlich wasn’t working for deniability. In Population Bomb he laid out three, different, detailed scenarios. Not all three of them could have worked, since they were mutually exclusive in places.

        Just admit you didn’t know what you were writing about, and pledge to do better in the future, eh?

        • He just said that stuff because he wasn’t trying to scare people into doing irrational things. Leftists have license to engage in psychotic anti-social behavior. They aren’t expected to behave within the norms of sanity, legality or even basic human decency.

  27. omnologos says:

    it’s actually quite sad, intelligent and knowledgeable scientists making use of the best that is known in their fields with the full blessing of their peers and still wholly unable to understand the future.

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Oh, I wouldn’t call Walter Williams a scientist. But, yeah, he does get the science wrong astonishingly often. He thinks all we need to do to stop malaria is poison Africa with DDT, ignoring the science of DDT, the science of malaria, history and law. If predictions are not based on anything accurate or true, they should be held suspect.

      • omnologos says:

        Ed – I know you’re being sarcastic (who is Walter Williams??) but I was making a much more serious point – it’s the scientists that get the science “right”, those that base their thinking on what is “accurate” and “true”, they are the ones that proceed to spectacularly fail in predicting what is actually going to happen.

        That’s much more worrying that anything that sounds “suspect” from day one. It means that at the end of the day we “know” very little and mostly about the past. It means science-based policy is a guessing game at best.

        I suspect it’s all because 400 years of modern science aren’t enough to overcome anybody’s (including any scientist’s) innate foolishness. There’s only a few Julian L. Simon’s around and they are often, even and mostly marginalized by the consensus “du jour”.

  28. sunsettommy says:

    LOL,

    I see that some people are still drooling over the failed ecologist.

    This is from Paul’s own book,the Population Bomb:

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    I have read part of the book back in the late 1970’s.I saw him as a loon then and he is still a loon today.

    Try this website,where they point out the many failed predictions of Mr. Ehrlich.

    http://www.masterresource.org/2010/03/howlin-wolf-paul-ehrlich-on-energy-part-ii-failed-predictions/

  29. sunsettommy says:

    Here is another slap at Paul:

    Paul Ehrlich: The World Ended Yesterday (oops!)

    Where does one begin with Paul Ehrlich, the arch enemy and intellectual loser to the late Julian Simon? MasterResource has extensively examined Ehrlich’s oeuvre , but here are just two of the more outlandish of his predictions.

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, (New York: Ballentine Books, 1968), p. 13.

    “We can be reasonably sure . . . that within the next quarter of a century [by 2000] mankind will be looking elsewhere than in oil wells for its main source of energy.”

    – Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, The End of Affluence (Rivercity, Mass.: Rivercity Press, 1974, 1975), p. 49.

    And then there was Ehrlich’s prediction from 1970 that Julian Simon jumped all over to get Sir Paul to enter into his ill-fated bet on the future of mineral resource prices as a measure of scarcity: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000″ (cited above).

    http://www.masterresource.org/2010/11/halloween-hangover/

    He he…

    Who in the world would still listen to Paul after so his many of his failed prediction are well known?

    He LOST a big bet with Julian Simon.The same man Paul never would agree to debate him.

    LOL

  30. sunsettommy says:

    Here is the link to Amazon book reviews of the fabled book,The Population Bomb:

    http://www.amazon.com/Population-Bomb-Paul-R-Ehrlich/product-reviews/1568495870

    Most reviewers thinks is it garbage.

    LOL

  31. sunsettommy says:

    A prototype of catastrophic predictions, October 1, 2005
    By
    Lubos Motl (Cambridge, MA United States)

    EXCERPT:

    This review is from: The Population Bomb (Library Binding)
    Paul Ehrlich may understand butterflies more than most of us do, but he definitely does not understand how the real world in general and the human society in particular works. He just does not seem to have sufficiently organized brain cells to think realistically about the world.

    This book starts with the bold statement that “he had understood the population explosion for quite some time”. Nevertheless, the whole book proves that it’s not the case. All his reasoning is based on the worst possible extrapolation of the worst imaginable short-term trend. His assumptions therefore include the “intelligent” assumption that there won’t ever be any technological progress in the future; the climate will evolve in the worst possible way, and so forth. It’s not surprising that he predicted that there would be mass starvation in the U.S. in the 1980s, and even when this was shown to be complete nonsense, he repeated the same prediction for the 1990s.

    Why does he – and people like him – continue to produce predictions that have been humiliated so many times by the actual course of history? It’s because of their religion. Maybe they don’t call it a “religion”, but it is a religion nevertheless. Jehovah’s Witnesses typically believe that there is going to be a judgement day. Because it did not occur in 1918 and other years for which it was predicted, they are a bit more careful and vague in their predictions nowadays. Malthus had done very similar errors as Ehrlich, but you may think that in the 20th century, people could know more than Malthus knew many years ago. But Ehrlich does not know more.

    http://www.amazon.com/Population-Bomb-Paul-R-Ehrlich/product-reviews/1568495870/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&pageNumber=2

    bwahahahahahahaha!!!

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