by Paul Ehrlich
Source - The American Life League
CHAPTER 131 -
THE PERSISTENT MYTH OF OVERPOPULATION
1- The world is
critically overburdened with people right now
This crush of humanity is destroying the environment and detracting
from everybody's quality of life. It is absolutely essential that we
slow or halt population growth by making contraception and abortion
available to all of the world's women.
If we do not put the brakes on our runaway population, the use of
coercion will be necessary in order to save the planet.
"Family Planning has a theme Two
children as each couples dream; Three years after marriage, one
- Before 33 childbearing's done. Let a small family be your goal
Just choose a method of birth control Methods are safe and
simple too A happy future waits for you."
-- Poem from a Taiwanese
population control pamphlet entitled "Paste Your Umbrella Before
2- The Malthus
There exists, at this very moment, a tremendous battle of minds over
the vexing problem of world population vs. world food supply. This
struggle, largely unnoticed by the public, has been going on ever
since the British economist, the Rev. Thomas Malthus, published his
landmark work Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798.
The heart of Malthus' philosophy, and the cornerstone of the
population controller's credo, was contained in his book:
of population is indefinitely greater than the power of the earth to
produce subsistence for man.
Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.
Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio ... By that law
of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the
effects of these two unequal power must be kept equal. This implies
a strong and constantly operating check on population from the
difficulty of subsistence."
The title of the second edition of Malthus' book, published in 1826,
betrayed his strong bias towards "quality of life":
An Essay on the
Principle of Population:
Or a View of its Past and Present Effects
on Human Happiness; With and Inquiry into Our Prospects Respecting
the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evil Which it Occasions ...
Take it to the Limit ...
The "New Malthusians" seem to delight in painting pictures of mass
horrors that will inevitably befall society if various nations do
not get serious about controlling their populations right now .
Their predictions are almost always wrong and frequently comical.
25 years ago, Paul Ehrlich, the dean of the population scaremasters,
warned us that mass starvation would strike the North American
continent by the year 1985. Now, of course, the United States and
Canada have tens of thousands of weight-loss clinics, and diet books
routinely occupy the New York Times bestseller list.
In the 1970s, the mass media, ever ready to hitch a ride on a
politically correct cause, warned us,
that by 1990, huge artificial
islands would be constructed in the middle of the ocean to handle
the earth's exploding population
that the world's oil supplies
would be completely depleted by 2000
that the prime motivator of all
wars by the year 1990 would be attacks on other nation's
cached food stores
(ZPG) leaders took advantage of the media drumbeat and loudly
insisted that the United States create a Bureau of Population
Control. Some of the population controllers extrapolated current
trends far past the point where they are physically possible in
order to frighten people who were not familiar with statistical
theory or demographics.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population is unschooled in
these disciplines, and so accept the bogus math of the population
controllers without question. A 1972 article by David Lytle, which
was heavily circulated by Planned Parenthood-World Population, was
chillingly and verbosely entitled,
"The Human Race Has Thirty-five
Years Left: After That, People Will Start Eating Plankton"
Other population controllers predicted that, if population growth
continued at a rate of two percent annually for 650 years, there
would be standing room only on the planet, with only one square foot
allocated per person.
In other words, the population of the world under such an absurd
scenario would be 1,589 trillion persons, or 450,000 times the world
population in 1972. Even this was not the most ridiculous prediction
made by the population controllers.
Ansley Coale won the prize for
the most ludicrous projection when he said that we are experiencing,
" ... a growth process which, within
65 centuries and in the absence of environmental limits, could
generate a solid sphere of live bodies expanding with a radial
velocity that, neglecting relativity, would equal the velocity
A little fiddling with numbers reveals
that this would be equivalent to 23,891 trillion trillion trillion
people, or more than the number of atoms in the known universe!
Such statistical extrapolations obviously have no bearing on reality
whatever and are entirely useless for any purpose other than scaring
people. Opposing Viewpoints. Intellectuals who are interested in the
population 'problem' have gravitated towards two poles.
A minority insists that it is indeed possible for the world
population to continue to grow almost without restraint, because we
could feed as many as 50 billion people comfortably if we could just
remove all of the existing barriers to food production and
distribution. This is an unrealistic viewpoint.
Inevitably, the world population will indeed exceed the food supply,
even if production and distribution methods operate under ideal
conditions. At the rate the world population is growing, we would
reach the 50 billion limit in about 150 years. What would we do
then? How could we possibly overcome the momentum of such massive
population growth? Any measures taken to limit population growth
would be much more severe under such a scenario than they would be
And, of course, any population-limiting or reducing disaster would
be much worse indeed than under current conditions. The other
viewpoint of those interested in population problems is much more
practical. It is also terrifying.
Those who hold this view have the primary or secondary goal of
limiting population at any cost, and include members of,
the Rockefeller Foundation
the International Planned Parenthood
Zero Population Growth (ZPG)
many others organizations
This extensive, vastly wealthy, and very
influential cartel is so bold in its work, and so convinced that it
are right, that it doesn't even bother to conceal or package its
activities in a more attractive and appealing format any more.
So the fundamental question remains: Where is the middle ground
between a planet-wide sewer and the dreaded Uterus Police ( a la the
People's Republic of China)? The Environmental Agitators.
"[Environmental groups] are missing
the boat because picking up the garbage is not the issue, having
sewage treatment plants is not the issue -- those are really
details of the bigger issue. It's like trying to talk about a
pimple when you really have cancer."
-- Jean-Michel Cousteau.
As described in Chapter 91, "Animal
Rights and Environmentalism," some people believe that Man has no
particular status on this earth, and that he is just another animal
who must take into consideration all the other animals when making
any decisions regarding his own welfare. This all sounds logical
from a Humanistic point of view, but when people begin to see
themselves as morally equal to or even lower than animals, a certain
inevitable depressive world outlook must result.
After all, if we are not the supreme creation of God, then we are a
cancer. If we do not occupy a privileged place on this earth, we
occupy the lowest rung of existence because of our unparalleled
ability to destroy other species.
If we desire to escape responsibility in
sexual and other matters, we may assuage our consciences by
accepting culpability for 'destroying' our planet -- a psychological
ploy that allows us to take no concrete action other than being
politically correct in our speech.
This attitude is reflected in many statements made by animal rights
activists like Ingrid Newkirk, who once said that,
"We [humans] have grown like a
cancer. We're the biggest blight on the face of the earth."
Although not an activist by any means,
even United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Oliver Wendell
Holmes once remarked that,
"I see no reason for attributing to
man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to
a baboon or a grain of sand."
Some environmentalists even wish for
death, not only for themselves, but for the entire human race. For
them, the world is an unending circus of horrors, to be endured and
survived until the blessed release afforded by the end of their
Bill McKibben writes in The End of
"We are not interested in the
utility of a particular species or free-flowing river, or
ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value to
me than another human body, or a billion of them. Human
happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important
as a wild and healthy planet ...
Somewhere along the line -- at about
a billion years ago, maybe half that -- we quit the contract and
became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon
the earth ... Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to
rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to
Perhaps the most
extreme statement of this nihilistic philosophy was made by what has
to be the world's ultimate anti-life group -- The Voluntary Human
Extinction Movement, or VHEMT, pronounced "vehement" for short.
Anti-people crusader Les U. Knight, Portland, Oregon substitute
teacher and founder of VHEMT, says in his newsletter These Exit
"The hopeful alternative to the
extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the
voluntary extinction of one species: Homo Sapiens -- us ... When
every human makes the moral choice to live long and die out,
Earth will be allowed to return to its former glory.
Each time another one of us decides not to add another one of us
to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged
planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom ... No
matter what you're doing to improve life on planet Earth, I
think you'll find that phasing out the human race will increase
your chance of success."
Knight seems not to notice that people
will have a hard time 'improving life on planet Earth' if there are
no people left to do the work!
One Expression of the Worldview. One strange manifestation of the
extreme animal rights/ environmental worldview is that such
activists are uniformly pro-abortion. They turn pale at the thought
of inflicting any discomfort or damage upon animals or even upon
inanimate objects, but shrug indifferently when confronted with the
specter of a late-term unborn baby writhing in agony as it is torn
limb from limb by the steel instruments of the abortionist.
Molly Yard, former president of the National Organization for Women,
neatly tied abortion and radical environmentalism together when she
"The abortion question is not just
about women's rights, but about life on the planet --
environmental catastrophe awaits the world if the population
continues to grow at its present rate."
The following environmental and
animal-rights organizations have gone on record as favoring repeal
of the Mexico City Policy and restoration of Federal funding to the
United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA),
the chief architect of China's one-child population control policy.
This program includes mass forced sterilization and abortion, as
described in Chapter 50 of Volume II, "Forced Abortions."