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Back to That Quote of the Century: Paul Ehrlich Says We are Doomed Unless We Reduce to 2 Billion People


A shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.  In May, it will be 50 years since the eminent biologist published his most famous and controversial book, The Population Bomb. But Ehrlich remains as outspoken as ever.  The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change.  Ehrlich also says an unprecedented redistribution of wealth is needed to end the over-consumption of resources, but “the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen”.

This comes from the Guardian on March 22, 2018...

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2018-11-03 1:56 PM

    Paul Ehrlich in Population Bomb book was cruel because he was saying that there are two ways to cope with the increasing population of the earth. The first would be to reduce the birth rate and the second to increase the death rate. However the biological theory he used to shock people is correct for example the use of DDT. One of his best phrases is ”if the smog in Los Angeles had happened in one day people would run to the hills, but it happened gradually and people had the time to learn to live with it to adapt and to evolve.


    • 2018-11-04 1:03 PM

      Thanks for your comment. There is a definite element of cruelty in the numbers that Ehrlich derives but nature is cruel. It is up to man to think of a kinder way not to destroy the planet because we are risking extinction at the rate we are going. Extinction would be the ultimate cruelty– the results “on the ground” everywhere in the world would resemble what is occurring in Venezuela, El Salvador, Syria, etc. today. The difference between extinction and adaptation to change lies in the suddenness of the change. Let us hope that the world changes slowly enough for us to adapt rather than simply die out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2018-11-04 1:33 PM

        Ehrlich says about kinder or the need for a more gentle kind. There are countries that have been destroyed such as Syria, Libya etc. I think the adaptation and evolution is an every day effort of all. Thank for your reply.


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