Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Global Warming and Overpopulation

Reminds me of the scare tactics I read in 1970 in Paul Ehrlich's book, The Population Bomb. In the prologue to The Population Bomb he wrote, "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. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..."

Ehrlich also wrote, that some parts of the world might see some minor and temporary recovery, but "a minimum of ten million people, most of them children, will starve to death during each year of the 1970s. But this is a mere handful compared to the numbers that will be starving before the end of the century". I must have missed that somehow.

Believing that the United States could only support a population of 150 million, Ehrlich proposed that "luxury taxes could be placed on layettes, cribs, diapers, diaper services, [and] expensive toys..." and suggested giving "responsibility prizes" to couples who went at least five years without having children or to men who got vasectomies. He called for setting up a federal Bureau of Population and Environment to oversee reducing U.S. population growth.

Why did Ehrlich’s predictions fail to come true? Because the model he used, like almost all those who predict dire problems from population, was basically flawed. In a nutshell what Ehrlich did was take population growth for the 1960s and extrapolate it out through the 1970s, but he insisted production of resources such as food and water were at their limits -- both would likely decline, and certainly not increase.

Food production not only increased, but increased faster than population growth, so 27 years after the publication of The Population Bomb, not only are there many more people alive in the world, but they eat more than they did in the past. Water quality, which Ehrlich believed beyond repair, has also steadily improved.

Now it's global warming for the doom and gloomers. Start by reading about the 'Hockey Stick'.

Some information on CFC's.

A great book on the subject by a Distinguished Research Professor at George Mason University and Professor Emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia.

Gee, could this have anything to do with it?

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