CBS News felt the best way to start 2023 was with a “60 Minutes” segment on overpopulation featuring Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University’s Bing Professor of Population Studies, Emeritus, as the centerpiece voice.
Ehrlich is best known as the author of “The Population Bomb,” a book published nearly 55 years ago. He’s also known for making a catastrophically wrong prediction in that same book.
If you were born in the 1970s, go ahead and thank your parents for ignoring Ehrlich.
The next time the media trots out Paul Ehrlich — and there will be a next time — it would be best to associate him with another name: Harold Camping. Mr. Camping was a radio personality and evangelist who routinely predicted “the rapture” and the end of the world, most famously on May 21, 2011. Let’s take a look at the failed predictions of Camping and Ehrlich and see if we notice anything:
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now,” wrote Ehrlich in “The Population Bomb.”
“We’re not talking about a ball game, or a marriage, or graduating from college. We’re talking about the end of the world, a matter of being eternally dead, or being eternally alive, and it’s all coming to a head right now,” said Camping.
Here’s where their paths diverge, however. Camping was widely mocked before his predicted date and then nearly completely forgotten after his failure. Ehrlich, on the other hand, still enjoys massive credibility and is then featured as a voice of authority on one of the legacy media’s most prestigious programs. Perhaps having ‘PhD’ after your name means never having to be accountable.
Unblemished by his 50-year failure, Ehrlich shared his latest doomsday predictions with the ever-shrinking legacy media audience.
Reporter Scott Pelley: “You seem to be saying that humanity is not sustainable?”
Paul Ehrlich: “Oh, humanity is not sustainable. To maintain our lifestyle (yours and mine, basically) for the entire planet, you’d need five more Earths. Not clear where they’re gonna come from.”
Ehrlich and the parade of PhD’s in the story seem to feel this latest mass extinction is unavoidable, even at one point saying that if you look out your window in the future, “three quarters of what you think ought to be there is no longer there.” Unfortunately for all of us, the Biden administration and their allies in Congress are listening to this alarmism. Perhaps when your record of failure is as bad as Biden’s, you can look past the failed prediction doomsday professors.
Inside one of the many versions of the recently passed $1.7 trillion government spending bill was over half a billion dollars in funding for “family planning services” in areas where population growth “threatens biodiversity.” Conveniently, and no doubt coincidentally, “60 Minutes” trotted out Ehrlich and the overpopulation team just three days after Biden signed the spending package. No one thought to ask if the doomsday professors are getting a cut of federal funding to peddle their latest alarmism. Those questions would mean you’re a flat earther, daring to “question the science.”
One “solution” offered by the experts at CBS is paying people to keep their land “wild.” If they are using their land for farming, we can pay them more to stop it. Keep in mind, this is the same group who say we’re overpopulated advocating we use less land for food … and Joe Biden loves the idea.
Shortly after taking office, President Biden introduced his 30 by 30 plan. The goal is for the government to grab 30% of American land and water by 2030. He hasn’t mentioned it much over the last two years, but Paul Ehrlich and CBS News are already leading the charge.
Far from being ridiculed, the failed prophecies of doomsday professors are finding their way into billions of dollars and millions of acres of land.
The disruption heading our way from these ideas is substantial and the Biden administration is the tip of the problem. It appears they’re all adopting a new mantra: Never let a doomsday scenario go to waste.
Larry Behrens is the Communications Director for Power The Future, a non-profit that advocates for America’s energy workers. You can find him on Twitter @larrybehrens
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.