15 thoughts on “Paul Ehrlich”

  1. I think the main danger danger is actually listening to Paul Erlich. He said that England was doomed, that by the year 2000 it would be “a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.” Other than the year, that might not be too bad of a description if they convert to solar/wind power and sustainable farming.

    1. A 10% chance that the human race won’t have one or more “starvation-driven collapses” before the end of time? The man’s a raving optimist. Or at least, he’s learned not to put dates on his predictions any more.

  2. “Prepare for some DOOM hahahahahaha” – Invader Zim. Of course, Zim is the more believable of the two.

  3. Oddly enough, he’s probably right, *IF* we enter a new glacial era. And, it is entirely possible that the small amount (nowhere near what the AGW folks believe) of human-caused warming is the only thing preventing it.

    However, though I think Earlich is a raving nut, I think it’s equally nuts to depend on new developments to keep pulling our chestnuts from the fire. Would he have been right had the increased yields from cross breeding and other methods not come along when they did? The fact that they did happen is great, but my point is that counting on them happening when we need them is insane. Even if they will probably happen, is probably good enough, given the downside risk?

    As for the UK… it has a high population density already, and yes, this does diminish quality of life (I’ve spent about a month a year in the UK since early childhood, so I know it fairly well). However, all that needs to be done is stop immigration. (And there are a lot of other reasons for doing that as well).

    The UK suffered gregariously due to being unable to feed itself in WWII, so there are indeed good strategic reasons why the capability to be self-sufficient in food has merit.

  4. Actually I doubt that crops would falter even in a glacial era after a time. From what I remember from archeology in caves during that time the desert belts were lush tropical areas. If that land area was farmed the output would not be inconsiderable.

  5. The reasons for the UK not being able to feed itself were mostly historical. For the longest time Ireland was used as the breadbasket of Englad and much of the remaining produce came from the colonies. Once the trade network faltered due to sea lane interdiction by U-boat attacks the problems started. The way the economy was structured was the problem rather than any supposed chronic lack of agricultural farmland in the UK to feed its population which IMHO is more myth than reality.

    1. I didn’t say the UK lacked farmland, I know it didn’t. All I said was that the UK was not able to feed itself during WWII, hence the severe rationing (which all the members of my family who were alive at the time lived through) and the need to ship food across the Atlantic at tremendous cost in lives and resources. They worked wonders to increase production. However, do they have enough farmland and to feed themselves today, with a larger population and less farmland (due to urban growth)? I don’t know, but I think it’s worth considering that they might not.

  6. In the next few years, the cautionary tale about an overpopulated food importing country will be about Egypt. That said, it is not about the size of one’s country but the quality of your government.

  7. The reason people listen to Ehrlich is that he tells them what they want to hear. There is a deep vein of misanthropy in the Green movement and a world with fewr or no people is appealing to them. There is also a great lust for power with these people and a crisis demanding a totalitarian government is also appealing to them.

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