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Saturday, July 11, 2009

When Ideology Trumps Fact

Those of a certain age will remember the best selling scare-screed of forty years ago, The Population Bomb, written by Paul Ehrlich, in which the author argued population growth was so out-of-control that unless checked there would be massive and world-wide starvation by the mid '90s. Didn't happen, of course, but Prof. Ehrlich, not content simply to rest on his laurels after scaring the bejeebers out of millions of gullible fools, a few years later, along with his little woman Anne Ehrlich and self-proclaimed "dissident scientist" John P. Holdren, churned out another volume called Ecoscience. In that opus the authors laid out what might have to be done to forestall the catastrophe earlier predicted by Ehrlich. Here are some of their proposals, courtesy of the blog zombietime.

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;

• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;

• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;

• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.

• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.
Zombietime fastidiously posts scans of the pages from "Ecoscience" containing those proposals so that no one might suggest its authors were "quoted out of context" or they never made them at all. They weren't and they did; it's all there.

That an old work of junk science is of any concern at all these many years later has nothing to do with the thoroughly discredited and debunked Ehrlichs but with the third member of the troika, John P. Holdren. Mr. Holdren is currently Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He was appointed to those positions by President Obama. You may recall the President proclaiming back in March that scientific decisions must be "based on facts, not ideology." Apparently that criterion did not obtain in the appointment of Mr. Holdren to the various White House science offices.

(h/t Stand Firm.)

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