Inside the Mind of Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich has lots of advice on how to make the world a better place. But what might a world run by Ehrlich look like?

Less populated for a start. Overpopulation, according to Ehrlich, causes madness. Over 80% of people in New York are mad, he tells us:

“We’ve stacked 75,000 people to the square mile on Manhattan and 81.5 per cent of them already suffer from some degree of neurotic or psychotic disturbance”

The Press-Courier, March 1970. World’s Big CleanUp Appears to be Major Social Problem.

Okay. So pollution and population are causing insanity. So what’s the solution?

First of all, capitalism and democracy will have to go:

“You can’t solve the world’s environment without biting the bullet and without facing very, very tough things like the redistribution of wealth, how the world’s trade system operates, the things the United States is doing to the ecology of Vietnam, the activities of the predator nations . . . if we’re going to save the globe, we’re going to have to have international policy planning”

Boca Raton News, June 1972. Expert on Population Pleased by Response.

Next for the reduction of population. The following quotes are all from the New York Times of November 25th, 1969, Page 19: A STERILITY DRUG IN FOOD IS HINTED: Biologist Stresses Need to Curb Population Growth”:

“Some biologists feel that compulsory family regulation will be necessary to retard population growth. It is a dismal prospect – except when viewed as an alternative to Armageddon.”

Of course – compulsion requires us to believe that the only alternative is obliteration. But we would need to be convinced first of all that the choice was that stark. How could that be achieved? Ehrlich demanded the establishment of some sort of commission

“. . . with a large budget for propaganda.”

Sounds like NASA GISS. Okay. Having funded the propaganda machine, Ehrlich wanted a re-direction of effort from alleviating suffering to population reduction and mind control:

“Changing the pattern of federal support of biomedical research so that the majority of it goes into the broad areas of population regulation, environmental sciences, behaviour sciences, and related areas rather than into the short-sighted programs on death control.”

Yes, of course. All that money wasted on saving people’s lives when we should be researching “behaviour sciences” and “population regulation”. And if studies on population regulation and controlling people’s behaviour didn’t do the trick, then Ehrlich’s next demand certainly would:

The addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food, or to the water supply. With limited distribution of antidote chemicals, perhaps by lottery“.

So there you have it, the world according to Ehrlich. End capitalism, redistribute the wealth, institute global governance, fund a massive propaganda machine, and put sterilants in the food and water.

The success of the Malthusian propaganda of the time can be judged from a poem written by two sixth-graders as part of a poetry competition on the subject of population control. The assistant director of the Population Council was so pleased with this effort that he wanted it printed and distributed nationwide, before wiser counsel persuaded him otherwise:

If we didn’t have people

We wouldn’t have pollution.

Get rid of the people.

That’s the only solution.

Cited by Pamela Winnick. A Jealous God. P. 38.

And he’s still on the same tracks. Watch Ehrlich here on Stanford University’s official Youtube channel calling for a global institution to study ways of altering our behaviour:

PS – don’t you just love the selection of books he has behind him? Toxics, then bio-ethics, then a book on Africa. Material for his next essay, perhaps?

27 responses to “Inside the Mind of Paul Ehrlich

  1. On the population issue, see Matt Ridley’s excellent article at

  2. “The addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food, or to the water supply. With limited distribution of antidote chemicals, perhaps by lottery“

    To save the planet there must be indiscriminate harm on the many. What a happy chap! And I bet he envisaged his supply of antidote being a matter of routine rather than chance.

  3. Pingback: Ehrlich 1969 : Wanted To Poison Water And Food Supplies | Real Science

  4. Pingback: Ehrlich 1969 : Wanted To Poison Water And Food Supplies | Real Science

  5. Was the heavy death toll in Brazil’s current disaster due just to building in the wrong places, or could it reasonably be said that the need to build in such unsuitable places is because of population pressure on the safer locations?

    • In Brazil? One of the least underpopulated countries in the world?

      I don’t think overpopulation is a problem there, or anywhere else. Deforestation, maybe. People fondly imagine that the two are necessarily linked. They’re not. Japan is one of the most densely populated nations in the world AND one of the most forested with two thirds of the country being forested (UNEP 2009).

      • OK, in their case it’s probably population concentration. But what about Bangladesh, say, which has tripled its population since 1960. I’m far from being a “Warmist”, but am perhaps out of step with the “Sceptic” agenda by thinking that population can be a factor.

  6. Ahem. Neo-Malthusian anti-humanist ‘environmentalism’ anyone?

    I know, I know; I always say this.

  7. Call me an old Nazi , and doubtless people will, but I have often thought that an awful lot of babies come into this world as “unplanned”, shall we say, if not exactly unwanted. I can see there may be considerable benefit to a gently shrinking world population sooner rather than later.
    How about a “sterilant” in the water acting on both sexes, but all you need to do to obtain the antidote is for both prospective mother and father to ask for it? Does anyone think, like me, that this would have an extraordinary effect on birth rate? Worldwide?
    Just a thought experiment, Herr Fuhrer!

    (Please note. I would never under any circumstances actually approve of any mass forced medication. I do not even approve of fluoridation of water on this basis. Thin end of the wedge. What next? Lithium to keep us all quiet? )

    • I see your point, but I think the areas of the world Ehrlich had in mind would make asking for the antidote infeasible.

      History shows us that “voluntary” sterilization turns very quickly to involuntary sterilization in poor and rural districts, where the people are often illiterate, poory-educated (if at all) and fearful of authority. The last thing they want to do is approach the authorities and ask for anything.

  8. “and 81.5 per cent of them already suffer from some degree of neurotic or psychotic disturbance”
    Nuff said.


    Yet another
    Onerous climate disagreement
    Universal rancor everywhere

    As we
    Raise our
    Environmental concerns

    Always and forever like this?

    Can’t we get along?
    Love one another?
    In spite of our differences?
    Ad hominem is

    Sorrowful day
    Sorrowful climate of science
    Have we no hope?
    Our reserves of integrity

  10. From the article: Overpopulation, according to Ehrlich, causes madness. Over 80% of people in New York are mad, he tells us…

    Well, that would explain why the mega-cities are also the stronghold of liberalism.

  11. Pingback: 1975: Ehrlich Slams Cheap Electricity, Modern Agriculture, Medicines, pesticides and Cars. | hauntingthelibrary


    The logic of the tyrant remains consistent through the ages.
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  13. Hansen’s office is located in Manhattan. Ehrlich appears correct about the psychotic disturbance there.

  14. Most of the overcrowding is in countries that don’t affect global warming (i.e. no gasoline, no CO2), yet these peoples do destroy the natural environment. Wild animals in Africa, India and Asia are disappearing mainly due to over population, unless a solution to this can be found quick I’d say those areas should reduce their own populations voluntarily and be rewarded by the developed countries for reducing populations.

  15. Pingback: What makes Liberals Violent? Chomsky says GOP Victory is “Death Knell for the Human Species” : Deadline Live With Jack Blood

  16. I thought the leftists wanted the government to stay out of people’s bedrooms.

  17. Paul has a very outgoing and convincing personality. That doesn’t mean that he is right. It would be nice if we could just succomb to his leadership. Unfortunately, he has a history of being wrong in his projections.

  18. They’re already putting stuff to sterilise you in your food and water. GMO food is there to sterilise you all. Also, fluoride and vaccines…Wake up..It’s happening now.

  19. Pingback: “Eugenics is on the agenda” The rich and famous decide the worlds future… « Dear England

  20. Pingback: You Have To Wonder What The Anti Abortion Crowd Is Thinking - Page 2 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  21. To debunk the nonsense about too many people for the planet to support, consider this: The growth in population is slowing significantly, and the most effective way is to improve the plight of the poor. The “Green” movement, including the WWF and Green peace do the opposite. A population density of 100,000 per square kilometer is feasible ( I didn’t say it’s desirable) and therefore the entire current population could fit on Tasmania and Ireland. That would release the entire remainder of the planet for food production and resource extraction. The problem is NOT too many people. It is too many people like Maurice Strong, Paul Ehlrich, Michael Mann, Ban Ki Moon, Phil Jones, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa, to name a few.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s