Thongchai Thailand

DOOMOLOGY AND PROPHETS OF DOOM

Posted on: February 29, 2020

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THIS POST PRESENTS  A LECTURE BY PROFESSOR PAUL EHRLICH ON THE TOPIC

AVOIDING A COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION: OUR CHANCES, PROSPECTS, AND PATHWAYS FORWARD

THE LECTURE WAS GIVEN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE IN JULY 2013 AND IS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING ON YOUTUBE [LINK] . IT IS PRESENTED IN TWO PARTS. PART-1 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE. A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE LECTURE IS PRESENTED IN PART-2

 

 

PART-1: TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE 

(1)  I am delighted to be back in Australia because we came particularly this time to at least sample the tail end of what I have been calling the Murdoch summer because uh as the IPCC notes and so on he has probably done more than any other human being to wreck the climate and also to encourage population growth through the false news network, uh, a thing called “The Australian” which actually we actually read back in 1965 before it went bad uh look The Wall Street Journal that has the funniest editorial pages in the world, so we all ought to take off our hats uh to somebody who had managed to destroy as much of the world as Rupert Murdoch uh what else can I say ….

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(2)  An issue I want to discuss is “What’s happened to science?”   We are now clearly in the beginning of the endarkenment (as opposed to enlightenment). You go to the United States – the United States is turning into a combination of plutocracy and theocracy. We are no longer in a, uh uh, we are in a faith based society. Amazingly enough, some people in our Congress are quite willing to have their brains operated on by scientists but they won’t listen to the scientists on anything else. They fly on airplanes designed by scientists  – sure that they are not gonna crash – and yet, again, they never listen to the scientific community. This is also partly true here in Australia where in my view, on a per capita basis, you have the best group of environmental scientists in the world, and the best group of ecologists in the world, but too many of them work for state governments that censor them. So the Australians pay a lot of money to get a lot of scientific research done and then of course they block that information from getting to the public. A disgusting situation.

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(3)  Stanford, and I suspect ANU too, are, uh, raise even more interesting questions. Why is it that when we are facing the west, uh the science, the British science adviser Sir John Beddington said was a perfect storm of environmental problems, why if you look at the questions, what are the odds basically of avoiding a collapse is a lot of debate about that. Actually Cory and I and the Graham Turner had a debate about that in Adelaide ten days ago  – and uh this is serious scientific debate. Uh I my own estimate and the estimate is that we have maybe a 10% chance of avoiding total collapse; but we’re willing to work to make it  an 11% chance uh because we’ve got great grandchildren uh Cory is not as optimistic as that uh Jim Brown uh energy expert and the world’s best geographer who is uh a member of the National Academy among other things, says we’re crazy, it’s a really big debate. He says the chance is only 1% uh but he’s willing to work to make it 1.1%.

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(4)  Uh Graham Turner chimed in “Well! actually, I think it could be as high as 25% but don’t count on it, I think you ought to live it up right now. That’s the only significant debate I know of in the scientific community about what’s happening environmentally and what the chances are. In other words, some people will think there’s a big debate about whether human beings are changing the climate. In the scientific community there is NO debate. Not the slightest of hint of anybody who has even the most elementary scientist uh science knew 60 years ago that if you added crap to the atmosphere you will change the climate. But 60 years ago there was some question about whether it would be towards cooling or warming but of course where the most serious effects come that is the effects on agriculture doesn’t matter much. Change in any direction from a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate you’re going to screw up agriculture, there’s no, not any rocket science, uh, in that.

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(5)  So one of the questions is uh why the Stanford University, and I suspect ANU graduate many many people who don’t have a clue about agriculture. Why are universities at the front line of telling people what’s happening to the world and actually taking leadership to show what’s happening. Universities are disgraceful in this world. What do American universities seek? Money! All they wanna do is whatever gives them uh Stanford was once described by one of my colleagues as a full service whore house and that was a pretty accurate description. Uh but is it that different in Australia? Uh how many, oh, you, at some places I’m even told that you sort of get paid off for papers and so, on, but the basic point is there is no real leadership coming from the academic community, and that’s a major disgrace.

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(6)  Now let me briefly uh I only have two and a half hours according to our host here, uh let me just go briefly uh through some of the things uh this is obviously a self selected and knowledgeable audience. What sorts of things are not being discussed in the press besides, besides almost everything is significant, I mean we we we had, we had a presidential election in the United States in which not one single important issue was discussed., ever, or debated. What are they uh what do they talk about? Can gays get married. Well, I told this to many many audiences, I’m totally in favor of gay marriage. Why in hell should us straights be the only ones who suffer? I mean … sorry Ann, but my brain is sitting back there uh and I gotta be really careful uh, hey! Cory! Uh they uh uh debated all of this financial crap uh the uh terrible debt ceiling, the terrible fiscal cliff, the terrible this or that. When they discuss debt they never mention that for every nickel of debt somebody has a nickel of credit, that in fact the whole financial mess could easily be solved by human beings negotiating with each other, it would lead to some uh uh from some people’s point of view, a pretty nasty situation because some of the absolutely filthy rich people on Wall Street might lose some of the money they’ve been stealing from us all these years. Uh but uh It’s easily solvable.

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(7)  You can’t negotiate with nature. All the climate scientists I know think is a very high prob …. I know the best … a very high probability we’re going to bust through 2C in warming and continue up even to 5C even the World Bank is worried about 4C or 5C uh and that’s not necessarily the top … when you look at what is happening in other words you’ve got all this talk about climate change … you don’t hear people pointing out that we’re putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year than before, in other words if people talk about the effort – well we’re building more windmills and so on, yeah! what you have to do is figure out what are the results – what’s happening, I’m, I’m reminded many years ago when Ann and I were in India discussing uh family planning programs and an Indian government official said to us, “you know you gotta give us credit, last year we shipped a million condoms into the field and I said, well, if they weren’t used for flashlight covers, that may have covered the first hour or two of January first’s night, uh but the answer … you can’t judge it by effort you gotta judge it by results. What’s happening to the total fertility rate? OK, so what sorts of things are not being covered uh in the media in this uh uh in this situation. First thing is that they don’t cover agriculture, uh, and the second thing by the way, is that most universities, certainly Stanford University, don’t cover agriculture either. You gotta really seek out the courses to know anything at all about agriculture – humanity’s single most important activity – our biggest business. And if you stop a hundred Stanford professors on campus, professors not students, and ask them where their food comes from the best they can do is “the supermarket”. They don’t know that for example green uh uh uh the the uh the agricultural system in the United States and Australia, heavily dependent on fossil fuels, uh, depending on how you do the numbers, something like 25% to 35% of greenhouse gasses come from agriculture itself.

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(8)  The biggest and most important impact uh of climate change climate disruption is not going to be sea level rise, we’ve got to worry about that, that’s the problem right there I told you. Uh and uh uh it’s going to be its impact on agriculture and particularly changing precipitation patterns. Virtually none of them realize that we’re faced uh if we’re going to eat in the future, we’re faced with totally revising the energy mobilizing infrastructure on the planet and simultaneously totally uh revising the uh the uh water handling infrastructure and building it for flexibility because precipitation patterns we now know are going to change for the next thousand years at least. It’s not going to go from A to B so we can plan how we’re going to move from A to B. It’s gonna go A to B to C to D and uh essentially in perpetuity and uh we’re in deep trouble in agriculture already for lots and lots of reasons. Uh if you read the uh the idiot literature on how we’re gonna solve the agriculture problem, what do you see? Well, we gotta wait less. You can go back and read in 1960s we gotta wait less. Haven’t done anything about it. Then we gotta have uh better storage facilities. Ditto.

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(9)  Then we’ve got to improve our crops and bring the yields up to close the so called yield gap. That’s because if you grow corn in Iowa you can get a certain yield and uh and a very high yield, and if you then grow it in Southern Mexico you can’t get that you don’t get such a high yield. So the idea is to bring the Mexican yield up as the yield everywhere up to developed country standards uh of production. Problem uh a couple problems with that. First of all, all of the literature shows that the major grains, and by the way, don’t fool around with the stuff at the edges. The human feeding base is three grains. And if those three grains are not kept growing, we’re screwed. Put in technical terms, well, in fact, the rate of growth is changing in all of them and it’s going down.I mean the growth it was it was gradually increasing and now the rate of increase is going down and they full expect it to peal off and go the other direction. The yield – the yield gap is going to get smaller at least in part because the yields are not going to be uh the top yields are not going to be as high as they were before. Second thing is uh uh that uh as you warm the planet, it becomes tougher and tougher to keep the yields up not just because you’re approaching the limits of the grains being able to produce but also you are wrecking uh the uh the natural pest control services that normally keep Iowa way down because as one of the main reasons you don’t get as good a yield in the tropics is – guess what? – in the tropics the pests manage to reproduce all year long and so you’ll have a constant problem of pest reproduction. you’re warming up in uh uh in Iowa and the same thing will happen. Iowa is so great because it has a great thing called winter. You get rid of the winter, the pest control problems which are already extremely serious, get much worse.

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(10)  As some of you may have heard if you read the literature, we’re expected to have 2.5 billion more people by 2050. That’s a lot more people. When Ann and I were born there were only 2 billion people on the entire planet. We’re gonna add 2.5 billion people bu 2050 who are going to have to be fed by a staggering agricultural system in which we already fail to feed almost a billion people enough calories and another roughly two billion people are micro nutrient malnourished, so, some of them go blind, many of them can’t function at at a reasonable level and uh but there’s gonna be no problem at all adding another 2.5 billion people despite the gigantic non-linearity that are involved that are involved, the disproportionate effects. Why do we have nonlinearities there? Well a major reason is of course, people are smart. Guess what? When we developed agriculture, people didn’t run around trying to find the most marginal land they could grow crops on, grow crops on the marginal land, and then gradually, as civilization developed, more more and more towards the river bottoms and the rich soil. No, we settled down on the river bottom where we developed farms on the very best soil, we drank the clean water coming down the river, we crapped into the river because there weren’t enough of us so you didn’t have a sewage disposal problem, uh uh and guess what? Now every person, first of all, if any of you been to places like New Delhi or Manila you know we’re building our cities over our very best soil uh and so the people we’re going to have to feed in the future, each one of them on average, is going to have to be fed from more marginal land requiring more inputs, requiring more use of energy, and guess what that tends to feedback on uh and not only that they’re going to go water is going to have to be transported farther ?grilled beef before hump further?  more energy uh what are they gonna do for things like metal? Well, you know when we started back with the agricultural revolution we had copper lying around the surface at around a 100% uh now we’re mining ores at half a percent  (blogger’s note: percent copper in copper ores varies from less than half a percent to more than 12%).

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(11)  If any of you are familiar with the literature on collapse, particularly Joe Tainter’s book from what, about 1990. Collapse of Complex Civilization (The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joe Tainter, 1988 [LINK] ), he pointed out even then, uh that the biggest sign of approaching collapse is diminishing marginal returns. What does that mean? It’s not all that technical, it means, when we had our first oil well in Pennsylvania they started on the surface and went 59 feet and struck oil. The one that blew out in the Gulf uh uh the Deepwater Horizon, didn’t start at the surface of the ground. It started under a mile of water at the surface of the seafloor and had to go down two more miles before it hit oil. And in fact there was a paper in Science Magazine last week or the week before reiterating what a lot of us have been saying for a long long time of course and that is we are forced to use more scattered, less pure, more difficult to acquire, more difficult to refine, more dangerous to get resources, and the paper in Science pointed out that even if we had a sustainable size population and a constant level of consumption, thee system would still be continuously running downhill – just hopefully at a much slower rate. So these things are never considered in the press. They are not considered in most courses. What I am telling you now uh would be total news to 95 to 80 uh 98% of Stanford students when they get their PhD, not when they get their bachelors degrees. Universities are utter failures at trying to prepare people for the real world uh and uh almost nothing is being done about it – uh very sad, uh so, but what the hell, it’s partly my failure and the failure of the rest of you who are faculty members to not try and get this changed uh but I uh I’m sympathetic with those of you who’ve not tried because I’ve tried and it hasn’t worked, so I put a lot of energy uh into failure.

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(12)  Uh and I think one of the other problems is, is that most people don’t have any access now to what’s going on in the world. In other words, the media are a total disaster. The social media are uh can be very helpful. The trouble is that for every decent site there is that you can trust in the social media, uh, there are 4 or 5 that’re just solid bullshit, maybe ten. Uh for instance I once googled Uh Uh “missing links”and the first 30 sites that came up were very cleverly expensively done creationist sites. Uh I, I, I tweet myself and some of the stuff that goes through the tweets is absolutely amazing. Sometimes it’s uh very interesting information – uh depends on what who’s you’re you’re tweeting with uh but for instance stuff that just came over uh my desk in the last day or so, one was the paper in Science Magazine I was talking about. Uh a colleague sent me a preposterous thing by a guy named Hans Ross uh Rosling, he’s a statistician who’s totally ignorant of everything that’s statistics and tells us that everything is going to be find because as soon as we make 10 billion people as rich as we are, they’ll have smaller families. Now mind you, if you, if you go to for instance the ecological footprint site, which was a good one on hahahaha you find out that to support permanently, sustainably, today’s population with today’s level of misery, that is with half the population virtually living on under two bucks a day, with all those people hungry or starving, with all the other threats we’re facing, would require, to do it permanently, uh essentially permanently, would be another half an earth. To bring everybody up to the Australian standard, uh and the uh it, in the long run, uh would require 3 or 4 more earths. They’re hard to find these days.

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(13)  Uh but again, the flow of crap is denser by uh actually one of my colleagues, a sociologist made, he did an estimate, it’s about 30 times denser than the flow of uh uh real information from the scientific community uh and that’s because of the funding, that’s because of Mr Murdoch and his buddies and the rest uh by the way the the distribution of income in the US, you can be proud in Australia that you still have a semi reasonable distribution of income, it’s not really reasonable but compared to the US, uh our distribution of income is like an empire of old uh and it’s getting more so all the time and the uh unfortunately the filthy rich are so stupid that they never even uh learned the basic lessons from Henry uh Ford, who’s not a hero of mine by any means, but Ford priced his cars and paid his workers enough so they could buy the cars. Now the people are getting rich is mostly just through financial manipulation. The uh uh my uh my idea for Wall Street is very simple and that is that every body on Wall Street should be fired or imprisoned. Many imprisoned. Right. They are parasites, they create nothing of any use, most of their main job is to find ways to trick people out of their money and make the rich richer. If they did their job right, what would happen? They allocate capital and so on so that you get more economic growth. Economic growth is the disease, it’s not the cure! If they did their jobs right we’d still want to fire ’em, get ’em the hell out of the way because they are incapable of understanding that you cannot have continued exponential growth on a finite planet as as Kenneth Holding, a very distinguished economist said many years ago, “if you think you can have perpetual growth, you’re either an imbecile or an economist and I, I think that holds today very well.

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Conclusion We have to as rapidly as possible reduce the scale of the human enterprise, not just, not just uh try and bring the poor up which we certainly must do, we let them let everybody on the planet have a decent life. The {?batam flies?} re-distribution and people don’t like the idea of re-distribution and of course one of the things about reducing the scale of the human enterprise is to lower the birthrate further, considerably further. How do we do that? We do something that has been done in no nation in the world yet and that is to give women absolutely equal rights and opportunities to men and at the same time give everybody who is sexually active access to modern contraception, and where necessary, back up abortion. If you do those things the odds are you will get population declining gradually in lots of places. The estimate of what might be sustainable over a medium term at least runs generally in the vicinity of a billion to two billion people depending on how much risk … how risk averse you are. Bur of course we’re now at 7.1, we’re aiming for 10 or eleven and uh so the issue of exactly where you stop as you downsize the human enterprise to make it sustainable uh uh can be debated for a hundred years. It’s not going to happen overnight. Just telling people what the science says does not change their behavior. 

 

 

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY 

  1. The lecture by Paul Ehrlich is an expression of a popular obsession with a coming collapse of our civilization. This theme is evident in Ehrlich’s prior works exemplified by his bestseller The Population Bomb and supported in this lecture by a citation of the 1988 book on “Collapse of Complex Societies” by Joe Tainter [LINK] . The Tainter book is cited as support for the claim that “the biggest sign of approaching collapse is diminishing marginal returns“. The current fear of climate change, expressed as climate crisis and climate emergency, is presented here in terms of the collapse of civilization paradigm. 
  2. Yet, The Population Bomb has been thoroughly discredited and is widely considered to have been a failed assessment of the future of humanity and life on earth [SMITHSONIAN 2018] [REED 2008] in terms of its methodology, its implicit assumptions, and in the context of what turned out to be a spectacular collection of failed predictions. Some of the failed predictions are listed below. The essential thesis is that population growth and economic growth, what Ehrlich calls “The Human Enterprise“,  can’t just continue forever without limits and therefore there has to be limits and therefore reaching and crossing these limits will cause a catastrophic Biblical collapse of The Human Enterprise. The prior expression of this limit in the Population Bomb is deftly extended in this lecture to climate change by simply inserting human activities, such as fossil fuel emissions, into The Human Enterprise.
  3. The case for limits to population growth and economic growth is presented in terms of the low fruit analogy. This analogy states that, in terms of agricultural land, minerals, and energy resources, the global economy grows initially on “low fruit” that is readily accessible, high quality, and plentiful supply of resources such as fertile agricultural land, fossil fuels, and metals, of very high quality and purity, found close to the surface. The low fruit argument is that as the low fruit is used up and the fruit gets higher and higher due to resource depletion and environmental degradation caused by human activity and its exploitation of nature, growth of “the human enterprise” becomes constrained by declining availability and quality of resources particularly so when it is combined with increasing human population. At some point, it is argued, when the fruit too high and the humans are too many, growth ceases . In this condition, continued growth is not possible. It is on this basis that this condition is presented as the proximate cause of “the coming collapse”.
  4. However, the low fruit argument of the coming collapse theory contains a fatal logical flaw. As humans consume and human population grows over time, humans also change, not only biologically in terms of evolution, but also in terms of progress in science and technology. For example, it would probably not be possible for the Neanderthal cave dwellers of 100,000 years ago to participate in the home building and agriculture of the Neolithic Revolution or for the geniuses of the Neolithic revolution to drill for oil in the ocean.
  5. The reason the low fruit argument is flawed, is that it is not the Neanderthals that are drilling for oil in the ocean and manufacturing aircraft and exploring space; but their evolutionary survivors that have vastly increased their capacity to find and make use of resources. As our population changes, so do we. The consumption of low fruit increases our ability to reach higher fruit as the low fruit is used up. This dynamic is missing in the Ehrlich logic.
  6. In the climate change era, the lecture on the limits to population and economic growth is extended to include the environmental degradation of “the planet” in terms of climate change. The impact of climate change on the Ehrlich/Tainter limits to growth hypothesis is described as “a perfect storm of environmental problems” because you can’t negotiate with nature. All the climate scientists I know think there is a very high probability we’re going to bust through 2C in warming and continue up even to 5C and even the World Bank is worried about 4C or 5C “.
  7. He defends his extreme evaluation of climate change, more extreme than the IPCC,  with the observation that “we’re putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, more than before, in other words if people talk about the effort – well we’re building more windmills and so on, yeah! what you have to do is figure out what are the results – what’s happening“. Here we see the Ehrlich genius for linguistic extravagance in the absence of information. The growth in annual fossil fuel emissions since pre-industrial is well known and it is in the equation that determines temperature forecasts for the business as usual scenario. Also, his claim that the investment in wind power made around the world, at the insistence of climate scientists and the IPCC, has had no effect on the rate of warming is a common argument against the renewable energy seen in climate denier websites.
  8. Agriculture: Curiously, agriculture plays a key and critical role and in the Paul Ehrlich science of the collapse of civilization by way of population and economic growth. He describes the role of agriculture in the context of climate change when he claims that “The biggest and most important impact of climate-change-climate-disruption is not going to be sea level rise. It’s going to be the impact on agriculture.  Specifically, the issue seems to be changing precipitation patterns. expected to be an impact of climate-change-climate-disruption.  He says that “if we’re going to eat in the future”, we have to overhaul “the energy infrastructure of the planet“. He says that we also have to overhaul and reinvent the water handling infrastructure so that we can adapt to changing precipitation patterns “for the next thousand years at least“. Here the man who says the end is near also advises us to plan ahead when building our water infrastructure for a thousand years.
  9. You can’t negotiate with nature:  With respect to the debate between climate science and the deniers, Ehrlich says “Some people will think there’s a big debate about whether human beings are changing the climate. In the scientific community there is NO debate. Not the slightest of hint of anybody who has even the most elementary science.  It has been known for 60 years (since the 1950s) that if you add crap to the atmosphere you will change the climate. But 60 years ago (1950s) there was some question about whether the crap would cause cooling or warming. But of course where the most serious effects come that is the effects on agriculture doesn’t matter much. Change in any direction from a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate you’re going to screw up agriculture. That’s not rocket science.You can’t negotiate with nature.”  The reference to crap changing the climate either that could be either warming or cooling is a likely reference to the work of the late Stephen Schneider who had written in the depths of the 1970s cooling period that fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy contains not only CO2 that causes warming but also aerosols and when the aerosols get into the stratosphere they cause cooling by reflecting incident radiation. He also noted that the progression of of CO2 warming was logarithmic – that is the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the less the impact of adding more CO2. In contrast, the progression of aerosol cooling is exponential. That means that the more aerosol you have the greater the impact of additional aerosols. He had written then that this is why there has to come a time in AGW when the warming will revert to cooling. This paper (Rasool&Schneider 1972) was the definitive paper at that time that had explained the 1970s cooling anomaly although shortly thereafter the cooling changed to warming. (Schneider blamed that on the acid rain program that cleaned up aerosol and CO2 emissions of power plants.) In terms of these details, the Ehrlich interpretation in 2014, when the direction of climate change had already established itself as warming, as “crap” causing climate change in either direction and that therefore the rational response is to take adaptive action against agriculture disruption, seems strangely out of sync and out of touch with the climate science literature since the 1950s. Also his assessment that the climate history of the Holocene as “a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate” is grossly at odds with the literature and with the paleo data for Holocene presented in a related post [LINK] . The relevant bibliography presentd in that post shows that the 10,000 years of Holocene history has a turbulent and chaotic temperature profile consisting of violent alternating cycles of warming and cooling and millennial and centennial time scales. 
  10. Also with respect to climate change he says that there is no debate about the science of AGW climate change among scientists but there is some debate about the probability that it will cause a collapse of civilization. He lists probabilities of 1%, 10%, and 25% from this debate among scientists. The wide range of these estimates actually implies that the scientists don’t really know what the answer is. And although these probabilities are supposed to scare us such that we should “live i up” and prepare to die they are actually too low for that interpretation.
  11. The Ad hominem Fallacy: As is common in climate science arguments in support of a climate crisis or climate emergency that makes climate action mandatory, here Ehrlich too digs deep into this fallacy to support his climate crisis views as well as his collapse of civilization views by repeated use of the phrase “the science says” as well as the odd parallels drawn by citing brain surgery and flying in airliners where he implies that to trust these technologies that are the creation of scientists and then to question the climate crisis and ecological crisis and collapse of civilization as forecast by scientists is a contradiction. The need to reach this low in bad logic does not speak well for “the science” that he is trying to support.
  12. In summary, the attempt by Ehrlich to put the population bomb and the climate bomb together into a greater scare of an anticipated collapse than previously thought is undone by the weakness of his arguments and the absence of a continuity in the lecture except that climate change has been connected to agriculture disruption by way of changing precipitation patterns“.
  13. FOOTNOTE: As a footnote, the Paul Ehrlich scenario for collapse of civilization both in his population & economic growth analysis and now in his climate change analysis bears a close resemblance to what had happened in the Late Bronze Age Collapse (LBAC) described in a related post [LINK] . In this context, it is interesting to note that religions prior to the LBAC do not contain a Judgement Day “end of the world” of any kind even though some of them have different versions of heaven and hell mostly in afterlives or in places deep under the ground. However, religions that got started in the Early Iron Age right after the Dark Ages of the LBAC do contain an end of the world of some kind. It is likely that the existence of doomology in our time, that is an obsession with a collapse of civilization similar to the LBAC, but framed in terms of current events seen here in the form of population growth, economic growth, and fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy, may derive from a distant genetic memory of the LBAC. It is likely that modern iron age humans carry a doomsday gene and that creates the genetic memory of the LBAC although it is clear that this gene is not universal but rare. 

 

 

PART-3: SOME PRIOR FORECASTS OF PAUL EHRLICH

  1. 1968:  The battle to feed humanity has been lost. There will be a major food shortage in the US in the 1970s and hundreds of millions are going to starve to death and by the 1980s most of the world’s important resources will be depleted. 65 million Americans will die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population will decline to 22.6 million. The problems in the US will be relatively minor compared to those in the rest of the world.
  2. 1968: By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
  3. 1970: In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
  4. 1970: Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years. Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born and by 1975 food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, will perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
  5. 1970: Air pollution will take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone and 200,000 Americans will die in 1973 due to “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles. DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945 and these people have a life expectancy of only 49 years. Life expectancy will reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.
  6. 1975:  Since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rain forests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.
  7. 2015:  Australia is working to become a third-world country through its economic dependence on mining natural resources for export and reliance on coal mining.

 

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  • chaamjamal: Thank you very much for this informative andcrelevant comment.
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