SMH: Paul Ehrlich Got Almost Everything Wrong, but We Should have Listened to his Climate Warning
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Former NSW Premier and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr thinks even thought Paul Ehrlich was wrong about global starvation and resource depletion, we should have listened to his warning about global warming.
Everybody’s scared’: The first mention in Australian media of global warming could only gesture to the future
Industry Professor of Climate and Business at the University of Technology Sydney
August 30, 2021 — 5.58am
It was 50 years ago — August 30, 1971. I was 23, watching US ecologist Paul Ehrlich on the ABC’s Monday Conference, being interviewed by Robert Moore. Ehrlich said the world’s population was 3.7 billion and we were adding 70 million people a year. This was degrading the life support systems of the planet.
The prophet had spoken. At last, I thought, someone has identified the driver of all environmental decline: the explosive growth in human numbers.
Recently, I consulted the 33-page transcript. I saw a question from the audience I hadn’t noted at the time. An unidentified person asked Ehrlich about a cover story in New Scientist that said the world’s temperature had increased by a degree and, if it rose by 3.5, we would flood most of the earth.
Ehrlich replied he knew this research. “If we continue on the long-range energy course we are on, sooner or later we will melt the polar ice caps.” He said “atmospheric dynamics” were now being studied and “everybody’s scared”.
Ehrlich was wrong to talk up the threat of world starvation, to overlook the new plant varieties and farm techniques that enabled food to keep pace with population. Critics have made much of this alleged Malthusianism. But 50 years ago a lot was unknown, not just in environmental sciences. Western leaders believed in wage and price controls. China and Russia were locked in dogmatic Marxism.
Ehrlich was right about the biggest thing: the dramatic rise in world population that would lift numbers over 50 years from 3.7 to today’s 7.8 billion. It’s happened, on cue. According to one physicist it explains at least half the warming – it, and the spike in consumption it brought with it, like the rise in vehicle numbers from 200 million to 1.5 billion. Or the doubling in per capita pork consumption. Above all, the doubling in power use.
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/everybody-s-scared-the-first-mention-in-australian-media-of-global-warming-could-only-gesture-to-the-future-20210828-p58mr6.html
Seriously Bob Carr, getting almost everything wrong is not a selling point for a prophet.
Paul Ehrlich frightened entire generations of kids with his failed prophecies, just as kids today are being needlessly frightened by empty global warming scares.
The damage to children from all this scaremongering is real, far more real than the fantasy terrors of slightly warmer weather. It is not just the Greta communists ruining their future career prospects by slacking off from school. There is evidence some kids are wrecking their lives with hard drugs, because they can’t live with what they have been told about climate change.
How many lives have been destroyed, and continue to be ruined, because self important prophets like Erlich and yourself continue to push empty scare stories? I am not suggesting you and others are deliberately setting out to destroy lives – but the destruction of young people is an incontrovertible consequence of the horror themed message you and other well meaning activists are pushing.
And after the climate story finally dies, there will be something else, some new panic. There always is. From witchcraft to resource depletion to global cooling to global warming, someone always tries to frighten the kids.
Please wake up, and quit being part of the problem Bob Carr.