Why the prophets of doom are the real disaster for humanity

Did you hear? The world is about to end!

“60 Minutes” recently featured Paul Ehrlich, author of the best-selling “The Population Bomb.” “Humanity is not sustainable,” he said.

Why would “60 Minutes” interview Ehrlich? For years he said, “We are very close to a famine. And: “In the next 15 years, the end will come.” He was wrong again and again.

Yet “60 Minutes” takes it seriously. “Paul Ehrlich may have lived long enough to see some of his terrible prophecies come true,” intoned journalist Scott Pelley. Now, “60 Minutes” says, “scientists say” Earth is in the midst of a “mass extinction”!

Doom sells.

Ehrlich’s book has sold 3 million copies. He claimed that the Earth’s growing population would lead to global famine.

The opposite happened. The world population has more than doubled. But today there is less famine!

“60 Minutes” mentioned that Ehrlich was wrong about widespread starvation, but he ignored his many other foolish predictions. The first was that by the year 2000 (due to climate change) England would no longer exist.

Ehrlich doesn’t want to talk to me now, but seven years ago when my producer asked him about his nonsense, Ehrlich said, “When you predict the future, you’re wrong.”

The media should ignore doomsayers like Ehrlich and pay more attention to people like Marian Tupy, editor of HumanProgress.org.

Tupy remarks to me that “life gets better”. The modern era has brought much longer lives and the greatest decline in poverty ever seen.

Of course, universities, media and politicians say that capitalism is destroying the Earth, so young people are throwing soup on famous paintings. It’s the moral thing to do, they believe, because we are facing an apocalypse!

“If you’re selling the apocalypse,” Tupy says, “people get the impression that you’re deep and that you care.” But “if you’re selling rational optimism, you seem indifferent.”

Indifferent? It is the prophets of doom who are anti-people. Ehrlich once even initiated policies such as sterilizing people and reducing population growth by having the government poison our food.

Author Paul Ehrlich claimed in “60 Minutes” that “humanity is unsustainable”.
Photo by James D. Wilson/Getty Images

“Ehrlich sees human beings as destroyers rather than creators,” says Tupy, “no different from rabbits. When they consume all the grass around us, their population explodes, but then it will crash. human beings are fundamentally different. We have the ability to innovate.”

It is counter-intuitive to think that people can be good for the environment. “We use stuff,” I tell Tupy.

“We use stuff, but we also grow stuff,” he replies. “What counts is new knowledge. Think of something as simple as sand. When we first started melting sand to create glass, we used the first glass for glass marbles. Now we are creating microchips.

Similar innovation in agriculture, transportation, and genetic engineering is why our growing population isn’t destroying nature. “Forests have increased by 35% in North America and Western Europe over the past 20 years,” Tupy points out.

It’s because innovative humans have found ways to produce more food on less land. Moreover, prosperous countries can afford to protect nature.

But this idea that human innovation assistance nature is nowhere near as popular as the idea that humans are destroying the earth.

Countless young people are so misled that many do not want to have children. But that would be hurt the world! Fewer women having babies today is probably more of a threat than climate change. Not only do we need young people to take care of the growing number of us old people, but we need them to invent the things that will solve Earth’s problems.

More children means more people who could grow up to cure cancer or invent a carbon-burning machine.

However, more people alone are not enough to deliver the innovation we need.

“Certainly not,” said Tupy. “If population was all that mattered, China would have been the wealthiest country for centuries. What you need are people, and freedom. If you let human beings be free, they will create more value for everyone.

John Stossel is the author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media”.

New York Post

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