Category Archive 'Julian Simon'

16 Jul 2009

False Prophet

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Crackpot John Holdren


David Harsanyi
points out that Barack Obama’s “science czar,” John Holdren, is a renowned environmental extremist with a long record of failed prophecies.

Holdren’s biggest claim to fame consists of being one of the participants in the dramatic Simon-Erlich commodity prices wager back in 1980. He lost.

When, during his Senate confirmation hearing, Holdren was asked about his penchant for scientific overstatements, he responded that “the motivation for looking at the downside possibilities, the possibilities that can go wrong if things continue in a bad direction, is to motivate people to change direction. That was my intention at the time.”

“Motivation” is when Holdren tells us that global warming could cause the deaths of 1 billion people by 2020. Or when he claimed that sea levels could rise by 13 feet by the end of this century when your run-of-the-mill alarmist warns of only 13 inches.

Holdren is backpedaling on population control by direct government coercion today, contending that he now favors “motivation” over force, but several sources on the Net quote the 1977 Ecoscience book he co-authored with Paul Erlich.

Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.

Under Barack Obama, this is what so-called science has come to.


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