Human consumption: Flying in the face of logic

November 28, 2008 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Carl Carlson for alerting me to this book review.

In 1968, six years after Rachel Carson published Silent Spring – the book regarded as marking the beginning of modern environmental consciousness – a young American entomology professor at Stanford University, California, published The Population Bomb. The tenor of Paul Ehrlich’s book echoed the revolutionary sensibility and pervasive anxiety of the time. In it, Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, presented a neo-Malthusian scenario of imminent population explosion and ensuing disaster. “The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” the Ehrlichs warned. “In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programmes embarked upon now. At this late date, nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…”

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