Published On: Sun, May 25th, 2014

‘The Population Bomb’ author, Paul Ehrlich predicts a future of cannibalism

Why is it we keep listening to so-called “experts” after they are proven wrong over and over?



Well he’s back. Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich, who gained fame from his 1968 book, The Population Bomb and other fantastic apocalyptic predictions that never came true, was interviewed on HuffPost Live last week.

In The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted dire consequences like, “During the 1970s “the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Clearly he was way off but nevertheless, won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.

So what does Ehrlich have to tell us now nearly five decades later? We will be resorting to cannibalism?!

In one exchange between Ehrlich and HuffPost  host, John Zepps, who asked if in the decades and centuries to come, we will need to change the way we use and consume animals in an exchange during the interview, the 81-year-old entomologist said, “I don’t think there’s going to be the centuries to come with our kind of civilizations and with the kind of ethical issues that at least some people in our civilization are concerned with,” Ehrlich noted with a chuckle.  “I think the issues are more likely to be “is it perfectly OK to eat the bodies of your dead because we’re all so hungry.”

Zepps, taken a back asked, “Really? We’ll get that bad?” “Oh,” Ehrlich said. “It’s moving in that direction with ridiculous speed.”

I recall the back-and-forth during the 70s, 80s and 90s between Ehrlich and the late economist Julian Simon and how Ehrlich was just so off base concerning these issues, but cannibalism? Wow. So I ask once again–Why is it we keep listening to so-called “experts” after they are proven wrong over and over?

“This is my long-run forecast in brief: “The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today’s Western living standards.

“I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.” 
― Julian Simon

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Paul Ehrlich, cannibalism and the Overpopulation Myth: A conversation with PRI president, Steve Mosher - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] does Dr. Paul Ehrlich, entomologist, author and Stanford professor still get attention after being wrong so many times […]

  2. Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher: ‘Ehrlich’s claims of cannibalism are ridiculously errant’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] when asked about the ethics of meat consumption during an interview on HuffPost Live, Paul Ehrlich prophesied cannibalism saying, “I think the issues are more likely to be ‘is it perfectly OK to eat the bodies of your […]

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