For more than 40 years the public has been bombarded with apocalyptic tales of disaster regarding population growth. Paul Ehrlich, a prominent “so-called” prophet of population doom, predicted in 1968 that millions of people would die from starvation in the 1970’s. He later predicted that the death-toll estimates would increase to a billion people dying from starvation by the mid-1980’s. These famines never materialized and though there are still too many people who remain hungry, agricultural advances have fought off massive famines. Most measures of human welfare show the Earth’s population is better off today than at any other time in human history. Life expectancy is increasing, per-capita income is rising, and the air that we breathe and the water we drink are cleaner. And, ironically, concerns expressed in the 1970’s about the earth’s climate headed toward the next ice age have now been turned to concerns of global warming and melting ice caps. Stanford economist, Paul Romer says, “Every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas. We consistently fail to grasp how many ideas remain to be discovered. Possibilities do not add up; they multiply.”
The trouble with the “sky-is-falling” claims is that they can lead to costly and restrictive government regulations and media biases. Ehrlich thinks that the government should have a greater role in family planning and he demands that the media start educating the public every day “on the role played by the unsustainable human numbers behind environmental degradation and human calamities.” He claims that the public needs a constant message of “it is time to stop growing and become sustainable.” In fact the opposite is quite true, as government regulations and media propaganda will suffocate the kind of advances that have only helped improve environmental conditions and human well-being. Why won’t these “prophets” of environmental gloom just go away? For more information read “Greener than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist?” by Terry L. Anderson and Laura Higgins who deserve all the credit for their wise insights. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.