Prince Charles has openly expressed support for a recent population study by biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, calling for drastic global efforts to reduce fertility worldwide. On the official website of the Prince of Wales,Â prince Charles commendedÂ Paul and Anne Ehrlichâs latest population study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society on January 8 of this year, calling among other things for globally provided âback-up abortionsâ to avert overpopulation catastrophe. The prince writes:
âWe do, in fact, have all the tools, assets and knowledge to avoid the collapse of which this report warns, but only if we act decisively now.â
In their latest study entitledÂ Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?, biologists Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife repeat their decade-long mantra, namely that global population growth is certain to collapse civilization as a whole- and only a concerted global effort to reduce fertility may avert the feared catastrophe. The report mentions that global population reduction is a monumental task, but they add:
âMonumental, but not impossible if the political will could be generated globally to give full rights, education and opportunities to women, and provide all sexually active human beings with modern contraception and backup abortion. The degree to which those steps would reduce fertility rates is controversial, but they are a likely win-win for societies.â
These words contain some drastic and draconian implications. In order to provide âback-up abortionsâ to women on a global scale, a worldwide population reduction strategy must be outlined and then enforced by all nations of the planet. The Ehrlichs concede that such a worldwide effort would not go down well with nations opposing abortions:
âObviously (âŠ) there are huge cultural and institutional barriers to establishing such policies in some parts of the world. After all, there is not a single nation where women are truly treated as equal to men. Despite that, the population driver should not be ignored simply because limiting overconsumption can, at least in theory, be achieved more rapidly. The difficulties of changing demographic trajectories mean that the problem should have been addressed sooner, rather than later.â, the Ehrlichs write.
Responding to countless recent studies showing that not overpopulation, butunderpopulation seems to be an increasing problem, especially in Europe, the Ehrlichs state:
âThat halting population growth inevitably leads to changes in age structure is no excuse for bemoaning drops in fertility rates, as is common in European government circles. Reduction of population size in those over-consuming nations is a very positive trend, and sensible planning can deal with the problems of population aging.â
They also write that besides change in the politics of demography, the educational system should also join the effort in a âsymmetricalâ manner, âmoving towards sustainability and enhancing equity (including redistribution).â The scientific community must throw its weight behind the effort, the Ehrlichs say, especially to counter all religious counter-argumentation underlining the value of life:
âTo our minds, the fundamental cure, reducing the scale of the human enterprise (including the size of the population) to keep its aggregate consumption within the carrying capacity of Earth, is obvious but too much neglected or denied. There are great social and psychological barriers in growthmanic cultures to even considering it. This is especially true because of the âendarkenmentââa rapidly growing movement towards religious orthodoxies that reject enlightenment values such as freedom of thought, democracy, separation of church and state, and basing beliefs and actions on empirical evidence. They are manifest in dangerous trends such as climate denial, failure to act on the loss of biodiversity and opposition to condoms (for AIDS control) as well as other forms of contraception. If ever there was a time for evidence-based (as opposed to faith-based) risk reduction strategies, it is now.â
Global population reduction and global redistribution of wealth. These things can of course only be accomplished through a concerted global effort or, as the authors declare âan unprecedented level of international cooperation.â:
âAt the global level, the loose network of agreements that now tie countries together, developed in a relatively recent stage of cultural evolution since modern nation states appeared, is utterly inadequate to grapple with the human predicament. Strengthening global environmental governance and addressing the related problem of avoiding failed statehood are tasks humanity has so far refused to tackle comprehensively even as cultural evolution in technology has rendered the present international system (as it has educational systems) obsolete. Serious global environmental problems can only be solved and a collapse avoided with an unprecedented level of international cooperation.â
The two end this line of reasoning by regurgitating the neo-Malthusian mantra- which simultaneously harbors a veiled threat, namely:
âIf people do not do that, nature will restructure civilization for us.â
After Prince Charles endorsed the conclusions of their study, Paul Ehrlich twittered âI wish our leaders were as far-sightedâ, to which one of Ehrlichâs followers responded âSuicide on a grand scale needs reconsidering.â
Comments such as these show that morality is nowhere to be found in the vicinity of these neo-Malthusian characters. The fact that Prince Charles felt compelled to endorse the conclusions of this report only reaffirms that his lineage is still of the opinion that people are a scourge on the earth, or as his father Prince Philip stated, a plague:
As current Bing professor of Population Studies and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, Paul Ehrlich is living proof that old habits die hard- and eugenic habits die even harder. After his famous book The Population Bomb was published in 1968, he has fallen somewhat in credibility for the world kept on turning and mankind is apparently still around, despite of all the doom predicted. In 1969 EhrlichÂ predictedÂ that ââsmog disastersâ in 1973 might kill 200,000 people in New York and Los Angelesâ and âBy 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earthâs population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion peopleâ.
Nevertheless, despite Ehrlichâs prediction of the total collapse of human society if the population would continue to rise, after 40 years the man still maintains his point, this time pointing to âclimate changeâ as the consequence of increased human activity. During an interview in December 2009, Ehrlich stated:
âThe population explosion will come to an end. The only question is whether it will do so by humanity balancing its interventions to decrease death rates with interventions to decrease birth rates, or whether the death rate will soar.â
In 2009, Ehrlich also expressed his desire to see the global population fall below replacement:
âUntil and unless we can humanely begin to shrink the global population, following the lead of over-consuming and over-populated European nations, the future seems grim.â
Humanely shrink the global populationâ, says Ehrlich. He is wise enough to edit the word âhumanelyâ in if he is to avoid the same indignation that befell his friend John Holdren, who co-authored Ecoscience with him in 1977. There is of course no humane way of shrinking the global population. Only a planetary authority, enforcing such a shrinkage, could get the job done. And it is exactly such a planetary regime Mr. EhrlichÂ called for, together with current chief science advisor to President Obama.
In the following fragment, Paul Ehrlich advocates the creation of a âglobal systemâ to create a âbehavioral changeâ. Ehrlich: âWe donât have any international effort to say, you know, how are we behaving. We have global problems, why donât we have a global system to fix it.â
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