Ehrlich: How to Control the WORLD Population by Brent Jessop

Dandelion Salad

by Brent Jessop
Knowledge Driven
December 17, 2007

The Population Bomb Part 2

Once the American population size is comfortably under control, be it by voluntary or compulsory methods, the rest of the world needs to be “helped.” Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 The Population Bomb* described a variety of methods for controlling third world population growth and who should be involved in deciding the optimum population levels for the world.

Please read this article for a discussion on Ehrlich’s desire for the American population including “addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food” with an antidote “carefully rationed by the government.”

Plan for the Third World

Once the American population is comfortably under control, be it voluntary or compulsory methods, the “do as we do” propaganda can begin on the rest of the world. From The Population Bomb:

“What about vasectomies? A few years ago, there was talk in India of compulsory sterilization for all males who were fathers of three or more children. Ignore for a moment the socio-political problems that would be raised by such a program. Consider just the logistic problems, as A. S. Parkes did. Even if those eligible could be rounded up, it would take 1,000 surgeons or para-surgeons operating eight hours a day, five days a week, a full eight years to sterilize the candidates who exist today. And the stock of candidates is growing very rapidly. Can you picture the probable results of a government attempt to sterilize 40 million American males? What a problem it would be in our country, with its relatively informed populace and efficient transport and communication system! Imagine such an attempt in India, where the difference between castration and sterilization (still not clear to many Westerners) would be almost impossible to explain. As one might expect, the principal Indian official thinking in such tough-minded terms, Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, ended up in a less influential position in a government shuffle.” – 82

“When we suggested sterilizing all Indian males with three or more children, he should have encouraged the Indian government to go ahead with the plan. We should have volunteered logistical support in the form of helicopters, vehicles, and surgical instruments. We should have sent doctors to aid in the program by setting up centers for training para-medical personnel to do vasectomies. Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion in a good cause.” – 151

“United States, Russia, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, and other ODCs [overdeveloped countries] immediately set up, through the United Nations, a machinery for “area rehabilitation.” This plan involved simultaneous population control, agricultural development, and, where resources warrant it, industrialization of selected countries or sections of countries. The bedrock requirement of the program would have to be population control, necessarily including migration control to prevent swamping of aided areas by the less fortunate.” – 148

“If we could, somehow, get a program underway in which the ODCs made a genuine attempt to aid the UDCs [underdeveloped countries], what form might that program take? The specific requirements of the program would vary from area to area. Possibly the first step in all areas would be to set up relay stations and distribute small transistorized TV sets to villages for communal viewing of satellite-transmitted programs… TV programs would explain the rehabilitation plan for each area. These programs would have to be produced with the combined skills of people with great expertise in the subject to be presented and intimate knowledge of the target population. The programs could be presented both “straight” and as “entertainment.” … The programs would use the prospect of increased affluence as a major incentive for gaining cooperation. It seems unlikely that the threat of future starvation would have much impact. If necessary, however, the TV channel could be used to make it clear that the continuance of food supplies depends on the cooperation of the people in the area…” – 149

How Many People Get to Live?

“In all areas studies should be initiated to determine how much agricultural and industrial development is feasible. It must be determined how many people, at each stage of development can live reasonably comfortable, secure lives in each area. That is, demographic goals must be set that are reasonable in the light of each country’s and the world’s resources.” – 150

“But with a human population of, say, one-half billion people, some minor changes in technology and some major changes in the rate of use and equity of distribution of the world’s resources, there would clearly be no environmental crisis.” – 44

“But at a minimum it seems safe to say that a population of one billion people could be sustained in reasonable comfort for perhaps 1000 years if resources were husbanded carefully.” – 157

Who Decides How Many People Get to Live?

It should come as little surprise that the individual has little or no say in this. Ehrlich’s ideas for America:

“Obviously, such measures should be coordinated by a powerful governmental agency. A federal Bureau of Population and Environment [BPE] should be set up to determine the optimum population size for the US and devise measures to establish it. Of course this should be done within the context of resource and environmental limitations. The BPE should coordinate population policies with those dealing with environmental protection and resource husbandry. This Bureau should give ample funds to support research in the areas of population control and environmental quality. In the first area it would promote intensive investigation and development of new techniques of birth control. This research will not only give us better methods to use at home, which will be essential for helping the UDCs [underdeveloped countries] to control their populations: the BPE also would encourage more research on human sex determination, for if a simple method could be found to guarantee that firstborn children were males, then population control problems in many areas would be somewhat eased. In our country and elsewhere, couples with only female children “keep trying” in hope of a son.

Two other functions of the BPE would be to aid Congress in developing legislation relating to population and environment, and to inform the public of the need for such legislation. Some of these needs are already apparent. The right of any woman to have an abortion if it is approved by a physician should be guaranteed. We need federal legislation affirming the right to voluntary sterilization for adults… We need a federal law requiring sex education in schools – sex education that includes discussion of the need for regulating the birth rate and of the techniques of birth control. Such education should begin at the earliest age recommended by those with professional competence in this area – certainly before junior high school. [emphasis in original] – 132

Ehrlich envisions that these and other world population policies be coordinated from the international level through the United Nations or some other world body.

“A general answer to the question, “What needs to be done?” can be given easily. We must rapidly bring the world population under control, reducing the growth rate to zero and eventually making it go negative. Conscious regulation of human numbers must he [sic] achieved. Simultaneously we must greatly increase our food production. This agricultural program should be carefully monitored to minimize deleterious effects on the environment and should include an effective program of ecosystem restoration. The world’s supply of nonrenewable resources must be assessed and plans made for the most economical and beneficial management and use of what remains of them. As these projects are carried out, an international policy research program must be initiated to set optimum population-environment goals for the world and to devise methods for reaching these goals.” [emphasis mine] – 127


The next article in this series will examine the role of religion, women and sex education in population control and the changes that Ehrlich believes necessary. Part four of this series will discuss the major organizations, foundations and individuals involved. Finally, the last article will examine the similarities between the arguments for global warming and the population explosion, including a direct comparison between The Population Bomb and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

*Quotes from: Paul R. Ehrlich. The Population Bomb: Revised & Expanded Edition (1968, 1971). SBN 345-24489-3-150.

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How to Control the WORLD Population by Paul Ehrlich The Population Bomb Part 2 by Brent Jessop

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Ehrlich: How to Control the AMERICAN Population by Brent Jessop (Part 1)

Population, Religion & Sex Education by Brent Jessop (Part 3)

Culling The Herd By Sheila Samples

The Population Bomb Revisited By Joseph Schouweiler (12.07)