Czar 54, Who Are You?

July 21, 2009

IBD     21 July 09

Leadership: Our new science czar, John Holdren, once backed compulsory sterilization and forced abortion as part of a government population-control program. The only thing missing was a Soylent Green recipe.

In April, President Obama declared that “the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.” In everything from stem cell research to climate change and energy policy, reason and science would triumph. The problem is that what the Obama administration considers science, as exemplified by the choice of Holdren, is troubling.

In a recently rediscovered 1977 book, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” co-authored with doomsters Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Holdren, who holds the post of presidential assistant for science technology, revealed his pessimistic and apocalyptic views on all three topics. They are disturbing.

He hates people and views them as the root of all planetary evils. Large families are a target of Holdren and the Ehrlichs, who write that they “contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children” and “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility.”

On page 837, Holdren writes “it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

Overproducing children? On the next page, Holdren asserts that “neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce.” He missed that part about life being an inalienable right.

Existing Constitution? On page 943, Holdren proposes “a comprehensive Planetary Regime (that) could control the development, administration and distribution of all natural resources . . . not only in the atmosphere and the oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes.” We believe that was tried in Kyoto and will be tried again in Copenhagen.

As for that nasty people problem, Holdren says the “Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. . . . The Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.” This is China on steroids.

Among the methods of population control he discusses in the book is “sterilizing women after their second or third child” and “adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods.” He cautions that whatever is added must be safe for pets and livestock.

Similar nonsense was express in Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb” (1968), which warned: “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famine — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now.” He was wrong.

Such nightmare scenarios regarding overpopulation have made the rounds since Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 that overpopulation would outstrip England’s food supply and the British Empire would literally starve to death.

In 1980, Holdren and the Ehrlichs made a famous wager with economist Julian Simon: They bet $1,000 that five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — would be more expensive 10 years later. They were wrong on all five predictions, and had to pay up in 1990.

Holdren also calculated that famines due to climate change could leave a billion people dead by 2020, championed “population control measures,” and believed 280 million Americans would likely be “too many.”

Like Ehrlich, he forgot that with bodies come minds, minds that can innovate, invent and find substitutes for scarce resources and new ways to feed people. Things like fiber optic cables, wireless computers, and bioengineering come to mind. Obesity is a threat, not famine.

This administration, through its policies, programs and personnel choices, is pushing science fiction, not science, and seeking to control and limit people as a plague upon the earth. Science czar John Holdren’s views, which to our knowledge have not been disavowed, paint a bleak future for the human race at the hands of government.

We prefer another piece of advice we were once given — be fruitful and multiply.


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