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Is there a sixth great extinction in progress?


It would help if a key exponent was anyone but Paul “Population Bomb” Ehrlich, a contender for the heavyweight champ of wrong-headed predictions:

“In real terms, we’re in trouble,” said Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford professor and president of the Center for Conservation Biology who co-authored the study. “This is another indicator that we are sawing off the limbs that we are sitting on.”

Ehrlich and co-author Anthony Barnosky, a paleontologist at UC Berkeley, said extinctions thus far have been the result of overhunting and habitat destruction from overdevelopment, but climate change is likely to push things over the edge.

Some of Ehrlich’s other predictions, courtesy Hot Air:

So, let’s take a look at some of his predictions, made in 1968:

1) “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate,” he said. He predicted four billion deaths, including 65 million Americans…

What actually happened: Since Ehrlich wrote, the population has more than doubled to seven billion – but the amount of food per head has gone up by more than 25 per cent. Of course there are famines, but the death rate has gone down. I don’t think a significant number of Americans have starved.

3) “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

What actually happened: I’m not hungry. I just ate. Are you hungry? Were you hungry in 2000, especially? Does England exist?

The last food crisis I heard about was a global increase in obesity.

It seems that if one is a certain type of naturalist prof, airhead media flock to one’s door and take one’s predictions seriously, despite an over forty-year record of wrong-O.

Sometimes I worry that there really is a sixth great extinction.

But when I read this kind of thing, I feel certain that the mountain lions and the polar bears are pretty safe. Safer than us, maybe…

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Isn't the global increase in obesity good for the atmosphere?Mung
June 21, 2015
08:09 PM

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