I should emphasize, therefore, that my contribution is written in what I take to be the spirit in which Harrison wrote The Challenge of Man’s Future—that is, the conviction that it is necessary to dwell on the perils in order to stimulate timely action to avoid or minimize them….To put too much emphasis on the correctness or incorrectness of particular predictions, however, is to miss the main point of writing usefully about the future. The idea is not to be “right,” but to illuminate the possibilities in a way that both stimulates sensible debate about the sort of future we want and facilitates sound decisions about getting from here to there. This philosophy has informed Harrison Brown’s writing about the human future throughout the four decades in which he has been doing it. Our understanding of the dimensions of the human predicament—and of what might be done to alleviate it—is much the better for his effort….The mid-twentieth-century revival of Malthus’s insight that no combination of good technology and good management can cope with unlimited population growth on a finite planet (a revival to which Harrison Brown’s 1954 book, The Challenge of Man’s Future, was the most eloquent and comprehensive contribution) is more relevant in the 1980s than ever….In the spirit in which Harrison Brown wrote The Challenge of Man’s Future some thirty years ago, this chapter has been written as a contribution to the continuing effort to help create that consensus.
The first paragraph of this long quote confirms what some of Holdren’s defenders claimed about his statements in Ecoscience — namely that Holdren proposes extreme measures simply as scare tactics. When he says “it is necessary to dwell on the perils in order to stimulate timely action,” it’s his way of saying that we should terrify the populace into going along with his proposals by painting a dire picture of what the alternatives might be. (Global warming, anyone?)I found the next paragraph particularly amusing, especially his claim that it’s not important to make accurate predictions about the future, but simply to make any predictions at all — the wilder, the better, apparently — to “stimulate debate.” (Global warming, anyone?)And the rest of the quote is the by-now-familiar groveling by Holdren at the altar of Brown.
Will Letterman crack jokes with Dr. Holdren about “de-development?”
Yep. Late Night With The Population Control Freak and the Perv.
Should be riveting television.
I am again reprinting what I reported last month on Holdren and Brown as a reminder of what the science czar refuses to talk about:
Well, I have indeed read one of Holdren’s recent works that reveals his clingy reverence for, and allegiance to, the gurus of population control authoritarianism. He’s just gotten smarter about cloaking it behind global warming hysteria. In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full powerpoint presentation (you can download the whole thing here.)Take a gander at the opening slide that set the tone for his entire speech. Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” is a lifelong obsession inspired by scientist Harrison Brown:
Who is Harrison Brown? And what’s in “The Challenge of Man’s Future?” Holdren’s hero was a “distinguished member” of the International Eugenics Society. And, lo and behold, Harrison Brown advocated the same population control-freak measures Holdren put forth in Ecoscience.Surprise:
Harrison Brown, writing to us from the year 1954 in his book, “The Challenge of Man’s Future,” suggests a method that would strike us as a crass violation of the rights mentioned above: Let us suppose that in a given year the birth rate exceeds the death rate by a certain amount, thus resulting in a population increase. During the following year the number of permitted inseminations is decreased, and the number of permitted abortions is increased, in such a way that the birth rate is lowered by the requisite amount. If the death rate exceeds the birth rate, the number of permitted inseminations would be increased while the number of abortions would be decreased. The number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous.But that wouldn’t be all. If we are to maintain a worldwide sustainable industrial society, we will need to control population across current borders. If we don’t, many members of overpopulated societies will soon be knocking at our doors asking for assistance or even entry.Brown also suggests that such control over reproduction might be used to slow down the deterioration of the human species. This has occurred in industrial society because humans are no longer subject to natural selection to the same degree that they have been in the past. Those who are healthy and able might be encouraged through incentives to have several offspring, while those who have deficiencies, say, of sight or hearing or mental ability might be discouraged. The problem, he notes, is in deciding what really constitutes “fit” or “unfit” and overcoming our revulsion to such a eugenics scheme. Still, he adds, when one considers the bald evolutionary facts, it behooves human societies, if they want to remain resilient in the face of changing conditions on Earth, to somehow replace nature’s cruel hand in pruning the so-called “unfit” with something less drastic. It’s that or face eventual extinction.Brown acknowledges that none of this will seem acceptable to the vast majority of his readers. But, he is concerned that unless population stability and other problems are addressed head on, arrangements that are far more restrictive and objectionable than the ones he proposes may be implemented in their place.
Harrison Brown’s book — the book that inspired Obama science czar John Holdren — also infamously likened the world’s growing population to “a pulsating mass of maggots.” Don’t just believe me. Believe your own eyes:
A Time magazine profile of Brown published when his book came out in 1954 reported: “Scientist Brown is not confident that anything can be done, but he insists that population control is the first and essential measure; only by cutting their birth rates drastically can the crowded agricultural countries hope to enjoy the benefits of industrialization.”
If, as the White House claims, Holdren no longer believes that “that determining optimal population is a proper role of government,” then why does he still pay homage to one of the country’s most renowned population control advocates and plug his half-century-old tome advocating better-living-through-engineered-abortions? Don’t just take my word. Believe your own eyes:
Commenter Rogue Cheddar on Letterman and Holdren: “So if these two maggots get together, does that constitute a pulsating mass?”
Bracing for Letterman and Holdren’s “Top Ten Methods of Ridding the Planet of Undesirables”…