The Obama administration has been engaging in “science diplomacy” by sending out its top science adviser to visit foreign dignitaries.
But John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Obama official engaged in this jet-setting, has expressed controversial views about government-imposed population controls.
The Guardian reports that Holdren regularly meets with top scientists from other countries such as Brazil, Russia, China and Japan as a way new way “to reach out to bridge cultural and economic gaps between the United States and the rest of the world.”
Holdren has previously stated that the United States and the rest of the world have too many people, a population bomb that technology can’t defuse.
“Dr. Holdren has a record only surpassed by his longtime collaborator Paul Ehrlich for spreading misinformation and making failed predictions,” Myron Ebell, director of international energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“In addition, Dr. Holdren has advocated a wide array of despicable policies, such as mandatory population control, and was a willing stooge of the Soviet Union as a member for several decades of the Pugwash Conference (and of which he was chairman when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995),” Ebell added. “John Holdren is therefore the perfect “science diplomat” for an administration that peddles junk science and supports policies that will make poor people, and especially poor people in poor countries, poorer. As President Obama’s science diplomat, he can now advocate for global impoverishment on a global stage.”
Testifying before the Senate in 1974, Holdren and fellow scientist and population control advocate Paul Ehrlich argued that the world was moving towards a no-growth economy because of overpopulation and technology would not be able to mitigate the problem.
“We are going to move to a no-growth [economy],” Ehrlich said. “Now, whether we do it intelligently through the Government by planning as rapidly as possible, or whether we move there automatically-by the way, when I look at some of the figures these days, I think we’re moving there much more rapidly than people realize–we’re going to get there, obviously.”
“What worries me is that by the time the evidence is absolutely overwhelming, a good deal of the damage may in fact be irreversible,” Holdren said. “It’s the same tendency toward oversimplification which leads people to think that one set of technological solutions will bail us out. As much as we need technology, we need a good many other things. And as you’ve already suggested this morning, one of them is social and institutional changes.”
Holdren and Ehrlich have collaborated in other works that advocate for population control.
One such collaboration was an essay entitled “Population and Panaceas: A Technological Perspective” from 1969 that argued “man’s present technology is inadequate to the task of maintaining the world’s burgeoning billions, even under the most optimistic assumptions.”
Holdren and Ehrlich further argue that technological advancements to increase food supplies would would be fruitless until “the population growth rate drastically reduced.”
“No effort to expand the carrying capacity of the Earth can keep pace with unbridled population growth,” they wrote.
Holdren was heavily criticized after being tapped by President Obama in 2009 for being an author in a textbook that floated such ideas as forced abortions, putting sterilants in the drinking water and government-mandated family planning.
One passage of the textbook even argued that such coercive population control methods could even be constitutional.
“Indeed, 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,” Holdren and Ehrlich wrote. “Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however.”
Holdren’s office denied the the doctor supported coercive approaches to controlling the population.
“Dr. Holdren has stated flatly that he does not now support and has never supported compulsory abortions, compulsory sterilization, or other coercive approaches to limiting population growth,” his office said in a statement. “Straining to conclude otherwise from passages treating controversies of the day in a three-author, 30-year-old textbook is a mistake.”
In 1968, the world population was 3.5 billion and food supplies only provided 2,300 calories per person per day in the early 1960s, according to the United Nations. These calories, however, “very unequally distributed” and more than half of the developing world suffered from chronic undernutrition.
Today, the world’s population has more than doubled, but advances in food production technologies have allowed more people to be fed and there are far fewer people in the world suffering from chronic hunger today than in the 1990s.
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