Population Bomb: How wrong was Paul Ehrlich?

In Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book Population Bomb, the third sentence reads:

At this late date, nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…

But according to the United Nations, the global crude death rate for:

  • 1965-1970 was 13 per 1,000 population; and for
  • 2005-2010 was 8.4 per 1,000 population.

So instead of a “substantial increase” as predicted by Ehrlich, the reality was that death rate dropped by more than one-third (35.4%).

7 thoughts on “Population Bomb: How wrong was Paul Ehrlich?”

  1. One of my rules-of-thumb is the following, – if Paul Ehrlich says “A” is the case, then it is certain that “Not-A” is case/

  2. It may have not been here, but I recently saw someone put up the quote from George Carlin that I find apropos:

    “If the planet won’t support 8 billion people, then we won’t have to feed 8 billion people.”

    Besides, the death rate is what it always has been – one to a customer.

  3. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord , if the thing follow not, nor come to pass—-the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:23

  4. Howdy DKP
    Yes, the death rate works out to one each. However, it is significant that the rate per population per year is lower than in the past: it means people are averaging longer lives. A lot of that represents children growing to be adults instead of dying before they can live.
    The number of people living in dire poverty is slowly decreasing and the percentage of people living hungry and in dirt is a much smaller percentage than history’s norm.
    This is in spite of people like Carson, Ehrlich and Gore.

  5. What a load of rubbish that “the number of people living in dire poverty is slowly decreasing and the percentage of people living hungry and in dirt is a much smaller percentage” – that is simply untrue and statistics show that to be untrue.
    Ehrlich also says that life expectancy has increased due to antibiotics and progression in science/ technology – that does not mean however, that due to the enormous increase in population world-over that true population dynamics will not come into play i.e. reaching a peak and then going into decline. The Earth may survive the human species, but the human species won’t. Time will tell.

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