The “Could Be Might Be” Reason Magazine Scenario on a Probable Sixth Mass Extinction Fails to Disprove Ehrlich’s and Many Other Scientists’ Thesis!

By Donald A. Collins | 8 March 2023
Church and State


On January 1, 2023 CBS 60 Minutes with host Scott Pelley provided its viewers with a glimpse of our 8 billion population’s impact on our planet which featured the World Wildlife Fund’s prediction that serious effects leading homo sapiens to a possible 6th Extinction could occur by 2070.

It is a truly frightening prospect. The 60 Minutes program also featured Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb made predictions that proved incorrect. Now he freely admits those errors but provides a full perspective on the planet’s dire circumstances in his new book, A Journey Through Science and Politics.

You can read Yale University’s review (it published the book) here.

Excepts from the above review:

Ehrlich’s insights are priceless on pressing issues such as biodiversity loss, overpopulation, depletion of resources, and deterioration of the environment. A lifelong advocate for women’s reproductive rights, Ehrlich also helped to debunk scientific bias associating skin color and intelligence and warned some fifty years ago about a possible pandemic and the likely ecological consequences of a nuclear war.

This book is a vital contribution to literature focused on the human predicament, including problems of governance and democracy in the twenty-first century, and insight into the ecological and evolutionary science of our day. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding global change, our planet’s wonders, and a scientific approach to the present existential threats to civilization.

You can read about the entire 60 Minutes program here.

The Reason article poo pooing (which other nonscientists have done, like Julian Simon) this evidence is based on “could be, might be” conjectures two of which I cite here:

Perhaps the most obviously ridiculous in light of the massive percentage of earth’s flora and fauna killed in a short time is this quote:

In fact, just as positive trends in global agricultural productivity that were already underway 50 years ago nullified Ehrlich’s prophecy of inevitable famines that would kill hundreds of millions, current trends in agricultural productivity, population, urbanization, and dematerialization will likely negate his extinction auguries and predictions of civilizational collapse. Why? Because an increasingly wealthy and technologically adept humanity will be withdrawing from nature over the course of this century.

Withdrawing from nature?

Here’s another “could be, might be” lack of Reasoning which fails to prove its conjectures:

From the article:

Drawing reasonable inferences from current patterns, we can predict that 100 years from now, the Earth could be inhabited by between 6 and 8 billion people, with very few remaining in extreme poverty, most living in towns and cities, and nearly all participating in a technologically driven, interconnected market economy. Building on the scholarship of others in demography, economics, sociology, and conservation biology, here, we articulate a theory of social–environmental change that describes the simultaneous and interacting effects of urban lifestyles on fertility, poverty alleviation, and ideation. By recognizing the shifting dynamics of these macrodrivers, conservation practice has the potential to transform itself from a discipline managing declines (“bottleneck”) to a transformative movement of recovery (“breakthrough”)

CBS and 60 Minutes should be ashamed of promoting Ehrlich’s oft-debunked nonsense.

Macrodrivers may not provide food from a depleted planet’s natural supplies as our growing consumers want more. If, as Ehrlich and others argue, the sustainable carrying capacity is 3 billion the decline from 8 billion will be traumatic.

Read the full article and decide for yourself.

The continuing failures of world leaders to take decisive action on climate, environmental and societal problems underline the high probability that Ehrlich is correct. Reason’s article continues the blindness to the scientific facts that brings us to the stark reality of our future!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?” and “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”.

Earth currently experiencing a sixth mass extinction, according to scientists | 60 Minutes

Paul Ehrlich – The Population Bomb & Beyond

Reverse climate change or “we are doomed” warns United Nations

Sir David Attenborough on overpopulation

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