In the Washington Times yesterday, Robert Zubrin marked Earth Day by pointing out how the green movement’s holiday is connected to such horrors around the world as China’s one-child policy:
The seminal scriptures of modern-day environmentalism were Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” Paul R. Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” and the publications of the Club of Rome. While stylistically quite different, these books all served to rally the public around a core anti-human philosophy. As the Club of Rome put it, “The Earth has cancer, and the cancer is man.” Such misanthropic views could only have the most horrific consequences.
Some of the worst atrocities can be laid at the feet of Mr. Ehrlich and his co-thinkers who argued - in direct contradiction to historical fact - that human well-being is inversely proportional to human numbers. As a result of their agitation, U.S. foreign aid and World Bank loans to Third World countries were made contingent upon those nations implementing population-control programs. In consequence, over the past four decades, in scores of countries spanning the globe from India to Peru, tens of millions of women have been rounded up and subjected to involuntary sterilizations or abortions, often under very unsafe conditions, with innumerable victims suffering severe health effects or dying afterward.
Mr. Ehrlich also called for the United States to create a Bureau of Population and Environment, which would have the power to issue or deny permits to Americans to have children. While rejected here, this idea was adopted in China. Thus was born China’s infamous “one-child policy,” which has involved not only hundreds of millions of involuntary abortions and forced sterilizations, but infanticide and the killing of “illegal children” on a mass scale.
Zubrin discusses all this at length in his new book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism (excerpted by The New Atlantis here). Readers in Washington, D.C. have the wonderful opportunity to see him discuss the book at the Hudson Institute tomorrow night.