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Howlin’ Wolf: Paul Ehrlich on Energy (Part III: Conservationism)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 23, 2010

Editor note: Part I examined Dr. Ehrlich’s views on Julian Simon, growing energy usage, and depletion. Part II examined his errant energy forecasts. (Previous posts on the worldview and statements of Obama science advisor John Holdren are here.)

Energy conservation(ism) was the Ehrlichs’ silver bullet for fossil-fuel depletion. Current usage levels were decried as enormously wasteful. Depletion and climate change called for “a reorganization of the American way of life” to cut energy usage in half or else “the nation would go bankrupt.” [1] The bankruptcy would come after “frequent unpredictable blackouts and brownouts, the continual need to devise more ‘emergency’ measures, and the return of closed gasoline stations.” [2]

Transportation Usage

On the transportation side, smaller cars, alternative vehicles (even with “miserable pickup”), “slower coast-to-coast transportation,” and an end to two-car families were recommended as, potentially, “the cost of survival.”…