“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. It has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate.’”
– Joe Romm, quoted in Thomas Friedman, Is the Inflection Point Near?, New York Times, March 7, 2009.
“Is there any more single-minded, simple pleasure than viewing with alarm? At times it is even better than sex.”
—Kenneth Boulding (1970), p. 160. 
Are free-market optimists the dumb ones who jump off tall buildings and report that everything is fine, even breezy, on the way down? Or are those who fear, rant, and make this analogy bungee-jumping with reality?
The optimists have been jumping off buildings ever since Robert Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on Population was published in 1798–and not hitting the ground.…
“If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”
– Paul Ehrlich, quoted in Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 35.
“As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”
– Paul Ehrlich, The Machinery of Nature, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1986, p. 274.
In the name of science, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, and James Hansen (et al.) have made doom-and-gloom predictions about business-as-usual in an attempt to shock humanity into immediate legislative action and lifestyle changes.
It did not work. The elapsed predictions have failed to come to pass. Little wonder that new installments of climate alarmism, such as Juliet Eilperin’s “25% of Wild Mammal Species Face Extinction: Global Assessment Paints ‘Bleak Picture,’ Scientists Say, and Figure of Those at Risk Could Be Higher” in the Washington Post (October 7), don’t register with voters.…
The Ehrlichs’ angst about the energy future was rife with forecasts that have been proven false–and embarrassingly so. As mentioned in Part I, the Ehrlichs’ protégé John Holdren has made similar radical pronouncements and wild exaggerations (see here and here) and even joined Stephen Schneider and other climate scientists in the global cooling scare.
Running Out of Oil
Writing in 1974, the Ehrlichs predicted that “we can be reasonably sure . . . that within the next quarter of a century mankind will be looking elsewhere than in oil wells for its main source of energy.”  Consequently, “we can also be reasonably sure that the search for alternatives will be a frantic one.”…