Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Obama’s top science and technology advisor John P. Holdren has been forced to issue a statement in which he denies advocating the totalitarian population control proposals outlined in his own academic textbook. However, Holdren’s response is a tissue of half-truths, spin and outright lies.
The controversy began this past weekend when fresh attention was given to passages from the 1977 book Ecoscience, which Holdren Co-authored with close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, leading to accusations that Holdren supported the numerous eugenicist policies outlined in the book.
“This material is from a three-decade-old, three-author college textbook. Dr. Holdren addressed this issue during his confirmation when he said he does not believe that determining optimal population is a proper role of government. Dr. Holdren is not and never has been an advocate for policies of forced sterilization,” reads a statement provided by Holdren’s staff.
A statement from Holdren’s co-authors the Ehrlichs was also released by the White House which read, “Anybody who actually wants to know what we and/or Professor Holdren believe and recommend about these matters would presumably read some of the dozens of publications that we and he separately have produced in more recent times, rather than going back a third of a century to find some formulations in an encyclopedic textbook where description can be misrepresented as endorsement.”
During his confirmation hearing, when asked whether he thought “determining optimal population is a proper role of the government,” Holdren answered, “No, Senator, I do not.”
Is it likely that Holdren’s true feelings towards overpopulation can be extracted from a five word response at a confirmation hearing, or from his own encyclopedic length textbook?
On the one hand we have to weigh the credibility of a one sentence comment at the public sideshow of a confirmation hearing, a spectacle that has become synonymous with the art of lying, deception, and hiding skeletons in the closet, as can be witnessed right now with the Judge Sonia Sotomayor hearings.
On the other hand we have a 1000-plus page book which is littered with proposals centered around forced abortion, numerous different methods of forced sterilization and numerous other proposals describing invasive government control of pregnancy and the life cycle.
Which is likelier to be a true representation of Holdren’s real position on the subject?
Holdren’s claim that he “never has been an advocate for policies of forced sterilization,” alongside the Ehrlich’s claim that “formulations” in the Ecoscience textbook have been misrepresented as endorsements, is provably an outright lie.
Phrases such as “it has been concluded” are used in the book alongside proposals for forced abortion, such as the passage on page 837 which reads, “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”
Holdren and the Ehrlich’s do not identify who “it has been concluded” by, leaving the reader in no doubt that “it has been concluded” by the writers themselves that forced abortion should be introduced. This is called “hiding behind the passive voice.” It provides the writers plausible deniability, but only the idiotically naive would deny that it represents anything other than an endorsement of forced abortion and sterilization.
Furthermore, the whole tone of the Ecoscience book is directed against those who would disagree with coercive population control measures. These people are even referred to in a derisory tone as “pro-natalists,” a word invented purely for the purposes of the book. The book does not merely present a neutral stance on “formulations” as is claimed – the endorsement of these proposals is implicit in the fact that opponents of them are scorned throughout the book.
Ecoscience is clearly an endorsement of totalitarian population reduction measures. Anyone who has read the quotes contained in the book in their full context can see that this is manifestly the case. Holdren and the Ehrlichs are presumably counting on the fact that the book is now out of print and that no one will actually read it, because if they did then the entire context of what the book endorses becomes crystal clear.
Furthermore, some of the nightmarish proposals about adding sterilants to the water supply and food that are outlined in Ecoscience are already taking place, with global sperm counts dropping worldwide, partly as a result of the discovery of antiandrogens in rivers and lakes, which are also used in pesticides, and have been found to release “endocrine disruptors” that induce demasculinization in both fish and rats, according to several scientific studies.
It is also somewhat amusing to see that the Ehrlichs are trying to distance themselves from positions they held 30 years ago and attempting to get people to focus only on what they are saying now. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Paul Ehrlich’s alarmist predictions about overpopulation which were made in the 1960’s and 70’s have proven to be spectacularly wrong, wrong and wrong again in every instance.
It would be very embarrassing indeed for more people to learn about how Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist by the year 2000, that 4 billion people would starve to death during the 1980’s, and that the average American life span would be 45 years of age by the start of the 21st century, especially that Ehrlich now spews his doomsday threats under the banner of global warming alarmism.
Holdren’s attempt to use the fact that the book is over 30 years old to distance himself from its content is also a deceptive move, because before this controversy arose, Holdren was perfectly happy to conduct a major interview with the Associated Press with the book proudly displayed on his bookshelf in the background. If Holdren has changed his mind about the proposals in the book, or never agreed with those presented by his fellow authors in the first place, then why does he prominently display a copy during this interview? Watch the clip below.
In the video, Holdren talks about “geoengineering,” effectively terraforming the planet by injecting untested aerosols into the upper atmosphere in an apparent attempt to offset “global warming,” with unknown side effects.
This brings to mind another example where Holdren has flip-flopped and apparently changed his mind in an attempt to defuse controversy.
In April, Holdren told the media that talks were already underway within the Obama administration to explore the possibility of geoengineering the planet. However, following a largely negative reaction, Holdren then backpedaled and told the New York Times that administration level talks had not taken place. Days later, Holdren told an Massachusetts Institute of Technology audience that , “Large-scale geoengineering projects designed to cool the Earth could conceivably be done.”
We reprint below quotes from Ecoscience and leave the reader to make their own mind up about whether the book was merely presenting “formulations,” as the Ehrlichs claim, or whether they were de facto endorsements, keeping in mind the fact that opponents of such measures are regularly undermined throughout the whole book.
Page 786: Single mothers should have their babies taken away by the government; or they could be forced to have abortions
“One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.”
Page 787-8: Mass sterilization of humans though drugs in the water supply is OK as long as it doesn’t harm livestock
“Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.”
Page 786-7: The government could control women’s reproduction by either sterilizing them or implanting mandatory long-term birth control
Involuntary fertility control
“A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.
The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”
Page 838: The kind of people who cause “social deterioration” can be compelled to not have children
“If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.“
Page 838: Nothing is wrong or illegal about the government dictating family size
“In today’s world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?”
Page 942-3: A “Planetary Regime” should control the global economy and dictate by force the number of children allowed to be born
Toward a Planetary Regime
“Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.”
“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
Page 917: We will need to surrender national sovereignty to an armed international police force
“If this could be accomplished, security might be provided by an armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force. Many people have recognized this as a goal, but the way to reach it remains obscure in a world where factionalism seems, if anything, to be increasing. The first step necessarily involves partial surrender of sovereignty to an international organization.”
Page 749: Pro-family and pro-birth attitudes are caused by ethnic chauvinism
“Another related issue that seems to encourage a pronatalist attitude in many people is the question of the differential reproduction of social or ethnic groups. Many people seem to be possessed by fear that their group may be outbred by other groups. White Americans and South Africans are worried there will be too many blacks, and vice versa. The Jews in Israel are disturbed by the high birth rates of Israeli Arabs, Protestants are worried about Catholics, and lbos about Hausas. Obviously, if everyone tries to outbreed everyone else, the result will be catastrophe for all. This is another case of the “tragedy of the commons,” wherein the “commons” is the planet Earth. Fortunately, it appears that, at least in the DCs, virtually all groups are exercising reproductive restraint.”
Page 944: As of 1977, we are facing a global overpopulation catastrophe that must be resolved at all costs by the year 2000
“Humanity cannot afford to muddle through the rest of the twentieth century; the risks are too great, and the stakes are too high. This may be the last opportunity to choose our own and our descendants’ destiny. Failing to choose or making the wrong choices may lead to catastrophe. But it must never be forgotten that the right choices could lead to a much better world.”
The Reopen America Back to School Special is now live! Save up to 60% on our most popular items!