Friday, 28 October 2011

The false prophets of the population control lobby and their appalling track record

On 31 October when the world’s population reaches seven billion we will be subjected to a whole host of alarmist reports about impending disaster - through overcrowding, disease and environmental destruction - and the population control lobby, led by prominent journalists and media celebrities, will try to persuade us that our salvation lies in making contraception and abortion more widely accessible.

I have already blogged about this ludicrous proposition at length and won’t reiterate my arguments and analysis here. Instead I want to point to an excellent review article on Life Site news which highlights past false predictions of the population control lobby.

The article warns that ‘Halloween is traditionally a night of witches, ghosts, and monsters. But for environmentalists and their media allies, an even bigger scare is coming this Halloween: the birth of Earth’s 7 billionth resident’.

It then goes on to note past false predictions, most notably those of Malthus and Ehrlich, the pioneers of the movement:

Panic over population growth is not a new phenomenon. Anglican clergyman and thinker Thomas Malthus, in 1798, called for extreme measures to reduce human population in his Essay on the Principle of Population (World population was below 1 billion in 1798.): ‘Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations.’ By 1890, he predicted, the world would run out of food, and thus the end of the human race would soon follow.

American biologist Paul Ehrlich echoed Malthus in his 1968 work The Population Bomb, which warned of mass starvation and environmental catastrophe due to overpopulation. (World population was below 3.6 billion in 1968.) Ehrlich made a series of fantastic predictions, including the claim:‘I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.’ The United Nations Population Fund - with its population control agenda - was founded in the wake of these scaremongering predictions.

The dire warnings of Malthus and Ehrlich were proven spectacularly wrong. The New York Times stated as much in a 2003 editorial, noting that ‘population growth rates were plummeting.’ Birthrates are rapidly declining in the United States and throughout the world. And food production has increased dramatically over the past 40 years, as new methods of growing food and using resources are discovered.

But Ehrlich has refused to concede his predictions were wrong, and the media still quotes Ehrlich and raises the ghost of Malthus.

So when you start to hear all the population explosion nonsense rehashed on Monday remember these past ‘prophetic’ predictions and don’t get alarmed. Take a deep breath, read the Scriptures below and have a look at the contrary view (eloquently put by Reuters this week in an article titled 'The next challenge: not too many people, but too few?') that the real problem we are facing, at least in the Western world, is a very different demographic crisis altogether - that birth rates are falling and the relative proportion of elderly people is rising - which is why President Putin and others are looking at measures to increase rather than decrease population.

Yes the world population is rising at present and will go higher for a while. But if falling birth rates continue, which looks virtually certain, then in the not too distant future we are headed for a lengthy downward population trajectory. As Life Site News concludes:

‘Not everyone is as terrified of the overpopulation bogeyman as the media seems to be. Colin Mason, Director of Media for the Population Research Institute, explained why fears of overpopulation are unfounded: “Historically, as human population has grown and developed technology, the manner in which we use resources has changed.

For instance, as human population has grown, we have needed to produce enough food to feed our burgeoning numbers. But as our civilizations have developed, we have also developed ways of increasing crop yield, and of growing crops on previously infertile land.”’

A series of videos produced by PRI illustrate their argument that the earth is not overpopulated.

You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. (Deuteronomy 18:21,22)

‘But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)


  1. This is not false prophecy - it applies very much to the developing world, where all the population explosions are occurring. India, China, and many other Asian, African and South American countries are explanding like there's no tomorrow. They have limited resources unlike the West. Children are dying of malnutition because their parents can't afford to feed them. Perhaps you have not seen the stifling poverty that exists in many of these countries. I'm not saying they should be aborting their children, but they should definitely be more responsible and use contraception to limit the size of their families. The West may need a growth in population, but the population overgrowth in the east is not going to help that. You need to be more responsible when dealing with this topic, and not so politically correct - there is simply no getting away from the fact that the Chinese, Indians, Africans and others need to curb their growth rates if they are to feed and house all of their people comfortably. It may be possible to "survive" amidst such a large population, but it will definitely not be good or comfortable when resources are so scarce. And it's not just about food - other things matter too.

  2. Good thing Dt 18:12 didn't apply to all those OT prophets whose prophecies took centuries to happen, or are still in the future!

  3. I don't suppose that the holder of the placard would take her own advice? (Not that I am saying it is right)

  4. I suspect the holder of the placard is being sarcastic.

  5. James, China's growth rate is 0.51% and India's is 1.34% - hardly 'expanding like there's no tomorrow'. Birth rates are falling and life expectancies rising in both countries and they will soon be confronting a growing elderly population with a shrinking workforce as we have already in the West.

    Spacing families is fine - as long as abortion is not the means - and families generally choose to space families once living conditions improve and they can see that their children are going to survive.

    The answer is development not birth control. The right to food, water, education and health comes first - and we in the West need to start living within our means, getting out of debt and being far more generous with trade, aid and resources.

    I have lived and worked as a doctor in the developing world and have visited many developing countries in South America, Africa and Asia in the course of my work.

    The problem is not population and I can tell you that the UNFPA is not welcome with its imposed Western solutions. The problem is injustice and the West carries a substantial part of the blame for this.

  6. Can I just point out to Peter that if those figures for growth rates are correct then China's population is increasing by over 6 million a year, and India' by over 15 million a year. That seems like a big growth rate per year to me; big enough to be worried about anyway.

  7. >> The answer is development not birth control.

    No, the answer is development AND birth control. They have to go hand in hand, because there is no time for development ALONE to cause people to restrict the size of their families. They should be encouraged to do this RIGHT NOW, along with helping them get rid of their poverty and poor health. If we wait for them to become "developed" enough to realise themselves that large families aren't good for the earth, it will be too late. You say you have lived and worked in the developing world. Unless it was for a significant period of time such as 5 to 10 years, I suggest that you are not really aware of all the issues that exist in these countries, or qualified to comment or set yourself up as an authority on developing world matters. I have spent over 20 years working in developing countries in Asia including India, and I am well aware of what the high population is doing to them. Why do you criticise only westerners and say we need to live within our means? Do you know that several of the world's wealthiest men and women are Indian and live in India? While some are philanthropists, others are not so generous. Perhaps you could mention that rich Indians and rich Chinese should also live within their means and help out their less fortunate brethren with the money they don't lavish on themselves. Btw, visiting developing countries is not the same as living and experiencing them. Have you talked to many Indians and Chinese, not to mention Africans and South Americans? I would be hard put to find a single Indian or Chinese person who would not agree with me that their countries need to curb their populations as a matter of priority. Perhasp you need to expand your circle of friends to include some people from these countries - then have an in-depth chat with them and see how much they disagree with your views. As Anne has said, a growth rate of 15 million would be regarded by most people as worrying - in my book, it pretty much counts as "expanding like there's no tomorrow". Do you know how many orphans there are in India and China alone? Why then do people need to keep on reproducing and having more and more children of their own when they could so easily look after those millions of abandoned children in their own countries. It is all selfishness and stupidity - I am shocked that you condone it under the guise of 'false prophecy'.

  8. Your silence is deafening - I take it you therefore concede my point!

  9. Sorry James only just seen this. There are over 400 posts on this site and I don't regularly check them all.

    Yes of course rich Indians and Chinese need also to live more simply and help the poor - absolutely.

    And yes I have talked to many people in India, Africa and South America about it.

    Orphans don't come from population growth but from broken and bereaved families. And yes of course adoption is a wonderful thing that we need to promote.

    And yes spacing families through family planning is fine - as long as abortion is not the means - and families generally will choose to space families once living conditions improve and they can see that their children are going to survive.

    But the real answer is development not birth control. The right to food, water, education and health comes first - and we in the West (and as you say those rich people in the developing world) need to start living within our means, getting out of debt and being far more generous with trade, aid and resources.

  10. I suspect the holder of the placard is being sarcastic.


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