My syndicated column below contrasts the Left’s “unease” over the evangelical Christian faith of NIH director-designate Francis Collins with its radio silence on the eco-zealotry of Obama science czar John Holdren. But first, some late-breaking developments: As Zombie notes, the White House has responded to rising blogosphere unease with Holdren’s cultish ideas by pooh-poohing Holdren’s co-authorship of the nutball manifesto, Ecoscience. Team Obama told the Washington Times that Holdren “never has been an advocate for policies of forced sterilization.” Never? Whom do you believe: the White House or your own eyes?
Image source: Zombie
The White House also released a statement to the Washington Times from Holdren’s co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich downplaying their book Ecoscience as an “encyclopedic textbook” from “a third of a century” ago. Just an archaic relic not worth paying attention to, la-dee-da. Funny. That’s not how Holdren’s own official curriculum vitae treats the book (hat tip – Treacher):
Dr. Holdren is the author of some 300 articles and papers, and he has co-authored and co-edited some 20 books and book-length reports, such as Energy (1971), Human Ecology (1973), Ecoscience (1977), Energy in Transition (1980), Earth and the Human Future (1986), Strategic Defences and the Future of the Arms Race (1987), Building Global Security Through Cooperation (1990), Conversion of Military R&D (1998), and Ending the Energy Stalemate (2004).
The Ehrlichs also issued this challenge through the White House: “[A]nybody 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.”
Well, I have indeed read one of Holdren’s recent works that reveals his clingy reverence for, and allegiance to, the gurus of population control authoritarianism. He’s just gotten smarter about cloaking it behind global warming hysteria. In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full powerpoint presentation (you can download the whole thing here.)
Take a gander at the opening slide that set the tone for his entire speech. Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” is a lifelong obsession inspired by scientist Harrison Brown:
Who is Harrison Brown? And what’s in “The Challenge of Man’s Future?” Holdren’s hero was a “distinguished member” of the International Eugenics Society. And, lo and behold, Harrison Brown advocated the same population control-freak measures Holdren put forth in Ecoscience.
Harrison Brown, writing to us from the year 1954 in his book, “The Challenge of Man’s Future,” suggests a method that would strike us as a crass violation of the rights mentioned above:
Let us suppose that in a given year the birth rate exceeds the death rate by a certain amount, thus resulting in a population increase. During the following year the number of permitted inseminations is decreased, and the number of permitted abortions is increased, in such a way that the birth rate is lowered by the requisite amount. If the death rate exceeds the birth rate, the number of permitted inseminations would be increased while the number of abortions would be decreased. The number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous.
But that wouldn’t be all. If we are to maintain a worldwide sustainable industrial society, we will need to control population across current borders. If we don’t, many members of overpopulated societies will soon be knocking at our doors asking for assistance or even entry.
Brown also suggests that such control over reproduction might be used to slow down the deterioration of the human species. This has occurred in industrial society because humans are no longer subject to natural selection to the same degree that they have been in the past. Those who are healthy and able might be encouraged through incentives to have several offspring, while those who have deficiencies, say, of sight or hearing or mental ability might be discouraged. The problem, he notes, is in deciding what really constitutes “fit” or “unfit” and overcoming our revulsion to such a eugenics scheme. Still, he adds, when one considers the bald evolutionary facts, it behooves human societies, if they want to remain resilient in the face of changing conditions on Earth, to somehow replace nature’s cruel hand in pruning the so-called “unfit” with something less drastic. It’s that or face eventual extinction.
Brown acknowledges that none of this will seem acceptable to the vast majority of his readers. But, he is concerned that unless population stability and other problems are addressed head on, arrangements that are far more restrictive and objectionable than the ones he proposes may be implemented in their place.
Harrison Brown’s book — the book that inspired Obama science czar John Holdren — also infamously likened the world’s growing population to “a pulsating mass of maggots.” Don’t just believe me. Believe your own eyes:
A Time magazine profile of Brown published when his book came out in 1954 reported: “Scientist Brown is not confident that anything can be done, but he insists that population control is the first and essential measure; only by cutting their birth rates drastically can the crowded agricultural countries hope to enjoy the benefits of industrialization.”
If, as the White House claims, Holdren no longer believes that “that determining optimal population is a proper role of government,” then why does he still pay homage to one of the country’s most renowned population control advocates and plug his half-century-old tome advocating better-living-through-engineered-abortions? Don’t just take my word. Believe your own eyes:
Maybe Holdren will adopt the Sotomayor strategy and chalk this all up to a “rhetorical flourish” that “fell flat.”
And yes, this is just one more reason to feel very, very nervous about the specter of Obamacare.
Two scientists, two standards
by Michelle Malkin
The New York Times recently warned its readers about a wacky scientist in the Obama administration. But the fish wrap of record let the real nut job off the hook.
Reporting last week on the president’s choice to head the National Institutes of Health, Times writer Gardiner Harris noted that praise for Dr. Francis S. Collins “was not universal or entirely enthusiastic.” The geneticist is causing “unease,” according to the Times, because of his “his very public embrace of religion.” Stomachs are apparently churning over a book Collins wrote describing his conversion to Christianity.
It’s called – gasp! – “The Language of God.” Harris intoned: “Religion and genetic research have long had a fraught relationship, and some in the field complain about what they see as Dr. Collins’s evangelism.”
And…that’s it. Yes, the mere profession of Collins’s faith is enough to warrant red flags and ominous declamations. A quarter of all Americans identify themselves as evangelical Christians and “publicly embrace their religion.” But to the Times, Collins’ open affiliation with 60 million Americans believers in Christ is headline news.
The rationality police in the newsroom have not, however, seen fit to print the rantings of a radical secular evangelist now serving as the White House “science czar.” John Holdren, Obama’s director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, co-authored the innocuously-titled “Ecoscience” in the 1970s with population control extremists Paul and Anne Ehrlich.
Earlier this year, Ben Johnson at the online publication Front Page Magazine provided quotes shedding light on Holdren’s embrace of “compulsory abortion” for American women “if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.” In “Ecoscience,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs also outlined their desire for “a comprehensive Plenetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources.”
Johnson outlined the book’s ugly eugenics plan and neo-Malthusian vision of enviro-crats engineering the population. Yet, there was scant mention of Holdern’s stomach-churning proposals during his confirmation hearings in February. Holdren’s defenders might have comforted themselves by claiming that the quotes were taken out of context. But last week, another online investigative journalist scanned copious pages from the book to show that his words had been unedited and accurately transcribed. The disturbing documents can be found at http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/.
There, you’ll find Holdren musing about how to infect the nation’s water supply to make women infertile for the benefit of Mother Earth:
“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…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.”
Holdren’s planetary regime would also breed out undesirables “who contribute to social deterioration” and “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.”
Single mothers who wanted to keep their children would be “obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it.”
If a conservative blogger or Republican political candidate had published such lunatic claptrap, the Department of Homeland Security would have him on a watchlist. Instead, Holdren is Overlord of Science Policy. “Ecoscience” remains on his curriculum vitae. Obama is still perceived as the champion of reason. And the national media, so concerned about the dangers posed by a born-again Christian scientist, have responded to a secular extremist’s wild blueprints for forced abortions and mass sterilizations with a collective shrug. Scary.
David Harsanyi at the Denver Post reports:
Holdren spent the ’70s boogying down to the vibes of an imaginary population catastrophe and global cooling. He also participated in the famous wager between scientist Paul Ehrlich, the now-discredited “Population Bomb” theorist (and co-author of “Ecoscience), and economist Julian Simon, who believed human ingenuity would overcome demand.
Holdren was asked by Ehrlich to pick five natural resources that would experience shortages due to human consumption. He lost the bet on all counts, as the composite price index for the commodities he picked, like copper and chromium, fell by more than 40 percent.
Then again, it’s one thing to be a bumbling soothsayer and it’s quite another to underestimate the resourcefulness of mankind enough to ponder how “population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution . . .,” as Holdren did in “Ecoscience” in 1977.
The book, in fact, is sprinkled with comparable statements that passively discuss how coercive population control methods might rescue the world from … well, humans.
When I called Holdren’s office, I was told that the czar “does not now and never has been an advocate of compulsory abortions or other repressive measures to limit fertility.”
If that is so, I wondered, why is his name on a textbook that brought up such policy? Did he not write that part? Did he change his mind? Was it theoretical?
No straightforward answer was forthcoming.
No big deal. Even today, many environmentalists and anti-immigration activists believe in the myth of population disaster. In this world, human spammers are a disease, not a cure.
And Holdren has never ceased peddling calamity as science.