Population Control Ideologue Paul Ehrlich Speaks at the Vatican

Paul Ehrlich's fear mongering has triggered deadly population control policies for decades. But he's been invited to speak at the Vatican.

The Vatican at sunset.

By Stefano Gennarini Published on February 27, 2017

Paul Ehrlich is speaking at a Vatican conference on biological extinction this week, titled “How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.” Many in the pro-life movement are stumped. Ehrlich isn’t just any population control fan. He is a high priest of the culture of death.

Ehrlich: Bad Science and Reprehensible Views

Thanks to Ehrlich’s infamous 1969 book The Population Bomb, irrational fears that overpopulation would lead to imminent wars, famines, and plagues spread like wildfire around the globe. “The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” the book famously began.

Ehrlich’s disproved screed triggered population policies around the globe, like forced abortion, prenatal sex selection, female infanticide, and forced sterilization.

His repeatedly debunked screed  triggered deadly population policies around the globe, legitimizing forced abortion, prenatal sex selection, female infanticide, and forced sterilization, among other heinous population control tactics.

In light of this, some might say, the only way Ehrlich should be let into the Vatican is on his knees. Instead, his life’s work is receiving a moral imprimatur of sorts from the pontifical academies for the sciences, which are hosting the event without as much as an apology from Ehrlich, let alone a retraction. Quite the opposite.

In a recent New York Times report Ehrlich admits he feigned certainty beyond what the science could show throughout his career in order to scare people into embracing population control.

“If you ask me the question are there things that I have written in the past that I wouldn’t write today, the answer is certainly yes. I expressed more certainty because I was trying to bring people to get something done.”

But he also told The New York Times that he would do it again.

“I do not think my language was too apocalyptic in The Population Bomb, my language would be even more apocalyptic today,” he added without repentance.

And, he unflinchingly confessed a despicable utilitarian logic as his inspiration.

“The idea that every woman should have as many babies as she wants is to me exactly the same kind of idea as everybody ought to be permitted to throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

Vatican Leadership: Where is the Line?

Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, longtime chancellor and spokesperson of the pontifical academies, reportedly told Catholic News Service that Ehrlich would help “find the truth.” It is hard to see how Ehrlich has ever been interested in or able to find the truth, let alone how he might help others find it.

Ehrlich’s fear mongering about the Earth’s limited resources has repeatedly proven to be nothing more than wild speculation and shoddy science.

Even if Ehrlich’s views weren’t so reprehensible, his scientific views are flimsy. His fear mongering about the Earth’s limited resources has repeatedly proven to be nothing more than wild speculation and shoddy science. Of late, Ehrlich shrieks that population control is necessary to stop global warming even though UN data shows otherwise.

Ehrlich just keeps getting it wrong, again and again and again. That never mattered to the scientific establishment that has propped him up for 40 years, and it does not seem to matter to the leadership of the Vatican academies.

This is not to say Vatican entities should not dialogue with atheist scientists, or with people of different beliefs and views, invite them to conferences, and even co-sponsor conferences with them. But the line needs to be drawn somewhere. And a lifetime of fake science to promote abortion and population control seem a fairly obvious place to start.

The current leadership of the pontifical academies does not seem willing to draw that line.

Boongarts, Sorondo and the Dark Origins of the Population Council

In fact, Ehrlich won’t be the only population control celebrity to be revered at the conference. The pontifical academies will also honor demographer John Boongarts, the head of the Population Council. Unlike Ehrlich, Boongarts is not just a popular quack scientist.

The Population Council is the world’s foremost population control think tank, founded in the 1950s by the Rockefellers for the sole purpose of convincing poor countries to sterilize, abort, and contracept their poor populations out of existence. To this day, it is the chief source of the deceptive pseudo-science and jargon that makes the culture of death respectable among policy and media elites. (My colleague Rebecca Oas has extensively researched the sophisticated trickery of Boongarts and his establishment.)

The Population Council was founded in the 1950s for the sole purpose of convincing poor countries to sterilize, abort, and contracept their populations out of existence.

The leadership of the pontifical academies is impervious to criticism about conferring Vatican honors on groups and individuals that promote radical anti-human ideologies.

Just recently, Ehrlich described Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment as “nonsense” because it failed to endorse population control, and he is on the record criticizing religions that do not condone contraception and abortion as “evil forces.”

But apparently none of this is a problem to Archbishop Sorondo, whose judgment has already been called into question by myself and others with pro-life concerns.

Instead of engaging critics, Sorondo denigrates them as “always the same people,” saying their views are”not logical” and just plain “crazy.”

“Truly, I just don’t understand them. Through dialogue we are able to obtain much more than they are with their policy of always criticizing others,” he boasted to Catholic News Service.

True as that might be, to pretend that Ehrlich and Bongaarts, of all people, do not espouse anti-human ideologies, or that they might be capable of objectivity and sound moral judgment is foolhardy, if not simply foolish.

Sacrificing Morality for “Synergy” and “Magic”

What is most perplexing though, is that the pontifical academies will not even distance themselves from the ideologies these speakers embrace. The Vatican might have invited Ehrlich for, say, a debate or dialogue, if it were made clear that that it did not share his views.

A clear disclaimer that the “pontifical academies do not endorse the views of Ehrlich and Bongaarts on population control and abortion” would go a long way to eliminate the moral confusion created by the conference roster. After all, this is a pontifical event of sorts and not just an event held on Vatican premises by outside organizations. But no such disclaimer will be forthcoming.

The explanation may lie in in the words of Archbishop Sorondo during a conference at the University of Notre Dame last year.

“For the first time and perhaps the last time, the speech of the Church and the speech of the world as represented by the United Nations have some synergy, and for people who believe, for people like me, this comes from the Holy Spirit,” he reportedly said, describing current relations between Church and world as a “magic moment.”

A disclaimer that casts Ehrlich and Boongarts in a bad light would spoil the magic and synergy. So, the pontifical academies will instead cast these mens’ work in the best possible light.

Too bad about the 50 million children each year who never see the light thanks to their theories. Unlike the Archbishop, they will never experience the magic of being honored by New York City high society in fancy galas presided by UN dignitaries and billionaires.

Never mind the Spirit “convincing the world of sin” (John 16:8). Sin is out. Synergy is in.

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  • Paul

    The apex of social elitism is when other kids need to die so he and his kid can live. Perhaps he can demonstrate depopulation on himself

    • Dean Bruckner

      Let’s put Peter Singer and Paul Erlich in a lifeboat with a Bible and 3 days rations in the South Atlantic and see what happens.

      • Nunyadambizness

        I vote for 2 days rations, but I’m definitely on board!

    • Taylor

      You are clearly not a fan of Ehrlich’s, which is ok, you don’t have to agree with all of his ideologies, but an increasing population does have drastic effects on the environment that should not be ignored. Developed countries are overly indulgent in products and produce a mind-boggling amount of waste that is killing our environment. It is not fair to forbid developing countries from industrializing, but as more countries develop the amount of waste will increase. Ehrlich’s approach of limiting population sizes is a solution to this problem, less people means less consumption. That being said, I’m not advocating to one child policies or forced abortions, but people should be smarter about planning their families. I have a feeling you won’t like that solution, so people can also drastically reduce their consumption patterns. Consuming less will also result in less waste and no one’s children need to die in order for other’s to live.

      • Paul

        The sad irony in the US is we use the force of govt to take money from the productive and give it to the negligently reproductive, rewarding irresponsible childbearing. We won’t see smarter behavior when stupidity is encouraged.

        As for consumption, in many respects now it is becoming in practical terms compulsory. I’ve had to retire many still fully functional computers because they were no longer compatible with the latest software, which I needed because clients are sending me files using it. Where possible I keep stuff as long as possible, my 90’s pickup is a good example, but again ironically many enviro types frown at my old beast thinking I consume too much fuel so the expectation is to consume a whole new vehicle that is getting so complex due to regulations and ridiculous features that it’s hard to fix on your own requiring more consumption. The makers (and the tax collectors) love when you’re compelled to consume more. And that tax collecting gets redistributed to those negligently reproductive. It seems the more the govt is involved the worse it gets.

      • Daralyn

        Agreed Taylor, it’s called being and adult and being responsible for one’s actions. In a religious context, we are supposed to be responsible stewards of the planet and we’re failing miserably at this duty of dominion (meaning to CARE FOR, not dominate as so many misinterpret with willful ignorance). We are proving once again to be unworthy of job we were tasked to do. As a person who cares deeply for all life, I GREATLY appreciate Ehrlich’s honesty on the subject of overpopulation. To deny this fact is doing no one any favors. Species have already become extinct as a direct result of human irresponsible over-breeding and as resources continue to diminish, the wars for access to clean water and food will not be pretty.

  • Dean Bruckner

    The organizers of this Vatican council will do well to read Isaiah 65:1-5a. No doubt the priests of ancient Israel had conferences on enlightened worship of the Almighty. Well, here is what God thought of that:

    “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
    I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
    I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
    to a nation that was not called by my name.
    I spread out my hands all the day
    to a rebellious people,
    who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own devices;
    a people who provoke me
    to my face continually,
    sacrificing in gardens
    and making offerings on bricks;
    who sit in tombs,
    and spend the night in secret places;
    who eat pig’s flesh,
    and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;
    who say, ‘Keep to yourself,
    do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.’”

  • Autrey Windle

    Place your seat backs and tray tables in the upright position…prepare to see the end of the world as we know it in 5-4-3-2

  • samton909

    Sorondo is an unscientific kook.

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