“The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” he wrote, “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”
His trip to an overcrowded Delhi in 1966 seemed to convince him that there wasn’t enough food to go around to support humanity.
Thankfully, Dr. Ehrlich’s warnings never panned out. Instead, his book sparked a debate about “the potential consequences of overpopulation: famine, pollution, social and ecological collapse.” Out came some viable solutions.
While population has more than doubled since The Population Bomb came out, agricultural innovation has been able to sustain the boom. Today, one in ten people are starving as opposed to one in four.
However, Ehrlich and other researchers predict that the environmental damage from overproduction remains to be seen. Undermining the ecosystem could still wipe us all out. Other researchers are more optimistic, believing that human ingenuity will come to the rescue.
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