John Holdren

White House science czar John Holdren has predicted 1 billion people will die in “carbon-dioxide induced famines” in a coming new ice age by 2020.

As WND previously reported, Holdren predicted in a 1971 textbook co-authored with Malthusian population alarmist Paul Ehrlich that global over-population was heading the Earth to a new ice age unless the government mandated urgent measures to control population, including the possibility of involuntary birth control measures such as forced sterilization.

Holdren’s prediction that 1 billion people would die from a global cooling “eco-disaster” was announced in Ehrlich’s 1986 book “The Machinery of Nature.”

Holdren based his prediction on a theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide would produce a climate catastrophe in which global warming would cause global cooling with a consequent reduction in agricultural production resulting in widespread disaster.

On pages 273-274 of “The Machinery of Nature,” Ehrlich explained Holdren’s theory by arguing “some localities will probably become colder as the warmer atmosphere drives the climatic engine faster, causing streams of frigid air to move more rapidly away from the poles.” (Emphasis in original text.)

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The movement of the frigid air from the poles caused by global warming “could reduce agricultural yields for decades or more – a sure recipe for disaster in an increasingly overpopulated world,” Ehrlich wrote.

Holdren and Ehrlich had previously articulated the theory in their 1973 textbook “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions” in which they argued on page 198 that the main effect of carbon-dioxide-induced global warming “might be to speed up circulation patterns and to bring arctic cold farther south and Antarctic cold farther north.”

In their 1970s textbook, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources and Environment,” last revised in 1977, Holdren together with co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich argued on page 687 that “a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend.”

Equivocating between whether human-caused global warming or global cooling were the more likely future trend, the authors concluded that, either way, any rapid climate change would produce an eco-disaster because any rapid change in climate, regardless whether toward global warming or global cooling, would produce hazardous effects upon agriculture and food production.

Still, worrying that human-caused climate changes either toward global warming or global cooling would be rapid, the authors concluded “there is no leeway in the world situation to absorb a significant climate-induced drop in production over broad areas of the world.”

“Whatever adjustments in crop characteristics and cultivation patterns might eventually be made in response to rapid climate change would come too late to save hundreds of millions from famine,” the authors argued on page 688. (Emphasis in original text.)

On page 377, the authors returned to their constant theme: The only way to control a foreseen increasing global food crisis was to control population.

They noted that a 1967 presidential science advisory commission had concluded that the solution to the “world food problem” likely after 1985 “demands that programs of population control be initiated now.” (Emphasis in original text.)

Commenting on the conclusions of the 1967 presidential advisory report, the authors wrote, “We emphatically agreed then, and the situation is even more urgent today.”

Biofuels and world hunger

Examining Holdren’s extensive publications, WND does not find him balancing his concern that anthropogenic-induced climate change will cause world hunger with a concern that the production of biofuels to reduce carbon emissions could itself be a source of global famine.

WND has reported that, ironically, a major cause of world famine has not been climate change but the increased cost of basic food products including corn caused by the production of biofuels such as ethanol.

A controversial report released earlier this month by the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, documented that the increasing demand for corn to produce ethanol contributed between 10 to 15 percent to an overall 5.1 percent increase in the price of food from April 2007 to April 2008, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

“Producing ethanol for use in motor fuels increases the demand for corn, which ultimately raises the prices that consumers pay for a wide variety of foods at grocery stores, ranging from corn syrup sweeteners found in soft drinks to meat, dairy and poultry products,” the CBO concluded.

An International Monetary Fund assessment was even more pessimistic.

“With respect to food, biofuels policies in some advanced economies are spilling over to the price of key food items, particularly corn and soybeans,” John Lipsky, first managing director of the IMF, told the Council on Foreign Relations May 8, 2008. “IMF estimates suggest increased demand for biofuels accounts for 70 percent of the increase in corn prices and 40 percent of the increase in soybean prices.”

In an article entitled “How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor,” published in the Council on Foreign Relations Foreign Affairs magazine for May/June 2007, economists C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer concluded that if the prices of staple foods increase because of the demand for biofuels, “the number of food-insecure people in the world would rise by over 16 million for every percentage point in the real prices of staple foods.”

Runge and Senauer projected that as many as 1.2 billion people could be chronically hungry by 2025, with 600 million more than previously projected, with the increase being due to the production of biofuels.

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