To paraphrase the words of President Ronald Reagan, “There they go again.”
According to socio-biologist Edward Wilson, the world has just 27 years and 251 days left of food.
“The limit to how many people Earth can feed is set at 10 billion at the absolute maximum,” he says. “The constraints of the biosphere are fixed, there’s no wiggle room here.”
Catastrophic predictions have become the norm for environmental radicals over the years, working overtime to instill fear in an effort to persuade both politicians and the public to go along with their ill-conceived policies.
They’re always wrong.
Some will remember the name Dr. Paul Ehrlich. He’s the biologist who famously predicted in the 1960s there would be a devastating food shortage in the United States in the 1970s, resulting in hundreds of millions of deaths. He also stated the American population would decline to 22.6 million by 1999.
“If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000,” he said.
In the words of the old sitcom character Maxwell Smart, he “missed it by that much.”
Dr. Ehrlich is still alive at the age of 89.
As of this morning, England is still alive, too.
Of course, Ehrlich has not been the only one making dire prognostications over the years.
“The Doomsday Book” in 1970 suggested America would be consuming (to the detriment of all other countries) all of the world’s resources. In 1975, “The Environmental Fund” published full page ads in newspapers warning “The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000.”
Entire books could be filled with breathless and fear-filled environmental projections over the years – about cities being completely under water and mass starvation wiping out entire civilizations.
Then there are those who warn against the use of fossil fuels – from the plush leather seats of their private jet planes, – or from their ten-thousand-square-foot houses.
As a boy growing up on Long Island in the 1970s, I remember some very cold winters in the northeast and the warnings of a coming ice age or “Big Freeze.” When that didn’t materialize, and very hot summers followed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, global warming became the cause celebre. But after the weather changed again and it became a public relations problem to explain how global warming could cause extremely cold temperatures, environmentalists shifted to the more encompassing term of “climate change.”
At the root of all of these wildly foolish and outlandish predictions is a raging secularism. In this worldview, man has replaced God and ecology has replaced theology. Its proponents believe they can somehow control both the wind and the waves and all the weather in between. It’s almost laughable if not for their destructive and costly policies that negatively impact real people’s lives.
This fatalistic fanaticism ignores God’s sovereignty and even His mysterious ways. Absent from Edward Wilson’s cry that we’re running out of food is the fact that agriculture and food development and procurement are constantly evolving. How things are today will not be how they will be next year – let alone the next ten. Consider that world hunger has decreased dramatically in the last half century despite all the apocalyptic predictions to the contrary.
The secularist only sees with his or her eyes. Christians understand there is more to the world than we can see.
As Christians, we are called to live responsibly – and hopefully. In the end, though, our ultimate security isn’t found in food but in faith in Jesus Christ. That is all. And that is enough.
Photo from Shuttertstock.