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It appears that since Matt Ridley got a quote wrong regarding a typical Malthusian claim, that this is grounds to dismiss the existence and influence of all of the other claims made in the past. That makes as much sense to me as throwing out all of the research on the minimum wage when a single study shows that there might not be harmful effects. In the case of the latter, it would be useful to remind readers of the evidence. So we’ll slowly be providing for you in between other posts over the next few months.

Now, let me remind you that just because every single nutty alarmist prediction has been proven false does not mean we should ignore all of them, or that they have not perhaps done some good in raising awareness. I wouldn’t expect some people to understand that, I can guarantee a barrage of e-mails disputing that these guys meant what they did, or defending the wrong claims on some spurious grounds. I will just allow the claims to speak for themselves. Let’s start with a few doozies from the famous Limits to Growth report from the Club of Rome.

“A world where industrial production has sunk to zero. Where population has suffered a catastrophic decline. Where the air, sea, and land are polluted beyond redemption. Where civilization is a distant memory. This is the world that the computer forecasts. What is even more alarming, the collapse will not come gradually, but with awesome suddenness , with no way of stopping it. This is the message and the warning of The Limits to Growth, a book that may well offer mankind’s last chance for survival.”

That’s right from the introduction where the authors ask if this is the world our grandchildren will thank us for. Check it for yourself.

The Limits to Growth; A report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind [by] Donella H. Meadows [and others]. New York, Universe Books [1972]. ISBN: 0876631650

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