Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades.'

In May, it will be 50 years since the eminent biologist published his most famous and controversial book, The Population Bomb. But Ehrlich remains as outspoken as ever.

Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge.


Ehrlich has been quite prolific in those 50 years, continually drawing connections among the different planetary forces shaping our health and environment – forces like biodiversity, the nitrogen cycle, climate change and yes, overpopulation. The concern that he shares with other scientists working in this field: These are force multipliers, coming harder and faster at civilization than any one issue by itself.

Veteran journalist Damian Carrington's interview with Ehrlich is excellent. Worth reading, too, is the website Ehrlich and other scientists have put together to explore these interconnections: The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.

And if you want to keep abreast of this issue, every Saturday we publish a roundup of the best reporting we've seen that week probing the interplay of these different environmental issues. Get our "Science Saturday" newsletter free in your inbox by signing up here.

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
From our Newsroom

Op-ed: A push for answers about the environmental causes of child cancer

A first-of-its kind study aims to tease out the link between pollution and cancer in children.

Moving forward after four years of fights and falsehoods

As the US turns the page on a skeptical and openly hostile administration, environmental science and journalism face continued obstacles—but there is some optimism.

LISTEN: Dana Williamson on bringing communities to the forefront of environmental justice research

"There needs to be more intentionality around working with communities that are experiencing environmental inequities."

LISTEN: Kristina Marusic discusses the health effects of fracking on "In This Climate"

"People in communities with fracking are fearful about the exposures they're facing from the industry."

Unplugged: Abandoned oil and gas wells leave the ocean floor spewing methane

The Gulf of Mexico is littered with tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and toothless regulation leaves climate warming gas emissions unchecked.

10 tips for cleaner grocery shopping

Picking ingredients for a better lifestyle.

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.