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

Climate change creates camouflage confusion in winter-adapted wildlife

Twenty-one species molt from brown to white to survive the winter season. But climate change has created a mismatch between their snowy camouflage and surroundings.

Coronavirus, the environment, and you

How the spread of the deadly virus is impacted by climate change, the environment, and our lifestyles.

They blinded us with SCIENCE!

From climate change to COVID-19, even the clearest warnings from scientists can misfire with millions of Americans. Pop culture may be a big reason why.

Fracking linked to rare birth defect in horses: Study

The implications for human health are "worrisome," say researchers.

Cutting edge of science

An exclusive look at important research just over the horizon that promises to impact our health and the environment

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.