Weapon of Misinstruction
Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb
by Allan Carlson
The Population Bomb, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s Malthusian classic, appeared in May 1968, just two months before Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. The two documents seem far apart. The former argues that a mounting gap between human numbers and food “will continue to its logical conclusion: mass starvation.” The latter builds on Paul VI’s 1965 appeal to the United Nations, asking that nations “strive to multiply bread so that it suffices for the tables of mankind, and not, rather, favor an artificial control of birth . . . in order to diminish the number of guests a . . .