The author of the apocalyptic 1968 book “The Population Bomb” that called for population control policies joined other scientists in criticizing President Donald Trump’s plans for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Biologist Paul Ehrlich, who once called for the U.S. government to take “whatever steps are necessary to establish a reasonable population size,” joined more than 2,500 scientists in claiming a border wall would “threaten some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions.”
“As climate change and increasingly warm, dry conditions redistribute resources and shift habitats in the borderlands, the wall may prevent some populations from tracking these changes,” reads the paper Ehrlich and others signed.
While the article does not explicitly oppose Trump’s border wall plans, its lead author told Earther the sheer number of signatories is a “validation of how disastrous the wall would be.”
The paper calls on Congress and the administration to take steps to minimize any environmental damage from the wall, including not allowing officials to waive environmental reviews.
“What matters is whether the barrier is passable, and from a jaguar’s point of view, an uncrossable fence has the same effect as a wall,” reads the paper, published in the journal BioScience.
“We urge the US government to recognize and give high priority to conserving the ecological, economic, political, and cultural value of the US-Mexico borderlands,” reads the article.
“National security can and must be pursued with an approach that preserves our natural heritage.”
Ehrlich’s 1968 book came at the height of environmental hysteria. Ehrlich predicted mass starvation and environmental degradation across the world.
Of course, Ehrlich’s apocalyptic predictions didn’t come true, and human well-being has only increased since the 1960s.
Some of Ehrlich’s ideas for limiting population growth included mass sterilization, increased access to abortions and taxing families who had too many children.
Ehrlich and his wife Anne also sat on the board of advisers of the Federation for American Immigration Reform until 2003.
FAIR’s website says “(r)educing legal immigration levels from well over one million presently to 300,000 a year over a sustained period will allow America to manage growth, address environmental concerns, and maintain a high quality of life.” The group also supports Trump’s border wall.
“The promise to build a ‘big beautiful wall’ was a cornerstone of the immigration plan that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency,” the group wrote on its website.
“If he expects to retain the support of the American public, then President Trump should heed American’s calls to ‘build that wall’ — and do the job right,” FAIR wrote.
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