RHJunior wrote:Soylent Green and others of its ilk are the retarded offspring of a brain-damaged intellectual elitist. The author of "The Population Bomb" should be publicly flogged and then dragged off in chains for the damage his pseudo-intellectual, humanophobic, fact-devoid fearmongering book has wrought in the world.
Actually, Paul Ehrlich, Ph.D. (author of "Population Bomb", and currently Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University; he's an entomologist, specializing in Lepidoptera; that's butterflies to you and me) wrote the book at the prompting of David Brower, who was then the executive director of the Sierra Club. Brower had seen similarly-themed articles written by Ehrlich for New Scientist
To be fair, though, the overall impact of "Population Bomb", outside the world of speculative fiction, was pretty minimal. About the only real-world adjustments were those which allowed greater access to contraception. (If you're referencing the "Human Interest" article that calls it one of the most damaging books of the twentieth century, Ralph, keep in mind Darwin's Origin of Species got an honorable mention on that list...)
In any event, even Ehrlich never expected to be much of a prophet. From the first edition of "Population Bomb":
Paul Ehrlich, PH.D. wrote:The possibilities are infinite; the single course of events that will be realized is unguessable. We can, however, look at a few possibilities as an aid to our thinking, using a device known as a 'scenario'. Scenarios are hypothetical sequences of events used as an aid in thinking about the future, especially in identifying possible decision points...Remember, these are just possibilities, not predictions.
While Ehrlich's writings did play a part in "Make Room, Make Room" by Henry Harrison (heck, Ehrlich wrote the foreword), they have nothing to do with Soylent Green, which is just sci-fi horror; the movie owes more to Swift's "A Modest Proposal" than to "Population Bomb".
While I agree he should stick to butterflies, Ehrlich doesn't get credit for "Soylent Green". If anything, part of the credit goes to Harry Harrison for abandoning his trademark humor while keeping his trademark misanthropy, thus making the book unsuitable for direct conversion to a movie.