Wednesday, September 9, 2009

John Holdren: Extremist and Fanatic

John Holdren, Obama's top science advisor, is an extermist and a fanatic. His views are compatible with totalitarianism and his career has been a series of wild predictions of imminent apocalypse that supposedly justifies heavy-handed government intervention to stave off disaster. This article by Steven Mosher is an eye-opener. It is the most complete account I have read so far of just how far out Holdren's views are.

Mosher's discussion of Holdren's views is based on Holdren's 1973 book, co-authored with the Ehrlichs, called Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions. Mosher writes:

"You might think that no one in their right mind would suggest that
American women, like their Chinese counterparts, could be forced to abort their
children. Yet Holdren et. al. wrote “[I]t has been concluded that compulsory
population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion,
could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis
became sufficiently severe to endanger the society." (p. 837) Lest you be fooled
by the passive voice (“it has been concluded”), let me point out that it was
Holdren and the Ehrlichs themselves, who have not one whit of legal training
among them, who “concluded” that there was nothing in the Constitution that
forbade forced abortion.

Holdren turns out to have a particular animus against single mothers, whom
he apparently believes should have their babies seized by the government and
given away to other couples to raise. As he writes on page 786, “One way to
carry out this disapproval [of single motherhood) might be to insist that all
illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who
generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single
mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through
adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it.
Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people
than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising
children along. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to
marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption,
depending on the society.”

But if you think this is extreme, it gets worse:

Then there is Holdren’s proposal to put infertility drugs into the nation’s
drinking water to effect a mass sterilization. “Adding a sterilant to drinking
water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than
most proposals for involuntary fertility control,” he writes. But it doesn’t
horrify Holdren, who apparently sees no ethical or moral problems with such a
nightmarish scheme. Instead, he dispassionately outlines the technical
specifications for such a sterilizing agent, which “must be uniformly effective,
despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying
degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of
dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of
the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.” (p. 787-8) Only a
morally unhinged individual would imagine a sterilant that the government could
use to stop all Americans from having children.

Just when you think the limit has been reached, the eugenic thinking becomes explicit and frightening:

"You might think it cannot get worse. You would be wrong. In Holdren’s imagined
population control utopia, anyone whom the government decides is causing “social
deterioration,” can be compelled not to have children. Let me quote what I
believe is the most chilling sentence in the whole book: “If some individuals
contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the
need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive
responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their
resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.
(p. 838)

Rather than passing off the comments in his 1973 book as "youthful indiscretions" Mosher shows that there has been a continuing pattern throughout his career to use scare tactics centering on imminent disaster as a justification for heavy-handed government intervention and control of the population. He concludes:

"What Obama’s new Science Czar really is is a professional doomsayer along the
lines of his mentor, Paul Ehrlich. To advance his scientific career, he has
advanced one end-of-the-world scenario after another. He has been, one must
admit, rather spectacularly successful at this, given that he is now bending the
ear of the U.S. President. But he has been consistently wrong on the facts and
in his predictions. The fear mongering that he habitually engages in gives
science, and scientists, a bad name."

___________ Comments ______________

It is staggering to think that the president of the United States appointed this man to a position of responsibility in his administration. Here are a few random implications:

1. Nobody outside his narrow little ideological circle is going to take him seriously. The whole global warming threat is being discredited to the extent that it is promoted by kooks like him. Why should be believe in global warming when the same people are telling us that the sea levels will rise by 13 feet who told us that much of the earth's population would be wiped out by 2000 by famine? Why put that kind of person in that kind of position if you want people to believe what the government says?

2. His eugenics beliefs are straight out of the 1930's and he is as dangerous as any Nazi. He should be shunned, not appointed to high office. He is morally disqualified for government office.

3. If he has seriously repudiated the views expressed in the 1973 book, then let him explain how his overall worldview, which allowed him to see forced abortion and sterilization, infanticide, government control of fertility etc. as morally permissible, has now changed. I'm willing to bet that his fundamental worldview has not changed; he has merely become more sly about what he knows he can get away with admitting in certain forums today. If I'm wrong, it would be simple for him to prove it by speeches, articles etc.

4. What does it say about Obama that he would appoint people like Van Jones, a self-professed Communist until recently, and Holdren, a self-professed eugenicist? Do they reflect Obama's worldview and politics? How moderate is a man who sits in the pew of a Jeremiah Wright for 20 years and who surrounds himself with an administration full of leftist radicals, former employees of Planned Parenthood and eugenicists?

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