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John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar, says: Forced abortions..

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John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar, says: Forced abortions.. PostSat Aug 29, 2009 2:00 am  Reply with quote

John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet

Book he authored in 1977 advocates for extreme totalitarian measures to control the population.

Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A "Planetary Regime" with the power of life and death over American citizens.

The tyrannical fantasies of a madman? Or merely the opinions of the person now in control of science policy in the United States? Or both?

These ideas (among many other equally horrifying recommendations) were put forth by John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology -- informally known as the United States' Science Czar. In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.

Impossible, you say? That must be an exaggeration or a hoax. No one in their right mind would say such things.

Well, I hate to break the news to you, but it is no hoax, no exaggeration. John Holdren really did say those things, and this report contains the proof. Below you will find photographs, scans, and transcriptions of pages in the book Ecoscience, co-authored in 1977 by John Holdren and his close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich. The scans and photos are provided to supply conclusive evidence that the words attributed to Holdren are unaltered and accurately transcribed.

[UPDATE: Make sure to read the new statements issued by the White House and by John Holdren's office in response to the controversy raised by this essay -- you can see them below following the Ecoscience excerpts, or you can jump directly to the statements by clicking here.]

This report was originally inspired by this article in FrontPage magazine, which covers some of the same information given here. But that article, although it contained many shocking quotes from John Holdren, failed to make much of an impact on public opinion. Why not? Because, as I discovered when discussing the article with various friends, there was no proof that the quotes were accurate -- so most folks (even those opposed to Obama's policies) doubted their veracity, because the statements seemed too inflammatory to be true. In the modern era, it seems, journalists have lost all credibility, and so are presumed to be lying or exaggerating unless solid evidence is offered to back up the claims. Well, this report contains that evidence.

Of course, Holdren wrote these things in the framework of a book he co-authored about what he imagined at the time (late 1970s) was an apocalyptic crisis facing mankind: overpopulation. He felt extreme measures would be required to combat an extreme problem. Whether or not you think this provides him a valid "excuse" for having descended into a totalitarian fantasy is up to you: personally, I don't think it's a valid excuse at all, since the crisis he was in a panic over was mostly in his imagination. Totalitarian regimes and unhinged people almost always have what seems internally like a reasonable justification for actions which to the outside world seem incomprehensible.

Direct quotes from John Holdren's Ecoscience

Below you will find a series of ten short passages from Ecoscience. On the left in each case is a scanned image taken directly from the pages of the book itself; on the right is an exact transcription of each passage, with noteworthy sections highlighted. Below each quote is a short analysis by me.

Following these short quotes, I take a "step back" and provide the full extended passages from which each of the shorter quotes were excerpted, to provide the full context.

And at the bottom of this report, I provide untouched scans (and photos) of the full pages from which all of these passages were taken, to quash any doubts anyone might have that these are absolutely real, and to forestall any claims that the quotes were taken "out of context."

Ready? Brace yourself. And prepare to be shocked.

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PostSat Aug 29, 2009 1:24 pm  Reply with quote  

You've posted an article that doesn't have a whole lot of substance to it.


"Description misrepresented as endorsement": Bludgeoning Obama's science advisor with a 1977 textbook

Posted on: July 15, 2009 by Jessica Palmer

Jessica Palmer is a biologist & artist currently based in Washington, DC. She received her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, spent the last few years teaching at a small state college out West, and is now exploring science policy and communications.

Here's another inexcusable case of bad science journalism - one that clearly has political motives. This is the lead from a story by Amanda Carpenter in this morning's Washington Times:

---President Obama's top science adviser has toyed with extreme measures of population control, even suggesting in one book how to make it more publicly acceptable for the government to spike drinking water in order to sterilize people.

That would be quite a shocker - if it were true.

Honestly, this "news" article goes off the rails so hard in its first paragraph, I barely know where to start! First off, it turns out that Carpenter is referring not to any new federal policies espoused by Holdren, but to a 1977 ecoscience textbook that Holdren co-wrote with Anne and Paul Ehrlich:

---John P. Holdren, named as Mr. Obama's science "czar" earlier this year, described this in a book he wrote with Paul Ehrlich -- author of the "Population Bomb," which predicted masses would starve due to exploitation of resources through the 1980s -- about the world's rapidly increasing population. In the 1977 tome "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," Mr. Holdren and Mr. Ehrlich, in addition to Mr. Ehrlich's wife, Anne, considered various ways to keep growth in check.

So what's actually going on here is that in a textbook about population and resources, Holdren and his coauthors talked about hypothetical population control policies. Wow, that's so . . . completely necessary! What kind of textbook would it have been if they hadn't talked about such obvious issues - especially given that nations like China and Singapore were already using population control policies, and China was on the verge of putting its one-child policy into effect? A pretty useless textbook, that's what.

The sad thing here is that Carpenter's story, like the extremist blog post that appears to be her only source (which I'll discuss later), doesn't recognize the distinction between talking about something and endorsing something. That distinction is absolutely central to science: science is all about discussing, testing, and evaluating many possibilities - hypotheses - until the evidence endorses one hypothesis over the others. It's also central to policy, in which multiple policy options are described prior to one being recommended. In fact, this distinction is central to all academic fields. Does a historian comparing the draconian regimes of Hitler, Mussolini and Kim Jong Il automatically support totalitarianism? Highly unlikely - unless the historian actually says he/she advocates a dictator's policies.

In his writings, Holdren has been an advocate of various environmental and social policies which he has endorsed openly, under his own name. But apparently because those policies aren't sensational enough, some people are now trying to say he endorses everything discussed in a textbook on which he is third author. This is what his coauthors, the Ehrlichs, had to say about it in a statement Tuesday:

---Anybody who actually wants to know what we and/or Professor Holdren believe and recommend about these matters would presumably read some of the dozens of publications that we and he separately have produced in more recent times, rather than going back a third of a century to find some formulations in an encyclopedic textbook where description can be misrepresented as endorsement.

Uh, yeah. That would make sense. But instead, this morning's Washington Times article doesn't do that research, basing its assertions entirely on a blog rant - which in turn bases its accusations on out-of-context snippets from the 1977 textbook. This reminds me of conversations I used to have with my students when I explained the difference between "original source" and "Wikipedia," and told them that they had to actually look up and read peer-reviewed journal articles to check their facts, and they whined, "but that's too hard!"

So let's look at the zombietime blog post, which has the restrained, thoughtful title "John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet," and was based on an earlier attack on Holdren in Frontpage magazine. At least they make no bones about their target. Here are some of the snippets cited in the post, and their accompanying "analysis":

zombietime says:

...Holdren "hides behind the passive voice" in this passage, by saying "it has been concluded." Really? By whom? By the authors of the book, that's whom. What Holdren's really saying here is, "I have determined that there's nothing unconstitutional about laws which would force women to abort their babies." And as we will see later, although Holdren bemoans the fact that most people think there's no need for such laws, he and his co-authors believe that the population crisis is so severe that the time has indeed come for "compulsory population-control laws." In fact, they spend the entire book arguing that "the population crisis" has already become "sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

I'm not a big fan of the passive voice either, but there is a big difference between describing a conclusion made by others, and drawing a conclusion yourself. In retrospect, it's too bad Holdren and his co-authors didn't put a footnote here to tell you who exactly has concluded such laws have a constitutional basis, so you wouldn't have to conclude that it was the authors generally, or Holdren specifically.

But wait. The authors did put a footnote. From the previous paragraph, which has been cut off in your blog post, but appears on the full text of page 837:

---The impact of laws and policies on population size and growth has, until very recently, largely been ignored by the legal profession. The first comprehensive treatment of population law was that of the late Johnson C. Montgomery, an attorney who was president of Zero Population Growth, and whose ideas are the basis of much of the following discussion.

See? You don't have to read between the lines and assume Holdren is "hiding behind the passive voice" when he says "it has been concluded." You just have to read the whole page of the book, and not one line.

zombietime says:

---Holdren and his co-authors once again speculate about unbelievably draconian solutions to what they feel is an overpopulation crisis. But what's especially disturbing is not that Holdren has merely made these proposals -- wrenching babies from their mothers' arms and giving them away; compelling single mothers to prove in court that they would be good parents; and forcing women to have abortions, whether they wanted to or not -- but that he does so in such a dispassionate, bureaucratic way. Don't be fooled by the innocuous and "level-headed" tone he takes: the proposals are nightmarish, however euphemistically they are expressed.

---Holdren seems to have no grasp of the emotional bond between mother and child, and the soul-crushing trauma many women have felt throughout history when their babies were taken away from them involuntarily.

---This kind of clinical, almost robotic discussion of laws that would affect millions of people at the most personal possible level is deeply unsettling, and the kind of attitude that gives scientists a bad name. I'm reminded of the phrase "banality of evil."

Let me get this straight. The authors calmly and dispassionately discuss population control policies - just as one would expect from academics describing hypothetical situations. The authors don't employ passionate rhetoric or get emotional, as one might expect from advocates trying to persuade us such policies are necessary. This somehow proves the authors are . . . even more evil and diabolical advocates of population control than we can possibly imagine! And bye-the-bye, it gives scientists a bad name. What?

I don't think I'm going to go through any more examples - you can if you like, but they're all like this, more or less. Notice how it's always "Holdren" being indicted, even though he was third author on the textbook and we have no indication he was responsible for writing this section; this topic was more Paul Ehrlich's area than Holdren's anyway. But the Ehrlichs aren't Obama's "science czar," so they don't have big targets on their backs right now.

Speaking of the Administration, here's their official response to the situation:

---The quotations used to suggest that Dr. Holdren supports coercive approaches to limiting population growth were taken from a 1977 college textbook on environmental science and policy, of which he was the third author. The quoted material was from a section of the book that described different possible approaches to limiting population growth and then concluded that the authors' own preference was to employ the noncoercive approaches before the environmental and social impacts of overpopulation led desperate societies to employ coercive ones. Dr. Holdren has never been an advocate of compulsory abortions or other repressive means of population limitation.

Short and sweet, because honestly, there isn't much to say. This should never have been a news story in the first place. But it does reveal some disturbing strategies people use to attack academics in general, and scientists in particular. "Description misrepresented as endorsement" - that's the crux of the matter.

In the excerpts cited at, even the tiny snippets, it is crystal clear that these policies are being discussed in an academic sense. The blog's author is simply cherrypicking quotes and twisting them to justify a political hack job. That's not shocking - I've been around the interwebz a few times - but the Washington Times picking this up without checking further is plain bad journalism. The only reasons I can see for such sloppiness are either utter ignorance of how academic discussion works, or cynical political opportunism. I won't try to guess which.
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PostSat Aug 29, 2009 8:19 pm  Reply with quote  

There continues to be two sides to this story; however, since this thread was moved from the "Politics" to the "Freeform" forum, it is clear that only one side is going to be given credrence.

John Holdren has naturally tried to distanced himself from this book. You can also read about his denials at the site.

As a poster, Frank G., on another site wrote:

"I thought at first that the headline and synopsis of this article must be just sensationalism, but - remarkably - it isn't. Our "science czar" really believes this stuff. The site is a series of direct quotations from the book Holdren co-authored, followed by discussion of each. If not a madman, he is at least someone with an extremely pessimistic prognosis for our future."

Clearly, this subject matter is worth debating, particularly in light of chemtrails in our skies; the hazardous waste material, fluorosilicic acid (called fluoride) in our community water supplies; genetically modified crops people are eating which have had no policing action whatsoever to determine if they are safe, so no one really knows what they are doing to our health (some tests have shown them to be very deleterious); irradiated foods, which several scientific tests have shown shorten the life span of those eating them; and pharmaceuticals which have resulted in the deaths of millions over the years.

Here are some valid comments to the article presented by Gort519 at:


It is clear from the Holdren's own writings that this is more than hypothetical postulation.

Take this quote for example:

“Indeed, it 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.”

Concluded by who exactly? If he were simply postulating on potential remedies to overpopulation (regardless of how immoral or criminal) why does he bring the Constitution into it?

And this:

“In today’s world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?”

The point is that from this man's writings we can see that he has no moral objection to bending the law to meet goals of depopulation. That is the whole point. Firstly, the entire premise he presents is false and has been proven to be false. Secondly, his reinterpretations of the law is completely false. No sorry, compulsory abortion is NOT constituional. I don't see any part of the Constitution that mentions it at all.

This man has also proved his basic mental instability with his talk of geo-engineering by shooting pollutants into the atmosphere. If that is not a mad scientist then I don't know what is.

People, you need to go watch the film, Endgame, free on YouTube. This film clearly chronicles the history of eugenics and shows that the eugenics movement clearly mirrors the writings of Holdren. Holdren is a mad eugenicist. It's quite clear to any sane individual after watching that film.

Posted by: WrongAgainJessica | July 15, 2009 9:51 PM

"Take this quote for example: “Indeed, it 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.” Concluded by who exactly?"

I'm "WrongAgain?" Uh-huh. YOU apparently didn't even read my post (the one you're commenting on), since "concluded by who exactly" is one of the central points I discuss. Sigh...

Posted by: Jessica Palmer | July 15, 2009 9:55 PM

For added value here's the original work in question for any and all's perusal:
Best to all...

Posted by: Dave Johnston | July 15, 2009 10:11 PM

Jessica, others have clearly made the point that Holdren holds extreme views based on premises that history has clearly demonstrated wrong. He also advocates draconian and totalitarian government action based on his faulty premises. Actual implementation of those propositions could only be implemented by a rabid, tyranical government. It is truly frightening that he has accepted the role of science czar and has the ability to influence national policy via the Presidency. Do not forget that he advocates that you should be sterilized and even have any children you bear taken from you, by force if necessary. These are not hypothetical discussions. These are discussions about who can live and who can have children only at the whims of government. The people having these discussions are not excluded from the affected population.

Posted by: EJohnson | July 15, 2009 10:17 PM
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