WASHINGTON (BP)--President Obama’s science czar coauthored a book in the 1970s that raised coercive measures as possible means of curbing the human population.
The Senate confirmed John Holdren March 19 as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), but quotations on involuntary population control in a 1977 textbook he coauthored now have come under scrutiny.
In the book, “Ecoscience,” Holdren and his
‘Compulsory control of family size is an unpalatable idea, but the alternatives may be much more horrifying.’
Quote from book co-authored by Obama science czar
coauthors, environmentalists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, discussed such compulsory measures to limit population as abortion, sterilization after a second or third child, a sterilizing capsule implanted at the onset of puberty and a sterilant given to the population in drinking water or food.
Although it does not appear Holdren and the Ehrlichs necessarily endorsed these approaches in the textbook, they also did not seem to oppose at least some of them on ethical or moral grounds.
The authors’ approach in discussing these proposals is “completely amoral,” David Freddoso wrote in a commentary for The Washington Examiner after reviewing passages in the book. Regarding the possibility of a sterilant in drinking water or food, Freddoso said Holdren and the Ehrlichs do not recommend it, “but their objections to it are merely practical and health-related, not moral or stemming from any concern for human freedom.”
Holdren’s office has reacted by denying he supports government regulation of population growth.
“John Holdren did not, and does not, support forced abortions” or “compulsory sterilization,” OSTP strategic communications director Rick Weiss wrote Baptist Press in an e-mail. “These claims, based on a skewed reading of a 30-year-old, multi-author textbook are simply false.
“Dr. Holdren and his co-authors make clear in the book ... that the section dealing with overpopulation is a compendium of others’ views,” Weiss said. “He and his co-authors refer to the ‘obvious moral objections’ to” a government-controlled sterilization plan, Weiss wrote.
Southern Baptist bioethicist C. Ben Mitchell told BP, “It is well and good for Dr. Holdren to issue denials of views he published earlier in his career.
“Because he is now a public figure, a public denial is warranted,” said Mitchell, professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and a consultant for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Furthermore, it is incumbent on him to frankly declare his current beliefs about the topic now under scrutiny. Tax-funded science is a public trust.” Read More