P.J. O’Rourke, a “Superfriend” against our modern “Legion of Doom”

A friend at work let me recently borrow an old book of his entitled “All the Trouble in the World” by P.J. O’Rourke. It is a great book that dispells many absurd notions of the modern doomsayers (liberals, Democrats, enviro-crazed dam-busting hippies that want to destroy our technology and return to the stone age, modern Malthusians and Zero-Population Growth whiners, etc.). 

Here are some of the truths revealed by this book: 

  1. Famine has rarely if ever been due to a lack of food, but all too often due to politics and war.
  2. Even if the doomsayers are right about population reaching an “abysmal” 14 billion people, the number of persons per square mile of land wouldn’t increase that much (the earth is much bigger than the doomsayers would have you believe).  It is also interesting just how densely populated some areas are and how sparsely populated other extensive areas are. This reminds me of the song in Pete’s Dragon that went “There’s room for everyone.” Here’s a link to the lyrics of this song: “There’s Room for Everyone” Song Lyrics from “Pete’s Dragon” Movie .
  3. Some of the scientific research that has triggered modern ecological scares is suspect, such as the research behind the Alar scare.  O’Rourke mentions how the book “Apocalypse Not” by economist Ben Bolch and chemist Harold Lyons (Cato Institute, 1993) said that the research that set off the Alar scare used so much Alar that to do the same experiment on humans would require each subject to eat fifty thousand pounds of apples a day for life.

I will add some notes about this book as I find time.

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