Kathy Shaidle

FOX: Science "Czar" believes babies "will ultimately develop into human beings" only after birth

Posted on July 30 2009 9:48 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Last night, Sean Hannity of FOX News briefly touched on the latest revelations about President Obama’s newly appointed “Science Czar” John P. Holdren.

According to a new report from, Holdren (whose official title is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology) made some troubling statements in his 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions. Like a number of Holdren’s books, this one was co-authored by Paul Erlich, and reflects Erlich’s apocalyptic (and now-widely-discredited) “population bomb” theories.

In a chapter entitled “Population Limitation,”  the authors write:

The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.

In Holdren’s defense, such views were not entirely out of the mainstream in the 1970s, when leftist pro-abortion activists routinely described fetuses as mere “blobs of tissue,” and technology such as the prenatal ultrasound had yet to be developed.

However, concerns about this and other utilitarian, misanthropic statements made by Holdren remain. As previously reported at, Holdren has a history of promoting the kind of radical environmentalism that privileges the planet over people. In the same book cited above,  Holdren and Ehrlich also called for “a massive campaign … to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations in order to conserve energy and facilitate growth in underdeveloped countries.

“De-development,” they said, “means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” “By de-development,” they elaborated, “we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”

Holdren has done little since his appointment to distance himself from these and other controversial statements.

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