In his new book, David Rieff skewers philanthrocapitalists as unrealistic optimists, but Ronald Bailey calls him a prophet of overpopulation doom, and says capitalism will save the day.
"Now comes the neo-Malthusian journalist David Rieff. He argues in 'The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century' that 'if significant changes to the global food system are not made, a crisis of absolute global food supply could occur sometime between 2030 and 2050.' Mr. Rieff’s argument is halfhearted in comparison to Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s bold 1968 pronouncement, in 'The Population Bomb,' that 'the battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.'
"The chief question for Mr. Rieff is: Will it be possible to feed the nine billion people who will most likely be living on the planet by the middle of this century? He writes that, 'in the main,' his 'own views are pessimistic.' But he immediately acknowledges the possibility of predictive failure and declares: 'I insist that it is entirely possible that twenty years from now, it is the optimists who will be proven right.'”--Ronald Bailey, The Wall Street Journal