RETRO REPORT Headlines Fade. The Stories Continue
Donate

The Population Bomb?

In the 1960s, fears of overpopulation sparked campaigns for population control. But whatever became of the population bomb?

Follow Retro Report

The Population Bomb?

Produced by Kit Roane and Sarah Weiser
Original Release
June 1, 2015
Photo Essay:
A Journey through India: The Legacy of Population Fears

In the 1960s, fears of overpopulation sparked campaigns for population control. But whatever became of the population bomb?

In 1968, the release of Paul Ehrlich’s best-selling book The Population Bomb and his multiple appearances on the “Tonight Show” helped spread fears that our planet could not sustain itself. Population concerns were already percolating, and Americans soon flocked to Ehrlich’s movement, Zero Population Growth, whose mantra on children was “stop at two.”

While many of his forecasts did not come true, they left a legacy that is still with us today. In the end, the story of The Population Bomb sheds a fascinating light on the dangers of prediction and the adaptability of the human race.

This video was supported in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Chasing Outbreaks: How Safe Is Our Food?
Transforming History