Since people keep e-mailing me about this eco-freak speech, I thought I’d better blog it. Here’s what Paul said:
A high-profile ecologist from Univ. Texas Austin recently advocated at a scientific meeting that 90% of the human race should be killed in order to save the earth. He explicitly said that a human-centric view is wrong and that, “We’re no better than bacteria!” His preferred method of killing the human race was airborne spread of Ebola virus. Afterwards, the audience of scientist exploded not in condemnation and jeers but applause.
I have no trouble believing that an academic ecologist gave such a revolting speech. (I took the Environmental Philosophy class at Boulder, after all!) However, I find the claim that the speech received enthusiastic applause from a bunch of regular scientists quite implausible. I’d certainly expect that from the terrorists of EarthFirst, but not from ordinary academics. So let me urge folks to approach this story with some caution. As far as I understand, all that we have at present is one unknown man’s account of the speech and the audience reaction. It might all be true, but I’d like to see confirmation from other sources.