John Holdren, Ideological Environmentalist

Forbes Commentary by Ronald Bailey

A most dogmatic member of Obama’s ‘Green Dream Team.’

President Barack Obama has nominated a Green Dream Team to guide the implementation of his ambitious climate and energy policies. John Holdren, a fierce ideological environmentalist, will be the leader of this team as the assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Holdren’s political environmentalism has been amply rewarded over the years. Today, he is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, director of environmental research group the Woods Hole Research Center and a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In his salad days, Holdren was a fully paid-up member of The Limits to Growth club. For example, in his 1971 Sierra Club book, Energy: A Crisis in Power, Holdren declared that “it is fair to conclude that under almost any assumptions, the supplies of crude petroleum and natural gas are severely limited. The bulk of energy likely to flow from these sources may have been tapped within the lifetime of many of the present population.” This sounds very much like contemporary prognostications of “peak oil.”

In keeping with his dogmatic limits-to-growth convictions, Holdren joined his frequent co-author, eco-doomster Paul Ehrlich, in a famous bet against cornucopian economist Julian Simon…

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