Those thrilled by the pope’s intervention on climate change – and Ehrlich counts himself among them – were troubled by Francis’s refusal to countenance the need to limit population, the scientist said. “It is crystal clear. No one concerned with the state of the planet and the state of the global economy can avoid dealing with population. It is the elephant in the room,” he said.
Ehrlich became a household name in the US nearly 50 years ago for warning of a global catastrophe because of population growth – a scenario he later conceded did not entirely materialise.