EDITORIAL: Obama’s mad science adviser

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When it comes to having past views that should frighten every American citizen, Ezekiel Emanuel (see above editorial) has nothing on the president’s “chief science adviser,” John P. Holdren. The combination of Mr. Holdren with Dr. Emanuel should make the public seriously concerned with this administration’s moral compass concerning care for the old and weak.

Earlier this month, Mr. Holdren served as co-chairman when the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met for the first time. It’s a disgrace that Mr. Holdren is even on the council. In “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” a book he co-authored in 1977 with noted doomsayers Paul R. and Anne H. Erlich, Mr. Holdren wrote: “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

In case compulsory abortion wasn’t enough to diffuse his imaginary population bomb, Mr. Holdren and the Erlichs considered other extremist measures. “A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men,” they wrote. “The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control.”

It gets worse. The Holdren-Erlich book also promotes “Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods.” After noting that, well, yes, there were “very difficult political, legal and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems,” Mr. Holdren and his co-authors express hope that their idea may still be viable. “To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements,” they wrote. “It must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets or livestock.”

Most Americans can be forgiven for thinking that mass sterilization through drinking water is never acceptable and that someone who supported such horrors should have no place on a prestigious White House council. The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren or Dr. Emanuel. No matter how much they claim their views have “evolved,” health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this advising the president.

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