John P. Holdren

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John Holdren, regarded as a radical secular evangelist by Michelle Malkin, is President Obama's "science czar."[1] Holdren is a professor in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the director of an environmental advocacy center called the Woods Hole Research Center (not to be confused with the far better known Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a research center). He was also the Clinton-Gore Administration spokesman on global warming. Currently the science czar in the administration of Barack Hussein Obama,[2][3] John Holdren is said to be directly involved in CRU's Climategate scandal, a controversial event where, according to evidence, researchers manipulated and suppressed climate data, and also stifled dissent.[4][5]

Holdren served as one of President Bill Clinton's science advisors (PCAST) from 1994 to 2001. Eight years later, President Barack Obama nominated Holdren for his current position as science advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in December 2008, and he was confirmed on March 19, 2009, by a unanimous vote in the Senate.[6][7][8][9] He testified to the nomination committee that he does not believe that government should have a role in determining optimal population size[10] and that he never endorsed forced sterilization.[11][12][13]

Controversial positions

Professor Holdren has advocated multinational population restrictions, including mandatory abortion in the United States.[2] (See professor values.) Worse yet, in a book (Ecoscience) that he wrote in 1977, he advocated subtly poisoning the water supply with "sterilants." The following is a direct quote:

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: 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.[14]

In addition to the above, Holdren et al. advocated the following draconian measures aimed at population control:

  • Compulsory abortion:
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.[15]
  • Seizure by the government, for government-directed adoption placement, of all babies born out-of-wedlock, whether to adolescent or single adult women:
One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.[16]
  • Involuntary fertility control by direct means:
Involuntary fertility control

... 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. ... 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. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.[17]

  • Forbidding persons or groups deemed to cause "social deterioration" to have children:
If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.[18]
  • Forbidding any family to have more than two children. Curiously, Holdren justifies this by citing current law against polygamy as a precedent:
In today's world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?[19]
  • A "planetary regime" to dictate population size and resource use:
Toward a Planetary Regime

... Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.

The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.[20]

In light of the above policy positions, at least one commentator has already compared Dr. Holdren to Josef Mengele, the physician-in-chief at Konzentrationlag Auschwitz.[21]

Apparently Holdren now wishes to distance himself from his previously expressed positions:

  • A spokesman for Prof. Holdren's office issued a spirited denial and disavowal of the above positions:
Dr. [sic] Holdren has stated flatly that he does not now support and has never supported compulsory abortions, compulsory sterilization, or other coercive approaches to limiting population growth....Straining to conclude otherwise from passages treating controversies of the day in a three-author, 30-year-old textbook is a mistake.[3]

Life imitating art

John Holdren's expressed views make him quite similar to a fictional character created by Ayn Rand, specifically Dr. Floyd Ferris, who, in Atlas Shrugged, once advocated summary execution of the aged and infirm as a solution to the economic crisis that the United States faced in that novel.


  • Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, co-authored in 1977 by John Holdren and his close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich. ISBN 0716700298 [22]


  1. Two Scientists, Two Standards
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zahn D, "Obama science czar Holdren called for forced abortions 'Comprehensive Planetary Regime could control development, distribution of all natural resources'", WorldNetDaily, 12 June 2009. <>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Abrams J, "Obama's Science Czar Considered Forced Abortions, Sterilization as Population Growth Solutions," <>, July 21, 2009. <>
  4. Dr. Tim Ball, Judi McLeod. Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren involved in unwinding “Climategate” scandal, Canada Free Press, November 24, 2009.
  5. Michelle Malkin. Science czar John Holdren and ClimateGate: Perfect together, Michelle Malkin, November 24, 2009.
  6. Staff and news service reports. "Obama's science adviser starts job", "", March 20, 2009.
  7. Library of Congress [1], Nomination PN65-07-111, confirmed by Senate voice vote.
  8. Nominations considered and confirmed en bloc, Congressional Record, March 19, 2009 S3577-S3578.
  9. Koenig, Robert. "President Barack Obama's Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Faces Limited Criticism at Confirmation Hearings", Seed Magazine, February 13, 2009.
  10. Video.[2] Senate Confirmation Hearing, February 12, 2009.
  11. Pratt, Andrew Plemmons "Right-wing Attacks on Science Adviser Continue", Science Progress, July 21, 2009
  12. Mooney, Chris."Hold off on Holdren (again)", "Science Progress", July 2009.
  13. Goldberg, Michelle. "Holdren's Controversial Population Control Past", The American Prospect, July 21, 2009, accessed July 30, 2009.
  14. Ehrlich AH, Ehrlich PR, and Holdren JR, Ecoscience, San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1977, pp. 787-8. Published electronically at <> Quoted at <>, accessed 12 July 2009. Cited by Treacher J, "If You Like Putting Sterilants in Our Water and Forcing 'Undesirables' to Get Abortions, Have We Got a Science Czar for You,", 11 July 2009. Accessed 12 July 2009.
  15. Ehrlich PR et al., Ecoscience, op. cit., p. 837
  16. Ibid., p. 786
  17. Ibid., pp. 786-7
  18. Ibid., p. 838
  19. Ibid., p. 838
  20. Ibid., pp. 942-3
  21. "Obama's Mengele", I Watch Obama, 14 July 2009. <>
  22. Book report on Ecoscience: population, resources, environment