Schellnhuber: Carrying Capacity Of The Planet Is Less Than A Billion – Earth Will Explode With 9.4 Billion in 2050

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, German architect of the masterplan, dubbed the Great Transformation, warned back in 2009 that unless the world heeds his message, 6 billion people would perish. This was reported in the New York Times here, which wrote: 

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said that if the buildup of greenhouse gases and its consequences pushed global temperatures 9 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today — well below the upper temperature range that scientists project could occur from global warming — Earth’s population would be devastated.

According to the New York Times, Schellnhuber also said at a plenary session at the international climate change conference in Copenhagen (emphasis added): 

“In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something –- namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people.”

What Angela Merkel’s climate advisor is saying is that there are billions of us too many on the planet and that more lebensraum is needed. He then adds:

What a triumph. On the other hand do we want this alternative? I think we can do much, much better.”

Even more bizarre, one year earlier in a Nov. 13th, 2008 interview with news television PHOENIX TV he reveals his thoughts on growing human prosperity and population, see this Youtube video link here:

The video text caption at the start reads:

Already with the current world population of 6.6 billion people, an overuse of resources is taking place. In the year 2050, 9.4 billion people will be living on the planet.”

Well that is simply too many and all very frightening for Schellnhuber. In the video he says with somber tones:

The earth likely will be populated by at least 9 billion people by 2050. You have to imagine that these people will reach an average level of consumption that Portugal has, one of the poorer countries in Europe. When you imagine that if all these 9 billion people claim all these resources, then the earth will explode.”

Of course Paul Ehrlich made similar absurd predictions 40 years ago, and the exact opposite happened. Ehrlich was exposed as a charlatan. So far all the model projections that his Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research have produced in the past have turned out to be all wrong.

32 responses to “Schellnhuber: Carrying Capacity Of The Planet Is Less Than A Billion – Earth Will Explode With 9.4 Billion in 2050”

  1. Paddy

    Perhaps the International Court of Justice should be called upon to indict all Malthusians for conspiracy to commit genocide. They promote measures that will most certainly cause massive deaths by starvation, pestilence and epidemic.

    There are no meaningful programs globally to provide potable water.

    False science based policies led to banning of efficient and harmless pesticides like DDT. Consequently, hundreds of millions of deaths from malaria were avoidable. Efforts to end diseases like small pox nearly succeeded before the international community lost interest.

    The use of genetically engineered crops that are resistant to various blights and designed to cope in harsh growing conditions, together with lack educational programs for farming that will expand the global food supply have been blocked.

    Malthusians are in policy making and governance positions throughout the world. the ideas are dangerous and cannot be tolerated. In the US we have our share of them who serve in important advisory and policy making roles in our government. They include the notorious Malthusian, John Holder, President Obama’s chief science advisor. Obama will most likely serve only one term. High on the successor’s agenda should be a purge of all Malthusians from government.

  2. R. de Haan

    This guy is very dangerous, no question about it.

    We have all the resources to provide a comfortable life to 15 billion people without a worry.

    Just get rid of the rats.

    1. geof barrington

      i think we should reduce the popualation to a hundred thousand . me and 99thousand women .

  3. DirkH

    A copycat Holdren.

    He’s not that dangerous; he’s just 40 years behind. Germany is often a little isolated… Most people here only watch the German public news, which are a kind of incestuous multi-BBC echo chamber who will only let in a tiny filtered bit of outside information. Still, the Germans *praise* their public channels for the quality of the “information”. The Fukushima fear campaign was a typical example of how this isolated system works and how it warps the public opinion here.

    So recycling 40 year old scares from the USA is SOP here. Is this dangerous? Only for Germany. We’re just squandering money with increasing speed. There’s not enough fanatical youths to make it dangerous for the outside world. As soon as we’re sufficiently broke, it will limit itself.

    I’m optimistic that this is already happening via the PIIGS+Belgium crisis.

  4. DirkH

    No Western Malthusian will tell Brazil, India or China what to do.

    Schellnhuber and Edenhofer and the IPCC are no more in touch with reality. Whether the German government still is remains to be seen.

    1. Nonoy Oplas

      Pierre, DirkH,

      The “population control” movement is kicking hard here in the Philippines with the so-called “Reproductive Health” (RH) bill. We’re now the 12th most populous country in the world, to reach the 100 million mark sometime in 2013-14. Lots of hot air and emotional debates here, mainly between the pro-RH bill government — backed up by UN, WB, ADB, EU, USAID, other foreign aid money — and the Catholic Church which is feverishly anti-RH bill. Most free marketers here oppose the RH bill not for any religious reason, but because of economics, with lots of expansion in government programs, govt bureaucracies, and new taxes to finance the population control policies. It’s also interesting that the anti-population groups are also the same climate alarmist groups.

      1. geof barrington

        the population alarmists are related to the eugenics groups , the warmers and any other enviro movements, also to animal lover groups. They are the city people, the ones who think that meat is manufactured in grocery stores and only comes in little white packages and that power comes from the switch in the wall. They as a group believe that when the end comes that they will all move out to the bush and live with the animals in peace and harmony. In reality they fear the bush.
        ayn rand had it figured out . There were the doers of the world and then there were the envious ones.
        These people are financed and prodded by the elites who basically as a group, do not like the average man and considers us as useless eaters. read “undue influence ” by Ron Arnold.

  5. R. de Haan

    John. P. Holdren, the current Science CZAR in the Obama Administration shares similar idea’s which includes the 1 billion population limit.

    Here are the details:

    1. DirkH

      See the “Peacer” government in Vernor Vinge’s splendid SF novel “Across Realtime”. The novel is from 1980 or so and details a suppressive world government that rules over a world where most people are left infertile in the aftermath of a bioweapons war.

      Holdren and Schellnhuber probably love the book up to the point where the resistance movement arises…

  6. DirkH

    Stock up on plastic bags if you happen to live in the EUSSR. ftd reports that our beloved leaders ponder a tax or a prohibition on plastic bags; after their success with light bulbs. The beast has tasted blood.

  7. R. de Haan


    The fact that the book is from the eighties is no excuse.
    Holdren and Schellnhuber both have taken positions of power.

    If you connect the dots you will see a planned policy of hiking energy prices, food prices and water prices in combination with the most intensive Government propaganda campaigns since the fall of the USSR.
    It doesn’t matter if you watch ZDF, DW or CNN.
    All are selling the same lies about our climate, our resources and energy.

    Energy, food and water availability have become political weapons and there is much more around the corner.

    The Globalist butchers are only warming up.

    1. DirkH


      The fact that the book is from the eighties is no excuse.”

      Ron, Vinge is not a Malthusian. The “Peacer” government are the baddies in the novel.

  8. Ulrich Elkmann

    Arne Naess, founder of “deep ecology” and Edward Abbey, he of Friends of the Earth, put the upper limit at about 100 million people in the 1970s, usually with the proviso “we cannot (yet) act upon our words, so this is not an actual call to action”. Schnellhuber et al. might even be right, if humanity was forced to go back to hunting and gathering or subsistence farming on an eighth-century level, banning all modern technology, knowledge, science, intellectual networking and adopting Rouseau, Francis of Assisi and Mohandas Gandhi as patron saints. Science fiction,, of the “seriously concerned” kind, is ripe with plans for bringing about such a scaling back, starting with Richard Jefferies’ “After London” (1888), Jack London’s “The Scarlet Plague” (1912) and George R. Stewart’s “Earth Abides” (1949) to Carl Amery’s last novel “Das Geheimnis der Krypta” (1989) – the usual agent in these works is some bacillus/virus, more often than not engineered, that does away with the superfluous 99 percent of humanity (it also leaves behind all those few bits of simple technology you still need to live the pleasurable bucolic life; but Babylon the Great is fallen). The concept is expressed in its essence in James Tiptree’s “The Last Flight of Dr. Ain” (1969), where the biologist title character is seen globe-trotting, infecting mankind with his cleansing disease at every airport – all out of love for “The Woman”, sick and dying (surprise: she turns out to be Mother Gaia).. I have never understood just why some people do not love this genre…

  9. John DeFayette

    I just love the figure. That’s the estimated population of the earth in 1804…ahhh, the good ol’ days.

    Napoleon, that grand visionary of population planning, did his utmost to keep the planet within the limits that he obviously anticipated. His armies were some of the best population control systems since the pill.

    Now, with criminals like Louis Pasteur, Alexander Fleming and Mary Pride running freely among us it is high time we bring back some of those good ol’ days. Yes, while we’re ranting against the worst of the bunch we may as well add Ronald Reagan and Pope J-P II; without their meddling we might have eventually set off a tidy pest extermination covering the whole Northern Hemisphere.

    Yep, get us back to the land; Jean-Jacques and Hank Thoreau are reality for the 21st century man.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to copy this message a few million times and get my horse saddled up. Otherwise how will you folks ever taste my wisdom?

  10. wws

    Actually he’s not 40 years behind, he’s 70 years behind. His German forbears did their best to bring down the world’s population to “sustainable” levels 70 years or so ago, and they even went so far as to organize several large camps where they kept the ovens going round the clock to try and carry out their objectives.

    He’s not a copycat Holdren – he’s a copycat of Corporal Schickelgruber. If he ever gets the chance to hold any real power, I think Commandant Schellenhuber will reach the same end that Corporal Schickelgruber did 2 generations ago.

  11. Peter

    Schellnhuber and his eco-fascist friends were exposed by political organizers of the LaRouche movement during the Global Symposium in Stockholm. On this video you can see some of the interesting encounters:

  12. biggreenlie

    Just what this world needs ….another Adolph!

    Don’t these guys realize what happened to him?…..time to fire up Nuremberg again!

  13. Jerry M

    It is sickening to see what should be a discussion about scientific ideas converted always to a political rant, which is what many of the other comments here represent. We know, from the study of ecology, that all populations have limiting factors which reduce their population size if it becomes larger than the carrying capacity of the environment. Methods can involve starvation, sickness, failure to reproduce, lack of water, etc. The real question is – What is the Earth’s carrying capacity for the human species? Are we close to it? Have we past it and we are living on borrowed time?

    Some populations crash and do not recover. Is it possible that humans will experience that? Can we modify our ways of living in order to raise the size of the population without it crashing or would it be better to reduce the population size to prevent such a crash? It has little or nothing to do with political stance or party – it has to do with our natural desire to see our species live and prosper in the future.

    It seems obvious to me, that our present standard of living has been made possible because of the technology built on the dependance on petroleum. Since it is diminishing in availability and at the same time becoming more needed, we need to seriously explore possibilities. Are wind farms, sea current generators, and nuclear power the way to go? More than one author has suggested that the ultimate population size on the entire planet will be about 1 billion humans, and that they will live much like the way people lived in the late 1800’s. We need to look at such ideas and many more, using calculations to measure their veracity, possibility and likelihood – and if, indeed, we need to lower population size to keep from going extinct, we need to discuss the ways to do that. Maybe, if we don’t, nature will do it for us.

    1. DirkH

      “It is sickening to see what should be a discussion about scientific ideas converted always to a political rant, which is what many of the other comments here represent.”

      You didn’t notice yourself but here starts your very own political rant:

      “We know, from the study of ecology, that all populations have limiting factors which reduce their population size if it becomes larger than the carrying capacity of the environment.”

      So you imply that humans are like rabbits on an island; this is the typical political thinking of all biologists i know. Biologists don’t know a thing about inventions or technological progress or product development, and equating humans with rabbits is what biologists do; and it is always the same tired fallacy. Your Runge-Kutta equations do not take progress into account; each invention changes the equation. So your ecological simulations fail so hard when applied to humans it’s ridiculous.

      “Methods can involve starvation, sickness, failure to reproduce, lack of water, etc. The real question is – What is the Earth’s carrying capacity for the human species?”

      Repeat after me: There is no magical constant carrying capacity. Even if there were one now, for the current technological state, it would be different a minute from now because some human somewhere on the planet would have made a game-changing invention.

      That’s why the ecologists and Malthusians can only be described as backward-thinking, malicious wannabe dictators.

    2. Justa Joe

      Jerry, Feel free to off yourself. I won’t stand in the way.

  14. Doug Proctor

    Regardless of philosophical preference, 9 billion people cannot live and consume at the level of the 1st world, including the likes of me. An attempt to to so will fail. But it is the irony of democracy and human rights that no one may stop the attempt. Perhaps new technologies, including energy sources and food management will allow 9 billion to live as well as those of Heartland USA. But perhaps not.

    As long as we choose to live as independent men and women, making the best choices for ourselves, hoping “market forces” will mitigate the selfish worst, this is one of the possible outcomes of “best of all possible worlds”.

    What interesting times in which to live!

  15. Ulrich Elkmann

    “…the typical political thinking of all biologists…” Not necessarily. The true believers are the ones reporting on the “drastic lessons from Mother Nature” (the locus classicus are the studies by John Calhoun of the murderous effects of overpopulation on rats: e.g. Calhoun, John B. (1962), “Population density and social pathology”, Scientific American 206 (2): 139–148). The sceptics include those biologists who try, independently, to replicate those results. Of course, reports of Cannibalistic Killer Rodents (Wikipedia: “The conclusions […] were that when all available space is taken and all social roles filled, competition and the stresses experienced by the individuals will result in a total breakdown in complex social behaviors, ultimately resulting in the demise of the population. Calhoun saw the fate of the population of mice as a metaphor for the potential fate of man. He characterized the social breakdown as a “second death”, with reference to the “second death” mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation 2:11”) are taken up a bit more eagerly by the media than “sorry, we could never get our rats to do anything remotely like that – and as for humans…”

    1. DirkH

      You didn’t quote me completely. I said “of all biologists i know.” Yeah, i happen to know some in real life, and they have a typical Malthusian outlook. Maybe i should have made that more clear.

  16. Ed Caryl

    I know this statement will raise lots of objections, but here goes:
    The only important limiting resource is fresh water.

    1. DirkH

      Solvable with cheap energy. Look, for instance, at Singapore’s NEWater project. The cost of desalination is falling all the time…
      “A little known fact, however, is that desalination technology costs have fallen by as much as 80 percent over the past few years, by some estimates.”

  17. Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, May 26th 2011 « The Daily Bayonet

    […] week, another wild prediction of global doom.  The good news is that it happens in 2050 when the crushing weight of 9.4 billion people will cause the planet to explode.  Or something.  The fellow behind the claim is a German, but he thinks he has a master plan to […]

  18. Réchauffement climatique : les nazis verts attaquent | Contrepoints

    […] pauvreté et de mortalité précoce. Mais peut être est-ce le but recherché, Herr Schellnhuber ? Après tout, n’a-t-il pas déclaré que la terre ne pouvait pas supporter plus d’un mill… ? Et que fait on des autres ? Entre le « manque de ressources planétaires » […]

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    […] After all, it was Hans Schellnhuber who called determining that the “carrying capacity of the planet to be less than a billion people” one of the triumphs of science, read here. […]

  20. Richard Black: International Man Of Mystery « Black's Whitewash

    […] dumb public) in IPCC AR3. He is also a total nutjob who believes that the planet can only support one billion people.  He is a man with similar views to the Club Of Rome.  In my opinion he is driven by an ideology […]

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    […] In other words, climate scientists (like himself) should have the authority to save the planet from the global warming which stopped 15-18 years ago. (He predicts 8-degree warming by 2200, an extraordinarily far-sighted forecast, even by the standards of climate-change alarmists). He also has expressed the view  that the carrying capacity of the planet is only one billion people, and that “at nine billion the planet would explode.” [4] […]

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