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The world’s population is reaching 8 billion for the first time in history this month. This is the population bomb that Paul and Ann Ehrlich described in their 1968 book. They warned that the fight to control population growth was over and that hundreds of millions of people would die of famine.
The growth of the population slowed perceptively over the next half century, and some now proclaim the population bomb never detonated. In fact, another 4 billion people were added to the world’s population in the 54 years after Ehrlich’s book. Tragically hundreds of millions of people did in fact starve to death, even as food production has markedly increased, but malnutrition remains one of the leading causes of infant mortality.