Reality is of course that forty years later the world is still here, ecological, population and hunger problems still exist but there is more awareness and more measures are being taken to combat the issues in all areas of environmental and global health care.
The article is one that requires multiple readings in order to fully determine and appreciate the cynicism and at times wit of the writer, for although fatalistic in his beliefs he shows a degree of humor, albeit satirical in his denotation of the large powers of the western world. It is his depictions of catastrophic global events however, that cause readers to stop, take stock and reflect on what he purports because, although far in exaggeration, there are some elements of his prophecies that are apparent, real, and need of intervention if global health is to be improved.
Although there is not the mass starvation predicted by Ehrlich there are many people in the world who are starving and in need of basic health care, particularly in developing countries, but most of this is caused by war and poverty rather than lack of food. Although there has been a drive, whether for corporate or government gain, to increase crop yields and other food by use of biotechnology the debate on the risks and benefits of such food is stifling its purpose of feeding the hungry and giving help where it is most needed. Although the oceans are not depleted, the air is not killing millions of people, and population control is by choice, and being undertaken, in most situations, in a humanitarian manner, not as envisioned by Ehrlich, the problems do exist.
Ecological factors that are negative are a threat to human health and therefore need to be controlled; conditions that promote invasive bacteria, viruses or diseases for example, need to be monitored; air pollution can lead to diseases of the respiratory system or cancer; water quality in terms of contaminants, carriage and treatment and