Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb, had some crazy ideas about the future. Ehrlich, so concerned about what he saw as a population explosion, wanted forced birth control, child lotteries and the "spiking of foreign food aid with antifertility drugs."
I recently found a 1970 edition of his book and now offer you excerpts from his bizarrely specific "Scenario 1" (of which there were three) featured in the second chapter.
Ehrlich stipulated that, "...none of [the scenarios] will come true as stated, but they describe the kinds of disasters that will occur as mankind slips into the famine decades."
"In 1972 news of the war in Thailand occupies the headlines of the United States, China has catastrophic floods, a breakdown of communications, and massive famines. Increasingly serious food riots in China, India, and Brazil are a matter of great concern to the Central Intelligence Agency."
"In early January, 1973, large numbers of Chinese troops move into the Thai conflict for the first time. They receive tactical air support from bases in North Vietnam."
"After an unheeded warning, tactical nuclear weapons are used in strikes on selected Chinese air bases, supply complexes, and staging areas in North Vietnam, Thailand, and southern China. With the connivance of the Russians a preemptive strike is also launched against China's nuclear facilities. Unfortunately, our defenses are not sufficient to prevent five 'dirty' Chinese thermo-nuclear devices, transported in submarines, from being detonated in the sea off our West Coast. Fallout results in more than 100 million American deaths."
If you thought Scenario 1 was incredible stay tuned for Scenarios 2 and 3...
Second scenario. Due to what Ehrlich believed to be over-population and inevitable famine the world has digressed into utter chaos. Again, this is excerpted from the 1970 edition of the book.
"In 1979 the last non-Communist government in Latin America, that of Mexico, is replaced by a Chinese-supported military junta."
"Only the outbreak of a particularly virulent strain of bubonic plaguekilling 65% of the starving Egyptian population had averted a direct Soviet-American clash in the Mediterranean."
"The third Los Angeles killer smog in two years has wiped out 90,000 people....The President's Environmental Advisory Board has reported a measurable rise in the sea level due to melting polar ice caps. [The Board] recommends the immediate compulsory restriction of births to one per couple, and compulsory sterilization of all persons with I.Q. scores under 90."
"Pollution and pesticide poisonings have supplanted cardio-vascular disease as the number one killer of Americans."
"[In early 1980] general thermonuclear war ensues. Particularly devastating are the high altitude 'flash' devices designed to set fire to all flammable materials over huge areas. At one point 15 monster fires rage in the Northern Hemisphere. Each covers an average area of 400,000 square miles - four times the area of Colorado."
"[Radiation levels] make two-thirds of the Earth uninhabitable. Pollution of the sea is vastly increased. Small pockets of Homo sapiens hold on for a while in the Southern Hemisphere, but slowly die out as social systems break down, radiation poisoning takes effect, climatic changes kill crops, livestock dies off, and various man-made plagues spread. The most intelligent creatures ultimately surviving this period are cockroaches."