This is a horrifying story. (via www.opinionjournal.com)
Forrest Mims attended a speech at the Texas Academy of Science. The speech was not videotaped, so he took careful notes.
But there was a gravely disturbing side to that otherwise scientifically significant meeting, for I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka (Fig. 1), the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.
He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.
Well, life imitates art, I guess. Or to put it another way, SF writers anticipate all sorts of lovely and horrifying things, and they do it with poetry and poignancy that tends to be lacking when the real thing comes along. When I read this article I immediately thought of The Last Flight of Doctor Ain, James Tiptree's short story that was published in Galaxy in 1969. It's a haunting and beautifully written story, and I hope that whoever keeps track of such things has read it, and therefore keeps a close eye on Pianka.