Catastropheian Population

Throughout the years, humans have tried to satisfy their unlimited desires with limited resources. The problem of scarcity that arises as a result on Earth is only amplified as the population grows. Historically, there have a number of viewpoints on the sustainability of population growth. Some of them have been more pessimistic than others. One of the most well known pessimistic viewpoints is that of Thomas Malthus.
Thomas Robert Malthus was an English scholar and a professor of history and political economy in Cambridge University. His most famous work was published in 1798, entitled An essay on the principle of population. In this work, he introduced his concept of a Malthusian catastrophe. He theorized that population grows
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He said that the “pressure of finite resources will always keep the overwhelming majority of human population on the edge of subsistence.” In this, he refuted the idea of unlimited growth that had been proposed by other economists. However, by the year 1923, the population of the world had doubled, and once again doubled by 1973, without fulfilling Malthus’s dire prediction. People are better fed now, than they ever were before. Under nutrition has not disappeared completely in the world today, but it is declining, as shown in Figure 1 on the following page. This graph may be misleading because it is nominal. Instead, Figure 2 illustrates the prevalence of under nutrition as a percentage of total population, which gives a more accurate look at the decrease in the rate of malnutrition on a global scale. Unfortunately, 36 million people die each year as a direct or indirect result of hunger and poor nutrition, but Malthus’s more extreme predictions have frequently failed to materialize in today’s world. In actuality, malnutrition is more increasingly caused by disease, rather than lack of food. Malthus’ prediction did not come true in England, nor did it occur anywhere else in the world on the scale he …show more content…
Technological and agricultural developments have made it possible to produce more crops on less amount of ground. Not only did the Green Revolution make that possible, but essentially it also prevented the degradation of other land resources. If conventional farming techniques that were in place before had been used to generate that increase in production, millions of hectares of forest and natural grassland would have been used to increase the cropland required to produce that amount of food. The Green Revolution prevented this. As well, worldwide, food production increased 20 percent more quickly than the population, which was essentially the exact opposite of what Malthus had predicted and argued in his book. From 1950 to 1984, growth in the grain harvest easily exceeded that of population, raising the harvest per person from 247 kilograms to 342, a gain of 38 percent. In the 1999 Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), it was said that “despite rapid population growth, food production per capita increased by nearly 25% during 1990-1997. The per capita daily supply of calories rose from less than 2,500 to 2,750 and that of protein from 71 grams to 76.” This proves that the famine that was predicted by Malthus, as well as neo-Malthusians, has not come

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