Essay on Why Earth's Climate is Changing

4173 Words 17 Pages
Why Earth's Climate is Changing

‘The uneasiness of modern man arises from a rupture between himself and nature that leaves him homeless within the universe...’ William Barrett

Introduction

Over the past years most individuals have become acutely aware that the intensity of human and economic development enjoyed over the 20th century cannot be sustained. Material consumption and ever increasing populations are already stressing the earth’s ecosystems. How much more the earth can take remains a very heated issue. Here a look at the facts sheds some very dark light. In 1950, there were 2.5 billion people, while today there are 5.8 billion. There may well be 10 billion people on earth
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Man and the Environment
Thomas Malthus is well remembered for his position as a doomsayer. When looking at the rates of population growth in Victorian England, he saw unchecked growth as leading to a rapid decline in the living standards of man. He blamed this decline on three main factors: the overproduction of offspring; the inability of natural resources to sustain rising human population; and the irresponsibility of the lower classes to prevent their overpopulation. Very generally, Malthus suggested that this trend could be controlled only if the family size of the lower classes was regulated so that poor families would not produce more children than they could support. He predicted that the demand for food would inevitably become far greater than the available supply of it. This prediction was rooted in the thought that population, when unchecked, increased geometrically; i.e., 2,4,8,16,32... while food products, or as he called it ‘subsistence’, only grew at an arithmetic rate; i.e, 1,2,3,4,5,...... He provided only a basic economic reason for this however, and generally attributed famine, poverty and other catastrophic occurrences to divine intervention (he was a very religious man, a clergyman, in fact). He believed that such natural outcomes were essentially God’s way of preventing man from being lazy. The point here is not to provide an evaluation of Malthus, and one might well argue that he was wrong in many of his predictions; but

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