Malthus
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Malthus

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Malthus Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Influential Population Thinkers and Their Ideas
  • 2. Thomas Malthus
    • Anglican priest
    • An Essay on the Principle of Population
    • Exponential population growth (1,2,4,8) would outpace food supply, which grows arithmetically (1,2,3,4). Population growth is halted by hunger and rising death rates among the poorer classes.
  • 3. Paul Ehrlich
    • US ecologist-- The Population Bomb (1968)
    • The population explosion threatens the environment. Overpopulation will cause hundreds of millions to starve to death.
    • A “neo-Malthusian”
  • 4. Club of Rome
    • German “think tank”--used computer simulations to make predictions.
    • The Limits to Growth (1972 book)
    • Increased pollution and decreased resources will lead to a collapse of population in the mid-21st Century.
  • 5. The Limits to Growth
  • 6. Frances Moore Lappe
    • Social activist--author of Diet for a Small Planet.
    • Focus on socio-economic factors that lead people to have larger families. Socio-economic advances lead to reduced population growth rates--a “demographic transition.”
  • 7. Ester Boserup
    • A “cornucopian.”
    • Population growth drives technological advances. In turn these advances raise food production and improve economic development.
  • 8. Julian Simon
    • Conservative economist.
    • Population growth can lead to increased productivity--more people to think, work, and support economic growth.
    • People are the ultimate resource.
  • 9. More on Malthus…
    • …could not have foreseen the agricultural, industrial and technological advances that made it possible for population growth to slow and stabilize.
    • …was looking at a small, closed system--today’s world is not so simple.
    • …did not take migration into account.
  • 10. Hard-line neo-Malthusians…
    • … still have a doom-and-gloom view of the world.
    • … advocate drastic and coercive means to control population
    • … lifeboat ethics--“ The drowning poor and the weak should be allowed to die for the sake of the survival of the planet and the survival of the fittest.”
    • … reduction or rationing of food and development aid to poor countries and tighter immigration laws.