Monday, February 18, 2008

Are we overconsuming our way to doomsday?

World population increased from about 1.5 billion in 1900 to 6.5 billion today. Along the way, Malthusians predicted that massive famines would occur. They didn't. Food supplies increased faster than population growth and food became cheaper and more abundant. In addition, the amount of land devoted to farming barely changed. As a consequence of growing food security and the spread of improved public health and medical technologies, global human life expectancy more than doubled. Perhaps the Malthusians are at last right? There are good reasons to think not.

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