Essay on Avoiding a Malthusian Catastrophe

Essay on Avoiding a Malthusian Catastrophe

Length: 769 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Thomas Malthus once said, “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” Albert Einstein might argue, on the other hand, “Necessity is the mother of all invention,” albeit in another context. So, which is it? Are we doomed to unchecked population growth followed by Malthusian catastrophe, or can we avoid it through increased food production, decreasing population growth rates, or some other means?

To say Malthusian catastrophe is inevitable is completely unwarranted. Is it possible? Certainly – it is only logical that if human population reached levels which far outstripped food supply, the resulting global famine would create easily ignitable tensions between nations, and facilitate disease through malnutrition and crowding – both contributing to a potentially massive death toll from starvation. This is a chilling prospect to be sure, but the words “plausible” and “likely” should not be confused. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that we may have already have moved away from the path towards such collapse. Even if that is wrong, it is incredibly unlikely that it is already too late to avoid through aid and intervention on behalf of developed nations to those nations most at risk.

First, according to Boserup’s research on agriculture development, Malthus’s hypothesis that population growth results from the intensification of agriculture is unjustified, and it is more likely that increasing agricultural productivity is the cause of population growth rather than the effect. The problem in establishing this conclusively, of course, is that growth rate and food production increases occur over long periods of time, and it is thus difficult to determine definitive...


... middle of paper ...


...igh to adapt to the supportable limits of the environment. What’s more, the desperate situation members of these nations will find themselves in may cause them to make similarly desperate measures to support them and their families, with potentially devastating ripple effects spreading globally. In other words – a Malthusian catastrophe. Such is the case with the tragically impoverished Somalian pirates. In this sense, it is not only humanitarian but also self-considerately wise of highly developed nations with sufficient resources to both aid the social development and curb population growth rates of those countries who threaten to return to stage one through social catastrophe if left unaided.

Naturally, this too raises many issues of its own. There are many sensitive cultural considerations must be taken into account when interacting with local populations.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Magnificent Catastrophe, by Edward J. Larson Essay

- In the book “A Magnificent Catastrophe” author, Edward J. Larson examines all aspects of the events that occurred during the First Presidential Campaign in the 1800s. Larson discusses the Presidential Election rivalry battle between Thomas Jefferson of the Republicans and John Adams of the Federalists. In 1776 both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were sent to Philadelphia as delegates to the second continental congress, they joined a five-member committee, which drafted a Declaration of Independence for the United States....   [tags: A Magnificent Catastrophe]

Better Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Population Growth and the Malthusian Prophecy

- Population Growth and the Malthusian Prophecy All exponential growth must have a limit. There is simply no getting around this reality for the following reason: any population or other object which grows exponentially will eventually overtake the size of the universe, a physical impossibility, at least as we conceptualize physics. Take the example of Standard Oil, run by John D. Rockefeller, the largest monopoly this country has seen. Just past the beginning of the twentieth century, Standard Oil was growing at an exponential pace greater than that of the economy....   [tags: Environment Environmental Pollution Preservation]

Better Essays
1087 words (3.1 pages)

Malthusian Theory Essay

- Before we can answer this question, we must first determine what the Malthusian Theory is. There have been numerous opinions given on the issue of overpopulation, but Thomas Malthus’ took center stage. Simply put, he believed “that population size increases far more rapidly than food and energy resources and as a result, population growth will always threaten to outstrip food supplies” (Kornblum, p. 535). This logic became what we now know as the Malthusian Theory. Taketia, Theseia, Edweena, Judy, Ryan, and I (LaTonya) have come together to apply this theory to different areas of interest....   [tags: overpopulation, environmental sciences, ecology]

Better Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Population has Outgrown the Food Growth

- In this paper, I brainstorm and develop certain topics that I find interesting and novel to pursue in future research. I write about two separate topics, one being theoretical, and the other empirical. In the first section, I propose an extension of the classical Malthusian model of economic growth by introducing different specification for birth and death rate income elasticities. I solve for the steady state parameter values and offer directions for future model development where land is not a fixed factor of production....   [tags: agriculture, economics, malthusian model]

Better Essays
1778 words (5.1 pages)

Environmental Catastrophes in the Global South Essay

- The welfare of humanity is currently in jeopardy as a result of re-occurring environmental predicaments that are happening across the globe. This includes Global warming, deforestation; extinction and toxic waste have captured the attention of many across the world. Environmental catastrophes are unfairly blamed on the Global South. Firstly many of these underdeveloped nations do not have strict environmental laws. Secondly the concept of sustainability for transnational corporations has proven to not be seen as proficient way to limit the growth of production in order to sustain a better ecosystem....   [tags: laws, ecosystem, power, water]

Better Essays
1625 words (4.6 pages)

A Brief Note On Neo Malthusian Views Of Population Growth Essay

- In 2000, the United Nations Secretary General proposed a plan to address many of the issues in the developing world. It was comprised of 8 goals, each with a set of distinct targets, called the Millennium Development Goals (55). These goals can be related to Neo-Malthusian views of population growth. Goal 1 was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and had three specific targets. Target 2 was to increase access to decent and productive employment, especially for women who are usually excluded in this respect, and this represents the view of overcoming population growth through empowerment and development of women....   [tags: Sustainable development]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

Avoiding the Unavoidable Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe are often thought to have different themes in their writing, but in reality, they have extremely similar themes. In Hawthorne's "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" and Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," one theme is incredibly prominent. Death is unavoidable, and when one tries to escape death, one will always find it hiding around another corner. Death can be evaded by hiding behind a barrier or attempting to conquer it, but one will always fail and have a limited time before it catches up....   [tags: Comparative, Poe, Hawthorne]

Better Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

Critical Examination of Malthusian Theory of Population Essay

- Thomas Robert Malthus, very popularly known as Malthus, was a professor of History and Political Economy at Haileybury College of the East Indian Company. He was a philosopher of 19th century. He lived his life from 1766 to 1834 AD. After writing an essay on the Principle of Population in 1805 AD, he became popular in the history of population studies. In his essay which later on became a very famous theory by the name "Malthusian Theory." In the theory, he has drawn some assumptions such as: <ol> <li value="1"> Human beings have great potentialities to produce children <li value="2"> In agriculture Law of Diminishing Returns operates <li value="3"> Human beings will need food to eat <li va...   [tags: Sociology]

Better Essays
985 words (2.8 pages)

Field Notes From a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert Essay

- Part 1: Summary In this book, Kolbert travels to many places to find out what is happening with global warming. Quite often she ran into the same fear at the places she went, the fear for loss before the next generation. When she went to Alaska, many people were fleeing from their homes because the sea ice surrounding them, creating a buffer zone for storms, was melting and that was causing houses to just be swept away. A man in Iceland who has monitored glaciers predicted that by the end of the century, Iceland will be ice free....   [tags: Kolbert Field Notes Catastrophe Book Analysis]

Free Essays
1701 words (4.9 pages)

Reinsurance Of Catastrophe Risks Essay

- Reinsurance of Catastrophe Risks Introduction Extreme events happen very seldom, however, they can inflict tremendous damage when they strike. The events are either natural occurrences (earthquake, flood, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis) or man-made event (fire disasters, plane crashes, riots). Increasing earthquake damage in recent years is evidence of rising vulnerability for the communities as more people with more valuable property are residing in earthquake-prone areas as it is observed by the rapid population growth....   [tags: Insurance]

Better Essays
1276 words (3.6 pages)