Burying Malthus to save Malthusianism

In: Uncategorized

28 Mar 2010

Brendan O’Neill’s latest review on spiked is a must-read. It eloquently describes how some influential greens, including Fred Pearce and George Monbiot, are attacking Malthus as a way of rehabilitating Malthusianism. Their argument is that the main problem facing the planet is not so much the number of people but their desire to consume things. For both the Malthusians and their green critics the key challenges facing the world are natural rather than social.

In Ferraris For All I discuss in detail how the notions of too many people and of too much consumption are different version of the same essential idea. Both assume that there are natural limits to economic growth. This is a key claim that needs to be countered by anyone aiming to make the case for prosperity convincingly.