More ammo against the Malthusians

In: Uncategorized

22 Jul 2009

More resources for use against the Malthusians (see 7 July post). The new issue of the annual Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development (EJSD) looks at “The Population Bomb Four Decades On”. It includes an editorial by Julian Morris on the persistence of population pessimism and an article by Indur Goklany on how the rise in human population has coincided with greater affluence and improved well-being.

There is also a scary piece by Anne and Paul Ehrlich on “The Population Bomb Revisisted”. Their 1968 book, The Population Bomb, predicted dire consquences as a result of overpopulation: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

Despite their prediction proving entirely wrong they are unrepentant. They grudgingly admit “the medium-term success of the ‘green revolution’ in expanding food production at a rate beyond what many, if not most, agricultural experts believed likely”. But they also argue that “Perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future”. Yes they say they were TOO OPTIMISTIC! Their reasoning is that climate change is a more serious threat then they realised back in 1968.

I have put a link to the EJSD in my links library on the left hand column of the homepage.

* An additional resource for countering Malthusianism is Nicholas Eberstadt’s 2007 paper on Too Many People?.