Skip to comments.New Limits to Growth Revive Malthusian Fears
Posted on 03/23/2008 9:52:54 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
Now and then across the centuries, powerful voices have warned that human activity would overwhelm the earth's resources. The Cassandras always proved wrong. Each time, there were new resources to discover, new technologies to propel growth.
Today the old fears are back.
Although a Malthusian catastrophe is not at hand, the resource constraints foreseen by the Club of Rome are more evident today than at any time since the 1972 publication of the think tank's famous book, "The Limits of Growth." Steady increases in the prices for oil, wheat, copper and other commodities -- some of which have set record highs this month -- are signs of a lasting shift in demand as yet unmatched by rising supply.
As the world grows more populous -- the United Nations projects eight billion people by 2025, up from 6.6 billion today -- it is growing more prosperous. The average person is consuming more food, water, metal and power. Growing numbers of China's 1.3 billion people and India's 1.1 billion are stepping up to the middle class, adopting the high-protein diets, gasoline-fueled transport and electric gadgets that developed nations enjoy.
The result is demand for resources has soared. If supplies don't keep pace, prices are to climb further, economic growth in rich and poor nations alike could suffer, and some fear violent conflicts could ensue.
The resources now in great demand have no substitutes. In the 18th century, England responded to dwindling timber supplies by shifting to abundant coal. But there can be no such replacement for arable land and fresh water.
The need to curb global warming limits the usefulness of some resources -- coal, for one, which emits greenhouse gases that most scientists say contribute to climate change. Soaring food consumption stresses the existing stock of arable land and fresh water.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Even the Wall Street Journal buys into this human-caused global warming BS! What’s the world coming to!?!?!?
"..Limits to Growth attracted controversy as soon as it was published. Yale economist Henry C. Wallich labeled the book "a piece of irresponsible nonsense".."
The crew that wrote this crap have built their careers on this speculation. This is like global warming, but with even less data or rigor.
We can’t control the birth-rate in China, so we should immediately impose a command economy in the United States.
Similarly, we can’t control the emission of greenhouse gases in China, so we should transfer our heavy industry to China and impose a command economy in the United States.
Actually, its Sunday, and tomorrow’s Monday, so we should impose a command economy in the United States. When you’re a socialist, any reason is a good reason to impose a command economy in the United States.
Malthus has been proven to be full of cr@p. Population growth is absolutely necessary for there to be progress. Population allows for a greater division of labor, opens up new markets, and provides the needed labor to exploit new territories and opportunities.
“There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence”
The world population is set to stabilize relatively soon, and then begin DECREASING. Malthus turned on his head..
The US government doesn’t even know how many persons are living within this country.
Think: desalination and aquaculture (fish farms, aquatic plant farming, etc.).
Poof. Problem solved. Just use non-greenhouse-gas emitting nuclear energy for desalination and you're home free.
Oh, please! You don’t have real shortages when have proven reserves you refuse to tap unless you’re talking about a shortage of common sense.
For those of you who find such hard to believe the total land area of Rhode Island is 1045 Square Miles (1,545 square miles including Water)
1045 Square miles converted to Square Feet is 29,132,928,000 Square Feet Divided by 10 Billion gives you 2.91 Square feet per person to stand on.
We are not anyway near close to Overpopulation.
What a load. Can’t believe the WSJ published this trash.
Thank you! A society that is not growing is dying. Europe, Japan and Russia are all facing precipitous declines in native populations. The US is barely growing, and that is only due to immigration and the higher birth rates of recent immigrants.
Guess which major religious group has the largest birth rate? (It ain’t Catholics or Mormons.) If the West continues down its current path of negative growth, the depletion of resources will be the least of our worries.
Those of us who remember all the hysterical tracts of the 70s railing against the “population bomb” and imminent exhaustion of oil supplies and economic collapse, etc. etc. are not easily impressed by such a weak article. If economic forces can be freed up from the depredations of state socialists then none of these challenges are remotely insurmountable.
True enough. However, population growth is good only if it is associated with liberty and the creativity it generates. The high populaton growth of the major religious group you have in mind is detrimental because it does not value liberty. Hence, even in a places like Saudi Arabia and Libya with their huge oil reserves, the per capita income in these two nations is actually declining. OTOH, the UAE is allowing a measure of liberty (at least for foreigners who live and invest there) and is really booming economically.
“The US is barely growing, and that is only due to immigration and the higher birth rates of recent immigrants.”
“barely growing” is not correct, at least by my standards.
The rest of your statement is correct.
2050 438,000,000 Est.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.