Thomas Malthus is the English political economist who was one of the first to argue that the increase in the world’ population was surpassing the development of food production (overpopulation). Overpopulation is when the number of people exceeds the environment’s ability to support life. Population seems to grow more rapidly than food supplies. The increasing population growth would reduce the availability of resources all around the world until CBRs (crude birth rates) are lowered or CDRs (crude death rates) increase. There are those who support this argument and they are called Neo-Malthusians. They believe that the populations growth is eating up the world’s resources which is dangerous. There are those that disagree with Malthus’ claim. These critics argue that a large population is not the end of everything but the beginning of new technology and further economic growth.
These are the supporters of Malthus’ views on overpopulation. These people believe that Malthus’ claims are even more drastic because of two recent factors:
A) Relatively poor countries have had the most rapid population growth due to the increased development of medical technology. As a result, the gap between population growth and resources is wider in some countries than even Malthus anticipated.
B) Many LDCs have expanded their food production significantly in recent years, but they have more poor than ever before. Because population growth outpaced economic development, all the economic growth was used to accommodate the additional population.
According to Neo-Malthusians, wars and civil violence will increase in the coming years because of scarcities of food as well as such resources as clean air, suitable farmland, and fuel.
They believe that Malthus’ was severely pessimistic and did not consider other things such as possibilism in his argument.
A) The world’s supply is not fixed but expanding.
B) Humans have the ability to choose courses of action that can increase the supply of food and other resources. (possibilism).
C)More people could generate more ideas for improving or creating technology. This new technology can offset scarcity of minerals and land by using existing resources more efficiently and substituting new resources for scarce ones.
D) Large population can stimulate economic growth (more customers) and production of food.
E) The world has enough resources to eliminate global hunger and poverty if equally shared.
F) Food production has been growing at a faster rate than the world population.